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Phillies Pound Out 17 Hits In Series Opening Win Vs. Nats

Recap 7-31

Lee's injury in the third overshadowed an excellent offensive performance by the Phillies

The Phillies' offense came alive Thursday evening following an 11-2 beatdown at the hands of the New York Mets in their previous game. It should have been a happier day, but the outburst was overshadowed by the loss of pitcher Cliff Lee early in the game.

Lee and Washington starter Gio Gonzalez traded zeroes over the first few innings, with Lee looking sharper than he has at any point since returning from the disabled list. He allowed just one hit over 2.2 innings with four strikeouts before shaking his arm and signaling to the Phillies staff that he was done. It was reported that Lee has a flexor pronator strain in his left arm, the same injury that cost him a two months of his season this year. Antonio Bastardo (5-4) came in to finish the third in his stead.

The Phillies got down to business against Gonzalez (6-7) in the fourth. Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz hit consecutive singles to lead off the inning and scored on a double into the right-centerfield gap by Grady Sizemore. One out later, pinch hitter Domonic Brown plated Sizemore on a fielder's choice to second, with Sizemore beating the throw at home to score. Jimmy Rollins added an RBI single, and Chase Utley's fielder's choice hit scored Brown to stake the Phillies to a 5-0 lead, chasing Gonzales from the game.

Washington got one back in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single from Wilson Ramos, making it 5-1. In the third, the Nationals tacked on another two runs when Denard Span hit a bases-loaded, two-run single. Justin DeFratus came on in relief of Mario Hollands to finish the inning.

The Phillies added to their lead in the sixth when Rollins drove Ben Revere from second on a single to left. Rollins stole second for his 20th steal of the season, stole third immediately after, and scored on Chase Utley's sac-fly to make it 7-3.

Jake Diekman came in for the seventh and allowed a leadoff double to Frandsen who, after advancing to third on a passed ball, scored on Danny Espinosa's single to center. He allowed a single to Span before being relieved by young Ken Giles. Giles worked a 3-2 count to Jayson Werth before striking out the veteran on a high, 100mph fastball to end the inning, showing some enthusiasm as he left the mound.

Craig Stammen took the mound for Washington in the eighth, and the Phillies broke the game open against the righty with three runs in the inning. Revere and Cody Asche hit consecutive singles before Chase Utley took an intentional walk to load the bases with one out. Byrd came through with a line drive single to left, scoring Revere and Asche, while Utley was caught in a rundown between second and third. Byrd would score two batters later on a single to center by Sizemore, giving the Phillies a 10-4 lead.

After a scoreless eighth for Giles, Jonathan Papelbon came in for the ninth to close the game, and retired the side in order to preserve the win for the Phillies.

Notable Statistics:

Jimmy Rollins: 3-5, RBI, 2 SB (21)

Ben Revere: 4-6, 2 R, RBI

Grady Sizemore: 3-5, R, 3 RBI

Impact:

Losing Lee made it hard to take any real positives from the game. Going down with the same injury as before could shelf Lee for the remainder of the season, and effectively kills any value he might have had in a trade. The other negative is that the Phillies used all of their relievers not named Phillipe Aumont tonight, which isn't a great way to start a four-game series on the road. Hollands and Diekman struggled, but at least DeFratus was solid in his 1.2 innings of work, and Giles continued to flash the stuff that big-time relievers are made of with three K's in 1.1 innings. Revere's steal of second in the eighth was his 30th of the season. The Phillies put nineteen men on base (17 hits, two walks), with each starting position player reaching base at least once.

Up Next:

The Phillies and Nationals continue their series Friday in Washington. Roberto Hernandez (5-8, 4.14 ERA) takes the mound for the Phillies, fresh off a 7-inning, four hit performance in a win against Arizona. The Nationals counter with Doug Fister (10-2, 2.69), who allowed no runs on three hits in his last start, a win against the Cincinatti Reds. The game starts at 7:05 pm.


Phillies Pitcher Cliff Lee Re-Injures Elbow

CliffLee

Cliff Lee looked completely defeated.  With two outs in the third inning, Cliff Lee threw a pitch wide for a ball.   That would be all he would pitch.  Soliciting compassion from batter Denard Span, Lee just knew he could not throw another pitch.   Lee's elbow was injured once again.

Instead of heading for the locker room with trainer Scott Sheridan, Lee took a seat on the Phillies' bench.   Looking at the picture above, Lee just seems to know his season is over.   He did not try to throw another pitch, he did not even immediately seek a diagnosis.   Sad.

Watch Lee's exit here.

