After a short rain delay, the Phils proceeded to crush the Yankees yesterday afternoon, 8-3, getting even for the earlier 12-0 battering at the hands of the Bronx Bombers the previous week.
J.A. Happ started the game for the Phils, continuing to stake his claim to the final spot in the starting rotation by pitching a strong five innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and three walks as he struck out three. He was followed to the mound, for one inning each, by Clay Condrey and Brad Lidge, who each gave up a hit while they both struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed them, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, as he struck out two batters. Mike Koplove pitched the ninth for the Phils, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Condrey was the winning pitcher, with his spring training record now at 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA.
The Phillies bats came out swinging yesterday as they recorded twelve hits, with Eric Bruntlett and Raul Ibanez leading the way with three hits a piece, with each man knocking in a run. Jayson Werth, Miguel Cairo, Marcus Giles, Matt Stairs, Ronny Paulino and Jason Ellison would each get a hit, with Stairs and Cairo’s hits being a pair of two-run home runs while Giles’ hit was a double. Bruntlett and Ibanez also got doubles. Werth had the Phils other RBI, while the final run came in on a double play ball.
The Phillies next Grapefruit League game is against the Toronto Blue Jays, which is presently in progress.
In Grapefruit League play, the Phils miss a chance at winning two straight games as they play to a tie game with the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday before defeating the Florida Marlins yesterday afternoon.
On Wednesday, the Phils played the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-7 tie at Bright House Field in Clearwater. Their starter, J.A.Happ, pitches four good innings, although later saying that he was disappointed with his outing. Happ would give up three runs on three hits, with two of them being home runs, a two-run shot to Bradley Emaus in the third and a solo home run to Jason Lane in the fourth. Happ also gives up a walk while striking out two. Gary Majewski takes over for two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk while striking out one. Scott Eyre follows, pitching an inning, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk. Ryan Madson goes onto the mound next, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Joe Bisenius pitches the ninth inning, allowing three runs to cross the plate, leading to a 7-7 tie, as he gives up three hits and walking two while striking out a batter as he blows the save opportunity.
Among the batters, the Phillies would score seven runs on seven hits. Jayson Werth leads the attack with two hits, knocking in three runs with a three-run home run, while also getting a double. Chase Utley, Eric Bruntlett, Matt Stairs, Majewski and John Mayberry, Jr., would get the other five Phils’ hits, with Stairs and Bruntlett hits being doubles. Greg Dobbs, Majewski and Pedro Feliz would knock in three of the other four Phils runs with a single (Majewski) and two sacrifice flies (Dobbs and Feliz), while the other run would come in on a Blue Jays’ error.
Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies would do better as Joe Blanton one-hit the Marlins in a 5-1 Phils’ victory. Blanton started the game for the Phils, going six innings, as he gives up only one hit while striking out three batters. Brad Lidge follows Blanton, pitching an inning, giving up no runs on two hits as he strikes out one batter. Clay Condrey then pitches an inning, giving up the Marlins’ only run on two hits. Robert Mosebach pitches the ninth, giving up a hit. Blanton records the win, with his spring training record now being 1-0 with a 2.30 ERA.
The Phillies would get only six hits in the game. Jason Donald, Ryan Howard, Geoff Jenkins, Miguel Cairo, Marcus Giles and Chris Coste would each get a hit, with Howard and Giles’ hits being doubles. Howard, Werth, Giles and Coste would each knock in a run, with Werth’s RBI being a sac fly. Ever since getting back into the lineup, Werth has batted .333 in Grapefruit League play, while a much slimer Howard has so far batted .282 with five spring home runs and fifteen RBIs.
The Phils are presently playing the Cardinals in Grapefruit League play, with the Phils presently trailing 2-1, with Howard hitting his sixth spring home run.
Meanwhile, team ace Cole Hamels did some extended long toss yesterday, saying that his elbow felt fine. There’s a possibility that he might be able to pitch in a Grapefruit League game next week.
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.
Okay, first things first: The Baltimore Orioles during the weekend had picked up Adam Eaton, signing him to a minor league contract worth $400,000 dollars, after he had cleared waivers. Okay, I have just this to say: Hey Baltimore, are you guys so desperate for arms that you’re willing to pick him up? If so, good luck with him, guys, as you are going to be needing it.
As several Phils, including Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, get ready to join their teams for the World Baseball Classic, Chad Durbin and Brad Lidge are both presently sidelined with soreness, Durbin with his right hamstring and Lidge with his arm, although Lidge would pitch earlier today with very little trouble, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee, while Durbin, at the moment, has no idea when he’ll start throwing in non-game conditions.
