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Showing posts from August, 2009

PhoulBallz Q&A With TJ Warren

TJ Warren is an outfielder for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. TJ is a 6'4" righty hitter from California. He spent some time in Lakewood in 2008 and batted .251 with 2 homers and 30 RBI. He began 2009 with Williamsport, and was called back up to Lakewood by late July. Since his return, Warren is struggling and batting just .157 in 20 games. I had a chance to speak with TJ this past week and here is how that went down. How did you feel to get the call to return to Lakewood? I was very excited to come back. I love the area, love the fans, love to play here. What are your goals going forward for the remaining weeks of this season and into the playoffs? Just trying to get some momentum with hitting. Just hit the ball a little bit better and get on a roll going into the playoffs. Can I get you to talk a little bit about the coaching staff here with Lakewood? This coaching staff is really unbelievable. Everybody's relaxed, they like to have fun. They always help you, w

Weekend Series Preview: Braves @ Phillies, 8/28-8/30

The Braves (67-60) visit Philadelphia for what promises to be a wet 3 games series with the Phillies (73-52) this weekend. The Braves are in second place, tied with the Marlins, 7 games behind the Phillies. Read on, for pitching match ups and other key notes for this series. Friday, 7:05pm. Tommy Hanson (9-2, 3.12 ERA) vs. Pedro Martinez (2-0, 5.14 ERA). Hanson is celebrating his 23rd birthday on Friday and has won his last 4 starts while posting a 2.81 ERA in those games. Hanson, the rookie, has not faced the Phillies yet. The Phillies have won all three of Pedro's starts this season. The Phillies have averaged more than 7 runs of support for Martinez in those games. Saturday, 7:05pm. Derek Lowe (12-8, 4.48 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (5-0, 0.68 ERA). Lowe is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this year. In his career, Lowe is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA and .180 batting avg. against in 4 regular season starts at Citizens Bank Park. Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth

Flashback a Decade

In order to calm some folks down after a losing series and 2 blown saves in Pittsburgh, let's take a look back in time. Exactly 10 years ago today, the Phillies visited Colorado for a double header and began a stretch where they would lose 18 of their next 19 games. Prior to the slump, the Phillies had a 67-59 record. By the end of it, they were 68-77. The bump in the road that was the Pirates this week isn't so bad. We all knew the back end of the bullpen was a problem. It's not something to be okay with, but there is still time to try some alternatives. If that outlook doesn't improve your mood, let me show you that pitiful Phillies starting lineup for game 1 of a decade ago. Doug Glanville CF Ron Gant LF Bobby Abreu RF Kevin Jordan 3B Rico Brogna 1B Gary Bennett C Marlon Anderson 2B Domingo Cedeno SS Chad Ogea P Kevin Jordan was the clean up hitter. Game 2's line up was worse. Switch in Kevin Sefcik for Glanville, Mike Lieberthal for Bennett, Alex Arias fo

PhoulBallz Q&A With Matthew Way

Left handed pitcher Matthew Way is a Phillies 2009 5th round draft pick who has already been promoted out of rookie ball to single A Lakewood. Originally from Alaska, Way went to Washington State, where he enjoyed a successful season this year (8-4, 2.43 ERA, 124 K's, 107 1/3 innings in 16 games). Way is currently 2-1, with a 2.88 ERA through 4 starts for the Lakewood BlueClaws. I caught up with Matthew this week for an interview. Here is how that went down. Matt, can I get some comments from you on your early success, since you've joined the BlueClaws? Well, I had two good outings when I first showed up. Basically, the last two have been kind of shaky, but other than that, it hasn't been too much different from where I've been before with the Pac 10 or in Williamsport. Just execute your pitches, keep the ball down and you can do good just about anywhere. What is your pitch repertoire like? Mainly fastballs and change ups. I'll go to the breaking ball in cert

Ryan and Jared are Golden

Brace yourself. This is pretty much anti-advertising. It's true. I mean, it's better than watching Brad Lidge take the mound with a 1 run lead...oh, and speaking of runs, this sandwich might give them to you, but watch the ad anyway. It might make you laugh. It's the most comically awful thing I've seen since " The Wheels ". A rather fine fellow named Meech is responsible for the video. Check him out over at TheFightins.com !

