Results tagged ‘ Pedro Feliz ’

Myers Makes World Series Roster


myers 1012.jpgBrett Myers
is back on the World Series roster.

Miguel Cairo is off.

“We felt like we needed another pitcher because of the moves that we’ve been making in situations,” Charlie Manuel said this evening at Yankee Stadium. “We ran through five pitchers in one inning over at the Dodgers (in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series). I feel like if those things happen again … we always need pitching. I feel like with Myers’ stuff and the face that he’s in better shape and he’s well and he’s ready to pitch, I feel like his talent actually belongs on our staff.”

Cairo is off probably because the Phillies do not want to be in the same situation they were in during Game 4 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies when they had to play Cairo in left field. Eric Bruntlett has more experience playing in left field, having played there much of last season as a defensive replacement for Pat Burrell. Bruntlett also is an effective pinch-runner.

Myers was on the NLDS roster, but off the NLCS roster. He wasn’t sharp during the NLDS. In 2/3 inning in Game 2 against the Rockies, he hit a batter, walked a batter and intentionally walked another batter.

“I just asked Charlie to try to give me an opportunity to get sharp if there was a next round,” Myers said.

Myers made a mechanical adjustment, which he said has made a huge difference. Myers threw a simulated game Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Pedro Feliz asked why he was trying so hard, throwing him three breaking balls and a fastball.

“I’m trying to make the team,” Myers said. “It was a tryout for me.”

It worked.

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Manuel said Ben Francisco definitely would be in the Game 1 lineup.

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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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Lee, Phillies Own Game 1

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A couple quick hits from Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies beat the Rockies, 5-1:

  • Cliff Lee became the eighth pitcher in Phillies postseason history to throw a complete game. It was the ninth complete game in Phillies postseason history — Grover Cleveland Alexander threw two in the 1915 World Series — and the first since Curt Schilling threw a shutout in Game 5 of the 1993 World Series.
  • Lee’s stolen base in the third inning is the first by a Phillies pitcher in postseason history. He is just the fourth pitcher in baseball history to steal a base in the postseason: Wild Bill Donovan (1908), Billy Loes (1952) and John Smoltz (1991, 1992 and 1995) were the others.
  • Jim Tracy on Lee : “He got really, really good as the game went on. To the point where by the third inning, I don’t know if he missed a spot.”
  • Lee on pitching in windy conditions. He was asked about getting blown off the mound: “Did I get blown off the mound? … Oh, the wind. I thought you were talking about them stroking me.”
  • Charlie Manuel on Lee’s stolen base: “I thought, what in the hell is he doing?”
  • Jimmy Rollins made a couple nice catches in foul territory. The first came in the third inning against Dexter Fowler and the second came in the seventh inning against Todd Helton. The seventh inning catch was much more impressive because the wind really changed the ball’s direction. “Dexter’s was pretty much routine,” Rollins said. “I practice that a lot actually. The other one reminded me of the one in the World Series (Game 5) just without the rain. Pedro (Feliz) and I were both breaking back like wide receiver and DB. I saw the quarterback get hit and he didn’t, and I retraced the route and came in on the ball.”
  • Jayson Werth has hit safely in 10 consecutive postseason games: (.359, 14-39, four doubles, one home run, three RBIs, eight walks).
  • Carlos Ruiz has hit safely in five consecutive postseason games: .438, 7-16, home run, three RBIs).
  • The Phillies have won eight consecutive postseason games at the Bank.
  • Rollins on the postseason and winning Game 1: “Finally, it’s here. We can finally let the wins actually count for something. You win, it’s one less game you have to win to go to the next round. One down, 10 more to go.”

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A Laboring Weekend

phillies 090609.jpgLabor Day weekend is summer’s last hurrah.

If you’re reading this, hopefully you’re reading it from your phone on the beach, your laptop on your porch or just before you head to a barbeque this afternoon. Today is a day to relax and have fun before work begins again tomorrow.

