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Carlos Ruiz Available for Phillies; Roy Halladay is Officially DL-Bound

Well isn't this just freakin' swell?

Roy Halladay has been placed on the DL later and Erik Kratz has taken his roster spot. Carlos Ruiz is available for tonight and the lineup card seemed to reveal (and now confirmed) that Doc will be headed to the DL.  Todd Zolecki reports that it is a grade 1- grade 2 strain in his lat and will be out 6-8 weeks.

Sounds like we were on the right track with this one

Halladay left Sunday's game after just two innings with a sore right shoulder. He allowed four earned runs on a grand slam home run by Yadier Molina. Originally called "precautionary", it seems likely that Doc has been pitching like this for quite some time. I've had a feeling that a 4-5 record and a 3.98 ERA wasn't all old-age and just Doc "wearing down". 

If that's the case, then either the Phillies were desperate or Doc is a quiet fellow.

Personally, I think Halladay needs a rest right now. It's early in the season and having your team's best pitcher on the DL is no good sign. It's good that he gets some rest and is shut down for a period of time. 

6-8 weeks is plenty of time for a rest. 

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.


Blanton Looks to Rebound From Recent Falters, Takes On Mets

Joe Blanton Stats  Video Highlights  Photos  Bio  Team
Today, the Phillies are looking to take the series in New York after taking yesterday's game by force, winning 8-4. Ty Wigginton came up clutch, going 3-3 with 6 RBI including a three-run home run. It put the Phils ahead and they'd never look back. It's good to have those kinds of games. Cole Hamels allowed four earned runs on two two-run home runs, but all was well with a little help from the offense.

Tonight, Joe Blanton (4-4, 4.55 ERA) will aim to rebound from two terrible starts in a row. Blanton was on a pretty good run until his past two previous starts. In his most recent start, against the Cardinals on Thursday, Blanton allowed 7 earned runs on 10 hits over just 4 1/3 innings of baseball. Blanton took the loss and evened up his record at 4-4. Blanton pitched against the Mets earlier this season, tossing 6 2/3 innings of four run ball (two runs were runners he left on base after being relieved). The Mets ended up winning the ballgame against the Phils' bullpen. In his career, Blanton is 3-1 with a 3.71 ERA against the Mets.

The Phils will oppose Mets righty Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 6.17 ERA), who will be making his second start of the season and his major league career. In his last start, a spot start on Thursday, Hefner was rocked around by the Padres in the rain . Hefner allowed 6 earned runs on 9 hits over 3 2/3 innings. Hefner hasn't pitched against the Phillies this season nor has he in his career. 

Roy Halladay is scheduled to have his right shoulder examined on Tuesday. Halladay left Sunday's game early due to soreness in that shoulder. Hopefully all is good for Roy. There have been rumors of shutting Halladay down for some time to give him some rest.

In other injury news, Carlos Ruiz was scratched late from yesterday's game with tightness in his right hamstring. It will also hold him out of tonight's game as he was not listed in tonight's lineup.

Vance Worley threw a pain-free bullpen session today and although he feels fine, he'll most likely need another bullpen session in order to return to the rotation. 

Tonight's lineup @ NYM:

  1. J-Roll SS
  2. Pierre LF
  3. Pence RF
  4. Wiggy 1B
  5. Victorino CF
  6. Polly 3B
  7. Galvis 2B
  8. Schneider C
  9. Blanton P.

TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.


Are Phillies Carlos Ruiz or Roy Halladay Headed to DL? Erik Kratz Scratched from AAA Game


Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was a late scratch before the Phillies Memorial Day 1:00 p.m. game in New York at Citi Field.  He was said to be "day to day" at the time.

But, the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs played a night game and pulled from the original lineup was Iron Pigs catcher Erik Kratz. 

Here are two sobering possibilities:

1) Carlos Ruiz is headed to the disabled list.  The Phillies would be devastated to lose Ruiz and his bat, which was pretty much carrying the Phillies for the month of May.

