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“The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Cardinals Series 6 Recap

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

Erik Kratz

In the sixth of our season long series, “The View from the Philly Pressbox” takes a look at the first 4 game series of the season against the St Louis Cardinals. The Phils were lined up with Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick to face Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook. Overall these are good matchups with what should’ve been a slight advantage to the Phillies. The Phils did hit the ball in the series but were still only able to manage a 2-2 split.

Hamels and Wainwright squared off in the opener and didn’t disappoint. Both aces pitched 7 innings allowing 3 runs each. Hamels allowed 5 hits, 2 walks with 8 k’s while Wainwright allowed 9 hits, 0 walks and 4k’s. The Phillies added 4 more hits off Cardinal relievers, for a total of 13 hits in the game but Mike Adams failed to hold the Cards in the 8th and picked up the lose, 4-3. For the Phils Ryan Howard had 3 hits while Chase Utley, Freddie Galvis and Eric Kratz added 2 each. Galvis started the game in left field and played pretty well. Yadier Molina had 3 hits and 2 RBI’s while Carlos Beltran added 2 hits including a home run to lead the Cards.

The Phils bounced back in Game 2 by scoring 5 runs in the 1st inning, 1 in the 2nd and 2 more in the 3rd to allow Halladay a nice cushion to cruise. Doc went 7 innings before the game was called due to rain. He allowed jus 2 hits, both solo homers to Beltran again and Matt Holliday. He walked 2 and struck out 6. It was not Docs most efficient outing throwing 59 strikes and 50 balls but either way he only gave up 2 hits and 2 runs. At the plate the 10 hit attack was led by catcher Humberto Quintero with 2 hits and 2 RBI’s, Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry and Ben Revere all had 2 hits as well. Ryan Howard was given the night off and replaced at 1st base by Kevin Frandsen. This was a good bounce back win with Lee coming up in Game 3.

Game 3 looked like a game from last week. The Phils only managed 3 hits, 3 walks and struck out 10 more times off of Cardinal pitching while being shut out 5-0. Lee gave up a 4 spot in the 3rd and that’s all it took. Beltran homered for the 3rd straight game. No bats in this one!!

In Game 4 of the series the Phils got another nice outing from Kendrick. It’s safe to say he’s been the most consistent pitcher on the staff to date. When Kendrick left the game after 6 innings of 8 hit, 2 run baseball the score was 2-2. The Phils quickly fell behind in the top of the 7th when an Utley error led to the Cards lead off of Antonio Bastardo and Chad Durbin. The Phils bounced right back to tie it in the bottom of the 7th then added 4 more in the bottom of the 8th. The big blow came off the bat of Kratz, who blasted a 3 run homer off of reliever Mitchell Boggs giving the Phils a well deserved 7-3 victory. Kratz homer also allowed Mike Adams to pick up the win. Jonathan Papelbon pitched the 9th but was not credited with a save due to the 4 run lead. Kratz led the offense with 2 hits and 3 RBI’s, Rollins added 3 hits and Utley added 2. For the first time in the series Carlos Beltran did not hit a home run.

On the plus side for the series:
• The Phils banged out 40 hits in the 4 game series.
• Discounting the 3rd inning by Lee the Phils got 4 solid starts.
• The bullpen allowed 1 earned run in 8 innings. Unfortunately the 1 run was also a game loser.
• Jimmy Rollins was moved back to leadoff spot and responded with a 6-18 series raising his average to .257.
• Freddy Galvis started the first 3 games of the series in LF but could only manage a 2-13 series.
• Utley went 5-15 in the series raising his average to .294.
• Ryan Howard sat out 2 games but went 4-7 raising his average to .277.
• Michael Young continues to get on base. He went 4-14 with a hit in each game. Young is hitting .333.
• Ben Revere was moved down in the lineup and responded with a 4-13 series.
• The Phils only struck 27 times in 4 games. This is improvement!

More to work on:
• Phils pitching gave up 5 home runs while the Phils only hit 1.
• The Phils aren’t scoring runs early in games. They only got 1 win from a starter, Halladay. The starters are pitching pretty well but the games are being left to the bullpen.
• The Phils were 12-37 with runners in scoring position.

