Blogging Baseball: All-time baseball highlights and real-time commentary

Archive for August, 2010

Phillies Bumbling Offense Falls to Dodgers’ 1 Hitter

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Another mediocre pitcher took on the appearance of a world beater as  L.A. Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda pitched 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball against the sputtering Phillies offense.  Phillies hitters, apparently still impressed with their punchless 3 game sweep of San Diego, slept through this one.  Ace Roy Halladay, lacking any offensive backing at all, gave up single runs in the first, second and fifth innings.  The Dodgers capped their scoring as, another former Phil who never amounted to much, catcher Ron Barajas came back once again to haunt his former team by solving Halladay with a fifth inning lead off homer.  The Phils threatened only in the eighth when rightfielder Jayson Werth led off with a walk and centerfielder Shane Victorino broke up the no-hitter with a 1 out bloop single to shallow rightfield.  With 2 outs in the inning, it took lefthander Hong-Chih Kuo 1 pitch to retire the side getting pinch hitter Mike Sweeney on a fielder’s choice grounder in relief of Kuroda.  Kuo went clean on the Phils in the ninth to record his 7th save as the bumbling Phillies offense fell to the Dodgers’ by a 3-0 socre on a 1 hitter.

With the loss, combined with Atlanta’s pounding of the Mets, the Phils dropped to 3 games behind the NL East division-leading Braves.  The Phils continued to hold a 1 1/2 game lead on San Francisco for the NL wildcard lead as the Colorado Rockies scored 2 ninth inning runs to edge the Giants.  The St. Louis Cardinals remained 3 games behind the Phils in the wildcard race after being pounded by Washington.  The Florida Marlins remained in 3rd place 10 1/2 games behind the leaders while the Mets hold 4th place falling to 11 games off the pace.

Halladay threw another solid effort, only making 1 mistake — Barajas’s fifth inning leadoff homer.  Once again, the Phils failed to provide any offense whatsoever, thus denying ‘The Doc’ in another shot for his 17th win.

1st baseman Ryan Howard took another 0-fer hitting 1 ball solidly, right to the shortstop, while popping out twice.  But at least he didn’t strike out. 

There’s nothing much else that can be said about this one.  Masochists can continue reading by clicking here for the AP game recap for Yahoo.

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

In game 2, Kyle Kendrick is opposed by Carlos Monasterios for the Dodgers.
 
To view the schedule of all of Tuesday’s games,
click here.

Hamels Masterful as Phillies Shut Out Padres for Sweep

Monday, August 30th, 2010

 Carlos Ruiz Cole Hamels Mike Sweeney Jayson Werth

Phillies starter Cole Hamels outpitched San Diego Padres starter Clayton Richard on Sunday in a battle of lefthanders.  The Phils got a lot of mileage from their 5 hits as shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ 3rd inning RBI single and 1st baseman Mike Sweeney’s seventh inning 2 run homer provided offensive support and Hamels held the Padres scoreless for eight innings.  Catcher Carlos Ruiz collected 2 hits and scored 2 unearned runs as the Padres committed 4 errors in the game.  Rightfielder Jayson Werth’s ninth inning solo homer was topping on the cake as Hamels was masterful as the Phillies shut out the Padres by a 5-0 score to sweep their 3 game series.

Despite the win and having squandered 6 of 7 previous opportunities to catch up, the Phils remained 2 games behing NL East division-leading Atlanta who rallied back from 5 runs down to edge the Florida Marlins.   The Phils continued to hold a 1 1/2 game lead on the San Francisco Giants for the NL wildcard lead as the Giants narrowly beat Arizona. The St. Louis Cardinals are now 3 games behind the Phils in the wild card race after losing their game with Washington.  The  Florida Marlins held on to 3rd place 9 1/2 games behind the leaders while the Mets hold 4th place 10 games off the pace.

