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Phils Win Series Finale Against Cubs, 6-4; Worley Tosses Seven Strong Innings

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We all wanted to forget about yesterday's excruciatingly painful loss to the Cubs in which the Phillies were held to two hits. Well, this game was definitely another crazy one, only the Phillies offense would jump out in front at the start and the close. 

Chris Volstad started tonight's game for the Cubs in his first appearance in Philly since signing with Chicago (recently pitched for Florida). He hasn't had much luck here, and it really showed in the first inning. 

Jimmy Rollins hit a bunt back to Volstad which he smothered, and Jimmy was safe. After Victorino hit an infield single, Rollins scored on a single from Hunter Pence. Laynce Nix walked to load the bases with two outs, and Carlos Ruiz sent Shane and Hunter home with a single. Pete Orr added to the offense with an RBI double to right field. 4-0 Phillies.

Vance Worley was on fire tonight. Also, he was extremely lucky to make it out of a couple of innings in which he had runners in scoring position behind him. However, the Vanimal got into a bit of trouble in the seventh with the bases loaded. Geovany Soto grounded into a double play which allowed one run to score, and Vance got Reed Johnson to end the inning on a grounder to first. 4-1 Phils.

After seven strong innings from Vance, he was replaced by Antonio Bastardo. Vance's line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 102 pitches (65 for strikes). Bastardo pitched 1/3 of an inning, walking one, and was replaced by righty Chad Qualls. 

The speedy Tony Campana stole second base after walking, and Starlin Castro sent him home with an RBI single. Down 4-2 with a man on the basepaths, Bryan LaHair sent a ball over the right field wall, tying the ball game. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Placido Polanco lined a two-run double which scored Juan Pierre and Jimmy Rollins. This was the game winning hit for the Phils as they took a 6-4 lead.

Jonathan Papelbon came in for the save and a save is what he would get. Phillies and Cubs went 2-2 this series.

The Phils will travel down to Georgia to face the Braves in a three-game series. Cole Hamels gets the start tomorrow at 7:10 against Brandon Beachy. 


Phillies Airing on WIP-FM Costly; Station Cuts Staff, Loses Sixers, Now Flyers Broadcasts

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Long have I wished that the Phillies would be broadcast on FM.  If you are like me and live near either train tracks or trolley wires, the signal is almost unbearable to take.  The issue with switching frequencies was that the powerful, long revered 1210 AM frequency was too good to leave.

CBS Radio responded to the demand by announcing that they would carry all Phillies games on 94 WIP-FM in addition to 1210 AM.

There were some cost benefits for CBS Radio.  Instead of hiring a host to fill a shift on 610 WIP while many of their listeners were listening to the Phillies game.   As such, with some Phillies games appearing on 1210AM, 610AM, and 94FM all at once, there were cuts to staff.  One of those cuts was Eytan Shander.

Shander used his Facebook page to make this announcement on March 21:

Officially out at WIP. Want to thank those who supported me there, and truly thank anyone who took the time to listen to me. Met some great people, some who really went above and beyond during a really tough time. I leave with no animosity towards cbsradio. I'm still with sirius and hope to continue to be a part of Philly radio in the future.

March 23 he appeared on 97.5 the Fanatic as a host for the first time.  That did not take long.  Steve Trevelise is now on New Jersey 101.5 full-time.   Another apparent casualty: Seth Everett is no longer the host of "Extra Innings" or "Inside Pitch" after and prior to Phillies games.  Of course, the Phillies broadcasts mean fewer shifts for popular part-timers Brian Startare, Reuben Frank, Paul Jolovitz, and Jody McDonald.

But, CBS Philly was able to fill the airtime with "4 for 4" ads boasting that they had all four teams all on one station.  That did not last the month of April.

Late last week the Sixers defected for 97.5 the Fanatic.  Now it appears that the Flyers will follow suit, and who can blame them?  

Since the Phillies season began, the Sixers were heard on 94.1 FM, 98.1 FM, and 610 AM. On Sunday as Flyers fans eagerly awaited the 3pm round 2 playoff start, the Phillies were engaged in a snoozer against the mediocre Chicago Cubs.   The Phillies had priority on the FM dial.

