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Archive for April, 2010

Phillies Come From Behind, Beat Giants in 11 Innings

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

                             Wilson Valdez

Trailing 4-1 in the ninth inning on Wednesday, the Phillies finally got to  Giants ace Tim Lincecum after the two-time Cy Young Award winner had given up 1 run, 1st baseman Ryan Howard’s fifth inning solo homer, and 3 hits while striking out 11 through eight innings.  But the Phils jumped on reliever Brian Wilson for the 3 tying runs, 1 of the runs charged to Lincecum.  Lefthander Cole Hamels went six innings giving up 4 runs on 8 hits while walking 4 and striking out 10.  With the score 4-4 after nine, the Phils grabbed a 1 run tenth inning lead only to see the Giants tie in their half of the inning.  The Phils plated 2 runs in the eleventh, but the Giants nearly tied or won against Nelson Figueroa in their half as rightfielder Nate Schierholtz, who went 5 for with 3 runs scored, drove in the Giants’ sixth run with a 1 out double putting runners at 2nd and 3rd base.  But a fielder’s choice grounder and a ground out to 2nd ended it as the Phillies came from behind to beat the Giants by 7-6 in 11 innings to avoid a sweep of the 3 game series.

With the win, the Phils remained 1/2 game behind the Mets in the NL East race with the 2 teams colliding for a 3 game series in Philadelphia starting on Friday.

AP sports writer Janie McCauley recaps the game for Yahoo sports:

Wilson Valdez doubled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning, Jayson Werth’s three-run double with two outs in the ninth rallied Philadelphia after Tim Lincecum left the game, and the Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants 7-6 on Wednesday to avoid their first sweep of 2010.

[Chase] Utley singled off Wilson [during the 3 run ninth] for hit No. 1,000 of his career.

The Phillies added an insurance run in the 11th on Velez’s fielding error in left when he dropped a routine fly by Shane Victorino.

Brian Schneider scored for Philadelphia in the top of the 10th on a wild pitch.  Sergio Romo (0-2) was the loser.

Howard snapped a career-high 65 at-bat homerless streak in the fifth when he sent the first pitch from Lincecum into the left-field seats. It was Howard’s first homer since agreeing Monday to a $125 million, five-year contract extension.

Lincecum, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, struck out 11 in outdueling Cole Hamels and was poised to win his fifth straight start to begin the year until closer Brian Wilson blew it.

Schierholtz had an RBI double in the bottom of the 11th for his career-high fifth hit but it wasn’t enough on a day the Giants stranded 16 baserunners.

Ryan Madson (1-0) pitched one inning for the win despite allowing an RBI single to Andres Torres in the bottom of the 10th, Torres’ third RBI of the game. Nelson Figueroa finished for his first career save.

Schierholtz’s 11th-inning double moved Juan Uribe —aboard on a pinch-hit single—to third and brought up Eugenio Velez. He grounded into a fielder’s choice to first and Howard threw home to save the tying run on a close call at the plate.

The homer by Howard was just the second of the year allowed by Lincecum, and Howard’s three career clouts against the Giants’ ace are the most by anyone.

Lincecum had thrown 98 pitches when he went out to start the ninth but was done after a one-out walk to Victorino. Fans booed when manager Bruce Bochy removed the right-hander. Wilson then blew his first save in five chances.

Lincecum and Hamels combined for 21 strikeouts. Torres drew a go-ahead, bases-loaded walk from Hamels in the sixth and also hit a tying RBI double in the fifth, but the bullpen couldn’t keep a 4-1 lead.

SS Jimmy Rollins has begun jogging again, but wasn’t sure when he would start true running as part of his recovery from a strained right calf that landed him on the disabled list April 14. “I’m not going to rush it this time. I rushed it last time,” he said in reference to an ankle injury in 2008. “But we won a World Series.”

Hamels threw 113 pitches in six innings while giving up 4 runs on the way to a no-decision, but he kept the ball in the park.  The first 6 Phils in the lineup collected 7 of the Phils’ 8 hits, with Howard collecting 2 of them.  Valdez, who replaced Juan Castro at shortstop in the eleventh inning, drove in the tie-breaking run.  Relievers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras and David Herndon each tossed one scoreless inning apiece, each giving up a hit.  

