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Mets Demolish Phillies in 11-3 Series Finale

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If you want to know a very simple reason why the Mets won this game, just look at the final bx score. After neither team scored in the first two innings, the Mets scored in every inning from the third fame on. It's an unfortunate result that many fans probably could have predicted with Ethan Martin getting the start. Despite his obvious ability, Martin has been anything but solid in his starts this season. 

Daniel Murphy helped to get the scoring started in that third inning. His double scored Eric Young Jr., who singled with one away, to open up the score at 1-0. Justin Turner then opened up the fourth by drawing a walk. Anthony Recker's first homerun of the season scored Turner and moved the score to 3-0. 

Caesar Jimenez replaced Martin early in the contest, coming in to pitch the fifth. He didn't have much luck either, though, as he gave up Murpy's second double of the game to begin the inning. An Andrew Brown single would score Murphy to improve the Mets' lead to 4-0. The ugliness continued into the fifth, with Recker recording a walk. After Omar Quintanilla popped out, Mets starting pitcher Carlos Torres sacrificed Recker to second. With two outs, Young Jr. beat out a groundball in the infield to put runners on the corners. Jimenez would balk during the next at bat to move each runner up. Murphy would single for his third hit of the game, and helped improve the score to 6-0. 

The Phillies were finally able to get on the board in the seventh. Chase Utley and Domonic Brown each singled to start the inning. On a Carlos Ruiz fly out, Utley was able to tag up and advance to third. Darin Ruf's fly out then turned into a sacrifice and scored Utley, ending Torres' shutout bid. After John McDonald singled, Roger Bernadina homered in the following inning to move the Philly scoring to three.

In their half of the seventh, the Mets would score another four runs. A single, hit batter, and a walk loaded the bases for Quintanilla, who also walked to bring home the seventh run. After Ike Davis struck out, Eric Young Jr. tripled to clear the bases and put the Mets in the double digit scoring. Andrew Brown began the eighth with a solo homerun to complete the Mets' scoring at 11. This would be the last run for either squad, and the final score stood at 11-3.

As most of them are, this loss was tough for Philly. Despite nine strikeouts in just four innings, Ethan Martin still could not keep himself in the game. High scoring games like these tend to send teams into bad stretches, so the Phillies will have to look to halt the losing immediately. Their series with the Chicago Cubs will begin at 2:20 tomorrow at Wrigley Field, with the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija taking on Roy Halladay in his second start since returning from the DL. 


Domonic Brown Returns As Phillies And Mets Close Out Citi Field Series With Matinee

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The Phillies welcome back a familiar face today as they take on the New York Mets at Citi Field to close out this four game series before they head to Chicago.   Domonic Brown has returned to the lineup after dealing with an achillies injury the few days.  His last start was Friday at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Not in the lineup today is Cody Asche, who left last night's game early with a bothersome "cramp" in his hamstring.  Asche is being given the day off, but reports were more positive than negative about his condition.  The Phillies are being "cautious" with Asche, reports Chris Vito of the Delaware County Times.

The Phillies will send Ethan Martin to the hill.  Martin is coming off his worst major league performance thus far.  On Saturday, Martin lasted just 2/3 of an inning, taxing a bullpen that ended up having to pitch 17 1/3 innings total over the course of the night.  After two quick outs on Saturday Martin was unable to retire another batter, which forced the Phillies to head to the bullpen early.

Carlos Torres is making just his fourth start of the year for the Mets, who learned earlier this week that their ace rookie pitcher Matt Harvey would be done for the year due to a tear of the UCL in his pitching arm.  Torres has a 2-2 record and 2.96 ERA that includes three starts and 26 bullpen appearances.   Torres' last start was July 28 against the Atlanta Braves.  He lasted only three innings and gave up eight earned runs.

Game Notes: 

  • The Phillies are 8-5 since Ryne Sandberg replaced Charlie Manuel as manager.
  • Cody Asche left last night's game with a "cramp" in his right hamstring; he is day to day.
  • Jimmy Rollins needs just one more hit against the Mets to be tied for 5th place all-time with Andre Dawson and Willie Davis. However, Rollins gets another day off today.