CBS Radio may have benefited better if they had chosen the 98.1 FM frequency for the Phillies.  Most of CBS media is now united; it would not have been hard for Phillies fans to find the frequency.  (Side note: remember when the Phillies were on "Oldies 1210", a simulcast of WOGL?")  Maybe KYW 1060 is going to move as well.

This leaves me with a few questions:

  • Who gets the WIP-FM signal on Phillies - Eagles conflicts that occur in September?
  • Who gets the FM signal when the Sixers and Flyers conflict? (Fanatic owner Greater Media still has 93.3 WMMR, 95.7 WBEN, and 102.9 WMGK to work with)
  • Will 97.5 The Fanatic have a morning show ready before Angelo Cataldi retires?  Word is that after his current contract he will be done.  A couple years away is not that long.

Vanimal Tasked With Split In Series Finale

Worley3(Photo: Philliedelphia/Lindsey Crew)

The Phillies went from hitting the crap out of the ball, to not seeing it at all. This series with Chicago has literally been a roller coaster series. With the Phils dropping the third game yesterday, they fell to 1-2 against the Cubs and tonight they'll turn to Vance Worley in effort to seal a series split in this wraparound series.

Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season tonight as he takes on the Cubs. In Worley's last outing, he powered through an Arizona lineup allowing one earned run on five hits over six innings to earn the win. Worley had been coming off a seven-inning winning effort where he reached a career-high 11 strike outs against the Padres. The Vanimal has been surely effective this season and although the 24 year-old is just getting started this season, he has shown that his rookie season was legit. In one career start, Worley is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA against the Cubbies. 

The Cubs will send out the struggling Chris Volstadt (0-3, 6.14 ERA) as they aim to take a series victory in Philly. Volstadt was roughed up in his last start as he allowed four earned runs on six hits over 6 innings against the Cardinals. Volstadt wasn't supposed to start tonight, but the Cubs decided to give Jeff Samardzija an extra day off. Like Malholm, Volstadt has not yet made a strong start until facing the Phils. Not saying that Volstadt will, it's important that the Phillies jump on him early. He is 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA in over 60 innings of work against the Phils. 

Tonight's Lineup vs Cubs:

  1. J-Roll SS
  2. Polly 3B
  3. Vic CF
  4. Pence RF
  5. Wiggy 1B
  6. Nixy LF
  7. Chooch C
  8. Galvis 2B
  9. Vanimal P.

TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT & 94 WIP 

Erik Seybold is a Contributor for Philliedelphia. Contact him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.

 


Jorge Cantú Opts Out With Angels, Could/Should the Phillies Pounce?

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(Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

According to MLB Trade Rumors, 30 year-old infielder Jorge Cantú has opted out of his minor-league contract with the Los Angeles Angels and is now a free agent client. 

Cantú, a seven year veteran, has played for five different teams over his career. Most recently being the San Diego Padres. Cantú signed a minor-league contract with the Angels in January and after playing in 21 games, decided to opt out.

The right handed-hitting Cantú batted .291 (25-86) with 5 home runs and 22 RBI in those 21 games. That is pretty impressive for a guy who hadn't hit more than five homers in a season since 2010, when he was with the then-Florida Marlins. 

Cantú is a career .271 hitter with 104 home runs and 476 RBI as well as a career .755 OPS and .439 SLG

If the Phillies can pounce on Cantú and offer him a major league contract for cheap, he could help out off of the bench as well as filling in at first and third base.

SIGN HIM, RUBEN! WE NEED ALL THE OFFSENSIVE HELP WE CAN GET!!!

Erik Seybold is a contributor for Philliedelphia. Contact him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.


Phillies Two-Hit by Matt Garza and Cubs; Drop Game Three, 5-1

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Kyle Kendrick piched very well this afternoon against the Chicago Cubs, coming back from a horrid three-inning outing in Arizona last Monday in which he allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits, walking one and striking out one. 

This afternoon he allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, striking out seven and walking one in six innings. 

Ian Stewart provided the first run with an RBI groundout in the second. In the following inning, Campana scored on a sac fly from Castro. In the fourth, Joe Mather hit a solo homer to left field, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

Matt Garza, this afternoon's starter for the Cubs was completely dominating this Phillies lineup. He faced the minimum through 6 1/3 innings. He allowed two singles in the first inning to Rollins and Pierre, but Rollins was out on a fielder's choice from Pierre, and Pierre was caught stealing second.

