NL East Recap 8/6

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by samlevenstein on 07-08-2010

Tagged Under : aaron miles, Adam Dunn, Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols, Alex Gonzalez, Andre Either, Andres Torres, Aubrey Huff, Barry Zito, Ben Francisco, Bobby Parnell, brendan ryan, Brian Wilson, Carlos Ruiz, Casey Blake, Chad Durbin, Chipper Jones, Clayton Kershaw, David Wright, Drew Storen, Felipe Lopez, Ian Desmond, James Loney, javier lopez, Jeff Francoeur, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, John Lannan, jon jay, Jon Niese, Jose Reyes, Josh Thole, Matt Holiday, mike hessman, mike sweeney, pat burell, peter moylan, Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez, Ricky Nolasco, ryan theroit, Ryan Zimmerman, Tommy Hanson

phillies_celebrateMets vs. Phillies

The Phillies beat the Mets in a score of 7-5. In the first Placido Polanco doubled to score Raul Ibanez to put the Phillies on the board.  In the 3rd Jose Reyes singled scoring Jeff Francoeur to tie the game.  In the 4th Josh Thole singled scoring David Wright giving the Mets the lead.  The Phillies scored 6 runs in the 8th with hits from Ben Francisco, Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins, and Mike Sweeney.  The Mets fought back scoring 3 runs in the 9th when Mike Hessman hit a 3 run homer but it wasn’t enough.

Jon Niese pitched 7 innings giving up 4 hits, 1 run, and 7 strikeouts.  Joe Blanton pitched 7 innings giving up 7 hits, 2 runs, and 4 strikeouts.  Chad Durbin got the win pitching 1 inning giving up no hits with 1 strikeout.  Bobby Parnell got the loss while not retiring a batter and giving up 4 hits and 4 runs.

wainwrightMarlins vs. Cardinals

The Cardinals beat the Marlins in a score of 7-0.  In the first inning Albert Pujols hit a 3 run home run scoring Felipe López and Jon Jay.  In the 3rd inning Matt Holiday doubled scoring Jon Jay.  In the 4th The Cardinals added 3 more runs when Brendan Ryan doubled scoring Aaron Miles, Jon Jay doubled scoring Brendan Ryan, and  Albert Pujols doubled scoring Jon Jay.

Adam Wainwright got the win after pitching a complete game shutout giving up just 2 hits with 7 strikeouts.  The loss went to Ricky Nolasco who pitched 5 innings giving up 10 hits, 7 runs, and 6 strikeouts.

gyi0060919193_crop_450x500Braves vs. Giants

The Giants beat the Braves in a score of 3-2. The Giants scored in the 1st when Aubrey Huff grounded out scoring Andres Torres.  The Braves tied it up in the 5th when Alex Gonzalez hit a solo shot.  The Braves took the lead in the 6th when Chipper Jones hit a solo home run.  The Giants tied it up in the 9th when Aubrey Huff scored due to an error by Chipper Jones.  In the 11th Pat Burell hit a sac fly to score Aubrey Huff.

Barry Zito pitched 7 innings giving up 4 hits, 2 runs, and 10 strikeouts.  Tommy Hanson pitched 7 innings giving up 3 hits, 1 run, and 3 strikeouts.  Javier Lopez got the win after pitching 1 inning giving up 1 hit, no runs, and 1 strikeout.  The loss went to Peter Moylan who pitched 1.2 innings giving up 1 hit, 1 run, and no strikeouts.  The save went to Brian Wilson who pitched a perfect 9th with 1 strikeout.

adam-dunn-natinalsNationals vs. Dodgers

The Nationals beat the Dodgers in a score of 6-3. The Nationals scored 3 runs in the 1st when Adam Dunn hit a 3 run homer scoring Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman.  In the 3rd Adam Dunn hit another 3 run bomb scoring Desmond and Zimmerman making the score 6-0.   The Dodgers scored 3 runs in the 4th when Andre Either homered scoring Ryan Theriot and Casey Blake singled scoring James Loney.

John Lannan got the win and pitched 6 innings giving up 5 hits, 3 runs, and 2 strikeouts.  Clayton Kershaw got the loss and pitched 6 innings giving up 7 hits, 6 runs, and 9 strikeouts.  Drew Storen got his 1st save of the season giving up no hits with 1 walk.

Chatter Up! Nationals @ Mets 9-18-09 to 9-20-09

Filed Under (Chatter Up) by mrose on 18-09-2009

Tagged Under : Alberto Gonzalez, Austin Kearns, Bobby Parnell, Bobby Valentine, Bryce Harper, C.C. Sabathia, Carlos Beltran, Centerfield Gate, David Wright, Derek Lowe, Fernando Nieve, Javier Vazquez, Jerry Manuel, Jim riggleman, Johan Santana, John Garland, John Lackey, Jon Niese, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Josh Thole, Livan Hernandez, Manny Acta, Mike Pelfrey, Mike Wuertz, New York Mets, oakland a's, Omar Minaya, Orlando Hudson, Ray Knight, Ricky Nolasco, Rob Dibble, Ronnie Belliard, Stan Kasten, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tim Redding, Tom Seaver, Washington Nationals