Meanwhile, at AAA Lehigh Valley, starting pitcher David Buchanan, who previously filled in for Lee, had the start.   Buchanan was strong tonight for the Iron Pigs, going 7 2/3 innings, allowing just one run.  Buchanan would be perfectly lined up to take Lee's next scheduled start, which would have been Tuesday or Wednesday of next week against the Astros.


Lindros, LeClair, Desjardins to be inducted into Flyers Hall of Fame

During the 90s, a group of players gave the Flyers new life. They built a championship contender that just kept falling short. But playoff runs were a regular thing back then.

The Flyers announced on Thursday that three members of that group would have their names listed in the Flyers Hall of Fame. Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Eric Desjardins will join the group of hallowed Flyers during the 2014-15 season.

Continue reading "Lindros, LeClair, Desjardins to be inducted into Flyers Hall of Fame" »


Eagles Camp 2014: Highlights and happenings from Day 6

The first week of camp is nearly in the books for the Eagles and the progress is showing already.

On Wednesday, the secondary nabbed four interceptions. There were two more on Thursday for the Eagles defense.

Brandon Boykin made his second and DeMeco Ryans joined the party as well.

This was also a day to address the offense as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur spoke for the first time before practice. Looking to build on a strong 2013 season, he’s noticed improvements already.

Continue reading "Eagles Camp 2014: Highlights and happenings from Day 6" »


Cliff Lee Still Starting; Marlon Byrd In Lineup As Deadline Passes

Leepitch

At the time of publication of this article, all members of the Phillies have not been traded.

At 4:00 PM ET, the trade deadline passed and no trades were by the Phillies. The Phillies are staying put after it was heavily insisted and rumored that they were going to enter a re-building phase. Tonight, as A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee put on their Phillies uniforms they will focus on the game on the field as they open up a four-game set against the Nationals. On the hill for the Phils will be Cliff Lee (4-5, 3.78 ERA) as he leads a team that is chocked-full of trade candidates against Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.56 ERA) and a Nationals team who has made some moves of their own today.

Cliff Lee has been a discussion of trade ever year since he re-signed with the Phillies in 2010. Despite spending the last month and a half on the DL, Lee was still talked about in possible deals that could send him to a contending team in return for top prospects. Lee is coming off of a no-decision against the D-backs last Saturday. Lee allowed three earned through five innings in his second start back from his DL stint. Lee still has another year (possible two if his option vests) under contract with the Phillies. As Lee continues to lead a Phillies team on the hill, only the front office can determine where he will be next season or even this season. In Lee's career against the Nationals, he is 6-4 with a 2.74 ERA.

Gio Gonzalez is leading a Nationals team in a pennant race in the NL East so no discussion of him being traded have come about. The Nationals have traded for SS Asdrubal Cabrera, however, for IF Zach Walters. Gonzalez is coming off a hard-luck loss against the Reds. Gonzalez allowed an earned run over seven innings while striking out eight. Gonzalez is hoping to put it into overdrive for the next three months as his team aims for a postseason spot. Gonzalez is 5-3 with a 2.48 ERA all time against the Phillies.

At the time of publication, Marlon Byrd is still a Phillie. The 36-year-old veteran signed a two-year deal with the Phillies last winter in an effort I continue his successful 2013 campaign. So far this year, Byrd has silenced the nay-sayers and has put himself on the radar for contending teams. In 106 games this year, Byrd is hitting .270 with 20 HR and 60 RBI.

Game Notes:

  • At time of publication, no one has been traded from the Phillies.
  • Marlon Byrd (hitting cleanup tonight) leads the team in home runs (20) and is second to Ryan Howard (63) with 60 RBI.
  • Cliff Lee is 52-31 in his career in starts after July 31st.

Tonight's Lineups:

Phillies lineup:

  1. Ben Revere CF

  2. Jimmy Rollins SS

  3. Chase Utley 2B

  4. Marlon Byrd RF

  5. Carlos Ruiz C

  6. Grady Sizemore LF

  7. Darin Ruf 1B

  8. Andres Blanco 3B

  9. Cliff Lee P.

Nationals lineup:

  1. Denard Span CF

  2. Anthony Rendon 3B

  3. Jayson Werth RF

  4. Adam LaRoche 1B

  5. Ian Desmond SS

  6. Bryce Harper LF

  7. Wilson Ramos C

  8. Danny Espinosa 2B

  9. Gio Gonzalez P.

 

First Pitch: 7:05 PM ET
Location: Nationals Park, Washington D.C.
Weather: 84° - Mostly Cloudy - 20% Precip
TV: CSN

Erik Seybold is a writer for Philliedelphia.com. Follow him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.


