Results tagged ‘ Kevin Millwood ’

Werth Declines Arbitration

werth at the cage.jpgThe Phillies expected this. So did everybody else.

Jayson Werth declined salary arbitration with the Phillies before tonight’s midnight deadline.

The news is hardly surprising. Werth is expecting to land a once-in-a-lifetime contract as one of the top two free agent outfielders on the market (Carl Crawford is the other). Accepting arbitration meant Werth would have been signed to a one-year contract with the Philllies. The only way that would have happened (and made sense) would have been if the market had not existed for him.

Phillies fans might recall Boras had Kevin Millwood accept arbitration with the Phillies in 2003, when there was no market for him.

That shouldn’t be the case for Werth with teams like the Red Sox and Angels interested.

The Phillies will get two draft picks if Werth signs elsewhere as expected: the team’s top available pick and a sandwich pick between the first and second round.

Declining arbitration does not prevent the Phillies from trying to resign Werth. They can continue to talk with Boras about a deal. But it’s my belief the Phillies won’t go more than four years for Werth with Boras and Werth looking for a longer, more lucrative contract.

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A Few Offseason Questions

Thumbnail image for werth 1012.jpgI’ve been away for a few days, so I haven’t blogged since last week. My apologies.

I’ve gotten plenty of questions about the Phillies’ offseason since their season ended. I’ll try to answer some of those questions the best I can.

Question: Are the Phillies going to resign Jayson Werth?
Answer: No, I don’t think they will. Somebody is going to give Werth a big contract. I don’t think he’ll get the seven-year, $120 million contract Matt Holliday got from the Cardinals, but he’ll get paid. The only way I see Werth returning is if the market simply isn’t there for him and he surpisingly accepts salary arbitration from the Phillies (Kevin Millwood surprised the Phillies when he accepted salary arbitration in 2003) or the Phillies get him at a team-friendly price. I don’t see either scenario happening.

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Halladay Makes History

halladay nohitter 03.jpg

I feel like I’ve just written a million words, so I’m a little tapped out.

But that was awesome, wasn’t it?

I had missed Roy Halladay’s perfect game in May. I had missed Kevin Millwood‘s no-hitter in 2003. It became a running joke in the press box: whenever a pitcher had a no-hitter going reporters would joke it would not happen because I was there. But I was there tonight, and it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Like Harry Kalas liked to say, “You never know what you’ll see at the ballpark.”

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Halladay got congratulatory phone calls from Vice President Joe Biden and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter after the game.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

This Will Not Be Easy

kendrick 0719 2010.jpgBefore the 2004 season, I remember asking Dallas Green what he thought about the Phillies’ chances to win the World Series. They had retained Kevin Milwood and acquired Billy Wagner, Eric Milton and Tim Worrell to boost a pitching staff many thought would compliment an already talented offense.

Green loved the improvements, but he made one thing clear: It’s hard to win a championship. He said if it were easy, he would not be the only manager in Phillies history to have a ring on his finger.

It’s hard to win a World Series. It’s even harder to play in three consecutive World Series. The Phillies are trying to become the first NL team to do that since the 1942-44 Cardinals.

Maybe this just isn’t the Phillies’ year.

“Oh, I’ve thought that,” Jimmy Rollins said after last night’s 8-4 loss to the Cardinals. “I’m sure all of us in here have thought that. Like, man, it can’t be this tough. There’s no way it can be this tough. You go out there it’s like, ‘We’re going to make sure that it’s not this tough,’ and you come back like, ‘It’s a little tougher than I thought it was going to be.’”

It is mentioned that maybe there is a reason why the ’42-’44 Cardinals are the last three-peaters in the NL.

“It’s not over,” Rollins said. “You can write it like it’s over. But the guys with the bats and the balls they control what the pen says. … We’ve still got time. We either make it more time or less time. Six games (behind Atlanta). If we catch fire all of a sudden and do what the Chicago White Sox did (a 26-5 stretch from June 9 – July 15) then you can say we have a lot of time. We can make it a lot of time or a little time.”

Rollins has seen it happen before. The Phillies held a fire sale in July 2006 only to turn things around and become buyers in August. They made baseball history in 2007, overcoming a seven-game deficit with 17 games to play to win the NL East. They overcame a 3 -game deficit with 16 games to play in 2008 to win their second consecutive division title.

