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Showing posts from September, 2012

Series Preview: Phillies at Marlins, Sept. 28-30

Fresh off their first back-to-back series losses since the All-Star break, the Phillies (78-78) travel south to take on the division rival Marlins (66-90) in a three-game series. Both teams have had disappointing seasons, as the Phillies are set to miss the postseason for the first time since 2006 and the Marlins, who increased their team payroll by near $54 million this year, are in last place in the National League East division. The Phillies have won 8 of 15 meetings with the Marlins this season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical notes from this series. Friday, 7:10 PM.  Cliff Lee (6-8, 3.18 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (13-13, 3.84 ERA).   In 14 road starts this season, Lee has a 4-2 record with a 2.84 ERA.  Lee has a 5-3 record with a 2.41 ERA in 14 starts since the All-Star break.  Carlos Lee is 11-for-27 (.407 avg) with 3 HR in his career against Lee.  In 7 career starts against the Phillies, Buehrle has a 5-2 record with a 4.44 E

Newburger Transitions From College Baseball to Professional Poker

NCAA baseball provides many youth throughout our nation the chance to extend their baseball careers while earning a college degree.   Often, many of these players go on to live successful lives outside of the sports world.   A select few are fortunate enough to make it into minor league baseball and fewer still go on to play in the Major Leagues.   Jason Newburger, formerly of the Bradley University Braves, did something even rarer after his college career and turned his competitive spirit into a successful professional poker career Jason Newburger was destined for a college sports career in high school after lettering in three sports.   He was also an all-state quarterback for his football team and even led them to the Illinois state playoffs in 2001.   However, it was baseball where he truly excelled.   In his senior year, Newburger hit an amazing .515 with eight homers and 45 RBI to become the Daily Herald Athlete of the Year. Newburger transferred to Bradley University

Zeid Exudes Jewish Pride with Israel in WBC Qualifiers

A failed attempt by Team Israel to qualify for next year’s World Baseball Classic was disappointing for former Phillies prospect Josh Zeid , but the experience is one that he is proud of and the Tulane University product is confident that the sport is headed in the right direction for the country that has limited experiences with America’s national pastime. The righty hurler, Zeid, described his time representing Israel as a true highlight, not only in his career but in his life as a whole. Additionally, he stressed his level of enjoyment playing along side players with such similar backgrounds. “Playing with 27 teammates, who all are very similar to myself, religiously and socially, was a tremendous and very unique experience," Zeid said.  "I’ve had Jewish teammates before, but to have a whole team of Jewish men, really brought a cohesiveness that I’ve never quite felt in the locker room before. It was as if we had been teammates for a whole year or years. It was

Series Preview: Nationals at Phillies, Sept. 25-27

Primed to lock down their first division title, the Nationals (93-60) travel to Philadelphia to begin a three-game series against the five-time defending National League East division champion Phillies (77-76) on Tuesday night.  With just over a week left in the regular season, the Nats' magic number to clinch is 5, while the Phillies are 5 1/2 games out of the second NL Wild Card spot and are at risk of missing the postseason for the first time since 2006. Read ahead to check out details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical notes from this series. Tuesday, 7:05 PM.  Ross Detwiler (10-6, 3.10 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (15-6, 3.05 ERA).   Detwiler has posted a 3-0 record with a 2.43 ERA over his past 5 starts.  In 14 road games this year, the lefty Detwiler is 2-4 with a 3.78 ERA.  Jimmy Rollins is 6-for-18 (.333 avg) with 3 doubles against Detwiler.  In his last 8 starts, Hamels has a 4-0 record with a 2.50 ERA.  In 3 starts against the Nationals this season,

