NLCS Preview: Phillies vs. Giants

Filed Under (Command Center, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 16-10-2010

Tagged Under : Cablevision, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Fox, Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Sanchez, Matt Cain, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Howard, San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum

As the Command Center predicted, the Phillies and Giants are set to meet in the NLCS and will battle it out to earn a trip to the Fall Classic.   The first round was all about pitching, and the NLCS will be more of the same.

Roy Halladay waited a long time to make his postseason debut, and all he did was throw a no hitter in one of the best pitching performances in postseason history.   The second “H” in “H2O,” Cole Hamels, also impressed in Round 1, pitching a complete game shutout in Game 3 to clinch the series for Philly.  Roy Oswalt was shaky in his Game 2 performance, but the Phillies should expect him to bounce back in the NLCS and pitch like the second ace of their staff.

San Francisco’s ace, Tim Lincecum, pitched a masterpiece of his own in the NLDS, striking out 14 in a complete game shutout of the Braves.   The Giants also feature a solid 2-3 punch with Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain, so runs are sure to be at a premium.  The Game 1 matchup of Halladay and Lincecum could be a classic and should be fun to watch (that is, assuming you don’t have Cablevision and actually CAN watch the game.  Thanks Fox & Cablevision).

So what about the offenses?  San Francisco struggles to score runs against mediocre pitching, so they will certainly have their hands full with the Phillies’ starters.  The Phillies have had an up-and-down year at the plate, but a large part of that was due to injuries to several key bats (Rollins, Utley, Howard).  Now that they are back at full strength, they have arguably the deepest lineup in the NL and have the ability to put up crooked numbers at any time.   

So, how will the NLCS play out?   The Phillies have the better team on paper, and have the home field advantage, so it’s their series to lose.  For the Giants to have a chance, they need their starters to pitch lights-out.  With the Giants’ offense, their pitchers have little (or no) margin for error.   Could they pull the upset?  Sure.  Will they?  Nope.

Prediction: Phillies in 6.

And Then There Were Two: NLDS Predictions

Filed Under (Command Center, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 04-10-2010

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Bobby Cox, Chase Utley, Cincinnati Reds, Cole Hamels, Derek Lowe, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Howard, San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum

While the Marlins, Mets, and Nationals hit the golf course and start to make their plans for 2011, the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves will be playing in the postseason.  The Phillies comfortably took the NL East, and it took the Braves until Day 162 to earn a playoff berth, but both will be battling to reach the World Series.

So what are their chances?  Here is my take on Round 1.

Phillies vs. Reds

The Phillies have the home field advantage against the NL Central Champion Cincinnati Reds.  The Phillies are clearly the better team, and to me, the question isn’t if the Phils will win this series, but rather how many games it will take.

The Phillies battled through injuries throughout the 2010 season.  Now they are healthy, and thanks to clinching the division title early, they were able to set up their pitching rotation.  With the Roys (Halladay & Oswalt) and Cole Hamels pitching the first three games, the Reds will have their hands full.  The Reds had the chance to set up their rotation as well, but with three righties (Volquez, Arroyo, & Cueto) facing Utley, Howard, and company, Cincinnati’s pitchers will have their hands full.

So, will the Reds take a game?  The Command Center says…..no.

Prediction: Phillies in 3.

Braves vs. Giants

Both the Braves and Giants stamped their tickets to the playoffs on the season’s final day.  Both teams are also built on pitching.  Will one team’s staff let them down?  Will one offense catch fire at the right time?

The Giants will throw out “The Freak,”  Tim Lincecum, against Atlanta’s Derek Lowe in Game 1 on Thursday night.   Every game is important in a short series, but the winner of the first game of this showdown will have a huge leg up on their opponent.   A Giants win, and San Fran will be feeling good and looking to go on a roll with Cain & Sanchez to follow.  If the Braves can defeat San Fran’s ace, it could be a major blow to the Giants’ psyche and a big momentum swing in Atlanta’s favor.

I expect a bunch of low scoring games and teams looking to scratch and claw to put runs on the board.  Will the Braves rally behind their skipper and extend Bobby Cox’s managing career one more series?   I could see this series going either way, but the Command Center can only declare one winner.