To view the scores of all of Wednesday’s MLB games, click here.

The Phils have Thursday off before returning home to end April and open May with a 9 game homestand beginning with entertaining the Mets for a 3 game weekend series.

Kyle Kendrick, who has been pounded in 3 of his 4 starts thus far this season, is opposed by young lefthander Jonathon Niese for the Mets.

To view all of Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s games, click here, here and here.

Phillies Lose to Giants as Offensive Slumber Continues

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Veteran Jamie Moyer did his job keeping the Phillies close through six innings.  But the Phils, who had the chance to score more than 1 run in the second inning, fell behind by 4-1 as the San Francisco Giants scored 2 second inning runs on solo homers and 2 more in the fifth — all off of Moyer and as the offense continued its slumber — now at 5 games.  Giants starter Todd Wellemeyer, who had given 13 previous runs in 14 1/3 innings and carried an 8.16 ERA into the game, stymied the Phils offense through seven innings giving up a run on 3 hits.  The Phillies lost to the Giants by a 6-2 score as their offensive slumber continues and their losing streak hits 3 games.

With the loss, the Phils have dropped to 2nd place in the NL East, 1/2 game behind the surging Mets who the Phils entertain for 3 weekend games.  Breathing down the Phils’ necks are the surprising Washington Nationals and the Florida Marlins, both tied for 3rd place, a game behind the Mets.  The Phils have lost 8 of the last 12 games after starting the season by winning 7 of their 1st 8 games handily and leading the MLB in scoring.

In addition to not hitting a lick, there were mental errors made by All Stars and Big-Bucks guys when they did reach.  1st baseman Ryan Howard let up while running from 1st to 2nd base to stretch a single to a double in the first inning.  And 2nd baseman Chase Utley was nailed in the ninth trying to stretch a lead-off single into a double.  They were both gunned down by rightfielder Nate Schierholtz.  But be that as it may, hitting, let alone clutching hitting was absent from a suddenly moribund Phillies offense.

AP sports writer Janie McCauley recaps the game for Yahoo sports:

Aubrey Huff and Matt Downs each hit solo home runs in the second inning, No. 5 starter Todd Wellemeyer finally won, and the Giants knocked the Philadelphia Phillies out of first place in the NL East… Tuesday night.

“We lost. There’s nothing to be happy about,” Moyer said. “We need to pay attention to what we’re doing ourselves. We have to look at the here and look at the now. It’s a long season but every game counts.”

Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandoval hit consecutive RBI singles in both the fifth and seventh innings, and Renteria finished with three hits.

Howard was thrown out in the second on a would-be double when he let up going into the bag. The slugger slowed down after hitting a bouncer into the corner in right, thinking he had plenty of time. But Schierholtz scooped up the ball after it came off the wall and fired to second and Renteria made a sneaky tag on the unexpecting Howard,

Schierholtz, who also made a diving catch in the first, did it again in the ninth when Utley tried to stretch a single into a double. Brandon Medders then struck out Howard and  Jayson Werth on called third strikes.

“I just happened to get good hops off the wall and make accurate throws,” Schierholtz said. “It’s good any time you can help the pitchers out.”

Werth followed Howard’s second-inning hit with a double, stole third and scored on Raul Ibanez’s sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. But that was it for Philadelphia until pinch-hitter Ben Francisco’s RBI single in the eighth.

Wellemeyer (1-3) won for the first time since July 2 last year against the Giants while with St. Louis. He received a rousing standing ovation when he walked off the mound in the eighth. The right-hander was a non-roster invitee to spring training who earned a job in the rotation with a strong showing in Arizona.

He allowed two runs on three hits in seven-plus sharp innings, struck out four and walked three.

“I knew I could pitch better than I’ve shown the last two games,” Wellemeyer said. “I had to go out and show it.”

Moyer (2-2) lost for only the seventh time in his last 32 road starts.