2) Roy Halladay is headed to the disabled list.  A Kratz move coupled with Thursday's off day would give the Phillies a few days to figure out how to replace Halladay and at the same time provide insurance for the sore Ruiz.  Halladay's regular return in the rotation would have been Saturday.

Dave Bush started tonight for the Iron Pigs.  he could pitch on Saturday or Sunday; Scott Elarton pitched yesterday and would also be available either day.

If Kratz indeed is headed to the Phillies, neither scenario is good.

Ty Wigginton, Phillies Cool Off Mets on Hot Memorial Day With Win


Wearing one of the better-looking Stars and Stripes collection hats in a long time, the Phillies headed up to Shea Stadium in New York and got back into the winning spirit.  Phillies fans must be aware that a Shake Shack is opening in Philadelphia and so therefore had no need to go to Citi Field for today's hot Memorial Day game.

The fun began as the Phillies scored two runs on a Ty Wigginton RBI in the top of the 3rd to take a 2-0 Phillies lead.

The Mets lost shortstop Justin Turner to an ankle injury in the bottom of the 3rd.  Caught in a run down, Turner came down hard on first base.  The injury was eventually diagnosed as a right ankle sprain.  That was a big blow to the Mets who were already without backup shortstop Ronny Cedeño due to a minor injury and Ruben Tejada, the team's starting shortstop who is occupying a DL spot.  

David Wright ended up playing shortstop, where he has spent just two innings of his major league career.

Cole Hamels walked Lucas Duda to begin the 5th and it immediately came back to haunt Hamels.  The next batter Vinny Rotino lined a home run off the wall in left field - which really should have been in play but the Mets wanted their players to hit more home runs - to tie it up in the 5th.

So short on players, Jon Niese batted for himself and while the broadcasters thought he might be removed for a reliever, Niese came out to start the 6th and promptly walked Ty Wigginton.  John Mayberry Jr. made them regret keeping him in by slamming a home run to left field, and it was not a cheap one like Rotino's and chased Jon Niese.

Scott Hairston got a two-run home run of his own in the bottom of the inning to tie it right back up.  The bottom of the inning, however, Ty Wigginton came up big again with a clutch two-out hit with runners at first and third.

Hamels overcame a runner at third with one out in the 8th, showing how his effectiveness that remained despite giving up four runs.

But, Ty Wigginton was not done.  In the top of the 9th, he homered to left, a three-run shot which gave the Phillies a four-run lead.   Wigginton had six RBI in all today.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect 9th in a non-save situation and Phils won 8-4, making Cole Hamels the majors' first eight-game winner.

Jorge Suarez is a "contributor" for @Philliedelphia.  Please follow him on Twitter at @hiphop_JORGE if you like disrespect, foul language, and other troll-like behaviors.

Cole Hamels Opens Up Key Series With Mets At Citi Field

American-Flag(Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

Happy Memorial Day everybody! We here at Philliedelphia would love to express our appreciation and gratitude to the men and women who have served and who are currently serving for our country. I wouldn't be here typing this article if it weren't for all of you.

Memorial Day baseball is a big baseball day. It's like the 4th of July's baby sister. There are BBQ's, parades, and for the MLB. The stars and stripes hats will be worn. As a matter of fact, I have a picture of the Phillies' hats for this year. (They're actually pretty neat and not ugly at all).

Let's get to today!

So, Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.17 ERA) has hands down been the Phillies best starting this pitcher and he's looking to continue his dominance this afternoon as he takes on the New York Mets in game one of a three-game set. The Phils are coming off of a four-game set with St. Louis in which they took three of those four. Beside's yesterday's 8-3 loss and the revelation of Roy Halladay's shoulder soreness, the Phillies played some great baseball over the weekend.

In Hamels' last start on Wednesday, he tossed eight scoreless frames against Washington, allowing just four hits while walking three and striking out six Nationals to get his 7th win of the season. Back in April, Hamels tossed seven innings of two-run ball against the Mets. He earned the win as he yielded six hits and struck out a season-high 10. In his career, Hamels is 4-10 with a 4.33 ERA against the Mets. Don't let those numbers make a difference, though. Hamels is locked in right now.