Nats Logo chatterup Mets Logo
Welcome to Chatter Up! This week features Mark Perry of Centerfield Gate against DirtySanchez and TRS of The Real Dirty Mets Blog. On the field, there isn’t much to determine, but maybe this can be more interesting, lets see.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Most likely you guys will have the first pick in the draft again. Since you drafted a phenom of a pitcher last year, what position do you think they will use their #1 pick on?
Mark P(CFG): I would love to see them draft a middle infielder – unless there’s a Babe Ruth on the board. But what I want and what will happen are two different things. This is Stan Kasten’s team and his philosophy is unyielding: draft pitchers, pay for players. So that seems to indicate that it’s likely that we’ll draft and sign a big lefty or some big righty (out of some college is my bet) and draft a middle infielder in about the third round. That’s the typical thing for Kasten. The next draft is filled with power arms, so that seems to tilt it in favor of pitching. But there is one guy who could change all of this. Bryce Harper is the newest can’t miss player: a high school catcher who is considering enrolling in community college just to be eligible for the draft. If I were Kasten and Harper is there, I would grab him.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Do you think the National will add payroll for next years roster? There were rumors about the money you were willing to drop on Texieira…any chance the Nationals use that cash to bring in some FA talent?
Mark P(CFG): My understanding is that the front office has been wiggling all year to cut here and there to have some money in the bank at the end of the season: they reportedly have about $20 million they can spread around and that’s what I expect them to do. I don’t think they’ll offer a blockbuster deal to anyone like they did with Tex: I wouldn’t expect, for instance, that they would bring in a John Lackey. Instead, I think they’ll try to land two or three guys that will bolster the overall team: a reliever, a middle infielder and a second tier starter. I would like to see them dangle some money to Orlando Hudson and John Garland – and re-up Livan Hernandez and then go for a high end middle innings guy, like Oakland did with Mike Wuertz. Of course, he won’t be around, but someone like him would really go a long ways to fixing some sadly broken things. You know: I bet I will be writing the same damn thing next year.
Matt R(NLEC): How has attendance been this year at Nats park? From a fan perspective, are they optimistic of the future right now? The off-field stories like Strasburg have to be a nice plus, but on the field, there is no consistency.
Mark P(CFG): I think we have to find a way to assess attendance as a function of projected and real team finishes. It’s probably already being done, but if not I’ll take full credit for the idea. For instance, I think we need to assess whether (as the worst team in baseball) the Nats could have been expected to draw better than the A’s, Marlins, Pirates, Indians, Reds and Royals — which they have. And I think the answer would be “no.” Which leads me to conclude that the front office got a gift: the fans did all the heavy lifting. Everyone else in major league baseball has a better record and yet the Nats are 24th in attendance and not all that far behind the O’s, Blue Jays and Padres. That’s pretty strong stuff. The really weak team in that list — as a measure of fans against production — are the Marlins, who are contending for the wild card but playing in a mausoleum. You could pass gas in Land Shark stadium without anyone hearing it. No. No. You’re exactly right. And there’s no getting around it. This is a terrible team. But the fans keep coming. You know, it’s weird in D.C. If you show up in the first inning, before the first pitch (a matter of principle for me), there’s no one there. And you think: oh, oh. But then you look up in the second inning and people are streaming in. And by the third the stadium is half full — or almost so. And then they announcement attendance, and it’s always between 20-24 thousand. Which isn’t bad at all. If this city had any kind of team at all we’d be in the top 10 in attendance. Which is a great thing, really, when you think about it. Because the slam against the city is that it is a football town. And it is: but the Nats, just in virtue of what they’ve drawn this year, are here to stay. They are going to draw 1.8 million for the worst team in baseball. Not bad.
Matt R(NLEC): You wrote in one of your blogs lately that you think the Nats will finish ahead of the Mets next year (I think). How do you come to this conclusion?
Mark P(CFG): Because next year the Nats will have a better team. Well, okay. Let me explain and I am saying this not simply to bait Mets fans or because I am a Nats fan. I actually believe that all of the evidence points to it. Most of all, I point to the differences in the front office. My sense is that the Mets front office knows that their team had a terrible year and that it has to be improved. But for them it’s: ‘well, we can do this. We’re not that far away: a little dit here and a little dat there, and bingo, we have a contending club.’ And then they think: ‘and if Reyes comes back and Beltran is healthy and Johan is Johan,’ … well you know — there they are. Atop the NL Least. Winner winner chicken dininer. The Nats operate under no such illusion. The front office knows this is disaster and they have been working all year to get it better and to clear things out for the off-season. It’s not a little dit here and a little dat there, it’s a reset, a makeover. They don’t need to start the makeover in the offseason, they started in July. Then too, the Nats have more at stake. If the Mets fail, well you’re in New York and there’s all that TV money and the payroll is above $100 million and sooner or later they’ll get it right and they have a history — and the Miracle Mets and Casey and Tom Terrific. There’s history there. Not so with the Nats. They need to get it right and they need to do it right now. They’ve got $80 million and that’s it. And in DC, everything is at stake. Even the future of the franchise. At the end of the day, I don’t think it comes down to Wright or Zimmerman, or Dunn or Murphy or any of that. The strength of a team starts in the front office. And right now, amazingly, the Nats front office is just better. Something happened in New York. And it wasn’t on the field — and it wasn’t good. And it hasn’t been repaired. That’s not true for the Nats.
Matt S(PP): Rob Dibble is a blabbering idiot. Did you enjoy his color commentary and should he return to the booth next season?
Mark P(CFG): Yeah, Rob Dibble is a blabbering idiot, but he’s our blabber idiot. Thankfully, he’s married to a schoolteacher, so at least she’s in her element. That poor woman, I’ll bet he’s a handful. I look at it this way: if you think Dibble is bad, you oughta get a load of what we had before him. We once had Ron Darling in the booth and he was as soft as a pillow. He used to hang around media conventions looking for a job. He was desperate. It was pathetic too. So he ended up on Nats’ broadcasts for about a year. I remember he once said, as the Nats took the field: “Wow, those are sharp looking uniforms.” Sharp looking uniforms? The guy was total Brooks Brothers. If you go down there now in Manhattan and wait a while he’ll show up. Then we got Don Sutton. This guy spent his time in front of the mirror practicing his salute and telling us how great Austin Kearns was because he was just such a solid citizen. I mean, who cares? I would sign Stalin if he could hit the ball. And Sutton had this habit of talking, unintentional I’m sure, that signaled all the wrong things: like how he was giving us these really inside little gems that were big secrets. So now it’s Dibble, and he’s a child – but he can be fairly entertaining and when he actually talks about the game (which isn’t all that often) he can sometimes actually be right. Thing is, he’s often as wrong. He and his sidekick (Bob Carpenter, who really is very good) loved Ronnie Belliard, for instance – going on and on about what a good hitter this guy was. I think Ronnie was hitting about .183 at the time. And they play favorites. They don’t like Alberto Gonzalez (not the attorney general, the second baseman), who’s actually a good, young, up-side guy. But they’re down on him. Thing is, when he started to break out of his slump last week the damage was done. So they treated everything he did as a fluke. You know, I think I have to say something good about Dibble, just to kind of even it up. So here it is: back when the Nats were really suffering (back in April and May) he just let them have it. He was unrelenting. It was ruthless, ugly, articulate, and right on. So I give him that. He’s not a homer. There are long silences during some of these games, in the middle of a sixth inning collapse, and you can actually hear him breathing. And then he’ll say: “Long inning.” Great stuff, really. The really good news is the in-studio guy is Ray Knight, and he’s terrific. A great grasp of the game, a way of putting the viewer at ease, and he can be very outspoken. I like him: he cares about the team, the fans, the viewers. Just an all around nice guy who is always prepared.
Thanks again Mark, now onto DirtySanchez and TRS
Mark(CFG): I know things look bad now and it’s been a long season. But can you take a look at the bright side? What was the good news for the Mets this year? What surprised you? What was the good news, the unexpected news — the player who exceeded expectations that promises a brighter future?
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Lol not sure there are too many bright sides but here we go. The good news for the Mets is next year, since they did so awful they will have a high draft pick that most likely will be protected. Personally what surprised me is how drastically the defense deteriorated as soon as Randolph left. Have to admit, we played better defense under him and we improved every year. The good news is like the old saying “obstacles in life are opportunities in disguise”. With all the injuries this year, we were able to put players in a position to showcase their talents. We saw Omir Santos, Fernando Nieve,Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell all step up to the bright lights and deliver. Granted Nieve and Niese both ended up with everyone else on the DL but I do not think they would have had the chance if the starters were all healthy. I believe at this point the only player that promises a bright future would be Josh Thole. Thole looked very good in his brief time up here but obviously still needs work. I believe we will see him in the majors sooner than later.
Mark(CFG): You have a new stadium and now you have a bullpen. And the NL East is weak. There is a minimal best case scenario for the Mets winning the NL East next year — especially with the Nats, Marlins and Braves in the mix. Can you give a sense of what the Mets could do in the off season that might catapult them into contention next year?
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Well first things first they need a #2 pitcher. Mike Pelfrey has been given the chance to fill this role but obviously he cannot…yet. With the Phillies having the tandem of Hamels/Lee, Marlins with JJ/Nolasco and the Braves with Lowe/Vasquez…we need to be able to trot out a good 1-2 punch. What the Mets in my opinion have going for them to get this accomplished is the fact they play in such a pitchers park. If I were Omar Minaya I would totally use this as a selling point to bring in someone like Lacky. Its no secret AL pitchers do better in the NL. Now couple that with a pitchers park and you have a good foot in the door.
Mark(CFG): Who is the one pitcher, this year (obviously, the answer is not going to be Tim Redding — but all of us in Washington could have told you that) who could shine next year — outside of Johan. Is there a guy sneaking around at Triple A who’s the next C.C.., the next Tom Terrrific?
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): I unfortunately don’t think we have anybody of the caliber of CC or Tom Terrific in our system. I believe the pitcher that could realistically shine next year would be Jon Niese(if not traded) or Fernando Nieve(if not traded). These two defiantly picked up their game in the majors and had their season cut short due to injury. They should be good to go in ST so it should be interesting to keep an eye on these two.
Mark(CFG): There’s no doubt in my mind that David Wright can and will bounce back. If you had to predict the other one player who will also bounce back, who would that be?
DirtySanchez(TRDMB):That’s a hard one to judge because David was the only core guy healthy for most of the season. I would guess that Reyes will have a bounce back season next year and this is why. There has been many rumors in the media that Reyes was “milking” his injury. Reyes has come out the media and appeared to take that to heart. I want to say that Reyes will use this as motivation for next season to prove a lot of these media guys wrong…at least I hope lol.
Matt P(PP): H Is Jose Reyes on this team next year? What are the Mets fans’ feelings about Jose and his struggles to return from injury. His drive and motivation (and, uhh, baseball intelligence) have been called into question before. Agree or disagree?
TRS(TRDMB): Yes there are few things for certain in Mets land, however, injuries to Beltran and Reyes actually in my mind assured the core would stay intact for 2010. If they had both been healthy all year and we still missed the playoffs they were both game in my mind. I don’t think you can question his baseball intelligence as he is still developing that as all players do. I can’t speak to motivation or drive because I am not around him only what we see on the field and aside from a few times in which his immaturity has shown I do not recall seeing Jose dog it. I do think his maturity is questionable and because of that he allows talk to go to his head. What bothers me, as I have pointed out at TRDMB is that for 2007 and 2008 he had terrible Septembers. We can blame that on conditioning, coincidence, choking, but that is for sure a concern.
As I felt this year, I believe that next year will be the last for the core unless they win.

