First. yesterday, former Phil Roy Oswalt announced that he was officially retiring, as he signed a one-day contract with the Astros so that he could officially retire as an Astros. Oswalt, who is an fourteen-year veteran, ten of which was spent as an Astros, was a member of the Phils for part of the 2010 season and part of the 2011 season, during which he complied a winning record of 16-11. Oswalt would also play for the Rangers and the Rockies. Oswalt, during his career, would be the NL leader for ERA in 2006 with a 2.98 ERA, wins in 2004 with 20, games started with 35 games in both 2004 and 2005 and in WHIP in 2010 with a 1.03 WHIP. He was also a member of the 2005 Astros team that would win the NL pennant before losing to the White Sox in that year’s World Series, being swept by Chicago, 4-0. Overall, Oswalt had a career record of 163-102 with a 3.36 ERA as he pitched in 365 games, 341 of which were starts, as he completed 20 games, including 8 shutouts. He would pitch in 2245.1 innings, giving up 2199 hits and 897 runs, 838 of which were earned, as he struck out 1852 batters, while walking only 520. I wish you luck in your retirement, Roy.
Then, the Phils announced that Comcast plans to hire both Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs to replace Chris Wheeler and Garry Matthews inside the TV broadcast booth, starting this season during Spring Training. Congratulations, guys. Hope you both do well in the broadcast booth.
Lastly, the Phils announced that they have just signed starter A.J. Burnett, who they have been pursuing during the off-season, to a one-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Burnett, who had pitched for the Pirates last year and in 2012, is coming off a 10-11 season, with a 3.30 ERA, as he pitched in 30 games, all starts, with a complete game, as he threw in 191 innings, giving up 165 hits and 79 runs, 70 of which were earned, as he struck out 209 batters, while walking only 67. Burnett, who has also pitched for the Marlins, the Blue Jays and the Yankees, being a member of the 2009 World Championship team, has a 147-132 record with a 3.99 ERA, as he appeared in 375 games, starting 370 of them, as he threw 23 complete games, 10 of which were shutouts. He threw a total of 2353.2 innings, giving up 2140 hits and 1142 runs, 1043 of which were earned, as he struck out 2180 batters, while walking only 955. Welcome to the team, A.J.
Burnett’ll more than likely be the number three man in the starting rotation, after Cole Hamels starts pitching after the start of the season, as the Phils announced that Cole will miss opening day as he has developed tendinitis in his left bicep, which will keep him from throwing the ball for the next eight to ten days, and slow down his participation in spring training, although Cole has said that he should be ready to pitch at some point in April. I’m just hoping that it is only a minor setback, as the Phils will need Cole to back up Cliff Lee, if they expect to get anywhere this season.
The Phils have today announced that they have promoted Marti Wolever to the position of assistant general manager of amateur scouting, to replace Chuck Lamar, who last September had resigned from that position.
Wolever, who had started out as a scout in the Tigers organization in 1984, had been involved in the Phils’ scouting operation for the last nine seasons, helping to oversee the drafting of Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley, Michael Stutes and several others, including players who would later be used in trades to bring to the ballclub such players as Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Hunter Pence.
Congratulations on your new postion, Marti.
The Phils have announced that they have avoided arbitration with Kyle Kendrick as they have reached a one-year contract with the starter-reliever worth $3.585 million dollars.
Kendrick, who had started the 2011 season in the bullpen, would rejoin the starting rotation because of injuries to both Joe Blanton and Roy Oswalt. During the season, he would appear in 34 games, 15 of them as a starter, ending the year with an 8-6 record, with an ERA of 3.22. In 114.2 innings pitched, he would strike out 59 batters, which walking only 30, receiving a WHIP of 1.22.
With Kendrick’s signing, that leaves only Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez arbitration-eligible , with the fanbase hoping that Hamels will be nailed down to a multi-year contract.
The Phils have just announced that they have declined on accepting the option year of both reliever and former closer Brad Lidge and starter Roy Oswalt. Lidge, who had been with the Phils since 2008, in 2011 went 0-2 with a 1.40 ERA in 25 appearances for the team, after spending the early part of the season on the disabled list, as the Phils, instead of accepting his option of $12.5 million for 2012, bought out his option year for $1.5 million. Roy Oswalt, who joined the Phils during the stretch run in 2010, went 9-10 this year, with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts, as he went on the disabled list twice because of back problems, as the Phils declined to accept his option year of $16 million, buying his out for $2 million.
