Offseason Report Card: Phillies

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

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

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

Philadelphia Phillies

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

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

Command Center’s Grade: B+

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

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

NLCS Preview: Phillies vs. Giants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prediction: Phillies in 6.

And Then There Were Two: NLDS Predictions

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

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

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

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

Phillies vs. Reds

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

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

So, will the Reds take a game?  The Command Center says…

Prediction: Phillies in 3.

Braves vs. Giants

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

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

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

Prediction: Giants in 5.

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

What’s on Tap 9-27-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 27-09-2010

Tagged Under : Alex Sanabia, Braves, Brewers, Dave Bush, John Lannan, Marlins, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Phillies, Roy Halladay, Tommy Hanson

Monday’s games:

Nationals vs. Phillies

Washington plays host to the Phillies tonight. John Lannan (8-7, 4.58 ERA) gets the start for the Nationals. Roy Halladay (20-10, 2.53 ERA) starts for Philadelphia. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Braves vs. Marlins

As Atlanta looks to take the NL Wild Card, Florida hope to be spoilers as these two teams open up a three-game set in Atlanta tonight. Tommy Hanson (10-11, 3.51 ERA) takes the hill for Atlanta. Alex Sanabia (5-3, 3.99 ERA) starts for Florida. First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

Mets vs. Brewers

The Mets begin their final homestand of the season with a four-game series with Milwaukee. Mike Pelfrey (15-9, 3.75 ERA) starts for New York. Dave Bush (7-13, 4.70 ERA) starts for the Brewers. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

What’s on Tap 9-21-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 21-09-2010

Tagged Under : Adalberto Mendez, Astros, Braves, J.A. Happ, John Lannan, Marlins, Mets, Mike Minor, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Phillies, Roy Halladay

Tuesday’s games:

Braves vs. Phillies

The Braves and Phillies continue to fight it out tonight to win the NL East. Mike Minor (3-1, 5.84 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta. Roy Halladay (19-10, 2.49 ERA) starts for the Phillies.  Game time is 7:05 p.m. in Philadelphia.

Nationals vs. Astros

The Nationals look to take game two against Houston tonight in Washington. John Lannan (8-7, 4.61 ERA) takes the hill for Washington. J.A. Happ (5-2, 3.63 ERA) gets the start for Houston. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Marlins vs. Mets

The Marlins and Mets begin a short two-games series tonight in Florida. Adalberto Mendez (1-1, 1.74 ERA) starts for Florida. Mike Pelfrey (15-9, 3.84 ERA) starts for New York. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

NL East Recap 9/15

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by samlevenstein on 16-09-2010

Tagged Under : Andrew McCutchen, Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran, Chase Utley, chris snyder, Dan Uggla, David Wright, Drew Storen, Emilio Bonifacio, Gaby Sanchez, Garrett Jones, Hanley Ramirez, Hector Luna, Hisanori Takahashi, Ike davis, jason werth, Jennry Mejia, john bowker, John Lannan, Jorge Sosa, jose tabata, Justin Maxwell, Logan Morrison, martin prado, melkey cabrera, mike hesserman, Mike Minor, Nick Evans, Omar Infante, Paul Maholm, pedro alverez, Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez, raul valdez, Ronny Cedeno, Ross Gload, Roy Halladay, Ruben Tejada, Ryan Howard, Troy Glaus, Wilson Valdez

Nationals vs. Braves

The Nationals beat the Braves in a score of 4-2.  In the top of the 2nd Justin Maxwell hit a grand slam for the Nationals to take a 4-0 lead. In the 4th Melkey Cabrera grounded out scoring Troy Glaus to put the Braves on the board.  In the 5th Martin Prado singled scoring Omar Infante.

John Lannan got the win pitching 6 innings giving up 8 hits, 2 runs, and 6 strikeouts.  The loss went to Mike Minor who pitched 5 innings giving up 4 hits, 4 runs, and 6 strikeouts.  Drew Storen got the save giving up no hits with 1 strikeout.

