Earlier today, the Phils have traded outfielder Ben Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league reliever Frank Gailey.
Francisco, who was part of the deal with the Indians that originally brought Cliff Lee to the Phils in late July 2009, appeared in 225 games for the Phils from 2009-2011, mainly as their fourth outfielder, although for the first couple of months of 2011 he was the team’s starting right fielder, until he was put back on the bench before the Phils eventually traded with the Astros for Hunter Pence. In those games, he batted .259, having 136 hits including 32 doubles,1 triple and 17 home runs, while knocking in 75 RBIs. He also appeared in 17 post-season games, including the 2009 World Series, where he had an overall batting average of .105, with 2 hits in 19 at-bats, which includes his dramatic three-run home run in the third game of the 2011 National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which gave the Phils a temporary 2-1 series lead, before finally falling to the eventual World Series champs in five games.
Gailey, a native Philadelphian, had pitched a combine 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 appearances for Class-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays’ farm system. In his minor league career, overall, Gailey is 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 appearances.
Wish you luck with the Blue Jays, Ben, and thanks for what you did while you was here. Welcome to the organization, Frank. Hope you’ll be able to work your way to the main club.
The Phils have finally announced their roster for the 2011 NL Divisional Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Carlos Ruiz – C
Ryan Howard – 1B
Chase Utley – 2B
Jimmy Rollins – SS
Placido Polanco – 3B
Raul Ibanez – LF
Shane Victorino – CF
Hunter Pence – RF
Brian Schneider – C
Wilson Valdez – INF
Michael Martinez – INF
Ben Francisco – OF
Ross Gload – OF/INF
Johm Mayberry, Jr. – OF
Kyle Kendrick (long man)
Antonio Bastardo (set-up man?) and
Ryan Madson (closer)
In reserve, in case any of them get hurt, will be: Dom Brown (OF), Joe Savery (P) and Justin De Fratus (P).
The Philadelphia Phillies (1-2) will begin their first road trip of the 2009 season this afternoon by facing the Colorado Rockies (2-1) at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The game will begin at 2:10 pm mountain time. The Phillies, who are now looking for their first series win, will send their ace, Cole Hamels, to the mound. Hamels, who was perfect in the post-season last season, going 4-0 in five starts, with a 1.80 ERA, as he won the 2008 National League Championship Series and the 2008 World Series MVP Awards, coming of age as one of baseball’s elite starters. During the regular season, he was 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA in 33 starts, including two complete games. His 2009 record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. He will be gunning for his first victory of the season, and to pitch the first quality start by one of the Phils’ starters. The Colorado Rockies will counter with Jason Marquis, who will be pitching his first game as a member of the Rockies pitching staff. Last season, as a member of the 2008 National League Central Division Champions Chicago Cubs, Marquis went 11-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 29 games, with 28 of them being starts. He will be looking to get rid of the sour taste left in his mouth being a member of a Cubs team that got swept in the Divisional Championship Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers. His 2009 record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA. He will also be going for his first win of the season.
The Phillies, with 2008 finally behind them, as they have finally received their 2008 World Series rings on Wedensday, will be trying to put together both their first winning streak and their first series win for 2009. Chase Utley is presently leading the team in batting average among the regulars with a .364 batting average (4-11), followed by Carlos Ruiz at .333 (3-9), Raul Ibanez at .273 (3-11) and Ryan Howard at .250 (3-12). Utley also leads the team in hits with 4, followed by Ruiz, Ibanez and Howard with 3 hits apiece, while Ibanez leads the team in RBIs with 3, followed by Utley with 2. Ibanez also has the team’s only home run.
