Posts Tagged ‘Jayson Werth’
As a baseball fan and an aspiring journalist, I tend to let the two sides of emotion merge. As the Wilton Lopez trade fell through for the Phillies, the journalist in me was alive and well, just furthering on information and rather plain opinions. This morning, after three major moves by three division rivals, I let the other side, the Philly fan in me, take over.
This was my first tweet this morning upon hearing that David Wright had signed an extension with the Mets just days after the Braves signed B.J. Upton and the Nationals acquired Denard Span.
3 big moves by division rivals in 3 days. Hate to say it, but truth is truth, #Phillies are getting schooled to this point this offseason.
This was met with some rather intense feedback. But I’m not going to disagree with the people who responded on twitter calling me an idiot or saying I made no sense. I let the typical Philly fan come out in me and, for that, I was wrong.
You see, this is exactly how you should not act about all of this news going against the Phillies. Let’s examine.
Kyle Kendrick has been a different pitcher since nearly losing his job as the fifth starter after a poor start against the Braves. Tonight, he kept it going.
But when the Nationals were finally able to solve Kendrick and end his second lengthy scoreless innings streak of the season, the bullpen needed to be flawless.
With Charlie Manuel playing the matchup and making several pitching changes, they got the game into the hands of their closer, who was able to close out another game.
For a season with so much turmoil and disappointment, today may be the high point of the season so far. The Phillies are in sole possession of third place for the first time since April 12, six games into the season. They are working on a month with a winning record, something they haven’t done since May.
But if they want to keep both of those going strong, they will have to beat a tough Nationals’ team who has just found a way to win lately.
The Nationals have lost six games in August, one to the Phillies on August 1, and haven’t lost a series all month – if you don’t count the Phillies winning two of three from the Nats in a series that started on July 31. That includes an eight-game winning streak in the middle of the month, and a recent series win against the Atlanta Braves.
How are they doing it? A lot of it is luck, especially if you saw the way they won on Monday night in the 13th inning. But the Nationals have a healthy and powerful lineup led by Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse. Then add in the supporting cast of Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche. There is no easy out in the lineup.
The bullpen has been solid as well with Craig Stammen, Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard leading the way.
But the main reason is their starting pitching, and they have three good pitchers coming up in this series. Here are the matchups.
On a day when so much change was made by the Phillies, a day when they received more than they got, it was the end of the Phillies’ careers of two All-Star outfielders.
Shane Victorino played parts of eight seasons with the Phillies. Hunter Pence finished one season and started another as a Phillie, but never played a full season with the team.
After posting about the trades made yesterday and about the new faces in the deal, here is a look back at the Phillies’ careers of both.
Shane Victorino was a Rule 5 Draft pickup. Many of those never work out. Victorino was different. He was a rare prize in the Rule 5 Draft that panned out. In 2005, Victorino made his Phillies debut around the time of September callups. He hit his first home run as a Phillie in that stretch, but never started a game.
In 2006, Victorino started to see regular start time, but was always part of a platoon it seemed. He bounced around outfield positions filling in for Phillies starters Bobby Abreu, who was traded at that year’s deadline, and Aaron Roward. In 2007, he platooned in right field with Jayson Werth.
Finally, in 2008, Victorino settled into the centerfield spot for Roward, who left via free agency, and made it his own. It is still Victorino’s best offensive season to date. He hit a career-high .294 that season and won his first of three straight Gold Gloves.
But his real mark was in the 2008 playoffs. The 2007 Postseason featuring Victorino will likely be remembered as the groundout that ended the season. The Phillies were swept by the Rockies. Victorino just happened to be the final out.
In 2008, Victorino took two games to make an impact. After Brett Myers memorable walk off C.C. Sabathia, Victorino got the memorable hit off Sabathia.
His grand slam was the first of many signs that showed everything was going the Phillies’ way that year. Victorino also had two doubles that night.
In Game 2 of the NLCS, Victorino drove in four runs again and tripled in a 2-for-5 game against the Dodgers. But it was also Victorino’s leaping catch in center to end a threat in the seventh inning that may be most memorable.