Opposing the Phillies will be Jon Niese (3-2, 4.29 ERA), who is coming off a 7 2/3 inning, one-run outing against the Pirates. Niese has been exceptionally good this year - for a Met. But seriously, Niese has pitched well against the Phillies this year. In two starts, Niese is 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA. Now both of those starts were in Philly so Niese has not faced the Phils at home this year. The Phils are making their first trip to Citi Field today and the walls are shortened and have been moved up since last year. Maybe the longball will work today with the new dimensions and the heat. In his career, Niese is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA against the Phils.

Like I said before, Citi Field is revamped to be a "hitter's park" instead of a "pitcher's park". Here's a description from Wikipedia. 

Changes include building an 8 feet (2.4 m) wall in front of the high 16 feet (4.9 m) wall in left field that many had dubbed the "Great Wall of Flushing", removing the nook in the "Mo's Zone" in right field, and reducing the distance in right center field from 415 feet (126 m) from home plate to 390 feet (120 m). The new walls are colored blue in order to address fan complaints that the old black walls with orange trims did not reflect the colors of the Mets. The Mets have also created a new seating section located in between the old and new left field walls called the Party City Deck and can accommodate 102 additional fans. 

It's a drastic change, but it's still going to take some power to crank one out. Let's hope our boys bring the bats to Citi Field.

Breaking Update: Carlos Ruiz has been scratched from today's game with tightness in his right hamstring.

Game Time Temperature: 88°, Partly Cloudy, Humidity makes it feel like 91°.

Today's lineup @ New York:

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

 TV: CSN, MLBNetwork ; Radio: 1210 WPHT 94 WIP

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.

At Citi Field, Phillies try to climb out of cellar again


Cole Hamels will start the opener of the Phillies' three-game series with the Mets. (Philliedelphia/Kevin Durso)

It seems like we've been saying the same thing for several series now. The Phillies just can't seem to find their way out of last place. The problem: everybody in the division is playing teams from other divisions. Now that the Phillies can consistently meet some divisional foes, this will prove what this team is really made of this season.

Their first test comes against the New York Mets, a team that swept the Phillies when they were at their worst this season just a few weeks ago.

They come in with the National League's best hitter in David Wright, and a couple of real offensive weapons in Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda. Out for the series with injuries are Jason Bay, Ruben Tejeda and Josh Thole all on the DL.

Still, the Mets have formidable backups taking their place like Mike Nickeas, Scott Hairston and Justin Turner.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series.

In the opener, Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.17 ERA) goes against Jon Niese (3-2, 4.29 ERA) - Hamels continued his great season with another gem against the Nationals on Wednesday. He pitched eight shutout innings allowing just four hits on the night. He has won each of his last four starts. Hamels beat the Mets on April 15, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs. In his career against the Mets (18 starts), Hamels is 4-10 with a 4.33 ERA.

Niese allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings against the Pirates in a winning effort in his last start. Niese won a start against the Phillies on April 14, pitching 6 2/3 shutout innings, and took a no-decision on May 7, allowing two runs over five innings. Both were Mets wins. In his career against the Phillies (10 starts), Niese is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA.

In the middle game, Joe Blanton (4-4, 4.55 ERA) faces Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 6.17 ERA) - Blanton struggled for the second straight start allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 to the Cardinals. The Phillies would rebound to win giving Blanton a no-decision. Blanton allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings to the Mets on May 8 taking a no-decision. In his career against the Mets (10 starts), Blanton is 3-1 with a 3.71 ERA.

Hefner took a loss to the Padres allowing six runs over 3 2/3 innings. It was his first career start and third appearance of his career. He will make his debut against the Phillies in this start.

