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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!!!!!

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Phillies Profile – Juan Pierre

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 1, 2012 at 8:03 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 24 we preview, Juan Pierre.

Juan Pierre – The 34 year old Pierre was signed during the off season as a free agent after being released by the Chicago White Sox. Pierre has been a full time outfielder and leadoff hitter his entire career. In his 12 major league seasons Pierre has tallied more than 600 at bats 8 times, most recently in 2010 and 2011. He has also posted 200+ hits in a season 3 times. He led the league in hits 2 of those seasons. Juan has also led the league in triples once and stolen bases 3 times. All while posting a career .296 batting average over 1752 games. From 2003 – 2007 Pierre played in all 162 games in each of those seasons.  Back to stolen bases, Juan has 554 in his career. He has stolen over 60 in a season 3 times, 50 or more in 2 other seasons and 40 or more in 4 other seasons. Obviously, Pierre has been a terror on the base paths! To put Pierre’s base running accomplishments in perspective, Jimmy Rollins has stolen 373 in bases in his career.

 Pierre is a former 13th round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies in the 1998 amateur draft. He debuted in the big leagues in August of 2000 at the age of 22. He played for 3 seasons in Colorado, 3 seasons in Florida, which were his best, 1 season with the Cubs, 3 seasons with the Dodgers and 2 with the White Sox before joining the Phillies.

Pierre was in a Spring Training battle with another non-roster invitee Scott Podsednik. Both had outstanding camps, however, for now Pierre is in and Podsednik is out. Pods could make the club on the final cut down but it doesn’t appear that way right now.

Personal Analysis:

We’re really excited that the Phils have acquired Pierre and that he has made the team. Pierre can be a full time player, if necessary. He can start in the outfield if John Mayberry moves to 1st base, needs a rest or doesn’t produce. He can hit at the top of the lineup, get on base and steal bases. Frankly, he’s a better leadoff hitter than Jimmy Rollins in regards to being a pure leadoff man. He gives Manager Charlie Manuel a lot of options in the outfield and flexibility in his lineup especially being a left handed hitter. We look for Pierre to hit .290 and steal 20-25 bases depending on how many at bats he gets. Obviously, the return and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will determine how the lineup sets up; however, we look for Pierre to get a lot of work. If he can continue to produce as he has in the last two seasons, .275, 179 hits and 68 stolen bases in 2010 and .279, 175 hits and 27 stolen bases in 2011, he will be a big boost for the Phils. If Pierre has a weakness in his running game, he has led the league in being caught stealing 7 times as well. With the base running comes the risk of getting thrown out. The coaching staff will have to pick and choose good times for Pierre to swipe a base to cut down on the times he is caught.

Tomorrow we will preview Laynce Nix.

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. Day 15, Hunter Pence. Day 16, Brian Schneider. Day 17, Jim Thome. Day 18, Kyle Kendrick. Day 19, Antonio Bastardo. Day 20, Ty Wigginton. Day 21, Chad Qualls. Day 22, Freddy Galvis. Day 23, David Herndon.

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Philly Pressbox Weekly Sports Update – 1/22-28

In Misc Philly Sports on January 29, 2012 at 8:40 am

A quick review of Philly Sports for the week of January 22

  •   We lost Joe Paterno – RIP
  •   We lost Andy Musser – RIP
  •   We said goodbye to Brad Lidge. 2008 was a great season. There’s nothing like being perfect.

We said goodbye to Wilson Valdez. No more 19th inning pitching wins.

Phil Knight –Enough said!!

We found greatness in Penn State, Kenny Jackson, Charlie, Pittman, Jimmy Cefalo, Todd Blackledge, Chris Marrone, Michael Robinson, Michael Mauti, Lauren Perrotti, Jeff Bast, Susan Welch, Kurtis Cleckner and Jay Paterno, Sue Paterno and the Paterno family.

The Phils welcome Juan Pierre. Could he be the leadoff hitter we need?

Congrats to Flyers Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell for making the NHL All Star team. Especially Hartnell making his 1st appearance in his 11th season.

Claude Giroux goes to the All Star break 2nd in the league in points

The Flyers go to the All Star break in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division 3 points behind the Rangers.

The 76ers finished the week 3-1 and lead the Atlantic Division by 4 games.

Congrats to Shady McCoy, Jason Peters and Jason Babin for making the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. A special shout out to former Eagle David Akers for another trip to Honolulu.

Temple (15-5) whipped St. Joe’s (13-9), 78-60 at the Liacouras Center. I wish those games were still at the Palestra.

Drexel is 17-5 and has won 9 in a row.

Penn is 11-9 and has won 3 in a row.

LaSalle is 16-6 and has won 3 in a row.

Villanova lost to Marquette falling to 11-12.

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