This F'n Guy....

I don't recall the last time I wrote something positive about BAD Lidge. What's worse...his performances this season or the fact that Charlie Manuel won't consider removing him from the role of closer? Brad Lidge has blown 9 games this season...8 of those were on the road. Lidge on the road this year- 28 games, 0-4 record, 14 saves, 8 blown saves, 20 earned runs in 23 innings pitched. That comes out to a 7.83 ERA. Lidge's road ERA in 2008 was 0.79 in 34 games. Last week, I compared Brad Lidge to the past 20 World Series winning closers. Click here to check that out. Quick update on that article...Lidge's ERA is currently 3.44 higher than the worst ERA of the past 20 World Series winnings closers (1997, Robb Nen, 3.89). To update a stat that I regularly address, Brad Lidge has allowed earned runs in 22 of his 53 games this year. That's earned runs allowed 42% of the time. Last season, Lidge only allowed earned runs in 18% of his outings. Brett Myers should b

Series Preview: Phillies at Pirates, 8/25-8/27

The Phillies (72-50) visit Pittsburgh this week for a 3 game series with the Pirates (51-71). Have a look below for pitching match ups and more key details. Tuesday, 7:05pm. Joe Blanton (8-6, 3.86 ERA) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (11-8, 4.15 ERA). Blanton has a 2.31 ERA and a 6-3 record, dating back to May 26th. Blanton's career ERA in August of 2.77 is by far his best month (his next best month is June- 3.35, 3rd best month is July 4.33). Ohlendorf at home this season is 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 13 games. Ohlendorf since the all star break is 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 6 starts. Wednesday, 7:05pm. Cole Hamels (7-8, 4.78 ERA) vs. Paul Maholm (7-7, 4.74). In two career starts against Pittsburgh, Colbert is 1-0 with a 6.55 ERA. Hamels in August this season is 0-3 with a 6.75 and .326 batting avg. against in 4 starts. Maholm is 3-1 with a 3.71 in 5 career starts against the Phillies. Jayson Werth is the only active Phillie with a homerun against the lefty Maholm. At home this year, Maholm is

Anthony Gose Speaks With PhoulBallz.com Once Again

Anthony Gose, on left, with teammate TJ Warren, during warm ups Monday Anthony Gose, the minor league baseball steals leader, always wears his ball cap just a bit askew. A guest rehabber took issue with it, during his visit to Lakewood. I asked Anthony about that and some other things following the BlueClaws' double header Monday night. Here's how that went down. Anthony, you were praised by Baseball America last week, with a survey they conducted of South Atlantic League managers, when they named you as best base runner, fastest base runner, best defensive outfielder and most exciting player. How do you feel about those accolades? It feels great, actually. To have all those accolades coming from the managers, I mean, of all the players in the league, for them to recognize me as one of the top players, and to give me that high of recognition, it feels great. Is there anyone on the BlueClaws team that you would describe as underrated? Troy Hanzawa. Most underrated playe

Non-Exclusive: Brett Myers Speaks With PhoulBallz and the World

Phillies pitcher Brett Myers threw a rehab assignment in Lakewood today with the single A BlueClaws. Brett pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one, while throwing all his pitches from the stretch. His fastball touched 94 on the generous Lakewood speed gun. Fox 29, Asbury Park Press, Comcast Sports Net, and other outlets were also in attendance. The following is a list of varying topics that Brett spoke on during his time spent speaking with the media. CSN was live on air and ran the first several questions. Brett spoke on his assignment for the day being a one inning outing, but seemingly lobbying after the one inning, to go out for another... Yeah. I wanted to go out for another one just, 'cause it went by too quick for me. Wanted to try to get another inning in there, but, hey- I'll take what I can get. Ya know, I feel good. That's the main key. Brett spoke about the velocity on his pitches... It's coming along. I'm up a couple miles an ho

EB-Game!

