The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 3-unassisted, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the fourth as, with one man out, Pence hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Pirates got a run back in the fifth as Pedro Alvarez hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, Juan Pierre hits a two-run single, knocking in Ty Wigginton, who had earlier walked, then went to second base on Freddy Galvis’ sacrifice bunt, before going on to third as second baseman Neil Walker committed a missed catch error on pitcher Jared Hughes’ throw, and Galvis, who was safe at first on Walker’s error, before going on to second base on the error, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead. The Pirates got a run back in their half of the seventh as, with a runner on first, as Alvarez reaches first base on a strikeout, as Wigginton committed a fielding error on Brian Schneider’s throw for the out attempt, and with two men out, Casey McGehee hits an RBI double, scoring Alvarez, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead. The Pirates then made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as Alex Presley hits an RBI single, knocking in McGehee. The Pirates then tied the game up at four-all in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Matt Hague hits an RBI single, his first major league hit, scoring Andrew McCutchen, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, while sending pinch hitter Yamaico Navarro, who had earlier walked, on to second base. The Pirates then won the game in the bottom of the ninth as, with a man on third, and with two men out, McCutchen hits an RBI single, scoring pinch runner Josh Hamilton, who was pinch running for McGehee, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Presley sacrifice bunt, 2-4, giving the Pirates a 5-4 walk-off win.
Vance Worley received a no-decision as he went six strong innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Michael Stutes collected his first hold of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up two unearned runs on two hits, while striking out two. Kyle Kendrick picked up his first hold of the year as he went a third of an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Antonio Bastardo received his first blown save of the season as he went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. David Herndon (0-1, 13.50) took the lost as he went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while he struck out a batter. James McDonald also received a no-decision as he went six innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, while he struck out three. Jared Hughes pitched an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Evan Meek pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Joel Hanrahan (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.
The Phils had just five hits in the ballgame, with Juan Pierre (Singles, 2 RBI) and Hunter Pence (Double, Home Run, 2 RBIs) both leading the ball club with two hits each. Shane Victorino (Single) had the other Phil hit, a single. The Phils also had two stolen bases as Pierre and Victorino were involved in a double steal. The offense is performing some early small ball. Sadly it is not translating into runs, as they are presently leaving too many men in scoring position.
The Phils (1-2, 3rd) will start their first home stand of the season with a three-game series with the Marlins (1-3, 4th). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and it will start at 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound for their home opener Cole Hamels (0-0, -.–) who ended 2011 with a 14-9 record with an ERA of 2.79 and a WHIP of 0.99. He pitched in 32 games, all but one of them as a starter, throwing a total of 216 innings, in which he struck out 184 batters, while walking only 44. Cole will be trying to continue where he left off last year, while trying to end the Phils present losing streak. The Marlins will counter with Anibal Sanchez (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a 2011 season with a record of 8-9, with a 3.67 ERA and a WHIP of 1.28. Sanchez started in 32 games, for a total of 196.1 innings, striking out 202 batters, while walking just 64. He will be trying to stop the Marlins early slide. The Phils will be trying to end their first losing slide, after spoiling two straight quality starts with so-so offense.
The first game will be a night game on Saturday, with a start time of 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their number two man in the rotation, Cliff Lee (0-0, -.–) who is coming of a 17-8 2011 season, with an ERA of 2.40 and a WHIP of 1.03. Lee pitched in 32 games, all starts, for a total of 232.2 innings, in which he struck out 238 batters, while walking only 42. Lee will be out to see if he can lead the Phils to a 2-0 start on the season while trying to collect his first win of 2012. The Pirates will try to counter with Jeff Karstens (0-0, -.–) who had ended the 2011 season with a 9-9 record, with a 3.38 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21. Karstens appeared in 30 games, 26 of which were starts, in which he threw a total of 162.1 innings, striking out just 96 batters, while walking 33. Karstens will be trying to see if he can even up the series at a game apiece.
The second of the final two games of the three game set will be an Sunday afternoon game, with a start time of 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (0-0, -.–), who will be in his second full season as a Phil, as he is coming off a 2011 campaign with a record of 11-3, with a 3.01 ERA and a WHIP of 1.23, as he appeared in 25 games, 21 of which were starts, as he accumulated a total of 131.2 innings, striking out 119 batters, while walking only 50. Worley will be trying to prove that he had deserved his third place showing in the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year balloting. The Pirates will send to the mound James McDonald (0-0, -.–), who in 2011 had a record of 9-9 with an ERA of 4.21, as he had 31 starts, totaling 171 innings, as he struck out 142 batters, while walking 78. He will be out to show that he can pitch better than his record would show.
The Phils will be out to win at least one of these two games, to leave Pittsburgh with a winning record, before starting their opening home stand with a three-game series with the Miami (formerly Florida) Marlins.
The Phils announced that they have released Dontrelle Willis, after making three pitching appearances, although doing rather well after his last appearance.
Before his release, Willis, who the Phils had hope to make their left-handed specialist out of the bullpen, pitched in three and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs.
