The Phils (10-12, 4th East) will conclude their four-game series with the Cubs (8-14, 6th Central), as they try to recover from being owned by Cubs’ starter Matt Garza (2-1, 2.67) yesterday for seven innings, being able to get only one hit and a walk against him in the ballgame, while the Cubs would be able to score single runs in the second, third and fourth innings off of Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 6.59), who had a much better outing then he did April 23, against the D-backs, before getting two runs off of reliever David Herndon in the eighth. The Phils would finally get a run in the ninth off of a hit and three walks given up by Cubs’ reliever Carlos Marmol, before he would finally put out the fire. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to start at 7:05 pm EDT.
The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16), who is coming off a victory over the D-backs on April 24, as he went six strong innings, giving up only a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 8-5 win. Against the Cubs, Worley has a career record of 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA, while he had struck out seven Cubs. He will be trying to lead the Phils to a series split with the Cubs. The Cubs will counter with Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.14), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on April 25, where he went six innings, giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out just two, in the Cubs’ 5-1 lost. Against the Phils, he has a record of 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA, while he had struck out 45 Phils. He will be trying to get his first win for 2012, while hoping that the Phils’ offense won’t use him as a punching bag. The Phils will be trying to end the month of April, their first losing April since 2007, on a winning note, before going onto the road to meet the Braves and the Nats.
As the Phils (17-13) meet the Giants (13-17) for two more games at Citizens Bank Park. The first game starts tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern, with Brett Myers (2-2, 5.11) on the mound for the Phils. Myers is coming off a lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 27, where he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits in the Phils’ 5-1 lost. He will be looking to regain both the speed on his pitches and his winning ways. His opponent will be Matt Cain (1-2, 4.41), who has a career record of 0-2, 9.69 ERA in three starts against the Phils. Cain last game was a victory against the Colorado Rockies on April 28, where he pitched five and 1/3 innings, giving up no runs on four hits in the Giants’ 4-0 victory. He’ll be looking to notch his first victory against the Phils.
The final game of the series and of the home stand will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will have Cole Hamels (3-3, 2.70) on the mound. He is coming off of a victory against the Padres on April 29, where he’d pitched a strong seven and 1/3 innings, giving up only five hits and two earned runs, along with six strikeouts, in the Phillies’ 7-4 win. He will be looking to better his record tomorrow afternoon. He will be pitching against Tim Lincecum (4-1, 1.73), one of the league’s best pitchers. But Lincecum is coming off his first lost of the year against the Rockies on April 29, where he would go seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits in the Giants 3-2 lost. He will be looking to get back to his winning ways at the Philles expense.
The Phillies will then start a seven games, two cities, road trip, with four games against the Arizona Diamondbacks (May 5-8) and then three against the Giants in San Francisco (May 9-11), before coming back home on May 13 to face the Atlanta Braves.
The Phils have hit 39 home runs in the month of April, a new franchise record.
Chase Utley, who has just been named the National League Player of the Month for April is presently leading the National League in Home Runs (12) and Slugging Percentage (.771) while he is among the league leaders in Runs Scored (27-3rd), Hits (43-T2nd), Doubles (10-T5th) and Batting Ave. (.364-T3rd). Pat Burrell, meanwhile, is second in RBIs (28) and Slugging Percentage (.690) and is tied for second in Home Runs (9), while presently hitting .330.
The Phillies’ bullpen is still second in the league with an ERA of 2.64.
Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies has been named the ‘Sharp Presents the National League Player of the Month’ for April.
The left-handed hitting second baseman hit .360 (40-111) with 10 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs, 23 RBIs and 25 runs scored in April. His 11 home runs, 85 total bases and .766 slugging percentage all paced the National League. The two-time All-Star posted 15 multi-hit games, two multi-home run contests and six multi-RBI performances. Utley homered in five consecutive games from April 17th-21st, tying a Phillies record shared by Bobby Abreu (2005), Mike Schmidt (1979) and Dick Allen (1969). The UCLA product, drafted in the first round (15th overall) by the Phillies in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, capped the month with his Major-League leading 11th home run of the year on April 30th vs. San Diego.
Other players receiving votes were Chipper Jones (.417, eight homers, 21 RBIs) of the Braves, Nate McLouth (.339, seven homers, 25 RBIs) of the Pirates, Rafael Furcal (.380, four homers, 15 RBIs) of the Dodgers and Pat Burrell (.330, 9 homers, 28 RBI) of the Phillies.