Prediction: Giants in 5.

Did the Command Center get these right?  There’s only one way to find out.  Play Ball!

NL East Recap 10-3

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 03-10-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Kennedy, Alberto Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Anibal Sanchez, Billy Wagner, Braves, Brian Burres, Brooks Conrad, Clay Hensley, Cole Hamels, Dan Uggla, Danys Baez, Derrek Lee, Ian Desmond, Jason Heyward, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Joel Peralta, John Mayberry, Josh Thole, Justin Maxwell, Livan Hernandez, Marlins, Mets, Miguel Batista, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Oliver Perez, Omar Infante, Phillies, Pirates, Roger Bernadina, Ronny Cedeno, Roy Oswalt, Tim Hudson, Wes Helms

Braves vs. Phillies

Despite a late rally, the Braves were able to hold on to win 8-7 against the Phillies, and with a San Diego loss, became the 2010 NL Wild Card winner. Philadelphia got things started in the 3rd with a two-run blast off the bat of John Mayberry. In the bottom of the 3rd, Jason Heyward tripled to drive home Rick Ankiel to cut the lead to 2-1. RBI singles by Brooks Conrad and Tim Hudson, followed by a two-run triple by Omar Infante equaled a four-run 4th inning for Atlanta. Derrek Lee homered in the 5th to make it 6-2 Atlanta. Conrad singled home the 7th run of the game for Altanta. The Braves would tag on one more run in the 6th. Jayson Werth hit a two-run shot for the Phillies in the 7th to cut the lead to 8-4, and added three more runs in the 8th.

Tim Hudson got the win for Atlanta, going 7 innings and allowing four runs on two hits while striking out three. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel allowed for three of his starters to get a few innings in today’s game. Cole Hamels began the game though, going 2 innings and giving up no hits while striking out two. Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton also pitched an inning, giving up one run and four runs respectively. Danys Baez took the loss for Philadelphia. Billy Wagner recorded his 37th save of the season for Atlanta.

Mets vs. Nationals

It took 14 innings, but Washington beat the Mets 2-1 in the final game of the season for both teams. The first runs of the game for either team came in the 5th inning. In the top of the 5th, Roger Bernadina scored on a single by Alberto Gonzalez. In the bottom of the inning, Josh Thole grounded into a double play allowing Angel Pagan to score. It remained tied until the top of the 14th when Oliver Perez entered the game for the Mets. After striking out Ian Desmond, Perez then hit Adam Kennedy and walked the next two batters to load the bases. Perez then walked Justin Maxwell forcing home the winning run for Washington.

Both starters got a no decision in game. Mike Pelfrey went 7 innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out four. Livan Hernandez went 6.2 innings and gave up one run on six hits while striking out one. Joel Peralta got the win for Washington. Oliver Perez took the loss for New York. Miguel Batista recorded his 2nd save for Washington.

Marlins vs. Pirates

The Marlins beat Pittsburgh 5-2 Sunday and grabbed third place in the NL East. A two-run home run by Dan Uggla in the 1st inning gave Florida a quick 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh cut the lead to 2-1 in the 2nd inning on a solo shot off the bat of Ronny Cedeno. A single by Andrew McCutchen in the 5th tied up the game. In the bottom of the 6th, a potential home run off the bat of Wes Helms turned into a ground-rule double after the umpires reviewed the play. Uggla scored on the play. Florida went on to score two more runs in the 7th inning.

Anibal Sanchez got the win for Florida, going 6 innings and giving up two runs on four hits while striking out seven. Brian Burres took the loss, going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out four. Clay Hensley recorded his 7th save for Florida.

What’s on Tap 10-3-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 03-10-2010

Tagged Under : Anibal Sanchez, Braves, Brian Burres, Cole Hamels, Livan Hernandez, Marlins, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates, Tim Hudson

Today marks the end of the regular season. The games include:

Marlins vs. Pirates

The Marlins send Anibal Sanchez (12-12, 3.62 ERA) to the mound against Brian Burres (4-4, 5.01 ERA) and the Pirates. First pitch is 1:10 p.m. in Florida.