Jose Contreras pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, striking out two in relief of Kendrick. 

Juan Pierre walked in the seventh inning with one out, ending Garza's streak of batters retired. He was having himself a very Cole Hamels-esque afternoon, if you remember Hamels' last start in Arizona in which he retired 18 straight batters faced. Garza struck out 10 in seven innings allowing one hit and walking one this afternoon. 

David Herndon came in for the eighth inning and allowed a run to score on a fielder's choice from Starlin Castro. 4-0 Chicago. Later in the inning, Bryan LaHair scored on an RBI single from Baker. Herndon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to follow.

Rafael Dolis came into the game in relief of Garza, sending the Phils down 1-2-3. Ugly, ugly game for the boys in red pinstripes.

CarlosMarmol came in for the ninth and walked Pete Orr and Jimmy Rollins to kick off the inning. After Pierre lined out, Pence hit an infield single, loading the bases. It was the second hit of the entire game for the Phils. Ty Wigginton walked, sending home Pete Orr. 5-1. Shane Victorino grounded out to end the ball game.

Vance Worley gets the start tomorrow night in the finale of this series. Hopefully the Phillies will be able to tie the series, rather than lose it three games to one. 


Kendrick, Garza Go Head-to-Head In Game Three Matinée

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Last night the Phillies rebounded from a bad loss on Friday night. Joe Blanton earned his second win of the year after the offense, led by Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz, scored five runs to give the Phils their 10th win of the year. Jimmy Rollins batted leadoff for the first time this year and it paid off. Rollins went 1-4 with a 2 RBI double in the fourth inning. Maybe this is a sign that Jimmy Rollins should be batting leadoff from now on. This afternoon, the Phillies will look to keep the winning spirit alive as they look to take the 2-1 upperhand in the series. 

Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39 ERA) will make his second start in place of the DL-ridden Cliff Lee. In Kendrick's last start, he crapped the bed. He allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits over three innings against the D-backs Monday night. It was the worst start of any Phillie pitcher this year and it's not the best performance coming from a guy with a newly-extended contract. Kendrick will hope to rebound against the Cubs today, a team he has four innings of work against to his credit. He has a 0-0 record and a spotless ERA against the Cubs all-time.

The Cubs will task righty Matt Garza (1-1, 3.38 ERA) this afternoon in an effort to take today's game. Garza was solid in his last outing, allowing 2 runs over seven innings but not getting the decision. Garza has not been so solid on the road this season. Garza has allowed more runs in one start away than three games at home. In three career starts, Garza is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA against the Phillies.

Today's lineup vs Cubs:

  1. J-Roll SS
  2. Pierre LF 
  3. Pence RF 
  4. Wiggy 3B 
  5. Vic CF 
  6. Nix 1B 
  7. B-Schneids C
  8. Galvis 2B 
  9. Kendrick P.

TV: myPHL17 ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.

Erik Seybold is a Contributor to Philliedelphia. Contact him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.


Ruiz, Rollins with Multi-RBI Night; Phils Defeat Cubs, 5-2

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(Philliedelphia/Steve Trapani)

Joe Blanton was straight up phenomenal tonight. No doubt about that. Fortunately, the offense showed up tonight for the Phillies, and backed up Blanton in what was a fantastic game against the Cubs.

The only trouble that Joe Blanton put himself into tonight happened in the first inning. One run would score on an RBI double from Bryan LaHair. 

Hunter Pence started off a fourth inning rally with a double down the left field line. He would later score along with Shane Victorino on a two-run single from Carlos Ruiz. With Laynce Nix on third, Carlos Ruiz on second, and Joe Blanton on first, Jimmy Rollins delivered a two-run double to right field, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead.

After that nightmare of an inning for Randy Wells, his night was done. He was replaced in the fifth inning by Michael Bowden. Speaking of replacements, Ty Wigginton would replace Jim Thome at first in the fifth inning after Thome experienced some lower back tightness. He's currently day-to-day. 

