Tag: Scott Podsednik

Phils undefeated and hopeful they did not use up all their Halladay and offense for the next four days or so in the same game

The best news of all from the Opening Day win for the Phillies is that changing the calender from 2011 to 2012 apparently hasn’t made Roy Halladay any less fantastic. Halladay looked exactly like the best pitcher in baseball yesterday. He needed just 92 pitches to throw eight shutout innings, leading the Phils to a 1-0 win over the Pirates.

Going back to his last start of 2011, game five against the Cards, Halladay has thrown 16 innings in his last two starts and allowed one run. The Phillies have scored one run in those games.

In yesterday’s game, he allowed singles to the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first inning. After that, Halladay threw eight shutout innings in which he didn’t allow a hit or a walk, but hit two batters.

Jonathan Papelbon looked rather impressive himself in his Phillies debut. Pitching the ninth with a one-run lead, Papelbon faced three hitters and set them all down on a strikeout and a pair of ground outs.

The defense was good. The Phils turned a big double-play behind Halladay in the bottom of the first after a couple of hits. Wigginton made a pair of nice plays at first. So what could possibly be wrong?

Well, after a Spring Training dominated by worries about how the Phillies will score runs, they came out on Opening Day and managed just one. The bigger problem for the team is not what they did yesterday, but what they look likely to do tomorrow. And the day after that and the day after that. And how they’re going to win when they don’t get eight shutout innings from their starter.

Still waiting on that one.

The Phillies are 1-0 on the year after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 yesterday afternoon.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing two singles. He didn’t walk a batter. He hit two and struck out five.

Lefty Alex Presley led off the bottom of the first for Pittsburgh and singled into center. Righty Jose Tabata was next and singled as well, on a swinging bunt down the third base line that put men on first and second for righty Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen grounded to short with Rollins going to Galvis and Galvis relaying to first to complete the double-play. Two down and a man on third for switch-hitter Neil Walker. Walker flew to left to leave Presley at third.

Nice first touch of his career for Galvis as the Phils turn a big double-play on McCutchen.

Lefty Garrett Jones grounded to second for the first out of the second. Righty Rod Barajas was next and dribbled to Halladay for the second out. Lefty Pedro Alvarez flew to center on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 third, getting righty Clint Barmes to pop to third, the pitcher Erik Bedard swinging and Presley on a ground ball to second.

Tabata led off the fourth with a ball hit to Rollins. Rollins fielded and threw to first, where Wigginton came off the bag nicely to tag and get Tabata for the first out. McCutchen was next and Halladay drilled him with a 1-2 pitch. Walker followed and hit a ball well to left that Mayberry took at the warning track. McCutchen was way off of first and had to go back, putting a man on first for Jones with two down. Jones grounded to first, leaving McCutchen stranded.

Nice play by Wigginton starts the frame with an out. The McCutchen hit-by-pitch breaks up nine down in a row for Halladay.

Halladay struck out Barajas and Alvarez both swinging to start the fifth. Barmes was next and he hit the ball well to left, but Mayberry took it going into the wall to end the inning.

Second time in two innings the Pirates hit the ball well to left, but Walker and Barmes both go down with no damage done.

Halladay had thrown 62 pitches through five innings.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth, getting Bedard on a soft fly ball to center and Presley and Tabata on a pair of ground outs.

The Phillies led 1-0 when Halladay started the seventh. He struck McCutchen out swinging 2-2 for the first out and got Walker and Jones on ground outs.

Halladay started the eighth after running the bases in the top of the inning, which he had started with a leadoff single. He got Barajas on a popup to second for the first and Alvarez on a fly ball to center for the second. Barmes was next and Halladay hit him 1-2, breaking Halladay’s sting of 13 in a row. Lefty Nate McLouth hit for the pitcher Chris Resop with two outs and a man on first. Halladay struck McLouth out swinging 1-2 to end the inning with Barmes at first.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils still up a run. He threw ball one to Presley, but came back with three straight strikes, getting him swinging 1-2 for the first out. Tabata grounded softly to third for the second out. Papelbon got ahead of McCutchen 0-2 and McCutchen hit a ball to third. Polanco fielded and threw to first, where Wigginton again made a nice play, holding the bag to get the out and end the game.

