The Phillies lose and then win in their last two games as three different starters appear to be going in three different directions.
Starter no. 1, Kyle Kendrick, appears headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley as he has yet another bad outing on the mound, as he gives up five runs, four of which were earned, to the New York Yankees, this past Monday afternoon. He would pitch four innings in total, giving up eight hits and three walks while striking out two, as he takes the lost. Rich Dubee did say that the fifth spot in the rotation was Kendrick’s to lose, and sadly, it looks like he has, as he complies a spring training record of 1-2 with a 12.10 ERA. But, on the plus side, it might be best for Kendrick if he was sent down to Triple-A, as it should allow him to regain his composer against major league batters, as well as to develop a new pitch or two to help himself get out of jams, which he constantly gets into.
Kendrick was followed by Robert Mosebach who pitches an inning and a third, giving up four runs on five hits. Jake Woods follows Mosebach, pitching two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on four hits. Scott Eyre pitches an inning, giving up no runs on a hit as he strikes out three Yanks. Ryan Madson also pitches an inning, as he gives up an unearned run, the twelfth that the Yanks would score against the Phils, on two hits while striking out one.
Batting-wise, the Phils only got six hits in the 12-0 lost, with Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins, Jason Ellison and Ronny Paulino each getting a hit.
Starter no. 2, Brett Myers, pitches a strong outing yesterday afternoon against the Reds in the Phillies’ 8-1 victory, giving up no runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings of work. He would also strike out seven Reds. Dave Borkowski would follow with a third of an inning of work, walking one batter and striking out one. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, walking a batter. Clay Condrey would also pitch an inning, giving up one hit while striking out one. Brad Lidge, pitching in his first Grapefruit League game, would give up a meaningless run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Myers would get the win, giving him a spring training record of 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA, putting him in position to be the Opening Night starter if Cole Hamels isn’t ready to start. More on that later.
Batting-wise, the Phillies would score eight runs in a fourteen-hit attack, with six of those runs coming in the second inning. Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, Jr. and Carlos Ruiz would lead the attack with two hits apiece, with Ruiz also knocking in a run. Pablo Ozuna, Bruntlett, Jason Donald, Howard, Stairs, Ellison, Myers and Jayson Werth would get the other hits. Ozuna, Bruntlett, Donald, and Howard would each knock in a run, along with Ruiz, while Stairs would knock in three. The Phillies had a total of six doubles, with Ibanez, Mayberry, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Stairs and Howard each hitting one. Mayberry and Donald continue to impress.
The third pitcher, Cole Hamels, have had his left elbow examined yesterday in Philadelphia. It appears that there is nothing structurally wrong with his elbow, as team physician Michael Ciccotti checked over his elbow before administering an anti-inflammatory injection into it to help it. Although good news, the Phillies will be going slow with Hamels, meaning that more likely than not that he will not be the Opening Night pitcher after all, and might actually miss his first two starts in the rotation. But, as they say, better to be safe than sorry. And with the team’s ace, better that he is pitching healthy than to have him pitching while hurt and blowing up his arm at some point during the season.
Presently, the Phillies are playing the Blue Jays, with the game tied 4 to 4 after six innings of play.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils finally end their losing streak as they defeat the Astros, 5-2. Pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco started the game for the Phillies and recaptured his poise as he pitched three strong innings, giving up only a run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Dave Borkowski followed, pitching an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he walked two batters and struck out one. Andrew Carpenter went to the mound next, giving up a run, a Mark Saccomanno solo home run, on three hits and four strike outs as he pitched four innings. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on one hit while recording one strike out. Koplove records a save while Carrasco gets the victory, with his spring training record rising to 2-1 as his ERA lowers to 6.30.
Meanwhile, the Phillies batters recorded eleven hits with Pablo Ozuna leading the attack with three hits as he goes 3 for 4 with an RBI, followed by both Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs, who both had two hits, with Dobbs knocking in two runs and scoring one. Jason Donald, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr. and Eric Bruntlett had the other Phillies’ hits, with Werth’s hit being a solo home run as he knocked in two runs. The Phils also had three stolen bases, with Ozuna, Donald and Bruntlett each swiping a base. Mayberry and Donald continues to impress the powers that be with their hitting.
