Hamels Eight Innings Strong, Phillies bats show up for Once

The Phillies silenced the Natitude tonight in a 9-3 victory, Cole Hamels pitched wonderful.

The Nationals picked up an early run in the bottom of the first inning by some great base running from Bryce Harper, he was on third base and he basically stole home on an attempted pick-off play to first. Just the luck of this Phillies season.

The Phillies bats got going in the top of the fourth inning, the Phils scored three runs in the inning, two off of a Hunter Pence home run and one more off of a Placido Polanco RBI single up the middle.

Cole Hamels pitched a pretty marvelous game as usual, I always have liked watching Hamels pitch and I sure hope we can sign him long-term. Hamels pitched eight strong innings and only allowed one run off of five hits. Hamels even  got a hit in the game and drawed a walk. Maybe Hamels should bat in this lineup every night, he was more productive than some these Phillies bats I see on other nights. Don’t take that last sentence seriously guys.

The Phillies would push across six insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to basically give the Phillies the victory and silence the Natitude. Hunter Pence hit his second home run of the game in that outburst of an inning.

Brian Sanches pitched the ninth inning for the Phillies and thank goodness we had a big lead because it was a little shaky out there for the reliever. He allowed two runs but would eventually get the final out of the inning and give the Phillies their fourth victory of the year.

Former Phillie Jayson Werth left the game in the top of the sixth injury with what looks like a wrist injury. He was trying to dive for a ball and he hurt the wrist on the play. It was a really hard replay to even watch.

The ESPN network I think wants to have a make out session with Bryce Harper or have some alone time with him. The three idiots in the broadcasting booth were foaming of the mouth about him all game long. I was about to throw up or I was going to throw my tv in the pool.

The Phillies next game is tomorrow night against the New York Mets, this will begin a six game home stand for the Phillies. This home stand the Phillies will play the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and the Houston Astros. Perfect teams for this offense to maybe get the bat on the ball and chalk up some runs.

Some Other Notes

Ryan Howard is progressing well in Florida. Is expected to intensify workouts this week, Which means hitting, running and weight-bearing exercises.

Kyle Kendrick will once again return to the bullpen because Cliff Lee is back in the starting rotation and will start Wednesday against the New York Mets.

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Offensive Woes

Well everybody kind of knew going into this season the Phillies weren’t going to come into ball games and score 10 runs every nite, if that could happen for the Phillies sports would sure be a more enjoyable event to watch but we do not have that type of offense as of right now, we have a real frustrating offense to watch that can’t really do much at this point early in the season with Howard and Utley on the disabled list, it is not time to panic just yet but things aren’t looking to good.

It seems like this year for the Phillies the name of the game is to bunt the ball a lot, over the past weekend in Pittsburgh the Phillies lost the series to the Pirates on two walk offs, But I sure saw a lot of bunting going on over there in the Steel City from the team in Red, one time I recall we had runners on first and second with the number three batter up in the order which happened to be Jimmy Rollins and he bunted the runners over, I really dislike having the number three batter in the lineup bunting at all but I guess to watch this team I’m going to have to get used to it this year. I remember a couple of years ago when the Phillies would just tally up runs in a heartbeat and blast home runs, you can’t take times like that for granted because now we have a team that can hardly chalk up one run.

Having an instant out at the top of the lineup does not help matters either, I have nothing against Juan Pierre as a human but as a baseball player I really dislike his winkey dink type of play, Pierre basically hits bloop singles and then gets caught stealing about 70 percent of the time. Pierre is a really fast player but he is a horrible base stealer because he can’t figure out how to get a lead off of first. A key to base stealing is getting a good lead, there is so many players that do not have the speed of Pierre but can steal bases because they understand how to get great leads, something that they need to teach Pierre but it’s really late to teach him at this point as he is in his 13th season as a player. The only real point to Pierre is his speed but if he can’t even steal bases with all of that speed then I would get rid of him. Just to add-on to my little Juan Pierre tirade, Pierre has a horrible outfield arm, probably couldn’t even throw out Bengie Molina trying to score on a single from second base, I have seen little league players with better arms.

If I was the skipper of the Phillies and had to construct a lineup I would not even put Pierre in the lineup, this would be the lineup and a brief reason why I would put them here.

1. Jimmy Rollins

Always been that lead off guy for the Phillies and he can get on base, also nows how to steal bases. He can get hits and also has some power, can pop the ball out of the ballpark.

2. Placido Polanco 

The perfect guy to bat second because he almost never strikeouts and is one of the best contact hitters in the game, can produce hits and set it up for the power hitters in the lineup.

