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Showing posts from May, 2010

Series Preview: Phillies @ Braves, 5/31-6/2

This Memorial Day, the Phillies (28-21) head to Atlanta to battle over first place in the National League East division, against the Braves (28-22). Philadelphia's recent offensive struggles and 6 losses in their last 8 games, have left a door open for the Braves, who have won 5 straight and 10 of their past 12 games, to creep upward in the standings. Two weeks ago, the Braves sat in last place, 6 1/2 games behind the Phillies. Now, the Braves are in second place just 1/2 game in back of the Phils. The Phillies have been in first place since May 2nd. The Braves will be lead by starting pitcher Tommy Hanson in the series opener, on Monday afternoon, while the Phillies will counter with Joe Blanton. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups as well as plenty more stats and info. Monday, 1:05pm. Joe Blanton (1-3, 5.63 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (4-3, 4.06 ERA). In 7 career games against Atlanta, Blanton is 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA. In two road starts this season, Blanton is 1-1 w

Roy Halladay is Perfect

On Saturday night in Florida, Roy Halladay completed the 54th game of his career, but this was one that would surely stand out above all those others. Halladay, a former Cy Young Award winner and multi-time all-star, made history with the ultimate performance of his career. Retiring all of the 27 batters he faced, Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history and just the 2nd in Phillies history. Jim Bunning threw a perfect game for the Phillies on Fathers Day, June 21, 1964 against the Metropolitans in New York. Everyone, from the Phillies broadcast team to Roy Halladay, gave credit to catcher Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz for being a big difference in the game. "We felt like we got in a groove early," Halladay said after the game, referring to Ruiz's efforts calling pitches behind the plate. "About the 5th or 6th I was just following Chooch. I can't enough about the job he did. For me, it was a no-brainer. Once we got to the 5th or 6th, I just foll

Familiar Names Among FSL All-stars

Justin De Fratus Florida State League all-stars were announced on Friday and there were plenty of familiar names for regular PhoulBallz.com readers. Close friends Justin De Fratus and Travis D'Arnaud will reunite as members of the FSL North division squad. De Fratus and D'Arnaud were key members of the 2009 South Atlantic League champion Lakewood BlueClaws last season. De Fratus posted a 5-6 record with a 3.19 ERA in 36 games (12 starts) for Lakewood in 2009. His battery mate, Travis D'Arnaud, was sent to Toronto by the Phillies in December as part of the Roy Halladay trade, after hitting .256 with 13 homers and 71 RBI for the BlueClaws in 2009. This season with the High-A level Clearwater Threshers, De Fratus, a 22-year-old right hander, has posted a 1-0 record with 8 saves and a 1.64 ERA in 16 games. With Dunedin in 2010, D'Arnaud is hitting .309 with 5 homers and 22 RBI, despite missing over 3 weeks with an injury. Travis D'Arnaud In addition to the reunion w

SportsInteraction.com

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Series Preview: Phillies @ Marlins 5/28-5/30

Slump doesn't even begin to describe the rut that the Phillies have been in recently. In their last 47 innings, the Phillies have scored in just one of them. The Phillies (26-20) head to Florida, hoping to snap a 5-game losing streak against the Marlins (24-24). Despite the tough week, the Phillies still sit atop the National League East standings, which currently has 5 teams within 3 games of one another. The Phillies, who have identical home and road records at 13-10, will attempt to recover from their struggles against Marlins starter Chris Volstad, while the Phillies counter with fill-in starter Kyle Kendrick, in the series opener. The Phillies won 7 of 9 games in Florida against the Marlins last season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups for this series as well as loads of other stats. Friday, 7:10pm. Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.66 ERA) vs. Chris Volstad (3-5, 4.31 ERA). Kendrick has no decisions with a 5.48 ERA in 4 road starts this season. In 9 career games a

PhoulBallz Q&A With Josh Zeid

Josh Zeid is currently a pitcher for the Phillies single-A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws. A 10th round draft selection in June 2009, Zeid was a starter for Williamsport of the NY-Pennn League and posted an 8-1 record with a 2.70 ERA there last season. Zeid transferred to Tulane University after his sophomore season at Vanderbilt. After a great start to his 2010 campaign and looking razor sharp in his role as the BlueClaws closer, Zeid has hit a rough patch, forcing manager Mark Parent to explore other options in the closer role. Josh took some time to chat with PhoulBallz.com, and that interview lies ahead. You were named the Phillies Minor League pitcher of the month for April when you had a 2-0 record with 2 saves and a 0.00 ERA in 9 appearances. How did that sort of recognition effect your outlook moving forward? It's a great honor, but the second I got recognized, I didn't stop working out, I didn't skip any beats. I just jumped right into it once again and it w