Marlins vs. Phillies

The Phillies beat the Marlins in a score of 10-5. The Phillies scored 3 runs in the 1st when Jason Werth singled home Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez doubled home Ryan Howard and Jason Werth.  In the bottom of the 1st The Marlins got on the board when Dan Uggla singled home Emilio Bonifacio.  The Phillies scored 3 more runs in the 3rd when Chase Utley hit a solo home run, Wilson Valdez singled home Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino singled home Raul Ibanez.  In the 4th Wilson Valdez singled home Jason Werth and Raul Ibanez scored on a wild pitch.  In the bottom of the 4th the Marlins scored when Hector Luna hit a sac fly to score Gaby Sanchez.  In the 5th Placido Polanco singled home Shane Victorino.  The Marlins added a run in the 6th when Gaby Sanchez hit a solo homerun and in the 7th Hanley Ramirez grounded out scoring Logan Morrison.  In the 9th Ross Gload doubled home Carlos Ruiz.  In the bottom of the inning with the bases loaded Gaby Sanchez walked bringing home Emilio Bonifacio.

Roy Halladay got the win after pitching 6 innings giving up 10 hits, 3 runs, and 9 strikeouts.  Jorge Sosa got the loss pitching just 2.1 innings giving up 6 hits, 6 runs, with 1 strikeout.

Mets vs. Pirates

The Mets beat the Pirates in a score of 8-7. The Pirates scored a run in the 3rd when Jose Tabata hit a sac fly to score Ronny Cedeno.  In the 4th then Pirates scored when Pedro Alvarez tripled scoring Garrett Jones,  John Bowker doubled home Pedro Alvarez, and Andrew McCutchen singled home John Bowker and Chris Snyder.  The Mets took the lead in the 4th when Ike Davis doubled home Carlos Beltran, Mike Hesserman singled home David Wright, Ike Davis and Nick Evans, and Mike Hesserman scored  due to 2  fielding errors, and Angel Pagan singled home Ruben Tejada and Joaquín Árias.  In the 6th Jose Reyes hit a solo homerun.  The Pirates fought back scoring in the 8th when Ryan Doumit doubled home Ronny Cedeno and in the 9th Andrew McCutchen hit a solo homerun.

Jenrry Mejía left early due to injury after pitching just 2.1 innings giving up no hits, 1 unearned run, and 1 strikeout.  Raul Valdez got the win pitching only 1.2 innings giving up 4 hits, 4 runs, and no strikeouts.  The loss went to  Paul Maholm who pitched 3.2 innings giving up 7 hits, 7 runs, and 1 strikeout.  Hisanori Takahashi got the save after giving up 1 hit, 1 run, and 2 strikeouts.

NL East Recap 9-10

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 11-09-2010

Tagged Under : Alex Sanabia, Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Brad Davis, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Chase Utley, Chris Carpenter, Clay Hensley, Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins, Jason Heyward, Jenrry Mejia, John Jay, John Lannan, martin prado, matt holliday, Mike Minor, New York Mets, peter moylan, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Wes Helms

Phillies vs. Mets

Phillies ace Roy Halladay used his arm and his bat to help first place Philadelphia defeat the Mets by a score of 8-4 at Citi Field on Friday evening.

After the Phillies scored two runs in the top of the second off of Mets rookie Jenrry Mejia, the Mets responded with three runs in the bottom of the third, capped by a Carlos Beltran two run homer to give New York a 3-2 lead.  That lead was short lived, however.  In the top of the fourth, Ryan Howard hit an opposite field home run off of Mejia (0-4) to tie the game.  Then, with two outs and the bases loaded, Halladay singled to center field to drive home two runs and give Philly a 5-3 lead.  Shane Victorino followed with an RBI single of his own as the Phils scored four runs in the frame.

Chase Utley added a solo homer in Philadelphia’s two run seventh inning.  Meanwhile, Halladay (18-10) made sure those runs stood up, going 7 2/3 innings and limiting the Mets to four runs and eight hits.


Braves vs. Cardinals

The Braves used a six run sixth inning to defeat the Cardinals by a score of 8-6 in Atlanta and keep pace with the Phillies in the NL East.

After both teams traded runs in the second inning, the Cardinals built a 4-1 lead off of Braves starter Mike MinorMatt Holliday hit a two run homer to give St. Louis the lead, and then pitcher Chris Carpenter helped his own cause with an opposite field home run – his second career homer.

The Braves responded with a run in the fourth, and then the Braves rallied for six runs in the sixth off of Carpenter (15-6).  After Jason Heyward and Martin Prado each drove in a run to tie the score, Brian McCann hit what would have been an ordinary sacrifice fly.  However, St. Louis right fielder John Jay dropped McCann’s fly ball, allowing two runs to score and McCann to reach third base.  The Braves added two more runs in the inning to take an 8-4 lead.

