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Sep
23
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 10:27 am ET 75 Comments

Let’s get something out of the way now: Roy Halladay is the National League’s 2010 Cy Young Winner. At this point, it’s a race for second and third place among the rest of the contenders. Or that’s the way it should be, anyhow.

One guy who should finish close to (if not right behind) Halladay in the voting? His partner-in-Ace, Cole Hamels.

The regular readers of this blog are more than aware of my man-crush on Cole Hamels and his ability to change speeds and hurl a rawhide orb better than most, (Relevant) so it’s only natural that I proclaim that he should, at the very least, receive consideration for Cy Young in 2010.

Currently, Hamels’ 2.91 ERA is good enough for tenth in the league, which is not only impressive considering that 2010 is the year of the pitcher, but also given how rocky the start to his 2010 campaign was. In five starts in April, he and his 5.28 ERA looked more like the Cole who coughed it up in last year’s playoffs than the Cole who is currently the best pitcher on the Phillies’ staff.

But since then, he’s been an entirely different pitcher, putting up a 2.51 ERA in 172 innings over 27 starts since May. That is among the best in the National League over that span, ahead of the likes of Tim Hudson, Roy Halladay and Ubaldo Jimenez.

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Sep
22
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 10:49 pm ET 63 Comments

Roy Oswalt dazzled the Atlanta Braves over seven innings and Raul Ibanez provided all the offense the Phillies would need as they swept their N.L. east rival in the three game set to win their 10th game in a row while increasing their lead in the division to six games.

After getting wins from Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay to start the series, they turned to Roy Oswalt, who did not disappoint in the finale, as he allowed just two baserunners over seven superb innings.

He was matched by Tommy Hanson, whose six shutout innings turned the contest into a pitcher’s duel early on, as both sides exchanged zeros for the first seven frames.

After Ryan Madson turned in a scoreless eighth, the Phillies broke through against the Atlanta ‘pen when Raul Ibanez lifted a just-fair double down the left field line that scored Jayson Werth from first for the first – and only – run of the game from either side.

It was all that was needed, as Brad Lidge came on in the ninth inning to slam the door on the Braves, making it his third consecutive appearance and save.

With this win, the Phillies not only make it their tenth in a row, but they put an exclamation point on arguably their biggest series of the season to all but bury the Braves in the division. Their magic number is now four, meaning that they could wrap up their fourth straight N.L. east title on Saturday.

Following an off-day on Thursday, the Phillies welcome in the New York Mets for a three game set; their final series at home of the regular season. In game one on Friday night, Joe Blanton (7-6, 5.05) opposes Dillon Gee (1-1, 1.80).

Roy Oswalt (ND) tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only one walk and one hit while striking out eight.

Jayson Werth went 0 for 1 with three walks and a run.

Raul Ibanez went 1 for 4 with a double (35) and an RBI.

Brad Lidge (S, 26) allowed no runs and one walk in the ninth to earn the save.

Tommy Hanson (ND) allowed two hits and three walks over six shutout innings. He struck out four.

Jonny Venters (L, 4-3) allowed one run on one hit in one inning. He walked one.

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Sep
22
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 10:55 am ET 41 Comments

“Where are we?”

“Winning time.”

The above is taken from “Roger Dodger,” a 2002 movie about a New York City Ad Man who takes his nephew under his wing to teach him about women. It refers to an earlier conversation about Michael Jordan, and the reason he was the greatest basketball player ever is that he paced himself and always had enough in the tank for the final minutes of the game, when the stakes are highest. According to the movie, this is what Charles Barkley called “winning time”

And if you’re wondering why a quote from an obscure movie is the lede for this particular post, well, it’s because that’s where the Phillies are. Right now. In winning time.

With 10 games left to play, the Phillies hold a five game lead in the division following a nine game winning streak, including a tremendous victory on Sunday, which was nothing more than a microcosm of the entire season: one long come-from-behind win stretched out over the summer. And right now, unlike most of the season, they are in the driver’s seat, in control of their fates from this moment out.

