The Phils two-games winning streak is snapped as they are shut out by the Blue Jays, 2-0.
The Blue Jays broke up a 0-0 tie in the fourth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Adam Lind hits an RBI single, scoring Jose Bautista, who had earlier doubled, then stole third base, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays then made it a 2-0 lead in the eighth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Kelly Johnson hits an RBI double, knocking in pinch hitter Travis Snider, who had earlier reached base on center fielder Scott Podsednik’s fielding error. That would be the final score as Jason Frasor collected his first save of the spring by getting Derrick Mitchell to pop out to the second baseman for the final out.
Cliff Lee (1-2, 3.45) took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up a run on five hits, while striking out seven. Chad Qualls pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Jose Contreras pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Brandon Morrow (2-0, 0.68) got the win as he pitched five shutout innings, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Carlos Villanueva and Darren Oliver both recorded their first hold of the spring as they combined for three scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Villanueva) between them, while striking out two (one each). Jason Frasor got his first save of the spring as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.
The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with two hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins and John Mayberry, Jr. had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles. The Phils also had two walks and a stolen base (Rollins) as the offense was kept under control by Blue Jays pitching.
The Phils (9-10) next game will be tomorrow afternoon with the Yankees (10-9) at Bright House Field at Clearwater. The game will start at 1:05 pm EDT.
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 get ready for their first spring training game, tomorrow, against Florida State, they have made several announcements after the arrival of all of their players to camp:
1) Charlie Manuel announced that the team was going to do some more small ball this season, which was quickly emphasised by him talking to the team’s lead-off man, and one of the leaders of the team, Jimmy Rollins last Thursday. This was followed by announcements that he was going to allow possible Hall of Famer Jim Thome to help some of the hitters improve on their hitting approach, and that he was going to have them bunt more (for base hits). Mike Schmidt, who is now in camp as a special coach, will also be helping the batters’ with their hitting approach, along with fellow Hall of Famer, and Iron Pigs coach Ryne Sandburg, while staying in camp a bit longer. While this is good news, since using small ball, as well as stealing more bases, should give the opposing defenses something to think about, I will not be convinced until the Phils leave Florida in late March with Juan Pierre as one of their players coming off the bench, since he would be a good option to use late in games because of both his speed and bat control.
2) Jose Contreras had another bullpen session, and is continuing to pitch fine with no elbow trouble, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee. This is good news, as it should give the team several good eighth innings options between him, Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls, if all three players make the team out of spring training.
3) And speaking of pitchers, starter Cliff Lee missed a bullpen session last week because of abdominal problems, and was told to skip the session. Lee said that he is feeling fine now and should be able to pitch in a bullpen session today. Hopefully, it was only a temporary problem.
4) Speaking of players’ health, Ryan Howard is right now in Baltimore, having a check-up with foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson, to check on his achilles tendon, to make sure that there’s no problem with it, since it was mentioned during the weekend that Howard was having a delayed reaction to the sutures. GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. later announced that they doubt that it was a major problem. Anyway, it should help the Phils decide how they should continue their approach on Howard’s rehab, although they don’t really expect him back until about late May at the earliest. My opinion is that they should take as much time as they can to get Howard back healthy, as they already have a few options to play first base.
and 5), Chase Utley has announced that he should be able to come back from his leg troubles last year, while it is expected that he will be given the occasional rest, to help his legs, while Placido Polanco has announced that he is ready to go.
Yesterday, in Clearwater, Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel have told reporters that he plans to use John Mayberry, Jr. more often in left field than at first base. He also said that while the presumption is that he would probably be using a platoon in left field of Mayberry and Laynce Nix, with Nix to face right handers and Mayberry to face lefties, he plans to have Mayberry also face some right handers. That sounds like a good move, as it will give Mayberry a chance to see if he can hit right handed pitching or not.
This means that while Ryan Howard continues to recover from his injury (of which he had told reporters he felt that he was 40% ready), first base would be mainly covered by Nix and Ty Wigginton, with Jim Thome starting one or two games per week. Hopefully that’ll be enough before Howard’s return at some point in May.
Other news: Rich Dubee announced that Jose Contreras threw a bullpen session off of the mound on Tuesday, and appear to have shown no signs of trouble with his right elbow, doing very well. If this is the case, and he continues showing no sign of trouble after his surgery, he should be the front runner for the role of the team’s eighth inning specialist. Let keep our fingers cross on that.
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?
and it’s been mainly because I’d been cleaning up my apartment. Don’t ask, other than that I’d mainly been cleaning up a lot of dust.
Anyway, in Phils’ related news, before yesterday, was the Phils’ announcement that Ryan Howard (left Achilles tendon) had been cleared by doctors, and that he can start doing baseball related activities within six weeks. That’s good news, but I hope that he’ll take his time and, if it means that he won’t be ready until mid-to-late May, so be it. I just hope that he’ll be able to recover his pop when he is back, since most of his power will be based on how well he’ll be able to push off his legs when he hits the ball. I’m just glad he’s a first baseman, so that he won’t be doing a lot of moving around trying to get balls hits in his direction. Jose Contreras (right elbow) has also been cleared so that he can start a throwing program today to get ready for Spring Training, while Cole Hamels (surgery to remove bodies from his left elbow) is throwing and says he’s feeling fine, while Placido Polanco and Hunter Pence (sports hernia surgery) both say that they should be 100% by the start of Spring Training. That’s sounds like good news all around.
Other news is that the Phils have decided to release John Bowker, who went 0 for 13 in 12 games for the Phils after being picked up in a trade with the Pirates late in 2011. Bowker will be trying to continue his baseball career in Japan. Good luck, John, but at your performance as a Phil, I am not sad to see you go.
Today, the Phils have announced that they have placed reliever Jose Contreras onto the 15-day disabled list for a right forearm strain, retroactive to June 20. This will be the second time that Contreras has been placed on the DL, having originally been placed on the shelf by the team from April 25 to May 26 because of a right flexner pronator strain. This could help explain why he had not been doing so well pitching in relief after coming off the DL late last month.
The Phils will replace him with Juan Perez from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where, in 28 appearances, he has an 0-3 record with a 3.52 ERA. He had struck out 41 batters in 30.2 innings of work, with a .184 batting average against left handers.
Whatever happen, this should help Contreras to return to what he was doing against opponents before his injury. Of course, we won’t really know that until his return.