Ten pitches in the game for Papelbon.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Erik Bedard went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Wigginton (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Victorino leads off against the lefty with Pierre on the bench. Mayberry starts in left and Wigginton at first, which is what you would expect, despite ugly Spring Trainings for both players. Galvis makes his debut, starting at second base for the sidelined Utley. Polanco hits second in the order, which is too high. In his final 406 plate appearances of 2011, Polanco posted a 243/304/287 line. Four places where the Phils have big offensive holes in the lineup — second, third, left and first. Against a lefty, they at least have a shot at approaching league average production in left and at first. Less so at second and third. Should be at least a little better against lefties for the righty Polanco. We’ll see how the splits for the switch-hitter Galvis look.

The Phillies start the game with a bench of five left-handed hitters — Nix, Pierre, Thome, Orr and Schneider.

Victorino was the first hitter of the year and he popped to shallow left for the first out. Polanco flew to center for the second before Rollins bunted for a single. Pence lined to center to leave Rollins at first.

Rollins bunts for a hit out of the three-hole and it works beautifully.

Wigginton led off the second and hit a ball up the middle that the second baseman Walker handled behind the shortstop side of second. Walker threw to first and Wigginton was called out on a very close play at first, which Manuel argued without success. Mayberry was next and he singled into right. Ruiz followed, coming off of a monster Spring Training in which he hit 479/500/771. He blooped a single into right, putting men on first and second for Galvis’s first career at-bat. Galvis grounded into a 6-4-3 double-play on an 0-1 pitch to end the frame.

Wigginton looked safe to me. Would have changed the inning significantly, given the two hits behind him. Also, he’s really, really slow to make it as close as it was. That took a long, long time to develop.

Halladay led off the top of the third and struck out swinging. Victorino struck out looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Polanco grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

The Phils went in order in the fourth. Rollins popped to second, Pence grounded to third and Wigginton flew to left.

Mayberry struck out swinging 0-2 to start the fifth. Ruiz was next and singled on a ball deflected by Barmes at short. Galvis was next and grounded into a double-play again, this time to third, to set the Phillies down.

Ruiz 2-for-2 in the early going. Galvis 0-for-2 and twice grounded into a double-play.

Halladay struck out to start the sixth, but Victorino followed and walked on five pitches. Polanco flew to center for the second out. Victorino stole second as Rollins took strike one, but Rollins popped to short to leave him there.

Pence flew to center to start the seventh. Wigginton was next and hit a ball hard into center for a single. Mayberry followed and hit a ball into right that rolled into the corner for a double. Wigginton, who’s really slow, moved up to third. Ruiz was next and flew to right, not too deep, and Tabata took it coming in for the second out. Wigginton tagged from third and slid in just ahead of the tag from Barajas, putting the Phils up 1-0 with two down and a man on second for Galvis. Galvis grounded to short to end the frame with Mayberry at second.

Golly on Wigginton not scoring from first on Mayberry’s double that rolled into the corner. Nice job to score on Ruiz’s ball to right. Galvis did his best to hit into another double-play, but it’s not his fault if the Phillies don’t have a runner on first.

Halladay hit for himself to start the eighth and singled to right off of righty Chris Resop. Victorino showed bunt early in the count before striking out for the first out. Polanco walked on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Rollins. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch hard, but it was snared by a leaping Walker at second for the second out. Resop struck Pence out swinging 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Halladay hits for himself up 1-0 in the eighth to lead off the inning having thrown 79 pitches in the game. Really not a fan of the idea that Victorino would try to bunt Halladay to second with the first out.

Righty Juan Cruz started the ninth for Pittsburgh. He got Wigginton on a ground ball back to the mound for the first out and struck Mayberry out for the second. Ruiz was next and he singled into right for his third hit of the day. Galvis nearly bunted for a hit with a pretty ball down the right field line, but it finally rolled foul. Cruz struck Galvis out swinging 2-2 to leave Ruiz at first.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a bunt single and three men left on base. He lined hard to Walker in the eighth.

Pence 0-for-4 with a strikeout and three men left on base.

Wigginton was 1-for-4 with a single and scored the only run of the game. Didn’t score from first on the double from Mayberry, but did tag and score on the ball hit by Ruiz. He also made a couple of nice plays at first, one to handle a throw by Rollins and another on the throw by Polanco to end the game. Should have had another hit in the second on the ball he hit up the middle (and yes, he’s really slow, but, in his defense, he was also really safe at first).