Winning time.

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Sep
21
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 11:12 pm ET 55 Comments

Roy Halladay became the first Phillies pitcher since 1982 to win 20 games in a season, as he pitched the Phils past the Braves to take the second game of the series to extend their lead in the division to five games.

Doc pitched seven innings of three-run ball, and while he was a bit shaky at times, he succeeded in preventing the Braves from doing too  much damage, as he allowed only single runs in three separate innings.

He was supported by a pair of offensive outbursts from the Phillies, which started with a three-run homer from Jayson Werth in the third inning, and finished off with a two RBI double from Raul Ibanez in the seventh.

Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge took care of the final two innings to put the game to bed, and the Phillies find themselves with a magic number of six, and a comfortable lead in the division with just over a week to go.

The story of the night, however, is Roy Halladay, who reached 20 wins for the third time in his career to not only take the N.L. lead in wins, something that we expected from Doc on day one when he came to the team in the offseason.

From all of us here at The Fightins, congrats to Doc on yet another accomplishment in an already memorable season.

The Phillies look to get the sweep on Wednesday night, when Roy Oswalt (13-13, 2.90) takes on Tommy Hanson (10-11, 3.62.)

Roy Halladay (20-10) allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Placido Polanco went 2 for 4 with a run.

Chase Utley went 2 for 5 with a run.

Ryan Howard went 1 for 4 with a run.

Jayson Werth went 2 for 4 with homer (25) and three RBIs.

Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 with two doubles (34) and two RBIs.

Brad Lidge (S, 25) allowed one hit and struck out one in a scoreless ninth to earn the save.

Mike Minor (L, 3-2) allowed three runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings. He walked one and didn’t strike out a batter.

Derrek Lee went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

Freddie Freeman went 1 for 1 with a homer (1) and an RBI.

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Sep
20
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 10:39 pm ET 58 Comments

Cole Hamels was masterful over eight innings and the Phillies summoned just enough offense to down the Braves in game one of the series as they take a four game lead in the division.

With a three game lead heading into this game and October on the horizon, Cole set the tone for the Phillies, giving the Braves very little to work with outside of the second inning, when they took a 1-0 lead.

After Brian McCann doubled home Derrek Lee, Matt Diaz followed with a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Hamels worked out of the jam, striking out Alex Gonzalez and inducing an inning-ending double play from Melky Cabrera. It would be the best chance the Braves would have.

The Phils responded with a two-out RBI double from Carlos Ruiz in the bottom of the inning to tie it, and would go on to add two more in the bottom of the fifth on RBI groundouts from Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez.

It was all the offense they would need, as Hamels continued his monster season with eight strong before handing it off to Brad Lidge, who would go on to set the Braves down in order in the ninth inning, striking out two.

What more can you say about Cole Hamels? He’s allowed just two runs over four starts this month, and has lowered his ERA to 2.93, giving the Phillies three starting pitchers with an ERA under 3.00. His ascent to being an Ace this season is one of the reasons they are 29 games over the .500 mark and on the precipice of a fourth straight division title.

With the win, the Phillies move to four games ahead of the Braves and have reduced their magic number to eight.

They look to increase their lead on Tuesday, when Roy Halladay (19-10, 2.49) takes on Mike Minor (3-1, 5.84.)

Cole Hamels (W, 12-10) allowed one run on six hits over eight innings. he walked one and struck out six.

Shane Victorino went 1 for 4 with a run and a stolen base (34).

Placido Polanco went 0 for 3 with an RBI.

Chase Utley went 1 for 4 with a run.

Ryan Howard went 1 for 2 with a double (22) and a run.

Carlos Ruiz went 1 for 4 with a double (24) and an RBI.

Brad Lidge (S, 24) struck out two in a perfect ninth inning.

Brandon Beachy (L, 0-1) allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits in 4.1 innings. He walked three (two intentional) and struck out one.

Brian McCann went 1 for 3 with a double (24) and an RBI.

