Results tagged ‘ J.A. Happ ’

Phillies May Be Riding A Mud Slide Out of Houston

There are several adjectives that come to mind when mentally reviewing these last few Phillies games against the Astros; sloppy, messy, disgusting, lackadaisical and slothful, are just a few.

Some low-lights from Monday night’s 1-5 loss include:

  • Michael Martinez watched a bouncing grounder fly past his glove at third base.
  • Raul Ibanez dropped a low fly ball to left that bounced out of his glove.
  • Covering first base, Roy Oswalt missed an descent throw on what looked like an easy out.
  •  Jimmy Rollins and Pete Orr collided near second base on what should have been an easy double play if they had simply remembered who was covering what area.

But the fun did not end there.  On Tuesday night, the Phillies tried to out-sloppy their Monday night performance with these gems:

  • John Mayberry Jr. watched a ground ball to center roll mysteriously under his glove.
  • Mayberry recovered, tossed to Martinez and then Martinez proceeded to make one of the crappiest throws to third that you have ever seen.  With a good throw, the runner would have been out, despite the Mayberry error.  Instead, the guy winds up on third.
  • Ryan Howard dropped an easy ground ball to first, allowing the Astros pitcher to be safe at first and move a runner to third.  This lead to four runs in the inning, including a 3-run homer hit off Cole Hamels.

In these two games, the Phillies faced many of their old teammates, including pitchers Brett Myers and J.A. Happ.  Neither pitcher was having a good year, but the Phillies may have just single-handedly revived both their seasons.

Also in the Phillies – Astros trade merry-go-round, both Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence made their first trip back to Houston since coming to Philly.  Oswalt had a bad game Monday, allowing five runs in seven innings.

As for Pence, he seemed to be the only Phillie interested in winning these games.  Pence went 2-for-4 Monday with a double.  And he also hit a solo homer on Tuesday.

The only other good news is that Joe Blanton pitched in Monday’s game for the first time since May 14th.  He allowed one hit but looked pretty good overall.

What I am wondering now is, where have the Phillies gone?  Because this is not the same team we have been watching all year.  They seem to be in a coma.  It may not seem like they have much to play for right now, but home field advantage can be a big boost in the playoffs.

So come on Phillies…wake up!  Get your behinds off the mud slide and back onto solid ground.  Thank you in advance. ;o)

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Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Vance Worley Needs To Stay in Philadelphia…For Now

In Tuesday night’s 7-2 victory over the Giants, Phillies pitcher Vance Worley earned his seventh win of the year and lowered his ERA to 2.02.  It was also the rookie’s first career complete game.

In 11 starts for the Phillies this season, Worley has just one loss and a WHIP of 1.09.  He has also shown steady improvement between starts and gotten much better at keeping his pitch count down.

Filling in for the injured Joe Blanton, Worley has been outstanding.  As for Blanton, a recent report from Matt Snyder at CBS Sports indicates that Blanton has nerve damage in his elbow and he may be done for the year.

Once Roy Oswalt returns to the rotation, the Phillies will be using Worley as the fifth starter.  Kyle Kendrick is also available, but he has been more useful in a long relief role.  In nine starts, Kendrick has a 3-2 record and 3.97 ERA.  In relief, his ERA drops to 2.49.

Arguments to trade Worley include his rookie status, which some think gives him an edge as most teams have not faced him.  If that is the case, it is thought he may not be as good next year so the Phillies should trade him now.  J.A. Happ encountered the rookie curse after being traded to Houston where he has performed very poorly since a sparkling rookie campaign.

If Worley is traded now, while he is performing well, certainly he will be worth more.  However, if Worley continues to excel from now until the end of the season, he will be worth just as much in a trade during the offseason, before he has a chance to suffer from the sophomore slump.

With this in mind, it makes sense to keep him for the year, especially with the news on Blanton.

The Phillies could use an upgrade in the form of a right-handed bat, but losing Worley seems to steep a price right now.  If the Phillies could get Hunter Pence, Domonic Brown would be a better trade piece, along with some prospects.  Pence would be under team control, like Brown is now, and both the defense and offense would improve.

