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Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 2:42 pm ET 34 Comments

Since it’s the off-season, not much happens around these parts, save for the occasional and not-at-all-shocking-picture of Pat Burrell or homage to Katy Perry. Still, baseball is occurring, and we’re going to do our best to keep the masses informed of all the comings and goings of the Hot Stove. And while we might not be able to dedicate one post to every column, blurb, or tweet about the Lees and Werths of the world, we can alway s rely on a good ol’ fashioned link dump.* Enjoy.

  • Some 30 years ago, the Phillies made one of the worst trades in franchise history when they sent Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs, where he went on to have a Hall of Fame career and is widely considered to be one of the greatest second basemen of all time. A reunion between parties might be in order, as the Phillies have approached Sandberg to be the coach of their Triple-A affiliate. Sandberg, who was recently managing in the Cubs’ system, was passed over by the club when he was passed over in favor of Mike Quade to manage the Big Club, says Todd Zolecki, who also writes about another former Phillie, Juan Samuel, being considered to fill the spikes of Davy Lopes as the first base coach. [Zo Zone]
  • Although Domonic Brown is the crown jewel of the Phillies’ farm system, David Murphy writes about three other prospects who could have a big impact on the Phillies in the near future: First baseman Matt Rizzotti, relief pitcher Josh Zeid, and starting pitcher Justin DeFratus. Rizzotti has put up big numbers in the minors and Zeid projects as a power closer, but the one who could have the biggest and most sudden impact would be one DeFratus, a 22-year-old starting pitcher with a big arm who has quickly ascended through the Phillies’ farm system. [High Cheese]
  • Phillies Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee are two of the biggest free agent targets this offseason, and both are likely targets of the Phils, Jim Salisbury writes. And could a Domonic Brown-for-Andrew McCutchen swap be in the cards? Not really, but it makes more sense than you’d think. [CSNPhilly]
  • Bad news for Jamie Moyer, who injured his elbow while pitching in winter ball in the Dominican Republic as he attempts to pitch in his 25th Major League season in 2011. The veteran lefty, who turns 48 next week, injured his left elbow in July and has season-ending surgery shortly thereafter. [CSNPhilly]
  • Pat Gillick, former General Manager and current advisor to the team, is being considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame via their election committee, writes Bob Brookover. Gillick has seen success at every stop in his front office career, and was at the helm when the Phillies won their second World Series in franchise history in 2008. []

*Hopefully, this will become an at least semi-daily feature here at The Fightins. If that’s the case, then it’s probably going to need a better name. I was admittedly in a rush to get this done, and I wrote “Emphorium” in a fit of irony. Suggestions are more than welcome.

Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 3:58 pm ET 339 Comments

In what should be a surprise to no one, Jayson Werth reportedly shot down a contract extension from the Phillies earlier this summer, according to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman:

“The Phillies are said by a source to have initially suggested this summer a repeat of the deal Jason Bay got from the Mets last offseason, which would mean $66 million over four years. But that was summarily rejected by Werth, and he is shooting to redo the $120 million, seven-year contract Matt Holliday got from the Cardinals.”

Given that Werth was heading towards free agency as one of the best hitters in a fairly weak class and that he was most likely already in cahoots with Scott Boras, this news is nothing more than filler on an idle Wednesday early in the free agency period.

While an offer of $16.5MM/year over four years would be considered an overpayment for most players who were nearly out of baseball four years ago, it is decidedly under market value for Werth, who represents the lone Right Handed Five Tool Corner Outfielder party among the current batch of free agents.

Although the veracity of this report is still in question, it certainly makes perfect sense for Amaro and Co. to shoot low during the season in hopes that Werth would acquiesce  and take a “home town discount.” Still, it is the opinion of this blogger that the $16.5MM/year salary would be better spent on a certain left-handed pitcher who is very much a fan favorite among the Philadelphia faithful.

