It can’t get worse than this, can it??

Posted by mattsmith on 20th April 2012

Straight from Todd Zolecki’s blog this morning:

“The Phillies rank 14th in the league in on-base percentage (.280), 15th in slugging percentage (.325) and 15th in runs per game average (2.85). If those averages look horrendous, they are. No National League team has finished a season with a worse on-base percentage since the 1965 Mets (.277); a worse slugging percentage since the 1968 Dodgers (.319), 1968 Astros (.317) and 1968 Mets (.315); or a worse runs per game average than the 1942 Phillies (2.61).”

The suckitude cannot worsen, right? At some point, even an anemic rehabilitates and becomes stronger… right???

Funny how things work in baseball. Just three years ago, the Phillies were widely regarded as having the best offense in the National League, behind only the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays, maybe, in the majors.

Three years later, this is the worst lineup contructed since the Terry Francona era. Juan Pierre, John Mayberry Jr, Freddy Galvis (who will be a good player, but not this year), Placido Polanco are regulars.

Heck, does anyone in the lineup scare anyone? Or, how about this repharse: does anyone in the lineup excite or entertain anymone?

Rollins? Not anymore.
Polanco? Yeah, right…
Pierre? Don’t get me started.

Mayberry has been a disaster and looks absolutely lost at the plate. Chooch is what he is. He’s honestly the most popular Phillie right now, I’m convinced. Everybody loves the guy, but I don’t think the e-word when I think of Ruiz.

Maybe Shane Victorino, when he’s going real good. But he, like just about everyone else, has been nothing more than a singles hitter.

Honestly, the “watch” value of this club is at a low. I don’t think I’ve been this disinterested or disgusted since circa 2006, when the Abreus, Lieberthals and Liebers were clogging up roster spots.

On any given night, when I’m not working, I tend to pay more attention Nationals games or Mets games (best broadcast team in baseball), Tigers, Rays, Royals, etc. on MLB.TV than I do the Phils.


Tags: Bobby Abreu, Freddy Galvis, Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry Jr., Juan Pierre, Mike Lieberthal, New York Mets, Shane Victorino, Terry Francona, Todd Zolecki, Tomas Perez, Washington Nationals
Posted in Phillies commentary, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Recap: Halladay shaky, offense nonexistent

Posted by mattsmith on 27th April 2010

Monday, April 26th

Giants 5, Phillies 1

The Phillies left a Titanic passenger’s list-size of men on base and Roy Halladay was by and large not Roy Halladay-like in a Game 1 loss to San Francisco.

Since starting 8-1, the Phils are 3-7, including 3-4 on their current nine-game road trip.

Halladay suffered his first loss in red pinstripes, allowing five runs over seven innings. Jonathan Sanchez wasn’t sharp, either, but the offensive woes continued for the Phils, who mustered a grand total of four hits, three of which came off the bat of Shane Victorino.

The series continues tonight when Jamie Moyer (2-1, 5.00) opposes Todd Wellemeyer (0-3, 8.16).

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, San Francisco Giants, Shane Victorino
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Recap: Phils win by a touchdown

Posted by mattsmith on 14th April 2010

Phillies 14, Nationals 7

Wednesday, April 13th

The Flyin Hawaiian had himself a ballgame.

The Flyin' Hawaiian had himself a ballgame.

I was at this game — a chilly night in South Philly — and it’s safe to say I got my $48 worth.

Kyle Kendrick might need that much money on his inevitable bus ride to Lehigh Valley. He was awful.

Luckily for Kendrick, so was Greg Stammen.

Kendrick allowed three runs in the first inning — all with two outs. The Phillies promptly responded with four runs in the bottom half, highlighted by a two-run single by Ryan Howard.

Kendrick showed no appreciation for his offense and failed to get out of the second inning. The Nats scored three to take a 6-4 lead. The Phils stormed back when Chase Utley hit a three-run bomb to make it 7-6.

The Nationals tied the score off Nelson Figueroa in the third inning. The score was 7-7 after three.


The Phils’ bullpen, though, kept the lowly Nats, who despite their god-awful pitching are a pretty solid offensive squad, in check. Kudos to Figueroa, who really did a heck of a job in relief of Kendrick. Figgy (is that what those New Yawkers called him?) pitched 3 1/3 strong innings and helped his cause with two hits, including a double.