Phillies lineup:

  1. Michael Young 3B
  2. Kevin Frandsen 1B
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Domonic Brown LF
  5. Carlos Ruiz C 
  6. Darin Ruf RF
  7. John Mayberry CF
  8. John McDonald SS 
  9. Ethan Martin P

Dbacks lineup: 

  1. Eric Young Jr. LF
  2. Daniel Murphy 2B
  3. Andrew Brown RF
  4. Lucas Duda 1B
  5. Justin Turner 3B
  6. Matt den Dekker CF
  7. Anthony Recker C
  8. Omar Quintanilla C
  9. Carlos Torres P

TV: CSN
Radio: 94 WIP, 1210 WPHT

Erik Seybold is busy selling school supplies this week.  


Phillies Third Baseman Cody Asche Injures Hamstring

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During tonight's game, John McDonald took third base in place of third baseman Cody Asche after he singled in the 7th inning.

Todd Zolecki has manager Ryne Sandberg's explanation:

“On the ball heading to the gap, he put a little extra into the run and felt a little something,” Ryne Sandberg said. “He’s day-to-day, but it felt a lot better. He felt if he would’ve run to first base and then made an out and came back in and would’ve been able to shake it off and sit, it would’ve been fine. Cramp symptoms.”

"Cramp symptoms" are much better than a pull or tear, but the Phillies will likely be cautious with their promising young third baseman. 

Asche has hit in nine straight games to bring his average to .256 after a 1-17 start.  


Cole Hamels Strong, Dice-K Not So Much, As Phillies Down Mets

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The red hot Cole Hamels took on newly-acquired Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsusaka at Citi Field tonight.   Hamels remained sharp, and Matsusaka, making just his second start in 2013, showed the rust that he is still shaking off.

The Phillies loaded the bases both in the second inning and in the third inning, but wasted both opportunities, much to the chagrin of the Phillies beat writers, who found the time between his large number of pitches annoying:

The Mets would score first in the third inning.   Daisuke Matsusaka would single, and be called out on your usual 8-4-6 play on an Eric Young flyout.  But Young would remain at first base and advance to second base when Juan Lagares walked behind him.   Then, thanks to nobody covering third base on a popup to catcher Carlos Ruiz, Young took third base.    Young then scored on an Ike Davis single.

The Phillies got it right back in the top of the fourth.  Pete Orr would single to open the inning, and Cole Hamels would sacrifice him to second.   After Roger Bernadina popped out, Jimmy Rollins lined a double to the left field wall.   Rollins would be thrown out trying to stretch his double into a triple, but Orr would score to make it a 1-1 game.

Matsusaka would be chased out of the game in the fifth inning after loading the bases with one out and then hitting John Mayberry with a pitch to force in a run to make it 2-1 Phillies.  Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg would pull Pete Orr for Darin Ruf when the lefty Robert Carson came into the game.  Ruf would strike out for the second out, but Cole Hamels singled in two more to make it 4-1 Phillies.

Carlos Ruiz would add another in the top of the sixth with a solo home run to make it 5-1 Phillies.

The Mets would get another in the seventh inning.  Daniel Murphy singled to start the inning.  Eric Young would bunt him to second base.  Then, Murphy stole third.  He would come in to score on a double by Andrew Brown to make it 5-2 Phillies.  Hamels would strike out Ike Davis to end the Mets threat in the seventh.   That would be it for Hamels for a final line of seven innings and two earned runs.

After B.J. Rosenberg got the Mets out in the 8th, the Phillies sprung back to action in the ninth inning.  John McDonald reached on an error by Wilmer Flores to start the inning.  Darin Ruf followed with a single to move McDonald to third base.  Then, Kevin Frandsen hit a tapper to pitcher Scott Atchinson that he could not handle, scoring McDonald to make the score 6-2 Phillies.

Jake Diekman finished out the 9th with a 1-2-3 inning to preserve the win for Cole Hamels.  The Phillies win 6-2.

The Phillies and Mets close out the series tomorrow at 1:10.


Phils Face New Met Dice-K in Game 3 in Citi Field

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Pete Orr, Left Fielder

Cole Hamels looks to stay hot against a team that's given him trouble in the past in the Mets.  While he's gotten his ERA down to 4.34 at Citi Field, it's not been the kindest park to him in his career. Still he's a hot pitcher right now pitching like the guy we signed up for. He's really had a nice second half. If you subtract the first month and if his team scored runs for him, he'd probably be in the Cy Young race. However, you'll take what he's doing right now any day.

