The first six innings involved a pitcher’s duel between Phils’ starter Roy Halladay, who would give up two lead-off hits in the first, before inducing a doubleplay ball, before going through the Pirates’ line-up with little further trouble, allowing only a hit batter in the fourth to reach base, striking out three batters, and Pirates’ starter Erik Bedard, who would scatter four hits and a walk, as he was helped by a couple of doubleplay balls, while striking out four Phils. The Phils finally broke up the 0-0 tie in the seventh as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Ty Wigginton, who had earlier singled, then stopped at third on John Mayberry Jr’s double, beating right fielder Jose Tabata’s throw to the plate, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. After Halladay kept the Pirates’ bats quiet in the seventh and eighth innings, the ball was handed over to new closer Jonathan Papelbon, who would record his first save of the 2012 season as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting Andrew McCutchen to ground out, 5-3, for the game’s final out.
Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he threw eighth strong innings, giving up just two hits and two hit batters, while striking out five. Jonathan Papelbon received his first save of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter. Erik Bedard (0-1, 1.29) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Chris Resop and Juan Cruz would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) and a walk (Resop), while striking out four (two batters apiece) between them.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz (Singles, RBI) leading the team with three hits, followed by John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Double) with two hits. Jimmy Rollins (Single), Ty Wigginton (Single) and Roy Halladay (Single), had the other three Phils’ hits. The Phils also had two walks, and a stolen base (Shane Victorino) in the ballgame.
The Phils (1-0, T-1 NL East) will have the day off tomorrow, before continuing their three games series with the Pirates (0-1, 6 NL Central) Saturday night. The game is to start at 7:05 pm EDT, and will be played at PNC Park. The Phils will send to the mound their no. 2 pitcher, Cliff Lee (0-0, -.–), who had a record of 17-8 in 2011, with an ERA of 2.40 and a WHIP of 1.03. He would pitch in 232.2 innings, striking out 238 batters. He will be trying to see if he can lead the Phils to their second straight win at the start of the 2012 season. The Pirates will counter with Jeff Karstens (0-0, -.–), who had ended last season with a record of 9-9, with a 3.38 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21. Karstens would pitch in 162.1 innings, striking out just 96 batters. He will be trying to even up the series at a game apiece. The Phils will be trying to see if they can start the 2012 season with a 2-0 record.
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.
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels ended up in 2nd, 3rd and 5th place, respectively, in the voting for the 2011 National League Cy Young Award, which was won by Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, as most people had expected.
Roy Halladay, the ace of the Phils pitching staff, and the winner of the award the previous season (2010), who in 2011 had a record of 19-6 in 32 games started, with an ERA of 2.35, and pitched in 232.2 innings, striking out 220 batters while walking only 35, ended second in the balloting with 4 first place votes, 21 second place votes and 7 third places votes, for a total of 133 points, being unable to win his second straight Cy Young Award and his third overall (2003 AL (Toronto), 2011 NL (Phils)). Cliff Lee, who during the season was twice voted the NL pitcher of the month (June, August), had a record of 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA in 32 starts, pitched in 232.2 innings, striking out 228 batters while only giving out 42 free passes, while throwing six complete game shutouts, ended up third in the balloting, with five second place votes, 17 third, 9 fourth and 1 fifth place votes for a total of 90 points. The third Phil among the top five, Cole Hamels, ended the 2011 season with a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA in 32 games pitched, all but one as a starter, pitching in 216 innings as he struck out 194 batters while walking only 44, ended up in fifth place among those on the ballot, with two fourth place votes and 13 fifth place votes, for a total of 17 points.
The winner, Clayton Kershaw, won the award with 27 first place votes, 3 second and 2 third places votes, as he won the NL pitching Triple Crown, as he ended up tied for most wins (21) with Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks, having the best ERA (2.28) and the most strikeouts (248).
Congratulations to Kershaw, and congrats on your placements on the ballot, guys.