Results tagged ‘ Rod Barajas ’

This Man Can Pitch

Let’s take a look at a few Cole Hamels facts/impressions this morning:

  • He is 8-1 with a 2.05 ERA since his first start of the season April 5. In 88 innings, he has allowed 61 hits, 20 earned runs, 16 walks and has struck out 88. Opponents have hit .197 against him (.228 against lefthanders and .187 against right-handers.)
  • “I felt lefties might have had a better chance against him than righties tonight,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “With that changeup and now the cutter — he didn’t use that cutter before. That changes it. I’ll play more lefties against him next time.”
  • From April 10 through last night, Hamels and Jon Lester are tied for the most wins in baseball. Hamels is fourth in ERA in that span behind Ryan Vogelsong (1.68 ERA), Jair Jurrjens (1.75 ERA) and Josh Beckett (1.77 ERA). Hamels’ 7.98 baserunners per nine innings easily is first. (Shaun Marcum is second at 8.51.)
  • Hamels has a 2.65 ERA since May 1, 2010, which ranks fifth in baseball. Josh Johnson (1.99 ERA), Adam Wainwright (2.48 ERA), Roy Halladay (2.56 ERA) and Felix Hernandez (2.60 ERA) are ahead of him.
  • “He’s definitely different,” Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas said. “The best I’ve seen him. He was primarily fastball-changeup and the curveball could be out of the strike zone and you didn’t have to swing at it. Now he mixes in the cutter and throws the curveball for strikes. You can’t lay off it anymore or assume it’s a ball. It makes you more aggressive.”
  • Hamels is 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA in his last five starts.
  • “He’s grown up a lot,” Charlie Manuel said. “He’s way more mature. He’s been around guys like Jamie Moyer and Halladay and (Cliff) Lee and Roy Oswalt and guys like that. He has a better work ethic now. He’s getting stronger. He’s bigger than he used to be. If you see him with his shirt and stuff off, he’s developing into a man.” As an aside, Manuel realized once he said it that it sounded a little funny for him to be talking about Hamels with his shirt off. He laughed.

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No-No Offense

“The lineup we’ve got on the field tonight is our lineup. If that lineup doesn’t hit then we’re in trouble.”Charlie Manuel.

A few things about last night’s 3-0 loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, where Hiroki Kuroda carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning:

  • The Phillies have been no-hit through four innings in four of their last seven games. “It seems like we go through five innings real quick,” Manuel said. “Nothing happens.”
  • They have been no-hit through five innings or longer four times this season.
  • They have lost seven of their last 12 games. That rough stretch can be pinned almost entirely on the offense. The Phillies have hit just .184 and scored just 28 runs (2.3 per game) since Aug. 18. The pitching staff has a sparkling 2.62 ERA in that span.
  • They have been shut out 11 times this season. That’s the most since they suffered 11 shutout losses in 1998.
  • They have been one-hit three times.
  • Reds pitcher Travis Wood lost a perfect game in the ninth inning July 10 at Citizens Bank Park, Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka lost a no-hitter in the eighth inning May 23 at the Bank and Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey lost a no-hitter in the sixth inning Aug. 14.

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Roy Halladay had no frustration in his voice, but it sure sounded like things are getting frustrating for Phillies pitchers.

“It’s one of those things we’ve been going through,” he said. “I think going out you definitely feel like we need to do a good job of keeping the game close as a starter. I think the (Rod) Barajas run, at that point in the game the way (Kuroda) was throwing, it seemed to be a little too much. Yes, it’s something we’re going through as a team. Hopefully, we can get things going a little bit.”

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When It Rains, Cliff Lee Throws Seven Scoreless

cliff lee mariners.jpgTo add insult to injury for Phillies fans, Cliff Lee threw seven scoreless innings last night in Seattle.

The Phillies have lost 8 of 12, and it has not been pretty.