Philadelphia RHP Brad Lidge, coming off elbow and knee surgery, pitched two shutout innings with four strikeouts in a rehab outing for Double-A Reading against Harrisburg. He didn’t allow a hit or a walk in his eighth rehab appearance since April 10 and his second with Reading. … Phillies RHP  Joe Blanton (strained left oblique) is scheduled to make his next rehab outing Wednesday for Reading.

Both Lidge and Blanton hope to rejoin the club soon, the Phils sure need the pitching boost.

Losing pitcher Moyer went six innings giving up 4 runs on 10 hits, 2 of the runs being the solo homers in the second inning.  He threw 101 pitches.

To view the scores of all of Tuesday’s MLB games, click here.

The Phils hope to take Wednesday’s series final and avert a Giants sweep, but it’ll be tough and they better be hitterish as lefthander Cole Hamels, who was pounded in his last start, faces Giants ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum who is undefeated in 2010 at 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA.  Hamels is 2-2 and was pounded his last time out. The Phils have Thursday off before returning home to end April and open May with a 9 game homestand beginning with entertaining the Mets for a 3 game weekend series.

To view all of Wednesday’s games, click here.

Phillies Lose to Giants as Offensive Slumber Continues

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Veteran Jamie Moyer did his job keeping the Phillies close through six innings.  But the Phils, who had the chance to score more than 1 run in the second inning, fell behind by 4-1 as the San Francisco Giants scored 2 second inning runs on solo homers and 2 more in the fifth — all off of Moyer and as the offense continued its slumber — now at 5 games.  Giants starter Todd Wellemeyer, who had given 13 previous runs in 14 1/3 innings and carried an 8.16 ERA into the game, stymied the Phils offense through seven innings giving up a run on 3 hits.  The Phillies lost to the Giants by a 6-2 score as their offensive slumber continues and their losing streak hits 3 games.

With the loss, the Phils have dropped to 2nd place in the NL East, 1/2 game behind the surging Mets who the Phils entertain for 3 weekend games.  Breathing down the Phils’ necks are the surprising Washington Nationals and the Florida Marlins, both tied for 3rd place, a game behind the Mets.  The Phils have lost 8 of the last 12 games after starting the season by winning 7 of their 1st 8 games handily and leading the MLB in scoring.

In addition to not hitting a lick, there were mental errors made by All Stars and Big-Bucks guys when they did reach.  1st baseman Ryan Howard let up while running from 1st to 2nd base to stretch a single to a double in the first inning.  And 2nd baseman Chase Utley was nailed in the ninth trying to stretch a lead-off single into a double.  They were both gunned down by rightfielder Nate Schierholtz.  But be that as it may, hitting, let alone clutching hitting was absent from a suddenly moribund Phillies offense.

AP sports writer Janie McCauley recaps the game for Yahoo sports:

Aubrey Huff and Matt Downs each hit solo home runs in the second inning, No. 5 starter Todd Wellemeyer finally won, and the Giants knocked the Philadelphia Phillies out of first place in the NL East… Tuesday night.

“We lost. There’s nothing to be happy about,” Moyer said. “We need to pay attention to what we’re doing ourselves. We have to look at the here and look at the now. It’s a long season but every game counts.”

Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandoval hit consecutive RBI singles in both the fifth and seventh innings, and Renteria finished with three hits.

Howard was thrown out in the second on a would-be double when he let up going into the bag. The slugger slowed down after hitting a bouncer into the corner in right, thinking he had plenty of time. But Schierholtz scooped up the ball after it came off the wall and fired to second and Renteria made a sneaky tag on the unexpecting Howard,

Schierholtz, who also made a diving catch in the first, did it again in the ninth when Utley tried to stretch a single into a double. Brandon Medders then struck out Howard and  Jayson Werth on called third strikes.

“I just happened to get good hops off the wall and make accurate throws,” Schierholtz said. “It’s good any time you can help the pitchers out.”

Werth followed Howard’s second-inning hit with a double, stole third and scored on Raul Ibanez’s sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. But that was it for Philadelphia until pinch-hitter Ben Francisco’s RBI single in the eighth.