In the finale, Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.82 ERA) gets the start against Dillon Gee (4.92 ERA) - Lee took a no-decision after allowing three runs over seven innings. Lee is still winless on the season and this will be his last chance to win a game in May. Lee lost to the Mets on April 13 allowing four runs in seven innings and took a no-decision on May 9 allowing two runs over six innings. In his career against the Mets (five starts), Lee is 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA.

Gee picked up another win in his last start, allowing one run over seven innings in a win over the Padres. In a May 9 start against the Phillies, he allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings in taking a no-decision. In his career against the Phillies (five games, four starts), Gee is 2-1 with a 7.50 ERA.

May 28 - Phillies 4, Mets 1
May 29 - Phillies 5, Mets 7
May 30 - Phillies 2, Mets 4

The Mets have really been a thorn in the Phillies' side this season, which is why I don't see this being a fun series to watch if you're a Phillies fan.

The opener will not be a guaranteed win, but how can you pick against Cole Hamels right now? He's been pitching brilliantly and I'd expect more of the same. 

The other two matchups are tough to call. Both Blanton and Lee took no-decisions in their last starts against the Mets because of a shaky bullpen. In the Mets' sweep at Citizens Bank Park earlier this month, all three games were lost by the bullpen. Since then, the pen has recovered some, especially in the later innings where there seems to finally be some regularity.

It really comes down to the starting pitching holding the Mets off the board and the Phillies capitalizing on chances. I have the middle game going to the Mets because of Blanton's last two starts, but if he holds the Mets off the board like he did other teams in the first month or so of the season, that can easily change. The Phillies certainly have the potential to score off of a rookie pitcher in that game, so if Blanton gives the Phillies a quality start, they may be able to take that one.

In Cliff Lee's quest for his first win, it's hard to believe May could pass with Lee winless. But I just can't seem to think that any one of these starters, unless it's Hamels, has the ability to really command a game from start to finish. This would be a great game for Lee to prove me wrong.

The Phillies return home after this series with the Mets for a week-long homestand featuring series against the Marlins and Dodgers.

Kevin Durso is a contributor to Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

Needing a Doctor: Halladay leaves game, Phillies drop finale

Screen Shot 2012-05-27 at 4.11.05 PM

As far as first innings go, you couldn't draw up more of a disaster. A nearly insurmountable lead, another rough start for a top-of-the-line pitcher and the opposing ace on the mound. It was clear today wasn't going to be the Phillies day.

The Cardinals took all the momentum in one swing, and the Phillies got more news they didn't need to hear. It was all part of a frustrating day all around for the Phillies who saw their winning streak end.

Roy Halladay was making a start in the series finale with the chance to win. Money in the bank, right? This season, something is different. We may learn what that something is sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, it was too late to save this game.

Halladay allowed a pair of one-out singles to Skip Schumaker and Matt Holliday before retiring Carlos Beltran for the second out. But after walking David Freese to extend the inning, Yadier Molina got a hold of one and sent it into the seats in center for a grand slam.

Halladay went on to pitch a perfect second inning, but left immediately after that with what the Phillies said was right shoulder soreness. No MRI was immediately scheduled and he will be re-evaluated in the coming days.

The Phillies did trim the lead in the third with an RBI single by Juan Pierre. But that was as close as they would get.

After pitching two scoreless innings, Joe Savery got into trouble in the fifth. Two baserunners were charged to his line before Chad Qualls entered the game. He allowed a three-run home run to Beltran in the fifth and then a solo shot to Matt Adams in the sixth.

The Phillies added an eighth-inning run on a fielder's choice and another RBI single by Pierre in the ninth but saw their four-game winning streak snapped with an 8-3 loss to the Cardinals.

Forget about the game. There is another one tomorrow and after four straight wins, the Phillies may have been due for one like this. The real story is Roy Halladay. Whether this soreness puts him on the DL or not doesn't matter. It is clear that something is wrong with Halladay. It may not be physically noticeable, as in velocity or pitch selection, but it is clear in location, movement, and other aspects to fooling a hitter.

