The Phils win their series with the Rockies with a rout on Saturday, 10-2 behind Kyle Kendrick, and then with a wierd win on Sunday, 4-3, as J.A. Happ returns to the team from the minors.
On Saturday, the Phils took a 7-0 lead in the third inning as they send eleven men to the plate. After Jimmy Rollins started the inning off with a single, and then stole second been, and Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez followed with walks, loading the bases, as Rollins went to third, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard gave the Phils the lead with a bases clearing triple, scoring Rollins, Polanco and Ibanez, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Phils then made it 4-0 as Howard would score on a Ubaldo Jimenez’s wild pitch. After Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino are walked, Jimenez is replaced by Matt Belisle. Greg Dobbs greets Belisle with an RBI single, scoring Werth, making it a 5-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Victorino up to second base. After Brian Schneider hits into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Dobbs at second for the inning’s first out, as Victorino moved up to third base and Kyle Kendrick moves Schneider to second on a sacrifice bunt, 2-4, for the inning’s second out, Rolllins made it a 7-0 Phils’ lead with a two-run triple, scoring Victorino and Schneider. The Rockies got a run back in the fifth as Ian Stewart hits a lead-off home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, making it a 7-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils added to their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on second and with one man out, Ibanez hits a two-run home run, scoring Polanco, who had eariler doubled, giving the Phils a 9-1 lead. The Phils made it 10-1 in the seventh as, with a man on second and with two men out, Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring pinch hitter Ben Francisco, who had earlier doubled. The Rockies made it a 10-2 Phils’ lead in the eighth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Carlos Gonzalez hits an RBI double, scoring Ryan Spilborghs, who had earlier doubled. That would be the final score as rookie Vance Worley made his major league debut pitching a 1-2-3 inning, recording two strikeouts.
Kyle Kendrick gets the win as he pitches seven strong innings coming back from Lehigh Valley, giving up only one run on six hits and one walk, while striking out three. His record is now 6-4 with a 4.60 ERA. Jose Contreras pitches an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Vance Worley, as he made his major league debut before being sent to Lehigh Valley, pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two batters. Ubaldo Jimenez took the lost, as he lasts only two innings, plus six batters, giving up six runs on just three hits, six walks and a wild pitch, while he strikes out only two. His record is now 15-2 with a 2.75 ERA. Matt Belisle pitches three innings, giving up a run on three hits, as he strikes out a batter. Taylor Buchholz pitches an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Joe Beimel pitches an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Huston Street pitches a 1-2-3 inning.
The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with three hits, two singles and a triple, as he knocks in three runs. Placido Polanco and Jayson Werth both follow with two hits each, with both men getting a single and a double. Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Greg Dobbs and pinch hitter Ben Francisco had the other four Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a two-run home run, Howard’s hit being a three-run triple, Dobbs’ hit being an RBI single, and Francisco’s hit being a double. The other Phil’s run came in on a wild pitch.
On Sunday, the Rockies took the lead in the second as, with the bases loaded, via a double to Spilborghs, a single to Stewart, sending Spilborghs to third, and a walk to Miguel Olivo, and with one man out, Clint Barmes hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Spilborghs, giving the Rockies a 1-0 lead. The Phils took the lead in their half of the second as, with a runner on base, and with one man out, Francisco hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the season, knocking in Werth, who had earlier singled, to give the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Rockies regain the lead in the fourth as, with a man on, and with nobody out, Spilborghs hits a two-run home run, his ninth home run of the season, scoring Melvin Mora, who had earlier walled, to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead. After the game was held up for over ninety minutes by a rain delay, the Phils regained the lead in the seventh. Pinch hitter Wilson Valdez started the inning off with a pinch hit ground-rule double, before scoring on an RBI single by Rollins, tying the game up at three-all, before he moved up to second on a fielding error by Gonzalez. Four batters later, with runners on the corners, via Rollins stealing third, and Howard walking, and with two men out, Rollins scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Rafael Betancourt, as Betancourt did not cover home plate, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. That would be the final score as Brad Lidge would record his ninth save of the year as he got out of a bases loaded jam, via a walk to Jonathan Herrera, a single to Mora, sending Herrera to second, and a walk to pinch hitter Jason Giambi, moving both Herrera and Mora up a base, and with two men out, by striking out Stewart on a call third strike.