Shane Victorino hit a two-run homer in the fifth to put the Phils ahead to stay. Victorino, who entered with a .183 batting average, was 4-for-5 with a career-best five RBIs batting leadoff for the first time. It’s obvious that Victorino is not comfortable batting out of the No. 7 hole, and he’ll need to be the offensive spark at the top of the order until Rollins returns.

Utley hit a solo dinger in the sixth to make it 10-7, his18th career multi-homer game.

Placido Polanco had two hits, but sadly his BA dipped to .486.

I’m really impressed by Howard. He looks like a completely different hitter. He doesn’t swing at sliders outside in the dirt or chase high heaters. The Big Fella is really developing into a complete hitter.

Kendrick is a mess. It’sobvious he cannot handle the pressure of starting in the big leagues. My early guess is they’ll skip his next start or replace him with Figueroa until Joe Blanton gets back.

Unfortunately for K-K, he seems destined for a long relief role at best, but perhaps more likely, a baseball career spent primarily in the minors.

Tags: Craig Stammen, Jimmy Rollins, Kyle Kendrick, Nelson Figueroa, Philadelphia Phillies, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, Washington Nationals
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Recap: Phils’ bats do more damage to ‘Stros

Posted by mattsmith on 11th April 2010

Phillies 9, Astros 6

Saturday, April 10th

The Phils are smokin’ right now.

Even Jamie Moyer blowing a 4-0 lead couldn’t hold back the offense, which for the fifth time in as many games this season, churned out 10-plus hits. The last time the Phillies did that to start a season was 1926.

Ryan Howard’s mammoth two-run bomb to left field put the Phils, 6-5, a few innings after the Astros scored five runs with two outs off Jamie Moyer in the bottom of the fourth.

Shane Victorino’s hit a two-run homer for insurance in the ninth.

Look at what this lineup’s first five batters are doing (yes, I know it’s early). It’s off the charts: Jimmy Rollins (.386), Placido Polanco (.542), Chase Utley (.368), Ryan Howard (.417) and Jayson Werth (.400) .

Howard has three homers and 10 RBIs in five games. Polanco isn’t the vacuum bag at third base like Pedro Feliz was, but he’s be a godsend with the bat.

Today, Roy Halladay takes the hill as the Phillies try to sweep Houston before their home opener Monday versus the Nationals.

Tags: Chase Utley, Houston Astros, Jamie Moyer, Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies, Placido Polanco, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino
Posted in Phillies recaps | No Comments »

Recap: Left stranded

Posted by mattsmith on 8th April 2010

Nationals 6, Phillies 5

Thursday, April 8th

The Phillies should have came away with a season-opening sweep of the lowly Nats on Thursday. They had ample opportunities to score the game-tying and winning runs. Ultimately, they fell flat… sort of like Raul Ibanez’s batting average.

Kyle Kendrick resembled the same marginal major-league pitching talent from last year. He allowed three runs in the first inning and five total over four innings.

So much for all the preseason hype.

The Phils battled back and eventually tied the score. Jayson Werth was 3-for-5 with three doubles, while Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both had two hits.

Too many dudes left stranded in this one (11 LOBS, 1-for-14 RISP), though. The Phils had runners on second and third in the eighth, but couldn’t capitalize.

In the ninth, you got the sense they were going to pummel Matt Capps, who might as well be the team’s personal BP hurler. Utley got things going with a hustle double, followed by an intentional walk to Howard. Werth got Utley over to third with a fly ball, but Ibanez popped up and Shane Victorino grounded out to end the game.

Ibanez is a smokin’ 1-for-11 on the year. Victorino’s not too far off.

Well, the 162-0 season is out the window.

On a personal note, I vomited in my mouth in the bottom of the seventh inning when Nelson Figueroa and Brian Schneider re-formed one of the greatest battery’s in recent Mets history.

For the love of hell, why must we employ not one, but two regulars from the Mets’ 2009 roster?

Having  a pair of perennial losers on the 25-man roster is a bad omen. Believe it.

Where’s Paul Bako?

Tags: Brian Schneider, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Kyle Kendrick, Nelson Figueroa, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino
Posted in Phillies recaps | No Comments »

Three More Years: Flyin’ Hawaiian locked in thru 2012

Posted by mattsmith on 22nd January 2010

Shane Victorino, along with Joe Blanton, is here to stay awhile.