Wellemeyer (1-3) won for the first time since July 2 last year against the Giants while with St. Louis. He received a rousing standing ovation when he walked off the mound in the eighth. The right-hander was a non-roster invitee to spring training who earned a job in the rotation with a strong showing in Arizona.

He allowed two runs on three hits in seven-plus sharp innings, struck out four and walked three.

“I knew I could pitch better than I’ve shown the last two games,” Wellemeyer said. “I had to go out and show it.”

Moyer (2-2) lost for only the seventh time in his last 32 road starts.

Philadelphia RHP Brad Lidge, coming off elbow and knee surgery, pitched two shutout innings with four strikeouts in a rehab outing for Double-A Reading against Harrisburg. He didn’t allow a hit or a walk in his eighth rehab appearance since April 10 and his second with Reading. … Phillies RHP  Joe Blanton (strained left oblique) is scheduled to make his next rehab outing Wednesday for Reading.

Both Lidge and Blanton hope to rejoin the club soon, the Phils sure need the pitching boost.

Losing pitcher Moyer went six innings giving up 4 runs on 10 hits, 2 of the runs being the solo homers in the second inning.  He threw 101 pitches.

To view the scores of all of Tuesday’s MLB games, click here.

The Phils hope to take Wednesday’s series final and avert a Giants sweep, but it’ll be tough and they better be hitterish as lefthander Cole Hamels, who was pounded in his last start, faces Giants ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum who is undefeated in 2010 at 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA.  Hamels is 2-2 and was pounded his last time out. The Phils have Thursday off before returning home to end April and open May with a 9 game homestand beginning with entertaining the Mets for a 3 game weekend series.

To view all of Wednesday’s games, click here.

Halladay Loses 1st, Phillies Offense Slumbers in Loss to Giants

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

The San Francisco Giants reached Phillies ace Roy Halladay for 3 early runs on Monday as Giants lefthander Jonathan Sanchez, and 3 relievers bottled up the Phils’ slumbering offense despite collectively walking 7. Centerfielder Shane Victorino went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles but the rest of the generated but 1 hit and 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s 5th inning ground out RBI as Halladay lost his 1st and the Phillies offense slumbered in their 5-1 loss to the Giants in their series opener. 

The Phils loaded the bases in the third and seventh innings, thanks to Victorino’s doubles and to walks issued by Sanchez and by reliever Jeremy Affeldt.  They had runners at the corners in the fifth inning after scoring their only run in the fifth.  But aside from the “Flyin’ Hawaiian, if they didn’t walk, they didn’t reach in this one as the offense continues in la la land.

AP sports writer Nanie McCauley recaps the game for Yahoo sports:

Eli Whiteside homered and doubled in a run, Jonathan Sanchez struck out six and the Giants beat Philadelphia… on Monday… to hand Halladay his first loss since joining the Phillies…

Ryan Howard went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and walk hours after the slugger agreed to a $125 million, five-year contract extension that could keep him with the Phillies until 2017. He flied out to deep center in the first, with Andres Torres going to the wall to make a tough catch.

Mark DeRosa…. hit that two-run single in the first for San Francisco and Aubrey Huff had an RBI single in the sixth after Pablo Sandoval’s leadoff double. Sandoval slid home just to just beat the throw.

Whiteside doubled in the second to make it 3-0, then hit a solo homer in the seventh. After Whiteside’s double, Halladay (4-1) retired the next 10 hitters in order before Torres dived to beat out an infield single.

Halladay had a six-start winning streak snapped, the second-longest of his career. The right-hander came in with an 0.82 ERA—third-best in the National League—but it rose to 1.80.

“We got to one of the best pitchers in the league,” Giants reliever Sergio Romo said. “Every game out you have a feeling he’s going to go CG (complete game).”

Halladay’s three earned runs in the first two innings were as many as he’d given up in his four previous starts combined. He had pitched a five-hit shutout of the Braves in his previous start.

Halladay was tagged for 10 hits and five runs in seven innings, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter for the third time this season in a 104-pitch night.

