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Halladay Stuns In 2-1 Win Over Mets

Posted by Danielle Wilson

Harry Leroy Halladay III was unquestionably dealing this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park against the LOLMets. Unquestionably.

Through the first three innings, Doc threw 23 pitches, 21 for strikes. He allowed two singles, but did anyone care? Not at all.

In the fourth, Daniel Murphy and David Wright both singled, and Murphy scored on Carlos Beltran's RBI single. 1-0 Mets.

Through six innings, the Phillies were being three-hit by Jon Niese. Two of those hits came from Placido Polanco who now has 41, the highest of his career in a span of one month.

In the seventh, Jon Niese was done, and with Taylor Buccholz in, John Mayberry Jr. tied it up with a solo home run to left field. Then, with the bases loaded, Polly hit a sacrifice fly to right-center to score Wilson Valdez from third. 2-1 Phillies.

Roy Halladay had only thrown 90 pitches in eight innings, much better than his last start in San Diego in which he was taken out in the ninth with 130 pitches.

He came in for the ninth for the complete game, and he did just that. Phillies won 2-1, and have a franchise high 18 wins in April.  Doc's line from today: Seven hits, one earned run, one walk, eight strikeouts. He threw 107 pitches, 80 for strikes. Career complete game number 60 for him.

Cliff Lee will take the mound tomorrow night (LOLMets, good luck) against Chris Young at eight.


Yes, Stephen Gallo Predicted Two Ryan Howard Home Runs at the Phillies Game Yesterday

Well, since our own Stephen Gallo made a prediction yesterday that was actually right and since he's gloating all over the place, the rest of us a Philliedelphia figured we would just get it out of hte way and give him his props.

Here is what he said prior to the game:

Gallo

Here is a video of the Philliedelphia staff responding to his prediction:

Now here is a list of the things Steve predicted that we feel will NOT happen:

1. David Herndon will lead the Phillies in saves.
Sorry, Steve, there was no save awarded for Herndon's three runs to get three outs in last night's 9th inning.

2. Raul Ibañez will win the NL Batting Title
I suppose it could still happen... if all of a sudden he hits .400 the rest of the way.

3. Brad Lidge will sign a five-year contract extension
I guess it's "cost certainty" for your disabled list, right?

4. Joe Blanton will win the NL Cy Young award
Well, he did have two decentish starts against a couple of bad teams before his elbow caved in.

5. Milton Street will be elected Mayor of Philadelphia
I think Charlie Manuel will get more write-in votes during next week's primary than Milton Street gets legitimate votes.

Well, Steve, congrats on your one correct prediction.


Bruins Pound Flyers 7-3 In Game 1

The Bruins aren't the Sabres and the Flyers learned that the hard way Saturday afternoon, dropping the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals 7-3.

Tim Thomas had 31 saves on 34 shots while both David Krejci and Brad Marchand had two-goal games to help the Bruins win. Patrice Bergeron had three assists as Boston grabbed the 1-0 lead in the series.

It was the first time since 1988 that Boston scored at least seven times in a playoff game, and it was the first time in five years that Philadelphia allowed that many.

In front of their home crowd, it was important for the Flyers to take charge early. When Krejci scored 1:52 into the game, the Flyers lost any hope of that happening. Working out of an early 1-0 hole, the Flyers were able to tie up the game halfway through the period.

After tipping a Braydon Coburn slap shot from the point, Danny Briere put home his own rebound 11:02 into the first period. His seventh goal of the playoffs put some life into his team, but it wouldn't leave Philly tied going into the second period.

With only 36 seconds left in the opening period, Nathan Horton followed up his own rebound in the crease and Brian Boucher flubbed the second shot to provide the one-goal lead for Boston. Outshooting Philadelphia 12-8, the Bruins deserved their 2-1 lead heading into the middle period.

The biggest problem for Philly throughout the playoffs has been goaltending. Sergei Bobrovsky, Michael Leighton, and Boucher have all struggled at times in these playoffs. Today, Boucher allowed five goals on 23 shots in less than two periods -- three of them in the second.

