Results tagged ‘ Roy Oswalt ’

Looking Like Halladay for Game 1

halladay 0928 2010.jpgRoy Halladay seems destined to start Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 6 at Citizens Bank Park.

It is not official, but the Phillies dropped a couple hints today.

Kyle Kendrick will pitch Friday against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, which has become a meaningless series since the Phillies clinched their fourth consecutive NL East championship last night. The Phillies have not announced starters for Saturday or Sunday, but it sounds like Halladay will be skipped.

“There’s a real good chance,” Charlie Manuel said.

“He probably won’t start,” Rich Dubee said.

Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt both could pitch a few innings this weekend as a tune-up for the playoffs.

Manuel said the Phillies have chosen to play an eight-day NLDS because it allows them the luxury of pitching only Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt on normal rest through the five-game series. Because the Phillies only need three starters, they might carry fewer pitchers in the first round.

The Phillies would like to give left-handers Antonio Bastardo and Mike Zagurski work this week to see if they can carry two left-handers in the bullpen.

They also suggested left-hander Jamie Moyer, who has not pitched since July because of a left elbow injury, could be ready to pitch in the later rounds of the postseason. But Moyer just started throwing off a mound, and he only has thrown four-seam fastballs, which he does not throw in games. He is a way away from returning.

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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!

Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt: Best Phillies Trio Ever?

hamels 0504 2010.jpgInterest in this week’s Braves series turned from 10 to 11 after the Phillies shuffled their rotation to have Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt face Atlanta.

They’re the Big Three.

They might be the Biggest Three in Phillies history.

Has there been a better trio of starting pitchers on any team since the Phillies joined the NL in 1883? I explored that in a story for MLB.com, which can be found here.

I could not find one, and I asked around. There were great duos. Robin Roberts had Curt Simmons. Jim Bunning had Chris Short. Grover Cleveland Alexander had Eppa Rixey. Steve Carlton had Jim Lonborg, Larry Christenson, Dick Ruthven and John Denny in different seasons. But none of them had what the 2010 Phillies have:

- Three pitchers with incredible resumes and reputations. Halladay is a former Cy Young winner, who dominated the American League East for years before he joined the Phillies. He is a good candidate for the Hall of Fame, according to Baseball Reference’s Hall of Fame tests. Oswalt has been one of the top pitchers in the National League for years. He is a two-time, 20-game winner who earned 2005 NLCS MVP honors. Hamels is the youngest pitcher of the bunch, but he earned 2008 World Series and MVP honors.
- Three pitchers pitching at their peaks.
- Three pitchers who could be aces anywhere else.

For example: Alexander pitched with Rixey for a few seasons. Both are Hall of Famers, but it was early in Rixey’s career. He broke out in 1916, when he went 22-10 with a 1.85 ERA. But the third starter that season was Al Demaree, who was not considered anything special. He certainly couldn’t lead a pitching staff, like Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels. I found similar situations with other Phillies aces like Roberts, Bunning, Carlton and Curt Schilling.

There have been seasons where the Phillies have had good years from three starters, but the third starter (and sometimes even the second starter) was a one-year wonder, before his prime or after his prime. Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels are not that.

Agree? Disagree? Be curious to see which trio you would take over the Big Three.

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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!

Early Returns on Lee Trade Not Good

Roy Oswalt has pitched so well for the Phillies that I haven’t heard anybody complain about the Cliff Lee trade lately.

(Thank God.)

But there was some interesting news yesterday regarding the Lee trade. Right-hander J.C. Ramirez, one of three players the Phillies received from Seattle for Lee, had surgery on his right hip last week. He is expected to be ready by Spring Training, but it capped a bad first year for the three prospects.

The Phillies demoted right-hander Phillippe Aumont, 21, from Double-A Reading (1-6, 7.43 ERA in 11 starts) to Single-A Clearwater (2-5, 4.48 ERA in 16 appearances). Outfielder Tyson Gillies, 21, missed most of the season with Reading (.238, two homers, six RBIs in 26 games) because of a hamstring injury, but that was the least of his problems. Pinellas County Sheriff’s officers arrested him last month for cocaine possession, which is a felony. He pleaded not guilty.

Ramirez, 22, had the best year of the three. He went 4-3 with a 4.06 ERA in 11 starts in Clearwater, and 3-4 with a 5.45 ERA in 13 starts in Reading.

“They’re all still 21 years old,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We’ve got a long way to go on them. We still view them as strong prospects for us. We’ll see how they develop.”

The Phillies converted Aumont from a reliever to a starter and changed his mechanics in Spring Training, which they attributed to his struggles. They are not sure if his future is in the rotation or the bullpen, although he remains a starter for now. They have said the same about Ramirez.

