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 loses another close game in Spring Training, this time in spite of taking the lead with a five-run sixth inning, thanks to Blaine Neal being unable to hold off the Pirates in the ninth, as the Phils lose 6-5. Joe Blanton starts the game off for the Phils, going four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and a balk while he struck out two. Robert Mosebach follows for an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Nestor follows with both men pitching an inning in relief, with each giving up a hit apiece as Madson strikes out three batters and Nestor two. Blaine Neal pitches an inning, losing the game as he gives up three runs on three hits, with the big blow being Jeff Salazar’s three-run home run, and a walk while striking out one. Blaine’s spring training record is now 0-2 with a 23.63 ERA, as he is also credited with a blown save. So far this spring, the Phils first four starters are pitching well, while both J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park are both pitching well to claim the fifth and final spot in the rotation. If this keeps up, the starting rotation might become the strength of the Phillies arsenal this season like the bullpen was last season.
Among the batters, the Phils were quiet for most of the game, but had a five-run explosion in the sixth. The batters had nine hits, with Jason Donald leading the way with two hits, as he went 2 for 5 with a run scored, as he now has a .361 spring training batting average. Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr., Miguel Cairo and Carlos Ruiz got the other Phils hits. Howard got two more RBIs with a two-run blast, his fifth home run of the spring, while Ibanez, Cairo and Ruiz knock in the other three runs. Donald is impressing the brass with his batting, as is Mayberry. Also, Pedro Feliz was in the lineup, playing third base for several innings, although going 0 for 2.
The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play by facing the Houston Astros this afternoon, while the Astros will also be involved in a split squad game with the New York Mets.
In other Phillies news, it has been announced that Chase Utley might be ready to participate in some games next week, putting him on schedule for actually playing on Opening Night next month with the Atlanta Braves. If so, that would be very good news for the Phils. And ex-Phil and now Tampa Bay Ray, Pat Burrell, took out a pair of big ads which appeared in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, thanking the fans for their support during his nine seasons as a Phil. A real nice move by Pat the Bat.
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.
Starting on Friday night, the Phils played three Grapefruit League games, winning one and losing three, putting their Grapefruit League games record at 4-5.
On Friday night, they played a night game with the Toronto Blue Jays, losing a close game, 4-3. Chan Ho Park started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits as he struck out four. Yorman Bazardo followed him for an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out a batter. Gary Majewski next came in to pitch two strong innings, as he struck out two batters, continuing to impress. Lastly, Sergio Escalona came in to pitch an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk while striking out one, becoming the losing pitching. His Grapefruit league record is now 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA.
Batting-wise, the Phillies had seven hits, with Greg Dobbs and Pablo Ozuna leading the way with two hits each, while Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, and Geoff Jenkins would each get a hit, with Jenkins knocking in all three Phillies’ runs.
On Saturday, the Phils played the Detroit Tigers at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Tigers, 8-2. Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, as he gave up only one earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five, with the run coming in on a home run. J.A. Happ would follow, pitching three strong innings as he stay on pace with Park in the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation. Happ would give up no runs on two hits while striking out seven Tigers. Scott Eyre followed with an inning of relief, giving up a run on a hit, also a home run, while striking out two. Mike Koplove continues to impress with a strong 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, striking out one. Moyer takes the win, his Grapefruit League record now 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
The batters would get only five hits, but making them count when they needed to. Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Jayson Werth and Jason Donald would else get a hit, with Howard and Mayberry’s hits being a pair of three-run home runs. Jenkins and Lou Marson would bring in the other two Phillies runs.
Yesterday, the Phillies played the Braves, losing that game,7-2. Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils, pitching three strong innings, before giving up a run in the fourth as the Braves batters in that inning proceeded to go first pitch hitting to knock in a run. Blanton would give up a run on four hits and a walk. Carlos Carrasco would follow and have two very unproductive innings as he gave up five runs, only three of which were earned, on six hits. This, along with his previous bad outing, will hurt his changes in the battle for the fifth spot in the Phils starting rotation. Clay Condrey would pitch next, putting up a 1-2-3 inning. Ryan Madson pitched next, giving up a run on four hits while striking out one. Carrasco takes the lost, his record now 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA.
