2012 Game Recaps

Watching Paint Dry As Pirates Win

Cliff Lee pitched well enough to win. The offense was on a different agenda. Source - MLB.com

What will go down in the books as a Joe Blanton loss actually had nothing to do with the Kentucky chubster.  The Phillies provided free baseball for everyone like it was treat.  Truth be told, this game should not have lasted this long.

Call it typical or what to expect this season from the Phillies, but the offense was just nonexistent tonight.  Seven hits over 10 innings is all this team could manage against a mediocre pitcher in Jeff Karsten.  Karsten went six innings, allowed only a first inning run and confused Phillies hitters all night.

What was also very confusing tonight was the strike zone.  Normally I will never mention this but there wasn’t one tonight.  The home plate umpire was all over the place.  Who knows, really, what effect this had on anything.  Cliff Lee pitched well enough to get a win tonight.  He went six strong innings struck out four and the only run surrendered was on a passed ball in the sixth inning.

Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco provided over half the offense tonight getting two hits each while Hunter Pence picked up the RBI in the first scoring the only Phillies run.  Lance Nix used his usual eyes closed, butt clinched style of hitting trying to crush everything.  Even his bunt attempt went a million miles into the air.

Freddy Galvis has yet to pick up his first Major League hit going 0-4 once again tonight.  It’s no secret he wasn’t brought up for his bat but he left four runners on and came up in some big time situations that would have really broken the game open.  Granted, he showed off his warning track power but like I said it’s not his bat that got him hear.

With that said, Galvis did make some nice plays in the field and the duo of him and Jimmy Rollins is looking smooth up the middle.

A big plus for the evening was the middle relief.  Kyle Kendrick, Chad Qualls, Michael Stutes, and Antonio Bastardo each pitched very well for their situation.  Bastardo did walk a batter on four pitches but induced an infield pop-up from the next batter.  Crisis averted.

Blanton was brought in to pitch the tenth.  Rod Barajas, who loves playing the Phillies, crushed a ball that hit off the front of the center field wall to start the inning and his replacement runner moved to third on a sac bunt.  A pseudo hit by pitch had runners on first and third with one out.

An infield fly to Glavis made it two outs.  Rookie Alex Presley then beat out an infield hit to score pinch runner Michael McKenry.  Boom.  Pirates win 2-1 and I just spent my Saturday night in with this.

Look, when Cliff Lee gives up only one run you say thank you.  You don’t dump all over it and not score any runs.  The Phillies offense, yes we know is going to struggle but, will need to step up this season.  This rotation will be great but will not do it all by themselves.

The Vanimal goes tomorrow in the final game of this series.  Go eat, go pout, but as always go Phillies!

Click to comment


  1. Jeff of Nova

    April 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm


    They should not be losing to the Pirates…. EVER. We have shown nothing at the plate and Charlie should be ashamed of himself…. being the hitting guru he is…. we have nothing. Why not start Thome at first shake the lineup a little, I mean the patience is not there, there is just nothing. Love the pitching staff hate the lineup, I mean I HATE the lineup, nothing scares me if I am a opposing pitcher… Our 3 hitter come on throw high fast balls and he will chase them all day, Lead off? Vic is less patient than Rollins at times. Pence has started in a slump, why well he has no one hitting around him. Mayberry I have a feeling is going the way of Ben Francisco:(

    Okay I vented lets go figure it out tomorrow…. should be 2-0

  2. Jeff of Nova

    April 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Interesting stat…
    We are tied for the least runs given up and tied for least runs scored….. my my my this is going to be an interesting year

  3. bacardipr05

    April 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    It blows i understand the offense aint the same but we have to do better than just 1 run..

  4. David

    April 7, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    The key AB was actually Laynce Nix striking out in the first inning with runners on first and third base. But it is curious to have Rollins lay down a sacrifice bunt with runners on first and second. There are two reasons why its curious. First, he has had success versus Karstens in the past. And, Rollins isn’t likely to hit into a DP especially batting from the left side. I would understand the strategy with someone else but don’t really understand it with Rollins.
    Then you had Nix sacrifice in the 8th or so and he pops out. I can’t see sacrificing as hard as Hanrahan throws. They brought him into hit. Just have to let him hit there.

