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Archive for the 'Cy Young Award' Category

Phillies Shut Out of Major Post-Season Awards

Friday, December 18th, 2009

As I continue housecleaning on the blog after the 7 week layoff, one cannot pass on the post-season awards and the absence of NL pennant- winning  Phillies from winning any of them.  One could say, however  that the Phils’ success in making a 2nd consecutive trip to the World Series was the result of the sum total of all of their parts.

However, I was expecting young lefthander J.A. Happ to have won NL Rookie of the Year honors which were ultimately won by Florida Marlins leftfielder  Chris Coghlan.

While Happ mainly sparkled finishing with a 12-4 record and 2.93 ERA with 3 complete games, including 2 big shut outs, he was pounded in a couple of outings down the stretch.  It seems obvious that Coghlan trumped Happ with a consistent .321 BA in his rookie season breaking .300 and driving to his ending .321 average through the September stretch getting 162 hits in 504 at bats over 128 games and going 6 for 13 with 3 doubles and 3 RBIs in 3 games in the NL East division series with the Phillies.

I was also expecting Charlie Manuel to win NL Manager of the Year having guided the Phils to 3 straight division Championships, 2 consecutive World Series and a World Championship in 2008.  But it was not to be as Colorado Rockies Manager Jim Tracy chapped the honors.  I’m not sure I understand the logic here, but one could probably say that Tracy rated the edge by hitting the ground running after his promotion in late May from bench coach to manager in wake of Clint Hurdle’s firing.  The Rockies went 74-42 with Tracy as skipper.  Tracy got 29 of 32 1st place votes while Charlie garnered no first place votes — figure that one out!

Two Phillies, shortstop Jimmy Rollins and centerfielder Shane Victorino, managed to nail down Gold Glove awards while a Silver Slugger Award went to 2nd baseman Chase Utley so that the team was not totally shut out.

For those who were hoping for an MVP award for 1st baseman Ryan Howard,  St. Louis Cardinals 1st baseman Albert Pujols notched the award for the 2nd straight season based on out-and-out merit.  Check this out:

  • 2009       AB      Hits     HRs    RBIs     BB     K    BA
  • Howard  616     172     45     141       75    186   .279
  • Pujols     568     186     47     135     115     64   .327

Enough said??  Howard’s got to cut down on strikeouts — Big Time!

Finally, I can’t let this post go by without commenting on the AL MVP award going to Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer.   Mauer caught in 138 games in 2009 hitting 28 HRs with 96 RBIs and amassing a .365 BA.  This after catching in 146 games in 2008, driving in 85 runs with a .328 BA.  Checking out his 6 season career, he’s caught in-excess of 130 games in 4 of his last 5 seasons and is in the midst of a career, both offensively and behind the plate, which recalls to memory Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” era Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, although so far, Bench holds a decisive margin in HRs and RBIs.

Below are reports with more detail on the Post-Season Awards:

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Phillies Repeat as NL East Champs: First Thoughts

Sunday, September 28th, 2008


Shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ sudden, dramatic, sliding stop of Ryan Zimmerman’s 1 out, bases loaded grounder in the hole was not the kind of clinching finish which I envisioned, but, man, we’ll take it anyway.  Heaven knows how many bad bounces and fielding miscues have sunk the  Phillies in crucial situations through the years.  And who can forget their 1964 collapse?

The Mets had shut out Florida in their Saturday game by a 2-0 score, thanks an awesome complete game effort by their ace Johan Santana.  The Phils magic number stood at 1 after their 8-4 Friday win over the Nationals.

After seeing the Phils go ut to an early 2-0 lead and take a 3-1 on rightfielder Jayson Werth’s fifth inning lead-off homer, centerfielder  Lastings Milledge’s eighth inning sacrifice fly to shallow centerfield was caught on a running catch by Rollins as he collided with centerfielder  Shane Victorino with shortstop Cristian Guzman scoring from 3rd base on the play.  Victorino singled with 2 out in the Phillies’ eighth and scored on 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz’s double to give the Phils a 4-2 lead.

In came dominant closer Brad Lidge to sew up the game and I expected a replay of  Brett Myers’ closing ninth inning last season against the Nationals — 15 pitches, 11 strikes; 2 strikeouts with a fly out to leftfield sandwiched in-between.

Instead, we saw Lidge strike out pinch hitter Emilio Bonaficio on 5 pitches after falling behind in the count 2-0.  Leftfielder Roger Bernadina laced Lidge’s 0-1 pitch to rightfield for a single.  Pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans then worked a full count before Lidge walked him.  Recent call-up 2nd baseman Anderson Hernandez then stroked Lidge’s 1-1 pitch to right centerfield scoring Bernadina with Washington’s 3rd run.  Guzman followed with a single to centerfield on a 2-2 pitch to load bases.

It appeared that Lidge was about to blow a save, and perhaps the game in what was the most crucial situation of the season.  But with the count 1-1, Rollins made a super play to stop Zimmerman’s grounder in the hole for the game-ending, title-clinching doubleplay on Lidge’s 24th pitch of the inning.