“They hit some good pitches and I made some poor pitches that cost me,” Halladay said. “They were getting to some decent pitches. Sandoval hit a couple balls that were (on the) chalkline in the batter’s box. Learn from it and move on.”

Chase Utley had an RBI groundout in the fifth for the Phillies’ lone run, then Sanchez struck out Howard before a walk to  Jayson Werth drew a visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti. Sanchez then got Ben Francisco to fly out to left.

Reliever Antonio Bastardo had an easy eighth inning walking 1, but striking out 2.

To view the scores of all of Monday’s MLB games, click here.

In Tuesday’s game 2, ageless veteran Jamie Moyer faces Giants starter  Todd Wellemeyer with his 13 runs in 14 1/3 innings and 8.16 ERA.

To view all of Tuesday’s games, Click here.

Kendrick Pounded Again as Phillies Blow Leads, Lose to Arizona

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick cruised through the first four innings, after escaping unscathed from a second inning jam on Sunday.  The Phils staked Kendrick to a 3-0 lead on substitute 3rd baseman Greg Dobbs’ first inning 2 run homer and rightfielder Ross Gload’s fifth inning RBI groundout — all off of Arizona starter, former Phil Rodrigo Lopez.  But then the roof fell in on Kendrick in a 5 run D’backs fifth.  The Phils regained the lead with a 3 run spot in the sixth inning but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead and the offense squandered a 1st and 3rd base, 1 out opportunity in the eighth.  After Danys Baez gave up the tying run in the seventh, David Herndon gave up the 2 winning runs on 4 hits in the eighth as Kendrick was pounded again and the Phillies blew 2 leads, losing to Arizona by an 8-6 score and losing 2 of 3 game series.

The game was another ugly exhibition of pitching seemingly unable to hold leads and an offense which fizzled out in the clutch with runners at 1st and 3rd base with 1 out in the eighth after Baez blew the 2nd lead.  For the 2nd time in 3 games, Phils’ starters have given up 2 or more homers in one inning — again in the fifth inning.

AP sports writer Matt Paulson recaps the game for Yahoo sports:

…The Diamondbacks’ offense came through in this one, matching a season high with 15 hits, also the most allowed by the Phillies this year. Arizona scored three runs in its final two at-bats to win for the first time this season when trailing after six innings.

Stephen Drew led off the Arizona eighth with a single to right and was thrown out by shortstop Wilson Valdez when he tried to score on Cole Gillespie’s double down the left-field line.

[Mark] Reynolds then hit a line drive that bounced just in front of the wall in right. After Adam LaRoche was walked intentionally, [Chris] Young tacked on an RBI single to make it 8-6.

Arizona rallied after starter Rodrigo Lopez surrendered six runs and 10 hits over six innings. John Hester tied it at 6 with an RBI double in the seventh.

“The game was sitting right there for us, but they did it when they had to,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “We didn’t do it when we had to.”

Kyle Kendrick allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings for Philadelphia. It was his fourth no-decision in four starts this year.

The Phillies scored three runs in the sixth to take the lead for the second time in the game.  Chase Utley scored on [Jayson] Werth’s sacrifice fly and Ruiz’s two-run single made it 6-5.

Arizona erased a 3-0 deficit with five runs in the fifth. [Kelly] Johnson hit a two-run drive for his seventh homer and Reynolds connected for his seventh, leaving them tied for the team lead.

Neither starter was in on the final decision as D’back’s reliever Leo Rosales who gave up the Phillies 2 eighth inning hits and worked out of the 1st and 3rd base, 1 out jam was credited with the win.  Closer Chad Qualls collected his 4th save going clean on the Phils in the ninth striking out the last 2 hitters he faced.  Herndon, who gave up the 2 winning runs in the eighth, was charged with the loss.  D’backs pitchers struck out 9 Phils, including Dobbs, Utley, 1st baseman  Ryan Howard and leftfielder Raul Ibanez twice each.

To view the scores of all of Sunday’s MLB games, click here.

The Phillies next visit San Francisco for 3 games in the Giants beginning on Monday before returning home next Friday. 

In Monday’s opener, the Doc again hangs out the shingle as ace Roy Halladay is opposed by lefthander Jonathan Sanchez for the Giants.