General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr.: Other GMs Fault Phillies Made No Deals

Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. emerged from the 4:00 p.m. trade deadline without making a single move.  Luckily, he was available to reporters afterwards to explain why.  It was simple, Amaro says, it was the other general managers' fault.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer has Amaro's own words, which clearly blame other general managers for the Phillies making no moves:

Despite the reallocation of blame, Gelb is less than impressed:

Gelb is correct: the roster is flawed.

Did all the other general managers collude to avoid deals with the Phillies?  Did those general managers say to themselves, "I'm just going to sit here and not make my team better just to avoid deals with good ol' Ruben?"  To suggest as much is totally preposterous. 

What happened was a collection of poorly-constructed contracts.  Teams were not willing to take on players with option years and uncertain futures.  If any of the discussed players such as Burnett, Byrd, or Papelbon had clear-end contracts or were in the last year of their contracts, they would likely be a quick, easy sell.

Instead, the Phillies had a bunch of inventory that was unappealing to the other general managers.  Who can be blamed for that?  The one who assessed the high contractual value to those players.  But hey, if they were worth the money then, they'll still be while on the Phillies, right?


Jonathan Papelbon "Encouraged"; Says Phillies Poor Play Not Ruben Amaro Jr's Fault

 Jonathan_Papelbon_argument
Photo: Philliedelphia/Lindsey Crew

For once Jonathan Papelbon may have said the right thing.  Instead of suggesting he go play for a contender and that he didn't join the Phillies for "this", Papelbon offered a positive comment today when appraoched by reporters.  The Phillies made no moves on the July 31 trade deadline.

Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted:

Further, the Phillies' poor play is not Ruben Amaro Jr.'s fault:

One must wonder what the Phillies players are thinking right now.  They must know that they are not good enough.  They probably enjoy each other's company; they may even be too comfortable.  They may all get to get to stay together for some time.


Phillies Trade... (Drum Roll)

Amaro_Beard

No one.

That's right, the 4:00 trade deadline came and went and the Phillies did not make a single trade.  Zero.  Zilch.  Zip.

In the days leading up to the trade deadline we heard:

On MLB Network television Todd Zolecki called a fake report of Marlon Byrd heading to the Yankees the "most exciting" part of the day for the Phillies' beat writers.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirms:

Trades could happen in August after players clear waivers, but the later into the season we go, the more teams are out of the race.  The more teams out of the race, the lower the demand.  The Phillies likely will remain a mediocre team with no way to get better.

 


Phillies "Out Of Places To Trade" Marlon Byrd

Marlon_Byrd

Marlon Byrd may be the most talked about Phillies player at this trade deadline, and it appears he may have to stay put.  In today's lineup in Washington D.C., Byrd's potential suitors appear to be falling apart.

ESPN's Jayson Stark reports the Phillies may be stuck.

The Mariners were also eliminated as a possibility when they picked up Chris Denorfia instead.  The Royals reportedly think Byrd is too expensive.

Byrd was not traded by the July 31 deadline last season, but on August 27.  That could happen again, if Byrd clears waivers.


Red Sox Trades Could Set Up Phillies Deals

AntonioBastardo2

The Phillies were expected to be the club busiest at this year's trade deadline.  Instead, thus far it has been the Boston Red Sox.  Despite winning the World Series last season, Red Sox management is not hesitating in rebuilding his underperforming team.  The good news is for the Phillies, many teams who did not get the pieces they wanted from the Red Sox will be looking to satisfied elsewhere, which could help the Phillies.

So far the Red Sox have traded:

How do these help the Phillies?

Well, teams looking for a starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever may turn to the Phillies now.  Andrew Miller was generally considered the better player when compared to the Phillies' Antonio Bastardo, who could move now.  Many teams are in the market for a left-handed reliever, and Bastardo can be had, with the Phillies having depth in Jake Diekman and Mario Hollands, who would be able to develop the rest of the season.

Teams looking for starting pitching and who were in on Lester or Lackey could considered the Phillies' Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, or A.J. Burnett.   Teams looking for a top-tier pitcher could go Hamels or Lee, while lesser-tier pitcher A.J. Burnett may satisfy the needs of those interested in John Lackey.   One reason Lackey was so attractive is that he is due just $500,000 next season, thanks to a clause in his contract that made a 2015 option for $500,000 should he miss significant time due to a pre-existing elbow injury.   Lackey missed all of 2012 with the injury.

With two and a half hours to go, we wait.