Facing him is Daisuke Matsuzaka who has been set back over the years by various injuries and struggles. He just saw his first big league action of the season for the Mets on Friday. Dice-K is probably best known in Phillies history for throwing 7.2 innings of no hit ball on May 22, 2010 until Juan Castro hit a bloop single to spare us the shame. I was there and personally at that point, I wanted to see the no-no.

Unfortunately for the Phillies there is no Juan Castro but they do have utlity whiz Pete Orr making his first start in the major leagues in quite some time in left field tonight. Why not, I'll make him my pick to click! Domonic Brown continues to stay sidelined. Asche is back in the fold at third base.

LINEUPS

PHILLIES

1. Roger Bernadina CF
2. Jimmy Rollins SS
3. Chase Utley 2B
4. Carlos Ruiz C
5. Michael Young 1B
6. Cody Asche 3B
7. John Mayberry RF
8. Pete Orr LF
9. Cole Hamels P

METS

1. Eric Young LF
2. Juan Lagares CF
3. Andrew Brown RF
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Josh Satin 3B
6. Wilmer Flores 2B
7. Justin Turner SS
8. Travis d'Arnaud C
9. Daisuke Matsuzaka P


Pigging Out: The Playoff Chances for the IronPigs

Photo by Richard Wilkins Jr.
The IronPigs won a game they had to have last night, beating the Buffalo Bison 5-3 in come from behind fashion, pulling a game up on the Bison, and keeping hope alive in the Wild Card race in the International League. They are 4.5 games back with six to go in the division, or virtually done, but 2.5 back in the Wild Card race going into the final weekend.

The 71-67 Pigs will play their next two games at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees), then bring them down for two more. On Sunday and Monday, Pawtucket (Red Sox), who may clinch by then, comes down for two to finish the season. Scuffling Rochester, who they are chasing, plays their next four with Buffalo, giving the IronPigs a golden shot to both catch them, and put away Buffalo, if they both win some games. Norfolk, who has one off day, plays their next three with Charlotte, and final two with Durham. Durham is the runaway winner of the Southern Division, but Charlotte is an also-ran. In other words, Norfolk's schedule is only as bad as Durham wants it to be.

The IronPigs odds are not good, and that's basically because they dropped the twin-bill Monday to Buffalo after handling them up there. They have a shot though, if they win basically no less than five games in the final six. Every game counts at this point in Allentown.

Forecasting the 2014 Rosters

Asche and Ruf, Here to Stay.
Photo by Richard Wilkins Jr.
Matt Gelb asked it, Paul Boye at Crashburn Alley tried it, and frankly why not do it too? Who will be on the 40 man next year that is on it now, you ask? Probably most of the players on now, sadly. Turnover isn't easy in MLB, and it won't be for the Phillies. So with that in mind, and using the current 40 man roster on the Phillies own site, i'll give this a try. I'll start with the 25 man, and then we'll build from there.