Next Up:
The Pittsburgh Pirates are up next at Citizens Bank Park for a 4 game series. Jonathon Petibone will make his big league debut in Game 1. The excitement will be building for the 22 year old. Hamels, Halladay and Lee will follow. The Phils need to win 3 out of 4 from the Pirates

Looking forward:
Update: we predicted a 2-2 split against the Cardinals and that’s what we got. Here’s how we stand for the season; we predicted 2 out of 3 from the Royals, instead losing 2 out of 3. We picked the Phils to win 2 of 3 from the Mets and they did. We picked 2 out of 3 against the Marlins and they did that. We picked 1-2 against the Reds and they went 0-3. The Phils are now 8-11 going in to the 4 game series against the Pirates.
We had predicted the Phils would be 10-9 so far so 8-11 isn’t looking very good. We added they would be 16-11 or 15-12 at the end of the month, obviously with 11 losses already there’s no room for more losses.

The Fightin’s play a total of 27 games in the month of April. This includes 3 at home against the Mets, 3 in Florida, 3 in Cincinnati, 4 back home against the Cardinals, 4 more at home against the Pirates, 3 at New York and the first game of a series against the Indians in Cleveland on the last day of the month. Here’s what we see from the Philly Pressbox, 16-11 or 15-12 at the end of the month. How did we get there? 1-2 Braves, 2-1 Royals, 2-1 Mets, 2-1 Marlins, 1-2 Reds, 2-2 Cardinals, 3-1 Pirates, 2-1 Mets, 1-0 Indians. Losing an extra game to the Cardinals or Pirates wouldn’t be unreasonable. Either way 15 or 16 win

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“The Word of the Day” – PRACTICE – Bellesteros

In The Word of the Day on April 26, 2013 at 8:06 am

“To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality. That means practice”

Seve Ballesteros

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“The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Reds Series 5 Recap

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

Kyle Kenrick

In the fifth of our season long series, “The View from the Philly Pressbox” takes a look at the Cincinnati Reds series. The Reds came in to the series on a 5 game losing streak while the Phillies came out of the Marlins series with cold bats. The cold bats continued and the Phils were swept in Cincinnati, 4-2, 1-0 and 11-2.  

In the opener, Cliff Lee threw well for 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, walked 1 and struck out 4. Lee allowed the 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th of a scoreless game and was pitch hit for in the top of the 8th by Chase Utley who responded with a game tying home run. Charlie Manuel went with Jeremy Horst in the 8th and that backfired as Horst allowed 3 hits, 2 runs and a walk while only retiring 1 batter. By the time Michael Adams finished up the Phils were behind 4-2 and the game was over. On the offensive side the Phils had no answers for Branson Arroyo and Aroldis Chapman who combined to allow just 5 hits to the Phils.

In Game 2 of the series Kyle Kendrick threw a gem for 7 innings, allowing 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks and 4 k’s and again the Phils couldn’t score any runs or get any hits. Homer Bailey matched Kendrick allowing just 2 hits through 8 innings of work. This time it was Phillippe Aumont that faltered in the bottom of the 9th, allowing 2 hits, a walk, an error by Ben Revere, and the Phils lost 1-0 in the suspended game that was finished quickly on Wednesday prior to the regularly scheduled game.

Game 3 started out bad for John Lannan and ended up worse. Lannan, who has pitched well, was rocked for 8 hits and 6 runs in just 1.2 innings of work. Following the game he was placed on the disabled list. Raul Valdez came on as the long reliever and things just got worse. The Phils were down 11-0 after 5 innings and went on to lose 11-2.

Again, we go back to the drawing board:

  • The Phils managed just 13 hits in the 3 game series.
  • No Phillie had more than 1 hit in any of the games.
  • Ben Revere was 0-12 in the leadoff spot. He’s now hitting .194.
  • Jimmy Rollins was 1-11. He’s hitting .232.
  • Ryan Howard was 1-11. He’s hitting .241
  • The catchers position was 0-9.
  • Jonathan Papelbon did not get on the field in the series.
  • The Phils scored just 4 runs in the series coming off the Marlins series where they scored just 6 runs. That’s 10 runs in 6 games.
  • The Phils struck out 24 more times in the 3 games series.

