Tagged: Ben Francisco

Spring Training: The Phils get crush by the Blue Jays, 10-2.

The Phils get clobbered by the Blue Jays, losing 10-2.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits an RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino, who had just tripled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays tied the game up at one-all as, with a man on second, and with one man out, Yunel Escobar hits an RBI double, knocking in Yan Gomes, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double. Two batters later, now with runners on the corners, as Escobar moved up to third on Omar Vizquel’s single, and with still one man out, Jose Bautista hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, scoring Escobar, giving the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead, while sending Vizquel up to second base. The Blue Jays then made it a 3-1 lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Mike McCoy hits an RBI bunt single, scoring Ben Francisco, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Rajai Davis’ single, giving the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead, while sending Davis up to second base, before moving on to third on John Mayberry, Jr.’s throwing error. One batter later, after McCoy had stolen second base, the Blue Jays took a 5-1 lead as Gomes hits a two-run single, knocking in both Davis and McCoy, before he moved up to second base on the late throw to the plate. The Blue Jays then broke the game wide open in the sixth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Gome hits an RBI double, knocking in Anthony Gose, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, before going to third on Jose Contreras’ wild pitch, giving the Blue Jays a 6-1 lead. The Blue Jays then took a 7-1 lead as Escobar hits an RBI double, scoring Gose. The Blue Jays then made it an 8-1 lead as Brian Bocock hits an RBI single, scoring Jonathan Diaz, who was pinch running for Escobar.  The Blue Jays then took a 10-1 lead as Bautista hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the spring, knocking in Bocock. The Phils got a run back in the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Michael Martinez hits an RBI single, scoring Lou Montanez, who had earlier doubled, then stopped at third on Hector Luna’s single, making it a 10-2 Blue Jays’ lead, while sending Luna, who had just singled, up to second base. That would end up being the final score as Kevin Frandsen hits into a double play, 4-6-3, wiping out Martinez at second base, for the final two outs.

Cole Hamels (0-1, 3.86) took the lost as he went three and a third innings, giving up five runs on eight hits. Chad Qualls pitched one and two-third innings, striking out a batter. Jose Contreras pitched a third of an inning, giving up four runs on four hits, while striking out a batter. David Herndon pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Brett Cecil (3-0, 0.90) got the win as he pitched four innings, giving up a run on four hits, while striking out a batter. Carlos Villanueva, Jason Frasor and Casey Janssen would combine for four scoreless innings, giving up five hits (Villanueva (1), Frasor (2), Janssen (2)), while striking out two batters (Villanueva (1), Frasor (1)) between them. Francisco Cordero pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter.

The Phils would collect twelve hits in the game, with Lou Montanez leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double, followed by Shane Victorino with two hits, a single and a triple. Jimmy Rollins, Scott Podsednik, Hunter Pence (RBI), Juan Pierre, Hector Luna, Erik Kratz and Michael Martinez (RBI) had the other seven Phils’ hits, all singles. The Phils also had a stole base (Victorino).

The Phils (7-9) next spring training game will be an afternoon game tomorrow against the Tigers (12-1) at Bright House Field at Clearwater. The game is to start at 1:05 pm EDT.

As the Phils tender deals to their four arbitration eligible players, reports are coming out saying that they have signed a one-year deal with pitcher Dontrelle Willis.

The Phils have tendered contracts to the four players on the team who are still arbitration eligible after they had traded Ben Francisco to the Blue Jays: Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Vladez. Although it is expected that all four will receive an increase in salary whether they accept the proffered contracts, or go through arbitration, most of the fanbase would prefer that the Phils give multi-year contracts to both Hamels and Pence, especially Hamels, to keep them with the team for a while. As for Kendrick and Valdez, the two have shown their worth as insurance policies in case somebody gets hurt (although Kendrick had also shown that he can be a very good asset in the bullpen).

While this is going on, there has been reports that the Phils have signed to a one-year contract, pending him passing a physical, left-hander Dontrelle Willis. Willis, a former Rookie of the Year (2003 with the Marlins), pitched for the Reds last season, going 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts. Being mostly a starter during his nine-years career with the Marlins, the Tigers, the D-backs and the Reds, Willis had complied a record of  72-69 with an ERA of 4.17, as he had appeared in 205 games, all but three as a starter. The Phils, if he passes the physical, will more than likely be using him out of the bullpen as a left-handed specialist, and a spot-starter, as a kind of compliment to Kendrick, since there is really no way that he will be able to make the rotation, especially with his issues with his control.