Mayberry was 2-for-4 with a double and struck out twice.

Ruiz 3-for-3 with a sac fly that brought in the only run of the game.

Galvis was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and five men left on base. He hit into two double-plays. Defensively was part of the big double-play in the first inning that helped keep Pittsburgh off the board.

Cliff Lee faces righty Jeff Karstens on Saturday night.

For lovers of #DIV/0!, the Start Log for 2012 is up. Third straight Opening Day start for Halladay with the Phillies — in those starts he has combined to throw 21 innings and allow two runs.

This suggests that Scott Podsednik is likely to report to Triple-A rather than retire.


News bittersweet as Phils win, but pleas to extend Spring Training by like 120 games or so fall on deaf ears

Phils topped the Pirates 7-2 last night in their final game before opening the regular season on Thursday. They end their official Spring Training games with a 14-16-4 mark.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was fantastic, throwing four shutout innings in which he allowed three hits, no walks and struck out five. In seven Spring Training starts, Hamels threw to a 2.93 ERA with a 1.19 ratio.

Bastardo started the fifth, throwing on back-to-back days. He faced three batters, got two of them and allowed a single to the other. Herndon took over with two outs and a man on first and allowed a double and a single to the first two men he faced before getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Bastardo ends Spring Training with an 0.81 ratio, but a 4.15 ERA. I feel pretty sure that if he keeps throwing to an 0.81 ratio, his ERA is going to be a whole lot better than 4.15. Last year, for example, his ratio was 0.93 and his ERA 2.64.

Herndon finishes with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. Opponents hit .288 against him, but in 16 1/3 innings he struck out 14 and walked just two.

Valdes threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Qualls threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Valdes will not make the team despite a 1.32 ERA and an 0.88 ratio and 14 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

Qualls 4.22 ERA and 1.03 ratio. Opponents hit just .179 against him, but he walked four in 10 2/3 innings.

Papelbon finishes with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. He held opponents to a .229 average, but walked five in 11 2/3 innings.

Polanco was 1-for-3 in the game and hit a three-run homer in the fifth. He ends Spring Training at 429/478/571.

Galvis had another extra-base hit, doubling in his only at-bat. 280/295/476 in 82 at-bats. He led the team with 14 RBI.

Nix also doubled in what was an awful spring for him. He was 1-for-4 with a double in the game and winds up at 208/300/264.

Ruiz was 1-for-2 with a double. 479/500/771 in 48 at-bats. .771? Yup. 23-for-48 with eight doubles and two home runs.

Mayberry ends his ugly spring with a good day, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 203/259/304. He gets a big do-over starting on Thursday — he and the Phils could both use it, cause they’re going to need him to not hit .203 with no power.

We’ll probably be seeing a lot of Wigginton in the early going, too. He was 0-for-1 last night to drop his line to 185/260/246.

Roy Halladay faces lefty Erik Bedard on Thursday.

Joe Savery made the team and so did Pete Orr. Podsednik (309/377/455) and Luna (302/351/528) did not. Neither did Raul Valdes.

Valdes was significantly better than his fellow lefty Savery this Spring Training. Valdes threw 13 2/3 innings with a 1.32 ERA and an 0.88 ratio while striking out 14. Savery threw to a 3.48 ERA with a 1.45 ratio and struck out nine in 10 1/3 innings.

Pierre winds up outhitting Podsednik. 377/433/426 in 61 at-bats for Pierre and 309/377/455 in 55 at-bats for Podsednik.

This says Stutes and Herndon will start the year with the Phils.

That makes 25.

Hitters (13): Ruiz, Schneider, Thome, Mayberry, Wigginton, Galvis, Orr, Rollins, Polanco, Nix, Pierre, Victorino, Pence.

Pitchers (12): Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Worley, Kendrick, Papelbon, Savery, Bastardo, Qualls, Stutes, Herndon.


And then there were Juan

This article suggests that Juan Pierre will start the year with the Phillies, Lou Montanez definitely will not and Scott Podsednik very likely will not.

Pierre had two hits yesterday, raising his line to 313/377/333 in 48 at-bats, as the Phils topped the Rays 2-1.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was very good, holding the Rays to a run over 5 2/3 innings on three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Evan Longoria homered off of him in the fourth. Hamels dropped his ERA to 3.42 with the effort.