For setting the highest definition of excellence, Sharp, the presenting sponsor of the National League Player of the Month Award, presents Chase Utley with a 52″ AQUOS®. Sharp AQUOS is the “Official High-Definition Television of Major League Baseball.” Chase will also receive a specially designed trophy to mark his achievement. (H/T Phillies.com)
Why am I thinking that there is definately an MVP Award in his future if he keep going like this? 🙂
The Phils ends a good April with a lost as they lose to the Padres, 4-2. Jamie Moyer pitched 5 and 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, with two of the hits being a couple of home run balls. The Padres’ first runs came on a two-run homer in the first to Adrian Gonzalez, his fifth of the year, scoring Tadahito Iguchi, who had earlier single. The Phils would come back to tie it in their half of the first, on a two-run homer by Chase Utley, his league leading eleventh of the season, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who had earlier reached based on a single off of Padres’ starter, and eventual winner, Chris Young. But that would be all that the Phils would be able to do against Young as he would shut the Phils down for the next five innings, giving up a total of five hits and two earned runs in six innings. By that time, the Padres have retaken the lead. In the top of the third, Moyer gave up a solo home run to Kevin Kouzmanoff, his second of the season. The Padres would add an insurance run in the sixth, while knocking Moyer out of the game, as Iguchi knocks in Josh Bard on a single off of Chad Durbin, who had come in to relieve Moyer. Durbin would then get out of the inning, and then, along with J.C. Romero and Rudy Seanez, keep the Padres’ bats quiet for the next 3 and 2/3 innings, giving up only three hits between them. Sadly, the Padres’ bullpen would do even better, keeping the Fightins’ bats equally as quiet, as Joe Thatcher, Heath Bell, and Padres’ closer and all time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, pitched a combined three innings, giving up only two hits, with Hoffman getting his sixth save of the season.
With the lost, Moyer’s record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 4.50, while Young, with the victory, has raised his record to 2-2 with an ERA of 3.63.
The Phils (15-13) conclude their series with the Padres (11-17) tonight at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Adam Eaton (0-0, 5.08), who is still looking for his first win of the year, after five start. Eaton’s career record against the Padres is 1-0. He will be pitching against former Phils Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.68).
The lost put the Phils back into third place, still .5 games behind the Marlins and now .002 percentage points behind the Mets, as the Marlins, like the Mets earlier in the day, got crushed in their game, losing to the Dodgers 13-1.
And the Phils have an outside chance of being in first place before the month is over. The present third place Phillies have gotten off to a good start this month as they have won 15 games while losing 12, trailing the Florida Marlins, who lead the National League East, and have also won 15 games, by .5 games, and trails the second place New York Mets by .004 percentage points as the New Yorkers have won 14 games.
I’m sure everyone in Phillies land were all hoping that the team would start off the season a lot better than they have during the last few years, but I’m sure that no one would have expected them to win this many games as May rolls around with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino both being out for a while, Ryan Howard slumping badly, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz and Geoff Jenkins all hitting below their career averages and Brett Myers’ arm not throwing heat. But we can thanks our lucky stars that while all this was happening that Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Jayson Werth and Chris Coste all got hot, while the bullpen is second best in the league right now with a combine ERA of 2.77, and Adam Eaton, although he hasn’t won a game yet, has kept the team in games, sometimes in spite of himself.
It’s a good thing that the bullpen is so good right now, since the starters combine ERA, going into today’s game, is 10th best in the league, at 4.29. Hopefully, the starters will get better as the year continue, since they have mainly avoided a repeat of the opening day fiasco, as the pitching staff overall has only given up more than six runs only three times since that game.
The Phillies’ starter for tonight’s game, Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.05), is coming off of a no-decision against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 24, as he went six innings plus two batters, giving up only one earned run on eight hits, in the Phils 3-1 victory over the Brew Crew. His previous start was a lost to the Mets on April 19 as he went six full innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost to New York. His opponent, Chris Young (1-2, 3.77), is coming off a lost to the San Francisco Giants, where he pitched seven innings, giving up one earned run on two hits, while losing 1-0. He is trying to snap his own personal two game losing streak.
Correction. The Phils are now in second place as the Pirates have just finished destroying the Mets at Shea Stadium, 13-1, dropping New York to third place at 14-12. If the Phils can defeat the Padres and Florida loses to the Dodgers, the Phils will end April in first. Keep your fingers cross people, especially as the Phils tend to do better in May.