The All-Star center fielder joined Blanton in signing a three-year contract extension Friday, wiping out his final year of arbitration eligibility plus two years of free agency.

Victorino’s contract will pay him $22 million over three years.

The Phillies’ last arbitration case is Carlus Ruiz, whom they are expected to sign to a multi-year deal.

Tags: Carlos Ruiz, Joe Blanton, Philadelphia Phillies, Shane Victorino
Posted in Phillies news | No Comments »

Phillies talking extensions with Victorino, Ruiz, Blanton

Posted by mattsmith on 21st January 2010

The Phillies had been in talks with Shane Victorino regarding a multi-year deal. Now, it appears, both Carlos Ruiz and Joe Blanton are being targeted for extensions, too.

All three players are arbitration eligible.

Blanton would be a free agent after this season, while Victorino wouldn’t be a free agent until after the 2011 campaign. Ruiz, 30, is arbitration eligible for the first time.

Tags: Carlos Ruiz, Joe Blanton, Philadelphia Phillies, Shane Victorino
Posted in Hot Stove, Phillies news | No Comments »

Victorino trade talk is false

Posted by mattsmith on 5th December 2009

The Phillies ARE NOT quietly shopping Shane Victorino.

Some blog morons and talk-show radio hosts started the rumor. From what I can gather, it’s false.

Not getting traded.

Not getting traded.

The thought is, should the Phillies move Victorino, it would open the door for top prospects Michael Taylor and/or Dom Brown. Neither, at this stage in their young careers, is ready to be a full-time player in the big leagues.

Taylor, the older of the two, is probably a step ahead of Brown. Brown is arguably the more talented of the two.

I expect both to be invited to spring training, fighting for a roster spot. I’d imagine, however, the Phillies would send out feeler regarding Raul Ibanez before Victorino or even Jayson Werth, for that matter.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Ibanez is dangled during spring training IF and ONLY IF Brown and/or Taylor put forth eye-popping performances.

As for Victorino, I expect to see him operating out of the No. 7 hole with the addition of Placido Polanco. Yes, Vic’s on-base percentage is way better than Jimmy Rollins, who will remain the leadoff hitter, because, well, he’s been a leadoff hitter all of his career. We’ve seen, time and time again, J-Roll isn’t a prototypical leadoff hitter, but he hasn’t had sustained success over a long period of time anywhere else except for the No. 1 spot.

One final tidbit on Victorino: In case people forgot, he’s a part of “the core.” It’s Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and, yes, even Cole Hamels. They are “the core” because they are the players this team is built around. You don’t just give away those players to make room for an unproven kid…

Tags: Dominic Brown, Jimmy Rollins Michael Taylor, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino
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J-Roll, Victorino claim Gold Gloves

Posted by mattsmith on 11th November 2009

Another year, another Gold Glove for both Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino.

It was announced Wednesday that Rollins won his third consecutive Gold Glove award, while Victorino has taken the hardware in two straight seasons.

Rollins is only the fifth Phillie to win three Gold Glove awards.

Rollins’ career fielding percentage of .983 is second all-time in baseball among shortstops.

“I would like to thank the managers and coaches who felt I was worthy of a Gold Glove Award,” Rollins said in a statement. “Defense is a very important part of my game and it truly is an honor to be recognized as one of the best defensive players in the league.”

Victorino’s .997 fielding percentage was the second best in the National League among outfielders.

“I take a lot of pride in fielding my position, so it is an honor to be awarded with another Gold Glove this season,” Victorino said in a statement. “I would like to thank the managers and coaches who voted for me and who believe that I am one of the best in a league full of outstanding players.”

Tags: Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino
Posted in Phillies news | 2 Comments »

Report: Phillies are pursuing Halladay

Posted by mattsmith on 10th November 2009

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Roy Halladay could be coming to Philadelphia.

The Phillies are “very much in the picture” because ”Philadelphia is into winning now, and Halladay fits that,” said one rival team executive, according to the report.

Here we go again...

Here we go again...

It is believed that the Blue Jays would not demand such a premium package considering Halladay is on the last year of his contract. A trade for Halladay would likely require stud  prospects Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown. Kyle Drabek remains untouchable, according to The Inquirer.

In addition to a top prospect (or two), J.A. Happ, Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels could also be discussed in trade talks.

Tags: Cole Hamels, Dominic Brown, J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino
Posted in Phillies news | No Comments »