But if you’re the Phillies you’re just hoping to leave Houston with a win. It has been an ugly weekend for the Phillies, who have lost the first three games of this four-game series against the Astros:

  • Brad Lidge blew his Major League-leading 10th save Saturday. Charlie Manuel has expressed his confidence in Lidge throughout the season, but the postseason starts exactly a month from today. Manuel has a big decision coming if Lidge continues to struggle. I have agreed with Manuel that as long as the Phillies continue to win and as long as there is time, he should stick with Lidge because a good Lidge gives this team its best chance to win. But time is running out. If Lidge continues to struggle, Manuel will have to push his loyalties aside and go elsewhere.
  • Chase Utley fouled a ball off his foot and missed Saturday’s game. He returned Sunday.
  • Shane Victorino has been bothered with a knee injury and missed Sunday’s game.
  • Raul Ibanez went 2-for-4 in Sunday’s loss, which he hopes is a sign of better things to come. His struggles have resembled Jimmy Rollins‘ struggles earlier this season, when Manuel benched Rollins four consecutive games. Rollins hit .205 in 307 at-bats in 70 games through July 1. His average was the fifth-lowest average out of 100 qualifying players in baseball. His .250 on-base percentage ranked second lowest and his .319 slugging percentage ranked eighth lowest. Ibanez has hit .217 in 166 at-bats since he returned from the DL on July 11. He has the 10th lowest average out of 171 qualifying players in baseball. His .301 on-base is 26th lowest and his .386 slugging is 33rd lowest.
  • Because Pedro Feliz plays such great defense and because he hits seventh in the lineup he gets lost in the shuffle. But he has hit .197 since July 27.

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How Much Is Too Much?

halladay 04.jpgThe Blue Jays want J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown.

The Phillies reportedly offered Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Michael Taylor and Jason Donald.

Is Happ, Drabek and Brown too much to give up for Roy Halladay? Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and the Phillies would be getting him for two Octobers instead of one. We’re not talking about a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher here. We’re talking about Roy Freakin’ Halladay. Cy Young winner. Ace. Best of the best.

Two sources said Toronto’s demands are reasonable. So why won’t the Phillies pull the trigger?

They are keeping the future in mind, one source indicated. The Phillies’ rotation today includes Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, Happ and Rodrigo Lopez/Pedro Martinez. If the Phillies get Halladay for Happ, Drabek and Brown, the rotation next season would include Hamels, Halladay and Moyer, who is 9-7 with a 5.65 ERA this season. Blanton, who is salary arbitration eligible, seems like a smart bet to return, although the Phillies already have $95.5 million committed to 11 players next season. Add Halladay into that mix and the payroll jumps to $110.75 million. It seems unlikely, but it is possible the Phillies could non-tender Blanton, who would get a raise from the $5.475 million he is making, if they feel they need to trim some salary to pay Halladay and the rest of the roster. So that’s one starter if Blanton is back, two if he isn’t.

The Phillies can handle one starter. Maybe even two with Halladay and Hamels atop the rotation. But the number jumps to potentially four starters in 2011. There is no guarantee Halladay re-signs with the Phillies. He could leave for the highest bidder. Moyer presumably won’t be back. Blanton will be a free agent after 2010, and he also could leave for the big payday. That leaves Hamels and four vacancies.

The Phillies are considering those things as they consider a package for Halladay. They want to keep Happ or Drabek so they’re a little better equipped next season and beyond.

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Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that the chances of trading Halladay are “very slim.” Others agree. One source believes the chances of Halladay being traded are no better than 50-50. Another said he thinks it’s “unlikely” Halladay gets traded.

But one source said the Phillies’ counter offer, which ESPN.com said the Blue Jays rejected, is fair. He considers Happ a “poor man’s Andy Pettitte” and Taylor to be better than Brown. He also pointed out that entering this season many considered Carrasco to be the organization’s top pitching prospect. He also think Donald can be a good everyday player.