The Phils said that they will stay in contact with their representatives to see if they will come back for 2012, but I personally do not expect to see either of them returning for Spring Training 2012. If this is indeed the last that we will see of either of them in the red pinstripes, then I want to take this time to thank Brad for helping the team win its second world series championship in 2008 with his perfect season, and Roy for helping the team get back into the post-season in 2010, and wish them both the best of luck finding future employment in baseball.
The Phils once again allow an early lead to slip away as they lose to the Cards, 5-3, forcing a game 7 in Philadelphia.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits an RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had started the game off with a ground-rule double, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as Hunter Pence hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley. The Phils then ran themselves out of a big inning as Ryan Howard struck out, looking, on a 3-2 slider, before Pence is thrown out trying to steal second base by Yadier Molina, although replays would show that he was actually safe. The Cards then got a run back in their half of the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Lance Berkman hits an RBI double, knocking in Skip Schumaker, who had earlier singled, on a ball that had hit the wall, and was well played by center fielder Shane Victorino, who then, as he was getting ready to throw it in, slipped and lost control of the baseball, which then headed back towards the wall, which allowed Schumaker to score, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while allowing Berkman to reach third base on Victorino’s throwing error. The Cards took the lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, David Freese hits a two-run double, knocking in Matt Holliday, who had walked, moved up to second base when Berkman was hit by a pitch, then went to third on Molina’s line out to right, and Berkman, who had earlier been hit by a pitch from Roy Oswalt, giving the Cards a 3-2 lead. The Cards then took a 5-2 lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Freese hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in Holliday, who had earlier singled. The Phils got a run back in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Michael Martinez, who was pinch running for pinch hitter Ross Gload, who had gotten on base with a single, before going to third on Utley’s single, would score on Fernando Salas’ wild pitch, making it a 5-3 Cards’ lead, while sending Utley, who had just singled, up to second base. But that would be the ballgame as Jason Motte would collect his second save of the series as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Roy Oswalt (0-1, 7.50) took the lost as went six innings, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five. Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge combined for two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter (Lidge) between them. Edwin Jackson (1-0, 3.00) got the win as he pitched six inning, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four. Arthur Rhodes collected his second hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face. Octavio Dotel collected his first hold of the series as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Fernando Salas collected his first hold of the series as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a wild pitch. Marc Rzepcynski received his second hold of the series, as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Jason Motte recorded his second save of the series as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter.
The Phils had five hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins (Single, Double) and Chase Utley (Single, Triple, RBI), both leading the team with twe hits each. Hunter Pence (RBI), Placido Polanco and pinch hitter Ross Gload had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles, as the offense continue to tail off after the first three batters, especially Ryan Howard, who, in a post-game interview, admitted he is being a bit antsy at the plate. The final Phil run came in on a wild pitch.
The Phils and Cards will play the fifth and deciding game of the series on Friday night in Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:37 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (1-0, 3.38), who is coming off a win in the first game of the series on October 1, as he went eight innings, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Phils’ 11-6 rout. Halladay will be trying to continue his post-season dominance, while trying to give the Phils the best chance to clinch at home. The Cards will counter with Chris Carpenter (0-0, 12.00), who is coming off a no-decision in the second game of the series on October 2, as he pitched only three innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out only two, in the Cards’ 5-4 win. He will be trying to improve on his previous start. The Phils are expecting a strong performance from Doc Halladay, while seeing if they can not only jump on Carpenter, but this time pour it on like they did in game one of the series, to avoid another disappointing post-season.
The Phils retake the lead in the divisional series as they ride Ben Francisco’s pinch hit three-run home run, before hanging on to defeat the Cards, 3-2.