Game 3 made him famous for his “you can hit me in the ribs but not the head” assertion to Dodgers’ pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda is now a pitcher with the Yankees.
In Game 4, hitless entering the eighth inning, Victorino provided the first short of magic that proved the 2008 season was really special.
His game-tying home run set up a dramatic finish at the very least. Victorino is sometimes put in a shadow for that game because of what Matt Stairs did moments later. But it took Victorino’s hit to give Stairs his moment.
In the 2008 World Series, Victorino only had five hits, including a two-run single in Game 5 (Part 1). But the best image of Victorino from that is after the final out, where a mic-ed up Victorino is shouting with joy as he races in from centerfield to join the pileup on the mound. (Clip of final out of World Series. Victorino part is around 3:50 mark)
Again, in 2009, Victorino’s playoff experience will likely be remembered more for what he ended than what he did. Victorino was the final out of the 2009 World Series won by the Yankees. Prior to the World Series, Victorino had 13 hits, three home runs and seven RBIs in the NLDS and NLCS. He had just four hits in the six-game World Series.
His production started to fade starting around the Postseason last year. He only drove in two runs in the NLDS, but managed to reach base several times, including getting two of the three hits Chris Carpenter allowed in his Game 5 three-hit shutout that eliminated the Phillies.
Ultimately, in a contract season, Victorino was having one of the worst seasons in his career by the numbers. It was a step back for the two-time All-Star. A fresh start in LA is probably good for him. New energy by being back in a playoff race and a new environment, essentially a new start for the outfielder.
Hunter Pence was thrown right into the middle of his first pennant race when he was traded to the Phillies by the Astros almost a year ago exactly, on July 29, 2011. Pence joined a red-hot Phillies team that steamrolled the Pirates in a weekend series. His first game with the Phillies hardly required an impact, but he did have an RBI single in the eighth inning for his first hit as a Phillie.
Two days into his Phillies career, he got a taste of what this great era of Phillies baseball was. After doubling in the 10th inning, he scored the winning run on Raul Ibanez’ walk-off single. That day it was clear Pence would not only fit in, but that he enjoyed the feeling of finally being a winner, and he was soaking it in.
The Phillies won their first eight games with Pence in the clubhouse. And when they finally lost that streak, they didn’t lose much after that, as they ran away with the NL East for their fifth straight title. When the division was clinched, it also sealed Pence’s first trip to the playoffs in his career. All eyes were on the centerfielder when the celebration began.
Perhaps Pence’s biggest hit that year was a little roller just out of the infield against the Atlanta Braves in the 162nd game of the season. It is that hit that led to the win that set the Phillies’ single-season franchise record for wins with 102.
The playoffs were a bit of a struggle for Pence. He had just four hits in the five-game series, despite driving in four runs in the series.
In 2012, Pence had to start the season in unfamiliar territory, as the cleanup hitter. Pence didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. He drove in runs to his usual capabilities and was right on pace with his averages for other seasons. But for a cleanup hitter, it was costing the Phillies.
Pence wasn’t so much an underachiever or traded because of poor play. He was traded because of value. He will be a superstar for years to come, and he will have better seasons that what fans have seen this season to this point.
His Phillies’ career is brief, lasting just over a year. But we’ll always remember those first moments with Pence, especially when he set off a new catch phrase less than 48 hours into his Phillies’ tenure. “Let’s go eat!”
Anything between these two teams has been anticipated for quite some time. For Phillies fans who didn’t make the trip to Washington, this is their first chance to see it firsthand.
The Nationals took the first series of this newfound rivalry in the nation’s capital at the beginning of the month, taking two of three games from the Phillies. The Phillies are still where they were then, stuck in last place. The Nationals have fallen from the peak of the NL East, but still sit a healthy second.
The Nationals are doing all this with a very banged-up roster. Out with injuries are Jayson Werth, Mike Morse, Wilson Ramos, Brad Lidge, Drew Storen and recent call-up Sandy Leon. The Nationals are very shorthanded, but they’ve managed to get quite a bit of production from what they have.