Eric Bruntlett, you've just gotten more hits than you've had in over a month and made history by executing a game ending unassisted triple play! What are you going to do next? I'm goin' to Beard-o World! Mr. Bruntlett, I am awarding you a one day pass. For Sunday's moment in time, I agree that for the next 24 hours you will not be deserving of what has become daily Bruntlett-Bashing online, on the radio, on television, in the news and at my office. You are still undeserving of being a Major League player, Eric Bruntlett, but for one day, I will not speak of it. ---------------------- Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

Sunday School: History Lesson 28

Dick Sisler was a player with the Phillies from 1948-1951. Sisler, was acquired in a trade with the Cardinals as a first baseman, but was moved to the outfield, as his infield defense was not very solid. Sisler was an all star for the 1950 Phillies Whiz Kids squad that went to the World Series. In the 1950 season, Sisler hit 13 homers and had 83 RBI with a .296 batting avg. Those were all personal bests. In May of 1950, Sisler had hits in 8 straight at bats against his ex-team, the Cardinals in St. Louis. Sisler is best know for hitting the biggest homerun in Phillies history. On the final day of the season, the Phillies faced the Dodgers in Brooklyn. The Phils held a one game lead over Brooklyn for the league crown. Phillies ace Robin Roberts and Dodgers starter Don Newcombe dueled to a 1-1 tie, through nine innings. Already with 3 hits that day, Dick Sisler came to bat and slugged a 3 run homer into the left field grandstand to push the Phillies ahead 4-1. Roberts would shut the D

Carlos Leon Q&A With PhoulBallz.com

Carlos Leon has become a Phillies minor league fixture in recent years. Leon has played in the Eastern League for 9 seasons. Originally signed by the Red Sox organization, Leon landed with the Phillies in 2004 and has played at three levels with the Phillies since then. Currently playing as a reserve infielder with double A Reading, Leon is batting .218 through 68 games this season. I had a chance to speak with Carlos, the oldest Reading Phillie, last week and here's how that went down. Tell me a bit about your role on the team. Well, my role on the team is to help the young guys. Help the infielders, ya know. I play, like, two times a week. Play defense, movie the runners, and just help the young guys, like (Brad) Harman. I've seen you play a lot of years in the Eastern League. How much longer do you think fans can expect to see you here? I want to keep playing till my body tells me to quit. I am going to turn 30 years old at the end of this month, and feel like I am 20

Series Preview: Phillies @ Metropolitans, 8/21-8/24

The Phillies head back on the road to visit CitiField and the Metropolitans to start a four game series this weekend. The Phillies (69-49) lead the Metropolitans (56-65) by 14.5 games in the NL East. The Phillies won't face Johan Santana in this series. Read on for pitching match ups and more notes on this upcoming clash. Friday, 7:10pm. Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.69 ERA) vs. Mike Pelfrey (4.75 ERA). Colbert on the road this season is 3-4 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 starts. In 8 starts vs. the NL East this year, Hamels is 2-2 with a 5.62 ERA in 41 2/3 innings. Pelfrey, the 2005 1st round draft pick, is 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA in 7 career starts against the Phillies. Greg Dobbs is 6-for-11 (.545 avg) in his career vs. Pelfrey with a homer and 3 RBI. Pelfrey is 1-4 with a 5.50 ERA in 6 starts since the all star break. Saturday, 7:10pm. "Jay" Happ (9-2, 2.66 ERA) vs. Tim Redding (1-4, 6.53 ERA). The Metropolitans are hitting .195 against Happ this year, over 11 innings. Happ, in 16 car