There are a number of other possibilities as well.  But if Worley goes in exchange for a right-handed bat, where would that person play?  Brown needs playing time if the Phillies plan on keeping him and developing him.  The rest of the positions seem pretty well set for the year, barring further injuries.

There is another option as well.  The Phillies do not have to make a trade if the right situation does not present itself.

The offense has improved since the All-Star break and bench players like John Mayberry Jr. and Michael Martinez have shown promise.  Mayberry is a power right-hander and Martinez is a switch hitter.  Also, Ben Francisco is batting .353 as a pinch-hitter.

Whether the Phillies decide to make a move or not, hopefully, Worley will be staying in Philadelphia…at least for now.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Have A Power Outage As Opening Day Creeps Nearer

On Tuesday, the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 4-3 behind two Ryan Howard homers and a nice start from pitcher Joe Blanton.  Blanton’s ERA is now 3.86 for the spring and as usual, he remains pretty consistent.

However, today against the Braves, the Phillies offense experienced a power outage, going down in flames against the Braves by a score of 0-8.  The Phillies offense managed only 3 hits the entire game and two of those came from 3rd baseman Placido Polanco.  Polly is batting .410 for the spring so far and has looked very impressive at 3rd base, despite the transition from 2nd.

JA Happ started the game and allowed 4 runs in 5 innings on 6 hits and 3 walks.  Not a characteristic outing for Happ, but other pitchers struggled as well.  Danys Baez allowed a run on 2 hits and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning.  Ryan Madson followed later with a 2-run inning in the 9th.

What does all this mean?  Nothing really…just that Spring Training is getting long and the players are just as ready for it to be over as the fans are.  Still, I thought maybe Happ may need some cheering up after today’s rough outing so I decided to give him a make-over….or two or three….Happ hair.jpg

Personally, I think he pulled off the Jayson Werth crazy caveman style quiet well.  And if this does not cheer us all up, I may have to resort to funny hats next…you have been warned ;o)

And the countdown continues…

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Photoshopping by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

Complications

Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick are making the competition for the 5th starters spot a bit complicated.  Both have performed well.  And yesterday against the Orioles in his first “A” game start, Moyer made the decision even more complex by pitching 5 innings of one run ball.  If the race remains close throughout the next few weeks, odds are that Moyer will get the nod based on experience and payroll and Kendrick will begin the year in the pen.  But, as happened with Chan Ho Park and JA Happ last season, the roles could be flipped if Moyer falters.


P7098599 Hamels.jpgThen today against the Yankees, Cole Hamels ran into a few complications of his own.  Hamels has pitched well this spring…that is, until today.  Giving up 6 earned runs over just 4 innings, Hamels got spanked by the Yanks.  That brings his spring ERA to 4.91, which is not too awful.  Plus, these games do not count anyway.  Should we be worried about Hamels after one bad outing?  Probably not.  If it stretches into 2 or 3 bad outings, then we’ll talk.

What is not so complicated now is the Opening Day pitching roster.  Having sent lefty Mike Zagurski to the minors, there are exactly 12 healthy pitchers remaining: Starters Roy Halladay, Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ and Kendrick or Moyer.  The pen will be Ryan Madson, Danys Baez, Chad Durbin, Jose Contreras, David Herndon, Antonio Bastardo and then either Kendrick or Moyer.  If the Phillies pick up another piece along the way, this can change, but odds are this will be the pitching staff.  Of course, once Brad Lidge and JC Romero are ready, more changes will be made.

On the offensive end, there was an odd standout performance today.  Hawaiian born 3rd/4th string catcher, Dane Sardinha, previously of the Tigers, went 2 for 4 against the Yankees with 4 RBI on a 3-run double and a solo homer.  The unlikely performance came from a guy who hit .097 with the Tigers in 2009 and was arrested for a DUI in Clearwater, FL last month.  Like Tiger Woods, I suppose he is making his case for forgiveness ;o)

Those four runs today helped the Phillies to the 9-7 9th inning comeback win over the Yanks.  Wilson Valdez, another non-roster invitee like Sardinha, knocked a 2-run homer for the walk-off win.  Next up: Tampa Bay on Tuesday and the Braves on Wednesday…

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Photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

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