The Cardinals scored two runs in the seventh, but couldn’t get any closer.  Braves reliever Peter Moylan (6-2) pitched a scoreless sixth inning to earn the victory, and closer Billy Wagner picked up save number 33 with a perfect ninth.


Marlins  vs. Nationals

The Marlins scored two runs in the first and never looked back thanks to solid pitching as Florida defeated the Nationals 3-1 in Washington.

Dan Uggla drove home the game’s first run, and Wes Helms followed with a sacrifice fly as the Marlins took an early 2-0 lead off of John Lannan and the Nats.   The score remained that way until the seventh, when Florida catcher Brad Davis homered off of Lannan (7-7) to increase the Marlins lead to 3-0.  Those runs turned out to be more than enough for the Florida pitching staff.

Starter Alex Sanabia (4-2) allowed no runs and three hits over 6 2/3 innings to earn the victory.  After the Nationals scored a run in the eighth, Clay Hensley came on and retired all four batters he faced to earn his first career save.

What’s on Tap 9-10-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 10-09-2010

Tagged Under : Alex Sanabia, Braves, Cardinals, Chris Carpenter, Jenrry Mejia, John Lannan, Marlins, Mets, Mike Minor, Nationals, Phillies, Roy Halladay

Friday’s games:

Marlins vs. Nationals

It’s round two, as the Marlins and Nationals meet up to begin a weekend series tonight in Washington. Alex Sanabia (3-2, 4.50 ERA) makes his final start for Florida before beginning a suspension for his part in the Marlins-Nationals brawl a week ago. John Lannan (7-6, 4.73 ERA) starts for Washington. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Mets vs. Phillies

The Mets and Phillies begin a three-game series tonight in New York. Jenrry Mejia (0-3, 3.86 ERA) goes for his first big league win for the Mets, while the Phillies send their ace Roy Halladay (17-10, 2.36 ERA) to the mound. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Braves vs. Cardinals

The Braves send Mike Minor (3-0, 5.33 ERA) to the mound as they look bounce back from last night’s loss to the Cardinals. Chris Carpenter (15-5, 2.90 ERA) gets the start for St. Louis. First pitch is 7:35 p.m. in Atlanta.

NL East Recap 9-4

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 04-09-2010

Tagged Under : Alcides Escobar, Alex Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Aramis Ramirez, Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge, Braves, Brewers, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Ruiz, Carlos Zambrano, Chase Utley, Corey Hart, Cubs, Danny Espinosa, Dave Bush, Ike davis, Ivan Rodriguez, Jair Jurrjens, Jayson Werth, Jenrry Mejia, Jimmy Rollins, John Lannan, Josh Johnson, Justin Maxwell, Kameron Loe, Lucas Duda, Luis Castillo, Marlins, Marlon Byrd, Melky Cabrera, Mets, Michael Morse, Nationals, Nyjer Morgan, Paul Maholm, pedro alvarez, Phillies, Pirates, Placido Polanco, Prince Fielder, Roger Bernadina, Ronny Cedeno, Roy Halladay, Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, Starlin Castro, Wilson Valdez

Mets vs. Cubs

New York dropped their second straight game to the Cubs, losing Saturday 5-3. Chicago scored a run in the 2nd and 3rd innings to take a 2-0 lead. Luis Castillo made things interesting for the Mets in the top of the 4th, when he stole home after Lucas Duda struck out swinging, to cut the lead to 2-1. The Cubs responded in the following inning with two runs. Marlon Byrd doubled to drive home Starlin Castro, and Mets starter Jenrry Mejia threw a wild pitch to allow Byrd to score. Trailing 4-1 in the top of the 7th, Ike Davis hit a solo shot to right field to make it 4-2. This was the first home run for Davis since July 29. Just as soon as the Mets gained a run, however, they gave it right back. In the bottom of the 7th, Aramis Ramirez hit a home run to center field. The Mets tagged on their final run in the bottom of the 8th when Carlos Beltran doubled to bring home Castillo.

Carlos Zambrano got the win, going 7 innings and giving up two runs on four hits while striking out eight. Mejia took the loss in his big league debut as a starter. He went 5 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits while striking out two. Carlos Marmol recorded his 27th save for the Cubs.