Chad Qualls struck out Carlos Pena to end the sixth. Savery followed Qualls and threw two shutout innings in which he faced just seven batters, allowing a leadoff double to Elliot Johnson but getting the next three Rays to keep them from scoring. Savery has made six official Spring Training appearances and thrown to a 3.24 ERA with a 1.20 ratio and struck out nine in 8 1/3 innings.

Papelbon threw a scoreless ninth, dropping his ERA to 0.90.

Brian Schneider had quite a day, going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. His solo shot in the fifth got the Phils their first run. He doubled with one out in the ninth and Tuffy Gosewisch ran for him. Gosewisch would score the game-winning run on Hector Luna’s single to right three batters later.

It was Luna’s only at-bat of the day and the hit raised his line to 302/362/558.

Pierre was 2-for-2 in the game with two singles and a stolen base. Podsednik 0-for-1 with a strikeout — he’s hitting .347.

Orr started at shortstop and went 0-for-4. 294/351/431. Orr has appeared in 393 games in his career and made nine appearances at shortstop. Eight of the nine came with Washington in 2008.

Nix was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .186. Mayberry is hitting .188 after going 0-for-1.

The Phillies play the Yankees tonight with Bastardo expected to pitch.

Michael Stutes was scheduled to pitch in that game, but this article explains that he has stiffness in his right shoulder and it’s unclear if he will be ready for Opening Day.

If we’re guessing, my guess is he won’t.

So let’s review who might be on the pitching staff when the season starts. I think we can count on these guys: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Worley, Kendrick, Papelbon, Bastardo, Qualls. That’s nine.

My guess is that Contreras and Stutes won’t be on the active roster for Opening Day. The Phillies need at least two and maybe three more pitchers. Herndon seems like a very good bet to be one and I still think Raul Valdes with be a second. That makes 11, including two lefties in Valdes and Bastardo. Savery would be my guess for the 12th if the Phils start the year with 13 hitters.

On the hitters side, I think we should now be counting on these guys: Ruiz, Schneider, Mayberry, Wigginton, Galvis, Rollins, Polanco, Nix, Victorino, Pence, Thome, Pierre. That’s 12, leaving one or two openings. My guess is Orr is one of them and Luna would be my second guess if the Phils carry 14 hitters.

So I think there are nine pitching near locks and 12 hitting near locks. Herndon seems like just about a certainty. Valdes and Orr seem highly likely. That’s 24 and I think it leaves one slot for Savery or Luna, assuming that Contreras and Stutes are both not on the active roster to start the season.


Great Scott

Scott Podsednik had another big day yesterday, going 2-for-2 with a home run to raise his spring line to 362/423/532. This article points out the Phillies need to let Podsednik’s fellow left-handed outfield candidate Juan Pierre know Friday whether he’ll start the year on the 25-man roster or not. Pierre’s Spring Training line is at 289/360/311.

Yesterday the Phils topped the Pirates 5-4 on a walkoff homer by Podsednik in the bottom of the ninth.

Lee started the game for the Phils and was great. He threw six shutout innings, allowing two singles, a double and a walk while striking out three. He dropped his spring ERA to 2.49. Kendrick followed Lee, striking out two in a scoreless seven to keep his ERA at 0.00.

Bastardo started the eighth but couldn’t finish it. He walked the leadoff man and got the next two before an RBI-single by Nick Evans. Eric Fryer was next and he doubled home Evans. Stutes took over for Bastardo, but he gave up a double to the first man he faced. Fryer scored and Bastardo was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning, raising his ERA to 4.26. Papelbon threw a perfect ninth to drop his ERA to 1.00.

Podsednik was 2-for-2 with a walkoff home run, his first homer of the spring. Thome played six innings at first base, going 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Orr started the game at short and played five innings there. He was 2-for-4 in the game and his average is up to .311. Pierre is hitting .289 after going 0-for-1.

Polanco played third and went 1-for-3. He’s hitting 440/481/480 so far (11-for-25 with a double and no walks).

This article suggests there is mild concern about Bastardo’s velocity.

This says Jose Contreras will only pitch in minor league games the rest of Spring Training, which seems to suggest he many not be with the team to start the season.


Who is righter?