Hopefully, the signing of Willis will end up being a good move for the Phils for next season.

The Phils have just announced that they have traded Ben Francisco to the Blue Jays for a minor league relief pitcher.

Earlier today, the Phils have traded outfielder Ben Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league reliever Frank Gailey.

Francisco, who was part of the deal with the Indians that originally brought Cliff Lee to the Phils in late July 2009, appeared in 225 games for the Phils from 2009-2011, mainly as their fourth outfielder, although for the first couple of months of 2011 he was the team’s starting right fielder, until he was put back on the bench before the Phils eventually traded with the Astros for Hunter Pence. In those games, he batted .259, having 136 hits including 32 doubles,1 triple and 17 home runs, while knocking in 75 RBIs. He also appeared in 17 post-season games, including the 2009 World Series, where he had an overall batting average of .105, with 2 hits in 19 at-bats, which includes his dramatic three-run home run in the third game of the 2011 National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which gave the Phils a temporary 2-1 series lead, before finally falling to the eventual World Series champs in five games.

Gailey, a native Philadelphian, had pitched a combine 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 appearances for Class-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays’ farm system. In his minor league career, overall, Gailey is 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 appearances.

Wish you luck with the Blue Jays, Ben, and thanks for what you did while you was here. Welcome to the organization, Frank. Hope you’ll be able to work your way to the main club.

2011 National League Divisional Series, Game #3: The Phils retake the series lead thanks to Ben Francisco’s pinch hit three-run home run, as they hang on to defeat the Cards, 3-2.

The Phils retake the lead in the divisional series as they ride Ben Francisco’s pinch hit three-run home run, before hanging on to defeat the Cards, 3-2.

The first six innings of the game featured a pitchers’ duel between Cards’ starter Jaime Garcia, who kept the Phils off-balance, while giving up only four hits and a walk, while striking out three, and Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who would pitch himself out of trouble in the first, fourth and sixth innings, as he gave up just five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. The Phils then put pressure on Garcia in the seventh as Shane Victorino got on base with a single, before going to second base on a Yadier Molina passed ball, before Garcia got the next two batters out with a fly out to right (John Mayberry, Jr.) and a ground out (Placido Polanco), 5-3. After Carlos Ruiz is intentionally walked, the Phils sent Ben Francisco to pinch hit for Hamels. After getting a ball, Francisco drills one into the Phils’ bullpen in left, to give the Phils a 3-0 lead on his pinch hit home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in both Victorino and Ruiz. The Cards then started a comeback in their half of the seventh. After Vance Worley started the inning off by getting Rafael Furcal to ground out, 3-unassisted, for the inning’s first out, he walks Allen Craig, before giving up a single to Albert Pujols, which would send Craig up to second base. Lance Berkman then followed by hitting into a force out, 4-6, that would wipe out Pujols at second base for the inning’s second out, while Craig would reach third base, while Berkman would be safe at first, putting runners on the corners. The Cards then got on the board as David Freese hits an RBI single to center, knocking in Craig, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1, while sending Berkman up to second base. Worley would finally end the inning by getting Molina to fly out to right. After the Phils are kept from scoring in the top of the eighth, the Cards attempted a rally in their half of the eighth as Ryan Theriot started the inning off with a single. Charlie Manuel then came out and replaced Worley with Antonio Bastardo, who then proceeded to get pinch hitter Nick Punto to fly out to center for the inning’s first out. Manuel then came back out and replaced Bastardo with Brad Lidge. That move seems to backfire as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Matt Holliday, moving Theriot up to second base, before he is replaced at first by pinch runner Adron Chambers. The next batter, Furcal, then loaded up the bases with a single to left, sending Theriot on to third base, while Chambers would stop at second base. Manuel then came back out, and took out Lidge, replacing him with his closer Ryan Madson. That move was rewarded with Craig hitting into a 4-3 doubleplay, as Furcal is wiped out at second base, to end the threat. After the Phils are unable to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Madson went back out to attempt a five-out save. He is greeted with a lead-off double by Pujols, which was his fourth hit of the ballgame, and his third double of the game. After Madson gets Berkman to fly out to center for the inning’s first out, he gets Freese to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, as Pujols moved up to third. Now, with a man on third, Madson tried to get out Molina to end the game. Molina, instead, hits the first pitch he saw into center field for an RBI single, knocking in Pujols, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. After Molina is replaced by pinch runner Kyle Lohse, Madson went after Theriot, who had already been on base with four hits, all singles. But, he wasn’t able to get hit no. five as Madson got him to ground out, 4-3, for the final out, collecting his first save of the series.