The bright spots of the Reds series:

  • Lee and Kendrick both had excellent starts. They allowing just 2 runs between them which should’ve gotten 2 wins.
  • Michael Young had a hit in each game, going 3-10. His team leading average is now .346.
  • Chase Utley was 2-6 in the series. Utley was rested in Game 2, being used as a pinch hitter, and replaced in the Game 3 blowout by Kevin Frandsen.
  • Freddy Galvis hit his first home run of the season.
  • Aumont has 1-2 record but his ERA is 0.00. Both of the runs he’s allowed have led to losses and both have been unearned.
  • Antonio Bastardo has pitched in 6 games, allowing 1 hit and 0 runs, ERA 0.00.

Next Up:

The St. Louis Cardinals back at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils are lined up to throw Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick. If the bats can come alive this could be an interesting series. If not, the Phils will fall deeper in to the hole.

Looking forward:

Update: No one expected the Phils to be swept in this series, or ever, with the starting rotation they have, but it happened. Our 1-2 prediction became 0-3. So here’s how we stand for the season; we predicted 2 out of 3 from the Royals, instead losing 2 out of 3. We picked the Phils to win 2 of 3 from the Mets and they did. We picked 2 out of 3 against the Marlins and they did that. The Phils are now 6-9 going in to another tough 4 game series against the Cardinals. We’re hoping for a split at worst.

We had predicted the Phils would be 8-7 so far so 6-9 isn’t looking very good.

The Fightin’s play a total of 27 games in the month of April. This includes 3 at home against the Mets, 3 in Florida, 3 in Cincinnati, 4 back home against the Cardinals, 4 more at home against the Pirates, 3 at New York and the first game of a series against the Indians in Cleveland on the last day of the month. Here’s what we see from the Philly Pressbox, 16-11 or 15-12 at the end of the month. How did we get there? 1-2 Braves, 2-1 Royals, 2-1 Mets, 2-1 Marlins, 1-2 Reds, 2-2 Cardinals, 3-1 Pirates, 2-1 Mets, 1-0 Indians. Losing an extra game to the Cardinals or Pirates wouldn’t be unreasonable. Either way 15 or 16 wins.

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The Word of the Day – TODAY

In The Word of the Day on April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am

Today

TODAY

“TODAY will never come again.

Be a blessing.

Be a friend.

Encourage someone.

Take time to care.

Let your words heal, and not wound”

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The Word of the Day – CHALLENGES – Reagon

In The Word of the Day on April 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Bernice Johnson Reagon

CHALLENGES

 “Life’s challenges aren’t supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are”

Bernice Johnson Reagon

 

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“The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Marlins Series 4 Recap

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Doc Halladay

In the forth of our season long series, “The View from the Philly Pressbox” takes a look at the Miami Marlins series. The Marlins came in to the series with a 1-8 record and clearly struggling at the plate, especially without their best player Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins do have some decent young pitching as the Phils found out. This was an extremely important series for the Phillies in an effort to get Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay back on track against a team that’s weak at the plate.

 In the opener on Friday night the Phils sent lefty John Lannan out against Ricky Nolasko. The pitchers battle did not disappoint. Lannan allowed 3 hits and a run through 6 innings while walking 1 and striking out 2. Nolasko also went 6 innings allowing 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and recorded 1 strikeout. The Phils bullpen of Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams, Phillippe Aumont and Jonathan Papelbon threw 4 shutout innings allowing just 1 hit with Aumont getting the win and Papelbon his 2nd save of the season. The Marlins bullpen matched the Phils until the 10th inning allowing 0 hits and 0 walks in the 3 innings prior to the 10th when the Phils tagged Jon Rauch for 3 hits, 2 runs and the 3-1 loss. Ben Revere, Ryan Howard and Dom Brown all had 2 hits in the game.

 Game 2 saw the Phils again struggle to score runs against Marlins pitching. This time it was Jose Fernandez turn against Hamels. Fernandez allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks with 5 k’s in his 6 innings of work lowering his ERA to 0.82. Hamels also pitched well. He allowed just 3 hits, a run, 3 walks with 5 k’s in 6 innings of work. Hamels trouble came when he allowed a triple to the #8 hitter, Adeiny Hechavarria, and followed that up by allowing a single by the pitcher Fernandez to knock in the run. The Phillies bullpen of Bastado and Adams again pitched a perfect 7th and 8th before Aumont allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the 9th on an error by Chase Utley that allowed the winning run to score.