J.A. Happ, coming back from elbow injury, pitches five innings, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out four, getting a no-decision. Chad Durbin pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Ryan Madson gets the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out two. His record is now 3-1 with a 5.51 ERA. Jose Contreras receives his eight hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out the two men that he would face. J.C. Romero receives his fifth hold of the season as he pitches a third of an inning, striking out the one man that he would face. Brad Lidge would records his ninth save of the year, as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out three. Jeff Francis also receives a no-decision as he pitches five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out six. Manuel Corpas collects his second hold of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Joe Beimel blew his first save of the season before taking the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs, one of which were earned, on two hits and walk. His record is now 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA. Rafael Betancout pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up a hit and throwing a wild pitch.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Ben Francisco leading the club with two hits each. Rollins’ hits were both singles, knocking in a run, while Werth’s hits were a single and a double and Francisco’s hits were a two-run home run and a double. Ryan Howard, pinch hitter Raul Ibanez, pinch hitter Ross Gload and pinch hitter Wilson Valdez had the other four Phils’ hits, with Ryan’s hit being a single, and Ibanez, Gload and Valdez’s hits being pinch hit doubles, with Valdez’s being a ground-rule double. The last Phil run scored on a wild pitch. The Phils’ offense seems to have responded to the firing of hitting coach Milt Thompson, as they have now won four straight games, and seven straight at home.
The Phils (52-46, 2nd NL East) conclude their series with the Rockies (51-47, 4th NL West), going for the series sweep, with an afternoon game, already in progress, with the Phils leading in the eighth inning.
The Phils leave St. Louis salvaging an extra-inning win as they defeat the Cards in a pitchers’ duel, 2-0.
The game from the start was a classic pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who pitched eight scoreless inning, giving up only a lead-off single to Matt Holliday in the fifth, before he is wiped out by an 8-3 fly out-double play to center by Allen Craig and a two out walk to Yadier Molina in the eighth, while striking out seven, and Cards’ starter Adam Wainwright, who pitched six shut out innings, giving up six scattered hits, while he struck out six. The bullpens then took over, with the Cards’ pen keeping the Phils off the scoreboard for four more innings, as they give up just three hits, while striking out three, and the Phils’ pen, which threw two more shut out innings, giving up no hits, while striking out two. The Phils then took the lead in the eleventh as Placido Polanco hits a lead-off home run, his sixth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Four batters later, with two men on, and with one out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI double, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had just singled, on to third. That would end up being the final score as Brad Lidge came in to nail down his eighth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning.
Cole Hamels receives a no-decision as he pitches eight shut out innings, as he gives up just one hit and one walk, while striking out seven. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero combine for one and one-third scoreless innings, striking out a batter (Madson). Chad Durbin picks up the win as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits, while striking out a batter. His record is now 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA. Brad Lidge receives his eighth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk. Adam Wainwright also receives a no-decision, as he pitches six scoreless innings, giving up six hits, while striking out six. Mitchell Boggs, Dennys Reyes and Jason Motte combine for four scoreless inning (with Reyes facing only one batter), giving up three hits (Boggs (2), Reyes (1)), while striking out three (Boggs (1), Motte (2)) between them. Kyle McClellan took the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. His record is now 1-3 with a 2.06 ERA. Trever Miller pitch to two batter, getting neither one out, as he gives up a run on a hit and a walk. Fernando Salas pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard both leading the team with three hits each. Polanco’s hits were two singles and a solo home run, while Howard’s three hits were all singles. Brian Schneider follows with two hits, a single and a double. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Jimmy Rollins had the other four Phils’ hits, with Ibanez and Rollins’ hits being singles, and Victorino and Werth’s hits being doubles, with Werth knocking in a run. The Phils are still unable to put together some decent rallies, since they are continuing to press themselves while batting, instead of trying to relax. This has resulted in the firing of hitting coach Milt Thompson, who had held that position since 2004. He is being replaced by Greg Gross, who held that same position from 2002 to 2004, when Larry Bowa was the manager. Sorry to see you go Milt. Good luck. And, Greg, hope you have some ideas that’ll get this offense moving in the right direction, as you are so going to need them.