Hitters aren't being fooled by Halladay this year, thus making him just another hittable pitcher. 

For now, wait on official news on Halladay's health from the Phillies and take the loss for what it is. Tomorrow marks a brand new series with the Mets. Although, play like this won't cut it against division opponents where there is still sizable ground to be made up.

Kevin Durso is a contributor for Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

Philadelphia Blogger: Move the Athletics Back to Philadelphia? Stadium Should Be Located...


Here's a really interesting read by Benjamin Goldman, who is one of the authors of an MLBlog called "Team of Rivals" that follows the National League East.   He wrote his most recent piece about the occasional push for the Athletics baseball franchise to return to Philadephia.

Goldman, a transportation planner with a graduate degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, put together a really detailed an interesting piece detailing both where the Athletics' stadium could be in Philadelphia and transportation options to the stadium.

While the report he looked at suggests the site of the former Baker Bowl, Goldman has a novel, interesting suggestion:

Where else in Philadelphia could the A’s move? They certainly could find a nice sea of parking lots in King of Prussia, but I feel that would be short-sighted. Therefore, I would like to offer an off-beat, creative alternative: Holmesburg Prison.

Not only does Goldman come up with this idea, but it comes complete with images and a re-vamped rail line with an extra spur to service the stadium:


But, common sense seems to keep the Athletics somewhere on the West Coast:

Now, a reality check. All in all, it’s a cool fantasy, but I don’t think it’ll work. Philly’s finances can’t handle a new stadium any more than Oakland’s, and the Phillies are probably happy being the only major league ticket in town and can throw their weight around to keep it that way.

Again, just a really neat read.  Check it out here.

Roy Halladay Leaves Phillies-Cardinals Game Early With Apparent Injury


Roy Halladay got off to a rough start in today's Phillies-Cardinals game in St. Louis, issuing a grand slam home run to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

In the top of the 3rd inning, Pete Orr batted for Roy Halladay, bunted and was credited for a sacrifice as Mike Fontenot advanced on the play.  Joe Savery took the mound in the bottom of the third.

Halladay is out with, what the Phillies broadcasters called "right shoulder soreness", but said it was "precautionary" that he came out.  

Roy Halladay & Phillies Aim For Sweep Over Cardinals

I've got a date with my grandmother today and a slight hangover so here's a quick preview for you guys. 

8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, Loss. 

That was Roy Halladay's line the last time he faced the Cardinals, in Game 5 of the NLDS last year. Roy pitched a great game but with an offense who was completely blanked by Chris Carpenter, he took the tough loss as the Phils were eliminated from the playoffs.

This season, Roy Halladay has been sub-par to what he has been in the past. A 4-4 record with  a 3.58 ERA is not the Doc we have seen pitch in Philly and today he's aiming to give the Phillies their first four-game series sweep of the season. In Halladay's last start, he was roughed around by the Nats. Halladay allowed five runs on nine hits over six innings on Tuesday. Halladay took his fourth loss of the season. In his career, Halladay is 2-1 with a 2.10 ERA against the Cardinals.

The Cards will send out Adam Wainwright in an effort to stop the sweep. With a 3-5 record and a 4.78 ERA, Wainwright is having a tough season so far. However, in his last start, he tossed his best game of the season. Wainwright tossed a complete game shutout over the Padres, allowing four hits and striking out 9 for the win. Wainwright said he'd never felt so satisfied after an outing. Wainwright didn't pitch at all last year so he was out of the equation with the Phillies in the NLDS. But in his career, he holds a 2-1 record with a 2.30 ERA against the Phillies.

It's going to be a rubber match today, folks.

Here's today's lineup @ St. Louis:

  1. J-Roll SS 
  2. Pierre LF
  3. Pence RF 
  4. Chooch C
  5. Vic CF
  6. Luna 1B 
  7. Galvis 2B 
  8. Fontenot 3B
  9. Halladay P.

TV: myPHL17 ; Radio: 1210 WPHT 94 WIP

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.