Of course, it only matters what Toronto thinks.

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It also is unlikely the Cliff Lee is traded. One source said it could be easier for the Phillies to make a trade for Lee because the package would be bigger, meaning not Drabek or Brown involved.

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Been hearing a lot about how the Phillies will have more money to spend next season because the Phillies are shedding the payroll of Adam Eaton ($9 million), Geoff Jenkins ($8 million) and Jim Thome ($3 million). Not exactly. The Phillies have 11 players who are signed through next season or beyond. Those 11 players make $78.25 million this season. But because of built-in raises they will make $95.5 million next season. There goes those savings from Eaton, Jenkins and Thome. And keep in mind, that $95.5 million doesn’t the $5 million club option for Pedro Feliz and salary arbitration figures for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, etc.

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Who Will Manuel Take to the All-Star Game?


howard derby.jpgCharlie Manuel
is a powerful man these days.

As manager of the National League All-Star team, he makes eight selections to the 33-player roster. And he made no bones before tonight’s game against the Braves that he is partial to his own players.

“I’ll be the first guy to tell you that,” he said. “Everything that I’ve gotten out of us winning … I’ve got a World Series ring, and everything I’ve got was because our guys played good and they won. If you want to call me a player’s manager, I think I am because I think the players definitely have everything to do with it. I think good players make a good manager. I think good players can play over some of the mistakes a manager can make.”

We know Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley will be starters at their respective positions. They have commanding leads in fan voting.

But which other Phillies could go?

“If you ask me who I would vote for or pick, anytime I could pick one of my players definitely I’m in favor of that,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, when you look at things, you have to be fair to the game and also the guy who is having a big year. That can be hard to because there are so many.”

I’ve heard some talk that Manuel should pick Cole Hamels (4-5, 4.98 ERA), Brad Lidge (0-3, 7.57 ERA and 14 saves) or Jamie Moyer (6-6, 6.05 ERA) for their contributions last season, when the Phillies won the World Series. I don’t expect that to happen at all. Manuel would love to pick a few Phillies, but it would be impossible to sell Hamels, Lidge or Moyer with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line.

So when then?

I think Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino are legitimate possibilities.

Howard is hitting .256 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is tied for second in the NL with 41 extra-base hits. He is third in RBIs and go-ahead RBIs (19) and tied for third in game-winning RBIs (nine). He is fifth in home runs. He is from St. Louis, where the All-Star Game will be played July 14. He has been one of baseball’s best run producers in recent seasons. He has meant the world to Manuel in the middle of his lineup.

But Howard has some stiff competition at first base. Albert Pujols (.337, 30 homers and 77 RBIs) will be the starter. Prince Fielder (.306, 20, 74) has to go. Adrian Gonzalez (.268, 24, 48) and Todd Helton (.312, 9, 53) are legitimate candidates. There are others, too. There are only so many first basemen Manuel can take, which puts Howard in a numbers crunch. It will be interesting to see which way Manuel goes.

Victorino is hitting .295 with five homers, 34 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. He is tied for second in triples (five), tied for fourth in runs (52) and tied for ninth in hits (89) and stolen bases. Obviously, there are plenty of outfielders with better power numbers than Victorino, but Victorino is not a power hitter. He is a speed guy, who plays great defense and can hit. He might be an easier case for Manuel to make.

Third baseman Pedro Feliz has had a nice season, but he also appears to be in a numbers crunch with David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Casey Blake and others.

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Jimmy Rollins snapped his career-worst 0-for-28 slump with a single to right field in the third inning. Rollins also singled in the fifth.

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Devastating? It Depends


prado 0630.jpgChipper Jones
had an interesting take on last night’s 5-4 victory in 10 innings over the Phillies.

“I would have labeled this game if we’d have lost it as devastating,” he said.

