Results tagged ‘ NLCS ’

Happ Named Sporting News Rookie of the Year

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for happ 0805.jpgJ.A. Happ
started the season in the bullpen, found himself in trade rumors in July and wondered where he might pitch in the postseason in September.

He still pitched well.

He went 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 35 games (23 starts) as Sporting News on Tuesday named Happ its National League Rookie of the Year, as selected by a panel of 338 Major League players.

“Over the course of the season if you try to be consistent and play the game the right way, I think guys will take notice of that and it’s definitely an honor that they did,” Happ said during a workout Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.

Game 5 of the NLCS is tomorrow night, but you already knew that.


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Game 4 Deja Vu

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OK, it’s late, I’ve been writing like crazy, you know what happened. Let’s call it a night, and regroup tomorrow.


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Game 3, and Its Magic Numbers

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A few things about last night’s 11-0 victory over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS:

  • Ryan Howard has a hit and RBI in every playoff game this year (seven games, 10 hits and 12 RBIs). He is the Phillies’ all-time RBI leader in the postseason (22 RBIs in 24 games) and has reached base safely in 16 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 10 walks).
  • Howard’s seven consecutive playoff games with an RBI established a MLB single-season playoff record. Lou Gehrig had eight consecutive games with an RBI from 1928-32.
  • Chase Utley singled in the first inning to reach base safely in 23 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 21 walks), which dates to Game 2 of the 2007 NLDS. Utley’s streak is tied for second all-time in playoff history with Gehrig. Boog Powell holds the all-time record with 25 consecutive playoff games reaching base safely.
  • Cliff Lee struck out 10 batters, tying a Phillies postseason record for strikeouts in a game with Steve Carlton (Game 1 of the 1980 World Series) and Curt Schilling (Game 1 of the 1993 NLCS).
  • Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer in the first inning. It was his third homer of the 2009 postseason and seventh of his postseason career. It was his fifth postseason homer with the Phillies, tying him for second on the all-time franchise list with Howard, Greg Luzinski and Gary Matthews. Lenny Dykstra holds the franchise record with six. Werth also became the Phillies’ all-time leader in postseason extra-base hits (14 in 82 at-bats), passing Mike Schmidt who had 13 in 140 at bats.
  • Shane Victorino moved passed Schmidt on the team’s all-time postseason RBI list, when he hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Victorino has 18 RBIs and trails only Howard.
  • Carlos Ruiz has reached base safely in 12 straight playoff games (15 hits and nine walks). He is hitting .625 (5-for-8 with one homer and three RBIs) this series.
  • Last night’s victory marked the largest margin of victory for the Phillies in a playoff game.
  • In NLCS history, 20 of 29 teams who led the series 2-1 went on to win the series


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Howard Sets Postseason RBI Record

howard 1018.jpgRyan Howard
‘s seventh consecutive postseason game with a RBI broke a tie with Ivan Rodriguez (Marlins, 2003), Bernie Williams (Yankees, 1996) and Carlton Fisk (Red Sox, 1975) for the longest streak in a single postseason. Howard is one game shy of the all-time mark of eight held by Lou Gehrig (1928-32), set over multiple postseasons with the Yankees.

Howard currently is tied with Moose Skowron (Yankees, 1958-60) and Clyde Barnhart (Pirates, 1925-27) on the all-time list.

Howard tripled in the first inning tonight in Game 3 of the NLCS to score Shane Victorino and Chase Utley to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.


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Feeling Better, Moyer Rejoins Teammates

moyer 0513.jpgJamie Moyer
is back at the ballpark with his Phillies teammates.

He spent three nights in the hospital last week with a blood infection following surgery to repair tendons in his left groin and abdomen. He watched Game 1 of the NLDS against the Rockies at the Bank on Oct. 7, five days after he had surgery. That day he started to have back pain and a fever. He checked himself into the hospital and blood tests discovered the infection.

“I feel pretty good now,” he said today before Game 3 of the NLCS. “I started my rehab yesterday. I’m able to walk on the treadmill and do some easy and light leg exercises. Infection or no infection, that’s where I would have started, so I only started a couple days later than expected. I feel like I’m moving forward.  I feel much better.”

But Moyer is not fully recovered. He has a pick line in his right arm, which he must have through next weekend. The line is connected to a device that he carries in a bag around his waist. Think of it as a slightly bigger fanny pack.