Cole Hamels (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. Vance Worley received his first hold of the series as he pitched an inning plus a batter, giving up a run on three hits. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Brad Lidge pitched to two batters, giving up two hits. Ryan Madson collected his first save of the series as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a run on two hits, as he recorded a very rare five-out save. Jaime Garcia (0-1, 3.86) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out three. Fernando Salas and Jason Motte combined for two scoreless innings, as they gave up a hit (Motte), while striking out a batter (Motte), between them.

The Phils had only seven hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Chase Utley (Single), Shane Victorino (Single), Placido Polanco (Single, his first hit of the series), Carlos Ruiz (single, his first hit of the series) and pinch hitter Ben Francisco (Home Run, his first hit of the series, 3 RBIs), had the other five Phils’ hits, with Francisco becoming the surprising hero of the game with his pinch hit shot to left.

The Phils, now with a 2-1 game lead in the divisional series, will continue the series with the Cards (2-1) in St. Louis. The game will be played in Busch Stadium (III) and will begin at 6:07 pm EDT (5:07 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69), who will be trying to pitch the Phils into the NL Championship Series for the fourth straight year. The Cards will attempt to counter with Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79), who will be trying to force a fifth game back in Philly. The Phils will be trying to clinch their fourth straight appearance in the NL Championship Series, hoping that Oswalt will be at his best while the offense will do what it can to give him much needed run support, while watching out for the Cards putting out all the stops to force a game five.

The Phils have finally announced their roster for the 2011 NL Divisional Series.

The Phils have finally announced their roster for the 2011 NL Divisional Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Starting Eight:

Carlos Ruiz – C

Ryan Howard – 1B

Chase Utley – 2B

Jimmy Rollins – SS

Placido Polanco – 3B

Raul Ibanez – LF

Shane Victorino – CF

Hunter Pence – RF

Bench:

Brian Schneider – C

Wilson Valdez – INF

Michael Martinez – INF

Ben Francisco – OF

Ross Gload – OF/INF

Johm Mayberry, Jr. –  OF

Starters:

Roy Halladay

Cliff Lee

Cole Hamels

Roy Oswalt

Bullpen:

Kyle Kendrick (long man)

Vance Worley

Joe Blanton

Michael Stutes

Brad Lidge

Antonio Bastardo (set-up man?) and

Ryan Madson (closer)

In reserve, in case any of them get hurt, will be: Dom Brown (OF), Joe Savery (P) and Justin De Fratus (P).

33 games in 31 days: Game #33: The Phils set two new franchise records in wins, while keeping the Braves out of the playoffs, as they win in extra-innings, 4-3.

The Phils set a pair of new franchise records in wins as they end the Braves chances of getting into the post-season, as they win in thirteen innings, 4-3.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Hunter Pence, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Braves would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Chipper Jones hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Michael Bourn, who had earlier singled, stole second base, then went to third on Martin Prado’s ground out, 6-3. The Braves took the lead in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Dan Uggla hits a two-run home run, his thirty-sixth home run of the season, knocking in Prado, who had earlier reached base on an infield single to third baseman Placido Polanco, then moved up to second base as Bourn, who had earlier singled, then stole second, was thrown out trying to steal third, 2-6, for the inning’s first out, giving the Braves a 3-1 lead. The Phils cut the Braves’ lead to 3-2 in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, via a double by Raul Ibanez and an infield single to second baseman Uggla by Polanco, sending Ibanez to third, and with one man out, Ibanez scores on a force attempt fielding error committed by shortstop Jack Wilson on a grounder hit by Carlos Ruiz, allowing Polanco to be safe at second base, while Ruiz would reach first, making it a 3-2 Braves’ lead. The Phils tied the game up at three-all in the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Polanco, who was then pinch run for by Pete Orr, and walks to pinch hitter Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Orr. The Phils then took the lead in the thirteenth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Pence hits an RBI single, scoring Brian Schneider, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Utley’s single, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead, while sending Utley, who had just singled, on to third base. That would end up being the final score as David Herndon would record his first career save as he got Freddie Freeman to hit into a 3-6-3 doubleplay, wiping out at second base Uggla, who had earlier walked, ending the Phils’ regular season with a franchise best 102nd win, while giving Charlie Manuel his 646th win as their manager, putting him ahead of Gene Mauch for the most wins as a Phil manager.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he went two innings, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out four. Cole Hamels pitched three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out a batter. Vance Worley, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Michael Stutes and Michael Schwimer combined for six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits (Worley (1), Schwimer (1)) and two walks (Worley), while striking out eight (Worley, Madson, Stutes, Schwimer two each) batters between them. Justin De Fratus (1-0, 2.25) received his first major league win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. David Herndon received his first career save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one. Tim Hudson also received a no-decision as he went six and one-third innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Eric O’Flaherty collected his thirty-second hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out the two batters that he would face. Jonny Venters received his thirty-fifth hold of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, walking two batters, while striking out one. Craig Kimbrel blew his eighth save attempt of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and three walks, while striking out one. Kris Medlen pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Anthony Varvaro and Cristhian Martinez combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Martinez), while striking out two (Varvaro) batters between them. Scott Linebrink (4-4, 3.64) took the lost as he gave up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had eleven hits in the ballgame, with Chase Utley (Singles, RBI), Hunter Pence (Singles, RBI), Ryan Howard (Single, Double, RBI) and Placido Polanco (Singles), all leading the team with two hits each. John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), Raul Ibanez (Double) and Wilson Valdez (Single), had the other three Phils’ hits. Carlos Ruiz had the other Phil’s RBI on a Braves’ fielding error.