Mets vs. Nationals

Mike Pelfrey (15-9, 3.75 ERA) starts for New York. Livan Hernandez (10-12, 3.73 ERA) starts for Washington. Game time is 1:10 p.m. in New York.

Braves vs. Phillies

Tim Hudson (16-9, 2.76 ERA) takes the hill for Atlanta. Cole Hamels (12-11, 3.09 ERA) gets the start for Philadelphia. First pitch is 1:35 p.m. in Atlanta.

NL East Recap 10-2

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 02-10-2010

Tagged Under : Alex Sanabia, Antonio Bastardo, Braves, Brian Sanches, Chad Tracy, Charlie Morton, Chris Carter, Clay Hensley, David Wright, Jonny Venters, Jorge Sosa, Lucas Duda, Marlins, Mets, Michael Morse, Mike Stanton, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates, Raul Valdes, Ruben Tejada, Ryota Igarashi, Tommy Hanson, Tyler Clippard, Vance Worley, Wilson Ramos, Yunesky Maya

Mets vs. Nationals

The Mets beat the Nationals Saturday afternoon 7-2. Ruben Tejada scored on a sacrifice fly in the 3rd inning to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. The next inning, Lucas Duda homered to make it 2-0. In the 6th, Michael Morse hit a solo shot for Washington, cutting the lead to 2-1. In the 7th, the Nationals tied it up on an infield single by Wilson Ramos. In the bottom of the 7th, David Wright hit a big three-run blast to center field to give the Mets a 5-2 lead. The following inning, Chris Carter hit a two-run shot.

Both starters got a no decision after today’s outting. Raul Valdes went 5.1 innings and gave up one run on three hits while striking out five. Yunesky Maya went 5 innings and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out four. Ryota Igarashi got the win for the Mets. Tyler Clippard took the loss.

Braves vs. Phillies

It was a tight game through 7 innings, but Philadelphia went on to beat the Braves 7-0. The Phillies scored four runs in the 7th. Three of those runs were on singles and one came on a wild pitch. Philadelphia went on to score one run in the 8th, and two more runs in the 9th. Atlanta hitters were held to just three hits all night. With the loss, Atlanta is not tied for the Wild Card.

Both starters got a no decision. Vance Worley went 5 innings for Philadelphia, and gave up just one hit while striking out three. Tommy Hanson went 5 innings for Atlanta and allowed six hits while striking out six. Antonio Bastardo got the win for the Phillies. Jonny Venters took the loss for Atlanta.

Marlins vs. Pirates

Florida took game two against the Pirates by a score of 2-0. Florida’s runs came in the bottom of the 4th inning when Mike Stanton started things with an RBI single. Chad Tracy would later hit a sacrifice fly in the inning to make it 2-0.

Jorge Sosa got the start for Florida in place of Alexa Sanabia who sat out with a stiff elbow. Sosa got a no decision after going 4 innings and giving up five hits while striking out one. Reliever Brian Sanches got the win for Florida. Charlie Morton took the loss for Pittsburgh. Morton went 6 innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out nine. Clay Hensley recorded his 6th save for the Marlins.

What’s on Tap 10-2-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 02-10-2010

Tagged Under : Alex Sanabia, Braves, Charlie Morton, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates, Raul Valdes, Tommy Hanson, Vance Worley, Yunesky Maya

Saturday’s games:

Mets vs. Nationals

The Mets and Nationals continue their series this afternoon. Raul Valdes (3-3, 5.23 ERA) gets the start for New York. Yunesky Maya (0-3, 6.43 ERA)starts for Washington. Game time is 1:10 p.m. in New York.

Braves vs. Phillies

The Braves and Phillies go head-to-head in game two of their series this afternoon. Tommy Hanson (10-11, 3.41 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta. Vance Worley (1-1, 2.25 ERA) starts for Philadelphia. First pitch is 4:10 p.m. in Atlanta.

Marlins vs. Pirates

The Marlins send Alex Sanabia (5-3, 3.73 ERA) to the mound for game three against the Pirates. Charlie Morton (2-11, 7.94 ERA) starts for Pittsburgh. Game time is 7:10 p.m. in Florida.