In other Phils news, Chase Utley played in a minor league game yesterday, going 2 for 4 as he played second base for four innings, showing that he hasn’t lost a step. If he can show this in regular spring training games, he should be ready to start at second base on opening night.
The Phillies next spring training game is this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 pm.
The Phillies came close, but end up losing to the Braves at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, 12-10. The Phils’ starter, Kyle Kendrick, had his second straight bad start as he gets rough up by the Braves in two of his three innings plus four batters worth of work, as he gives up eight runs on ten hits, with two of them being a pair of two-run home runs to Clint Sammons, a walk and a balk as he strikes out two batters. Gary Majewski, who is fighting for a spot in the bullpen, follows, pitching one inning where he gives up two runs, only one of which was earned, thanks to a Ryan Howard error, on three hits. Scott Eyre then follows with a scorless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while stricking out one batter. Ryan Madson then works an inning, giving up a run on three hits as he strikes out two batters. Jake Woods then pitches one inning, also giving up a run on two hit while striking out a batter. Dave Borkowski and Joe Bisenius then pitches an inning each, with both pitchers giving up a hit while Bisenius also walks a batter. Kendrick takes the lost, as his Grapefruit League record drops to 1-1 while his ERA rises to 14.29.
In a losing effort the Phillies get fifteen hits, with Jason Donald leading the way as he goes 3 for 4 with a double, scoring two runs, followed by Raul Ibanez, Greg Dobbs, and John Mayberry, Jr, who would each get two hits in the game. Mayberry’s two hits were a double and a solo home run, as he knocks in two runs, continuing to impress with his .290 spring batting average. Ibanez would also knock in two runs and score a run, while Dobbs would knock in a run. Jorge Velandia, Howard, Jason Ellison, Paul Hoover, a triple, Matt Stairs and Miguel Cairo, a solo home run, would get the other Phillies hits. Howard would knock in two runs, increasing his total to 10 RBIs, as his hit .292 this spring. Valendia, Jayson Werth and Cairo would knock in the other runs.
The Phillies, after falling behind 10-1 after three and a half innings, would slowly chip away at Atlanta’s lead before finally losing the game in the ninth inning, showing that they are still able to comeback against their opponents, as they have done during the two previous seasons. Meanwhile, with this outing, Kendrick appears to be pitching himself out of the fifth starter position in the starting rotation, leaving it as a two man race between Chan Ho Park and J.A. Happ.
The next Phillies Spring Training game will be tomorrow afternoon against the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. The game will start at 1:05 pm.
Cole Hamels, in his first Spring Training start, would pitch two strong innings of shut out ball against Team Canada, giving up only two hits and a walk. Meanwhile, the Phillies bats would continue to pound the ball, collecting ten hits and four walks as they knock in nine runs, as the Phils would defeat Team Canada, 9-2. John Mayberry Jr. and Ryan Howard would lead the way with two hits a piece, while Jason Ellison, Raul Ibanez, Jeremy Slayden, Greg Dobbs, Ozzie Chavez and Ronny Paulino would each get a hit. Mayberry and Slayden both continue to impress as Mayberry would hit a double and a two-run home run, while Slyaden would hit a three-run homer in his only at bat. Ibanez also keep impressing as he would hit a double as he knocks in three RBIs. Howard would have the Phils other RBI.
After Hamels’ two shut out innings, Dave Borkowski would pitch a 1-2-3 third inning, receiving the win as the Phillies would score their first runs (4) in the bottom of the inning, followed by two more in the fourth and three in the seventh. Andrew Carpenter would follow Borkowski, this time being able to records some outs, after his shlacking at the hands of the Blue Jays last Friday, when he was unable to record a single out, as he would pitch a scoreless fourth. He would then give up two runs in the fifth, making the score at the time 6-2 Phils. Carpenter would pitch two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks, as he strikes out one batter. Scott Eyre would follow, pitching a 1-2-3 sixth, recording two strikeouts. Justin Lehr would then come in and pitch two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out one. Jake Woods would come in to pitch the ninth inning, giving up just one hit.