Please feel free to email any recommend questions or comments about the segment to this forum topic and post a reply.

NL East Daily Recap from 9-10-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 11-09-2009

Tagged Under : Angel Pagan, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Brian McCann, Burke Badenhop, Centerfield Gate, Dan Uggla, Derek Lowe, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Ian Desmond, Jeff Francouer, Joe Blanton, Lance Berkman, Lance Broadway, Livan Hernandez, Matt Stairs, Mike Gonzalez, Nate McClouth, New York Mets, Nick Johnson, peter moylan, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ron Villone, Roy Oswalt, Sean West, Shane Victorino, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Washington Nationals

ESPN says "closer" for Villone..hah

ESPN says "closer" for Villone..hah

Last night the Washington Nationals actually got a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies.  After being down 2-0 early, they exploded with eight runs from the 3rd to fifth inning with a rookie doing most of the damage.  Rookie Ian Desmond had an RBI double in the fourth and followed that up with a three run home run that proved to be the winning blow in an 8-7 win.  Livan Hernandez(8-10) lasted 7.1 innings and allowed only six hits and two runs and left with the game well in hand, except for the Nats bullpen.  To get the next three outs, the Nats bullpen allowed four hits, five runs (four earned) and a walk before Ron Villone worked the final two outs for his first save of the year.  Check out Centerfield Gate for more info on this game.

Joe Blanton had gone what seemed like forever without a bad start, but that all ended on Wednesday night.  Blanton(9-7) did not get through the fifth before allowing seven hits and eight runs including four walks in this game.  The offense tried to get him off the hook, but it was too little, too late.  Matt Stairs hit a pinch hit grand slam and was followed by an RBI double by Victorino before Villone got a double play to end the game, Phillies Phandom will have more.

Johnson with a big night

Johnson with a big night

The Florida Marlins completed a three game sweep of the New York Mets and finally gained some ground in the division race.  Nick Johnson went 2-4 with two walks and four RBI including a two run single in the seventh inning that broke it open on way to a 13-4 victory and Dan Uggla added another home run, his 27th of the year amongst a flurry of hits and runs.  Sean West couldn’t get through the fifth inning and qualify for a win so Burke Badenhop(7-4) worked two innings allowing two hits to take that honor.  The Marlins head into a weekend series against the Nationals now with hopes the Mets can give them some help as the Mets go to Philly, check out FishGuts for more.

Bobby Parnell had a very tough day on the mound and it didn’t look like he would get much farther than the first, where he gave up three runs.  Parnell(3-8) had a final line of seven hits, six runs (five earned) and having five walks as he raised his ERA to 5.49.  The Mets relief had been solid until Lance Broadway gave up four runs on four hits in his two innings of work.  Angel Pagan and Jeff Francouer had three hits a piece to lead the Mets, check out The Real Dirty Mets Blog for more on this game.

Gonzalez CAN get the save

Gonzalez CAN get the save

The Atlanta Braves were looking to salvage a game against the Astros and in the process hope their bullpen could hold a game down.  They were able to win this game 9-7 and the bullpen wasn’t perfect, but it did the job for them.  Derek Lowe(14-9) went 5.2 innings but was sloppy giving up five runs on nine hits including a three run homer and Peter Moylan made the gamecloser giving up two runs(one earned) and three hits in 1.1 innings of work.  Mike Gonzalez though worked the ninth and got his 10th save of the year, but it was a stressful inning as hegave up a hit and a walk.  Brian McCann went 4-2 with two runs scored and two RBI for the Braves and Nate McClouth added a solo home run as well in this one, check out The Braves Baseball Blog for more.

Roy Oswalt was awful in this one, only getting through two innings of work and throwing 71 pitches in that time frame.  Oswalt(8-6) had a final line of two innigns ten hits, six runs and five strikeouts in taking a tough loss.  Lance Berkman brought them within two runs with a three run home run in the third but two runs is the closest they would get in this one.

NL East Daily Recap From 8-29-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by markperrydc on 30-08-2009

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Centerfieldgate, Chicago Cubs, Chipper Jones, Cliff Lee, Craig Stammen, Derek Lowe, Florida Marlins, Garret Anderson, Gregerson, Heath Bell, Jake Fox, matt diaz, Matt Holiday, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Ricky Nolasco, Russell, San Diego Padres, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Wade LeBlanc, Yunel Escobar


 

Mets starter Bobby Parnell started strong, but a tough Cubs line-up was too much for the young right hander, who gave up a grand slam home run to Jake Fox in the fifth inning as an otherwise light-hitting Cubs line-up took down the New Yorkers 11-4 at Wrigley on Saturday. To make matters worse, the loss was televised to a national audience as a part of the Major League Game of the Week. It’s been a tough month for the New Yorkers, hit by injuries, demoralized by the surge of the division-leading Phillies — and now by rumors that the owners of the ballclub may have to sell. And was a tough game for Parnell, just 24, and one of the Mets new young hurlers and bright hopes for the future.