Can they do it again? Sure, it’s possible. But Charlie Manuel knows the Phillies need to show life quickly. They have lost four of their first five games after the All-Star break and have just 11 games to play before the trade deadline. The offense has been inconsistent much of the season. The rotation has a 5.09 ERA without Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. They’re without Chase Utley for another month. Players say they have noticed a different feel in the clubhouse. If the Phillies fall too far behind the Braves and further out of the NL wild card race, Ruben Amaro Jr. could trade Jayson Werth — and it’s tough to see them winning without a big right-handed bat in the lineup.

They need to get going quickly this week against the Cardinals and Rockies, or more time will turn into less time. 

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Perfection!

halladay 0529 2010.jpgA few thoughts on Roy Halladay‘s perfect game:

  • It’s the 20th perfect game in baseball history, which is only eight more men than have walked on the moon.
  • Good to see Halladay smile.
  • I’ve seen pitchers carry no-hitters into the seventh inning before and I’m like, “OK, somebody is going to get a hit here.” And somebody always does.” I only started to think Daisuke Matsuzaka would throw a no-hitter May 22 when Carlos Ruiz hit into a line drive double play in the eighth inning. Juan Castro hit a broken-bat flare into left field in the following at-bat. But there was a different feeling when Halladay carried a perfect game into the seventh. This is going to happen. Nobody is going to get on base here.
  • Cool to hear Halladay give Jamie Moyer some credit for the suggestions he made in between starts.
  • Guess we’ll be hearing much less about pitch counts, right?
  • The Phillies have thrown one perfect game and one no-hitter since I started covering the Phillies. I’ve missed both. I started covering the Phillies for The Philadelphia Inquirer in April 2003. The first game I ever missed as a beat writer Kevin Millwood threw his no-hitter against the Giants at the Vet. I was flying to LA at the time because the Phillies opened a series the following night at Dodger Stadium. I remember getting into my rental car, finding the Dodgers game and hearing Vin Scully say, “And in Philadelphia, Kevin Millwood has a no-hitter through eight innings!” I almost drove my car off the road. And the Halladay perfect game? I typically get one road series off a month. Taking off this series made the most sense because it split up a three-city, nine-game trip. But at least I got to watch it while having an adult beverage or two over the holiday weekend.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Looking October Worthy

lee 0915.jpg“They have a lot pros over there. Lee and Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels go deep in ballgames. That’s a good formula for winning.” — Nationals interim manager Jim Riggleman.

The past few nights at Citizens Bank Park have been impressive, and perhaps a glimpse into the future.

Cliff Lee shutout the Nationals tonight at Citizens Bank Park, 5-0, two nights after Pedro Martinez threw 130 pitches in eight shutout innings Sunday in a 1-0 victory over the Mets. Two nights before that, Cole Hamels allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA in his previous four starts.

“Our one to five is as good as anybody’s,” Lee said of a rotation that also includes Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ. “I don’t think you necessarily have to have a 1-2 punch. I think we’ve got a 1-2-3-4-5 punch. That’s never ending.”

It is too early to say what the postseason rotation will look like, but I think the health of left-handers Scott Eyre and J.C. Romero could play a part in it. If they are not healthy, the Phillies could move Happ into the bullpen to give them a left-hander. If that happens, Martinez obviously makes the rotation.

(And, yes, I know the Mets and Nationals aren’t the Dodgers, Rockies or Cardinals, but the Philllies starters are doing what they should do against these offenses. Shut them down.)

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The last time the Phillies had shutouts in consecutive games was April 27-28, 2003, when Kevin Millwood threw a no-hitter in a 1-0 victory against the Giants at Veterans Stadium and Brett Myers, Dan Plesac and Jose Mesa combined for a 3-0 victory against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

I remember Millwood’s no-hitter well. I had started the Phillies beat a couple weeks earlier for The Philadelphia Inquirer, but because the Phillies opened a series the next night in Los Angeles, I flew to California that afternoon. In other words, the very first game I missed as a Phillies beat writer Kevin Freakin’ Millwood throws a no-hitter. I remember getting into my rental car at LAX, turning on the radio and hearing Vin Scully say, “And Kevin Millwood has a no-hitter through eight innings!” I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I still can’t believe it.

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The last time the Phillies had consecutive shutouts in Philadelphia was Aug. 15-16, 2002, against the Brewers and Cardinals. Joe Roa, Mike Timlin and Carlos Silva combined for the shutout against the Brewers, and Randy Wolf shutout the Cardinals.

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Carlos Ruiz is hitting .429 (18-for-42) with one homer and nine RBIs in his past 17 games.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

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