Walk-off Win For Lakewood

Wednesday in Lakewood, in a game where neither starting pitcher made in through the fourth inning, the Lakewood BlueClaws and the Hagerstown Suns battled it out in a rollercoaster of a contest. The BlueClaws started the day trailing Hagerstown by one game for second place in the South Atlantic League's Northern Division, and were scheduled to use a substitute starting pitcher in Jonathan Pettibone's (disabled list, shoulder) place in the rotation. The substitute, Julio Rodriguez, an 8th round draft selection in 2008, seemed to be cruising right along and even struck out the side in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, but he failed to complete the 4th inning, as did his Hagerstown counterpart, Paul Demny. Lakewood got the scoring started in the 2nd inning, as a lead off double from Jeremy Barnes was followed by back to back RBI hits by Stephen Batts and Adam Buschini. The BlueClaws took their 2-0 advantage into the 4th inning, when Rodriguez would hit a wall. RBI hits from Hagerst

Slump It Up!

The Phillies' offense has been struggling. Dealt another knuckle sandwich in their series opener against the Metropolitans, the defending National League champs have now gone scoreless in 28 of their last 29 innings. New York threw R.A. Dickey on Tuesday, while Boston used Tim Wakefield on Sunday. The two pitchers, known for their knuckle balls, combined for 14 shut out innings against the Phillies, who have scored just 15 runs in their past 7 games, dating back to Roy Halladay's 2-1 loss at the hands of Zach Duke and the Pirates last Tuesday. Dickey spoke with Wakefield on the telephone prior to Tuesday's game, and the Red Sox veteran had some words of advice for the Metropolitans' interim starter. "His advice to me was that they were a free-swinging team, and I found that to be the case," Dickey told reporters following New York's 8-0 win over the Phillies. Wakefield also shared some tips on fastball locations to certain Philadelphia batters that indu

PhoulBallz Q&A With Colby Shreve

Colby Shreve is a right-handed pitcher with the Phillies Class A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws. A 6th round draft selection in 2008, Shreve injured his pitching arm about a month and a half prior to the amateur draft and missed all of 2008 and 2009 while recovering from surgery. Through 8 games this season, after making his pro debut about a month ago, the 22-year-old Shreve is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA for Lakewood. I had the opportunity to speak with Colby over the weekend and that interview lies ahead. Can I get some comments from you about this hot start to your professional career? I've just been working, since I came back from my surgery, just getting all my mechanics to where they were pre-surgery and it's helped out a lot as far as locating the ball and getting a good downward angle. I think that's led to a lot of my success. You had Tommy John surgery, which delayed your professional career. What was the recovery process like for you? It was long, very long. I

Series Preview: Phillies at Metropolitans 5/25-5/27

The Phillies (26-17) begin a 9 game road trip on Tuesday night, when they head to New York to face the Metropolitans (22-23), who are in last place in the National League East division, 5 games behind the Phillies. On Sunday, against Red Sox knuckle baller Tim Wakefield, the Phillies could not muster a run over 8 innings. The Mets will follow up with their own knuckle ball pitcher, R.A. Dickey, in the series opener, while the Phillies will counter with Jamie Moyer. The Phillies won 5 of 9 meetings between the two clubs at Citi Field last season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and loads more stats from this series. Tuesday, 7:10pm. Jamie Moyer (5-3, 4.30 ERA) vs. RA Dickey (0-0, 3.00). Moyer earned a win against the Mets on May 2nd, when he allowed 5 earned runs over 6 innings pitched. In 23 career starts against the Metropolitans, Moyer has a 9-5 record with a 3.86 ERA. David Wright is 21-for-50 (.420 avg) with 4 homers in his career against Moyer. Dickey, who w

Meet Up With PhoulBallz and Dan Baker

Phans, this Thursday, you can come on out to Chickie's & Pete's in Bordentown, NJ and experience a fun night of baseball, even though the Phillies will be on the road. With the Phils away for a series in New York, Citizens Bank Park public address announcer Dan Baker will be in the house at Chickie's & Pete's to make the calls, just as though he was working at the ball park. The event will of course feature the divisional rivalry of the Phillies & Metropolitans and Dan Baker, as well as Dan's Phillies trivia and prizes between innings. But, that's not all.... Come on out and join the PhoulBallz.com party and meet yours truly as well as some other special Phillies blogger guests. The nearly famous Tug Haines from TheFightins.com will be in the house. Plus, Chris, the man in charge at Long Drive will be present. The mysterious men (Shep & Gil) of The701Level are expected to make their first public appearances. And some of your favorite Philly