The AP recap for Yahoo sports provides game highlights:

Mike Sweeney, starting in place of slumping Ryan Howard against left-hander Clayton Richard, hit a two-run homer, his first for the Phillies since being acquired from Seattle on Aug. 4. Jayson Werth added a solo shot.

Hamels (8-10) prevailed over Richard (12-6) in a duel of lefties to win for the first time since July 11 against  Cincinnati. He had gone 0-3 despite a 2.83 ERA in his previous eight starts.

Hamels retired his final 16 batters after allowing Adrian Gonzalez’s single with two outs in the third. He struck out six and walked none.  Ryan Madson finished the combined five-hitter as several thousand Phillies fans stood and cheered.

Gonzalez had three hits for San Diego.

Two of Philadelphia’s runs were unearned. Carlos Ruiz singled with one out in the third and advanced on Richard’s errant pickoff throw. He took third on Hamels’ groundout and scored on Jimmy Rollins’ single.

In the eighth, Ruiz hit a leadoff single and was safe at second on Richard’s throwing error after he fielded Hamels’ bunt. Right fielder Ryan Ludwick made a nice diving catch of Rollins’ fly. But when Ludwick attempted to double Hamels off first, his throw was wide and bounced into the Padres’ dugout for another error, allowing Ruiz to score.

In between, Sweeney lined a pitch over the left-field wall with two outs in the seventh. It was seventh overall.

Werth hit a solo homer off Luis Perdomo with one out in the ninth, his 18th.

Richard allowed four runs, two earned, on four hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.

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

Ace Roy Halladay goes for the Phillies in the opener of the 3 game series with the L.A. Dodgers on Monday.  He is opposed by Hiroki Kuroda.
 
To view the schedule of all of Monday’s games,
click here.

Punchless Phillies Score Just Enough to Beat Padres Twice

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

     Roy Oswalt   Jimmy Rollins   Shane Victorino   Joe Blanton

The Phillies, whose offense had not scored more than 1 run in any inning over the span of 4 1/2 games — 52 innings, eeked just enough offense out to get by the San Diego Padres twice in their weekend series, despite an ugly bases loaded Brad Lidge ninth inning balk on Friday.  It was Lidge’s 5th blown save of the season.  But 3rd baseman Placido Polanco’s RBI single scored shortstop Jimmy Rollins in the tweflth.  Rollins made a neat slide at home to avoid a tag and score the winning run as the Phils prevailed over the Padres by a 3-2 score.

Tied at 1-1 on Saturday, the Phils came back to give Joe Blanton 2 runs of support in the sixth inning against Padres starter Jon Garland.  Blanton had another excellent outing giving up but 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 3 and walking 1 in six innings.  Centerfielder Shane Victorino’s 1 out, 1 on seventh inning triple drove in rightfielder Jayson Werth who Garland walked to lead off the inning.   The Phils got an additional run of cushion when pinch hitter Mike Sweeney’s 1 out fielder’s choice grounder scored Victorino.  3 Phillies relievers went clean on the Padres over the final three innings to insure the Phillies 3-1 win over the Padres in game 2.
 
The Phils finally cashed in on an opportunity to gain ground — 1/2 game on 
Atlanta over the weekend after blowing their previous 6 opportunites in 8 games to gain ground or overtake the Braves.  The Phils returned to holding a 1 1/2 game lead on the San Francisco Giants for the NL wildcard lead.  The St. Louis Cardinals are now 2 games behind the Phils having split their games with Washington.  The Florida Marlins held on to 3rd place 8 1/2 games behind the leaders while the Mets hold 4th place 10 games off the pace.

In Friday’s game, the Phils’ newest Roy — Roy Oswalt cruised through 102 pitches over eight innings with the Phils holding a 2-1 lead on 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s third inning RBI single off of Padres starter Matt Latos and leftfielder Raul Ibanez’s bases-jammed shallow rightfield run-scoring single off of reliever Mike Adams.  The only run off of Oswalt was catcher Yorvit Torrealba’s third inning leadoff homer.  Oswalt tossed 1 run 5 hit ball over his eight innings while striking out 6 and walking none.  But Manuel went to Lidge for the ninth. 

