Tag Archives: Astros

Speaking of Utley…

From the 700 level:

Everyone Loves Chase Utley

And for a good reason.

Utley leads all NL players with 537,788 votes, and it isn’t even close. Utley is more than 100,000 votes ahead of the next most popular player, Astros first baseman Lance Berkman (329,723). But Utley is the only Phillies player leading at his position, which tells me that he’s getting votes from all NL precincts, not just Philadelphia.

>>Early All Star Returns [Scott Lauber]

3 in a row?

-Greg Berlin

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*Ahhhhhhhhh* – Phils take out frustration on Astros

Yes, I did think the Phillies would win today. No, I didn’t think Cole Hamels‘ start would yield a 15-6 shellacking. But, after bombs from Geoff Jenkins, Pat Burrell, and Chase Utley, that is exactly what happened. Hamels was off his game today. I’d like to blame the umps delay in the middle of Carlos Lee‘s soon to be three-run jack at bat, but that would be a little too homerish. Hamels simply didn’t pitch well. He seemed constantly behind batters, had a high pitch count early, and his ball to strike ratio was poor compared to usual (85-49 PC-ST). 6 earned runs in 4 innings. Unexpected after a scoreless streak of 19 straight innings. I’m not worried, however. These games happen to the best of them.

Not strong on the mound, Hamels was 2 for 2 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI. Go figure. Well, actually, Hamels is hitting .345 on the season (damn!). Hamels RBI hit came in the 4th, making it 5-4 Astros. Michael Bourn added one in the bottom half of the inning, and the game remained extremely frustrating through the 5th.

Come the top of the 6th, the Phils ripped off the chains of frustration that have held them back the last 2 games. 5 runs in the 6th and then 6 in the 7th. Final score, 15-6. In short, did not see that coming.

A couple points of intrigue concerning Charlie Manuel: 1) WHY OH WHY is Carlos Ruiz bunting up 4 runs? Ruiz stuck out on a foul bunt. 2) WHY OH WHY is “SlowTaguchi pinch running for Pat Burrell? Charlie has got to stop with this. It was the 7th innning and the Phils only had a 2 run lead at that point. I don’t get it. Taguchi ended up waltzing home. Certainly Burrell could’ve done the same. Oh, Cholly.

I’m back to DC tomorrow. Phils are off to Colorado to try to finally win a game against the Rockies, six 7 months late.

By the way, I am not going to miss the Astros. They are an extremely pesky team. Also, that stupid train is only cool until it’s tooting after a Carlos Lee home run.

-Greg Berlin

Major “doo-dooing” in Houston

Brett Myers lived up to his words tonight. He threw “doo-doo” like usual. 6 innings, 4 ER, 8 hits, 4 BB, 2 SO. Something needs to happen. I don’t care if it’s a trip to the phantom DL or a stint in the minors or a trade. This can’t continue. The Phillies are not going to compete for the division with Jamie Moyer as our second best pitcher. Myers is losing trade value daily. He’s still most attractive as a closer, and many teams could use him.

Ryan Howard is a Beast. He moon shot to right-center propelled the Phils to a 3-2 lead in the 3rd. But Myers couldn’t hold back the ‘stros. Carlos Lee‘s second RBI hit of the night (3 total) tied the game in the bottom of the 5th and Mark Loretta‘s single in the bottom of the 6th gave the Astros the lead. That would be all for the night for both teams.

In the 9th, the Phillies squandered a great opportunity to tie the game – for the second night in a row. Tonight, with the bases loaded and one out, Shane Victorino hit a shallow fly ball to left. Pedro Feliz was sent after the catch. A perfect throw by Darren Erstad completed the double play and ended the game (upon which point I promptly stormed out of the stadium.)

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Houston telegram

The Beast lives, in Houston.

An interesting place down here – perhaps more interesting if the Phils were able to pull off the win last night. Luckily, the Beast was not in attendance just yet. That’s for tonight and tomorrow, my second consecutive Brett Myers and Cole Hamels starts. Perhaps this time it will be 2 for 2. Taking 3/4 from the Astros would make for a rather successful trip to the Lone Star state.

Off to the pool.

Chase Utley is already at the park.

-Greg Berlin

Around the Beast

Nationals 5-Brewers 1

Jeff Suppan pitched well for Milwaukee until the sixth, when the [long-absent] Washington offense came alive. After J.J. Hardy mishandled a double-play ball, the Nats broke through, scoring on doubles by Ryan Zimmerman and Jesus Flores and on a Lastings Milledge sacrifice ground ball. Wily Mo Peña his his first home run of the year earlier in the first inning, and Suppan drove in the Brewers’ only run of the game.

Odalis Perez pitched well for the Nationals (5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 84 P) but left with a no-decision. Brian Sanches, just called up from Triple-A Columbus, struck out the side in the sixth and was credited with the win. Saul Rivera, Luis Ayala, and Jon Rauch closed the door for Washington.

Rockies 5-Mets 4 (F/13)

The Mets dropped their fifth straight game as Matt Holliday hit a walk-off single in the 13th off of Aaron Heilman after homering off of Billy Wagner in the ninth to tie the game (Wagner’s second blown save of the year). It was a back and forth game as neither team dominated on the mound.

Oliver Perez was all over the place for the Mets, going 5 innings allowing 6 hits for 4 earned runs, walking 8 and striking out only 2, and allowing a home run on 110 pitches (just 56 for strikes). Rookie starter Greg Reynolds never dominated for the Rockies, going 6 full innings allowing 4 earned runs on 4 hits, walking 3, striking out 5, and allowing 2 home runs on just 84 pitches thrown. He left the game after allowing back-to-back home runs to Carlos Delgado and Fernando Tatis (who replaced the injured Marlon Anderson) in the 6th.