  • Starting 8 players- Revere-CF, Rollins-SS, Utley-2B, Brown-RF, Ruf-LF, Howard-1B, Free Agent Catcher-C, Asche-3B
  • Rotation- Hamels-LHP, Lee-LHP, Halladay-RHP, Pettibone-RHP, Free Agent Righty-RHP
  • Bench- Kratz, Hernandez, Bernadina, Free Agent right-handed Outfielder, Frandsen
  • Bullpen- Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Diekman, De Fratus, Free Agent Set-Up man, Horst
Ok, so lots of "free agents" in there. So who?
Let's start at catcher. My guess is the club moves on from Chooch and puts some real money here. Real world money at catcher probably means Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a major target of the team. How much is too much? I'm not sure, but to get a young catcher with solid offensive skills is nice. If not him, Chooch very well could be back, but you could also see the Phillies pursue a Pierzynski, Buck, or Navarro type there (I know, not exciting). I'm guessing they pay up and get "Salty."
Then there's the #5 job in the rotation, this right-handed outfielder I'm hoping for, and a set up man. Don't think super big for the starter. If they get a bigger name, it'll be on a shorter deal (I think), so think someone like Bartolo Colon, or another older starter who has been good lately. The other possibility is that they go cheaper, and look for a potential recover project (Ubaldo Jimenez), possible swing-man for when Morgan/Biddle are up (Sean Marcum), or they go trade. I suppose it's possible they bring back Kendrick, but I don't see the point in paying him if you like what you've seen from Morgan lately (which I have), since you could just use Morgan for a cheaper price. In the outfield, think power, but the ability to maybe provide some defensive improvement on Ruf if needed, and able to start some games. I'm seeing Jeff Francoeur. I wouldn't rule out them cutting Bernadina, bringing back Mayberry, and signing Morse either. In the bullpen, I'd like to see someone capable of maybe closing if Papelbon implodes, but willing to sign as a set-up man. They could go reclamation project (Hanrahan, Madson, Francisco), old (Dotel), questionable from health (O'Flaherty), or expensive (Uehara). 
I'm guessing they get a low risk/high reward Ubaldo Jimenez (if his option isn't picked up at $8 million) or Josh Johnson type, which I'm not crazy about, but Ruben will be, as the fifth starter. I'm guessing we'll see an outfielder who is Francoeur, or virtually the same thing. I'm guessing they go sign either Hanrahan, Francisco, or O'Flaherty to be in the 'pen.
Now that I've depressed you a bit about the team, here comes the fun stuff. Who stays on the 40 man then? First off, bank on Galvis and Martin surviving here, with Martin being converted to a reliever in AAA to start the season. Next, add Maikel Franco, Kelly Dugan, Adam Morgan, Aaron Altherr, Cameron Rupp, and Jesse Biddle to be on. That gives you 33 players. Phillipe Aumont, Tyler Cloyd, B.J. Rosenberg, and Joe Savery probably survive too, so you're at 37. Think match-ups from there: Gillies vs. Collier, Orr vs. Martinez, Giles vs. Nesseth vs. slop field of relievers on now. Personally, I'd probably guess they keep Gillies, Martinez, and Giles, though I disagree with like two of them.
For the record, I just cut Valdes, Stutes, Robles, Ramirez, Miner, Jimenez, Lannan, Kendrick, Garcia, Valle, McDonald, Orr, Young, Ruiz, Collier, Orr, Mayberry, and Wells, or 18 players of the 46 currently on the 40 man roster. Obviously I'm going to get a bunch of these wrong, and hope I do. This is just my best attempt at guessing Ruben Amaro's failed logic.

No Ruben, No.

Wiki Commons Photo in the Public Domain
I have this buddy of mine who is full of bad ideas- he wouldn't trade Ryan Howard if he could, he still likes the Papelbon move, he wants to put Dom Brown in center, wants to give Hunter Pence a $75 million deal this winter, and utterly hates Ben Revere. Basically, in short, he doesn't want the last few years to end, like most of us Phillies fans. He also hates any kind of advanced metrics, and frankly is full of bad ideas.

He's full of bad ideas for this winter, as I mentioned one above. He's inspired me to create this post- the worst possible ideas the Phillies could have for this off-season. Sure, this is opinion, but hopefully you the reader can see where I'm coming from here- at least I hope.

