Archive for the ‘philadelphia phillies’ Category
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Stephen Strasburg outpitched Atlanta’s Julio Teheran and the Nats’ lineup outhit the Braves (ten hits to seven), but Washington couldn’t find a way to win — and went down to defeat at Turner Field 3-2 on Monday night. The Atlanta victory snapped their four game losing streak, while Washington has yet to find a way to consistently defeat their divisional rival.
While Strasburg was once again not at his best, he kept Washington in the game, throwing six innings of six hit baseball while striking out eight. Strasburg is now 1-4 with a 3.13 ERA, and has not won since opening day. Worse yet, the Washington ace reported that he’s some forearm stiffness.
Davey Johnson noticed that “something was off” in the way that Strasburg was pitching, and in post-game remarks told the press that “I’m sure they’re going to put him on some medication.” No matter: Strasburg is obviously anxious to keep throwing. “I’m not missing my next start,” he said after the game. “I’ll tell you that right now.”
The difference in the game came in the bottom of the 7th inning. Tyler Clippard was brought on in relief of Strasburg and walked the first batter, Gerald Laird, who was then sacrificed to second. Jordan Shafer then punched a single to right field and stole second. Atlanta’s third run then crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Andrelton Simmons.
Washington’s hitters, meanwhile, had a good bead on Teheran, but couldn’t push across the runs to give the Nats a victory. The Nationals were 2-9 with runners in scoring position. Strasburg got a no-decision in the game, with Tyler Clippard taking the loss.
The Nationals continue their series in Atlanta tomorrow night, with Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the home towners. He will face off against savvy righty, Tim Hudson.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals know they have to find a way to beat the Braves, but we’re stumped as to how they’ll do it. Nats’ hitters beat up Teheran tonight, just as they did in his last outing, but it didn’t seem to matter. Atlanta has now won eight in a row against Washington, dating back to last year . . .
Back on April 12, the Nationals forced Teheranto the pine after six innings, plating four earned runs and six hits in two innings — but ended up losing the game in extra innings, 6-4. You have to wonder if maybe the Nationals are snake-bit against the Bravos, despite finishing last season four games ahead of them . . .
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
The Nationals fell to Dillon Gee and the New York Mets, 2-0 in New York — dropping two of three games in their series against their division rivals. The Nationals, a strong defensive team in 2012, committed three errors.
But the loss is most likely to be remembered for a Jayson Werth at bat in the 8th inning. Werth came to the plate with two on and nobody out, and the Mets pressing for the win. But Werth squandered the scoring opportunity, hitting into a double play on a 3-0 count.
The Nationals might have looked forward to facing Gee in their final New York weekend contest, particularly since the New York righty had been ineffective in the early going. But Gee pitched his best game of the year, giving up just three hits while striking out six in 5.2 innings of work.
“I’m just happy to finally contribute to a win,” a clearly happy Gee said following the game. “That’s the truth — we needed to step it up. It’s been really eating away at me the past few weeks, not going out there and doing my job.”
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann was not as effective as he was during his prior outing, when he pitched a complete game, but he gave his team a chance to win. Zimmermann pitched five complete, giving up just two hits and two runs. The big blow for New York came off the bat of John Buck, who stroked his 7th home run of the year in the second inning.
Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson was clearly irritated by the loss, and particularly by Jayson Werth’s swing on the 3-0 count in the 8th. It was the best chance the Nationals had of putting runs on the board. Johnson refused to comment on Werth’s at bat.
But while Johnson remained silent on the incident, Jayson Werth did not: “Looking back, I was trying to do too much, I was trying to win the game right there,” he said following the loss. “The situation got the best of me. It was probably one of the dumber things I’ve done on the field in a while.”
The Nationals return home today to begin a three game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, and hope to gain retribution for last year’s playoff loss. The Nationals will then face the Cincinnati Reds in a four game contest — a stretch of seven tough games against some of their strongest N.L. competition.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals and Cardinals are evenly matched. Both teams are 10-8 and both teams are having problems with their bullpen. Last night in Philadelphia, St. Louis got six-plus strong innings from starter Jake Westbrook before reliever Mitchell Boggs gave up four runs in the eighth . . .
The Cardinals don’t have the pitching the Nationals do (at least not on paper) but while their starting five is older it is also savvy. The likely end of Chris Carpenter’s career has vaulted Adam Wainwright into the first slot in the St. Louis rotation and he’s a gamer. Just two weeks ago he threw a complete game four hitter in Milwaukee . . .