 Game 3 of the series matched Halladay against Kevin Slowey, and again the Phils had trouble scoring runs. They did bang out 12 hits in the game but needed a pinch hit home run by Laynce Nix to pick up the 2-1 victory, the 200th of Halladays career. Halladay line for the game was 8 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 1 walk and 2 k’s with only 87 pitches. Paplbon threw a hitless 9th to pick up his 3rd save. Ryan Howard had 3 hits in the game while Revere and Freddy Galvis adding 2 each.

 The bright spots of the Marlins series:

  • Halladay, Hamels and Lannan all pitched very well. Hopefully it was solid pitching and not poor hitting.
  • The Phils bullpen of Bastardo, Adams, Aumont and Papelbon were solid allowing just 1 unearned run in the series which led to a loss.
  • Howard was 6-12 in the series raising his average up to .277.
  • Revere was 4-12 climbing up to .240.
  • Michael Young continues to carry the top average on the team going 3-10 in the series and hitting .357.
  • Nix pinch home run was a game winner.

 Areas to improve:

  • The Phils struggled to score just 6 runs in the series but only allowed 4 and won the series 2 games to 1.
  • Jimmy Rollins was 0-8 in the series and was used only as a pinch hitter on Sunday. Rollins average is down .261.
  • Chase Utley struggled in the series going just 2-14. Utley’s average has dropped to .277.
  • The Phils struck out 17 more times against Marlin pitching. This is down from the 8.8 per game they were averaging but still too many. (96 in 12 games)

Next Up:

The Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati. The Phils will throw red hot Cliff Lee in the opener, followed by Kyle Kendrick and Lannan. The Reds are struggling, having lost 5 in a row, but will be a formidable challenge for The Fightin’s.

 Looking forward:

Update: We didn’t fair too well in our prediction of 2 out of 3 from the Royals, instead losing 2 out of 3. We picked the Phils to win 2 of 3 from the Mets and they did. We picked 2 out of 3 against the Marlins and they did that. A sweep would’ve been better. The Phils are 6-6 heading to Cincinnati where we think they could struggle and predicted losing 2 of 3. We hope we’re wrong! If the Phils can win 2 of 3 instead that will put them in a good position heading to St Louis with Hamels, Halladay, Lee and Kendrick lined up for the 4 game series.

 The Fightin’s play a total of 27 games in the month of April. This includes 3 at home against the Mets, 3 in Florida, 3 in Cincinnati, 4 back home against the Cardinals, 4 more at home against the Pirates, 3 at New York and the first game of a series against the Indians in Cleveland on the last day of the month. Here’s what we see from the Philly Pressbox, 16-11 or 15-12 at the end of the month. How did we get there? 1-2 Braves, 2-1 Royals, 2-1 Mets, 2-1 Marlins, 1-2 Reds, 2-2 Cardinals, 3-1 Pirates, 2-1 Mets, 1-0 Indians. Losing an extra game to the Cardinals or Pirates wouldn’t be unreasonable. Either way 15 or 16 wins.

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The Word of the Day – PATRIOTISM – Coolidge

In The Word of the Day on April 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Calvin Coolidge

PATRIOTISM

 

“Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country”

Calvin Coolidge

30th U.S. President (1923-1929)

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The Word of the Day – TEAM – Halladay

In The Word of the Day on April 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Doc Halladay

TEAM

 “The personal milestones are great. My sons, my wife, my family — they’re all excited about it, but for me the goal is to get to the playoffs and win a World Series. When that happens I’m going to go in the back room and yell”

Roy “Doc” Halladay after his 200th career win on April 14, 2013

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“The View from the Philly Pressbox” – Mets Series 3 Recap

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Cliff Lee

In the third of our season long series “The View from the Philly Pressbox” takes a look at the New York Mets series. Quite frankly the Mets are awful. If it weren’t for John Buck hitting a home run in each of the three games the Mets would’ve shown nothing. If Roy Halladay would’ve been able to find the strike zone the Phils should’ve had a much needed sweep. In the end the Phils won 2 of 3 and move their record to 4-5, 4 games behind the red hot Atlanta Braves, 8-1.