  1. Sign Tim Lincecum- Say what? This is inspired by my buddy. See, the line-up is probably locked in, so the best way to improve the club is to fortify the staff. He's already envisioning Doc back, giving the Phillies a Hamels-Lee-Doc top three, and then he wants to go with Tim Lincecum, who in his mind has had as good of a year as Cole Hamels. Quoting from MLB Trade Rumors, "Lincecum owns a 4.55 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9." none of which are pathetic numbers, but none of which are worth the deal Lincecum would command, not to mention the likelihood that he's not signing to be a fifth starter type. For the record, Hamels has a 3.62 ERA, a walk and a half less per nine innings, a WHIP comparable to last year's, a comparable HR's per nine rate, and a comparable strikeouts to walk ration to recent years. Lincecum isn't as bad as his line, but he's too risky to give a big deal to.
  2. Trade Cody Asche- Yes, buddy inspired. No, don't consider it. "Yeah, I like him, but I want Franco, and unless we move Dom to center, he has no space (there is an extension here that is next)." Even if Franco is going to make this team, why trade Asche? I'm not saying I'd never, ever do it, but why make him openly available? This team is old enough as is.
  3. Sign Hunter Pence- Yes, the extension of the last comment. For what? Now a 30 year old, Pence is a very nice player, and maybe the top corner outfielder out there, which means he's going to cash in somewhere, most likely where he is now. If you want to pry him away, you will pay for it, a lot. I like Pence. I also think we over paid for him once, and got a light package back for him sending him out. No reason to price ourselves out of the market a third time. Don't get me wrong, he'd be a big upgrade, but he'd also be another large, potentially awful contract. Pass.
  4. Five Carlos Ruiz Multi-Years- This one gets worse with length. I'll always like Chooch for what he did in Philadelphia, but his best is behind him. I can swallow a one year deal. I'm not really a fan though.
  5. Move Dom Brown to center- Why? I know he did it a little in AAA ball, but no.
  6. Trade a highly rated prospect to get an upgrade- Just say no to trading Franco, Biddle, Crawford, Quinn, Encarnacion, and Tocci to get any kind of medium upgrade. Stanton? Maybe now we're talking.
  7. Pencil in Biddle as the #5- Even if 2014 is a throwaway on paper next spring, Jesse Biddle shouldn't be above AAA ball in April. I like his arm a lot, but he has command issues to work out. This year he finally hit a level where relying on his stuff didn't carry him to greatness.
  8. Refuse to use advanced metrics- Oh wait, he does that now. Well, he should stop doing that, now also.
  9. Non-tender Antonio Bastardo- No. I know it's tempting, given his circumstances. Make him fail on the field before parting ways. The suspension should help keep his value down a bit. The Phillies bullpen was just too awful to risk this.
  10. Trade Cliff Lee to Seattle- I kind of mean trade him at all, but if they truly decide 2014 is going to be a waste, perhaps it's fine. Even so, Ruben screwed this up one time already....
Any additions I'm forgetting? 

Niese Job: Mets Lefty Hurls Gem Against Phillies

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The Mets took the field at Citi Field on Marlon Byrd t-shirt night devoid of their former starting outfielder and starting catcher John Buck.   But that was not enough to keep the Mets from dominating the Phillies thanks to a stellar pitching performance from Mets starter Jonathan Niece, who tossed a complete game shutout.

The Mets got their offense from sloppy defense and the bat of their starting pitcher.  The Mets first run came after Kyle Kendrick walked Jonathan Niese in the third inning.  Eric Young bunted Niese to second, and Daniel Murphy drove Niese in on a single to center field.

Sloppy play in the sixth inning led to four more for the Mets.  Andrew Brown led off with a walk, and thanks to a throwing error by first baseman Kevin Frandsen, Ike Davis reached, putting runners at second and third.  Kyle Kendrick intentionally walked Juan Lagares to face Travis d'Arnaud, who hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Mets.   Then, Kendrick issued another intentional walk to Omar Quintinilla to face pitcher Jonathan Niese.  Niese doubled, clearing the bases to make the score 5-0 Mets.

Yes, that was four runs on just two hits for the Mets in the sixth inning.

The Phillies offense was limited to just three hits.  Two came from Michael Young, starting at third base.  The third came from shortstop Jimmy Rollins.  Rollins also in the ninth inning picked up a walk.  But that was it for the Phillies.

Kendrick was charged with the loss after giving up just one earned run.  Niese picks up the win, a complete game shutout.

The Phillies and Mets are back at it tomorrow night at Citi Field at 7:10.


Kendrick Looks For Strong Start Against Depleted Mets

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Kyle Kendrick meets Jon Niese tonight in Game 2 of the 4 game series in Citi Field. Kendrick has been mediocre lately and looks to get back on track against a depleted Mets line up that just traded Marlon Byrd and John Buck earlier today. A link worth checking out comes from sabermetrics blog Beyond the Box Score and Kendrick's elite status in the Well Hit Average (WHAV) category.

Kevin Frandsen is in at first for Michael Young who is playing third for Cody Asche who sits against lefty Niese tonight. Erik Kratz catches tonight and bats clean up.

LINES UPS

 

PHILLIES 

Roger Bernadina 8

Jimm Rollins 6

Chase Utley 4

Erik Kratz 2

Michael Young 5

Darin Ruf 7

Kevin Frandsen 3

John Mayberry 9

Kyle Kendrick 1

 

METS

Eric Young 7

Daniel Murphy 4

Andrew Brown 9

Ike Davis 3

Wilmer Flores 5

Juan Lagares 8

Travis d'Arnaud 2

Omar Quintanilla 6

Jon Niese 1