To view all of Monday’s games, Click here.

Werth’s Two Homers Lead Phillies Past Diamondbacks

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

                      Jayson Werth           Jayson Werth

Phillies rightfielder Jayson Werth broke up a 2-2 tie on Saturday with a 2 out ninth inning solo homer off of reliever Juan Gutierrez after earlier putting the Phils up by 1-0 with a second inning solo shot off of Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.  Kennedy dueled with starter Nelson Figueroa and 2 Phils relievers through eight innings with the only other scoring being 2nd baseman Kelly Johnson’s 2 run fifth inning homer off of Figueroa and leftfieler Raul Ibanez’s 2 out solo shot off of Kennedy in the seventh inning.  The ninth inning blast to centerfield, the 2nd of Werth’s 2 homers led the Phillies past the Diamondbacks by a 3-2 score.

Figueroa, who threw 100 pitches in five innings while allowing the 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4, as well as relievers Chad Durbin,  Jose Contreras and Ryan Madson had little trouble with the D’backs.   Arizona put 2 men on base in only the first, second and fifth innings while capitalizing only once — in the fifth on Johnson’s 2 run homer.  

After leadoff hitter Johnson struck out to open the first inning, Figueroa walked shortstop Stephen Drew and rightfielder Justin Upton followed with a single to leftfield.  But then Figueroa got Mark Reynolds to foul out to right with Upton out at 2nd base attempting to advance on the attempted sacrifice.  Despite 2 men on in the second, Figueroa was in total control yielding a pop out, a fly out and a fielder’s choice grounder to retire the side.

The only D’backs runs scored in the fifth when catcher Chris Snyder opened the inning with a shallow rightfield single.  Kennedy bunted sacrificing Snyder to 2nd base.  Johnson followed with his 2 run centerfield homer which put Arizona up temporarily by 2-1. Figueroa got Drew to pop out to shallow left center and retired Upton on a line out to leftfield.

AP sports writer Matt Paulson picks up the recap for Yahoo sports from here:

Figueroa, who made a spot start in place of injured J.A. Happ, allowed two runs and five hits in five innings for Philadelphia. He left the game with mild left hamstring soreness after throwing 100 pitches.

“Before the game we thought if he’d go 60 or 70 pitches that would be tremendous,” Manuel said. “He did a heck of a job.”

Werth prevented Arizona from adding to its one-run lead in the seventh when he tracked down Gerardo Parra’s liner to right-center, stranding Chris Young at second base.

“He’s as five-tool as it gets,” said Arizona’s Kelly Johnson, who provided all of his team’s offense with a two-run homer in the fifth. “Everybody knows it now. It took a couple years of doing that before anybody finally said, `This guy’s kind of good.’ … He can do a little bit of everything.”

Philadelphia’s home runs spoiled Ian Kennedy’s best outing of the season and prevented Arizona from winning consecutive games for the second time this year.

Kennedy, who hadn’t gone past five innings in any of his first three starts this season, retired the Phillies in order in five of the first six innings and set down 15 straight during one stretch.

Looking for his second major league win and first with Arizona, the right-hander allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four in a career-high eight innings.

“Ian was exceptional,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. “I loved his aggressiveness. I thought he pounded the zone early and often and was able to locate all his pitches.”

Werth has eight multihomer games in his career—and in his last six games against Arizona he is 11 for 24 with six home runs and eight RBIs.

Parra singled with one out in the ninth but Ryan Madson struck out the next two batters for his fourth save in five attempts.

Contreras, who gave up an eighth inning single but struck out the side, was credited with the win.  4 Phillies pitchers struck out 12 Diamondback hitters.

To view the scores of all of Saturday’s MLB games, click here.

The Phils hope to leave Arizona with a series win as Kyle Kendrick, who pitched eight shutout innings against the Braves in his last start, faces former Phil Rodrigo Lopez who takes the mound for the D’backs in Sunday’s final. 

The Phillies next visit San Francisco for 3 games in the Giants beginning on Monday before returning home next Friday.

To view all of Sunday’s games, click here.