Carlos Ruiz gave more life to this game in the sixth inning with a lead-off home run, making it 5-1. In the previous inning, Chooch was hit in the knee by a pitch from Blanton. He stayed down for a few moments before getting back into his position. Our catcher is a Panamanian rock. 

Ty Wigginton extended his hit streak to 13 games in the seventh inning with a single to right field. 

Joe Blanton was taken out in the eighth inning with runners on third and first. His final line: 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 106 pitches (78 for strikes). Hell of a game for Joe.

Chad Qualls came in with one out and allowed Tony Campana to score on a grounder from Castro which got the runner out at second. The run was charged to Blanton. 

Jonathan Papelbon entered in the ninth inning and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, picking up the save. Phillies win, 5-2. Blanton receives the win.

Game three of four tomorrow at 1:35. Kyle Kendrick gets the start for the Phils. 




Impotent Phillies Look to Back Blanton as All's Wells Probably Won't End Well

Impotence

Impotence.  The Philadelphia Phillies in a word, against a pitcher who had an 8+ ERA last night.  Now how will they do against someone whose ERA is less than half that?!

I'm lazy (and too angry about other crap) and don't feel like looking up numbers, so here is what Kevin Durso had to say about this match up:

 Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34 ERA) goes against Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60 ERA) - Blanton suffered the loss in his last start to the Padres allowing six runs in six innings. In his career against the Cubs (four starts), Blanton is 0-0 with a 3.04 ERA.

Wells allowed two runs in five innings in a no-decision against the Reds on Sunday. In his career against the Phillies (two starts), Wells is 0-0 with a 2.89 ERA. 

Two runs against the Reds, so that does not look good for the Phillies.  The Phillies also always do what no one else does: turn down free stuff.  The Phillies absolutely refuse to take free base runners, even when bad pitchers offer them.  Check out last night's box score:

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This is an absolute embarrassment.  

Also embarrassing: Starting the game with back to back hits and stranding runners at 1st and 3rd who got there with nobody out.  Even Juan Pierre was PISSED:

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Today's Lineup:

  1. Jimmy Rollins SS
  2. Placido Polanco 3B
  3. Hunter Pence RF
  4. Jim Thome 1B
  5. Shane Victorino CF
  6. Laynce Nix LF
  7. Chooch C
  8. Freddy Galvis SS
  9. Joe Blanton

7:05 game, the Comcast Network.


Phillies Drop First of Four Game Series to Cubs, 5-1

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It's safe to say we're all tired of these kinds of losses.

Roy Halladay was pitching himself a beauty of a game against the Chicago Cubs in the two teams' first meeting of the season. Paul Maholm hasn't had much luck against the Phillies in recent years, but that was about to change.

Doc retired the first 10 batters he faced, striking out the side in the second inning. In the fourth, Tony Campana singled to center and was able to score on an RBI single from Starlin Castro. 1-0 Cubs.

In the top of the sixth, Doc put himself in a major pickle. Although, you can blame the insane strike zone on home plate umpire C.B. Buckner. Bryan LaHair singled to left shortly after Tony Campana hit an infield single. Alfonso Soriano smacked an RBI single to left field to score Campana, followed by an RBI double to right from Ian Stewart. 3-0 Cubs.

The Phillies wouldn't have such a lucky sixth inning. By that point in the game, Maholm had retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced. The last hit came in the fourth inning, a single from Ty Wigginton. Which, by the way, extended his hitting streak to 12 games. 

Speaking of Ty Wigginton, he provided the first run of the game for the Phillies in the seventh inning with a solo homer to left field. 3-1. 

Roy Halladay was taken out after seven innings. His final line: 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. He tossed 113 pitches.

Antonio Bastardo came in for the eighth inning and allowed one hit and one walk before Michael Schwimer replaced him with one out in the eighth and finished the job.

Schwimer also pitched the top of the ninth and walked one before allowing an RBI triple to Reed Johnson to right field (Pence shouldn't have dove for the ball, especially with his shoulder). DeJesus singled to score Johnson, putting the Cubs up 5-1. 

Nothing to report in regard to the Phillies' offense, or lack thereof. 

So, in the first of this four-game series against the Cubs, the Phillies fail to score runs to back up Roy Halladay, resulting in a 5-1 loss. Next game is tomorrow at 7:05.