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Sep
18
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 1:05 am ET 199 Comments

Roy Oswalt improved to 7-1 as a Phillie behind a fine outing of one run ball over six innings, while the offense plated six runs in the first to coast to an easy win against the Washington Nationals.

After allowing one run on a pair of hits in the first, Oswalt settled in over the next five innings, allowing just four hits and no walks in that span to lower his ERA to 1.93 while in red pinstripes.

The offense batted around in the first off Jason Marquis, with the first run of the evening coming on a bases loaded infield single from Jayson Werth, followed by a two RBI single from Raul Ibanez and RBI singles from both Wilson Valdez and Roy Oswalt, who earned his first ribbie as a Phillie.

Werth and Carlos Ruiz would later homer to tack on some insurance runs, as the bullpen closed out the final three innings to give the Phils their fifth win in a row to kick off the final homestand of the season.

The Phils look to make it six in a row on Saturday, when Kyle Kendrick (9-9, 4.85) takes on Jordan Zimmermann (0-1, 5.29).

Also, Fightins Tailgate.

Roy Oswalt (W, 13-13) allowed one run on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

Shane Victorino went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Jayson Werth went 2 for 4 with a homer (22) and two RBIs.

Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

Carlos Ruiz went 1 for 3 with a homer (8) and an RBI.

Jason Marquis (L, 2-9) allowed six runs on six hits in one-third of an inning. He walked one and didn’t strike out a batter.

Ryan Zimmerman went 4 for 4 with a double (29) and an RBI.

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Sep
16
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 9:20 am ET 20 Comments

Current rookie and Florida Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison is one of the handful of baseball players who can be found on Twitter. Our friends over at Walk Off Walk occasionally bust out a ditty about this very topic, often with hilarious results.

And on Tuesday night, after Cole Hamels set down 13 Fish via the non-democratic strikeout, I asked about how he will prepare for the following night’s starter, Roy Halladay. Here was his response:

Good answer. And they say kids these days don’t know anything. Of course, not even an appeal to The Almighty could help young Logan from the facebreaking that he (1-3, K) and his Marlins received at the hands of Halladay. Not really a surprise, as I have it on good authority to know that The Man Upstairs goes to Doc for tips on his change piece.

Say what you want about the opposition, there is no denying that the kid is a really good sport about jostling with the fans, and often answers many of the questions sent his way. He even went as far as to disparage Tony Romo in a response to Meech.One. Good lad.

Not only does he have a sense of humor to accompany his candor, but he is hammering the ball, too. He’s reached base via a walk or a hit in every game dating back to August 7th, a span of 34 games, over which he is batting .326 with an on-base percentage of .460. If only the Marlins had an owner who cared more about his franchise than his thousand dollar suits, then they’d have some success with all the young studs on their roster.

LoMo isn’t the only Marlin on Twitter, as John Baker, Mike Stanton and Reigning N.L. Rookie of the Year and shaving-cream based post-game celebration victim Chris Coghlan use the social networking site.

No word on whether or not Hanley Ramirez uses Twitter. Though he’d probably just use it to attack bloggers because we never wrote for The New York Times or something.

Now back to your regularly scheduled National League East leading Phillies programming.

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Sep
15
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 11:19 pm ET 79 Comments

Roy Halladay won his 19th game of the season, as the Phillies took care of the Marlins for the third straight game to sweep the series and take a three game lead in the division.

After the Atlanta Braves lost in the afternoon, the Phillies had the luxury of having to avoid watching the scoreboard, which probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway, not when the recently hot offense gets to start their game against the Marlins’ bullpen.

They got off to a fast start with three runs in the first, all with two outs, on an RBI single from Jayson Werth and a two-RBI double from Raul Ibanez. It was pile-on from there, as Utley added a solo homer in a three-run third while Wilson Valdez drove home a pair on the night.

Halladay took care of the rest, despite only going six innings for the first time since July 18th. It’s worth noting that Doc has looked almost human as of late, but it probably shouldn’t be a concern for anyone. Knowing Roy, he’s just pacing himself for October.