Phillies Notes & Links, 8/20/09

I'll lead with the link to our article about the Harry Kalas Wall of Fame plaque misprint that was updated yesterday. Story is here . I notified the Phillies and apparently no one was aware of the error. Phillies VP of alumni relations Larry Shenk took blame, saying he was responsible for the copy that ended up immortalizing the broadcasting legend. He stated that replacing the plaque would take a lengthy amount of time, but the team would consider the fix. Cliff Lee has won his last 7 starts, after losing his previous 3. During the 7 game win streak, Lee has a 1.09 ERA and 48 K's in 58 innings with 4 complete games. Since July 29th, when the Phillies acquired Cliff Lee from the Indians, Lee is 5-for-13 (.385 avg) as a hitter, while Greg Dobbs, Eric Bruntlett and Matt Stairs are a combined 3-for-33 (.091 avg). Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton has a 7-6 record this season. In Blanton's six losses, the Phillies average 1.33 runs scored. Jamie Moyer has an 11-9 record. The Phi

PhoulBallz Interview With Brad Harman

Brad Harman is the starting second baseman for the double A Reading Phillies. The 23 year old Australian was signed as an amateur free agent in 2003. He is currently batting .202 with 5 homers and 39 RBI this season. Harman was up with the big league Phillies last season, filling a roster spot while Jimmy Rollins was on the disabled list. Harman appeared in 6 games for the World Champion Phillies in 2008. I had a chance to speak with Brad recently. Here's how that went down. Can I get some comments from you about your season thus far? Probably very disappointing the way things have panned out. I just keep trying to work hard and get better each day, and that's all I can do. What aspects of your game are working to improve? It's more an offensive thing, I think, just very inconsistent. The way things can go well for a couple weeks, then die off, as long as I have. So, just consistent hitting, consistent approach, plan and just all around consistency with the offense.

'09 Lidge Will Prevent Repeat

Can the Phillies win the World Series with 2009 Brad Lidge as their closer? No. As we have reviewed multiple times here on PhoulBallz, 2009 Brad Lidge is not the same pitcher who closed out games for the World Champions in 2008. That guy is gone and some look-alike has assumed his job as Phillies closer. Lidge's current statistics are worrisome, to say the least. They are horrible, to put it more accurately. Through 49 games this year, Lidge has saved 23 games, blown 8 games, has a 0-5 record, a 7.21 ERA and a .299 batting average against. Lidge has allowed runs in 45% of his games pitched this year. Comparatively, 2008 Brad Lidge, saved 41 games, blew 0 games, had a 2-0 record, a 1.95 ERA and a .198 batting avg. against. 2008 Brad Lidge was only scored (earned runs) upon in 18% of his games. Looking back at recent history, the closer among the previous 20 World Series winners with the worst ERA is Robb Nen (1997 Marlins), at 3.89. For those with a World Series repeat on the br

PhoulBallz Q&A With Quintin Berry

Quintin Berry is a 24 year old outfield prospect in the Phillies organization. Currently playing for the double A Reading Phillies, Berry was selected as an Eastern League all star this year and leads the EL in steals with 45. Berry, a 5th round selection in the 2006 draft, is hitting .278 with 4 homers, 22 RBI and 75 runs scored through 115 games with Reading thus far in 2009. I had the opportunity to speak with Quintin recently, and here is how that went down. Quintin, can I get you to speak a bit about your success so far this season? It hasn't all been success. I had some slow starts, and some ups and downs, but I'm happy with where I'm at, but I'm not content. Ya know, I'm gonna keep on trying and finish strong and try to move on up. What was the all star experience like for you? It was pretty fun. The game itself was a lot of fun. You get to get around here and hang out with the guys, and just kind of relax and have fun. Every game that we play during t

Sunday School: History Lesson 27

Tom Seaton was a starting pitcher with the Phillies from 1912-1913. He joined the Phillies after winning 26 games for Portland in the Pacific Coast League. In his rookie campaign, he used his overpowering fastball to win 16 games and hurl 255 innings. Seaton got off to a very hot start in 1913 when he was undefeated in his first 12 starts. That season, he threw 5 shutouts, and led the National League in wins (27), strikeouts (168) and innings pitched (322 1/3). He did all that with a 2.60 ERA. Most importantly, Seaton was undefeated against the NL Champion, powerhouse NY Giants who was 101 games that season. All that success had Seaton believing he was in line for quite a pay raise the following season. When the Phillies' front office only offered Seaton a $3,500/year salary, he went looking elsewhere for employment. The newly formed Federal League was offering up big contracts to the league's best players. Seaton obtained a 3-year deal worth $8,000 a season from the Federal

