Goodbye Spring training, hello regular season

Filed Under (Braves Baseball Blog, Centerfield Gate blog, Fish Guts blog, mrose, NL East Chatter, NLEC News, Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Real Dirty Mets, The Real Dirty Mets Blog) by mrose on 29-03-2011

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Disney, Howard Megdal, Kenshin Kawakami, Mets Blog, Michael Baron, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Wide World of Sports

Four weekends, five spring training visits.

This year, with a tight personal life schedule, four of the five visits were to the New York Mets facility in Port St Lucie, Florida.  The New York Mets PR crew was gracious in allowing myself and some from The Real Dirty Mets Blog to have Field Passes to those games.  This allowed us to get a ton of great pictures (album links will be posted later), a couple quick player interactions, and an experience that makes any baseball fan excited for the season, no matter who you root for.

We most recently saw Carlos Beltran participating in a minor league game, playing Right Field and rehabbing his knee.  While watching how he has progressed, we were lucky enough to meet Michael Baron, who writes for MetsBlog and takes fantastic photos (much better than mine), as well as Howard Megdal a fantastic writer for multiple sites. Very enjoyable watching the game and talkin’ baseball with these two.

We made our way back to the main field to see the middle innings of a Mets Spring Training win versus a mainly B squad which traveled for the Braves, but saw some bright spots for the Mets with Emaus, and a cameo by Wilmer Flores late in the game.  He is a big guy! (pictures in album links below)

Finally, we attended another Terry Collins post game and with some help again by Michael Baron, we got a couple more great pics and heard and twitter’d some news regarding the Mets 2B situation at the time.

Not to be missed, I also made a short trip over to Wide World of Sports on Sunday to take in some Phillies and Braves baseball.  The facility is beautiful, although the traffic getting in and out was quite annoying.  Besides seeing Kawakami go for the Braves, who since has been sent to the minors , we saw a fun game and even saw what looked like regular season fan interaction.  Many Phillies fans were quite excited about Spring training play against a minor league pitcher, but hey.. its almost that time, so who can really blame them?

It was a great spring, each weekend filled with great baseball.  I will be heading down to Miami for the opening game of the Mets and Marlins season on Friday as well, armed with my camera, and my phone for some twitter posts.

Here are all the albums from this spring:

March 6, 2011 Red Sox @ Mets

March 13,2011 Cardinals @ Mets

March 19, 2011 Nats @ Mets

March 26,2011 Braves @ Mets

March 26,2011 Phillies @ Braves

I’m also looking forward to another growing year for NLEC and all the blogs underneath it.  With that said, we are still looking for new bloggers for the Marlins and Braves and additional writers for Centerfield Gate, NL East Chatter and Phillies Phandom.  Please contact me at @nleastchatter on twitter.

Offseason Report Card: Phillies

Filed Under (Command Center, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 20-01-2011

Tagged Under : Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Domonic Brown, Jayson Werth, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt

With only one month until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, it’s time for the Command Center to give its offseason grades to the teams in the NL East.   It’s been an interesting winter, so here it goes…

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies made the move of the Hot Stove season by landing Cliff Lee. Many, including the Command Center, were skeptical of reports that a “mystery team” was bidding on Lee.  It looked like a given that Lee would either return to Texas, or follow the trail of dollar bills to the Bronx.  Instead, the Phils went against team policy and inked Lee to a 5 year, $120 million deal.

Philadelphia might have had the best starting rotation in the league before the Lee signing.   Now, with a starting 4 of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt, there is no debate.  But will it be enough?  The Phils lost a key member of their starting lineup with the expected departure of Jayson Werth (more on him below), and they will be hoping that rookie Domonic Brown can help fill the void in RF.  The Phillies bullpen remains a question mark, but if their aces pitch like they are capable of – and stay healthy – that might not matter.

Command Center’s Grade: B+

I went with a weighted average here.  I give them an A for having Lee on board for 2011, but feel the club will later regret the dollars and long term deal.  Of course, if they win it all in 2011, it will all be worth it.

What about the rest of the NL East? Stay tuned!

Another call for writers/blog owners

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by mrose on 06-12-2010

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, NL East Cahtter Braves Baseball Blog Real Dirty Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals

Hey everyone,

Reposting this from a few weeks back:

thanks for helping us complete our first FULL season of NL East Chatter.  Our Mets (Real Dirty Mets) and Nationals (Centerfieldgate) blogs are doing great.  Our other blogs need some help.  We are looking to come back strong in 2011, like all the NL East Teams but we are looking for a few things.  Please email nleastchatter@gmail.com if you can help with any of the following.

Again , please contact us if you can help with the following, and enjoy the offseason, we will get started again here soon.

I did receive one inquiry about the Braves, but was unable to return email, please send me another email and I will surely get back to you.

Thanks1

What is to come..

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by mrose on 11-11-2010

Hey everyone,

thanks for helping us complete our first FULL season of NL East Chatter.  Our Mets (Real Dirty Mets) and Nationals (Centerfieldgate) blogs are doing great.  Our other blogs need some help.  We are looking to come back strong in 2011, like all the NL East Teams but we are looking for a few things.  Please email nleastchatter@gmail.com if you can help with any of the following.

Again , please contact us if you can help with the following, and enjoy the offseason, we will get started again here soon

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.