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: 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: First home win comes with a price

Posted by mattsmith on 13th April 2010

Phillies 7, Nationals 4

Monday, April 12th



Cole Hamels allowed four earned runs over 5 2/3 laboring innings, but his offense picked him up (what else is new), rallying from a four-run deficit to down the Nats on opening day at The Bank.

The Phils scored five runs in the fifth inning off Jason Marquis, who for the second time in a week, couldn’t get through five against the Phils’ vaunted lineup.

Placido Polanco hit the go-ahead two-run single and Chase Utley smacked a homer that hit off the foul pole in right field to extend the lead to three.

The win came at a cost as both Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth were removed due to injury. Rollins suffered a right calf strain during pre-game warm ups and did not start. He is day-to-day and an MRI is scheduled on Tuesday.

Jayson Werth was removed after the fifth inning with hip soreness. Werth said afterward that the injury isn’t a big deal.

The Phils (6-1) are off to their best start since 1993.

Tags: Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Jason Marquis, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals
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Gameday: Can Hamels follow Doc in home opener?

Posted by mattsmith on 12th April 2010

Phillies vs. Nationals

3:05 PM EST at Citizens Bank Park

Mr. Four Days Rest

Mr. Four Days Rest

Let this be an early test for Cole Hamels.

Basically, whenever Roy Halladay throws a complete game, he should take it upon himself to outdo Halladay the very next day. So, for Hamels to be successful today in the Phillies’ home opener against Washington, he has to throw a no-hitter… at least.

OK, that isn’t fair to the at times fragile-minded left-hander, who is coming off a so-so season-opening outing last week. Hamels (1-0) allowed two earned runs over five laboring inning.

The red-hot Phillies’ lineup, which has a plus-25 run differential (*thanks, faces Jason “drives more like a Hyundai, not a” Marquis., who couldn’t even make it out of the fifth inning in his Nats debut against the Phils.

The Nats (3-3)  took two of three against the Mets over the weekend.

Fun Phact – Former Phillie Matt Stairs is now playing for his 12th different team, the San Diego Padres. Stairs is the first position player since Deacon McGuire (1888-1914) to play for 12 different teams.

Tags: Cole Hamels, Jason Marquis, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals
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Recap: Hamels twirls another gem

Posted by mattsmith on 18th September 2009

Phillies 4, Nationals 2

Thursday, September 17th

Cole Hamels continued his late-season surge with eight masterful innings as the Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the lowly Nationals.

Hamels (10-9, 4.07 ERA) worked a perfect game into the sixth inning. He allowed one run while striking out a season-high 10.

Hamels is 4-1 with a 1.43 ERA over his last five starts

Jimmy Rollins’ two-out RBI hit gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Hamels helped his cause with a two-out, run-scoring knock of his own in the sixth.

Brad Lidge recorded his 30th save of the season, but once again failed to make it look easy. Lidge gave up another run to raise his ERA to 7.21.

The Phillies travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves this weekend. Atlanta moved into second place in the NL East with a victory over the Mets and is 7 1/2 games behind the Phils, whose magic number to clinch the division is 10.

Player of the Game

Cole Hamels (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 10 K)

Cole Hamels (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 10 K)

Tags: Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals
Posted in Phillies recaps | 2 Comments »

Gameday: Behind Hamels, Phillies eye sweep of Nats

Posted by phillies09 on 17th September 2009

Phillies vs. Nationals

7:05 PM at Citizens Banl Park

Cole Hamels (9-9, 4.21 ERA)

Cole Hamels (9-9, 4.21 ERA)

Will the Cole Hamels who won 2008 World Series MVP show up for tonight’s game? Based on his recent starts, he just may.

After giving up five runs total in his last four starts, including a four run outing in Houston, Cole is slowly warming up to the idea of pitching like an ace again. If he keeps it up, combined with Cliff Lee regaining Cy Young form, the Phillies could have an unbeatable 1-2 punch to finish the season.

Ross Detwiler (0-5, 6.17 ERA) will make just his second start since the All-Star break. The rookie is making his way back from the minors after a very slow start in the majors. He pitched two shutout innings against the Marlins last weekend before being pulled.

The Phillies bullpen have given up just one run in the last 26 innings.

Ben Francisco will start in place of Raul Ibanez tonight in left field.

Fun Phact – I miss Pat Burrell.

Tags: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Ross Detwiler, Washington Nationals
Posted in Phillies previews | 2 Comments »

Recap: Lee hurls another gem

Posted by mattsmith on 16th September 2009

Phillies 5, Nationals 0

Tuesday, September 15th

Cliff Lee recovered from a string of shaky starts by blanking the hapless Nationals over nine innings.

Lee scattered six hits and struck out nine for his first complete-game shutout as a member of the Phillies.

Chase Utley delivered a run-scoring hit in the first inning to put the Phils ahead, 1-0. Carlos Ruiz’s three-run double in the second was more than enough run support for Lee (14-11), who improved to 7-2 as a Phillie.

Starting pitching has dominated at Citizens Bank Park the last few games.  The Phillies’ staff hasn’t allowed a run in back-to-back games. The last time the Phillies recorded consecutive shutouts at home was Aug. 15-16, 2002.

Jayson Werth chipped in with three singles.

A win by Florida kept the Phils seven games ahead in first place in the NL East.

Player of the Game

Cliff Lee (9 IP, 6 H, 9 K, 3 BB)

Cliff Lee (9 IP, 6 H, 9 K, 3 BB)

Tags: Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals
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A whole new perspective : MASN TV

Posted by phillies09 on 15th September 2009

Currently attending school in Virginia, I have the honor of watching the Phillies on the regional sports network when they play the Nationals. I’m slowly learning the major league baseball perspective when your team has been eliminated from the playoffs before the season even started.