PhoulBallz Q&A With Jonathan Singleton

Jonathan Singleton was selected by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2009 amateur free agent draft out of Millikan High School in Long Beach, California. Assigned to the Single-A level Lakewood BlueClaws earlier this month, out of extended spring training, after first baseman Darin Ruf was promoted to Clearwater, Singleton homered in his second at bat with the BlueClaws and has been on a tear since then. Singleton, an 18-year-old lefty batter, has hit successfully in 10 of 11 games played since joining the BlueClaws. Thus far with Lakewood, he's batting .378 with 3 doubles, 3 homers and 10 RBI. PhoulBallz.com had a chance to speak with Jonathan over the weekend and that interviews lies ahead... Talk a bit about your quick success since your recent assignment to Lakewood. I'm glad to be here, ya' know. It's a lot more fun that the (Gulf Coast League) and extended spring training, so I'm just glad to be here. What was your experience like turning pro last ye

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 64

Stan Lopata was a catcher with the Phillies from 1948-1958. A back-up catcher through most of his career, a change in Lopata's batting stance well into his career increased his power and his playing time. A Michigan native, Lopata, debuted with the Phillies in 1948, playing in 6 games. Over the next six seasons, he served as the understudy to backstops like Andy Semenick and "Smoky" Burgess. Lopata played a key role in one of the best known defensive plays in Phillies history. In the final game of the 1950 season, with the Phillies and Dodgers playing one another and tied for the National League lead, the teams were knotted in a 1-1 tie in Brooklyn entering the bottom of the 9th inning. With Robin Roberts on the mound, the Dodgers quickly got runners on 1st and 2nd, with no outs. Duke Snider lined a single to centerfield. Richie Ashburn fielded the ball on one hop, while Dodgers third base coach, and former Phillie, Milt Stock waived Cal Abrams home. Abrams was a relati

Singleton & Cosart Lead Lakewood To Win

If you have the means, I highly recommend picking up some tickets to see the Phillies' single A affiliate, Lakewood BlueClaws. The pitching staff continues to excel and a brand new masher has taken over first base. It's time to get out to FirstEnergy Park and see what all the fuss is about. Friday night's convincing win over the West Virginia Power provided loads of examples for phans in attendance of why they should be excited about the young talent on their team by the shore. With a barrage of hits and some exceptional pitching, the BlueClaws downed the Pirates affiliate West Virginia Power by a score of 8-1. Lakewood began the scoring in the second inning when Sebatian Valle drove home Anthony Hewitt, who led off the inning with a single, moved up on a fielders choice and stole third, with a single. The Power responded quickly, tying the game up in the third inning on an RBI single by first baseman Aaron Baker. The 'Claws clapped back in the bottom of the frame, ta

Series Preview: Red Sox at Phillies, 5/21-5/23

Beginning Friday, Boston visits Philadelphia for a 3-game series to ring in 2010 interleague play for both clubs. The Red Sox (22-20) are in 4th place in the AL East, 8 1/2 games behind the division leading Rays. The Phillies (25-15) sport the best record in the National League and lead the NL East by 4 games over the second place Marlins. The Phillies enter the weekend with a 12-8 home record as the Red Sox start interleague play with an 8-9 road record. Dating back to 2004, the Red Sox have won 14 of 18 games against the Phillies. The Phillies lost 2 of 3 games against Boston in Philadelphia in 2009. Read ahead for info on the pitching match ups and other key details from this series. Friday, 7:05pm...Nationally televised on MLB Network. John Lackey (4-2, 4.86 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (4-2, 4.29 ERA). In one career appearance against the Phillies, Lackey allowed 1 earned run in 6 1/3 innings pitched. In 3 road starts this season, Lackey is 1-1 with a 3.92 ERA, compared to his 5.52

MLB Jeopardy...Part 9

For $1,000 in the category of MLB Man-love, the answer is: The two Giants teammates who live up to their city's best known stereotype. Question: Who are Pablo Sandoval and Tim Lincecum? Correct! During Wednesday night's 13-1 loss in Arizona, Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval found time to flirt with his Cy Young Award winning teammate Tim Lincecum, by playing with his hair. Sandoval had 2 hits in 4 at bats, and Lincecum did not pitch in the contest. San Francisco residents must be pleased that their hometown baseball players can reinforce the city's reputation for being gay friendly. Starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez (center), however, looks a bit concerned over Sandoval's approach to the Giants' ace pitcher. _______________________________ Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE ! Share on Facebook