According to CSN’s Jim Salisbury, first base coach Davey Lopes will not be returning to the team in 2011 after he and the team failed to come to terms on a contract extension. Under Lopes’ tutelage, the Phillies became one of the most prolific teams on the basepaths since he joined the team in 2007. [CSNPhilly]

Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 9:14 am ET 155 Comments

Well, that’s it. It’s over. The Great Campaign of 2010, thought by many to end with a shiny Commissioner’s Trophy, is finished, wrecked by the Cinderella Giants.

It’s been over 48 hours since Ryan Howard stared at Brian Wilson’s offering that caught the outer edge of the plate, and like him, we are all still a bit catatonic, unable to comprehend what just happened. I suppose that’s why I didn’t write a recap of Game Six. There was no sense in writing about something that I didn’t grasp, and to try would have been an act of futility. It’s much different than 2009, where the season didn’t end with the looming question of Where did it all go wrong? It felt like the Phillies made it to a World Series in which they likely didn’t belong, with a less talented rotation, a questionable bullpen and an offense that had its share of problems.

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Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 12:33 am ET 51 Comments

There are gutsy postseason players, and then there’s Roy Halladay, whose performance in Game Five of the National League Championship Series – all on a balky groin – helped push the Phillies past the Giants and the series back to Philadelphia.

His outing, which saw him give up two earned over six, never had the look and feel of a typical Doc start (that is to say, he didn’t dominate the hitters), but was good enough to keep the Giants’ bats at bay, while the offense put up just enough runs to avoid the series loss.

According to Todd Zolecki, Doc felt the pull in the second inning, but was able to gut it out the rest of the way. It certainly explains his lack of velocity, command, and perennial dominance that is normally on display during one of his starts.

But The Ace gutted it out over six innings and ended with a flourish, as he struck out two in the sixth inning to stymie a Giants rally.

The Phillies’ offense, which showed signs of life during Game Four, came alive in the third inning against Tim Lincecum, wen they strung together three hits to score three runs, with the big blows coming on a two-run error from Aubrey Huff, followed by an RBI single from Placido Polanco to make it a 3-1 Phillies lead. Jayson Werth added a huge insurance run in the top of the ninth when he blasted a solo shot over the high wall in right field.

The Giants would add another run to the line of Halladay, but were held in check for the rest of the night by the Phillies bullpen, who tossed three shutout innings, including a pair of perfect frames from Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

One night after a heartbreaking loss that pushed their backs up against a wall, the Phillies once again rallied behind Halladay to keep baseball alive for at least one more game, while simultaneously illustrating just how great of a pitcher Roy Halladay is. He battled for the final five innings with an injury and a lack of control and velocity, yet still had enough to keep the Phillies alive. It’s a sight to behold.

The series returns to Philadelphia on Saturday, when Roy Oswalt, who allowed one run over eight innings in Game Two, will match up again with Jonathan Sanchez, who was wildly effective over seven innings, where he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks.

Roy Halladay (W, 1-1) allowed two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out five.

Placido Polanco went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Jayson Werth went 1 for 4 with a homer (2) and an RBI.

Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 with a run.

Brad Lidge (S, 1) struck out one in a perfect ninth inning.

Tim Lincecum (L, 1-1) allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings on four hits and a walk. He struck out seven.

Andres Torres went 2 for 3 with a run.

Pat Burrell with 1 for 4 with a double (2) and a run.

Cody Ross went 1 for 4 with a double (2) and an RBI.

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Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 11:44 pm ET 408 Comments

I didn’t hear a fat lady. Did you?

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Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 2:09 pm ET 73 Comments

One of the challenges of being a baseball writer is having to keep things fresh over a 162 game season, especially when it comes to forming some sort of narrative about the team on a day-to-day basis. At a certain point, the games tend to blend into one another and there is only so many ways to describe Doc’s great outing or Cole’s poor run support or Werth’s struggles with runners in scoring position.

It’s all we can do to keep things original, but it admittedly becomes difficult when it’s the same thing every day. The players are not immune to that either, as they usually get asked the same questions after every game and respond with the same answers.

Point is, sometimes it gets really difficult to find new ways to say the same thing over and over again, something that apparently doesn’t bother one writer for the San Jose Mercury News, who took it upon himself to cast Philadelphians in the same pall as every other writer before him.

