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Posts Tagged ‘Hunter Pence’

“View from the Philly Pressbox” – Marlins Series

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm

In our second installment of the “View from the Philly Pressbox” we’ll review the 3 games series, against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, in which the Phils won the last two games after losing the home opener of the season.

Cole Hamels struggled on opening night at The Bank. Hamels struck out 9 batters in his 5.1 innings but allowed 8 hits and 4 runs, 3 earned. Joe Savery saw his first action of the season in relief. David Herndon and Jonathan Papelbon also threw in the game. The Phils managed only 6 hits off of four Marlins pitchers, none of them off their bullpen. Anibal Sanchez pitched well and picked up the win. Jimmy Rollins had 2 hits while Freddie Galvis got his first major league hit and first two RBI’s.

Roy Halladay is off to a great start. He won his 2nd game of the season. Doc threw 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 run. He walked 1 and struck out 3. He lowered his ERA to 0.50. Chad Qualls and Michael Stutes threw perfect innings of relief. The hits finally started coming, 14 total. Carlos Ruiz continued his hot hitting with 2 hits, including his first home run of the season. Rollins, Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco all added a pair of hits while Hunter Pence banged 3 hits. Galvis added 2 RBI’s.

Game 3 belonged to Joe Blanton. The #5 starter in the rotation made his first start of the season a dandy, leading the Phillies to a 3-1 win. Blanton threw 7 innings, allowed 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and struck out 3. Chad Qualls pitched the 8th for his first hold of the season and Papelbon pitched the 9th to earn his 2nd save. Offensively, Hunter Pence added 2 more hits, raising his average to .391. Ty Wigginton belted his first home run of the season as did Shane Victorino.

To summarize the series, the Phillies pitching was outstanding again with quality starts from Halladay and Blanton. The Marlins also have good pitching with Sanchez, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, however, the Phillies banged out 28 hits in the series. That’s a good sign!

Next up, the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Their ace Johan Santana threw on Wednesday against Washington, losing to Steven Strasburg, 4-0. Santana won’t pitch against the Phils. The Phils will throw Cliff Lee on Friday night against R.A. Dickey, Vance Worley against Jon Neise on Saturday at 4:05 and Cole Hamels against Mike Pelfrey on Sunday afternoon. The Mets have started the season with a 4-2 record. The Mets have listed 3rd baseman David Wright as day-to-day after breaking his pinky finger on Monday. If Wright can tolerate the pain he could play at some point during the series.

As far as the Phillies lineup, Charlie Manuel has made a few moves; however, he seems to have settled back to his opening day lineup. Juan Pierre did get some work in the leadoff spot. Pierre is hitting only .214 in his 4 games played. With only 6 games in to the season Pence is leading the team in hitting at .391, followed by Ruiz at .375 and Victorino at .333. No one has more than one home run. Pence and Galvis lead with 4 RBI’s each.

The season is still very young and the bats will be warming up. Like everyone else we expect Hunter Pence to lead the way for a good portion of the season until Chase Utley and Ryan Howard return. We’ve attached the link to our Phillies Profile on Pence.  https://phillypressbox.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/phillie-profile-hunter-pence/

It would be a great weekend for a Phillies sweep of the Mets!

 For now, WE’RE OUTTTTTTA HERE!!!!!

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“View from the Philly Pressbox” – Pirates Series

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 9, 2012 at 11:47 am

In our first installment of the “View from the Philly Pressbox” we’ll review the 3 games series, at Pittsburgh, against the Pirates, in which the Phils lost two out of three.

We learned the following:

Roy Halladay and Jonathan Papelbon were really good in the opener, combining for a 2 hit, 1-0 shutout.

Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle lost his mind by pitching to Carlos Ruiz with the score 0-0, with Phillies on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out and Freddie Galvis, in his first major league game, and the pitcher, Halladay due up. Chooch hit a SAC Fly to rightfield that was all Halladay needed. 1-0 Phillies.