Matt Stairs, who was playing for Team Canada, would go 1-3 with a single, as he would play right field.
The Phillies next game, also an exhibition game, will be played tomorrow against Team USA at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. The game will start at 12:05 pm Eastern.
Like Julia of Julia’s Rants is presently doing, I will start asking trivia questions. I will only be asking my questions once a week, and they will be either Phillies or National League related.
Okay, here’s the first question, and its technically a two-parter: Name the last National League team among the classic eight (teams that were members of the NL since 1900) to win the NL pennant and name the last of the classic eight to represent the National League in the World Series? You all know where to find the answer.
The Phillies have earlier this afternoon played their first game of Spring Training, facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Florida. Sadly, they were on the losing end of an 8-2 score, thanks in part to an implosion by pitchers Joe Bisenius and Scott Nestor who gave up a total of seven runs on five hits and four walks, including a three-run home run to Shelby Ford, in the fourth and fifth innings. Those seven runs would give the Pirates a lead that they would never let go.
The Phils took the lead in the top of the third inning after Jamie Moyer’s two-innings of one-hit, two walks, worth of work, as Raul Ibanez showed his usefulness to the Phils early as he knocked in Jimmy Rollins from second after a Rollins’ single and his moving up to second on a Victorino ground out. The Pirates would then tie it in their half of the third, scoring a run off of Joe Blanton, before their seven-run, two-innings explosion against Bisenius and Nestor put them ahead to stay. The Phillies would be unable to score another run until the ninth when John Mayberry knocked in Jeremy Slayden with the Phils’ second and final run of the afternoon.
Other than Bisenius and Nestor’s implosion, Phils pitching did rather well, as Moyer struck out two batters to go along with his two walks; Blanton, also struck out two Bucos, although also giving up two hits and a run. Among the other three pitchers they used, Dave Borkowski pitched a scoreless inning; Jake Woods pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one and walking a batter and Mike Koplove struck out one in an inning of scoreless work. Overall, Phils pitching would give up eight runs on eight hits, including a double and a home run, walk seven batters while striking out eight.
The Phillies batters would get only seven hits off of nine Pirates pitchers (one pitcher used per inning), while also getting three walks while striking out eight times. Invitee Slayden would lead with two hits, including a double, while Rollins, Ibanez, Mayberry, Greg Dobbs and Geoff Jenkins would each get a hit.
Bisenius is the losing pitcher, with his Spring Training record at 0-1, with his ERA at 36.00. Donald Veal is the winning pitcher for the Pirates, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. His Spring Training record is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.
The Phillies will play their first home game of Spring Training tomorrow afternoon at home in Clearwater, Florida, as they face the Toronto Blue Jays. Game time will be 1:05 pm Eastern.