The Phils (49-46, 2nd NL East) come home to start a four-game series with the Rockies (51-44, 3rd NL West) with a night game tonight. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (10-8, 2.40), who is coming off a lost against the Cubs on July 18, as he went six innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 11-6 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he had pitched twenty-four innings, giving up seven runs, six of which were earned, on seventeen hits and two walks, while striking out nineteen. He will be once again gunning for his eleventh win of the season, while hoping that the offense will actually give him some runs support. The Rockies will counter with Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.56), who is coming off a win against the Reds on July 18, as he went seven shut out innings, giving up just six hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Rockies’ 1-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he pitched eighteen and one-third innings, giving up eight runs on twenty-three hits and three walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying to even his record at the Phils’ expense. The Phils will hope to get their offense started once again, after the firing of Milt Thompson because of their present inability to do anything right, batting wise.
Williams not returning to Phillies
Decision of bench coach unexpected; Manuel leaving door open
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Wish you luck finding new employment Jimy. Welcome back Rich and Davey. As for Milt, please teach these guys some situational hitting, thank you.
PHILADELPHIA — Manager Charlie Manuel lost a valued member of his coaching staff on Monday, when the team announced that bench coach Jimy Williams wouldn’t return in 2009.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Milt Thompson and first-base coach Davey Lopes will return in their current roles. The team was already looking to fill the position of third-base coach, after Manuel dismissed Steve Smith last week.
Mick Billmeyer, who has been serving as the team’s catching instructor since 2003, will likely return to the big league staff, though that hasn’t been finalized, according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Dubee, 51, returns for his fifth season as pitching coach. Under Dubee in 2008, Phillies pitchers compiled a 3.88 ERA, the fourth best in the National League. The rotation had 88 quality starts, the second most in the NL, behind Arizona (95).
Lopes again tutored the baserunners to a Major League-best 84.5 percent stolen-base success rate (136 steals in 161 chances). The team’s steals total was the third best in the NL. As outfield instructor, Lopes led the outfielders to 36 assists, tops in the NL and tied for the Major League lead.
Thompson, 49, returns for his sixth season as a Phillies coach and fifth as the hitting coach. In 2008 he oversaw an offense that led the NL in home runs (214), finished second in RBIs (762) and tied for second in runs scored (799). In Thompson’s four seasons as hitting coach, the Phillies have scored more runs (3,363) than any other NL team.
Williams, 65, started his playing career in 1965 as a shortstop and compiled 13 Major League at-bats in 1966-67, with the Cardinals. He has spent more than 30 years as a coach and manager.
Williams managed the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Astros before joining the Phillies in October 2006, following Manuel’s second season as manager. With Philadelphia, he worked with the pitchers, and they finished first among all Major League staffs in runs, second in walks and fourth in hits.
His departure was unexpected.
“I talked to him right at the end of the year,” Manuel said. “I told him how good a job he did and that I was looking forward to having him back. He wasn’t upset. It was one of those things that he wanted to see what he wants to do. It’s not like he left on a bad note. I guess there are things he wants to think about.”
Manuel plans to speak with Williams again in the next few days, and he left the door open in the event Williams changes his mind.
“To me, it doesn’t seem that way,” Manuel said. “But I’ll call him in a couple of days and see where he’s at. … I don’t know if he’s looking to retire. I think Jimy will stay in the game.” (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, looks like the team is really going to be different when spring training start next year. Hopefully that’ll include the guys knowing how to hit the ball when the situation calls for something other than a home run.
The Phillies (66-58) begins an important nine games home stand, and will start it with a three games against the woeful Nationals (44-81). The game will be played in Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.79), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 13 in which he pitched a so-so five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to regain the form he’d shown in his two starts before the Dodgers’ series, where he gave up only one earned run in fourteen innings of work. He will try to be the latest Phillies’ starter to have a good performance while hoping that the offense will give him the same support that they game him at the start of his previous start but didn’t respond to. The Nationals will oppose him with Jason Bergmann (2-9, 4.51), who is coming off a rather nasty lost to the Mets on August 13, as he got bombed for six earned runs on eight hits in three innings of work, in the Nationals’ 12-0 lost. He has already faced the Phillies twice this season, with both games being no-decisions, as he would pitch twelve and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on twelve hits. He’ll be looking to record his third win of the year while hoping that the Phillies’ bats won’t decide to take out their year long frustration out on him.