Cliff Lee can still be good even when he’s not at his best. He gave up 2 hits and 1 run through 6 innings, allowing a run on a wild pitch. Lee appeared to be struggling with his location some and wasn’t happy with some balls and strikes from the umpire but still pitched very well.

Games will end on bang-bang calls on the bases. This one was close and went against the Phils allowing the winning run to score giving them their first lose.

The Vanimal, Vance Worley, doesn’t appear to have any sophomore season concerns. Worley threw 6 innings of 5 hit, 1 run baseball, leaving with a 4-1lead.

Overall the Phillies starters threw 20 innings, gave up 9 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks and had 14 strikeouts and Cole Hamels hasn’t pitched yet.

The Phillies hitting is awful!! They accounted for 20 hits, 1 by Halladay, in the first three games against average pitching, hit 1 home run, had 2 doubles and only scored 6 runs.

Juan Pierre needs to be the leadoff hitter that can get on base and make things happen. If Charlie Manuel wants John Mayberry to get At-Bats it needs to be at 1st base. Not that Mayberry can’t play leftfield, but Pierre needs to be in the lineup until he proves he can’t get the job done. Shane Victorino is not a lead-off hitter and Jimmy Rollins is not a number 3 hitter. Our thought is play Mayberry every day at 1st base and bat 5th so opponents don’t walk Hunter Pence like they did Sunday with Jim Thome hitting behind him. The Phils need to establish a 5th hitter in the line-up and leave him there until he fails.

How long of a leash do you have with Freddie Galvis? He needs to hit something! 0-10 in your first series is not a great start, especially for a guy who isn’t a notoriously good hitter to begin with. He has played well in the field but he needs to hit. The Ty Wigginton, Galvis, Brian Schneider experiment in the 6, 7 and 8 spots produced a 0-9 with 2 walks for the day. They did score 2 runs. That won’t get it. Tack on another 0-4 for the 9th spot and it wasn’t a very good day.

Why pull Worley after 6 innings and only 78 pitches?

Lastly, Charlie let Sunday’s game get away. As long as I can remember being around baseball there’s been a cardinal rule of “NEVER let the other team’s best player beat you”. Charlie decided to pitch to both Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen with a runner on 3rd and 1 out in the bottom of the 9th inning. David Herndon was fortunate enough to strikeout Tabata for the 2nd out before McCutchen hit the game winner off the centerfield wall. Baseball wisdom says they should’ve walked both Tabata and McCutchen and set up a double play situation with Adam Walker. Those runners meant nothing so why not put them on base. Choosing to pitch to Tabata was one thing but letting McCutchen, easily the Pirates best player, beat you with two empty bases is inexcusable.

With that said, it’s early in the season and today’s game against the Marlins brings Hamels to the mound. There’s nothing like the home opener. As we stated in our Phillies Profile on Hamels, the link is attached, https://phillypressbox.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/phillies-profile-cole-hamels/, we expect a great season from him and it starts today. The Phillies pitching is going to be fun to watch but we sure need some answers at the plate, and soon.

For now, WE’RE OUTTTTTTA HERE!!!!!

Feel free to click the FOLLOW button on the bottom right of this page, input your email address and receive your Philly Pressbox posts directly in your email.

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Phillie Profile – Hunter Pence

In Philadelphia Phillies on March 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Over the next 28 days Philly Pressbox (https://phillypressbox.wordpress.com) (@phillypressbox) will be doing a review and analysis of each Phillies player, Manager Charlie Manuel and the coaching staff leading up to Opening Day 2012.  On Day 15 we preview, Hunter Pence.

Hunter Pence – It didn’t take long for Pence to become a favorite with the Phillies fans after he was acquired on July 29, 2011 for 4 minor league players. Pence moved in to the rightfield spot and delivered a .324 batting average with 11 home runs and 35 rbi’s in 207 at bats over 54 games for the Phils. If he can put up those numbers across a 162 games schedule you’re talking about an MVP candidate. The 28 year old Pence has been in the big leagues since 2007. He’s a career .292 hitter that has only hit less than 20 home runs in a season one time, his rookie season when he had 17. In 2011, playing 100 games for the Houston Astros and 54 for the Phillies, Pence had his best season. His combined numbers were a .314 batting average, 22 home runs, 97 rbi’s and 190 hits. He was selected to his 2nd All Star team. Defensively, Pence has led all National League rightfielders in assists three of the last four seasons. Pence is due to make $10.4m in 2012 and will become arbitration eligible after the season.