With this win, the Phils put themselves three games ahead of the pack in the National League East, the first time they’ve held a lead that size since May 25th.

The Phils have an off day on Thursday, before welcoming the Washington Nationals in for a three game set. Roy Oswalt (12-13, 2.94) opens the series on Friday against Jason Marquis (2-8, 6.60).

Roy Halladay (W, 19-10) allowed three runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.

Shane Victorino went 2 for 6 with a double (32), a triple (10) and an RBI.

Chase Utley went 1 for 4 with a homer (15) and an RBI.

Jayson Werth went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

Raul Ibanez went 3 for 5 with a double (32) and two RBIs.

WilsonValdez went 3 for 5 with two RBIs.

Jose Contreras (S, 4) struck out one in two-thirds of an inning to earn the save.

Jorge Sosa (L, 2-3) allowed six runs on six hits in 2.1 innings. He walked three and didn’t strike out a batter.

Logan Morrison went 2 for 4 with a triple (5) and a run.

Gaby Sanchez went 2 for 4 with a homer (18) and two RBIs.

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Sep
15
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 4:36 pm ET 16 Comments

It’s not like Yahoo! Sports had to let us know or anything, but Ryan, Chase and Shane have been on an absolute tear lately as they lead the Fightins to the top of divison and to the best record in the National League.

Not surprisingly, Ryan Howard has turned into “that overpaid guy” to the “OH MY GOD IT’S COMING RIGHT AT US” hitting-monster that rears its beautiful head ’round about this time every year, while Chase is swinging the bat to the tune of a .333/.453/.569 triple-slash line after a rough go of it when he came off the D.L.

But it’s Shane Victorino and his .386 average and .462 on-base percentage that has been leading the charge on this recent (and not at all surprising) surge to the top of the National League.

After struggling for most of the season, Shane was the owner a .250 average on August 31st, but the Flyin’ Hawaiian (and inspiration for one of the very first Birdland X Fightins shirts) has absolutely turned it on this month, and has had a ton of success filling in for Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot. Something tells me that Shane might have Wally Pipp’d J’Roll for the foreseeable future.

Not bad for a few guys who were offensive black holes a few weeks ago and a team that was left for dead in the middle of the summer.

Sep
14
2010
Posted by Dash Treyhorn at 11:15 pm ET 87 Comments

Cole Hamels recorded a season-high 13 strikeouts in a masterful performance against the Florida Marlins, as he led the Phils past the Fish to give them a two-game lead over the Atlanta Braves.

It wasn’t the prettiest start from Hamels, who saw his scoreless inning streak end at 25.1 when he allowed a one-out, RBI single to Dan Uggla in the first inning. Cole seemed to battle with his command and the home plate umpire for most of the night, but it was one of the more dominating outings from a Phillies pitcher we’ve seen this year, and was another great effort from Hamels, who has a 2.01 ERA over his last nine starts.

He was given minimal support from the offense, who gave him a run two batters into the game on an RBI double from Placido Polanco, and another in the fifth on an RBI groundout from Jayson Werth. All told, it was a miserable night from the offense, as they left 12 men on base over nine innings and had what seems like a dozen chances to put the game out of reach.

It mattered little, as Hamels and three relievers combined to shut down the Marlins, with Ryan Madson holding down the eighth to give way for Brad Lidge, who pitched a perfect ninth after not pitching in over a week.

The Phils go for the sweep on Wednesday, when Roy Halladay (18-10, 2.44) takes on Joe TBA.

Cole Hamels (W, 11-10) allowed one earned run on five hits in 6.2 innings. He walked two and struck out 13.

Shane Victorino went 2 for 4 with a double (24) and two runs.

Placido Polanco went 1 for 4 with a double (27) and an RBI.

Brad Lidge (S, 22) pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save.

Adalberto Mendez (L, 1-1) allowed two runs on four hits in 4.1 innings. He walked five and struck out one.

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Written by Dash Treyhorn

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