Driving in runs for the Mets were Luis Castillo, Delgado, Tatis, and Jose Reyes, who got in the home plate umpire’s face after being called out on a very low strike three in the 13th. Garrett Atkins, Clint Barmes, and Holliday drove in runs for the Rockies.

Astros 5-Phillies 4

Brandon Backe was superb for the Astros, giving up just one run in 7.1 innings pitched, striking out 6 and walking one. Adam Eaton didn’t pitch terribly for the Phillies (7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO,2 HR, 96 P), but couldn’t keep the ball in the park, giving up two home runs to Hunter Pence.

Also driving in runs for the Astros were former Phillie Michael Bourn (who also stranded three on base), and Carlos Lee (his 36th of the season). For the Phillies, Pat Burrell homered in his second-straight game and Pedro Feliz and Jimmy Rollins also drove runs in.

Diamondbacks 11-Braves 1

Doug Davis returned from cancer surgery in unbelievable fashion, shutting the hot-hitting Braves lineup down for 7 innings, allowing just one earned run on 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4 on 89 pitches. His team responded, taking batting practice off of Jo-Jo Reyes (5.0 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 3 HR) and Chris Resop (2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR).

Homering for the D-Backs were Stephen Drew, Eric Byrnes, Conor Jackson, Chris Young, and Mark Reynolds. Whew. Kelly Johnson drove in the only Atlanta run of the night.

Giants 8-Marlins 2

Scott Olsen finally came back down to Earth, surrendering 5 earned runs off of 8 hits in just 3.1 innings pitched, walking 3, striking out 2, and allowing a home run on 81 pitches. Olsen drops to 4-2. He was relieved by Doug Waechter, Renyel Pinto, and Tyler Tankersley, who all pitched much more effectively. Dan Uggla homered for Florida (his 15th of the year) in the ninth, driving in both Marlins runs of the evening.

Barry Zito finally got his first win of the season, giving up just one earned run in 6.1 innings of work, walking 4 and striking out 5. Bengie Molina and Jose Castillo homered for the Giants. Aaron Rowand drove in three runs, and Rich Aurilia drove in two more for San Francisco.

Brett Carroll had to leave the game in the fourth inning after separating his right shoulder. He’ll be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

 

Around the Beast

Braves 4-Mets 2

Atlanta starter Tim Hudson pitched masterfully, surrendering just 2 earned runs in 8 innings, striking out 4 and walking none on 100 pitches. Hudson got the win and is now 7-3 on the year. His only mistakes came in the second inning, when he served up home runs to Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

The Mets needed Johan Santana to pitch a gem, but their ace didn’t come through, allowing 3 earned runs on 12 hits in 7 innings on just 90 pitches, walking none and striking out only one. He drops to 5-3 on the season.

The damage came in the 7th, when Beltran misplayed a ball hit by Kelly Johnson, leading to RBIs by Omar Infante (who had been 0-19 against Santana), Chipper Jones, and Mark Teixiera. Willie Randolph didn’t take Santana out of the game, and the inning was only finished by a beautifully executed 1-6-3 double play.

Talk about teams headed in different directions; the hot-hitting Braves have won four in a row and are crusing while the mediocre Mets have lost 7 of 10 and are reeling.

Phillies 7-Astros 5

The Phillies scored early but almost blew it in their first game of the year at Minute Maid Park. Starter Kyle Kendrick did not pitch a great game, giving up 5 earned runs on 8 hits in just 5 innings of work on 91 pitches, walking one and striking out 2. But Astros ace Roy Oswalt was not much better, also giving up 5 earned runs on 11 hits in 6 innings of work, walking 2 and striking out 4 on 95 pitches.

Ryan Howard had a very good night, going 3-5 with a home run (his 14th) and 2 RBIs (and 2 strikeouts, as well). After the Astros had tied the game in the 6th, Pat Burrell hit a go-ahead pinch-hit home run in the 8th off of rookie Wesley Wright. Also driving in runs for the Phillies were Carlos Ruiz, Pedro Feliz, Geoff Jenkins, and Chase Utley (his 33rd of the year). Chad Durbin picked up his first win of the year, and Brad Lidge notched his 12th save of the year, this one against his former team.

Driving in runs for the Astros were Berkman, Brad Ausmus, Ty Wigginton, and Geoff Blum. Wright took his second loss on the year.

Marlins 4-Diamondbacks 0

The red-hot Marlins completed their sweep of the Diamondbacks in an outstanding performance by young Andrew Miller, who shut Arizona out in 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, striking out 9 and walking just one batter on 107 pitches. Miller, who picked up his 4th win, was opposed by Dan Haren, who allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, striking out 8 and walking none on 94 pitches.

Wes Helms drove in two on a pinch-hit double in the 7th to drive Haren from the game. Jorge Cantu also drove in two runs for the Marlins.

 

Beast goes to Houston

I’ll be in Houston this weekend watching the Phils take on the Astros.  I get to see Brett Myers take on Brian Moehler Saturday night and Cole Hamels take on Chris Sampson on Sunday afternoon.  I’ll be updating throughout the weekend and I’ll be sure to post pics of the Phils in Texas.

As for tonight:  Kyle Kendrick takes on Roy Oswalt in the first of a four game set.  Kendrick is coming off a virtual non-start in the rain-delayed game against the Blue Jays on Sunday.  Kendrick ended up only pitching 1 inning because of the break in action.  In his start before, however, he went 6 innings, allowing only 3 run.  The Phillies have won six of nine starts with Kendrick on the mound.

Who knows what we’ll see from the Phillies bats this weekend.  All I know is that Lance Berkman scares th *&^% out of me.

-Greg Berlin