The Phils will have the next two off, before they start their divisional series with the Cardinals.

33 games in 31 days: Game #27: The Phils lose another game, as they fall to the Nats, 6-1.

The blasted losing streak reaches six games as the presently punchless Phils get swept by the Nats, 6-1. Yes, I’m angry, can’t you tell!!!

The Nats took the lead in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ian Desmond hits an RBI double, which had dropped in between second baseman Chase Utley and right fielder John Bowker (someone please tell me again why Ruben Amaro decided to pick up this no-hit, no-field hack?!?), scoring Rick Ankiel, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Brad Peacock’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Nats then made it a 2-0 lead as Roger Bernadina hits an RBI single, knocking in Desmond.  The Nats then busted the game wide open in the eighth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Bernadina hits an RBI double, knocking in Desmond, who had just singled, giving the Nats a 3-0 lead. Two batters later, after Ryan Zimmerman had walked, Michael Morse hits a three-run home run, his twenty-eighth home run of the year, knocking in both Bernadina and Zimmerman, giving the Nats a 6-0 lead. The Phils finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, knocking in John Mayberry, Jr. who had earlier doubled, making it a 6-1 Nats’ lead, before going on to second base on right fielder Bernadina’s throwing error. But that would be the final score as Todd Coffey would get Ben Francisco to pop out to the third baseman for the game’s final out.

Roy Oswalt (8-10, 3.86), took the lost as he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. Brad Lidge pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face. Joe Savery pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Brad Peacock (2-0, 0.75) got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up just a hit and two walks, while striking out two.  Tom Gorzelanny got his third hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Ryan Mattheus received his seventh hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Tyler Clippard pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Doug Slaten pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Todd Coffey pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on two hits.

The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with three hits, all singles, as he knocked in a run. John Mayberry, Jr. had the other Phil hit, a double, as the offense seems to have flatlined since winning the division on Saturday. I don’t know about everybody else, but this is getting on my last nerve. The players may think that they can just turn on a switch, but I don’t buy it. Hot teams seem to win the title during the playoffs, and right now, THEY ARE NOT A HOT TEAM!!! Get it in gear, you idiots, or else you won’t even get through the divisional series!!!!

The Phils (98-58, 1st) will start a three games series with the Mets (74-82, 4th) beginning with a night game tonigh, weather permitting. The game will be played at Citi Field and will begin at 7:10 pm EDT.  Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.80) will start for the Phils, as he is coming off a lost to the Cards on September 18, as he went seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, all on a pair of home runs, while striking out nine, in the Phils’ 5-0 lost. He will once again be trying for win no. 15, hoping that the offense will decide to finally play, and not start a slide of 0 for the rest of the regular season. He will be opposed by R.A. Dickey (8-13, 3,35), who is coming off a lost to the Braves on September 17, as he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on three hits and six walks, while striking out four, in the Mets’ 1-0 lost. He will be trying to keep the Phils’ offense muzzle with his knuckleball. The Phils will be trying to get their offense back on track, before things can get even worst.