Series Preview: Cubs at Phillies, 5/19-5/20

The first place Phillies (24-14) will host the Cubs (18-22) for a brief two-game series, starting Wednesday night. The Cubs sit in third place in the NL Central, 5 1/2 games behind the first place Reds. Last season, the Phillies won 5 of 6 meetings between the two clubs, and 2 of 3 in Philadelphia. Jamie Moyer, who began his Major League career as a Cub, will take the mound for the Phillies in game one, looking for his 264th career win. Moyer is just 4 homeruns allowed away from tying Phillies Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, who passed away recently, for the all-time lead with 505. The Cubs arrive in Philadelphia riding a 3 game win streak and will counter with left-hander Tom Gorzelanny in game 1. Check out all the details on the pitching match ups and other key notes from this series below. Wednesday, 7:05pm. Tom Gorzelanny (1-4, 3.60 ERA) vs. Jamie Moyer (5-2, 4.57 ERA). In one appearance against the Phillies, Gorzelanny has allowed 5 earned runs in 5 innings pitched. In 3 road

The PhoulBallz Promotional Wish List

It's Roy Halladay bobblehead figurine day at Citizens Bank Park. Poor weather in the forecast aside, phans all over the area are excited that this giveaway and the Phillies' starting rotation worked out to coincide with each other, as Halladay is scheduled to pitch tonight for the defending National League champs against the Pirates. Halladay, who is often regarded as one of baseball's best pitchers, will be honored with his first Phillies bobblehead after just 8 regular season appearances with Philadelphia. This sort of rush service to bestow Halladay souvenirs on the public got me wondering what other souvenirs the Phillies could rush to the public. Here's my list of desired new promotions that should make their way to Citizens Bank Park. #5 "The Phield" Philadelphia blogger first pitch night. Ceremonial first pitches will start at 2:30 pm for a 7:05 pm game as all Phillies bloggers will be allowed to toss a first pitch to a rotating series of irrelevant

Series Preview: Pirates at Phillies 5/16-5/17

The first place Phillies (23-13) return home this week to host the Pirates (16-21), who are in third place in the NL Central, five games behind the division leading Reds. The two teams will meet in a brief two game series. Jimmy Rollins has been activated from the disabled list and Wilson Valdez, who is out of options, has been designated for assignment to make room on the roster. Rollins will see his first action at home this year. He injured calf during warm ups prior to the Phillies' home opener on April 12th. Rollins will bat third in the lineup. The Phillies are 9-1 against the central division thus far this season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key details from this series. Monday, 7:05pm. Charlie Morton (1-6, 9.19 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.89 ERA). Morton has a 4.00 ERA over his last three starts. In 2 career games against the Phils, Morton has allowed 7 earned runs in 8 innings pitched. Jimmy Rollins is 5-for-5 against Morton, with a d

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 63

Russ Meyer was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1949-1952. Meyer, an Illinois native, came up with the Cubs and pitched parts of three seasons for Chicago, mainly as a reliever. Following the 1948 season, the Phillies, who were in need of pitching help, purchased Meyer's contract from the Cubs for $20,000. Meyer would become a starter with the Phillies in 1949. His first season playing for Philadelphia was his best as a pro. In 37 games, 28 of which were starts, he posted a 17-8 record with 14 complete games, 2 shut outs, a 3.08 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. His ERA was lowest in the National League among right-handers. The following year, Meyer suffered an arm injury following spring training, which limited him to 25 starts. However, when the Phillies needed him most, Meyer surely came through. As the season wound down and the 1950 pennant chase heated up, the Phils held a slim lead in the standings over Brooklyn, after losing 3 straight games to Brooklyn in early September. In the 4th g

A Letter to Charlie: Free Ben Francisco!

Dear Charlie Manuel, What has the man they love to call "Benny Fresh" done to draw your ire? Last season after Benny was acquired in July, along with that Cliff Lee guy, he rarely went more than a couple days without an at bat. However, this season, Mr. Francisco just can't seem to get any playing time. Since April 27th, Ben has gotten just 1 at bat. In 2009 with your Phillies, Ben didn't go a calendar week without 6 at bats and had at least 10 at bats per week down the stretch, as your Phils approached the postseason. Are you still upset over that little thing where Ben went 0-for-11 in the postseason last year? Forgiveness is a gift that you can give to yourself, Charlie. I know he's batting .211 with just 1 RBI this season, and yes, and he is struggling mightily compared to last season, but what do you expect from a guy with just 19 at bats since spring training? If Benny suspiciously used binoculars and caused a national controversy, might he gain your s