“It’s one day at a time at this point,” Moyer said. teammate T.R. Sullivan found this interesting stat about Moyer. He is tied for fifth amongst active pitchers with eight postseason starts. Here is the rest of that list:

  1. Andy Pettitte, 36.
  2. Tom Glavine, 35.
  3. Randy Johnson, 16.
  4. Mike Hampton, 10.
  5. Moyer and Cole Hamels, 8.


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A Lost Opportunity

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 OK, I’m about to hop on the redeye back to Philly, but a couple thoughts about today’s 2-1 loss to the Dodgers in Game 2:

I did not have a problem with Charlie Manuel removing Pedro Martinez after seven innings, although I certainly would not have blinked had Manuel left him in. But had Martinez given up the lead in the eighth, everybody would have asked Manuel why he let Martinez continue to pitch, despite the fact he had reached his pitch count after not pitching in 17 days. They would have asked why Manuel wouldn’t start the inning with Chan Ho Park, who dominated the night before.

No, I think the Phillies lost this game because of three consecutive plays to start the eighth inning. The ball Pedro Feliz didn’t catch to get things started. The bunt that Park couldn’t reach. The double play Chase Utley botched. Manuel defended Feliz for not catching his ball. Feliz wouldn’t say if he should have caught it or not. The bunt was in no man’s land. It was hit perfectly. Utley admitted he made a bad throw. If Feliz or Utley make their plays — not both, just one of them — if the bunt is just a tad in either direction, the Phillies get out of that inning with the game no worse than tied. But the bunt was perfect and Feliz or Utley didn’t make their plays and they lost.

What did Pedro think?

“I felt pretty fresh,” Martinez said. “But at the same time, if you push it what happens the next time? I went 17 days without pitching. I’m not saying I’m going to get hurt, but after 17 days I think it was good enough. And I’m pretty sure everyone is good with the results.”


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Hamels On Losing His Cool

hamels 1014.jpgCole Hamels
said he reacted just like any Phillies fan would have reacted.

He threw up his arms.

There is an unwritten rule in baseball about showing up teammates on the field, and when Hamels showed his frustrations after Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley could not turn an inning-ending double play in the fifth inning last night in Game 1 of the NLCS, he appeared to break that rule. Charlie Manuel said today before Game 2 that he would talk with Hamels about it. Rich Dubee had little to say, other than it would be handled internally.

“It’s not going to look good ever,” Hamels said. “Why do you allow guys to fist pump when they get out of an inning? We’re very emotional, and this game is very hard, so when you get in those situations, you make the right pitch and something actually happens and then you’re not able to come through, it’s draining. But at the same time, you see the ticker and it’s five innings, four earned runs.”

Asked before the game about Hamels throwing up his arms, Rollins said, “So?”

So it didn’t upset him? Rollins shook his head no.

“When you have a group of guys that we have here, those rules can be unwritten and rewritten and overlooked,” Jayson Werth said. “It could really bother some people and disrupt a clubhouse. But since everybody knows each other so well and we believe in each other and we’ve got such a good thing going on here, it wouldn’t necessarily be true for us. I’ve played on teams where that would have been a problem, but that’s not this team. I don’t think Cole was doing that to be malicious. He was just in the heat of the moment. I think Chase and Jimmy would overlook that because that’s a play they could make. They didn’t make it. It’s part of the game. It’s not a big deal, but I know what you’re saying because I’ve seen it be a big deal.”

Hamels said he thinks Rollins and Utley understood it happened in the heat of the moment.

“I’m so into the game. I’m a fan, too,” Hamels said. “If this game was in Philly, what do you think the crowd would have done? It’s high emotions, high intensity. You want to get things done, and I reacted just like the fans would have. But I’m supposed to be the professional and I’m not allowed to do that. I think they understand I didn’t mean anything by it. It looks better to pitch 5 1/3 and give up one run vs. four, but the ultimate goal is to win. I’ll say I’m sorry to the guys. I think we’re such a good team and good teammates that they understand the frustrations.”

I think the issue Dubee might have is not so much showing up his teammates, but the fact that Hamels has lost his focus a few times this season when things haven’t gone his way and it has hurt him. Hamels acknowledged that to be the case last night, and three pitches later Manny Ramirez hit a two-run home run. 


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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.


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


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Myers' Last Pitch in Philly?