 

The Cubs, who are themselves struggling, may have suddenly found new life in the NL Central, though the St. Louis Cardinals had as decisive win over the Nats as the Cubs had over the Mets. After the game, Parnell admitted that his confidence “is up and down.” Even so, there is great hope for Parnell, who Mets fans hope can fill a badly needed hole in the rotation for next year. If there was good news in the game, it is that newly acquired Jeff Francoeur continues to swing a fiery bat — going 2 for 4 against the Cubbies. The Mets take on the Cubs again tomorrow before heading to Colorado for a three game series against the Rockies. They will return to New York on September 4. For more news on the Mets, be sure to check out The Real Dirty Mets Blog — which covers everything you’d ever want to know about The New York Mets.

 

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What Jake Fox did to the New York Mets, Matt Holiday did to the Washington Nationals – but this time, Holliday had the courtesy not to make his home run a grand slam. Holliday hit a three run third inning home run against Washington starter Craig Stammen to power the Cardinals to a 9-4 Cardinals win at Busch Stadium on Saturday night. After taking two of three from the stammering Cubs, the Nationals have lost their first two to the Cardinals, helping to dampen the team’s hopes that they might overtake the Royals and Padres for worst team honors in major league baseball. In addition to Stammen’s problems, the Nats’ bats went silent: for although the Nationals threatened to catch the Cardinals in any one of three frames, the team left runners stranded when they needed them most: Elijah Dukes struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh – just one instance of a lack of clutch hitting in an otherwise powerful line-up.

 

Other clubs problems were on display in St. Louis: the Nats last place defense was emphasized (Cristian Guzman booted an easy ground at short, which opened the floodgates for Holliday’s heroism), the bullpen looked unusually shaky (Jorge Sosa gave up two runs in only one inning of work), and the team now officially misses an out-for-the-season Nyjer Morgan: the team left 15 on base and stole no bases. The Nats will face the Cards one more time (a blessing, when you think about it) before heading to San Diego to take on the Padres. To read all about the Nats and their problems in St. Louis, be sure to log onto Centerfield Gate. It will give all the news about the team and the glorious future of the Washington Nationals.

 

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The teams of the N.L. East have not been doing so well lately: the Mets have been struggling against the Cubs in Chicago, the Nationals have looked terrible in St. Louis. Certainly, the Florida Marlins – seeing the Phillies just ahead of them in the standings, and knowing the playoffs are looming, can do something to salvage a successful season. But not so. On Saturday night at home in Miami (and in front of a crowd anticipating a run-for-the pennant win), with success on the horizon, the Marlins failed to gain ground in the NL East, dropping its third straight game to the Friars. But this time the culprit was not pitching, it was hitting. The final score, 7-4, told the story: pitcher Ricky Nolasco (5.1 innings, 3 earned runs) was respectable and held the Marlins in the game. Then too, the four runs scored by the Marlins hitters should have been enough, but it just wasn’t. The Marlins could only muster six hits against a Padres staff that was mediocre at best: Wade LeBlanc, with a less than stellar 9.58 ERA on the season held Florida’s best lumbermen to total of four hits in six innings – the best outing of his entire career, while San Diego’s relievers (Russell, Gregerson and Bell) were lights-out.

 

The Marlins have now dropped three straight to the Padres, one of the worst teams in baseball. In the clubhouse after the game, the frustration with the evening – and with the series – was palpable.’ Every team we play is dangerous,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I don’t look at the records, I don’t. We’ve got to win ballgames. If you get caught up looking at records and thinking you can look beyond teams, you will get disappointed. You’re going to get humbled real quickly.” Ricky Nolasco refused to be pessimistic: “Those are things that are going to happen. Now, tomorrow is a must-win. We’ve got to get it rolling to be able to give ourselves a chance. We can’t sit here and just hang our heads and be frustrated about it. We’ve got to do something about it, get the game tomorrow. The season is not over yet.” Don’t forget to check up on the Marlins, and their tussle today and tomorrow against the Padres at FishGuts.

 

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It seems that the only time an N.L. East team plays well enough to win, these days, is when it plays another N.L. East team. At least in this case, the much anticipated Atlanta Braves-Philadelphia Phillies rivalry didn’t disappoint. In what was billed as a major duel of top notch pitchers and tough sluggers, the two major competitors in the N.L. East came out swinging on Saturday, with Atlanta ending up on top in another rain-sodden contest in Philadelphia by a score of 9-1. By the time this one was done, Atlanta had taught the otherwise soon to be immortal Cliff Lee (5-0 since he joined the Phillies from the Cleveland something-or-others) that he was now in the National League: and that Matt Diaz (3-5, one home run), Garret Anderson (3-4, one home run), Yunel Escobar (2-4, one home run) and Chipper Jones (1-5, one home run) were not going to allow him (or those who relieved him) to go 6-0. Or allow the people of Philadelphia to believe that their path to the division crown would be without any bumps.

 

Lee was not about to issue excuses for his outing – which was hardly a disaster. Even so: “I went and watched basically every hit I gave up and they were all right down the middle,” Lee said. “It’s hard to get good results when you’re throwing pitches belt high and down the middle of the plate. That’s basically what happened. I feel good about throwing strikes, working ahead and not walking people, but I put myself in positions to put them away and I missed up and down the middle. If you consistently do that, that’s what’s going to happen.” The Braves’ win was not without its blemishes, a talisman perhaps of the troubles it must surmount if it is to catch the Phillies: Derek Lowe pitched well, but he gave up eight hits. And Atlanta must still somehow crawl over a seven game Phillie lead in the east, a not impossible task, but one that is becoming more and more difficult with each passing game. To read more about the Phillies, be sure to check out Phillies Phandom Blog – and for more on the challenges facing the Braves, be sure to click on to Braves Baseball Blog.

 

NL East Daily Recap from 8-28-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 29-08-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Brian Stokes, Busch Stadium, Centerfieldgate, Chicago Cubs, Chris Coghlan, Chris Volstad, Cody Ross, Elijah Dukes, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Freddi Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Jamie Moyer, Jason Bergman, John Lannan, John Smoltz, Josh Johnson, Josh Willingham, Key West, Khalil Greene, New Orleans, New York Mets, Pat Misch, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Ted Lilly, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tommy Hanson, Washington Nationals, Wes Helms, Wrigley Field

Moyer with a rare appearance

Moyer with a rare appearance

The big bat of Ryan Howard provided the firepower for Philadelphia in their soggy 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in Philadelphia on Friday, extending the Phillies lead in the N.L. East to eight games. The Braves were hoping to sneak up on the Phillies, sending ace rookie Tommy Hanson to the mound, but Hanson could not keep the Phillies bats off the board, giving up a home run to Howard in the second before being relieved (he was pulled from the game because of a rain delay) by a bevy of Braves relievers who kept the game close, but could not keep it close enough: Howard homered again in the fourth. The Phillies, meanwhile, started Pedro Martinez – but like Hanson he was also pulled from the game as a result of the deluge. This is becoming a habit with Martinez, whose last start was also shortened by showers. In both cases, Martinez was relieved by Jamie Moyer, relegated to a bullpen role as a result of Martinez’s signing and promotion.