3. John Mayberry Jr. 

I would put Mayberry in the third spot because he has the power to hit balls out of the ballpark as he showed last year, last year Mayberry blasted 15 home runs in his most productive year of his career. Now can someone explain to me why a guy who hit 15 home runs last year was sitting on the bench last weekend in Pittsburgh so we could have little wimpy Pierre in the lineup? The Phillies have only hit one home run so far this season but we bench a guy who hit 15 home runs last year? Juan Pierre only has 16 home runs over his 12 year career.

4. Hunter Pence

As long as Pence is with this team I sure hope Pence is always in the cleanup spot in this lineup, he can hit homers and bats in a ton of runs over the long season. I really don’t know how he hits some of these balls that are out of the strike zone but he is sure fun to watch, Pence has the only home run this season for the Phillies.

5. Shane Victorino 

Victorino is fast, can hit, and hit some home runs over the course of a season, I would put him in the fifth spot to and some speed in the middle of  lineup and also get on base for the batters later on in the lineup.

6. Ty Wigginton/ Jim Thome

I would have either Wigginton or  Thome in the sixth spot, whoever is playing first base that particular day always batting in the sixth spot. Thome can not play every single day but when he does play he still has some power in him to put balls into the seats, Wigginton is a great player to have on your team because he can play every where and produce some hits, he is no Babe Ruth but his bat can make contact with the ball.

7. Freddy Galvis

Galvis was able to get his first career Major League hit yesterday against the Marlins, his double also scored two runs and that ended up being the only runs the Phillies scored in the ball game, hopefully this sparks some offense out of Galvis. Galvis has not proven a lot so far so that is why he bats 7th.

8. Carlos Ruiz

I would bat Ruiz 8th because he understands national league baseball, he understands how to try to turn over the lineup so the pitcher does not lead off the next inning. This is very important because if you can’t turn over the lineup your sure going to have a lot of first outs in the next inning over the season.

9. Pitcher

Other than Cliff Lee there is not a lot of pitchers who can hit the baseball.

I just have never liked Juan Pierre and would defiantly not put him in this lineup at any point in time, I cringed when I heard the Phillies gave him a contract. I just really hate is style of play he brings to the ballpark every single day, yes he is fast and gets little singles but I just can’t stand seeing him play the game of baseball.

I really don’t see this lineup produce much offense until Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are back, you kind of take for granted the offense until one of your big stars or out with injury and your offense is just sputtering around. I don’t know about you but for me watching this offense is one of the most frustrating things ever, they can never get the leadoff batter on base and it seems like all of the rallies so far this season have come with two outs, sure would be a lot more fun if we could get those same rallies with no outs and chalk up some more runs on the board, our pitching is going to have exactly no run support with Howard and Utley out.

That is just me but if you would like to voice your opinion on what lineup you would like to see from the Phillies, feel free to post it in the comment section.

Game Story and Other Notes From Today’s Phillies 11-7 Lose

Vance Worley who will start the third game of the regular season in Pittsburgh a week from Sunday took the hill today against the Minnesota Twins. Worley got hit early just like in his last performance, Worley allowed a leadoff double to Joe Mauer and then the next batter was Justin Morneau and he crushed a two run home run. Twins would add two more runs in the bottom of the second off of an error on Worley and a sacrifice fly.

Twins would have a seven run bottom of the fourth inning.

It was safe to say Vance Worley did not have a good day, Worley pitched four innings today and allowed 6 earned runs off of 11 hits.

Hopefully Vance Worley can get these bad days out the way and not have these type of games during the regular season.

Raul Valdez and David Herndon both worked out of the pen today and did not allow anymore runs.

The Phillies would finally get some offense going in the top of the third when ShortStop Jimmy Rollins got a RBI single, Phillies would get the bases loaded with one out but could not capitalise on it. The Phillies have had so many opportunities this spring just like this and have failed to capitalise, this is really starting to worry me. You can’t just keep stranding all of these runners in the regular season or we are not going to win ball games.

Phillies would keep eating away at the Twins lead the rest of the game but would eventually run out of innings, Phillies would score a total of seven runs off of 15 hits today, in fact the Phillies had more hits then the Twins today. They just need to convert the hits into runs.

Some Other Notes

Jose Contreras pitched in a minor league game today, he pitched one inning and he gave up one run off of two hits.

Right before todays spring training game the Phillies announced they have signed veteran Infielder Joe Thurston to minor league deal. He is headed to minor league camp.

I know this is still spring training but this Phillies offense is about a code 5 on the worry scale. The Phillies pitching this season might have to pitch scoreless games every night for the team to even have a chance to win the game.

Phillies next spring training game is tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Rays in Clearwater Florida, Cole Hamels will be the starter and will make is final start of spring training.

We are just eight days away from opening day for the Phillies in Pittsburgh.