Nobody in the Phillies clubhouse at Turner Field used the word devastating to describe the loss, but they could have. John Mayberry Jr. and Pedro Feliz hit back-to-back, two-out solo home runs in the eighth inning to take a one-run lead, but the Phillies blew that lead in the eighth and ultimately lost in 10.

The Phillies have lost 12 of 16, and they hold just a 1 1/2 game lead over the Marlins in the NL East.

“We’ve been finding ways to lose games,” Jayson Werth said. “We’ve got to turn this thing around and get back to playing the type of baseball that made us champs last year.”

Any idea why this is still happening?

“Like I said, it seems like anything we can do to lose a game right now we’re doing it,” Werth said. “Both sides of the ball. We’re all right, though. We’re still really good. I still feel like we’re the best team in baseball. We’ve just to find a way to start winning games. We’ll be all right.”

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Jimmy Rollins went 0 for 5 in his return to the lineup. He is hitless in his last 24 at-bats. Fans chanted, “208! 208!” as Rollins hit in the ninth. They were referring to Rollins’ batting average.

Rollins struck out to drop his average to .207.

“His timing wasn’t good,” Charlie Manuel said. “It wasn’t like he was swinging real bad, but he didn’t hit a ball hard. His timing was a little bit off. He’ll be OK. He’ll be fine. He’ll be OK.”

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Ryan Madson is 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA (six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings) and three blown saves in his last six appearances. He has allowed nine hits and seven walks in that span.

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Lidge Gets Closer


lidge 0529.jpgBrad Lidge
threw a scoreless inning last night in a rehab appearance for Single-A Clearwater.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lidge “threw pretty well. We’re pretty pleased, and I think he was pretty pleased with his outing. He was pretty effective.”

Lidge threw 12 pitches, eight of them fastballs. He walked one batter, but allowed no hits.

Amaro said he and the Phillies coaching staff would discuss today if Lidge needed to make another rehab appearance.

It sounds like Lidge is ready to me. We’ll see.

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Ryan Howard said he felt fine after last night’s 10-1 victory over the Rays. He is not sure if he will play in the field tonight against the Rays.

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Pat Burrell has been a disappointment so far in Tampa Bay. He has just one homer and 18 RBIs.

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Pedro Feliz has had a good season, although he has struggled recently. The Phillies have a $5 million club option or a $500,000 buyout on Feliz for 2010.

“He has helped us win games, and as long as he continues to help us win games, then he’s absolutely been worth the investment for us,” Amaro said. “If he gets through this year healthy and we feel like he’s going to be a productive player for us, then clearly he’s done nothing at this point to persuade us not to pick up his option.”

“I’m happy here. I would love to [stay],” Feliz said. “I’m always going to see the happy way.”

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There were plenty of Phillies fans at Tropicana Field last night, which gave the place a little atmosphere. The Rays drew just 19,608 fans to the series opener, which is a big disappointment to Rays officials.

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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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Dodger Blues

dodgers 0605.jpgSometimes I get the feeling something is going to go terribly wrong in a baseball game, and I get ready to rewrite my game story. I got that feeling when Steve Bartman interfered with Moises Alou in left field in the NLCS in 2003.

But last night was not one of those games.

Even after Brad Lidge put a couple runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium, I still felt like Lidge was going to get out of the inning and preserve the Phillies’ 3-2 victory.

He had been throwing the ball very well since he blew back-to-back saves against the Yankees late last month. He had thrown the ball well last night, too, except for walking James Loney to put two on with two out.

But he got Russell Martin to hit a hard grounder to Pedro Feliz at third base.

Game over … except Feliz booted the ball to load the bases.

“I just missed it,” Feliz said. “I’ve got nothing more to say.”

What else could he say?

Andre Ethier followed with a double into the right-field corner to score Casey Blake and Loney to win it.

Unbelievable.

“It was a real freak thing that you’re not going to see very often,” Lidge said.

Lidge suffered his fifth blown save of the season, but I can’t pin this one on him. Feliz has to make that play.

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