In his column, Bruce Newman rehashes the tired old stories about Philadelphia, including Santa Claus, J.D. Drew, Michael Irvin, the taser kid, and the vomit kid – all the old standards. Not to be outdone, Newman finds some new ways to put down the city.

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Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 10:06 pm ET 168 Comments

Cole Hamels was unable to replicate his NLDS performance, as the Philadelphia Phillies fell to the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the National League Championship Series as the N.L. West Division champs take a 2-1 lead in the best of seven series.

The Phillies were rendered punchless by Giants starter Matt Cain, who held them scoreless over seven innings. Despite putting a handful of runners on in the early goings, the Phillies were unable to get that one big hit to get them on the board.

The Giants fared better against Hamels, who allowed a pair of two out RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth off the bats of Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff to give San Fran the 2-0 lead. They would add another run in the bottom of the sixth when Freddy Sanchez’s two out liner was misplayed by Chase Utley, which allowed Aaron Rowand to score from second base.

It was all the offense the Giants would need, as a pair of relievers combined with Cain to shutout the Phillies in a playoff game for the first time since 1985 to give them a 2-1 series edge heading into Game Four on Wednesda.y

The Phillies will turn to Joe Blanton, who last started a game on September 29. He will face off against Madison Bumgarner, who allowed two runs in six innings in the NLDS versus the Braves.

Cole Hamels (L, 0-1) allowed three earned runs on five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

Matt Cain (W, 1-0) allowed no runs on two hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out five.

Cody Ross went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Aubrey Huff went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

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Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 11:26 pm ET 20 Comments

Behind a stellar start from Roy Oswalt and a clutch double from Jimmy Rollins, the Philadelphia Phillies evened up the National League Division Series, as they downed the San Francisco Giants, 6-1, to bounce back from their Game One loss.

Oswalt held the Giants in check over eight innings, as he struck out nine while allowing three hits and one earned run. He was dominant from the start and didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, while never allowing more than two hitters to reach base in an inning.

His counterpart, Jonathan Sanchez, was not so lucky, despite only allowing two earned runs over his six-plus innings. He lacked command early on, as he ran up a high pitch count in the first inning thanks to three walks, one with the bases loaded that gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

After Cody Ross his a solo homer in the fifth to break up Roy Oswalt’s no-hitter, the Phillies came right back in the bottom of the frame to retake the lead behind a sacrifice fly from Placido Polanco.

It was all Phillies the rest of the way, as the offense sealed the win in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a two-out, based loaded double from Jimmy Rollins to give the Phillies a 6-1 lead. Oswalt would also single to leadoff the inning, and would later come around to score on a single from Polanco.

The Phillies take their World Series hopes on the road to San Francisco, where they will send Cole Hamels (1-0, 0.00) to the mound to face off against Matt Cain (0-0, 0.00).

Roy Oswalt (W, 2-0) allowed one run on three hits in eight innings. He walked three and struck out nine.

Shane Victorino went 2 for 4 with a double (1) and a run.

Placido Polanco went 1 for 3 with a run and two RBIs.

Ryan Howard went 2 for 3 with a double (2) and two walks.

Jimmy Rollins went 2 for 3 with a double (1) and fours RBIs.

Jonathan Sanchez (L, o-1) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in six plus innings. He walked three and struck out seven.

Cody Ross went 1 for 3 with a homer (3) and an RBI.

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Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 12:29 am ET 27 Comments

On Saturday, round about Eight-ish in the evening, the Philadelphia Phillies will welcome the San Francisco Giants to town, in what will be one of the most memorable National League Championship Series in recent memory for any number of reasons: The Phils are two-time defending N.L. champs and looking to become the first team since the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals to go to three straight World Series, the Giants feature some exciting young players that will get a shot on the big stage, The Battle of the Beards (Werth v Wilson)…

Oh, and it will feature some of the best damn pitching this side of Everywheresville, USA.

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Written by Dash Treyhorn


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R.I.P Harry Kalas