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Ross Detwiler dominated the Marlins, holding Miami to seven hits in seven complete innings, and the Washington Nationals went on to take the third of three games in their South Florida match-up, 6-1. Detwiler, Washington’s fifth starter, struck out five without walking a single Miami hitter.
“He’s definitely not [a fifth starter],” Nats’ manager Davey Johnson said of Detwiler following the victory. “He’s got great stuff and he locates it well. He uses both sides of the plate as good as anybody I’ve seen. He’s still in the learning stages. But he’s awfully good just right where he’s at.”
The Nationals’ victory, which provided a series win, was a relief for a team that has often struggled — and was coming off a three game series sweep at the hands of the Braves in Washington. Last night, in addition to Detwiler’s magic, the offense made a strong showing: catcher Kurt Suzuki notched a triple and home run and Bryce Harper was 4-5.
Bryce Harper’s output remains prodigious (he’s hitting .364 with five home runs) as does, apparently, his desire to play the game. Last night he played with the flu, bent over at the plate and throwing up between innings. “I thought he was going to die every time he went up there and he got a hit,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals, now at 9-6, head north to face the Mets in a series that opens on Friday night. The first game provides a key match-up of contending fireballers: ace Stephen Strasburg vs. up-and-comer Matt Harvey. Harvey has been stunningly good, flirting with a no-hitter in his last outing versus the Twinkies in Minnesota . . .
Monday, April 15th, 2013
The Atlanta Braves swept their three games series with the Nationals in Washington with a 9-0 ambush of Washington on Sunday. It was the ninth straight victory for the Braves, who have now established themselves as the team to beat in the N.L. East. The Braves are now 11-1 on the season, while the Nationals are 7-5.
Yesterday’s slaughter victimized Washington ace Gio Gonzalez, who was removed after the 5th inning after giving up seven runs and seven hits, which included two homes runs. “I wasn’t attacking the strike zone, leaving every pitch up and falling behind on a good team. That’s all it was,” Gonzalez said following the loss.
The Nationals proved punchless against Atlanta southpaw Paul Maholm. Maholm was stellar in throwing 7.2 innings while giving up just four hits. He struck out seven and is now 3-0 on the young season.
Nats fans are right to be worried: the three game series featured a Nationals team that should have won their first game, were soundly beaten in their second — and didn’t show up for their third. Nats’ manager Davey Johnson all but agreed: . “We should have won the first game, we were right there on the second one, we got waffled today,” he said from the clubhouse after the 9-0 slaughter. ” I don’t put too much stock in it . . . [Losing] a series … sometimes it’s a walkup call.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Wilson Ramos was put on the 15 day disabled list this weekend with a hamstring pull. The Nationals recalled catcher Jhonatan Solano from Triple-A Syracuse to take his spot. Danny Espinosa, hit by a pitch in the second inning yesterday, is nursing a sore wrist and is day-to-day . . .
The Nationals begin a series in Miami on Monday, and playing the Marlins might just be what the team needs. The Marlins are in a free-fall, at 2-10 (nine games back of Atlanta) and are last in the league in runs and home runs. And now they’re without their one acknowledged star, Giancarlo Stanton, who is sidelined with a bruised left shoulder . . .
On Sunday, the Fish fell to the Phillies, 2-1 — and Doc Halladay looked like his old self. The Phillie righty won his 200th career game, throwing eight innings of five hit ball. The Phillies offense has looked anemic over the last week, but yesterday came alive with twelve hits . . .
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
These are the “sinking like a stone” Phillies: aging, slow, confused and hobbled — Philadelphia may be headed to last place in the N.L. East, behind even the Miami Pathetics. Okay, okay, it’s too soon to tell, but if last night’s effort against the Mets is any indication, the Ponies are in trouble. And Roy Halladay is exhibit number one.
Last night in Philly (with some 35,000 looking on), Halladay struggled against a line-up that, just two years ago, he would have easily tamed. He allowed seven runs and six hits in four-plus innings on the way to a 7-2 Philadelphia loss. Halladay’s earned run average after two starts is 14.73 and while he says his problems are mental, his fastball velocity is off — from 94 mph two seasons ago to 90 mph last night. He didn’t scare anybody.
But Halladay isn’t the only problem. A passel of aging veterans (Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, Juan Pierre) and developing or back-of-the-rotation arms (Vance Worley, Joe Blanton) are gone, but the team hasn’t gotten any younger. Philadelphia G.M. Ruben Amaro replaced the aging Polanco with the aging Michael Young and failed to cut any overhead (Halladay will cost $20 million this year, Cliff Lee will cost $25 million) — with the payroll at $159 million plus.