NL East Recap 10-1

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 02-10-2010

Tagged Under : Adalberto Mendez, Atlanta Braves, Brandon Beachy, Chan Ho Park, chris snyder, Dan Uggla, Daniel McCutchen, Derrek Lee, Florida Marlins, Hisanori Takahashi, Ike davis, Jimmy Rollins, Jordan Zimmermann, Josh Thole, Kyle Kendrick, Michael Morse, New York Mets, Pat Misch, pedro alvarez, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals

Phillies vs. Braves

The Braves had a chance to clinch at least a tie for the NL Wild Card with a victory on Friday night.  However, the first place Phillies broke open the game with a five run sixth inning on their way to a 11-5 victory over the Braves in Atlanta.

With the game tied at 2 entering the sixth, the Phillies put two runners on base versus Atlanta starter Brandon Beachy (0-2).  Peter Moylan relieved Beachy with two outs, and after a throwing error by Brooks Conrad prolonged the inning, Moylan walked pinch hitter Domonic Brown with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run.  Mike Dunn relieved Moylan and promptly allowed a grand slam to Jimmy Rollins to give Philly a 7-2 lead. 

The Phillies added four more runs in the eighth to take a commanding 11-2 lead.  Atlanta scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but that was as close as they would get.  Kyle Kendrick (11-10) earned the victory for the Phillies, limiting the Braves to two runs and five hits over five innings.  Derrek Lee was the lone bright spot for the Braves, going 3 for 5 and driving in all five Atlanta runs.

 

Mets vs. Nationals

With reports swirling that both their GM and Manager were on their way out, the Mets received solid pitching and used a pair of long balls to defeat the Nationals by a score of 2-1 in 10 innings at Citi Field.

Mets rookie Ike Davis homered off of Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann in the fourth inning to put the Mets on the scoreboard.  New York starter Pat Misch kept Washington off of the scoreboard until the seventh inning, when Michael Morse connected for a solo home run of his own to tie the game at 1.  Misch allowed just two other hits over eight innings of work, striking out 10 batters.

The game remained 1-1 until the bottom of the 10th, when another Mets rookie went deep.  With one out, Josh Thole blasted a home run off of reliever Tyler Clippard (11-7) to give the Mets a walk off victory.  Mets reliever Hisanori Takahashi (10-6) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to earn the win.

 

Marlins vs. Pirates

Facing off in the second game of a four game series, the Pirates defeated the Marlins 5-1 on Friday evening in Miami.

Dan Uggla got the Marlins on the scoreboard in the first inning with an RBI single off of Pirates starter Daniel McCutchen.  Pittsburgh answered back in the second when Pedro Alvarez homered off of Adalberto Mendez to tie the game at 1.   The game remained tied at 1 until the fifth, when Chris Snyder hit a two-run home run off of Mendez (1-3) to give the Pirates a lead they would not relinquish. 

Chan Ho Park (4-3) earned the victory in relief, pitching three hitless innings and striking out six batters.  The win was the 124th of Park’s career and gave him the record for the most wins by an Asian-born pitcher in the major leagues.

What’s on Tap 10-1-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 01-10-2010

Tagged Under : Adalberto Mendez, Brandon Beachy, Braves, Daniel McCutchen, Jordan Zimmermann, Kyle Kendrick, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Pat Misch, Phillies, Pirates

Friday’s games:

Marlins vs. Pirates

The Marlins continue their series with the Pirates tonight in Florida. Adalberto Mendez (1-2, 4.19 ERA) takes the hill for Florida. Daniel McCutchen (2-5, 6.36 ERA) gets the start for Pittsburgh. First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

Mets vs. Nationals

The Mets and Nationals begin their final series of the season tonight in New York. Pat Misch (0-4, 4.66 ERA) gets the start for New York. Jordan Zimmermann (1-2, 5.76 ERA) starts for Washington. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Braves vs. Phillies

The Braves send rookie Brandon Beachy (0-1, 2.89 ERA) to the mound against the Phillies tonight in Atlanta. Kyle Kendrick (10-10-, 4.76 ERA) starts for Philadelphia. First pitch is 7:35 p.m.