After suffering a lost at the hands of their old rivals, the Atlanta Braves (1-0), the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies (0-1) will be shooting for their first victory of the 2009 season tonight against the same Braves, in the second game of their opening three-game home stand. The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern.
The Phillies will send to the mound their ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, who, last season was 16-7 in thirty-three starts with a 3.71 ERA, leading the team’s starters in victories. Last season, he went 0-0 in two starts against the Braves. Moyer is presently four victories short of reaching 250 career wins, which, if he pitches well and has plenty of runs support from the Phils’ batters, he should reach that milestone by late May. Moyer will be trying to get the Phillies back onto the winning track, while using his pitches and veteran savvy to outthink the Braves’ batters. His 2009 record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. His opponent will be second-year pitcher Jair Jurrjens. In 2008, in thirty-one starts, Jurrjens was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA. The Dutch-born pitcher will try to do better against the Phils this year, as he went 1-2 in four starts against the Phillies last season. His 2009 record is 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
The Phillies’ bat will see if they can continue where they left off with Jurrjens last season while trying to forget what Derek Lowe did to them on Opening Night, trying to even the series at a victory apiece.
First, the answer to last week’s trivia question, which no one even attempted to answer. First, the question: Name the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? And the answer is: Nap Lajoie is the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hal of Fame, as he was elected as a member of the 1937 class, receiving 168 votes or 83.58% of the vote in the second Hall of Fame election, being that year’s highest vote getter. Nap was a member of the Phils for four years, 1896-1900. A new weekly trivia question will be asked at the bottom of this post.
The 2009 regular season started last night as the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies faced one of their oldest rivals, the Atlanta Braves, in a night game at Citizens Bank Park, which included the raising of the 2008 banner and fireworks, as the Phils wore their special opening night uniforms with gold trim and the 2008 World Series patch.
Sadly, during the game itself, all of the fireworks were on the Atlanta Braves’ side as they torched Phils’ starter Brett Myers for four runs, via three home runs, in the first two innings. Things looked very promising for Myers as he easily got out the first two batters that he faced, via a fly out to center and a 6-3 ground out. Then Chipper Jones, with the count 3-2, hit a single to left, getting the first hit of the 2009 season. The next batter, Brian McCann then hit a 2-0 pitch into deep right field for a two-run home run, the first home run of the new season, as the Braves took a quick 2-0 lead. In the second, the Braves added to their lead as Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run of the year, a rocket into the left field seats, making it 3-0 Atlanta. One batter later, Jordan Schafer, in his first major league at-bat, made it 4-0 Braves as he slugged a 3-1 fastball into center field. Myers would settle down after that, giving up only five more hits as he pitched a total of six innings. While the Braves were raining on Myers’ parade, Derek Lowe was expertly handcuffing the Phils, giving up only two hits in his eight strong innings of work, a one-out ground-rule double to Carlos Ruiz in the third inning, the first Phillies’ hit of the season, who was then left stranded on second, and a two-out single to Jimmy Rollins in the sixth, who was then left on first as Jayson Werth lined out right to Lowe to end the inning. The Phils would finally score a run in the ninth inning, getting it off of reliever Mike Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett started the inning off with a pinch hit double. Rollins then flied out to right, sending Bruntlett over to third with one out. The next batter, Werth, then singled sharply to left, scoring Bruntlett, collecting the first Phillies RBI of the season, making it a 4-1 Braves’ lead. Chase Utley followed with a walk, sending Werth over to second, and bringing up the tying run to the plate in the person of Ryan Howard. Howard, who had been given a steady diet of off-speed pitches all night by Lowe, saw five straight sliders from Gonzalez, working the count full. Thus, Howard was caught off-guard when pitch no. six from Gonzalez was a fast ball, the first one he had seen all night, which was sent right down the pike, for a call third strike. Howard was followed by Raul Ibanez, who, like Howard, was looking for his first hit of the year, and seeing if he could help his new team out early in the season. Sadly, it was not to be, as he struck out, swinging, on a 3-2 fastball, ending the ballgame as a 4-1 Braves’ victory.
Brett Myers, in his six innings of work, gave up four runs on eight hits, including three home runs, and a walk while striking out six. His regular season record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jack Taschner, pitching in his first official game as a Phil, pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed him for two-thirds of an inning, recording a strikeout. Chad Durbin then pitched the final third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for the Phils, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. Derek Lowe pitched eight strong innings for the Braves, staying out of trouble all night, as he gave up only two hits to the Phils as he struck out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Mike Gonzalez pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while getting two very important strike outs to end the game.
