Results tagged ‘ Joe Torre ’

Phillies’ Protest … Denied!

From MLB: “Major League Baseball announced today that Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre has denied the formal protest filed by the Philadelphia Phillies regarding their Sunday, September 4th game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.”

Eh, whatever … everybody knew nothing was going to be changed. But the Phillies made their point. There’s nothing to see here. Keep moving.

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Mayberry’s Big Night

From Elias Sports Bureau:

  • John Mayberry Jr. knocked in five runs last night at Citi Field on a two-run single in the second and a bases loaded double in the eighth. He is the first player this season to have at least five RBIs in a game without a home run.  He also is the first Phillies player to do it since Ricky Otero had five RBIs without a home run Sept. 29, 1996, at Shea Stadium.
  • The Phillies resumed play last night night with Vance Worley on the mound.  It was only the second time in the last 40 seasons a rookie pitcher started the first game after the All-Star break for a team that had the best record in the majors. Joe Torre’s 1983 Braves last did it. They were 49-31 (.613) at the break and rookie Craig McMurtry started their first game.

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Chooooch, Rauuuul, Chan Ho and More In Game 1

chooch 1014 b.jpgSome quick hits after the Phillies’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of the NLCS:

  • Since the NLCS moved to a seven-game format in 1985, the team taking a 1-0 lead has won 16 of 23 series, including 14 of the previous 16. Eight of the 10 NL teams that took a 1-0 lead on the road have reached the World Series, including the last seven.
  • In the NLCS and ALCS since ’85, the Game 1 winner is 28-18.
  • Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run homer in the fifth against Clayton Kershaw to make it 3-1. Ruiz, a career .246 hitter in the regular season, has hit .354 (17-for-48) with three doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs and eight walks in his last 15 playoff games. “He likes the bright lights,” Ryan Howard said.
  • Howard smacked a two-run double to right field in the fifth to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead. It was Howard’s 17th and 18th RBIs in the postseason, which set a Phillies playoff record. Howard has 18 RBIs in 22 postseason games. Mike Schmidt had 16 RBIs in 32 postseason games.
  • Dodgers left-hander George Sherrill has allowed just two home runs to left-handed hitters the past two seasons: June 14, 2008, against Adam LaRoche and last night to Raul Ibanez. “I think that was a shock for everybody, especially the walks, which really hasn’t been something that he has done a lot of,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Sherrill. “You know, that was a blow.”
  • Cole Hamels allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He got rattled in the fifth when Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley could not turn a double play. Manny Ramirez followed and hit a 2-0 changeup for a two-run home run to cut the lead to 5-4. “It’s tough because you’re battling,” Hamels said. “I got exactly what I wanted and unfortunately the results didn’t happen. It takes a lot out of you because these guys are very tough hitters, so when you do get them in a situation where you can seal the deal, it takes a lot to really get through that. I really thought we had that. It’s the process I’ve had to go through all year – learning how to deal with my emotions and learning to control them and forgetting about what just happened.”
  • Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts last year. He is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA in two starts this postseason, but sounded upbeat after the game. Everybody in the clubhouse thought Hamels had thrown much better than his line indicated, for what that’s worth.
  • Chan Ho Park pitched great. He entered the game in the seventh inning with a runner on second and no outs. He got Ramirez to ground out to Pedro Feliz to keep Andre Ethier at second. He struck out Matt Kemp and got Casey Blake to ground out to Utley to end the inning. It was the pitching performance of the night. “I thought he was outstanding,” Rich Dubee said. Charlie Manuel and Dubee said they did not consider sending Park back out to start the eighth. They had Ryan Madson rested, and did not want Park going out throwing 50 pitches his first time back since Sept. 16.

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Random thought: I’m looking forward to seeing Pedro Martinez pitch today in Game 2.

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NLCS Rematch Anybody?


vicotirno 0607.jpgChad Durbin
allowed the game-winning home run to Dodgers rightfielder Andre Ethier in the 12th inning Saturday to make the first three games of a four-game series between the Phillies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium pretty memorable.

“About what I expected,” Durbin said afterward.

How so?

Two good teams playing close, well-played games, he said.

