With a three-game lead in the NL East, and having the best record in the National League, the Phils come back home to Philadelphia for their final home stand of the season. For the nine-game home stand, the Phils get to face the last place Nationals, the second place Braves and the fourth place Mets, with the Mets series being the last time that they’ll meet their rival to the North this year.
First up will be the Nationals, who presently have the third-worst record in the National League (with the D-backs and the Pirates sporting the second worst and the worst record in the NL respectively). This year, the Phils have a 7-5 record against the Nationals, with six games left to play. The Phils will be trying to win both remaining series between the two clubs, trying to go at least 4-2, with a best of 6-0, the later of which will not be easy as the Nats have been known to play tough with the Phils, although with it never being reflected in the season records between the two teams.
The first game of the three-game series, to be played at Citizens Bank Park, will start at 7:05 pm tonight. The Phils (86-61, 1st) will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (6-1 (12-13) 1.98 (2.94)), who is coming off a win against the Mets on September 12, as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up just four hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 3-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 3-0, as he had pitched twenty-two and a third innings, giving up four runs on eleven hits and eight walks, while striking out nineteen. Against the Nationals, since being traded to the Phils by the Astros, his record is 1-1, as he had pitched thirteen innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on twelve hits and three walks, while striking out twelve. He has pitched one game against the Nats as an Astros, going 0-1, as he pitched just two and one third innings, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out three. Thus, in three previous starts against the Nationals, his overall record is 1-2, as he had pitched fifteen and a third innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on sixteen hits and six walks, while striking out fifteen. He will be pitching on normal rest, as his position in the rotation was switched with Kyle Kendrick, so that he would be facing the Braves next Wednesday night, as part of the three aces against the Braves in the middle series of the home stand. Oswalt will be going for his seventh win as a Phil, his thirteenth win of the season, to even up his season record, and his fourth win in a row. The Nats (62-84, 5th) will counter with Jason Marquis (2-8, 6.60), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on September 11, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Nats’ 4-1 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 2-1, as he had pitched seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on eighteen hits and four walks, while striking out eleven. In three previous starts against the Phils, his record is 0-3, as he has pitched thirteen and a third innings, giving up fourteen runs, thirteen of which were earned, on eighteen hits and nine walks, while striking out just four. He will be trying to not become the Phils punching bag, as he was back in April. The Phils will be trying to not look past the Nats before they face the Braves to lock in their control of the NL East.
Sweeney brought aboard by Phillies
First baseman acquired from Seattle for player to be named later.
By Charlie Nobles / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI — First baseman Mike Sweeney was acquired by the Phillies from the Mariners on Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash considerations, vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel expects Sweeney, 37, to get the bulk of playing time at first base until Ryan Howard, who was put on the disabled list Sunday, returns possibly in mid-August.
“I haven’t seen him in a couple of years, but he knows how to hit,” Manuel said.
The Phillies expect him to arrive on Thursday, before the final game of their three-game series with the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.
Sweeney, a five-time American League All-Star, came into the season with a career .298 batting average over 16 seasons. He was batting .263 with six home runs and 18 RBIs over 30 games for the Mariners this season,
including three starts at first base.
Sweeney has hit at least 20 home runs in six seasons, including 29 in back-to-back seasons (2000-01).
“He’s always been able to hit the ball,” said Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez, who has known Sweeney since they were on the same team in Class A.
“He has some power, too,” Ibanez added. “He’s played in some big parks, but he’s always hit the ball hard.”
Sweeney’s hitting pedigree combined with the fact he has made 570 career starts at first base prompted the Phillies to make the move.
According to Ibanez, they also are getting a special person.
“He’s a quality, upbeat human being,” Ibanez said. “He’s one of the nicest teammates I’ve ever had and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He brings positive energy everywhere he goes every single day.”
Ibanez said Sweeney will lead by example but “can pull somebody aside” for counsel. And he said he is capable of “getting in someone’s face” should it be necessary.
Originally selected by the Royals in the 10th round of the 1991 First-Year Player Draft, Sweeney had 213 home runs and 901 RBIs in 1,428 games for Kansas City (1995-2007), Oakland (2008) and Seattle (2009-10).
Notably, he has batted .328 in his career with runners in scoring position. And in 27 career games against National League East teams, he has hit .320.
Now the Phillies just hope to keep him healthy.