Sergio Escalona Q&A With PhoulBallz.com

Sergio Escalona pictured left, with silly staring catcher teammate Tim Kennelly Sergio Escalona, a non-drafted free agent signed by the Phillies in May of 2004, is in his 6th season of professional baseball. The 24 year old has been up and down from the minors to the big league club this season, several times. Escalona is currently pitching for the double A Reading Phillies. In 23 games with Reading this season, Sergio has no decisions, 12 saves and a 1.95 ERA with 26 K's in 27 2/3 innings pitched. The R-Phils are tied for second place, trying to clinch that second playoff spot in the Southern Division. I had a chance to speak with Sergio this week and here is how that went down. What is the vibe around the clubhouse, with the standings so close? It's very important for us to win games right now because we're trying to get in the playoffs. Can I get you to talk a bit about your ups and downs this season? Yeah. Five times I go up and down to the big leagues. The Phi

Weekend Series Preview: Phillies @ Braves, 8/14-8/16

The first place Phillies (64-48) visit the Braves (60-54) this weekend for a three game series. The Braves' 17-9 record is best in the National League since the All star break, but they are still in third place, five games behind the Phillies. Read on for pitching match ups and other key notes from this series. Friday, 7:35pm. Joe Blanton (7-6, 4.02 ERA) vs. Jair Jurrjens (9-8, 3.01 ERA). In four starts since the all star break, Blanton is 1-2 in four starts with a 2.51 ERA in 28 2/3 innings. Blanton has a 2.46 ERA over his last 13 starts. Blanton has an 8.47 ERA in 3 starts against the Braves this season. Brian McCann vs. Joe Blanton is his career- 6-for-10, 2 homers, 6 RBI. Jurrjens is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts against Philadelphia this year. Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth are a combined 10-for-75 (.133 avg) against Jurrjens, with 1 homer and 5 RBI, in their careers. Saturday, 4:10pm. Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.77 ERA) vs. Kenshin Kawa

PhoulBallz Q&A with Scott Mathieson

Former Major League Phillie Scott Mathieson is still on the road back, following two arm surgeries. Currently pitching with the double A Reading Phillies, Mathieson needed Tommy John Surgery twice, after appearing in 9 games with the big league team in 2006. This year, Mathieson has a combined 0.86 ERA at 3 minor league levels in 15 games. I had a chance to speak with Scott this week. Here is a look at how that went... Can I get your thoughts on your rehab thus far, this year, and the long process? It was real frustrating up until lately, when I've been pitching. It's a nice relief to be out there pitching. Giving up runs is-- to think about it now, it's nice that I'm not even thinking about my arm anymore. It's all about pitching and about baseball, not rehabbing. I feel like I'm almost over rehab now. The next stage is just pitch back-to-back (days). Just trying to put (rehab) in the past and worry about pitching. What was the biggest thing you learned f

Team Notes, 8/13/09

There's a whole lot going on in Phillies land today! Pedro Martinez got his first win as a Phillie last night, over the Cubs. Pedro looked solid through his first 4 innings, but gave up 2 earned runs in the 5th inning. Pedro's complete line, after 99 pitches- 5 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs all earned, 1 walk, 5 k's. TheFightins has a review of the Victorino/Cubs fan/beer incident. NQTC offers some thoughts on Wrigley bleacher fans, last night's mishap and if the Cubs had anything to do with it. TricoSuave has a look at Shane's beer shower fun as well. The double A Reading Phillies' locker room reaction to the beer tossed into Shane's face: "Nice timing." Cubs manager Lou Piniella was disappointed that it happened, stating, "It’s not good sportsmanship. … We apologize to Victorino and the Phillies for that." Brett Myers threw two more simulated innings yesterday in Clearwater, FL. Myers is hoping to pitch a rehab assignment soon. Philli