The Phillies come back home from a disastrous West Coast road trip, which saw them loss four straight to the Dodgers and then get a total of only eighteen hits in San Diego, despite winning the series against one of the worst teams in the league. Starting pitching continue to impress, the bullpen, in spite of a pair of blown saves in LA, is still the second best bullpen in the National League, while the bats continue to be frustratingly silent. The Phillies are bracing for a nasty response from the fanbase to Jimmy Rollins’ ‘front runners’ comment during the tail end of the Dodgers’ series fiasco. What they might not be prepared for is a fan-base campaign of support started last weekend by fellow blogger We Should Be GM’s who has suggested, partly in a sarcastic tone, that instead of booing the team into oblivion, the fans should give the team its whole hearted support, mainly to see what Rollins’ reaction will be to out and out whole hearted fan support from Phillies’ fans, instead of the expected boo-bird chants, which he calls Campaign: Cheer. My opinion on the campaign? If it help to get this team moving again, I’ll give it my support, 100%, with the stipulation that I have the right to boo them out of existance if they have a lousy home stand in spite of the support. Also, Charlie Manuel has literally asked for help in trying to get the Phillies’ offense back in operation. Hey, Charlie and Milt Thompson, another Phillies’ fan blogger, Phillies Phollowers, have some suggestions on how to get this team out of its collective slump. I suggest that you two read it and get the guys to do the same and follow the advice. I mean, come on, its simple common baseball sense, something that seems to have disappeared from within your team. But, more importantly, just go out there and clean the Nationals’ clock. This is a weak team that has recently been swept by the Mets. Beat them!!! Show them no mercy!!! GO PHILLIES!!!!
The Phillies now trail the Mets by a game and a half after the Mets’ lost to the Pirates (thank you thank you thank you!!!!), as they prepare for a three games series with the fading Braves who are now in a very unfamiliar role, that of a spolier. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half game as they prepare for a three games series with the presently hot Giants. The Phillies are hoping that they can do well against the Nationals while praying that the Braves will have enough fight left in them to give the Mets some heartburn.
The Phillies (62-52) will be welcoming back to Philadelphia the once proud Pirates (52-62, 5th National League Central) for a three games weekend series. The first game of the series will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.94), who is coming off his first victory as a Phil against the Cardinals on August 2, when he went seven very strong innings, giving up only an earned run on four hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 win. This will be his first career start against the Bucos. He will be looking for his second win as a Phil, eating up the innings as he does so, while trying to continue Pittsburgh’s present woes. His opponent will be Pete Maholm (7-7, 3.95), who is coming off a lost to the Cubs on August 2, as he got bombed by the presently mighty Cubs, giving up five earned in six innings of work on eight hits, in the Pirates’ 5-1 lost. He has faced the Phillies earlier this year, pitching a complete game against them on April 27, giving up only one earned run on two hits, in the Pirates’ 5-1 win. He hopes to improve his present record while hoping that the Phillies’ batters won’t do any better against him this time around.
There are presently rumbling among both the fan blogs’ and Philly sports writers over the inconsistenty of the Phillies’ offense, an offense that for one or several days will score five or more runs without any problem, and the next can’t seem to be able to even buy a run, making the opposing starter look like Cy Young in the process, while forcing their own starters to be almost picture perfect with some very sad results. I don’t know if this goes back to hitting coach Milt Thompson or not, but it does go to how this team is built. Too much concentration on the long ball and too little concentration on having guys, especially those in the 6-7-8 holes in the battling line-up, being able to make contact to not just put the ball in play, but to follow the late Wee Willie Keeler’s maxim of hitting them where they ain’t, and unfortunately, the guys are hitting them right where the opposition fielders are. And, as I have stated here several times before, they are not doing enough small ball to try and put pressure on the opposition. (Exception being Shane Victorino, as every time he gets on, he puts on the pressure with his threat to steal a base, although I have seem to have noticed a lack of that happening right now. Maybe the home run bug has made him forget about just getting on base and making the defense nervous?) So, if it is Milt Thompson, I have this question: Is there anyone in the present organization who can make these guys do the little things, i.e., small ball, whether they like it or not, and can do it as soon as he shows up? If there isn’t such a person, then firing Thompson now won’t mean anything if they don’t have anyone waiting in the wings who can take charge as soon as he arrive and show these home run hitters the reality that small ball helps a lot more than home runs when it come to be a more consistent run scoring team.
The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins is a game and a half and two games over the Mets as the two teams prepare to face each other at Shea Stadium for a weekend series. The Phillies lead the Braves by nine and a half games as the Braves’ win over the Diamondbacks in Arizona. The Phillies will be trying to take advantage of the once powerful Pirates and try to come away with a sweep at best or a series win at worst while hoping that their two nearest rivals in the East will end up cancelling each other out by the time the weekend is over.