Thumbnail image for myers 0527.jpgA few reporters gathered around Ruben Amaro Jr. before Game 1 of the NLCS to ask him about Brett Myers, who wasn’t happy to be left off the NLCS roster.

Asked if Myers has thrown his last pitch for the Phillies, Amaro said just because the Phillies left him off their roster it doesn’t preclude them from re-signing him in the offseason. Asked after batting practice if the Phillies’ decision to leave him off the roster precludes him from wanting to come back, Myers shrugged his shoulders and said, “Who cares?”

It would be interesting to see how Myers would fit in the Phillies’ plans. They already have starters Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and others signed or under their control. Brad Lidge will be the closer. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero also are under contract.

“Are five starters going to do it for a season?” Amaro said. “We’re going to need 10. We’ll probably need 10 or 15 starters with how quickly they fall by the wayside. Jamie, we think he’s going to come back. He’s coming off major surgery. He will be 47. I’d like to think that we can count on him, but not necessarily. We haven’t thought that far down the line, but we’re still going to need a lot of pitching.”

Amaro said he doesn’t know if Myers’ future is as a starter or reliever.

“The beauty of Brett Myers is that he can do both,” Amaro said.

Myers was upset about the decision. Manuel said Myers shrugged his shoulders and said nothing as Manuel told him the news Wednesday.

“I guess he should be upset,” Amaro said. “It’s something that’s tough to take, especially after he worked so hard to get back. But we said it all along, we have to put the best 25 players we think it’s going to take to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether we made the right move or the wrong move, we felt it was the way to go.”


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Pedro Talks About Game 2

pedro street clothes.jpgPedro Martinez
is starting tomorrow in Game 2 of the NLCS. He met with reporters this afternoon. Here is some of what he had to say:

QUESTION: What would it mean for you to take the mound in this stadium tomorrow night? I don’t want to make you feel old, but it was 17 years ago when you made your debut.
PEDRO MARTINEZ:  It’s going to be special, especially bringing back memories about my start here. I was born in this place, and I hope this is not the last one that I pitch here, but if it is, it would be a great joy to actually do it in the same place I started.

QUESTION: Charlie mentioned that you had pulled a muscle in your neck or your shoulder against the Braves last month. Can you expand a little bit about that and how you feel in regards to that injury?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: Well, everybody thought it was my neck, but in reality, after seeing a chiropractor it was one of my ribs popped out when I was swinging the bat. He says that it’s something really common; you can actually pop one of your ribs out actually sneezing. But it’s something that never happened to me. It was the first time. Everything on the right side stiffened up, and I wasn’t able to continue. But after adjusting my rib and putting it back in place, I felt fine. I have been able to pitch, even though I haven’t done it much. I was able to bounce back, and everything is back to normal.

QUESTION: What will be your feelings be like tomorrow night when Manny steps into that batter’s box? You guys have had such a great relationship. What will your emotions be like, and are you the one pitcher that probably knows how to pitch him better than anybody else?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: Well, nobody can say I know how to pitch Manny. Manny is such a great hitter, and he’s someone that makes adjustments as he sees the game develop. You know, I have a very good relationship with Manny. We are actually like brothers. But we’re both professionals, and we belong to different teams. So we’re going to have to go out there, do the best that we can to help our team win, and actually leave it at that in the field. But once the game is over, I hope he comes over and gives me the same real hug he always gives me and the same jokes.

QUESTION: Charlie said that he thought you looked pretty good in your simulated game, but yesterday I believe you used the word erratic. What did you think was erratic about the couple innings you pitched?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: Normally I have good command of my pitches, and yesterday I didn’t have it, even though yesterday I felt a little bit better about it. Today I’m expecting the same thing and tomorrow even better because I’m going to get more chances to actually sleep and actually do a little bit of flat ground and flip the ball around, and now I know I’m going to go into a game. Actually the adrenaline of the game will probably help me out a little bit to regain command and concentration about the things that I have to do. But it was a tough day Tuesday. I did the two innings. We had just landed from Colorado in Philadelphia. I only got like three hours of sleep, and you’re right back into the field. The cold weather over there in Colorado, we didn’t get to stretch very well. I didn’t get to throw at all. It was really difficult. Everything was working against that day. But here the weather is a lot more comfortable. Everything seems to be more comfortable. So I’m expecting better results.


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