What they have is Ryan Zimmerman, out during the first series between the two teams, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Adam LaRoche and rookie sensation Bryce Harper. Leading the way in run production is LaRoche, who has a team-high seven home runs and 30 RBIs. His .313 average ranks second on the team behind only Steve Lombardozzi.
Harper has been at the center of several incidents between the two teams. The first involved Cole Hamels’ suspension as Hamels intentionally hit Harper with a pitch in the first inning of the May 6 meeting between the two teams. Today, Harper said he hopes to be booed by Phillie fans this week.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
Sometimes honesty is not the best policy.
Cole Hamels openly admitted that he intentionally hit Nationals’ rookie Bryce Harper which started a war of words between the Phillies and Nationals, mostly fueled by comments from Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo.
For his honesty, Hamels pays the penalty. Hamels was issued a five-game suspension and fined an undisclosed amount of money for his actions in last night’s game, which means he will not be starting on Saturday against the Padres as originally planned. But don’t think the Phillies can’t see their way out of this. They can actually completely avoid using a spot starter through Hamels’ suspension.
Hamels was scheduled to start Saturday on an extra day’s rest. That would mean Roy Halladay, tonight’s starter, can actually start on normal rest on Saturday with Hamels taking Halladay’s slot on Sunday. Five games for a pitcher is five team games, basically shorting the Phillies a pitcher in the unlikely, crazy-long, extra-inning game, but otherwise, just being without a pitcher who would have watched the game from the bench anyway.
Hamels is not appealing the suspension and just taking it as is. He will be back on the active roster and off the suspended list on Sunday, and therefore available to start without the Phillies having to shuffle their rotation completely.
Still, this does have implications on the future. Hamels is scheduled to face the Nationals on May 23 if the Phillies do start him Sunday. While he was supposed to face the Nationals, originally in the second game of that three-game series starting May 21, you have to wonder what will happen next time both sides are together on the field. With Jayson Werth’s lengthy recovery sending him to the DL, Bryce Harper will likely still be around as well.
Harper was thought to be heading back to the minors after Ryan Zimmerman came off the DL at some point later this week, but with an oufield spot open, Harper looks like he’s here to stay. In that case, expect him on the field when the Nationals come to town in two weeks.
At the very least, Hamels is handling his suspension very professionally. He knows what he did, admitted it and is accepting the punishment. For what it’s wort, it doesn’t seem like it will hurt the Phillies at all at the moment.
There are games where the Phillies offense completely baffles you, and then there are games like this. A patient, prepared lineup stepped to the plate in this game, which made it actually enjoyable to watch.
Lost in all of the run scoring is a different storyline, one I will try to address further in the coming days, but in the end, this game definitely had a little bit of everything.
So far in 2012, the Phillies’ ‘P’ stands for pathetic. It’s hard not to be baffled by the pure mediocre play that is on display on the field.
I’m going to start this recap with this little tidbit of information. The Phillies managed only five hits today. You figure out the rest.
To this point in the season, this may be the series Phillies fans have been waiting for the most. There are no real implications from any of these three games. But with all of the Nationals offseason stunts, including this ‘Take Back the Park’ weekend, this series, for fans anyway, has the feel of a rivalry.
The Nationals come into the series as the NL East leaders with a 16-9 record. They are 3 1/2 games above the Phillies.
The Phillies dodge a bullet in their offense, as Ryan Zimmerman is out on the DL. However, the guy they called up in his place hasn’t been too bad. The hotshot rookie Bryce Harper is definitely making an impact in his first few games. Add in young talent all the way around, like Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa. The Nats also have several wily veterans like Jayson Werth, Rick Ankiel and Adam LaRoche.
The Phillies draw a bit of a mismatch in terms of the pitching, at least from their starters. Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
It was just over a month ago when the Washington Nationals announced their plan to “Take Back the Park,” in an effort to keep Phillies fans out of Nationals Park. Well, it seems that one National believes the Phillies did the same thing.
Former Phillie Jayson Werth said that in 2007, Mets fans were outnumbering Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park, and that the Phillies nice long sellout streak has come courtesy of a similar promotion.