PhoulBallz Q&A with Domonic Brown

Domonic Brown is one of the Phillies' prized prospects. Brown was rated by Baseball America as the Phillies' top prospect entering the 2009 season. A 2006 draft selection, Brown committed to play football at the University of Miami, prior to being drafted. He's now quickly on the rise and is holding down right field for the double A Reading Phillies. I had a chance to speak with Domonic this week, and here is how that went down... You're batting .342 since your promotion to Reading? Can I get you to talk about your quick success and trying to stay hot? I'm just trying to take it one day at a time, really. Come in here, work hard, and stay with the same approach...let the rest take care of itself. There's great pitching here (at double A), they just throw everything for strikes. I'd say that's the big transition from high A (Clearwater)...throwing the curve ball for strikes, the off speed. So, I'm just trying to take it one day at a time (with) th

Closer and Closer

Brad Lidge blew his league leading 7th save of the season, his 6th on the road, Tuesday night in Chicago. Lidge has surrendered earned runs in 20 of his 46 outings this season....that is 43% of his games. In 2008, Lidge was only scored on in 18% of his outings. Lidge's ERA is up to a MLB worst 7.29. Reports out this week state that Brett Myers is still ahead of his initial schedule for a return to the majors, following his simulated game, thrown on Sunday. When Myers was the Phillies' closer in 2007, he was only scored on in 20% of his relief outings. Manager Charlie Manuel continuing to state that 'Lidge is the closer' and refusing to deal with the sheer uncertainty that is Lidge the closer, needs to stop. With Brett Myers en route to a return, perhaps a change can be made, although it may not be soon enough. -------------------------------- BJ Rosenberg locked down his first double A save Tuesday night for Reading in a win against Trenton. Rosenberg, was promot

Series Preview: Phillies @ Cubs, 8/11-8/13

The NL East leading Phillies (61-48) head to Chicago to face the Cubs (58-51) in a three game series. The Phillies are 3-8 since completing a stretch when they won 19 of 22 games. The Phillies won 2 of 3 in a series with the Cubs in Philadelphia last month. Below you will find pitching match ups and other notes on this series. Tuesday, 8:05pm. "Jay" Happ (8-2, 2.74 ERA) vs. Rich Harden (7-7, 4.41 ERA). Happ on the road this season is 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 12 games. Happ hasn't faced the Cubs before. Harden's ERA is 1.80 over his last 5 starts. This season at home, Harden is 3-5 with a 6.84 ERA in 10 starts. The usual 8 starting position players for the Phillies (Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Werth, Feliz and Ruiz) are a combined 13-for-76 (.171 avg) with 2 homers and 3 RBI against Harden in their careers. Wednesday, 8:05pm. Pedro Martinez (No ML starts this season) vs. Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 6.29 ERA). Pedro will be making his debut at the Major Lea

What's the Right Move?

Now that Manny Parra has exceeded 100 innings pitched this year, Jamie Moyer has earned a promotion to the FOURTH worst ERA in the National League, among pitchers with over 100 innings (the other 2 who are worse- Todd Wellemeyer and Josh Greer). Moyer's 5.47 ERA overall and 6.88 ERA at home in 2009 are awful. If Pedro Martinez makes his much anticipated Major League Phillies debut on Tuesday in Chicago, as many people expect, Moyer's next turn in the starting rotation would come around next Sunday in Atlanta. Based on his ERA and inconsistency, Moyer shouldn't get that start. As of now, the projected starters for the upcoming series in Chigago are listed as "To Be Announced". The Phillies haven't declared that Martinez is getting another minor league rehab/sharpening assignment, thus we can all believe that he'll be pitching against the Cubs this week. Plenty of worry surrounds the decision to potentially move Moyer out of the rotation. Does he get moved