The latest Phillies series on this network introduced me for the first time to MASN, the area affiliate for the Nationals and the Orioles. Since then, I’ve been putting up with these announcers as I secretly commentated the game in my head with the voices of Wheels, Tom and Sarge (With the interjection of a HK call when the long ball is hit).

The first couple of games provided plenty of humor. It wasn’t so much the announcers fault, but instead what they were trying to accomplish. I understand that getting excited, and trying to get listeners excited about a team that’s God knows how many games under .500 they are, isn’t an easy task. But it was funny nonetheless.

This is how I summarize what to do as a MASN commentator: First, when Ryan Zimmerman either touches a bat or a ball, you erupt in ecstasy. Second, if the game is already out of reach, you talk about Strasburg and the “future” of this team until the game is over. Third, insult the Phillies any chance you get.

None of these really got under my skin until tonight, where the third factor was….is (since the game isn’t even over yet)… in effect to the fullest. In about the seventh inning, a comment was made that sounded something like, “It’s a shame such a beautiful stadium is in a city like Philadelphia. I mean really, look at this city. And, these fans, they boo Santa Claus.” I laughed. I laughed out loud actually.

Could it really be? A representative of WASHINGTON, D.C., insulting Philadelphia? I know we have our faults, but beyond that, the city has so many things to offer in any aspect you could think of, built on a rich, historic tradition. I’m getting sick of this dirty, unsafe stereotype. Like every major city, we have sections to avoid, but it is no worse than say somewhere like…Washington?

Lets take a walk down statistic alley for a moment. Based on FBI crime data from 2008, Washington D.C. came in one spot higher than Philadelphia in this rankings system. As in, the almighty Washington D.C. is in fact a more dangerous city. Yes, I realize that this is one dimension but I’m not going to sit here and argue which city is better. The point I want to get across is that, who are you say such a thing? Did you not open a $611 million dollar stadium in D.C. just a year ago?

And the fans…oh the fans. Yes, it’s true we have passion. That passion is of course taken as arrogance by any other team’s fans, but what else is new? We boo the players that don’t work or play hard enough. Simple as that. When you’ve earned your career in Philadelphia, you are glorified, and respected forever. Ask Pat Burrell.

There was one part of the game that I might not ever forget. As the Nationals were batting, and not like in between at bats, but like actually a 1-2 count, a new conversation started. Bubba burgers. Yes, as one announcer proceeded to admit that he’d never had one, they went on a couple minute conversation about the real “best burgers they’ve ever had.” In-and-out, Five Guys, and Steak and Shake. I mean really, the Nationals batting isn’t that important. It’s not something I can recreate. I wouldn’t be doing it justice. Take my word it was the most entertaining at bat and a half I’ve watched. Ever.

Between all of this, insults about how Raul’s hit down the line tonight was cheap and garbage, and the endless National’s commercials that really get me riled up to get to a game (sarcasm), it was extremely entertaining. The best part? I still have two more nights of this.

Oh and one last thing. Santa was drunk, and his outfit was tattered. In my opinion, he deserved it. What do I know though, I’m just a Phillies fan form that dirty, dangerous city I love so much.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Gameday: When will the REAL Cliff Lee return?

Posted by phillies09 on 15th September 2009

Phillies vs. Nationals

7:05 PM at Citizens Bank Park

Cliff Lee (6-2, 3.11 ERA) hopes to regain his form as the Phillies strive for the post-season.

Cliff Lee (6-2, 3.11 ERA) hopes to regain his form as the Phillies strive for the post-season.

It’s every struggling pitcher’s dream: Back to back starts against the Nationals.

Cliff Lee will get his second chance in the past week to take down the worst team in baseball, as he looks to rebound from his latest struggles after cruising to a 5-0 start.

The 2008 AL Cy Young winner looked far from perfect in his last start, giving up five runs through seven. It definitely was an improvement however, as he had many hitters buried in the count but failed to deliver the payoff pitch.

One deterring note from that game was that Cliff gave up three doubles and two runs to the struggling Alberto Gonzalez. This makes Lee vs. Gonzalez the key matchup for the night.

Just like September 9, Lee will face Nationals pitcher Garrett Mock (3-7, 5.75 ERA). The reliever turned starter threw 106 pitches in his five inning outing against the Phils, in which he took a no decision. Mock has been in and out of AAA this season, but only allowed two XBH (both doubles) against the high powered Phillies.

Paul Bako – who almost always catches for Lee – was 0-2 against Mock last game.  It will be interesting to see if Charlie will let Ruiz catch for Lee as the playoffs approach, especially the way Carlos has been hitting lately.

Fun Phact – Cliff Lee was drafted three times. First by the Marlins then by the Orioles, opting to go college both times, until finally he was picked and signed in 2000 by the Expos.

Tags: Carlos Ruiz, Charlie Manuel, Cliff Lee, Garrett Mock, Paul Bako, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals
Posted in Phillies previews | No Comments »

2010 schedule released

Posted by mattsmith on 15th September 2009

The Phillies will open the 2010 season on the road against Washington for a three-game series beginning April 5. They’ll host the Nationals April 12 for the home opener.

The Phils will close the year on a six-game road trip against Washington and Atlanta from Sept. 27-Oct. 3. In fact, the team’s final 24 games come against NL East opponents.

Interleague play will feature more AL East competition next year. The Phils will go on the road to face Boston, New York and Toronto. They will  play at home against the AL Central’s Minnesota and Cleveland.

Tags: 2010 MLB schedule, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals
Posted in Phillies news | No Comments »