At this point, Eric Bruntlett is leading the team in batting with a 1.000 batting average, as he went 1 for 1 with a double. Carlos Ruiz follows at .333, as he went 1 for 3 on the night with a ground-rule double. Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth follow with both men going 1 for 4 for a .250 batting average, with Werth having the Phils’, at the moment, only RBI of the season.
The short series will continued tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, who record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens, who’s record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
Now, here is this week’s trivia question: Name the first ten Phillies’ Opening Day Pitchers? You all know where to find the answer. The answer will be posted on Thursday.
Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies faced the Tampa Bay Rays in their final spring training game. Despite their best efforts, they lost the game to the Rays, 9-7.
The Phils’ ace, Cole Hamels, started the game for the World Champs. In five innings of work, he gets rocked by the 2008 American League Champs, giving up six runs on six hits, including two home runs, a solo shot in the first inning to former teammate Pat Burrell and a three-run home run to Carlos Pena, also in the first, and a walk while striking out seven. Gary Majewski followed him, pitching a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit. J.C. Romero then took the mound for an inning, being hit for two runs on three hits and a walk. Cedrick Bowers followed Romero, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Mike Koplove took the mound in the ninth, giving up a run on one hit and three walks while striking out a batter. Hamels took the lost, with his spring record now at 0-1 with a 9.39 ERA. In spite of the bad outing, the fact that Hamels was striking out a large number of batters in the ballgame should be an indication that he will be tough to face during the regular season.
Among the batters, the Phils had eleven hits against Rays’ pitching. Matt Stairs led the way with three hits, two singles and a double, as he knocked in a run and scored a run, ending the spring with a .288 batting average. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez both followed with two hits each, with Ibanez hitting a home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, along with a double, while Howard had two singles and scored a run. Howard ended the spring with a .333 batting average while Ibanez ended his with a .310 batting average. Hopefully, Howard will be able to translate his hot spring hitting into the regular season. If so, opposing pitchers are in for a long season while facing him. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs and Jason Donald had the other four Phillies’ hits, with Dobbs’ hit being a two-run home run in the fourth, while Donald’s was a solo shot in the sixth. Werth’s hit, a double, help knocked in a run. Werth ended the spring with a .333 average, after a slow start thanks to injury problems. Rollins ended his spring with a .351 batting average, after coming back from being hot while playing for Team USA in the WBC. Prospect Jason Donald will be headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a .310 batting average.
The defending 2008 World Champions are now ready to begin their title defense, ready to become the first National League team to repeat as World Series Champs since the Pete Rose-Johnny Bench-Joe Morgan-led Big Red Machine of 1975-76.
The Phillies will play the first game of their title defense tonight at home against the Atlanta Braves, the first game of a three-game series with the Braves. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, with the game starting at 8:00 pm Eastern time. The game will be televisied nationally on ESPN. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers while the Braves will counter with Derek Lowe. Both starters’ records will be 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
PLAY BALL!!! and GO PHILLIES!!!!!
In the first of two games with the Tampa Bay Rays before Opening Night, the 2008 World Champions Phils defeated the 2008 American League Champs with a two-run ninth inning rally, winning the ballgame 3-2.
Joe Blanton started the game for the Phillies, pitching five strong innings, as he gave up just two runs on six hits while striking out three Rays. He was followed to the mound by Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson, who each pitched a scoreless frame, giving up just one hit between them (Eyre) and two walks (Durbin and Eyre with one walk each), while they together struck out two Rays (Durbin and Madson one apiece). Brad Lidge, who got the win, pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Lidge spring training record is now 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA. Looks like Blanton and the bullpen are all ready to start the season.
The Phillies’ bats got six hits last night. Jayson Werth led the team with two hits, raising his spring training average to .324. Jimmy Rollins, Jason Donald, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz got the other four Phils’ hits. Raul Ibanez, Chris Coste and Donald had the Phils’ three RBIs, with Donald’s being a walk-off single in the ninth inning, knocking in Eric Bruntlett with the game winner.
The Phillies are presently playing their last spring training game, also with the Rays, this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. They are presently trailing the Rays 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning.