Consider:

-The Phillies have hit just .214 with an anemic .595 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in the last 12 games, in which they have averaged just 3.2 runs.
- They have hit just .188 with runners in scoring position.
- They have hit just one home run with a runner on base since April 14.
- Phillies starters have just seven quality starts this season, which ranks second-to-last in baseball behind only the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have four. Roy Halladay, who pitches this afternoon against the Mets, has four of them.
- Phillies starters are 9-6 with a 4.17 ERA, but starters not named Halladay have a combined 5.19 ERA.
- Philadelphia relievers are 3-4 with a 4.70 ERA and five saves in nine opportunities.
- Just when they thought they could assemble their bullpen the way they would like with Brad Lidge rejoining the team, Ryan Madson lands on the DL after kicking a chair and breaking his right big toe Wednesday in San Francisco.
- Charlie Manuel is concerned about the lack of hustle he has seen lately. Shane Victorino didn’t run to first base after Rod Barajas dropped a third strike in the fifth inning. Manuel has two rules: Be on time and hustle. And hustle is one thing a team can control when everything else is going poorly.

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I’ll be signing copies of my book from 2 – 3 p.m. today on the Main Concourse behind Section 111 at Citizens Bank Park.

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The Perfect Storm


barajas 0618.jpgCharlie Manuel
talked yesterday about how the Phillies have not played good baseball for the past week.

There have been mental mistakes upon physical mistakes. They have not swung the bats well at times. The starters can’t get past the sixth inning and the bullpen looks exhausted. The exhaustion is one thing. It has been a long week. (I punch buttons on a keyboard for a living and I’m tired.) But Manuel was asked if he feels he needs to address his team about the sloppy play.

“I’ve been thinking about that for two or three days if you want to know the truth,” he said. “But at the same time with the way things are — we’re kind of beat up, we’ve got guys out, we come back in a game like we did today — I don’t know if that’s the right time to go in there and start screaming and hollering and cussing and throwing things. Don’t get me wrong. I’m headed that way, I guess. But I ain’t quite there yet. Maybe somebody ought to push me into it. But, no, I’ll get it when the time comes.”

The Phillies are banged up. They placed Raul Ibanez, the team’s MVP through 64 games, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin. They’re hopeful Ibanez will be back on July 3, when he is eligible to be activated, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said it could be longer. The Phillies already are without No. 2 starter Brett Myers, closer Brad Lidge and left-handed specialist Scott Eyre.

Combine those things – the injuries, the extra-inning games, the rain delays, the mental and physical mistakes – with the return of the American League and no wonder the Phillies have lost 5 of 6.

But doesn’t this seem familiar?

The Phillies entered Interleaugue Play last year at 41-30 with a three-game lead over the Mets. But they won just 1 of 3 against the Red Sox before the Angels swept them at home. Then they lost 4 of 6 on the road in Oakland and Texas.

The Phillies entered Interleague Play this year at 35-23 with a four-game lead over the Mets. They had won 10 of 13. But they won just 1 of 3 against the Red Sox before the Blue Jays swept them at home. They host the Orioles this weekend before they hit the road to play the Rays and Blue Jays.

“We’ve had some mental mistakes over the last couple days,” Ryan Howard said. “You just can’t have that. You’d rather have it now than later obviously, but it is what it is.”

What it is is a perfect storm for losing. The Phillies just hope they can weather it through their remaining nine Interleague games.

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Rod Barajas had the last laugh.

He hit a game-winning homer in the ninth against Ryan Madson in yesterday’s 8-7 victory. Barajas, one of Philly’s most disliked athletes in recent seasons, is 8-for-16 with four homers and 10 RBIs against the Phillies since he left them following the 2007 season.

“I hear them,” Barajas said of Phillies fans. “I laugh at them. I joke around with [Chris] Coste or [Carlos] Ruiz, whoever is back there. When I go up to hit, Coste is booing me, too.”

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Posts might be a little infrequent this weekend because of a family affair, but I will when I can.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

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