The Phillies have added two B games to their schedule, both against the Toronto Blue Jays. One was played earlier this afternoon, at Clearwater, with the other B game to be played this coming Friday. In the B game, via a report from Phillies.com beat writer Todd Zolecki’s blog, The Zoe Zone, starters Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton have combined for seven scoreless innings, giving up between them just seven scattered hits, as Moyer would also walk one while striking out four.
After losing three games in a row, the Phils have three straight games, as they would defeat the Atlanta Braves yesterday afternoon, 7-3 and have just beaten the Toronto Blue Jays’ ‘A’ squad, 12-7, coming from behind to win both games.
In yesterday’s game, pitching-wise, Brett Myers would pitch three solid innings, as he would give up just two earned runs on three hits, while striking out one batter. Chan Ho Park, the fourth man involved in the battle for the final spot in the rotation, would follow him by pitching three strong innings, giving up only one run, via a home run, on four hits, as he also strikes out one batter. Scott Nestor would follow with a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit while striking out one and walking one. Joe Bisenius and Blaine Neal, who would redeem himself after his bad outing, would both follow with a pair of 1-2-3 innings.
Meanwhile, the Phils’ batters, after being kept scoreless during the first four innings, would score their seven runs in the fifth (1), sixth (4) and seventh (2) innings. Eric Bluntlett and Marcus Giles would lead the attack by getting two hits each, with Giles scoring two runs and knocking in a run, while Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry Jr., Jeremy Slayden, Gerg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Stairs and Carlos Ruiz would each contribute a hit in the Phils’ 11-hit attack. Besides Giles, Rollins, Dobbs, and Stairs would each get an RBI, while Ruiz would knock in two runs. Giles would also steal two bases, while Bruntlett and Mayberry would each steal one.
Park would be the winning pitcher, with a Spring Training record of 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. The losing pitcher for the Braves would be Jeff Ridgway, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 with a 40.50 ERA.
In today’s games, J.A. Happ and Carlos Carrasco would start things off for the Phils. Happ would give up a two-run home run to Adam Lind in the first inning, giving Toronto the lead, before settling down. He would pitch three strong innings, giving up just two runs on three hits and a walk. Carrasco would take over and have a 1-2-3 fourth, before being hit around in the fifth, giving up five runs, including a three-run homer to Kevin Millar and a solo shot to Bradley Emaus, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. He would then come back and keep the Blue Jays scoreless in the sixth. Carrasco, in three innings, would give up five runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out three. Gary Majewski would then come in and pitch two strong innings, giving up no runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Yoman Bazardo would follow him with a strong inning of relief.
Batting wise, after scoring single runs in both the first and fifth innings, the Phils would explode for six runs in the sixth, and then score two runs apiece in both the seventh and eighth innings. In an eleven-hit attack, Raul Ibanez and Slayden would lead the team with two hits each, while Bruntlett, Miguel Cairo, Ryan Howard, Mayberry, Pablo Ozuna, Jason Donald and Ronny Paulino would each get a hit. Bruntlett, Ibanez, Howard, Mayberry and Slayden would each knock in two runs, while Cairo and Ozuna would both knock in one run each. Howard would hit a two-run home run, while Slayden would hit a solo shot. After being quiet in the first three games, the bats have come alive, knocking in thirty-one runs in three games.
The winning pitcher, in spite of the five runs that he would give up in the fifth, is Carrasco, now with a Spring Training record of 1-0 and an ERA of 5.40. The losing pitcher for the Blue Jays is Jeremy Accardo, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 and an 15.75 ERA.
The Phillies’ Grapefruit League record is now 3-3 after six games.
The Phillies have tomorrow off. Their next game will be an Exhibition Game on Wednesday afternoon against Team Canada, with Cole Hamels on the mound. The game will begin at 1:05 pm Eastern from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.
As the Phillies continue to get ready for their first game of the regular season on Sunday, April 5 against the Atlanta Braves, their first game of Spring Training will take place in less than two days. On Wednesday, February 25, they will play a 1:05 pm Eastern Grapefruit League game with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Pirates’ Spring Training home of Bradenton, Florida, at McKechnie Field. The Phillies will open their Spring Training schedule with Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton on the mound.
Meanwhile, Chase Utley has been participating in fielding his position and in batting practice, but not taking any swings while in the cage, although he has taken swings elsewhere, and not on the batting tee, as he tries to get himself ready for opening day, although the Phils will be keeping an eye on him to prevent the possibility of a set-back through Utley’s eagerness to start. At the same time, Pedro Feliz is also taking grounders, but he has not been taking any swings in the batting cage, as the Phils worry about his back. But, with such options as Eric Bruntlett, prospect Jason Donald, Marcus Giles and Miguel Cairo in camp, the Phillies should be able to start the season okay in the infield for a few days if either player isn’t ready for opening day.