Sweeney has been on the disabled list twice this season with back inflammation/spasms. Most recently, he was on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma. In 12 games there, he hit .366 with two home runs and nine RBIs.
The Phillies must make a move on the 25-man roster to accommodate Sweeney when he reports.
Hmm, I get the feeling that John Mayberry, Jr. is going back to the minors, unless its someone else that might not be expected. Either way, I hope Sweeney is to be part of temp answer to first base while Howard is out, and will be helpful on the bench afterwards. We will see.
Wilson Valdez’s walk-off single in the eleventh give the Phils their eighth straight win, and their eleventh straight victory at home, as the Phils sweep the D-backs, 3-2.
After being scoreless for the first four and a half innings, the Phils took the lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, scoring Cody Ransom, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils made it 2-0 in the sixth as Raul Ibanez hits a lead-off home run, his ninth home run of the season. The D-backs would cut the Phils’ lead in half in the seventh as, with one man out, Miguel Montero hits a solo home run, his third home run of the year, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The D-backs would tie the game up at two-all in the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Montero hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Justin Upton, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Adam LaRoche’s single, while sending LaRoche, who had just singled, up to second base, before being replaced by pinch runner Rusty Ryal. The D-backs then tried to take the lead as they loaded the bases, via a Mark Reynolds intentional walk, and a walk to Stephen Drew, moving up both Ryal and Reynolds, and with still one man out, but are stopped as Gerardo Parra hits into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Drew at second, to end the inning, before Parra is thrown out of the game for throwing him helmet in frustration. The Phils won the game in the eleventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single, scoring Ransom, who had earlier walked, and had gone on to second on Ruiz’s single, as the throw to the plate hits the mound, slowing it up, giving the Phils’ a walk-off 3-2 win.
Kyle Kendrick gets a no-decision as he pitches six and one-third innings, giving up a run on four hits and three walks, while striking out five. Chad Durbins collects his ninth hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. Ryan Madson receives his first hold of the year as he pitches an inning, plus a batter, giving up a run on one hit. J.C. Romero threw his second blown save of the year, as he pitches an inning, giving up a hit and two walks. Brad Lidge pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Jose Contreras gets the win, as he pitches a scoreless inning, as he walks a batter, and strikes out one. His record is now 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA. Joe Saunders also took a no-decision in his first start as a D-back, as he pitches seven innings, giving up two runs on nine hits, while he strikes out four. Aaron Heilman pitches two 1-2-3 innings. Esmerling Vasquez took the lost as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up a run on three hits and three walks, as he strikes out two. His record is now 1-4 with a 4.62 ERA.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with three hits, all singles, knocking in a run, the game winner. He was followed by Placido Polanco, Cody Ransom and Carlos Ruiz, who had two hits each, with Polanco and Ruiz’s hits being both a single and a double, with Ruiz knocking in a run, while Ransom’s hits were both singles, as he scored two runs. Raul Ibanez and Kyle Kendrick had the other two Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a solo home run, and Kendrick’s hit being a single. The offense struck at the right moment to win the ball game.
The Phils (56-46, 2nd) will now go on the road to face the Nationals (44-58, 5th) for three in Washington, D.C. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Roy Oswalt (0-0, -.–) who they have just gotten from the Astros in a trade completed yesterday. In his last start for the Astros, he received a lost against the Reds on July 24, as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Astros’ 7-0 lost. In his last three starts for the Astros, his record is 1-2, as he pitched eighteen innings, giving up eight runs on seventeen hits and three walks, while he struck out sixteen. He will be trying to show his new team that he was worth the trade and will give the team a 1-2-3 punch along with the Doc, and King Cole. The Nationals will counter with Craig Stammen (2-4, 5.50), who is coming off a no-decison against the Brewers on July 23, as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Nats’ 7-5 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 0-1 with two no-decisions, as he pitched sixteen and a third innings, giving up eight runs on seventeen hits and six walks, while he had struck out eleven. He will be trying to hand the Phils’ their first lost in nine games. The Phils’ will be trying to extend their winning streak to nine games at the expense of the Nats, while hoping to shrink the Braves’ lead in the East to a game and a half.
Oswalt approves deal to go to Phillies
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
HOUSTON — Roy Oswalt, one of the greatest pitchers to wear an Astros uniform, is headed to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Oswalt told the Astros on Thursday afternoon he would waive his no-trade clause in order to approve a trade to the two-time defending National League champions, a person close to the negotiations told MLB.com. The two sides were working the final details of the deal, which is expected to be announced today.