Phillies vs. Brewers

The Phillies beat the Brewers 5-4 in Philadelphia. Home runs by Prince Fielder and Alcides Escobar in the 2nd inning made it 2-0 Milwaukee. Philadelphia responded with two home runs of their own in the bottom of the inning off the bats of Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth. Corey Hart would put the Brewers back on top in the 3rd with a solo shot of his own to right field. The Phillies would tie it up in the bottom of the inning when Jimmy Rollins scored on a single by Chase Utley. The game would remain tied until the 7th when Hart hit his second home run of the game, another solo shot, this time to left field. Just as they had in the other two innings in which the Brewers scored, Philadelphia came back once again in the bottom of the inning two score two runs. With the bases loaded, Placido Polanco hit a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Carlos Ruiz to tag up and score. Milwaukee’s left fielder Ryan Braun made a throwing error on the play, which allowed Wilson Valdez to score the go-ahead run.

Roy Halladay got the win, going 7 innings and giving up four runs on seven hits while striking out six. Milwaukee starter Dave Bush went 6 innings in his no decision. He allowed three runs on six hits while striking out five. Kameron Loe took the loss for Milwaukee. Brad Lidge got his 20th save for Philadelphia.

Nationals vs. Pirates

The Nationals beat up on the Pirates, winning 9-2. The game was scoreless until Washington put up a five-run 4th inning. Ivan Rodriguez drove in two runs with a single to center field. Danny Espinosa followed with an RBI single to drive home Roger Bernadina. Rodriguez would later score on a sacrifice fly by Justin Maxwell. Nyjer Morgan capped off the inning with a single to score Espinosa. Washington put up two more runs in the 5th inning thanks to a two-run shot by Rodriguez to make it 7-0. Pittsburgh finally got on the board in the bottom of the 5th with a home run off the bat of Andrew McCutchen. In the top of the 6th, Ian Desmond would double to drive in another run for Washington to make it 8-1. The final run of the night for Washington came in the top of the 8th on an RBI single by Michael Morse. Pittsburgh’s only other run of the game came in the bottom of the 8th on a double by Ronny Cedeno to score Pedro Alvarez.

John Lannan got the win for Washington, going 7 innings and giving up one run on five hits while striking out seven. Paul Maholm took the loss for Pittsburgh, going 4.1 innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits while striking out four.

Braves vs. Marlins

The Braves beat the Marlins 2-0 to hang on to their lead in the NL East. Atlanta’s Alex Gonzalez drove in the Braves’ two runs. The first run came in the 2nd inning on a double to center field to score Melky Cabrera. The second run came in the 6th on a single to center again allowing Brian McCann to score. Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens held the Marlins to just four hits in the game.

Jurrjens and Florida starter Josh Johnson were in a pitchers duel for much of the night. Jurrjens got the win, however, going 7 innings and giving up just three hits while striking out seven. Johnson took the loss, going 6 innings and giving up two runs on eight hits while matching a career-high 12 strikeouts.  Billy Wagner recorded his 32nd save of the year for Atlanta.

What’s on Tap 9-4-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 04-09-2010

Tagged Under : Braves, Brewers, Carlos Zambrano, Cubs, Dave Bush, Jair Jurrjens, Jenrry Mejia, John Lannan, Josh Johnson, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Paul Maholm, Phillies, Pirates, Roy Halladay

Saturday’s games:

Mets vs. Cubs

Jenrry Mejia (0-2, 3.25 ERA) makes his first big league start for the Mets as they take on Carlos Zambrano (6-6, 4.36 ERA) and the Cubs in Chicago. Game time is 1:05 p.m.

Braves vs. Marlins

The Braves and Marlins go head-to-head in game two of their series in Florida. Jair Jurrjens (6-4, 4.38 ERA) starts for Atlanta. Josh Johnson (11-5, 2.28 ERA) starts for Florida. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Phillies vs. Brewers

The Phillies send Roy Halladay (16-10, 2.27 ERA) to the mound as they look to take game two against the Brewers. Dave Bush (7-11, 4.71 ERA) starts for Milwaukee. Game time is 7:05 in Philadelphia.

Nationals vs. Pirates

The Nationals look to bounce back after yesterday’s loss, sending John Lannan (6-6, 4.95 ERA) to the hill. Paul Maholm (7-13, 5.18 ERA) starts for the Pirates. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. in Pittsburgh.