Series Preview: Braves at Phillies, Sept 21-23

With an opportunity to lock down a postseason spot, the Braves (86-64) head to Philadelphia to begin a three-game series against the Phillies (76-74).  Despite a recent hot streak, during which the Phils have posted a 13-5 record this month and climbed to within 4 games of the National League's second Wild Card spot, the defending five-time NL East division champions are at risk of missing the playoffs, with three teams ahead of them for the a postseason berth and less than two weeks left in the regular season. Prior to the series opener, the Phillies will honor future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones , as the switch-hitter continues his fair well tour around the league. Read ahead to check out details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical notes from this series.  Friday, 7:05 PM.  Tommy Hanson (12-8, 4.33 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (9-11, 3.95 ERA).   Hanson has a 2-2 record with a 3.06 ERA in 9 career starts against the Phillies.  In 15 road starts this year, Ha

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Justin Friend

Righty hurler Justin Friend stood out as the top reliever in the Phillies' development ranks this year. The Oklahoma State University product was acquired by the Phils in the minor league portion of the 2010 Rule 5 Draft. This season, in 38 games with the Double-A Reading Phillies, the 26-year-old Friend posted a 2-0 record with a 0.23 ERA while successfully converting all 24 of his save opportunities. From late June through the month of July, Friend pitched with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. As a member of the 'Pigs' bullpen, Friend went 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA and 1 save in 12 games. In each of his two seasons in the Phillies system, Friend has been named an All-Star, first in the Class A Advanced Florida State League in 2011, then in the Double-A Eastern League this year. This month, during the EL playoffs, I spoke with Justin about his All-Star season, Phillies fans, his pitch repertoire and plenty more. Check out the media player below to hear the full inte

Former Phillies Prospect Carrasco Bouncing Back From Surgery

After some serious bumps in the road Carlos Carrasco , is headed back to full health and is focused on a successful future in the big leagues. As a highly rated prospect in the Phillies organization, Carrasco once battled for an opening day roster spot with the Phils. During spring training 2009, the right-hander appeared in six games, posting a 2-2 record with a 5.95 ERA. The statistics weren't overly impressive, but "the stuff" was there, just as it had been six months prior when he posted a 1.72 ERA over six starts as a 21-year-old in Triple-A. Phils brass as well as scouts throughout baseball saw great potential in the Venezuelan hurler and he became a sought after commodity. By mid-season that year, Carrasco would become the key prospect dealt in a package that allowed the Phillies to acquire Cleveland ace Cliff Lee . By the end of that season, at age 22, Carrasco had made his big league debut for the Indians, while Lee led a charge to the World Series for the P

Series Preview: Phillies at Metropolitans, Sept. 17-19

Fresh off an embarrassing weekend in which the playoff hopeful Phillies lost 3 of 4 contests against the team with the worst record in Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros, the Phillies (73-74) will head to New York to take on the division rival Metropolitans (66-80). The troubling weekend knocked the Phillies, winners of five consecutive National League East division titles, four games back of St. Louis for the inaugural second Wild Card spot in the NL. Phillies pitching allowed an average of 6 runs per game to an Astros club that had plated just 2.91 runs each time out in the second half, prior to the series. New York has lost 8 of its past 9 contests, averaging 2.44 runs per game during that stretch. The Mets, however, have downed the Phillies in 10 of 15 meetings this season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical notes from this series. Monday, 7:10 PM. Cliff Lee (5-7, 3.36 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (18-5, 2.68 ERA). In 7 career starts a

R-Phils Coaches Speak on 2012 Season

Following the Reading Phillies' loss in the Eastern League playoffs earlier this week, I spoke with the team's coaching staff about their successful season and some of the team's top performers. Quotes from pitching coach Bob Milacki and hitting coach Frank Cacciatore lie ahead... Milacki on the season, as a whole, for various members of the R-Phils' pitching staff- Trevor May , who started out like gangbusters and then had his ups and downs, finished strong. I thought he really finished strong and (Adam) Morgan pitched outstanding since he was here. And our trade with the Dodgers, getting (Ethan) Martin, Martin was outstanding almost every start out, except one when he was a little under the weather, but you couldn't ask for more out of him. Through the whole year, with a ll the guys that came up and the guys that left here, there's a lot of promise going through the organization. The arms that we have and the talent that we have, from (Tyler) Knigge a