The soggy field did not dampen the spirits of Phillie fans, however, who stayed throughout the contest – knowing that the Braves-Phillies tilt would help put the final touches on a successful Phillies season. The frosting on the Phillies cake was a 9th inning appearance by a sometimes-shaky Brad Lidge, who set down the Braves for his 26th save. Full coverage of the Braves can be found at The Braves Baseball Blog. And check out Phillies Phandom for more on the Phillies.

Blanks crosses home...man hes big!

Blanks crosses home...man hes big!

The Florida Marlins pitching staff, which has been up and down all year was down on Friday night, as Chris Volstad suffered through one of his worst starts in the majors – and the Marlins went on to drop a key game against the San Diego Padres 9-5. Volstad, who had pitched brilliantly in some of his starts earlier in the year, lasted only 1.2 innings against the Pads, despite help from some lively Marlins’ bats: Chris Coghlan was 3-5, Wes Helms was 2-5, Hanley Ramirez was 2-4 and Cody Ross was 2-4. But as any conch collector in Key West can tell you, without pitching you just can’t win. So it was with the Marlins tonight – as the team fell into a tie with the Braves for second place in the N.L East, a full eight games back of the surging Phillies. It now seems unlikely that either of them, both of whom were retooled and ready for the summer campaign in the spring, can catch Philadelphia.

While the Marlins have not raised the white flag on the season – they still have Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco throwing hard and well (and are well-stocked with a formidable wall of power hitters) – they have decided that Chris Volstad needs more work. In the wake of their loss to the lowly Friars, the team sent Volstad (9-11) packing to the minors. The decision shows just how far the fastballer has fallen. “People are going to struggle, but when you see frustration and lack of confidence, that’s when we have to make a decision as coaches and an organization on what’s best for the kid, and we’ve done that,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’re going to option Volstad down to New Orleans to give him a little breather and come back.” You can read all about the game, and the decision on Volstad, on FishGuts. 

Soriano with the big fly

Soriano with the big fly

Mets lefty Pat Misch baffled the Cubs for seven solid innings on Friday, but it wasn’t enough, as the New York bullpen melted down – and ended up giving the game away to the Chicago North Siders 5-2. The loss was particularly frustrating because the Mets had seemed to master Cubs’ starter Ted Lilly, touching the always tough veteran for two hard earned runs – one in the second and one in the eighth. The Cubs, skidding after losing two of three to the lowly Nats, were ripe for the picking, but the Mets bullpen could not take advantage: the usually dependable Brian Stokes gave up a three run shot to Alfonso Soriano (who victimized his team with two outfield gaffes) that effectively sealed the contest.

Misch, who grew up in Illinois watching the Cubs, said that he was nervous playing in Chicago. “I couldn’t eat a thing,” he said after the game, “and I usually eat a lot before I pitch.” The Mets, who have only won nine of their last 21, are desperate to finish the season on an up-beat note, but things have not been going well for them lately – Friday was only the most recent example of their recent troubles. When the starting pitching is going well (as it was on Friday in Wrigley) their bullpen lets them down, and when their bullpen is going well, it seems their starting pitching lets them down. Worse yet, on Friday the team got word that shortstop Jose Reyes, who has not played in three months, may well have to undergo surgery on his right hamstring tendon. The Mets will attempt to bounce back from Friday loss on Saturday, when Bobby Parnell faces off against Ryan Dempster at Wrigley. The Real Dirty Mets Blog covers everything you’d ever want to know about this game . . . and the Mets.

Pujols with the walk-off winner!

Pujols with the walk-off winner!

Who would pitch to Albert Pujols in a 2-2 tie before a screaming throng at Busch Stadium in St. Louis? Why the Washington Nationals, that’s who. Washington Nationals reliever Jason Bergman served up a fastball in Pujols wheelhouse in the ninth inning of a beautifully pitched duel between Nats’ pitcher John Lannan and newly acquired Redbirds’ ace John Smoltz – and the Cardinals beat the Nats 3-2 in St. Louis. Lannan pitched eight innings of four hit ball before giving up a home run to Khalil Greene that tied the game and was subsequently relieved by Jason Bergman, who came on to pitch the ninth. Washington’s long-suffering fans didn’t have to wait long to determine the results: Pujols put a fastball into the upper deck in left field at Busch to pull out the victory.

St. Louis fans gave a warm welcome to Smoltz, who was sharp in his second start for the Redbirds. The former Atlanta star pitched four innings of four hit ball, but left with little damage – two doubles by Elijah Dukes. Washington’s big boppers: Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Willingham flailed away in vain against Smoltz all night in vain. For all things good and bad about the Nats, be sure to check out CenterfieldGate which also has a lot more on this game.


NL East Series Preview 8-28-09 through 8-30-09

Filed Under (Series Preview) by mrose on 28-08-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Wainwright, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Carlos Zambrano, Centerfieldgate, Chicago Cubs, Chris Volstad, Cliff Lee, Craig Stammen, Derek Lowe, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Garrett Mock, J.A. Happ, Jair Jurrjens, JJ Putz, Joe Blanton, Johan Santana, John Lannan, John Smoltz, Kevin Correia, matt holliday, Matt Latos, Mitchell Boggs, Nelson Figueroa, New York Mets, Oliver Perez, Pat Misch, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Dempster, San Diego Padres, Sean West, St Louis Caridinals, Ted Lilly, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tommy Hanson, Washington Natioanls

Phillies Logo VS Phillies Logo
The Philadelphia Phillies(73-52, 1st in NL East) had a bit of a surprise and a possible worry when in Pittsburgh this week.  They had opportunities to win all three games, and three times late comebacks caused at the least, extra innings if not a loss.  Monday and Tuesday the leads were blown by the bullpen, luckily Ryan Howard saved them on Wednesday, but on Thursday they allowed the starter J.A. Happ to try to finish and he couldn’t do it either.  They hope to get the wheels rollin again at home against division rival Atlanta.   Phillies Phandom will have all the information on this series you need.

The Atlanta Braves(67-60, tied for 2nd in NL East 7GB) also had a tough week, one that they thought should be an easy one.  They managed to take the finale of a three game set against the pesky Padres with a blowout victory Thursday afternoon.  The Braves started the week alone in second, but now find themselves back in a tie for second with the Marlins.  Neither team looks to have the horses to get a playoff birth right now, but a good weekend could change that. Check out The Braves Baseball Blog for more.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 7:05PM EST – Hanson,ATL(9-2,3.12 ERA) vs. Martinez,PHI(2-0,5.14 ERA)
Saturday @ 7:05PM EST – Lowe,ATL(12-8,4.48 ERA) vs. Lee,PHI(12-9,2.63 ERA)
Sunday @ 8:05PM EST – Jurrjens,ATL(10-8,2.91 ERA) vs. Blanton,PHI(8-6,3.88 ERA)
Marlins Logo VS Braves Logo
The Florida Marlins(67-60, tied for 2nd in NL East 7GB) welcomed in the AAA Mets this week to South Florida and they couldn’t even up the attendance with Mets fans!  The Fish did manage to take the first two games of the series before the pitching failed them in the finale on Thursday.  The series win moved them back into a second place tie, and they look to gain ground in an unlikely playoff race now.  FishGuts will have more on the Marlins and this defining series.