The Phillies end up with a series spilt in Houston as they crush the Astros in the final game of their four games series, 15-6. Houston would start the scoring off in the bottom of the first, when, with two outs, Carlos Lee hits a three-runs home run off of Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, for his eleventh home run of the year, scoring Miguel Tejada and Lance Berkman, who have both gotten on base with singles, making it 3-0 Astros. These would be the first earned runs given up by Hamels in nineteen and two-thirds innings. The Phils would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the second on Geoff Jenkins two-runs home run, his third of the season, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked. The Phillies would tie the game up in the third on a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley, scoring Hamels, who has earlier singled. The Astros would retake the lead in their half of the third as Berkman hits a RBI single off of Hamels, scoring Michael Bourn, who has earlier reached base on a walk. The Astros then increased their lead to 5-3, when Tejada, who was safe on a force out, would score on a Carlos Lee ground out, short to first. The Phils would then get a run back in the fourth when Hamels singles in Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier doubled. Houston would then make it 6-4 in their half of the fourth as Ty Wigginton, who has doubled earlier, would score on a Bourn force out. After both starters are taken out by the top of the sixth inning, the Phillies would then open up the flood gates to score eleven runs in two straight innings. First, in the sixth, Burrell would get the ball rolling by hitting a solo home run off of Fernando Nieve, his thirteenth home run of the year, making it a 6-5 Astros’ lead. Jenkins and Pedro Feliz would then follow with a single and a double, putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Ruiz would then follow with a single, scoring Jenkins and moving Feliz to third, tying the score at six all. After Wesley Wright would come in to pitch in relief of Nieve, he would walk pitch hitter Eric Bruntlett to load the bases with Phils. Jimmy Rollins then hits a ground out, second to first, which would score Feliz, giving the Phils the lead at 7-6, while moving Ruiz to third, and Bruntlett to second, whose smart base running would enable him to get to second base safely. Now with one out, Shane Victorino would hit a double to left field, scoring both Ruiz and Bruntlett, increasing the Phils’ lead to 9-6. That would be how the inning would end as Wright would get Utley to ground out and Ryan Howard to fly out. After J.C. Romero, who was pitching in relief of Rudy Seanez, puts down the Astros in their half of the sixth, the Phillies would continue their scoring in the seventh. Burrell would start things off by hitting a double off of Dave Borkowski, who was pitching in relief of Wright. Jenkins would follow with a single, moving Burrell to third. After So Taguchi pinch runs for Burrell, Feliz would single him home, making the score 10-6 Phils, while moving Jenkins up to second base. Ruiz would then strike out trying to bunt the runners up a base. Greg Dobbs, who was pinch hitting for Romero, would hit a triple, scoring both Jenkins and Feliz, making it 12-6 Phils. After Rollins grounds out, Victorino would hit a RBI single, knocking in Dobbs. Utley would then follow with his fifteenth home run of the year, a two-runs blast that would make the score 15-6 Phillies. Howard would then end the inning by striking out. After that massive two innings barrage, the Phillies bullpen would take over, as Ryan Madson would pitch two innings and Clay Condrey would pitch one, and between them give up no runs on one hit, preserving the win.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he would be hit hard by the Astros, lasting only four innings as he gives up all six of Houston’s runs, all earned, on seven hits. Rudy Seanez would get the win, as he goes one full inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-3 with a 2.75 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Ryan Madson would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. Clay Condrey would go one inning, giving no runs on no hits. Astros’ starter Chris Sampson would also get a no-decision, as he goes five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits. Fernando Nieve would take the lost, as he faced four batters, getting none of them out, while giving up four earned runs on four hits. Wesley Wright would go one inning, giving up one run on one hit. Dave Borkowski would also pitch an inning, as he would be lighted up for six runs on six hits. Oscar Villarreal would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on no hits.
The Phillies will now leave Houston with a split series (2-2) and a winning road trip (4-3), with the offense punishing the ball in three of their games on the road, and missing out on victories in their middle games with Houston, while the starters in this series would seem to have run into various kinds of pitching trouble. The Phillies (28-24) will now come home for a ten games home stand, which will start tomorrow night with the first of three games against the 2007 National League Champions Colorado Rockies (20-30, 3rd National League West). The game will start at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (4-3, 4.37), who is coming off of a win against the Nationals on May 21, where he went six innings, giving up no runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 12-2 blow out of the Nationals. Moyer has won his last two starts, and hopes to improve his record, while trying to give the bullpen a rest. The Rockies will oppose him with Jorge DeLaRosa (1-2, 7.78), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Giants on May 19, where he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits, in the Rockies’ 4-3 win. DeLaRosa has not have a good year so far this season, as he has given up four or more earned runs in his two loses. He hopes to even his record, while the Phillies’ batters hope to take advantage of his wildness.
The Phils are presently two games behind the Marlins, who have earlier defeated the Giants in the first game of their doubleheader, and are at the moment trailing the Giants 4-2 in the second game. They are now trailing the Braves by .002 percentage points as the Braves have lost their game with the Diamondbacks. The Braves and the Phils are once again leading the Mets by two games as the Mets have just lost their game with the Rockies.