Phillies Nation TV: Talking Ruf & Young Relievers

On the latest episode of Phillies Nation TV, I joined Pat and Corey to discuss the potential contributions of Darin Ruf following his addition to the big league roster as well as the Phils' exciting young bullpen contributors like Phillippe Aumont , Jake Diekman , B.J. Rosenberg and Justin De Fratus . Additionally, the guys also discuss the Phillies' postseason chances and field some viewer questions. Check out the full episode, as seen on Service Electric 2 Sports, in the media player below.

PN Round Table: Replay in Baseball?

From time to time the writers at PhilliesNation.com collectively take on a pressing baseball matter and kick around their individual opinions. In the latest edition, the subject matter was the possibility of expanded video replay in Major League Baseball. Check out my input on the topic below and click this link to read the other writers' feedback and to join the discussion. The technology is there and it's helpful in ensuring the proper calls are made in others sports and in certain aspects of baseball, so let's get the appropriate changes in motion to give professional baseball the right results all of the time. The basis of arguments against replay in baseball is often that it subverts the legacy of the sport or undermines the umpires that are, for some reason, held so sacred, despite constantly being proven unworthy of support for having exceptional judgement. I don't know what the best methods for expansion of video replay in baseball should be, but

Series Preview: Phillies at Astros, September 13-16

A late-season hot streak has the Phillies (72-71) right in the thick of the playoff race, following three quarters of the season in which the five-time defending National League East division champions seemed to be out of the mix for a sixth consecutive post-season appearance. The Phils have won 7 straight games to climb the standings and sit within 3 games of a Wild Card spot. The Astros (45-98), however, are stuck in last place in the NL Central and possess the worst record in the majors. Houston has a 12-45 record since the All-Star break. As PhilliesNation.com's Eric Seidman points out , the Astros have performed extremely well late in the season against the Phillies. From 2009-2011, Houston won 12 of 15 contests against the Phils from August onward. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistics from this series. Thursday, 8:05 PM. Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.24 ERA) vs. Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.83 ERA). Cloyd, the Phillies' 18th round draft

PhoulBallz Interview: LHP Adam Morgan

Left-handed starting pitcher Adam Morgan was among a group of Phillies prospects that had breakout seasons in 2012. The team's 3rd round draft pick last year has been on the fast track upward in the developmental ranks since he turned pro less than 15 months ago. After posting a 3-3 record with a 2.01 ERA in 11 starts last season for the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters, the University of Alabama product skipped full season A level Lakewood and began this season in the Florida State League. There, he tallied a 4-10 record with a 3.29 ERA and was named a mid-season All-Star. With Clearwater, Morgan posted a 1.29 ERA in five July starts and was named as the Phillies' minor league pitcher of the month. Soon after, the 22-year-old found himself promoted to Double-A Reading, where he helped the club lock down a playoff spot in the Eastern League. Last week I spoke with Adam about his father Wiley, who was a big inspiration in his life, his pitch repertoire,

Series Preview: Marlins at Phillies, Sept.10-12

A recent surge by the Phillies (69-71) has many people beginning to entertain how possible a wild card entry to the 2012 postseason could be for the team that has been below .500 for the majority of the season. Fresh off a weekend sweep of the Colorado Rockies and after having been victorious in 15 of their past 21 outings, the Phils have drawn within six games of a the second wild card lead. This week, the Phillies host the division rival Marlins (63-78) in a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park. Miami is well out of playoff contention, holding down last place in the National league East division. The two teams have split the six games played in Philadelphia so far this year. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical information from this series. Monday, 7:05 PM. Wade LeBlanc (2-3, 2.72 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (8-10, 3.96 ERA). In 2 career starts against the Phillies, LeBlanc has a 1-1 record with a 1.80 ERA. In 9 games on the road this season,