The first six innings of the game featured a pitchers’ duel between Cards’ starter Jaime Garcia, who kept the Phils off-balance, while giving up only four hits and a walk, while striking out three, and Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who would pitch himself out of trouble in the first, fourth and sixth innings, as he gave up just five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. The Phils then put pressure on Garcia in the seventh as Shane Victorino got on base with a single, before going to second base on a Yadier Molina passed ball, before Garcia got the next two batters out with a fly out to right (John Mayberry, Jr.) and a ground out (Placido Polanco), 5-3. After Carlos Ruiz is intentionally walked, the Phils sent Ben Francisco to pinch hit for Hamels. After getting a ball, Francisco drills one into the Phils’ bullpen in left, to give the Phils a 3-0 lead on his pinch hit home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in both Victorino and Ruiz. The Cards then started a comeback in their half of the seventh. After Vance Worley started the inning off by getting Rafael Furcal to ground out, 3-unassisted, for the inning’s first out, he walks Allen Craig, before giving up a single to Albert Pujols, which would send Craig up to second base. Lance Berkman then followed by hitting into a force out, 4-6, that would wipe out Pujols at second base for the inning’s second out, while Craig would reach third base, while Berkman would be safe at first, putting runners on the corners. The Cards then got on the board as David Freese hits an RBI single to center, knocking in Craig, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1, while sending Berkman up to second base. Worley would finally end the inning by getting Molina to fly out to right. After the Phils are kept from scoring in the top of the eighth, the Cards attempted a rally in their half of the eighth as Ryan Theriot started the inning off with a single. Charlie Manuel then came out and replaced Worley with Antonio Bastardo, who then proceeded to get pinch hitter Nick Punto to fly out to center for the inning’s first out. Manuel then came back out and replaced Bastardo with Brad Lidge. That move seems to backfire as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Matt Holliday, moving Theriot up to second base, before he is replaced at first by pinch runner Adron Chambers. The next batter, Furcal, then loaded up the bases with a single to left, sending Theriot on to third base, while Chambers would stop at second base. Manuel then came back out, and took out Lidge, replacing him with his closer Ryan Madson. That move was rewarded with Craig hitting into a 4-3 doubleplay, as Furcal is wiped out at second base, to end the threat. After the Phils are unable to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Madson went back out to attempt a five-out save. He is greeted with a lead-off double by Pujols, which was his fourth hit of the ballgame, and his third double of the game. After Madson gets Berkman to fly out to center for the inning’s first out, he gets Freese to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, as Pujols moved up to third. Now, with a man on third, Madson tried to get out Molina to end the game. Molina, instead, hits the first pitch he saw into center field for an RBI single, knocking in Pujols, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. After Molina is replaced by pinch runner Kyle Lohse, Madson went after Theriot, who had already been on base with four hits, all singles. But, he wasn’t able to get hit no. five as Madson got him to ground out, 4-3, for the final out, collecting his first save of the series.
Cole Hamels (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. Vance Worley received his first hold of the series as he pitched an inning plus a batter, giving up a run on three hits. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Brad Lidge pitched to two batters, giving up two hits. Ryan Madson collected his first save of the series as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a run on two hits, as he recorded a very rare five-out save. Jaime Garcia (0-1, 3.86) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out three. Fernando Salas and Jason Motte combined for two scoreless innings, as they gave up a hit (Motte), while striking out a batter (Motte), between them.
The Phils had only seven hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Chase Utley (Single), Shane Victorino (Single), Placido Polanco (Single, his first hit of the series), Carlos Ruiz (single, his first hit of the series) and pinch hitter Ben Francisco (Home Run, his first hit of the series, 3 RBIs), had the other five Phils’ hits, with Francisco becoming the surprising hero of the game with his pinch hit shot to left.
The Phils, now with a 2-1 game lead in the divisional series, will continue the series with the Cards (2-1) in St. Louis. The game will be played in Busch Stadium (III) and will begin at 6:07 pm EDT (5:07 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69), who will be trying to pitch the Phils into the NL Championship Series for the fourth straight year. The Cards will attempt to counter with Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79), who will be trying to force a fifth game back in Philly. The Phils will be trying to clinch their fourth straight appearance in the NL Championship Series, hoping that Oswalt will be at his best while the offense will do what it can to give him much needed run support, while watching out for the Cards putting out all the stops to force a game five.
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).