“The guys are still very young and it takes a lot of time for guys to develop sometimes,” Amaro said.

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Aligning Big Three to Face Braves

Expect the Phillies to align the Big Three to face the Braves next week at Citizens Bank Park.

Rich Dubee said today there is a “good chance” Roy Oswalt will pitch Friday against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park, which would allow Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Oswalt to pitch against Atlanta.

It only takes a simple switch to make it happen.

Kyle Kendrick, who currently is scheduled to pitch Friday, would pitch Saturday. Oswalt, who is scheduled to pitch Saturday, would pitch Friday. Oswalt still would be pitching on normal rest, so there is little risk involved.

“As long as (Oswalt) is feeling fine, there’s a real good chance,” Dubee said. “I don’t think there’s any downside to pitching Oswalt, Hamels and Halladay. They are our front three starters. I would think if you have two series with the Braves you’d want the best guys available, if possible.”

The switch also would allow Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt to pitch against the Braves on Oct. 1-3 at Turner Field, if necessary. The Phillies entered tonight’s game against the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium with a one-game lead over the Braves in the National League East.

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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!

Best NL Record Would Benefit Phillies in NLDS

halladay hamels.jpgThe Phillies have a half-game lead over the Braves in the NL East and the best record in the league.

They obviously have plenty of incentive to win their fourth consecutive division title and finish with the best record in the league — and it has more to do that just having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Because of scheduling reasons, the top NL team this year has the option of playing an eight-day NLDS or a seven-day NLDS.

An eight-day NLDS would have a clear benefit to the Phillies.

If they play an eight-day NLDS, they would have to pitch only Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels — and none of them would have to pitch on short rest. If they played a seven-day NLDS, they would have to use a fourth starter (Joe Blanton) or pitch Halladay (or whomever starts Game 1) on short rest in Game 4.

Running Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt out there in a five-game series certainly is enticing for the Phillies.

“It obviously sets us up for success, but I think more excitement,” Hamels said. “It sets us up for excitement because we have guys that have the experience or ultimately some of the best pitchers in the game. I think that’s how you have to look at it. We obviously busted our tail to get there, but we have the guys to finish the series.

“That’s what makes it uncomfortable for the opposing team. To come in, not look at anybody and go, ‘We can probably get a couple runs out of this guy,’ or, ‘This guy we might as well just hang it up.’ That’s kind of what we have. When the postseason comes it’s about three guys that go. We definitely do have those good three guys and we have an unbelievably good fourth guy. But you do have to get there.”

Here’s a look at how an eight-day series differs from a seven-day series:

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Projecting the Rotation

The Phillies have not said if Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley or Nate Robertson will be pitching Saturday against the Mets at Citi Field.

We know Roy Halladay is pitching Friday and Roy Oswalt is pitching Sunday. That keeps the Phillies in position to set up their rotation so Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels face the Braves in both three-game series against them later this month. Here is how the Phillies could setup their rotation. Days of rest are in parentheses. Four-days rest is normal rest. Five-days rest is an extra day of rest:

  • Monday at FLA: Joe Blanton (5)
  • Tuesday at FLA: Cole Hamels (5)
  • Wedneday at FLA: Roy Halladay (4)
  • Sept. 16: OFF
  • Sept. 17 vs. WASH: Roy Oswalt (4)
  • Sept. 18 vs. WASH: Kendrick, Worley or Robertson (6)
  • Sept. 19 vs. WASH: Blanton (5)
  • Sept. 20 vs. ATL: Hamels (5)
  • Sept. 21 vs. ATL: Halladay (5)
  • Sept. 22 vs. ATL: Oswalt (4)
  • Sept. 23: OFF
  • Sept. 24 vs. NYM: Blanton (4)
  • Sept. 25 vs. NYM: Kendrick, Worley or Robertson (6)
  • Sept. 26 vs. NYM: Hamels (5)
  • Sept. 27 at WASH: Halladay (5)
  • Sept. 28 at WASH: Oswalt (5)
  • Sept. 29 at WASH: Blanton (4)
  • Sept. 30: OFF
  • Oct. 1: Hamels (4)
  • Oct. 2: Halladay (4)
  • Oct. 3: Oswalt (4)

The way this sets up, no Phillies pitcher will have to pitch on short rest down the stretch. It also gives the big guns most of the starts with the fifth starter getting just three.

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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!

Howard Goes Off, Bats Go Silent

howard 0824 2010.jpgI’ve never seen Ryan Howard that angry before.

In fact, the last time I saw Howard that angry was Spring Training 2006. He had just hit a home run against Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, who thought Howard “pimped” his home run. Beckett barked at Howard from the Red Sox dugout at Bright House Field. Howard barked back, before dropping his glove and putting his hands in the air, basically telling Beckett to come out.