One other thing about Podsednik and Pierre. Given that either would be a part-time player who would play (hopefully) far more often against righties than lefties, the answer as to who would be the better match for the Phillies seems to have a lot to do with what the lefties do against right-handed pitching.

For their careers, their numbers are similar. Pierre has a 293/339/369 line against right-handed pitching while Podsednik is at 283/344/391. Pierre has hit for the slightly higher average, but Podsednik has offered more power and walked more. Against righties, Podsednik has walked in about 8.1% of his plate appearances while Pierre has walked about 5.7% of the time. Podsednik’s isolated power of .108 is considerably better than Pierre’s .076 against righties.

Pierre was absolutely terrible against righties in 2011, hitting just 264/296/325 against them over 536 plate appearances. A .296 on-base percentage with no power isn’t really what you’re looking for a left-handed corner outfielder against right-handed pitching. Pierre hit just .264 and walked in just 4.1% of his plate appearances against righties. Advantage Podsednik, there, who didn’t appear in the majors in 2011. In 2010, though, he hit them hard, putting up a 300/349/406 line against them over 445 plate appearances. 2009 he was good, too — 297/352/429 over 426 plate appearances.

The Phils played twice yesterday in split-squad action, beating the Braves and playing to a tie against the Rays.

The Phils beat the Braves 6-4.

Blanton started the game, allowing three runs over five innings. He allowed a solo home run to Matt Diaz in the second and a pair of runs on three singles in the third. That’s the first time Blanton has been charged with a run in official Spring Training action. In three starts he’s now thrown to a 2.70 ERA with a 1.10 ratio over ten innings in three starts. Herndon was next, facing four batters, retiring three and allowing a two-out homer to Uggla, upping his ERA to 1.69. Willis and Bastardo followed with scoreless innings. Qualls allowed a single and struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

Nice to see Willis put up a zero. He walked the first man he faced on four pitches, but got a fly ball and double-play behind that. Got his ERA down to 16.88. Bastardo has allowed one hit and no walks in four scoreless frames.

Rollins, Polanco and Thome (DH), all went 2-for-4 in the game for the Phils. Mayberry continued his hot hitting, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and getting his average up to .226. He’s 2-for-5 with two doubles and two walks over the last two days after a slow start. Podsednik had two more hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and upping his average to .333. He leads the team with four doubles.

The Phillies lost a late lead in the other game, allowing two runs in the last two innings as they tied the Rays 6-6.

Piniero started that one and allowed a run on two hits and a walk over two innings. He’s got a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio through three appearances. Purcey followed that with two scoreless frames, dropping his ERA to 1.80 in five innings. Elarton gave up three runs in the fifth on a double, two singles and a walk before coming back to throw a scoreless sixth. Coming off an awful outing, Horst allowed two hits in a scoreless inning in the seventh to drop his ERA to 6.75. Schwimer started the bottom of the eighth with a 6-4 lead, but allowed a run in the eighth and another in the ninth that allowed the Rays to tie the game at 6-6. Jordan Whatcott, probably not coming soon to a theater near you, took over for Schwimer with two outs in the ninth and a man on second and got a ground out to end the ninth.

Elarton came into the game having allowed just one run on one hit over six innings, but has now allowed four earned runs over eight innings (4.50 ERA).

Pierre played center field and hit leadoff, going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs. Frandsen went 0-for-3 at short and dropped his average to .174. Montanez went 1-for-3 in right and is now hitting .450 (9-for-20). Pete Orr was 2-for-4 with a double and is at .280.

The Phils play the Pirates this afternoon with Cliff Lee expected to pitch.

Halladay does not sound worried about his Spring Training results to this point. I’m not either. Halladay has thrown to a 10.57 ERA so far, but has also struck out ten in 7 2/3 innings.

Contreras threw a scoreless innings in a minor league game, allowing a single and getting three ground outs.

In this article, Manuel says there’s “a good chance” Utley will play April 5 against Pittsburgh. The article also suggests that Manuel thinks that Galvis can play second base in the majors. Let’s hope he doesn’t start against Pittsburgh on April 5. Galvis has a .639 OPS in 30 at-bats this Spring Training. In 2011, Wilson Valdez put up a .634 OPS for the Phils over 300 plate appearances.

Laynce Nix was scratched yesterday because of sore left ribs that continue to be thought of as not serious no matter how many times he’s scratched. Brown was scratched due to a stiff neck.


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