              Moyer Repeats Clutch Performance Parallels Last Season

Last season, Moyer went 5 1/3 innings in the title-clinching game on the last day of the season giving 1 run on 5 hits while walking none and striking out 5 on 97 pitches.   This season’s clincher saw Moyer go 6 innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1 on 86 pitches.  As I’ve written the most recent previous posts, Jamie Moyer, with his 16-7 record and 3.78 ERA, deserves serious consideration for the Cy Young Award.

And so, now we wait to see how Sunday’s games between the Mets and Marlins, and Cubs and Brewers play out to see who gets the Wild Card spot and who plays who in the NL divisional playoffs with the Phils, the Cubs and the Dodgers having clinched.

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Phillies Edge Nationals, Clinch NL East; Mets, Brewers Tied for Wild Card

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

    Jayson Werth   Jamie Moyer    Jimmy Rollins

Lefthander Jamie Moyer, all 45 years of him, repeated on Saturday, clinching a Phillies NL East title for the 2nd straight season with a 4-3 win. He gave up 1 run on 6 hits in his six inning outing as rightfielder Jayson Werth solo homered in the fifth inning, Pedro Feliz doubled in what turned out to be the winning run in the eighth and Brad Lidge eluded a 1 out, bases-loaded jam in the ninth by getting Nationals’ 3rd baseman  Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending short-to-2nd-to-1st double play.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs upended the Milwaukee Brewers by a 7-3 score throwing the NL Wild Card into a tie between the Brewers and the  Mets with the last games of the rgular season to be played on Sunday.

On Sunday, while the Mets throw Oliver Perez against Florida’s Scott Olsen in a duel of lefties, Carlos Zambrano will be opposing lefthander C.C. Sabathia in a battle of aces with both the Mets and Brewers hoping to take the Wild Card without the necessity of a Monday tie-breaker.

With Moyer and young lefthander John Lannan wrapped in a 0-0 duel, the Phillies broke through in the fourth for 2 runs on 3 hits.

AP sports writer Rob Maaddi recaps the Phillies’division title clinching game for Yahoo sports;

By the time the Phillies came to the plate in the first, Johan Santana already had pitched the Mets to a 2-0 victory over Florida. With no reason to watch the out-of-town scoreboard, the Phillies took care of their own business.

Not known for their situational hitting, the Phillies used a pair of sacrifice flies to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth.

Utley fisted a single over the second baseman’s head to start the inning. After [Ryan] Howard dropped a single to left to put runners at the corners, [Pat] Burrell’s sacrifice fly gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead.  [Shane] Victorino followed with a single and [Pedro] Feliz walked to load the bases. Carlos Ruiz’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0.

[Anderson] Hernandez cut the deficit in half with a two-out RBI double off right fielder Werth’s glove in the fifth. Werth answered in the bottom half with an opposite-field homer to right.

Jamie Moyer (16-7) allowed one run and six hits in six innings, matching Hall of Famer Phil Niekro for most wins by a pitcher 45 or older. Niekro, a knuckleballer, had 16 wins at 45 and 46 while pitching for the New York Yankees in 1984-85.

Moyer easily could’ve won 20 games with a little more run support. He had a stretch of 14 consecutive starts in which he allowed three runs or less, but only went 5-4 in that span.

Relying on his typical assortment of slow stuff and barely-80s fastball, Moyer kept the Nationals off-balance. The native son also earned the win in last year’s clinching game against Washington. Moyer grew up in nearby Souderton and played hooky from school to attend the Phillies’ victory parade on Broad Street in 1980. He’d like to be riding on the float this time.

“Hopefully, we can build off what we did last year and go deep,” Moyer said.

Nationals starter John Lannan (9-15) gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings

Chad Durbin pitched a scoreless seventh and Ryan Madson allowed one run in the eighth, helped by an outstanding catch by Rollins.

With runners at second and third and no outs, [Jimmy] Rollins ran a long way to make an over-the-shoulder catch on Lastings Milledge’s sacrifice fly to shallow center that cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-2.

Center fielder Shane Victorino was shaken up after Rollins ran into him, but stayed in the game. He singled and scored an insurance run on Feliz’s RBI double in the eighth.

Anderson Hernandez blooped an RBI single to cut it to 4-3 in the ninth. Cristian Guzman followed with a single to load the bases with one out, but Rollins stopped the rally with a clutch play.

Rollins made a sliding stop with the bases loaded to start a game-ending double play, and the Philadelphia Phillies clinched their second consecutive NL East title by holding off the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Saturday.

Moyer threw 89 pitches during his six innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1 to finish the regular season with a nifty 3.78 ERA and, by my account, in the running for the Cy Young Award.   Closer Brad Lidge notched his 41st save in 41 opportunities.

It’s been quite a season; a season where the Phils proved conclusively that 2007 was no fluke, no aberration and that they are “the team to beat”, notwithstanding Santana.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Saturday’s games, click here.