The first Boston goal came on the last of two attempts by Mark Recchi near the face-off dot to Boucher's left. A leaky shot from the eternally-young Recchi trickled over the goal-line to give Boston a two-goal lead only 2:33 into the  period.

After both teams had two power plays, the Bruins extended their lead to three goals. On a shot from the point that found it's way through traffic, Krejci redirected an Adam McQuaid blast from blue line. Befuddling Boucher, Krejci had his second of the game and gave Boston the 4-1 lead.

It took the Bruins only 1:48 to make their lead 5-1. Marchand worked his way to the front of the net and was rewarded with a rebound that he'd put home. The goal was all Peter Laviolette needed to yank Boucher and put in Bobrovsky.

Motivating the team instantly, James van Riemsdyk scored his first goal of the series just 16 seconds after Marchand's to cut the deficit to three.

Philly stared at a tall three-goal deficit to overcome in the last 20 minutes. Not helping matters, the Flyers needed to kill off the remaining 12 seconds in a Claude Giroux slashing minor.

The Flyers didn't show any sign of life until they were handed a 5-on-3 for 56 seconds late in the third period. Not scoring with the two-man advantage, Mike Richards went short side and top shelf on Thomas to get the Flyers to within two goals.

One would think a goal from Philly should give the Flyers momentum, but Richards' goal looked to have worked the opposite way.

After pressuring the Flyers for nearly two minutes, the Bruins' ability to trap Philly in their zone led to Marchand's second tally on the day. Unfortunately, the Bruins weren't done.

Not even three minutes later, the Flyers gave up their seventh goal on the day when Gregory Campbell put home his first goal in the playoffs to give Boston a four-goal lead with only 2:21 left to play.

It seemed as though the Bruins just wanted to win more than the Flyers today. Winning most board battles and jumping on every loose puck, the Bruins scored most of their goals today as a result of hard work. It didn't help Boucher had a couple soft goals. If the Flyers want the split heading into Boston, they'll need to work harder in their next game.

The Flyers look to avenge today's loss in Game 2, which takes place at 7:30 pm on Monday.

Notes: The Flyers have never won a Game 1 against the Bruins in the playoffs (0-6). This is the Flyers' third straight playoff series where they lost Game 1. This is the first game the Bruins have won in regulation since Game 1 of the opening round. The Flyers have made four goalie changes in these playoffs, all performance-based; last postseason, the Flyers made three goalie changes in 23 games, two performance-based (Boucher sprained his knee in Game 5 of ECSF). Both Briere and JVR have scored in four straight games. This is the first time the Flyers gave up seven goals in a game since their 7-0 beating on March 6th against the Rangers. Despite the final tally, the Flyers did out shoot the Bruins 34-33, and 26-21 in the final two periods.


Ryan Howard Goes Yard Twice In 10-3 Hit Fest

Posted by Danielle Wilson

The man, the myth, the rec-specs sporter himself, Vance Richard Worley, made his 2011 major league debut tonight for the Phillies, and it was a beauty of a game for him.

Through six scoreless innings, he allowed just two hits, walking four and striking out five. Vancey pants, eh? In 19 innings pitched in the big leagues (six appearences), Vance has only allowed two earned runs, and his ERA is 0.95.

The first two runs of the night for the Phillies came in the fourth inning thanks to the big man, Ryan Howard, who destroyed a baseball and sent it to the second deck in right field.

With the bases loaded in the fifth, Ben Francisco singled to score Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco, both had previously singled. 4-0 Phillies.

The sixth inning is where it gets good. With Schneider on third, Victorino on second, and Polanco at first, the big man did it again, and hit his tenth career grand slam. 8-0 Phillies. For the record, Philliedelphia's Stephen Gallo completely predicted that...

Steve 

Not done just yet. In the seventh, the bases were loaded for Placido Polanco who did what he does best, hit! It was a two-run single, which scored Raul Ibanez (walked) and Pete Orr.