The San Diego Padres(54-75, 6th in NL West 22.5GB) are into the role of playing spoiler now.  They went into Atlanta as mentioned previously and took two of three from the playoff hopeful Padres, dashing many of their hopes.  They can put a real damper in the hearts of the Marlins fans this weekend in South Florida.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 7:10PM EST – Correia,SD(8-10,4.46 ERA) vs. Volstad,FLA(9-10,4.73 ERA)
Saturday @ 6:10PM EST – TBA,SD(—,-.– ERA) vs. Nolasco,FLA(9-8,5.31 ERA)
Sunday @ 1:10PM EST – Latos,SD(4-3,4.06 ERA) vs. West,FLA(5-5,4.44 ERA)
Mets Logo VS Cubs Logo
The New York Mets(58-70, 4th in NL East 16.5GB) got more injury news this week, as Johan Santana, JJ Putz and Oliver Perez are all now done for the season.  Oddly enough, David Wright looks to be coming back in a few days, but they just want to get through the season with no more injuries, or at least none that will linger to next year.  This weekend they go to Chicago where the Cubs don’t have the injury excuse for their play, they just aren’t playing to the level they should be.  It should be interesting, do the underachivers win, or the injury depleted team?  The Real Dirty Mets Blog has more.

The Chicago Cubs (63-62, 2nd in NL Central 9GB) are just a lost team since the all-star break and one could make the argument, all season.  They are now 9 full games out of first and just lost a series to the Washington Nationals, so things are just not going well for them.  This should be an interesting series to watch..for all the wrong reasons.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 2:20PM EST – Misch,NYM(0-1,4.09 ERA) vs. Lilly,CHI(9-8,3.40 ERA)
Saturday @ 4:10PM EST – Parnell,NYM(3-6,5.08 ERA) vs. Dempster,CHI(7-7,4.07 ERA)
Sunday @ 2:20PM EST – Figueroa,NYM(1-3,5.40 ERA) vs. Zambrano,CHI(7-5,3.80 ERA)
Nats Logo VS Cardinals Logo
The Washington Nationals(46-82, 5th in NL East 28.5GB) are enjoying playing spoiler, or this week, maybe more appropriately, embarasser.  The Cubs don’t have that many injuries as stated above, but they are still floundering and lost two of three to the Nationals this week.  The Nats can put a dent into the Cardinals this weekend, but they likely will not effect their playoff standing much with the nine game lead.   Check out CenterfieldGate for more.

The St. Louis Cardinals(74-55, 1st in NL Central) are running away with the division right now.  The combination of having Matt Holliday in their now vaunted lineupe and good pitching, including the newcomer John Smoltz has put them out to a nine game lead over the Cubs.  They should be able to cruise into the playoffs now, but look for them to still try to stay sharp.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 8:15PM EST – Lannan,WAS(8-9,4.03 ERA) vs. Smoltz,STL(3-5,7.40 ERA)
Saturday @ 7:15PM EST – Stammen,WAS(4-6,5.08 ERA) vs. Boggs,STL(1-2,4.58 ERA)
Sunday @ 2:15PM EST – Mock,WAS(3-5,5.23 ERA) vs. Wainwright,STL(15-7,2.50 ERA)

NL East Daily Recap from 8-24-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 25-08-2009

Tagged Under : Angel Pagan, Bobby Parnell, Centerfieldgate, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Colin Balester, Felipe Lopez, Fernando Tatis, Gary Sheffield, Jason Kendall, Jeff Francouer, Jody Gerut, Johan Santana, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Washington Nationals, Will Nieve, Yovani Gallardo

Cliff Lee makes it 5-0

Cliff Lee makes it 5-0

Yesterday, fresh off a stunning triple play ender to a ball game, Cliff Lee looked to make it three of four against the deteriorated Mets.  Lee(5-0) went seven innings allowing six hits and two runs, while striking out five and both runs allowed were in the first inning.  He got plenty of support from big man Ryan Howard as well.  Howard homered twice in the first three innings of the game, first with a three run shot, and later with a two run blow.  Raul Ibanez produced the only other run on a RBI double, which scored Chase Utley.  Phillies Phandom will have more info on the Phils.

The Mets learned of another injury prior to yesterday’s game and were forced to play with Jeff Francouer, and possibly won’t have him for some time.  With Bobby Parnell on the mound and a team full of backups, Parnell could not come through.  Parnell(3-6) gave up four hits and five runs in five innnings worked, but if you take away the bombs to Howard, did not do that bad, but still gets collared with the loss.  The Mets first run was scored on a wild play in the first where Chase Utley dropped a popup allowing Angel Pagan to score and then a throwing error to second, allowed him to score.  Later in the inning, Fernando Tatis hit a sac fly to score Sheffield, but the Mets could get nothing more against Cliff Lee.  The Real Dirty Mets Blog has more on this game and Johan Santana’s injury.

Balester gets roughed up in the 6th

Balester gets roughed up in the 6th

For a while, Yovani Gallardo probably wondered what he would have to do to get another win, as his team was down 1-0 until the sixth.  In the sixth inning, Ryan Braun got them ahead with a two run homer and was helped by RBI singles from Jason Kendall and Jody Gerut and finally an RBI groundout by Felipe Lopez.  Jody Gerut also added a solo shot in the eighth for insurance.  Gallardo(12-10) held on and gave up only one run and four hits in five innings but walked four against eight strike outs to throw 108 pitches.

The Nationals for a while looked like they may take a pitchers dual and split the four game set.  Unfortunately Colin Balester could not hold the lead in the sixth.  Balester(1-4) finished the day with five complete innings and five hits and four runs, including the shot to Ryan Braun.  The only run for the Nationals came from Will Nieves RBI groundout.  CenterfieldGate has more on the Nats latest struggles.

NL East Series Preview 8-21-09 through 8-23-09

Filed Under (Series Preview) by mrose on 21-08-2009

Tagged Under : Anibal Sanchez, Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Bobby Parnell, Braden Looper, Centerfieldgate, Chris Volstad, Cincinnati Reds, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Colin Balester, Colorado Rockies, Craig Stammen, Derek Lowe, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Gary Sheffield, Houston Astros, J.A. Happ, Javier Vazquez, JD Martin, Johan Santana, John Lannan, Livan Hernandez, Manny Parra, Mike Burns, Mike Pelfrey, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Oliver Perez, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ricky Nolasco, St. Louis Cardinals, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tim Redding, Tommy Hanson, Washington Nationals, Yovani Gallardo

Phillies Logo VS Mets Logo
The Philadelphia Phillies(69-49, 1st in NL East) are coming into this Mets series playing some of their best baseball of the year.  The problem is, they don’t need their best baseball this time, as the Mets are completely depleted.  The Phillies have won eight of nine games since being swept by the Marlins two weekends ago and find themselves with their lead in the division back to 6.5 games.  Can the Phillies get as fired up to play the Mets as they always can, even though they are so far apart? Phillies Phandom will have all the information on this series you need.