Ace lefthander Cole Hamels is still scheduled, as of this post, to oppose lefthander Odalis Perez on Sunday although it is likely that the Phils will opt to scratch him from this start to rest him for the playoffs.  They have young lefthander J.A. Happ available to pitch on 6 rest or they could go with giving Kyle Kendrick a shot at redemption in the regular season finale.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Sunday’s games, click here.

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Phillies Blow Past Nationals, 1 Game From NL East Title

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

     Ryan Howard      Joe Blanton     Chase Utley

1st baseman Ryan Howard blasted his MLB-leading 48th homer, a 3 run job in the first inning. 2nd baseman Chase Utley bashed a bases-clearing 3 run double in the second and Joe Blanton was effective enough, although giving up 4 runs, 3 unearned, as the Phillies blew past the Washington Nationals in their Friday opener by an 8-4 score.

The win, coupled with the Mets’ 6-1 loss to the Florida Marlins on Friday, the Phils moved 2 games head of the Mets and to within 1 game of their 2nd straight NL East division title. The Phils magic number is presumably 1 game to clinch at least a tie for the NL wild card berth.

Collin Balester started against Blanton as the Nationals made a last minute move changing from the originally scheduled starter 24 year old lefthander  John Lannan.  Lefthander Lannon is now set to go in a leftys’ duel with  Jamie Moyer on Saturday.

The Phillies went right to work on Balester for 3 first inning runs and 4 more in the second on 7 hits as the youngster chased after 1 2/3 innings.

AP sports writer Rob Maaddi recaps the game for Yahoo sports;

Fans kept a close eye on the out-of-town scoreboard, cheering when the Marlins took a 2-0 lead in the first inning at Shea Stadium.

A few minutes later, Howard got them roaring when he connected to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the first. The sellout crowd screamed “MVP! MVP!” and waved their white-and-red “Fightin’ Phils” towels in appreciation.

Jayson Werth and Utley hit one-out singles in the first to bring up Howard. The 2006 NL MVP drove an 0-1 pitch into Philadelphia’s bullpen in right-center.

Howard is batting .349 (29-for-83) with 11 homers and 32 of his major league-best 146 RBIs this month. He has raised his overall average to .250 and is making a strong push to win his second MVP award in three years, though teammate Brad Lidge deserves serious consideration.

The Phillies chased Balester with four, two-out runs in the second inning to take a 7-1 lead.

Greg Dobbs led off with a double.  Jimmy Rollins walked with two outs and Werth reached on an infield single to load the bases. Utley missed a slam by a few feet, clearing the bases with a double off the left-field wall. Howard followed with an RBI double to left.

The Nationals chipped away against Blanton (4-0), but four relievers combined to toss three scoreless innings.

The Nationals scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth after Howard booted Pete Orr’s grounder with one out. Emilio Bonifacio had a sacrifice fly and Cristian Guzman singled in a run to cut it to 7-3.

[Kory] Casto hit a solo homer in the sixth to get the Nationals within 7-4. Umpires used instant replay to make sure the ball cleared the right-field wall before it fell onto the field after a fan dropped it.

The Phillies reached 90 wins for the 12th time in the franchise’s 126-year history. They hadn’t done it since winning 97 games in 1993.

Blanton allowed four runs—one earned—and five hits. The right-hander was 5-12 with Oakland before joining the Phillies in a midseason trade.

The Phillies are 9-4 in Blanton’s 13 starts.

Blanton threw 89 pitches in 6 innings, and Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero held the Nationals to 1 hit over the seventh and eighth innings before Lidge polished off the Nationals on 13 pitches, 2 strikeoouts and a groundout to ice the win.

Some additional thoughts;

90 Wins is not 100, but the Phils did hit the 90 win plateau with every possibility of finishing with 93 wins. Who would have thunk they’d do it when they were in the July duldroms? But the race ain’t over until it’s clinched. Go Jamie!

By the way, about Moyer;  I have not heard or seen this anywhere else, but I hold that Jamie Moyer MUST be considered seriously for the Cy Young Award.

One more thing to share as it seems appropo for this team;

It’s 1983, the season that the Phils caught lightning in a bottle winning 14 of their last 16 games of the season with Steve Carlton near the end of his great career, John Denny’s career season, Mike Schmidt, Gary Maddox and a patchwork group including Bo Diaz, Juan Samuel, five-for-one Von Hayes, Gary Matthews as well as Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez at the ends of their careers. They were in the final game of their 3-1 belting of the L.A. Dodgers in the 1983 NL Championship Series — I remember to this day; former Phillies great centerfielder and game announcer Richie Ashburn laughing hysterically, almost insanely as the Phils finished off the Dodgers to head to the World Series against the Orioles. One of the all-time great Phillies fans moments.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Friday’s games, click here.

Lefthanders 45 year old Jamie Moyer and Cole Hamels oppose lefthanders John Lannon and Odalis Perez on Saturday and Sunday.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Saturday’s games, click here.

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