A leadoff single by pinch hitter Matt Stairs, a former Phillie, a sacrifice bunt to the pitcherr and a ground out, followed by an intentional walk followed by a hit batsman put Lidge in a sacks-jammed 2 out peckle.  Lidge went 2-2 on 3rd baseman Chase Headley before balking in Jerry Hairston Jr. (who pinch-ran for Stairs) with the tying run and costing Oswalt his 10th win, which would have been his 4th win with the Phillies.  Lidge blew his 5th save opportunity but would come back to gain his 18th save in Saturday’s game 2 by pitching a clean ninth inning.

The Phils’ winning run was scored in the twelfth inning when Jimmy Rollins doubled off of rookie reliever and losing pitcher Ernesto Frieri and Polanco singled him in.  Rollins, who went 3 for 5 for the game, appeared to be a dead-duck at the plate as Torrealba had the ball and was waiting for him.  But the resourceful Rollins slid wide to avoid Torrealba’s tag and then reached back to glaze the plate with his left hand.

Chad Durbin pitched scoreless eleventh and twelfth innings giving up only 1 hit and striking out 2 to notch his 4th win.  For more on Friday’s game, click here for the AP recap for Yahoo sports.

On Saturday, the Phils and Padres traded fifth inning runs as Shane Victorino singled off of Garland to drive in the 1st of his 2 runs.  The Garland tried to help his own cause in the Padres’ fifth with 2 out, 1st and 3rd base situation.  His single off of Blanton drove in the only Padres run of the game.  The Phils took the lead for good in the seventh on Victorino’s RBI triple and a run-scoring fielder’s choice grounder.

When Blanton left the game after six innings, relievers Jose Contrera,  Ryan Madson and closer Brad Lidge took care of the rest retiring the final 9 Padres they faced to insure the win.  For more on Saturday’s game, click here for the AP recap for Yahoo sports.   

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

After having been swept by Houston last week, the Phils hope to return the favor by sweeping the Padres on Sunday and gain momentum going into their series withe the L.A. Dodgers, although a bit more offense seems necessary. In a battle of lefthanders, Cole Hamels is opposed by Clayton Richard.  

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

Astros Sweep Phillies’ Non-Existent Offense

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Houston leftfielder Carlos Lee solved Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick for a double, a solo homer and 2 RBIs on Thursday to lead the Astros to their first sweep of the Phils in 11 years.  Lefthander Wandy Rodriguez looked like another world-beater allowing the Phils only one run, on 2nd baseman  Chase Utley’s sixth inning RBI double, and five hits while striking out six in seven innings of work to win his 10th game vs 12 losses.   Rodriguez retired 12 of the first 13 Phillies he faced before rightfielder Jayson Werth led off the fifth with a single as the Astros swept the Phillies’ non-existent offense winning the final by a 5-1 score.

The Phils blew their 6th opportunity in 8 games to gain ground on Atlanta and actually lost ground dropping to 3 games behind NL East-leading Braves who were idle on Thursday.  Having been swept by Houston, the Phils dropped to 1/2 game behind the  San Francisco Giants for the NL wildcard lead.  The Giants were also idle on Thursday. The St. Louis Cardinals remained 1 game back of the Giants and 1/2 game behind the Phils and play Washington later on Thursday.  The Mets and Florida Marlins continued jockeying for 3rd place with the Marlins now holding 3rd after edging the Mets.  The Marlins are 9 games behind the division-leading Braves while the Mets remain 9 1/2 games back as they prepare to square off later on Thursday.