The New York Mets(56-65, 4th in NL East 14.5GB) just want to get through the year without more controversy and injury.  This week alone, they lost another player to injury (Wright), released Livan Hernandez, activated Billy Wagner, but had a blow up from Sheffield.  At the least this gives people things to write and talk about in an otherwise dismal year for the Mets.  Can they play a bit of a spoiler this weekend?  The Real Dirty Mets Blog will have more.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 7:10PM EST – Hamels,PHI(7-7,4.69 ERA) vs. Pelfrey,NYM(8-8,4.75 ERA)
Saturday @ 7:10PM EST – Happ,PHI(9-2,2.66 ERA) vs. Redding,NYM(1-4,6.53 ERA)
Sunday @ 1:10PM EST – Martinez,PHI(1-0,4.50 ERA) vs. Perez,NYM(3-3,6.06 ERA)
Monday @ 1:10PM EST – Lee,PHI(11-9,2.72 ERA) vs. Parnell,NYM(3-5,4.74 ERA)
Marlins Logo VS Braves Logo
The Florida Marlins(64-57, 2nd in NL East 6.5GB, 4GB of wildcard) could not take care of business this week against a weak opponent and therefore lost ground in both races.  The Astros were able to take two of three games from the Marlins in Houston, and both the Phillies and Colorado Rockies swept their sets to push them into a tie with the Braves in both races at 6.5 games back.  They need to rebound and get some help from other teams this weekend. FishGuts will have more on the Marlins and this defining series.

The Atlanta Braves(64-57, 2nd in NL East 6.5GB, 4GB of wildcard) did exactly what they had to this week in New York and won the series.  It did not look good as they blew a four run lead in the first game but rebounded very well in game two and even beating Johan Santana in the third game.  They continue a division rival week as they welcome in the Marlins who they are tied with currently to see who comes out ahead after the series.  Check out The Braves Baseball Blog for more.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 7:30PM EST – Sanchez,FLA(1-4,5.55 ERA) vs. Vazquez,ATL(10-8,2.99 ERA)
Saturday @ 7:00PM EST – Volstad,FLA(9-9,4.61 ERA) vs. Hanson,ATL(8-2,3.05 ERA)
Sunday @ 1:30PM EST – Nolasco,FLA(9-8,5.22 ERA) vs. Lowe,ATL(12-8,4.45 ERA)
Brewers Logo VS Nationals Logo
The Washington Nationals(43-78, 5th in NL East 27.5GB) came out of a solid weekend where they rebounded from a three game losing streak to win the final three of a four game set in Cincinnati.  They then welcomed in the Wild card leading Rockies and lost all three to them to get back into a losing streak.  They will be the only National League East team not playing a division rival this weekend as they welcome in the Brew-Crew.  They hope to rebound again as they did last weekend, check out CenterfieldGate for more.

The Milwaukee Brewers(58-62, 4th in NL Central 10.5GB) are now completely floundering, losers of seven of their past ten games and falling to fourth as the Cardinals surge to the division lead.  They will hope to rebound and see if they can get any help from other teams this weekend, but likely spoiler is their best role throughout the season.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 7:05PM EST – Looper,MIL(10-6,5.03 ERA) vs. Martin,WAS(2-2,4.61 ERA)
Saturday @ 7:05PM EST – Burns,MIL(3-4,5.36 ERA) vs. Lannan,WAS(8-9,3.68 ERA)
Sunday @ 1:35PM EST – Parra,MIL(8-9,6.33 ERA) vs. Stammen,WAS(3-6,5.13 ERA)
Monday @ 4:35PM EST – Gallardo(11-10,3.56 ERA) vs. Balester,WAS(1-3,6.75 ERA)

NL East Daily Recap from 8-19-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 20-08-2009

Tagged Under : Adam LaRoche, Angel Pagan, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Brian McCann, Carlos Gonzalez, Centerfieldgate, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Clint Barmes, Colin Balester, Colorado Rockies, Dan Uggla, Danny Haren, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Huston Street, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Marquis, Jayson Werth, Jorge Cantu, Jose Valverde, Josh Bard, Lance Berkman, Luis Castillo, matt diaz, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ross Glaud, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Sammy Gervacio, Sean West, Stephen Drew, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Washington Nationals, Yorman Bazardo

Roy who?

Roy who?

Cliff Lee has been absolutely outstanding for the Phillies since being traded in late July.  Lee(4-0) turned in his fourth straight solid, or in this case terrific outting as he threw a complete game while allowing only two hits and one run while striking out eleven while winning 8-1.  His ERA in the National League is now 0.82 in his four starts, and the Phillies must have no regrets about not picking up Roy Halladay.  Ryan Howard and the Phillies supported him with eight runs, including a three run home from Ryan Howard, two solo shots from Jayson Werth and a two run shot from Chase Utley.  Since the Marlins lost,  they added a game to their lead in the division, Phillies Phandom will have more on this.

The Diamondbacks sent their ace to the hill in this game as well, and the game didn’t have the magic that everyone expected.  Danny Haren could only last five innings and he allowed six runs and nine hits.  Haren(12-8) has now given up five or more runs in three of his past four starts, raising his ERA from 2.19 at the end of July to 2.74 now.  For the second straight night, the D’backs only managed a single run and Stephen Drew produced it, this time on a sacrifice fly.

Couldn't get the big hit

Couldn't get the big hit

The Houston Astros managed to get the win 6-3 last night, despite using six different pitchers throughout the game.  The offense took the lead in the bottom of the first though and never looked back, happy that Lance Berkman got back in the swing of things with an RBI double to tie it early.  Starting pitcher Yorman Bazardo only lasted 4.2 innings and gave up only two runs in the first but left with runners on and a high pitch count.  Sammy Gervacio(1-0) got his first win while recording the final out in the fifth inning and using only five pitches.  Jose Valverde got his 17th save of the season in the 6-3 win.

The Florida Marlins once again did get more than ten hits a game, extending the franchise record and getting closer to the National League record.  Too bad hits don’t always turn into runs though, as they could only muster three runs and one after the first.  Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla contributed RBI singles and then Ross Glaud capped the Fish scoring in the sixth with an RBI double.  Sean West(4-5) lasted only four and gave up three earned runs and four total and left after only 62 pitches.  FishGuts has more on this Marlins loss and their push to the playoffs.

Ouch

Ouch

The Atlanta Braves were able to return the favor the Mets gave them on Tuesday night with their own eight run inning.  The Braves scored eight in the second and the game was more than over at that point on their way to a 15-2 victory.  Brian McCann hit a three run home run and Adam LaRoche and Matt Diaz joined him in that homer party.  Diaz finished with four RBI and Infante added three RBI as well.  Jair Jurrjens(10-8) didn’t have to work hard for this win and got six innings done with only two runs and allowed eight hits.  The Braves Baseball Blog is the place to go for all Braves info as well.

Once again, what is to say about the Mets game?  Luis Castillo made a mental error and didn’t cover second on a double play ball and Bobby Parnell never recovered.  Parnell(3-5) got through three innings and allowed nine runs on nine hits and two walks a far cry from his previous gem of a game.  Angel Pagan had an RBI double and Luis Castillo also drove in a run, but this one was over early and the Mets even replaced many of the starters to save them from the looming injury cloud on the team.  The Real Dirty Mets Blog is the place to go for all Mets info.

on fire!

on fire!