Michael Stutes and Danys Baez pitched back to back scoreless innings, but Herndon couldn't continue that streak. He allowed a solo home run to Ike Davis which ruined the 10-0 shutout. Jason Pridie also went yard, scoring Josh Thole. 10-3. Herndon struck out Ronnie Paulino to end the game, and the Phillies' record is now 17-8. Vance Worley took the win.

Oh, Raul Ibanez is now 0 for his last 30. Yep.

Some interesting historical tidbits:

  • Placido Polanco hit his 39th hit tonight, passing Chase Utley (38) for most hits in April.
  • Ryan Howard hit career homer number 259, tying him for second all-time for the Phillies, with Del Ennis.
  • Ryan Howard's 27 runs batted in this month is also a record breaker. Last player who held that record in the month of April was Pat Burrell with 24 in 2008.

Tomorrow, Roy Halladay will take the mound against Jon Niese. Prediction: we win.


Wondering About Oswalt, Bullpen Issues, and Why Call Up a .105-Hitting Catcher?

Posted by Frank Klose

Worley

Courtesy longbeachstate.com

As the Phillies get ready to take on the Mets, there is certainly a lot going on behind the scenes, and plenty of questions as well.

How will the Phillies deal with the loss of Oswalt, already down a starting pitcher?
The Phillies called up Vance Worley to take Joe Blanton's start today.   Worley is getting the start over Kyle Kendrick.   Why?  Well, Kendrick has had mostly success in the bullpen this far (mostly), and just pitched two innings the other day.   They may also hope to keep Kendrick handy in case they need a starter to replace Roy Oswalt.

The Phillies say they should know soon when Oswalt will pitch again, but thanks to off days yesterday and Monday, they have a little flexibility.   The starting rotation projects as follows:

Friday - Worley
Saturday - Halladay
Sunday - Lee
Monday - OFF
Tuesday - Hamels
Wednesday - Worley
Thursday - Halladay
Friday 5/6 - Lee
Saturday 5/7 - Starter Needed

If Oswalt is not ready to start by Saturday, then the Phillies will be forced to use Kendrick or someone from the Minor leagues.   This gives Kendrick a few days he can still pitch out of the bullpen until they realize they need that, especially since they are short a man in the bullpen.

Why send out a pitcher in Zagurski to carry the third catcher?
Ruben Amaro Jr. has said that they only need the catcher for a few days to back up Schneider while Carlos Ruiz is sore.   It is probably no coincidence that J.C. Romero is eligible to come off of the disabled list on Tuesday.  Sardinha can help the Phillies get through the weekend, and Romero will take that roster spot, which was his before going to Zagurski and now Sardinha.

Why call up Dane Sardinha, hitting .105 instead of Erik Kratz, hitting. 333?
The Phillies likely are calling up Sardinha due to his prior experience handling the Phillies current pitching staff.  Sardinha probably will not play much when he is here, if at all.  When the Phillies need to send out Sardinha, he will have to pass through waivers before he can report to AAA Lehigh Valley, and could be claimed.  Maybe they feel he has a better shot at staying in the system than Kratz.

Speaking of Kratz, this was his moment of fame in the baseball world as he withstood Prince Fielder:

 


Joe Blanton To The Disabled List; Vance Worley Called Up

Posted by Danielle Wilson

Joe Blanton has been placed on the disabled list with a right medial impingement of the elbow. Vance Worley (2-2, 2.78 ERA in four starts in Lehigh Valley) has been called up and will start on Friday against the New York Mets in his place.

What the hell!?

Update 8:52 P.M.: From Matt Gelb : GM Amaro says "Blanton's MRI was encouraging" No damage, but the Phillies will shut him down. He has felt discomfort in his throwing arm for a few starts.


Taking A Look At Failed Phillies Promotional and Giveaway Ideas

Posted By: Stephen Gallo

Shirt 
courtesy phillies.com 

We all enjoy going to Phillies games. That's apparent now more than ever, when you take a look at our 130+ consecutive sellouts. Going to the ballpark is always a great time, and sometimes we get a little something extra when we go thanks to promotions and giveaways. Whether it's something fun like "Irish Heritage Night" or a free bobble head, we all love getting something for nothing.