Aside from the one Phillies score in the sixth, their only other serious shot that the Phils sputtering offense had to score off of Rodriguez came in the fifth.  Werth led off with his single and leftfielder Raul Ibanez followed with a double putting runners at 2nd and 3rd base with none out.  But Rodriguez struck out centerfielder Shane Victorino.  Catcher Brian Schneider followed by lining out to shallow rightfield for the 2nd out.  Werth was caught at home trying to score on the play by a fine relay through from rightfielder Hunter Pence to retire the side.  The Phils finished what should have been at least a 7-3 homestand with 4 wins in 10 games.

Those interested in more minutae on this latest Phillies bummer can click here for the AP game recap for Yahoo sports.

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

After a less than successful homestand where the Phils failed to gain ground on NL East-leading Atlanta, the Phils now head west for a 7 game roadtrip; 3 games with San Diego, 3 games with the L.A. Dodgers and a makeup game against Colorado.

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

Halladay Latest Victim of No Offense, Houston Edges Phillies Again

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Phillies ace Roy Halladay went seven innings in another fine effort on Wednesday.  But the Phils offense once again provided no support.  Halladay made 2 mistakes, a fourth inning 2 out solo homer to Houston rightfielder Hunter Pence and a sixth inning solo shot to centerfielder  Michael Bourn.   Meanwhile, former Phil, Astros lefthander J.A. Happ held the Phils hitless through four innings until rightfielder Jayson Werth’s leadoff fifth inning homer briefly tied the score at 1-1.  The enemic short-circuited Phillies offense could do nothing as Happ and the Astros bullpen again looked like world-beaters instead of a mediocre group playing out the 2010 string.  Pitcher Halladay led off the sixth with a single and scored on 3rd baseman Placido Polanco’s RBI double for the Phils only other run as they momentarily tied the game at 2-2.   Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, the Phils had runners on 1st and 3rd base with 2 out.  But leftfielder Ben Francisco was picked off of 3rd base to nip the only other Phillies scoring threat.  The Astro bullpen took care of the rest over the final 2 innings allowing the Phils only Ryan Howard’s pimch hit single in the ninth as Roy Halladay was the latest victim of no offense as Houston edged the Phillies again by a 3-2 score in series game 3.

The Phils blew their 5th opportunity in 7 games to gain ground on Atlanta and remained remained 2 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Braves who were again beaten in a slugfest, after losing a big lead, by Colorado.  Having suffered their 3nd loss to Houston, the Phils remained a tie with the San Francisco Giants for the NL wildcard lead.  The Giants also lost a slugfest to Cincinnati. The St. Louis Cardinals remained 1 game back of the Phils and Giants after again losing to Pittsburgh.  The Mets and Florida Marlins continued jockeying for 3rd place with the Marlins now holding 3rd after edging the Mets.  The Marlins are now 9 games behind the division-leading Braves while the Mets remain 9 1/2 games back.

The AP game recap for Yahoo describes the most recent controversial call of the series which centered around Francisco being picked off to end the Phils’ seventh inning scoring threat:

For the third straight night, a disputed call by the umpires was a factor in the outcome. With Jimmy Rollins batting, runners at first and third and the Phillies down a run in the seventh, catcher Humberto Quintero picked Ben Francisco off third base to end the inning.

Francisco appeared to get his foot tangled up with third baseman Chris Johnson’s foot and was called out by third base umpire Greg Gibson. Third base coach Sam Perlozzo and manager Charlie Manuel argued, but neither was ejected.

Quintero hit a two-out single in the seventh to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. Chris Johnson doubled and scored on Quintero’s liner to left.

There’s little more that can be said about this latest Phillies bummer.

Having blown 5 out of 5 opportunities within a week to catch the Braves, Phillies fans must now fear that they will not catch the division-leaders as it seems unrealistic to think that the Braves will continue losing.  And the Phils, finishing out a less than successful homestand, head west on Friday for a potentially tough 7 game roadtrip.   3 of those games will be against the West division-leading and red-hot San Diego Padres,  3 against those pesky L.A. Dodgers and a make-up game vs the tough  Colorado Rockies.