Good luck, Dontrelle. Hope you’ll be able to land with another ballclub.
The Phils today have announced that they have just signed former Padres righthander Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million dollars contract.
Qualls, who had pitched for the Padres last season, will be joining the Phils’ bullpen of Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Contreras, Antonio Bastardo, Michael Stutes, Kyle Kendrick and Dontrelle Willis, along with several others, for spring training. Last season, as a member of the Padres, Quads would appear in 77 games, going 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA, as he pitched in 74.1 innings. He would strike out 43 batters while working only 20. An eight year veteran, Qualls had also pitched for the Astros, the D-backs, and the Rays, appearing in 537 games for a total of 543 innings, compiling a 38-34 record with an ERA of 3.78, as he would save 51 games in 89 attempts. Career-wise, he would strike out 426 batters while walking only 150.
Qualls will likely be an insurance policy in case Contreras, who is coming off right elbow surgery, is not able to join the club going north at the end of spring training.
Welcome to the club, Qualls. Okay, junior, how about adding a little bit more depth to the offense?
Yesterday, the Nationals announced that they have signed Brad Lidge, one of the heroes of the Phils’ 2008 World Series Championship team, to a one-year deal worth $1 million dollars, plus incentives. Lidge, who had joined the Phils in an off-season trade with the Houston Astros in 2007, went 48 for 48 in save opportunities during the 2008 regular and post-seasons, before striking out Eric Hinske to give the Phils the championship. Plagued by injuries during the next three seasons (2009-2011), Lidge would pitch in four seasons for the Phils, the first three as their closer, compiling a record of 100 saves in 116 save opportunities, with a win-loss record of 3-11, as he pitched in 214 games, appearing in 203 total innings. During the 2011 season, after coming back from injury, Lidge would perform in mainly middle relief, appearing in 25 games, pitching in 19.1 innings, as he compiled an 0-2 record with 1 save in 1 save opportunity, with a 1.40 ERA. He would strike out 23 batters while walking only 13.
Originally a member of the Astros from 2002-2007, including being a member of the 2005 National League Champs, Lidge would appear in 592 games, all but 1 in relief, compiling a career record of 26-31, with an ERA of 3.44, while saving 223 games in 266 attempts, as he pitched in 594 innings. During his career, he would strike out a total of 789 batters, while walking only 276.
So long, Brad, good luck with your new team, except when you’re pitching against the Phils, of course. 🙂
The Phils have just announced that they have traded utility infielder Wilson Valdez to the Reds for left-handed relief pitcher Jeremy Horst.
Wilson Valdez, who had spent two seasons (2010-11) with the Phils, playing second base, shortstop and third base, as well as pitch a shutout inning in an extra-innings game (19), getting the win, played in 210 games for the Phils, batting .254 (154 for 606) with a .300 on-base percentage, as he hit 30 doubles, 7 triples and 5 HRs, while knocking in 65 RBIs. During last season, he batted .249 (68 for 273) as he appeared in 99 games, hitting 14 doubles, 4 triples and a home run, while knocking in 30 RBIs, while scoring 39 runs. Valdez, a career .243 hitter, has also played for the White Sox, the Mariners, the Padres, the Dodgers and the Mets from 2004-05, 2007-09, before joining the Phils.
Jeremy Horst, who the Phils are getting in return, is a 2007 Reds draft pitch, who made his major league debut last season. Coming out of the bullpen, he pitched in 12 games, compiling a record of 0-0 with a 2.93 ERA, as he pitched in 15.1 innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, as he gave up 18 hits. He also struck out nine players, while walking only six. He will come to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Horst, who is a left-hander, will likely be trying to become the late-innings left-handed specialist the Phils want to compliment Antonio Bastardo.
With the move, it is most likely that former Rule 5 pick, Michael Martinez, will be taking Valdez’s place as the Phils’ utility infielder. The less I’ll say about that, the better I’ll feel. Prove us all wrong, Mini-Mart!!!
Sorry to see you go, Wilson, and welcome to the club, Jeremy.
Earlier today, the Phils have announced that Cole Hamels had earlier today signed a one-year contract worth $15 million dollars, thus avoiding arbitration. Hamels, who is the number three-man in the Phils’ starting rotation, in 2011 had a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA, as he pitched in 32 games, all but one of which was as a starter. He pitched in 216 innings, striking out 194 batters, while walking only 44. Hamels threw 10 complete, while pitching four shut outs. Carrer-wise, his record is 74-54 with an ERA of 3.39. Although he would become eligible to enter the free agent market after this season, it is hoped that at some point during the season that the Phils will sign Hamels to a multi-year extension. Let keep our fingers crossed on that people.
The Phils have also avoided arbitration with Wilson Valdez, who had signed a new contract for one season, worth $930,000. Valdez, who had played second base, third base and shortstop, last year appeared in 99 games, batting .249 (68 for 273), with 14 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home runs, while knocking in 30 runs.
That leaves just Hunter Pence to sign to a contract before both sides would have to face an arbitrator. I think that it can be done.