Beckett never did.

Howard never reached third base umpire Scott Barry in the 14th inning last night, but that’s probably because Placido Polanco and others restrained him. I have to wonder if Howard will be suspended for his actions, although a fine is definite.

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The offense scored just two runs in 16 innings, so can’t blame the umpires completely for this one — even if Barry botched the call that led to Howard’s ejection.

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Last night was one of the most bizarre games I’ve seen. Ross Gload, who is on the disabled list, was ejected after Howard left the field. (Charlie Manuel explained a player on the DL is not allowed to yell at anybody on the field.) The Phillies, who were out of position players, were forced to move Raul Ibanez from left field to first base, a position he had not played since 2005, and pitcher Roy Oswalt into left field, a place he had never played in his professional career.

Oswalt was the first Phillies pitcher to play in the field since Bill Wilson Aug. 6, 1971.

“I’m not sure what I think about the whole thing just yet,” Jayson Werth said. “I’m going to take a quick nap here and think about it. Come back tomorrow refreshed and act like that didn’t happen. I know I haven’t been playing the game as long as some people, but it’s the first I’ve seen of anything like that. That was just … I’m not going to say what I want to say. I’m going to sleep on it.”

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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!

Phillies Facing Some Friends This Week

myers astros.jpg

The Phillies face a couple former teammates this week at Citizens Bank Park.

They face Brett Myers (vs. Joe Blanton) tonight and J.A. Happ (vs. Roy Halladay) on Wednesday.

The Phillies told Myers after the ’09 season they would not bring him back. “Kenny Powers is officially a free agent,” he declared upon hearing the news. (That might have been one of my favorite quotes as Phillies beat writer because I love Eastbound & Down.) But Myers also said this the same day, “If I come across the Phillies, I’m going to try to make it hell on them. I’ve got friends on that team, but cross that white line and it’s game on, you know?” Sure. Myers is a competitor. And while he has fond memories of his time in Philadelphia, he still wants to pitch well against them.

The Phillies traded Happ to get Roy Oswalt on July 29. Oswalt is 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA in five starts with the Phillies. He has a 1.65 ERA in his last four after a shaky debut. Happ is 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in five starts with the Astros.

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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!

Bastardo to Help vs. Dodgers

The Phillies will recall left-hander Antonio Bastardo before tonight’s game against the Dodgers, a source said.

Not a surprise.

The Phillies optioned John Mayberry Jr. to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following Sunday’s game. He was optioned for a pitcher, and that really only left one choice. The Dodgers have left-handed hitting Andre Ethier and James Loney in the starting lineup, and there is a good chance the Phillies will need a lefty to face them at some point in the later innings. Right now their only option is J.C. Romero, and he has been struggling with his command. He has 22 walks in 24 1/3 innings this season, including six walks in his last 2 2/3 innings. His 8.1 walks per nine innings is the highest average of his career.

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Roy Oswalt gives us a peek inside his world, and talks about possibly leaving baseball following 2011.

Before the Astros traded Oswalt to the Phillies, there were numerous reports Oswalt absolutely would not waive his no-trade clause unless the Phillies picked up his 2012 option. It turned out to be incorrect. In fact, the Phillies only added $1 million to Oswalt’s side of the buyout of the mutual option. Maybe that is because Oswalt truly believes he might not play after 2011, and he did not want to commit to 2012. Or maybe the Phillies said, either come to Philly without the 2012 option being picked up or remain in Houston. Either way, I think it’s interesting.

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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!

Phillies Looking to Sweep Marlins

The Phillies have won 11 of 13 to move within two games of the Braves in the NL East after being seven back on July 22.

A few stats to chew on:

  • The Phillies are averaging 5.46 runs per game since July 21, which ranks second in the NL. Houston is first with 5.92 runs per game. Who knew J.A. Happ could hit, too?
  • The Phillies lead the league in batting (.300), on-base percentage (.372) and extra-base hits (47). They rank second in slugging pecentage (.460) and stolen bases (12).
  • They lead the league with a 2.74 ERA.
  • Raul Ibanez‘s 1.216 on-base-plus-slugging percentage is fifth in the league. He ranks fourth in the league with 12 RBIs.
  • Jayson Werth‘s 1.090 OPS is eighth.
  • Carlos Ruiz‘s 1.005 OPS is 14th. He is 12th with 10 RBIs.

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Roy Oswalt gets his second shot in a Phillies uniform tonight. I would be things go better for him than in Washington.

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The Phillies picked up Mike Sweeney in a trade yesterday with the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash. A low risk move for the Phillies. If Sweeney can give the Phillies two good weeks, it will pay off.

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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!

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