The Astros and Phillies reached a deal on Wednesday night to send Oswalt to the Phillies if the pitcher agreed to waive his no-trade clause. Left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ and Minor League outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar are expected to come to the Astros, who are also expected to pay a portion of Oswalt’s contract.
When reached by MLB.com earlier Thursday afternoon, Oswalt said he hadn’t made a decision.
“No news yet,” he said.
Oswalt is owed about $5 million more this year and is due to make $16 million next season in the last year of his contract, but there’s a club option for 2012 that would pay him another $16 million.
The Astros had been fielding calls about Oswalt since he informed the team in May he wanted to be traded to a contender. Oswalt said Wednesday he would like to have some time to decide prior to Saturday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline if he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause to accommodate any deals the Astros put on the table.
Oswalt is 6-12 with a 3.42 ERA, but he has received some of the worst run support in the league. He has 143 wins and needed just one more victory to tie Joe Niekro for first place on the club’s all-time list.
The two-time defending National League champion Phillies are 54-46 and trail the Braves by 3 1/2 games in the NL East. By adding Oswalt, they bolstered a pitching staff, which boasts Roy Halladay, that’s ranked seventh in the NL with a 3.99 ERA.
Let see his stats: Played almost ten years for the Astros. Career record of 143-82 3.42 ERA, 303 Games Played, 291 Games Started, 19 Complete Games, 7 Shut Outs, 1932.1 Innings Pitched, 1593 Ks, 446 BBs, 1865 Hits, 747 Runs, 696 Earned Runs. Hmm, welcome to the team, Roy 2. Hope you do real well here.
Sorry to see you go, J.A. Happ. Wish you a lot of luck in Houston.
Okay, guys, time to charge after the Braves. Yeeeeee haaawwwwww!!!! Go Phils!!!
Roookie Dom Brown proves that he’s worth the hype as he gets two hits, knocks in two runs and score two runs, in his first big league game, while Roy Halladay dominates the D-backs as he throws a complete game, although losing the shut out on a rookie mistake by Brown in the ninth inning, as the Phils defeat the D-backs, 7-1.
The Phils took the lead in the second as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Dom Brown gets an RBI double, his first major league hit and RBI, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, with runners on the corners as Brown went to third on Carlos Ruiz’s single, and with still nobody out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Brown, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Ruiz, who had just singled, over to second base. The Phils added to their lead in the sixth as, with two men on base, and with nobody out, Ruiz hits a two-run double, scoring Werth, who had earlier singled, and then went to second on Brown’s single, and Brown, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead. The Phils made it 5-0 three batters later as, with a runner on third, as Ruiz moved up to third on a Valdez ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Ruiz. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Brown hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and then had gone to third on Werth’s double, making it a 6-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Werth, who had just doubled, to third base. The Phils then made it 7-0 as, with a man on third, and now with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth. The D-backs finally scored in the ninth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Miguel Montero hits an RBI double on a ball that Brown tried to catch by diving for it, but missed, knocking in Kelly Johnson, who had earlier singled, making it a 7-1 Phils’ lead. But, that would become the final score as Phils starter Roy Hallady got Mark Reynolds to fly out to left for the final out.
Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up just one run on six hits, while he struck out nine. His record is now 12-8 with a 2.21 ERA. Edwin Jackson took the lost as he pitches five innings plus three batters, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out three. His record is now 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA. Sam Demel pitches two innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out two. Juan Gutierrez pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz leading the team with three hits each. Werth’s hits were a single, and two doubles, scoring three runs, while Ruiz’s three hits were also a single and two doubles, knocking in three runs. Raul Ibanez and Rookie Dom Brown followed with two hits each, with both Ibanez and Brown’s hits being a single and a double, with Brown knocking in two runs, one on a sac fly. Placido Polanco and Roy Halladay had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles, with Polanco knocking in a run. Wilson Valdez knocked in the other Phil run on a ground out. The offense crushed the D-backs, while Rookie Dom Brown shows that he is as good as advertised.