 The bright spots of the Mets series:

  • You have to start with Cliff Lee. Two consecutive times Lee has had to be the stopper after miserable outings by Halladay and Cole Hamels. Each time Lee has done the job. Against the Mets he threw 8.2 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, 0 walks and 6 k’s. Lee lowered his ERA to 1.08. Lee has also not walked a batter in his 16.2 innings of work while Hamels and Halladay can’t find the strike zone. Lee also threw first pitch strikes to 27 of 34 hitters he faced.
  • The Phils again spotted Kyle Kendrick a huge lead, 4 runs in his first outing and 5 runs against the Mets. Although Kendrick struggled some he held on to get the win going 6 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and 6 k’s. Antonio Bastardo, Michael Adams and Jonathan Papelbon allowed 1 run in 3 innings of relief.
  • In spite of Halladays struggles in Game 1 of the series the bullpen of Chad Durbin, Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdez combined for 5 innings of shutout relief, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks.
  • Michael Young had a 5-11 series with his first HR as a Phillie. Young raised his average to a team high .375.
  • Chase Utley continues to swing the bat well. Utley was only 2-10 in the series but did hit a HR, drove in a couple runs and stole 2 bases. He’s presently hitting .333 with a team high 9 RBI’s.
  • Jimmy Rollins had 4 more hits in the series in 12 at bats, raising his average back up to .316.
  • The Phils scored 17 runs in the 3 game series, 5.6 runs per game.

 Areas to improve:

  • As mentioned earlier, Roy Halladay struggled immensely against the weak hitting Mets. Halladay threw 99 pitches just to get through 4 innings allowing 6 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks and a home run while striking out 3. A telling statistic to Halladays troubles were first pitch strikes, he threw just 11 to the 22 batters he faced. A second telling statistic was he was only able to get 10 swinging strikes, while the Mets fouled off 21 strikes. He had trouble getting the ball by the hitters.
  • The Phils were only able to collect 4 hits off Mets pitchers Matt Harvey and Josh Edgin in the 7-2 loss on Monday.
  • The Phils have struck out 79 times in 9 games, 8.8 per game. This ranks 4th in the NL.
  • Although Hamels didn’t pitch in the Mets series it’s imperative that he and Halladay get things turned around. They will both have an opportunity to pitch this weekend against the Marlins.
  • Ryan Howard went 3-11 against the Mets but is still hitting just .200 with 12 k’s in 9 games.
  • Ben Revere is struggling hs well. Revere is hitting just .211 with an OBP of just .268 from the leadoff spot.
  • Dom Browns average has dropped all the way to .242. He seems to be losing some of that Spring Training hot that he had. Brown has to hit to stay in the lineup.

 Next Up:

The Miami Marlins in Miami. The Phils will throw John Lannan, Hamels and Halladay. The Marlins are just 1-8 on the season. This would be a good weekend for a sweep and good pitching performances from all of the starters.

 Looking forward:

Update: We didn’t fair too well in our prediction of 2 out of 3 from the Royals, instead losing 2 out of 3. We picked the Phils to win 2 of 3 from the Mets and they did. Now they need to pick up a game by sweeping the Marlins especially with the Reds and Cardinals on the schedule next week. You have to beat the teams that you should beat.

 The Fightin’s play a total of 27 games in the month of April. This includes 3 at home against the Mets, 3 in Florida, 3 in Cincinnati, 4 back home against the Cardinals, 4 more at home against the Pirates, 3 at New York and the first game of a series against the Indians in Cleveland on the last day of the month. Here’s what we see from the Philly Pressbox, 16-11 or 15-12 at the end of the month. How did we get there? 1-2 Braves, 2-1 Royals, 2-1 Mets, 2-1 Marlins, 1-2 Reds, 2-2 Cardinals, 3-1 Pirates, 2-1 Mets, 1-0 Indians. Losing an extra game to the Cardinals or Pirates wouldn’t be unreasonable. Either way 15 or 16 wins.

Again we would like to thank our sponsor. We ask that you click on the following link or the business card below. http://www.shop.com/bobsullivan and begin getting cash back at over 3000 stores.

The Word of the Day – DISAPPOINT – Chicago Fire

In The Word of the Day on April 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

DISAPPOINT

“Disappoint anyone, hell, disappoint everyone… but never, never, disappoint yourself”

Chicago Fire

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