If there’s a bright spot here it’s that Amaro has shorn up the outfield with the addition of Ben Revere, a defensive speedster that is the first piece in where the Phillies need to go. The problem is that Amaro gave up fan favorite Worley (who was 11-3 just two years ago) and a young prospect, Trevor May, to get him. That’s not good: the farm system is embarrassingly light on talent: their top prospect, pitcher Jesse Biddle, is no closer than AA Reading.
What the Phillies are banking on (so to speak) is that Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels (signed to a long term contract last year) will return to their 2011 form and that the geriatric infield quartet of Young, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will hit well enough to carry Philly into the post-season.
It could happen, we suppose, but the possibility is slowly closing. Just take a look at last night. While Halladay labored, Mets’ newbie Matt Harvey hardly broke a sweat. Harvey struck out nine hitters in just seven innings (Ryan Howard, twice), leaving the fleet footed Revere stranded three times.
After the game, “Baseball Tonight” analyst Curt Shilling said that Halladay needs to re-learn how to pitch now that his fastball is no longer what it was. That seems right: everyone on the Madoffs (hardly a ball crushing team) was catching up to Halladay last night, including nine hole hitter Harvey. The big blast came in the second, with journeyman catcher John Buck homering on a Halladay “fastball” that was up, out — and slow.
Philly commenter Joe Santoliquito has this right — comparing Halladay to an aging fighter. “He’s groping,” Santoliquito wrote this morning. “Like an aged world champion fighter who can’t accept reality. They can’t get out of the way of a punch anymore. Their feet don’t move when their mind wants it.” So Halladay is reeling — but then, so is the entire Philly line-up.
From "My Mets Journal"
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
No one, but no one, would have thought this back in 2005 — when the Nationals arrived in Washington, D.C.. And only a handful (and maybe not even that) would have thought this at the beginning of this year.
But today the Washington Nationals closed out the 2012 campaign with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies to seal the best record in the major leagues. It’s now official: the Nationals are the best team in baseball. This was their 98th victory.
The Nationals are not only the best team in baseball, they’re the team to beat in the playoffs. Today showed why. The Phillies (who used to be called the reigning N.L. East Champs, until the Nats snatched the title away) were tamed handily by Edwin Jackson, who threw 6.2 convincing innings, giving up a single run with six strikeouts.
The Nationals played their subs, or at least many of them, but it didn’t matter. The D.C. Nine boasted home runs from Ryan Zimmerman, Tyler Moore and Michael Morse, while Washington stroked eleven hits. Even Jonathan Papelbon, hoping to end his season on a high note, was victimized for two runs in the Nationals’ 8th.
Relievers Christian Garcia, Sean Burnett and Michael Gonzalez finished off what Jackson started, blanking Phillie in just over two innings of work: they made it look easy. This was a historic season for the Nationals: they not only locked up the top seed in the post-season, their 98 wins were 18 more than last year — nearly unheard of in baseball.
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
The Wisdom Of Section 1-2-9: There never was, or probably ever will be, such a night of scoreboard watching. “The Pirates are into the 9th, it’s the top of the 9th,” a regular in Row AA announced and the word spread through the section as others in the crowd looked out at the scoreboard . . .
“Do you suppose it’s Joel Hanrahan? Wouldn’t that be something?” a regular asked, and there were low titters and some shaking heads. People were checking their cellphones and apps. “I have no idea who’s coming up for the Braves.” Another added: “Just like Freddie Freeman or someone to put one out and tie it. You just watch, you just watch . . .”
There was a vain hope that somehow the Nationals might come out in the bottom of their own 9th inning and put three on the board against the Phillies, thereby sweeping into the playoffs without the help of the Stargells, but as one of the regulars (who’d been to every home game), in the section put it: “I don’t give a damn how we get in . . .”
In truth, by the bottom of the 9th, we didn’t care that the Phillies were leading the Nationals 2-0. We were in Pittsburgh, with the Pirates. We knew, we just knew, that they’d have to win. The Nationals were playing flat, and that’s just the way it was. So as Kyle Kendrick acted like he was Juan Marichal, we watched the scoreboard . . .
You know: we all thought that somehow we’d see the moment, the actual instance when the game in Pittsburgh went final — when the scoreboard changed over from two outs to show a final “F,” and the Nationals would cinch. But that’s not how it happened. Instead, we were between innings, and a low roar started, in the lower boxes . . .