Last night, Brett Myers, the now designated opening night starter, showed that he was ready to take the mound next Sunday night, as he pitched a strong four innings, giving up only one run on three scattered hits, with the run coming in on a Travis Snider solo home run in the second inning, as he struck out three. Relievers J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson then followed him, each man pitching a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit between them (Romero) while striking out a batter (Madson). Jack Taschner, making his spring training debut as a Phil after his trade to the team, then came on to pitch an inning, giving up just one hit. Brad Lidge and Gary Majewski then pitched the final two innings for the Phils, with both man pitching 1-2-3 innings, striking out three batters between them (Lidge 2, Majewski 1). Myers got the win, with his spring record now at 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA. Hopefully, it’ll be the good Brett that will be making an appearance next Sunday night.
Batting-wise, the Phillies unloaded for nine runs and fifteen hits on Blue Jays’ pitching. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz each collected two hits, while Eric Bruntlett, Chase Utley, Pablo Ozuna, Ryan Howard, Paul Hoover, Jason Ellison and Chris Coste got the other seven. Ibanez’ two hits were a double and a two-run home run, while both Rollins and Werth would also get doubles. Ibanez knocked in three of the Phils runs, Werth plated two, while Bruntlett, Howard, Ozuna and Matt Stairs each got an RBI, with Stairs’ RBI coming in when he was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded.
The Phillies next Grapefruit League game is this afternoon against the New York Yankees from George M. Steinbrenner Field, in Tampa, Florida. The game is presently in progress.
After trailing for most of the game, the Phillies came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays, 7-6, thanks to a three-run ninth inning.
Chan Ho Park started the game for the Phillies, and produced a not too good outing which may hurt his changes in his battle with J.A. Happ for the last spot in the startingrotation. Park pitched four innings, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out four Blue Jays. Robert Mosebach, who is fighting for a spot in the bullpen, follows, giving up a run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Chad Durbin follows him with a 1-2-3 inning, getting two strikeouts. Ryan Madson follows with a scoreless inning of his own, giving up a hit. Gary Majewski pitches two innings, giving up two runs on four hit and a walk as he strikes out a batter, while picking up the win, thanks to the Phillies scoring three runs in the top of the ninth. His spring training record is now 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA.
The Phillies’ bats collected thirteen hits today, with Jayson Werth, Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz leading the way with two hits each, with one of Werth’s two hits being a solo home run. Miguel Cairo, Jason Ellison, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Eric Bruntlett, Rich Thompson and Chris Coste each got a hit, with Utley’s hit being a two-run home run. Utley would knock in three runs in the game, while Bruntlett knocks in two and Werth and Thompson knocks in a run each. Both Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino returned to the lineup after their stint with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Both players went 0 for 2 with a walk each while Rollins crossed the plate with a run.
In other Phillies’ news, Cole Hamels, who pitched in a minor league game at Clearwater, is expected to pitch on April 10 against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, the Phils’ fourth game of the season, while Brett Myers will pitch opening night at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves on April 5, to be followed by Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton.
The Phillies will take the day off tomorrow before facing the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon for the second time this week, this time from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. Game time will be at 1:05 pm.
This week’s trivia question is: Name the Phillies’ pitcher who holds the major league record for the most losses in a season? You know where to find it, and I will reveal the answer on Thursday.
Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies were defeated by the Red Sox, as the offense was thrown goose eggs all afternoon, losing 3-0.
Brett Myers, the most likely opening night starter, if the Phils decide to give Cole Hamels extra time to get ready for the season, started the game for the Phils. Myers pitched five innings, giving up two runs in the first on a two-run home run by Mike Lowell, before settling down and blanking the BoSox for the next four innings. He would give up five hits along with the two runs, as he walked five batters (seems like bad Brett wanted to come out yesterday) and a strike out. Robert Mosebach followed him, pitching a shut out inning, giving up only two hits. Chad Durbin pitched next, having a shut out inning, giving up no hits, as he walked one, who was later wiped out in a double play and struck out one. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, one of them being as solo home run to Chris Carter, as he struck out two batters. Myers took the lost, with his spring training record now being 1-1 with a ERA of 2.63.
The Phillies would only get six hits in the game. Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry, Jr., Pablo Ozuna and Carlos Ruiz would each get a hit, with Ibanez and Ruiz’s hits being doubles. None of the batters were able to knock in a run.
In other Phillies news, Kyle Kendrick, as I’d expected, was sent down to the minors camp this morning. He will more than likely start the season pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Hopefully, he’ll come back with a better demeaner and a new pitch or two.
The Phils are presently playing the New York Yankees at Bright House Field in Clearwater.