Last night Carlos Gonzalez once again got the big hit for the Rockies, as he hit what would be the eventual winning home run in the eighth inning for the Rockies.  Clint Barmes also hit his second homer in as many days and the Rockies went on to win 5-4.  Jason Marquis(14-8) worked six innings allowing nine hits and three runs and only striking out one and once again Huston Street got the save, his 31st, but not without a problem as he gave up a solo shot.  The Rockies go for the sweep tonight.

Colin Balester(1-3) was awful for the Nationals last night, he only got through 1.1 innings and allowed three runs only three hits but five walks.  Ryan Zimmerman stayed hot, going 2-3 with a walk and two RBI’s on a double and a triple in the game.  Josh Bard contributed a solo shot in the ninth inning to bring the Nationals within a run, but they could not get closer.  Centerfieldgate has more info on the Nationals and what is going on with their team.

NL East Series Preview 8-18-09 through 8-20-09

Filed Under (Series Preview) by mrose on 18-08-2009

Tagged Under : Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Bud Norris, Centerfieldgate, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cliff Lee, Colin Balester, Colorado Rockies, Craig Stammen, Danny Haren, David Wright, Derek Lowe, Doug Davis, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Garrett Mock, Houston Astros, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Hammel, Jason Marquis, Joe Blanton, Johan Santana, Jon Garland, Josh Johnson, Kenshin Kawakami, Lance Berkman, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Oliver Perez, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Pudge Rodriguez, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Howard, Sean West, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wandy Rodriguez, Washington Nationals, Yorman Bazardo

D'backs Logo VS Phillies Logo
The Philadelphia Phillies(66-49, 1st in NL East) had a good weekend against the Braves and put a slight bit of distance between those two teams now.  The Marlins also won two out of three games, so the Marlins still stand 4.5 games back, so the Phillies still have a fire lit under them.  This week, they begin by welcoming in the Arizona Diamondbacks who they took two out of three from late last month.  The Phillies are coming off a strong week, going 5-1 with a series victory this weekend and a sweep in Chicago last week.  They hope that Pedro Martinez can give another solid outting and the rest of the offense will begin to help Ryan Howard throughout this series. Phillies Phandom will have all the information on this series you need.

The Arizona Diamondbacks(54-65, 4th in NL West 16GB) re playing well of late, except for a series sweep in Washington last weekend.  They beat the Mets two of three games last weekend and then even took two out of three from the division leading National League West Dodgers this past weekend.  They lost a makeup game to the the Braves and  will make a trip to Houston to end the week.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Tuesday @ 7:05PM EST – Garland,ARI(6-10,4.28 ERA) vs. Martinez,PHI(1-0,5.40 ERA)
Wednesday @ 7:05PM EST – Haren,ARI(12-7,2.50 ERA) vs. Lee,PHI(10-9,2.86 ERA)
Thursday @ 7:05PM EST – Davis,ARI(7-10,3.59 ERA) vs. Blanton,PHI(7-6,3.88 ERA)
Marlins Logo VS Astros Logo
The Florida Marlins(63-55, 2nd in NL East 4.5GB, 2GB of wildcard) had a successful weekend at home, taking two of three from the wildcard leading Rockies.  This was immediately after a week in which they came off a sweep of the Phillies and followed that for three of four from the Astros at home.  This combines to give them a 8-2 since being swept by the Washington Nationals.  They have a favorable schedule coming up to gain ground in the division and wildcard coming up, starting with three at the Astros this week. FishGuts will have more on the Marlins and this defining series.

The Houston Astros(57-61, 4th in NL Central 10GB) are now back to being sellers and playing for next year.  Just a few weeks ago, it was possible they could make a run for the wildcard and very possibly the division, but this has changed.  Losers of five of seven games, the Astros have even recently traded away catcher Pudge Rodriguez to the Rangers for two minor leaguers.  One bright spot is that they did recently get Lance Berkman back from the disabled list.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 8:05PM EST – Nolasco,FLA(8-8,5.44 ERA) vs. Norris,HOU(3-0,3.00 ERA)
Wednesday @ 8:05PM EST – West,FLA(4-4,4.57 ERA) vs. Bazardo,HOU(0-0,5.06 ERA)
Thursday @ 8:05PM EST – Johnson,FLA(12-2,2.85 ERA) vs. Rodriguez,HOU(11-7,3.05 ERA)
Braves Logo VS Mets Logo
The Atlanta Braves(62-56, 3rd in NL East 5.5GB 3GB of wildcard) had a rough weekend against the Phillies after climbing back into both the divisional and wildcard races in the National League.  They were hurt by Ryan Howard against the Phillies as he produced all four runs last night and hit the eventual winning home run on Friday.  They still only stand 6 games back of the division and 3.5 back of the wildcard.  They were able to then rebound and take the only game against the Diamondbacks in a makeup from May.They now head to NY to face the Mets and  The Braves Baseball Blog has more on both series.

The New York Mets(55-63, 4th in NL East 12.5GB) can not get a break this season when it comes to injuries.  This past weekend in a very scary moment, David Wright was hit in the head with a pitch in an eventual loss against the Giants.  They were able to rebound and win one for him the next day but could not finish off a series win last night.  The Mets will continue to play out the string, even as the Disabled list rises and a victory now means “no new injuries” to them.   The Real Dirty Mets Blog is your place to go for more information on the Mets.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Tuesday @ 7:10PM EST – Lowe,ATL(12-7,4.08 ERA) vs. Perez,NYM(2-3,5.97 ERA)
Wednesday @ 7:10PM EST – Jurrjens,ATL(9-8,2.99 ERA) vs. Parnell,NYM(3-4,3.50 ERA)
Thursday @ 7:10PM EST – Kawakami,ATL(5-9,4.13 ERA) vs. Santana,NYM(13-8,3.10 ERA)
Rockies Logo VS Nats Logo
The Washington Nationals(43-75, 5th in NL East 24.5GB) were able to turn around a small losing streak of three games after an eight game winning streak.  This was new thing to see out of this Nationals team.  They were able to take the final three games against the Reds and the offense seems to have restarted itself.  They now will go into a pretty big test for a team that may have found its way, facing the wildcard leading Rockies.  There are a couple teams in the division though that will be big Nats fans this week, hoping the Nats can do them a solid. CenterfieldGate has more information on the Nats, be sure to check them out.

The Colorado Rockies(63-53, 2nd in NL West, 1st in Wildcard) look to use this matchup against the last place Nationals to gain back the game they lost this weekend in the wildcard standings.  The Rockies took two of three and exploited the Rockies pitching while gaining a game on them in the wildcard and not allowing them to put any distance with others as well.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Tuesday @ 7:05PM EST – Jimenez,COL(10-9,3.47 ERA) vs. Stammen,WAS(3-6,5.24 ERA)
Wednesday @ 7:05PM EST – Marquis,COL(13-8,3.55 ERA) vs. Balester,WAS(1-2,6.00 ERA)
Thursday @ 7:05PM EST – Hammel,COL(7-7,4.73 ERA) vs. Mock,WAS(2-4,5.27 ERA)