Personal Analysis:

If you’ve followed our profile articles to date, we’ve talked about how important each player in the lineup is to the team’s success. Pence is the last starter that we’re profiling and he is the most important player of all. Pence will be moved to the cleanup spot while Ryan Howard is on the disabled list and will have to produce big numbers. It’s not necessary for Hunter to hit 30-40 home runs but he needs to hit for high average and he needs to drive in a lot of runs for the Phillies to be successful and in position to win their 6th straight NL East title.  We feel that Pence is up to the task. He’s a very good player that brings fun and excitement to the ball park every day. His smile and hustle along with his big swing are what has endeared him to Phillies fans. Pence even became somewhat of a rock star in Philadelphia in 2011 with his very popular tee shirts with his quote, “Good Game, Lets Go Eat!”

We look for a big season from Pence, .310 batting average, 28 home runs, 105 rbi’s, and 200 hits and another All Star selection. If Pence can be “the man” in the middle of the Phils lineup until Howard returns the Phils will cruise to the playoffs and to the World Series.

We also look for Pence to sign a new contract that will keep him a Phillie for years to come.

Tomorrow we will preview Brian Schneider.

The series: Day 1, Charlie Manuel. Day 2, The Coaching Staff. Day 3, Roy Halladay. Day 4, Cliff Lee. Day 5, Cole Hamels. Day 6, Vance Worley. Day 7, Joe Blanton. Day 8, Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz. Day 9, Ryan Howard. Day 10, Chase Utley. Day 11, Jimmy Rollins. Day 12, Placido Polanco. Day 13, John Mayberry, Jr. Day 14, Shane Victorino.

Feel free to click the FOLLOW button on the bottom right of this page, input your email address and receive your Philly Pressbox posts directly in your email.

We would like to thank our support. Please check out the new trends for Spring Phillies baseball gear. http://www.shop.com/ul!52667!Spring+baseball-trends.xhtml?credituser=C9407795 Also, check out the All Sports Philadelphia Team Jerseys on the following link. http://www.shop.com/ul!52674!Philly+Jersey:s-trends.xhtml?credituser=C9407795. Lastly, click on the business card below to see all of what www.shop.com has to offer.

 

The Phils, Hamels and Spring Training

In Philadelphia Phillies on January 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

I woke up this morning to the great news that Cole Hamels is back in the fold for another year. As I’m looking out the window watching the snow fall on this frigid January day the Hamels signing makes me think about getting started in sunny Clearwater Florida. I can see Doc Halladay working out at the Carpenter Complex as I’m typing. As far as Hamels $15 million is nothing to sneeze at but I’d sure like to see a long term deal, 3 -4 years, made to keep Hamels through his prime years. It seems hard to believe that Cole is just 28 years old since he’s been in the big leagues with the Phils since 2006. I think he was the most consistent of the starters last season, including Halliday. The offense just didn’t score runs for him. His 2011 stats of 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP (walks, hits per innings pitched) were career bests. He could have easily won 4 more games with a little more offense.

That brings us to the 2012 season. Is this a better team than the 2011 team? As it stands today I don’t think so. It’s safe to say that the offense hasn’t improved at all. We have lost Raul Ibanez, it was probably time to go, and plan to replace him on a full time basis with former part timer John Mayberry. Mayberry deserves a chance after having a nice 2011 as a reserve. He hit .273 with 15 HR’s and 49 RBI’s. The problem is that Mayberry has never had more than 8 RBI’s in a season before that and he’s 28 years old. To be safe there needs to be a backup plan. At this point the outfield reserves are Lance Nix and Dom Brown. I’m not comfortable there. Obviously there’s a lot expected from Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence in the other outfield spots. Pence will have his hands full early in the season with Ryan Howard on the disabled list. Pence will likely be asked to bat in the clean-up spot.