Since the Phillies don't play today, this is the perfect time to take a look back at some failed Phillies promotional items, from seasons past and present:

- Brett Myers action figure day, brought to you by McFarlane toys - with kung-fu grip action!

- “Build a Bear Workshop” presents the Phillie Phanatic’s furry birthday celebration. Fans 18 and older can wear their favorite animal costume and celebrate our mascot’s birthday on field with other fans prior to the game!

- Reynold's Wrap presents Darren Daulton tin foil hat day

- Kristen Lee poncho giveaway night. You'll be able to protect yourself from Yankee fan spit just like Cliff's wife!

- Von Hayes bobble head night. Simply donate five of your favorite bobble heads to us and we’ll give you a Von Hayes one free of charge!

- Roy Halladay work-out DVD. Unfortunately, the camera man filming Roy’s workout for this promotion passed away from over exhaustion. RIP, Stan. 

- Mick Billmeyer binocular day. All fans sitting in the outfield sections will be given a brand new pair of Nikon binoculars!

- Citizens Bank presents “Pride of the Phillies” poster print featuring the Phillies right handed power hitter. Player TBD.

- “Balding Awareness Night” – You may not know, but Chris Wheeler wears a toupee to cover significant hair loss. We want to let Chris know that he is not alone in the fight against baldness. All bald men attending this game will receive a coupon for 20% off any hat at the Majestic Clubhouse store.

- Turn back the clock night at Citizens Bank Park – For one night only, you can relive your days at Veterans Stadium. All fans are welcome to urine in the bathroom sinks, start a fight in the 700 level, and even take home a pet rat if they so choose!

- JD Drew battery night brought to you by the good people at Energizer!

- Merrill Lynch presents Lenny Dykstra financial consulting night. Lenny will be located behind section 122 and answering all of your financial questions. 

What ideas have you had for a Phillies promotion or giveaway?


Phillies Avoid the Sweep In Arizona

Posted by Danielle Wilson

 

In the last game of this three-game series in Arizona, the Phillies avoided the sweep by taking an 8-4 win over the Diamondbacks. Unfortunately, they had to do it without Carlos Ruiz who left the game in the first inning due to lower back tightness.

Cole Hamels took the mound this afternoon against Joe Saunders and the D'Backs, and you'll never guess what showed up throughout the entire game for the Phillies...offense!

In the first inning, Victorino and Polanco singled before Jimmy Rollins doubled and scored Shane. Ben Francisco hit a ground rule double to left, scoring Polly and Shane, and just like that, the Phillies had a comfortable 3-0 lead. Shane also went yard (fourth of the season) in the second inning to push the lead to 4-0.

Melvin Mora doubled and scored Stephen Drew in the third inning, the only run that Hamels would allow through the first five.

In the fifth, Polanco singled, and Jimmy Rollins launched his first home run of the year to left field. 6-1 Phillies. Juan Miranda tripled before Chris Young homered to make it a 6-3 game.

With Juan Gutierrez on the mound for the D'Backs, this is where it gets interesting. Polly singled (of course) before Ryan Howard drew a walk and Ben Francisco was hit by a pitch in his back. Brian Schneider also walked, scoring Polly. 7-3 Phillies.

After seven innings, Cole's day was complete. His line: Four hits, three earned runs, one walk, one homer, eight strikeouts. Young, filthy Tony Bastardo replaced him in the eighth, and despite giving up a solo home run to Young, he pitched tremendously well, striking out two. That home run was the first run that he has allowed in 9.2 innings. 7-4 Phillies.

Ryan Howard went yard (fourth of the season) to left field in the ninth to give the Phillies an 8-4 lead. Now all that's left is for the other Ryan to close it out.

The other Ryan did just that, but it wasn't perfect. He issued a walk and allowed a single, but struck out two and grounded out Miguel Montero to end the game.

Tomorrow is an off day, but Friday will begin a three-game series at home against the LOLMets.