Cole Hamels shutout the Dodgers on Thursday, Brad Lidge blew saves Friday and Saturday and the Phillies got good pitching and timely hitting in a 7-2 victory Sunday. The Dodgers and Phillies went their separate ways with the two best records in baseball, and there is no reason to think these teams cannot meet again this October in a rematch of the 2008 National League Championship Series:

  • The Phillies and Dodgers have the two best offenses in the National League with the Phillies averaging a league-best 5.5 runs per game and the Dodgers averaging 5.2 runs per game. Of course, the Dodgers have been without Manny Ramirez for a significant stretch, but you have to believe these teams will continue to score runs the remainder of the season.
  • The Dodgers have a 3.63 ERA, which is the best in the league. The Phillies have a 4.63 ERA, which ranks 15th. But the Phillies have a 3.62 ERA in their 23 games, which shows signs they are capable of pitching like they pitched last season.
  • The Phillies have a .991 fielding percentage, which leads the league. The Dodgers have a .989 fielding percentage, which ranks second. (I know there are other ways to rate a team’s defense, but it’s 2:25 a.m. Eastern and I have a flight to catch in a couple hours, so give me a pass.) The point I’m trying to make is these two teams are pretty good defensively, too.

“You never know what happens once you get to the playoffs,” Lidge said. “It seems if everything happens the way it has happened it could be the matchup. You never know who it’s going to be because somebody is going to get really hot going into the playoffs, and at that time you’re going to have to fight them off. Yeah, you’d hope the season progresses the way it does and we can meet these guys in the NLCS.”

“They are pretty darn good,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “We held our own with them. “We beat them on their field and we split here. I think that was important for us to beat them on their field and that was based on the fact that they swept us four games last year, plus the two in the playoffs. If we do meet them in the postseason, I think that is something that we do not have to concern ourselves with.”

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Lidge is Manuel's Man

lidge 02.jpgLess than 24 hours ago, I think most everybody would have said Brad Lidge had turned a corner.

Since he blew consecutive saves against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 23-24, Lidge was perfect in five save opportunities. In 4 2/3 innings, he had allowed just one hit and one walk. He had struck out five. Opponents had hit just .077 against him.

He looked good.

But then Pedro Feliz boots a ball with two outs Friday, which leads to Lidge blowing a save Friday against the Dodgers. Rafael Furcal then hit a pinch-hit solo home run to right field Saturday, which leads to another blown save.

Suddenly, everybody is asking about Lidge again.

“He’ll always be my guy,” Charlie Manuel said. “His stuff is good. There’s nothing wrong with his stuff. His stuff is good. … I think it’s important for him to keep his confidence. I think the opposite of how some other people think. My way of thinking is if you rest him or do something else with him or put him somewhere else, I think that can hurt his confidence. I’m speaking right from my heart. That’s how I look at it because I played 20 years. I think I do know a little bit about it. His stuff is still good.”

Lidge remains the closer. Ryan Madson remains the setup man.

I don’t disagree with Manuel, especially after the way Lidge had been throwing since Yankee Stadium. Especially after Feliz booted that ball Friday. If Feliz catches that ball Friday and Lidge still blows the game Saturday, I don’t think there are people calling for Madson to close.

“It has to be location,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, asked about the difference between Lidge this season and last season. “Last year he was unhittable. I don’t know if anybody has gone as perfect as he did last year. But human beings play this game. His stuff looks good. It looks quality. He makes good pitches. Right now he’s just going through a bad streak.”

That said, you have to wonder about Lidge’s confidence. Lidge is 0-3 with a 7.27 ERA and 13 saves in 19 opportunities in 28 appearances. His ERA is the seventh-highest in baseball amongst relief pitchers. His 68.4 percent save percentage is the lowest in baseball amongst closers with at least 10 save opportunities.

“The results are starting to frustrate me,” he said. “It just seems to be one thing. Tonight it was the slider he hit. I don’t know. I feel good, but I know something needs to change in terms of results. You’ve just got to get it done, and right now for whatever reason it’s not happening.”

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Manuel Asks Torre to Join Him at All-Star Game


manuel and torre.jpgCharlie Manuel
played coy Tuesday when asked if he had chosen his coaches for the National League All-Star team.

He hinted he had, but he wasn’t ready to announce them.

But Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre let the cat out of the bag Wednesday. He has been asked, and he is going.

“I’m honored he asked me and I;m definitely going to go,” Torre said. “It will be fun. It’s in St. Louis, and going back there will be nice. Charlie called me about it a week ago. At the time, I was scheduled to do something, get together for my sister’s 80th birthday, which I suppose I gave away now. We’ll have to restructure that. It’s been a while. It’s a great perk. I’ll just show up and have fun, I don’t have to worry about carrying around a fungo bat with me.”

Torre chose Manuel to be part of his American League staff in 2002.

The Indians fired Manuel the next day.

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MLB Productions crews have been following the Phillies the past few weeks, putting together The Pen, the reality show which debuts on MLB Network on June 14. The crew recently went fishing with Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson. Condrey caught the most fish, which should surprise nobody. He’s an avid outdoorsman.

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