The infield hasn’t changed except that it got a year older and hopefully gets healthier. This is the year for Chase Utley. Utley is still a solid player but has fallen out of the elite group over the last couple years. Most of that has been blamed on health issues, which may be true; however it’s time to get back to the old Chase. Over the last 5 seasons his batting average has been .332, .292, .282, .275, and .259. His HR numbers have also declined over that period, 22, 33, 31, 16, and 11, and with that comes RBI reductions, 103, 104, 93, 65 and 44. Chase turns 32 years old this Spring. As stated earlier this is a critical year for both Chase and the Phillies success. Placido Polanco had an outstanding first half of the season. It was obvious he fought through injuries for a good part of the season. He was still selected to the All Star game and won the Gold Glove at 3rd base. Polly is 36 years old. He needs a healthy 2012. It’s good to have Jimmy Rollins back. I like JRoll but didn’t want to over pay him or sign him for too long. He’s been the leader of the line-up but has obviously tailed off since his MVP year of 2007. His average from 2007-2011 has been .296, .277, .250, .243 and .268 although his On Base Percentage has stayed pretty much level. Jimmy needs to get on base and be the guy that drives this offense. JRoll is now 33 years old. That brings us to Ryan Howard and his health. The Phils need a healthy Ryan Howard and they need him soon. Howard still strikes out way too much but there are only a few players that can say they’ve driven in over 100 runs 6 years in a row while hitting between 31 and 58 HR’s over those years. Howard is also 32 years old and won’t be able to keep producing these numbers forever. The infield bench doesn’t look much different. We’ve added future Hall of Famer and 1st class guy in Jim Thome and his 604 career home runs and Ty Wiggington as reserves. Thome is expected to be the left handed and Wiggington the right handed reserves/pinch hitters off the bench.  Wouldn’t it be great if Thome can be ready to start while Howard is injured and produce great numbers? The other infield reserves are Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez. They both are adequate reserves. One of these two likely won’t be around when camp breaks. Overall I don’t see any improvement in the infield.

The catchers are still Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider. Chooch had a nice season last year and has become a top notch catcher in the National League. He caught 132 games last year and turns 33 years old before Spring Training. Schneider does a nice job as a backup but it’s time to be getting someone ready to take over the catcher spot in the near future.

The starting pitching will still be strong with Halladay, Hamels, Cliff Lee, and 2 of the 3, Vance Worley, Joe Blanton or Kyle Kendrick. Whoever loses out on the 5th starter spot will move to the bullpen unless a trade is made. I like Worley and Blanton in those spots but Kendrick pitched well at the end of last season.

I’m having real problems with the bullpen. I’m okay with the signing of Jonathan Papelbon. In the last 6 seasons he’s recorded 35, 37, 41, 38, 37 and 31 saves. He’s a proven guy that can get it done. With that said I’d like to have seen Ryan Madson stay. Obviously something went wrong whether it was the Phillies, Madson or agent Scott Boras. Either way, Madson didn’t get the free agent deal he was expecting, 1 year – $8.5m with Cincinnati, and will not be back. It would’ve been nice to have Papelbon and Madson if it was possible. The rest of the bullpen looks like Antonio Bastardo as the lefty, Michael Stutes as the righty. Both of these guys had outstanding rookie years before running low in the gas tank toward the end of the season. That leaves just 2 spots left, assuming that either Valdez or Martinez is not with the club clearing out a spot, those choices are Jose Contrares, coming off an injury, David Herndon, Michael Schwimer, Joe Savery and Justin De Fratus. I don’t know about you but that bullpen doesn’t scare me. The key could be Savery, a former 1st round draft pick that seems to finally be coming in to his own as a left handed reliever. He needs time to prove he can pitch at the big league level.

It’s time to get started. I think I can hear bats and balls as I’m looking through the snow. It’s time to make another run to a World Championship!

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