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

In Thursday’s final, Kyle Kendrick tries avoid an embarrassing Astros sweep and to salvage 1 game from a series where the Phils should have won at least 3.  Kendrick is opposed by lefthander Wandy Rodriguez for Houston.

To view the schedule of all of Thursday’s games, click here.

Halladay Latest Victim of No Offense, Houston Edges Phillies Again

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Phillies ace Roy Halladay went seven innings in another fine effort on Wednesday.  But the Phils offense once again provided no support.  Halladay made 2 mistakes, a fourth inning 2 out solo homer to Houston rightfielder Hunter Pence and a sixth inning solo shot to centerfielder  Michael Bourn.   Meanwhile, former Phil, Astros lefthander J.A. Happ held the Phils hitless through four innings until rightfielder Jayson Werth’s leadoff fifth inning homer briefly tied the score at 1-1.  The enemic short-circuited Phillies offense could do nothing as Happ and the Astros bullpen again looked like world-beaters instead of a mediocre group playing out the 2010 string.  Pitcher Halladay led off the sixth with a single and scored on 3rd baseman Placido Polanco’s RBI double for the Phils only other run as they momentarily tied the game at 2-2.   Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, the Phils had runners on 1st and 3rd base with 2 out.  But leftfielder Ben Francisco was picked off of 3rd base to nip the only other Phillies scoring threat.  The Astro bullpen took care of the rest over the final 2 innings allowing the Phils only Ryan Howard’s pimch hit single in the ninth as Roy Halladay was the latest victim of no offense as Houston edged the Phillies again by a 3-2 score in series game 3.

The Phils blew their 5th opportunity in 7 games to gain ground on Atlanta and remained remained 2 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Braves who were again beaten in a slugfest, after losing a big lead, by Colorado.  Having suffered their 3nd loss to Houston, the Phils remained a tie with the San Francisco Giants for the NL wildcard lead.  The Giants also lost a slugfest to Cincinnati. The St. Louis Cardinals remained 1 game back of the Phils and Giants after again losing to Pittsburgh.  The Mets and Florida Marlins continued jockeying for 3rd place with the Marlins now holding 3rd after edging the Mets.  The Marlins are now 9 games behind the division-leading Braves while the Mets remain 9 1/2 games back.

The AP game recap for Yahoo describes the most recent controversial call of the series which centered around Francisco being picked off to end the Phils’ seventh inning scoring threat:

For the third straight night, a disputed call by the umpires was a factor in the outcome. With Jimmy Rollins batting, runners at first and third and the Phillies down a run in the seventh, catcher Humberto Quintero picked Ben Francisco off third base to end the inning.

Francisco appeared to get his foot tangled up with third baseman Chris Johnson’s foot and was called out by third base umpire Greg Gibson. Third base coach Sam Perlozzo and manager Charlie Manuel argued, but neither was ejected.

Quintero hit a two-out single in the seventh to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. Chris Johnson doubled and scored on Quintero’s liner to left.

There’s little more that can be said about this latest Phillies bummer.

Having blown 5 out of 5 opportunities within a week to catch the Braves, Phillies fans must now fear that they will not catch the division-leaders as it seems unrealistic to think that the Braves will continue losing.  And the Phils, finishing out a less than successful homestand, head west on Friday for a potentially tough 7 game roadtrip.   3 of those games will be against the West division-leading and red-hot San Diego Padres,  3 against those pesky L.A. Dodgers and a make-up game vs the tough  Colorado Rockies.

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

In Thursday’s final, Kyle Kendrick tries avoid an embarrassing Astros sweep and to salvage 1 game from a series where the Phils should have won at least 3.  Kendrick is opposed by lefthander Wandy Rodriguez for Houston.

To view the schedule of all of Thursday’s games, click here.