Behind Cole Hamels’ eight innings of shut out ball, the Phillies would take a 1-0 lead over the Brewers in their National League Divisional Series. After Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels and Brewers’ starter Yovani Gallardo would both pitch two straight shut out innings, Hamels would pitch a 1-2-3 third, striking out four of the first nine men that he would face. Gallardo wouldn’t be so lucky, as he would give up a lead-off single to Carlos Ruiz, the first hit of the ballgame. Hamels would then come to bat and laid down a sacrifice bunt that would become a catch error by the Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks. Both men would then be safe on the play, with Ruiz reaching second and Hamels being safe on first. Jimmy Rollins would then fly out to left for the inning’s first out. Jayson Werth would then follow by striking out swinging, for the second out of the inning. Chase Utley would then come up, and on a 2-2 pitch, hit a double to center that would not be caught by Brewers’ center fielder Mike Cameron, scoring both Ruiz and Hamels and giving the Phillies a quick 2-0 lead. The Phillies would then load up the bases via an intentional walk to Ryan Howard and a walk to Pat Burrell. The next batter, Shane Victorino would also get a walk, forcing in Utley and giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead, and leaving the bases loaded as Howard and Burrell would both move up a base. With a chance to break the game wide open early, Pedro Feliz, the ninth batter of the inning, would instead end it by flying out to center. Now with a lead, Cole Hamels would then proceed to breeze through the Brewers’ lineup, giving up only two hits, while striking out nine Brewers. He had only one troublesome inning, the sixth. After striking out Jason Kendall, he would give up a single to Craig Counsell and then would walk Cameron, which would put Counsell on second. But Hamels would get out of the inning by first getting Bill Hall to strike out swinging for the second out of the inning, and then, on one pitch, he would get Ryan Braun to pop up to Jimmy Rollins, for the inning’s final out. Meanwhile, the Brewers’ bullpen would keep the Phillies’ bats pretty much muzzled until the bottom of the eight, when they would threaten to add on to their lead. After Utley would ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out, Howard would reach base with a walk. Eric Bruntlett, a defensive replacement for Burrell, would get a single off of Brewers’ shortstop J.J. Hardy, putting runners on first and second, as Howard would reach second base, with one out. The next batter, Victornio would then hit into a force out, 4-6, as Bruntlett is wiped out at second, while he would beat the throw to first base. In the meantime, Howard would reach third, putting runners on the corner. After Guillermo Mota is sent to the mound in place of Manny Parra, Victorino would steal second, putting both runners in scoring position. Sadly, Feliz would be unable to knock them in as he pops up on a ball that Counsell would just be able to catch in the outfield, ending the inning. Brad Lidge would then be given the ball to nail it down for the Phillies. After getting Cameron out on a called third strike, Lidge would give up a single to pinch hitter Ray Durham. Braun would follow him with a double to right, scoring Cameron, thanks in part to a catch error by Utley, preventing him from making a possible play at the plate, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Lidge would then get Prince Fielder to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out. Hardy would then get on base with a walk, putting runners on first and second. With Corey Hart batting, Lidge would uncork a wild pitch, putting Braun on third and Hardy on second with the tying run and two outs. Lidge would then, on a 2-2 pitch, strike out Hart swinging on a high fastball, to end the game, striking out the side, and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the series.
Cole Hamels will get the win, as he pitch eight shut out innings, giving up only two hits and a walk, while striking out nine. He is now 1-0 in the post-season with a 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would get the save, his forty-second save in forty two tries, and his first for the post season, as he gives up an earned run on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Yovani Gallardo would get the lost as he pitches only four innings, giving up three runs, all unearned, on three hits and five walks, while striking out three. He is now 0-1 in the post-season with an ERA of 0.00. Mitch Stetter, Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra and Guillermo Moto would combine for four shut innings, giving up only one hit (Parra) and a walk (also by Parra), while striking out four (Stetter (1), Villanueva (3)).
With the win, the Phillies has started the series off on a good foot as they have won their first post season game since they have won game five in the 1993 World Series. They will now try for a sweep at home, but they will have to bat better than they did in today’s game against the hard to hit C.C. Sabathia. If they don’t, they’ll be heading to Milwaukee with a spilt. They will also need a good start from Brett Myers, who has gotten bombed in his last two starts after being almost unhittable since his return from his minor league assignement.
Game 2 of the NLDS will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 6 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send out Brett Myers (10-13, 4.55), who is coming off his second straight bad performance, after going 7-2 in his previous eleven starts. In his last two starts, he would only go a combined total of eight and a third innings, giving up fourteen earned runs on ninteen hits. He will be trying to recover from those two starts and prove that he can help the Phillies get further along in the playoffs. His opponent will be the Brewers’ ace of the second half, C.C. Sabathia (17-10, 1.65), who is coming off his third straight game of pitching with three days rest, and winning his second straight start, as he pitched nine inning against the Cubs on September 28, giving up an unearned run on four hits, in the Brewers’ 3-1, which would help get them into the post season. He will once again be pitching with three days rest. The Phillies should be able to defeat him if he start to show any fatigue from pitching so many games with less rest than he would normally get, and if the Phillies’ batters show some patient while batting against him. Sabathia will be trying to even the series.
The Phillies will be trying to go to Milwaukee with a 2-0 lead in this short series, if they can get past Sabathia. Otherwise, they will be trying to win both games in Milwaukee.