Phils’ opening day starter, Cole Hamels, will not pitch in a Grapefruit League game until March 4, as the Phils plan to go slowly with their ace, so that he will be ready to pitch by opening day, as well as to prevent him getting injured during spring training, as last year was his first year in the major leagues that he did not get injured.
Ah, opening day can’t come soon enough for me. GO PHILS!!! REPEAT!!!
First, some good news. The Phillies yesterday made it official as they signed reliever Chan Ho Park, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to a one-year, $2.5 million dollars contract, to pitch for the Phils in 2009, after having past his physical. The right hander, who will be fighting for the fifth spot in the Phillies’ starting rotation with Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, and minor leaguer Carlos Carrasco, but will more than likely be coming out of the bullpen, has pitched in 378 games, and starting in 280 of them, in a 15 years career as a major leaguer, with a record of 117 wins and 92 loses with an ERA of 4.34. For the 2008 Dodgers, he has appeared in 54 games, all but 5 of them coming out of the bullpen, going 4-4 on the year with a 3.40 ERA.
Later that day, the Phillies signed righthanded second baseman Marcus Giles to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training, for $600,000. Although signed by the Colorado Rockies in 2008, he was released by them before the start of the 2008 season. His last full season in the majors was in 2007, where he played for the San Diego Padres for 116 games, going 96 for 420 for a .229 average, knocking in 39 RBIs on 19 2Bs, 3 3Bs and 4 HRs, while scoring 52 runs. In three years in the majors, he has a career batting average of .277, knocking in 333 RBIs on 187 2Bs, 16 3Bs and 76 HRs, while scoring 468 runs. Giles will more than likely, if he makes the team in spring training, be used as the second baseman while Chase Utley continues to recover from hip surgery, and then be used as insurance at second base and their right handed bat off of the bench after Utley’s return.
Now, the bad news. J.C. Romero has been suspended by MLB for the first 50 games of the season for violating the league’s drug policy, inspite of the fact that he has done nothing wrong, while doing every thing that he could to avoid violating the policy, as he took an over-the-counter supplement, bought from a Cherry Hill GNC, that contain traces of a substance that is on the MLB’s do not take policy. My opinion is that this is just flat-out bogus.
Other folks elsewhere have already commented on this, and I’m just going to give my two cents. I consider Romero the victim of bad advice, being told that the new product that he had bought over-the-counter from GNC was at the time okay to take, as the player’s association has told him that everything bought from a nutrition store like GNC was okay, as well as being told by three different nutritionists that it was safe to use, but never being informed that there was actually an illegal substance in it, according to the Center for Drug Free Sports. He only realized that something was wrong when he was told that he had tested positive during a drug test done on him on Aug. 26 in Sept., before, if the time line is correct, being informed that he has failed again on September 19. Romero took immediate action, and stop taking all of his supplements, not know which one has caused the positive reading, thus rating a negative when he was tested again on October 1, before the playoffs, so that whatever was that was in his system has finally passed through. But, he was at the time offered a deal by major league baseball: Admit that you was wrong in taking it and take a 25 games suspension, effective immediately, or, take your chances with arbitration, lose and get a 50 games suspension. Romero, who honestly believe that he has done nothing wrong (as would anyone who is following this very carefully, and without any bias), told them no on the plea, and decided to take his chances with an arbitrator. Sadly, the arbitrator found in favor of MLB, and Romero is now out for 50 games.
This whole thing would be funny, if not for the fact that Romero had done everything he could to not be in this present situation, as he kept asking if the product was safe to use, as did the Yankees’ Sergio Mitre, who also bought an over-the-counter product from GNC, that has also gotten him into hot water, with the same results, and are both now being penalized, and having their good names dragged through the mud because of other people’s mistakes, because these same people have been burned by the steroid era of the 90s and the reaction from the U.S. Congress a few years back. (Yeah, yeah, I know a few of you out there are saying sour grapes, but please read all of the articles on this, before making knee jerk reactions. It took me over a day before I’d decided to write about this, and it was only after reading several articles and seeing the reactions to it on several other blogs, and, for the most part, I am reading that people, in general, think that the two of them are both getting a raw deal.) Yeah, you heard me. This is the MLB trying to tell Congress and the public, see, see, we’re cleaning up our act. Sorry, guys, but for you to convince me, you need to do a whole lot better than this, when it doesn’t look that you’re trying to kiss up to the U.S. Congress. You guys are pathetic.
Anyway, I’m hoping that the Phillies will take advantage of the situation. How? Remember people, Romero will be gone for 50 games, plus how many games he might miss trying to get back into the swing of things, if the Phillies don’t have him pitching in their minor league system to get himself ready. Romero will thus be fresh and ready to go when the second half grind start. I feel sorry for the batters JC’ll be facing if he decides to use it as an opportunity to defend his honor by taking it out on them for the rest of the year. 🙂