    • Jeff Dowder

      April 8, 2012 at 1:14 am

      According to David Murphy, Rollins decided to bunt on his own…

      • David

        April 8, 2012 at 8:34 am

        I read in the Inquirer that Manuel gave him the bunt sign. Either way it is a horrible play. If your third place hitter is thinking bunt in the first inning he shouldn’t be hitting third.

      • EricL

        April 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

        If he’s bunting for a hit on his own it’s not quite as horrible a play. I’d still like to see the 3-hole hitter swing away there, but if he thinks he can get the bases loaded with no outs, that’s a little more acceptable. If he was given instruction by the bench to sacrifice then it’s an atrocious, indefensible play.

  5. Bruce

    April 8, 2012 at 12:59 am

    This is the kind of offense we were forewarned to expect without Utley or Howard. As Phillies manager, Manuel said in so many words, ‘smallball’ is the name of the offense and expect fundamental baseball that includes, sacrifice bunts, hit and run, aggressive base stealing, etc.

    What bother me about tonight’s game are the few lost opportunities to score. One specific moment in mind, is in that crucial 9th inning. Pirates have their reliever, Joel Hanrahan, a righthander, pitching. There are 2 outs; a runner on 2nd base. Ruiz is up at bat and you know they are going to pitch around him to get the “easy” out with the next batter, Galvis. Of course, Ruiz walks on 4 straight balls. Now comes the question, why did Manuel choose to have Galvis bat when you a lefthanded hitter, Pete Orr on the bench? Of course, Galvis kills the rally by striking out.

    Galvis continues to looked overmatched against major league pitching. Time will tell, how much patience Manuel will have with him if the offense continues to struggle. Good field-no hit players usually don’t last long in the big leagues. As I typed this, I’m thinking of Wilson Valdez’s contribution to the Phillies when he played exceptionally well (hitting and fielding) in subbing for the injured Rollins last season. If we had him today, Galvis wouldn’t be with the Phillies.

    Tomorrow is another day and we can only hope the offense can get a spark from one of the key players, Rollins, Pence, Victorino, Polanco, Ruiz or even Mayberry.Let’s go Phillies!

    • Jeff Dowder

      April 8, 2012 at 1:06 am

      Galvis is definitely in over his head, we sort of knew that coming in to the season. His career minor league numbers are even worse than those of Michael Martinez. I once thought the Freddy Galvis experiment might last until May, but I doubt he’ll be here by the end of the month.

    • Lefty

      April 8, 2012 at 9:02 am

      Bruce, Happy Easter sir.
      I have a disagreement with this statement –
      “Good field-no hit players usually don’t last long in the big leagues”

      On a team that hits well, you can afford one or even two of those types. Unfortunately, the way this team is presently constructed, mostly due to injury, and to some extent age, they probably can’t afford to keep a good field-no hit player.

      But in the past there are dozens, maybe hundreds of examples of light hitting key defenders that existed in lineups for long healthy careers. And what makes it more interesting is that they are usually shortstops, Galvis’ real position. Mark Belanger, Larry Bowa, Ozzie Smith, Omar Viquel, Dave Concepcion, Ed Brinkman- I could keep going on and on, these are all guys with career OPS in the .600’s who had long careers.

      I think it’s too early to say Galvis is overmatched as you and others have suggested. It may well turn out to be true, but after just 2 games? I think he deserves – well I don’t know how long, but longer than 2 games.

      • Jeff Dowder

        April 8, 2012 at 11:33 am

        My opinion on Galvis has nothing to do with these first two games, it’s his entire minor league body of work. Other than last year, the offensive part of his game was nonexistent. Even last season (dubbed by some as “his breakout season”), his offensive output was fairly mediocre. His minor career league numbers weren’t even as good as Martinez’s were, and we got a glimpse of how that translates to the big leagues. I feel bad for the kid, he’s been put in a position in which he has no chance to succeed.

  6. bacardipr05

    April 8, 2012 at 3:46 am

    It could be that so much talk about the offense or lackoff maybe its got to the players heads. To early to panic yet but we need more than 1 run. Not fair to the aces if the Phils cant score more than a run, Even without Howard or Utley you have Polly, Pence, Shane and J-Roll. One or 2 of these guys have to do something.

  7. bacardipr05

    April 8, 2012 at 3:49 am

    By this i mean Cholly and company are so convinced that no one can hit that he is over compensating.