The Phils got eight hits yesterday, with Marcus Giles and Donald leading the way with two hits apiece. Werth, Bruntlett, Ronny Paulino and J.J. Fumaniak would collect the other four hits. Donald and Paulino would knock in the two Phillies’ runs.
In the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, Park and Happ appears to have turned it into a two man race, while Carrasco has been showing that he still need to improve on the mental aspect of his game before he can start facing major league level batters. Meanwhile, the man whose job the other three are shooting for, Kyle Kendrick, needs to not lose his head when things seem to go bad for him in games.
Presently, the Phillies are playing the Reds at Bright House Field, with the score tied 3-3 after five innings.
First off, I’m going to continue the quiz until tomorrow. So, if you haven’t made an attempt to answer the quiz, you still have time. The question is, which I will rephrase, is this:
Name the last National League team among the classic eight (teams that were members of the NL since 1900) to win its first NL pennant and name the last of the classic eight to represent the National League in the World Series, also for the first time? You all know where to find the answer.
Despite a late surge, the Phillies fell to Team USA this afternoon, with the final score, 9-6. Kyle Kendrick, who started the game for the Phils, recorded outs on seven of the first eight batter whom he faced before the roof fell on him. After getting out the first batter in the top of the third inning, with the Phils ahead 1-0, he would give up a single to Shane Victorino, who was playing center field for Team USA. Kendrick would then commit an error on a pickoff attempt, allowing Victorino to move to second base. Jimmy Rollins, who was starting as Team USA’s shortstop, then follows with a single, knocking in Victorino to tie the game. After a Dustin Pedroia single moves Rollins to second base, Chipper Jones would cap the inning off with a three-run home run to left, to give Team USA the lead, 4-1. Kendrick is then taken out for Antonio Bastardo, who finally ends the inning. Bastardo, in the fourth, gives up back-to-back home runs to Ryan Braun and Brian McCann, making it a 6-1 Team USA lead. He then gives up a three-run homer to Adam Dunn in the fifth, giving team USA a 9-1 lead. The rest of the pitching staff would keep Team USA quiet. Kendrick pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on five hits while striking out one. Bastardo pitches two and one-third innings, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. Clay Condrey, Ryan Madson and Blaine Neal combines for four shut outs innings, giving up just two hits (Condrey and Neal one hit apiece) and three walks (Madson (2), Neal (1), while striking out 2 (Neal). All but one of the runs were given up on the long ball. Kendrick would take the lost for the Phils.
The Phillies’ batter scores a run in the first as Eric Bruntlett hits an RBI double, knocking in Marcus Giles, who has earlier walked, giving the Phils an early lead. After falling behind 9-1, Ryan Howard makes it a 9-4 game in the bottom of the fifth, as he hits a three-run home run. Jason Donald’s solo home run in the six reduces Team USA’s lead to 9-5. Mike Cervenak knocks in the Phils’ final run in the eighth. The Phils would get twelve hits, with Lou Marson leading the team with two hits. Giles, Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Geoff Jenkins, Cervenak, Donald, J.J. Fumaniak and Jorge Velandia would each record a hit.
Playing for Team USA, Rollins would go 1 for 2 with a single and a run scored while Victorino would go 1 for 3 with a single and a walk and a run scored. Pitcher Joe Bisenius would pitch one inning, giving up a run on three hits while striking out one.
The next Phillies Spring Training game will be tomorrow night at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, Florida, against the Toronto Blue Jays. The game will start at 7 pm Eastern. The Phils will also play a ‘B’ game with the Blue Jays at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. That game will start at 12 noon.
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.