The Phils (55-46, 2nd NL East) will conclude their series and their home stand with a night game against the D-backs (37-64, 5th NL West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 4.60), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on July 24, where he had pitched seven strong innings, giving up just a run on six hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 10-2 rout. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he had pitched eighteen and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs on sixteen hits and four walks, while striking out nine. He will be trying to prove that he should not have been demoted after his disaster outing against the Cardinals. The D-backs will try to counter with Joe Saunders (0-0, -.-), who the D-backs have just acquired in a trade with the Angles. In his last start for the Angles, he lost to the Rangers on July 23, as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Angels’ 1-0 lost. In his last three starts as an Angel, his record is 0-2 with a no-decision, as he went eighteen and two-thirds innings, giving up eleven runs, ten of which were earned, on twenty-seven hits and two walks, while striking out twelve. He will be trying to prove that he was worth the trade. The Phils will be going for the series sweep, trying to extend their present winning streak to eight games, and their winning streak at home to eleven, while they wait to hear whether or not Roy Oswalt has decided to enforce his no-trade clause.
The Phils have officially announced their newest member to enter the Phils’ Walk of Fame, and it is former catcher, Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton, a mainstay of their teams of the late ’80s and ’90s.
Darren Daulton, born in Arkansas City, Kansas, on January 3, 1962, was drafted by the Phils in 1980, the year that they won their first World Championship. He made his major league debut on September 25, 1983, before joining the main club to stay in 1985. He played for the Phils fulltime from 1985 to 1997, before being traded to the Florida Marlins on July 21, 1997, becoming a member of the Marlins’ first World Championship team. He retired after the ’97 season.
In about 14 years of service with the Phils, Daulton played in 1109 games, compling a .245 career batting average as a Phil, as he collected 858 hits, of which 189 were doubles, 23 were triples and 134 were home runs, while he had 567 RBIs and scored 489 runs. He also walked 607 times. As a Phils, he won the RBI title in 1992, knocking in 109 RBIs, becoming the fourth catcher in major league history to do so, as he also won a Silver Slugger that season. Daulton then knocked in 105 RBIs in 1993, thus being the only Phils’ catcher to knock in more than 100 runs in two seasons or more. He was a three-time member of the NL All-Star team, doing so in 1992-1993 and 1995, each time as a Phil. This would tie him with Bob Boone for the most All-Star selections by a Phil’s catcher. In 1997, as a member of both the Phils and the Marlins, he was named the NL Comback Player of the Year. He was a member of the 1993 NL Champions Phillies, as one of the team’s leaders, to go along with his being a member of the 1997 World Champions Marlins.
Among the records that he set as a catcher for the Phils, he received the most walks by a catcher during a season by receiving 117 free passes in 1993. He knocked in the most RBIs by a catcher in a season with 109 in 1992, the year that he won the title. Also, in 1993, he hit the most doubles by a Phil’s catcher, 35, made the most putouts by a catcher, 981, and started the most double plays by a catcher, 19. As a Phil, he caught 965 games, to place him fourth on the team’s all-time list. He was also named the starting catcher of the all-Vet team during the year that Veterans Stadium was officially closed, 2003.
Daulton will be inducted into the Walk of Fame on August 6, prior to the Phils-Mets game, at 7:05 pm Eastern.
The Phils have now won two games in a row in Grapefruit League play, evening their record at 3-3, as they defeat the Blue Jay, 4-2. Phils starter, Cole Hamels, had an up and down start. He started out with three scoreless innings, before giving up a lead-off home run at the start of the fourth inning, before being lifted after pitching three and two-thirds innings, giving up only one hit and two walks, while striking out three. He was followed by eventual winner Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched two and a third innings, giving up a run on three hits and two walks, while striking out a batter. Prospect J.C. Ramirez, part of the Cliff Lee trade with Seattle, then came in to pitch the final three innings, recording the save, his first in Spring Training, as he gave up just two hits, while striking out three.
The Phils scored a run in the fourth, taking a short lead, before taking the lead for good in the sixth, as they scored twice in that inning. They then scored an insurance run in the ninth. The Phils’ bats collected ten hits, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with three hits, followed by Placido Polanco, Greg Dobbs and John Mayberry Jr. with each recording two hits, while Cody Ransom had one. The Phils had three extra-base hits, two doubles, one by Dobbs, and the other by Mayberry, and a home run, a solo shot in the ninth by Ransom. Besides Ransom, Mayberry, Valdez and Carlos Ruiz each knocked in a run, with Ruiz’s rbi being on a sacrifice fly.
The next Phillies game will be tomorrow afternoon at Bright House Field in Clearwater against the Detroit Tigers, with game time at 1:05 pm.