  8. SavannahPhilliesPhan

    April 8, 2012 at 3:56 am

    This is going to be a very boring baseball year for Phillies Phans at this rate! What are these guys making $$$? And they can’t hit the ball….did I miss something?

    • EricL

      April 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Boring? Close games are anything but boring.

      Frustrating maybe, agonizing surely, disheartening at times, but boring they are not.

  9. Dave

    April 8, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Am I the only one who’s bored already after 2 games? This lineup is not exciting at all. In fact, it should be used in the new Slowski’s commercial to put junior to sleep! There’s not one hitter in our lineup that puts fear into an opposing pitcher.

  10. Brooks

    April 8, 2012 at 8:04 am

    So today we get a taste of what Worley will be doing for the Phils this year. Hopefully, Cholly has seen just enough of the Nix experiment to start using someone else, its only game 2 but he has shown nothing, nothing at all.. Let’s see more of Pierre. Lets see Pence relax good grief! Phils will need to score more than 4 today.

    Probably the most excited I got about the game was when Rollins bunted them over. The fact that nobody else could do anything is another story .
    The other atbats for Jimmy were wasted. He needs to learn patience as he was swinging at either the 2nd or 3rd pitch every at bat.

  11. George

    April 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

    It’s been TWO lousy games! It’s really way too early to be so pessimistic.

  12. JMills

    April 8, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I actually liked the bunt by Rollins. I have seen Jimmy pop up in those situations to many times. Lee had the guy struck out but the umpire changed his strike zone from the inning before. Nix’s strikeout was huge. Phils should have won 2-0.

  13. TheDipsy

    April 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Whats everyone complaining about? We knew the lineup was gonna suck and it does. We knew all the games were gonna pretty much like this one and the first two were. RAJ wants to mix and match journeyman and rookies until Utley and Howard come back – whenever that is – and this is exactly what you will get. I have no problem with JRo bunting for a hit at anytime or at anyplace in the order. We have no No. 3 hitter….just a guy who happens to be hitting third. Whatever it takes to get a run when Cliff is on the mound…..do it….please. This lineup reminds me a lot of the mid 80’s Cardinals – just without the speed. You know – the one where Tommy Herr batted third.

    The Dipsy

  14. branderson925

    April 8, 2012 at 9:46 am


    Yeah I’m that guy. I mean you did it twice so figured it wasn’t just a typo =]

    Dismal game. Oh well I’m in Sweden for the next four days so I could care less if the Phils only score 1 run a game until then.

  15. branderson925

    April 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Anyone else wondering why Blanton got the call anyway? Not really blaming him but I don’t understand putting him in the 10th. He’s our 4/5th starter…..right? I didn’t read anything about him starting the season in the ‘pen.

    • EricL

      April 8, 2012 at 11:52 am

      I don’t have a problem with using Blanton if it’s the 15th inning or whatever. He doesn’t pitch until Thursday which means he’d be going on full rest even if he had pitched a bunch of innings yesterday.

      My issue is…why the hell use him in the first place when you’ve got Savery and Herndon, both of whom are better pitchers, still in the pen?

  16. The Original Chuck P

    April 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

    You’re going to drop games… it’s the second game of the season. As long as Halladay, Lee and Hamels are doing their thing, we’ll be just fine. My panic meter is actually a notch lower after this game. Our 3-4-5-6 hitters left a lot of men on base (10 to be exact, including Thome, who batter for Nix)… we’re getting men on base, we just have to execute getting them home. It will get better.

    One thing that I’m still not thrilled about is this 1B platoon… if Wigginton and Nix aren’t going to produce as every day players, you might as well give Brown those at bats (he had the game winning hit for the Iron Pigs yesterday). Start Mayberry every day at 1st and Brown every day in LF. I’m going to keep saying it because I believe it – when you have a lineup that is built around zero production at first, you’re putting a lot of stress on the rest of your lineup. Eventually, we’re going to have to give Brown time to adjust as an every day player… why not now?

  17. bacardipr05

    April 8, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Branderson yea it was announced Blanton would be starting the year in the Pen. I think the reason given was to build up arm strength.

  18. TheDipsy

    April 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Wigginton and Nix need to go away.

    The Dipsy

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