Chase Utley Will NOT Start on Opening Day

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If things do not get better for the all-star second baseman, Chase Utley will find himself starting off the 2011 season on the disabled list.

The Phillies organization has been keeping quiet about Utley. He has recieved cortizone shots and has not played a single game this month.

utley.jpgHe took batting practice Tuesday at Bright House Field, but remains unable to run or take fielding practice.

He has patellar tendinitis, chondromalacia and bone inflammation in his right knee. Nothing short of a miracle would get Utley heathy enough in the next 17 days to start opening day.

This means that Wilson Valdez will most likely be starting at the second base position.

 

wilson_valdez.jpgValdez has played in 15 games during spring training. He is batting an amazing .483, more than 200 points higher than he had in his 111 games last season with the Phillies.

Eagles

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Eagles Soar Over Texans

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Ryne Sandberg to Coach in Phillies Organization

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Ryne Sandberg is a name that is synonymous  with the Chicago Cubs; however after the organization went with Mike Quade to fill the open manager position, Sandberg left the Cubs and has joined the Phillies organization as a coach for the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (AAA).

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After being drafted by the Phillies with the 20th pick of the 1978 draft, Sandberg was traded to the Chicago Cubs where he played from 1982-1997. In this time he became one of the best second baseman in baseball history earning him an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

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The 10-time all-star will return to where he got his roots this spring as manager of the Ironpigs, taking over for Dave Huppert.

Sandberg is not new to coaching though. Last season with Class AAA Iowa, Sandberg accumulated an 82-62 record and was named Pacific Coast League manager of the year.

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This reporter sees this as only a positive for young Phillies' prospects like Dominic Brown (top-rated prospect in baseball) and John Mayberry Jr.

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The nine time Gold Glove Award winner and seven time Silver Slugger Award winner can certainly teach them to be well-rounded ball players

Bears Claw Away at the Eagles Defense

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 In a 31-26 loss, it should be said that the Eagles were simply out-played.

"We did not play to the best of our ability," said Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in a post-game interview.

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This proved true of both the offense and the defense. While Michael Vick threw his first interception of the year, which the Bears greatly capitalized on, the defense seemed to miss many tackles and leave receivers wide open.

In a game with as much hype as this one produced, one would think that while playing another playoff contending team that you would want to make a statement. The Eagles seemed flat, with the exception of a few plays

With a minute and 48 seconds remaining in the game, Michael Vick threw a perfectly treaded ball to tight end Brent Celek for a 30-yard touchdown. This gave the Eagles some light but it was soon taken away.

The Eagles tried to make it more interesting with an onside-kick attempt by David Akers from the Philadelphia 30. Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox leaped and recovered the kick at the Eagles' 43 and came down to the turf before appearing to place the ball on the ground. An Eagles player then scooped up the loose ball.

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The referee ruled that Knox had given himself up on the play by going to the ground and, with less than two minutes remaining, Andy Reid was unable to challenge.

The game was a real eye-opener. Things will definitely have to be changed for Thursday's game against the Houston Texans. We will see how the Eagles will respond with a short week to prepare.

Vick vs McNabb Part II

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In a huge division rivalry, the main focus of this game was Michael Vick vs. Donavan McNabb. In the first meeting this season, neither quarterback preformed well; however McNabb did walk away victorious.

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Vick made it clear that he and the rest of the Eagles team had come to play on Monday night. Vick was in true form throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns. He was 20 for 28 passing in the game and also ran the ball eight times for 80 yards and two more touchdowns.

Vick did have plenty of help as he spread the ball around a lot. The four of the touchdowns that Vick threw went to four different receivers and seven Eagles' players made at least one reception.

On the other side of the field, McNabb and the Redskins seemed to struggle the entire game.  McNabb went 17 for 31, throwing for almost 300 yards. He also threw for two touchdowns and three interceptions.

The game seemed as if it was going to be record-setting as the Eagles scored a remarkable 28 points in the first quarter. It was a complete devouring of division rival.


1 2 3 4 Tot
 
28 17 14 0 59
 
0 14 7 7 28


Vick's passer rating of 150.1 was the second straight perfect passer rating for the quarterback and it seemed to highlight the day. It also placed the Eagles back atop the National Football Conference East Division standings.

Doc Halladay Wins Cy Young

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Roy Halladay added to his already impressive season this week as it was announced that he is the recipient of the 2010 Cy Young Award. As if this season's performances were not enough, Halladay capped off the season by winning the award in unanimous fashion, only the 13th time in the awards history.

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Though Halladay won the award unanimously, it is not as if there was competition.

St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Adam Wainwright finished in second with 28 of 32 second-place votes.

Colorado Rockies' phenom Ubaldo Jimenez finished third in voting despite having a no-hitter early in the season. Jimenez was also named the starting pitcher for the National League in this years' All-Star game.

Florida Marlins' pitcher and National League earned run average leader Josh Johnson finished fifth in voting.

 

 The complete voting results are shown below, courtesy of the BBWAA:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Points

Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies

32

224

Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

28

3

1

122

Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies

4

19

8

1

90

Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves

3

13

4

39

Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins

5

5

9

34

Roy Oswalt, Houston Astros/Philadelphia Phillies

1

3

5

14

Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants

1

5

7

Heath Bell, San Diego Padres

1

1

4

Mat Latos, San Diego Padres

1

2

4

Brett Myers, Houston Astros

1

2

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants

2

2

Bronson Arroyo, Cincinnati Reds

1

1

Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants

1

1

 

The reasoning behind the Halladay pick is clear. Not Only did Halladay throw a perfect game in the regular season, but he also pitched a no-hitter in the playoffs, a feat never done by a pitcher before. Halladay led the National League in innings, with 250.2. Because he threw more innings, Halladay was able to make up for the fact that he didn't lead the league in ERA. At 2.44, Halladay finished behind Johnson (2.30) and Wainwright (2.42), but he threw a more innings than both of them.

It's also worth noting that Halladay spent half his games in Citizen's Bank Park, a hitter-friendly ballpark, whereas Johnson and Wainwright spent half his games in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Despite this disadvantage, Halladay still managed to win a league-leading 21 games.

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It's the second Cy Young Award of Halladay's career, as he also won in 2003 with the Blue Jays. This means that Halladay joins another exclusive club, pitchers who win Cy Young Awards in both the American and National leagues. Others on this list are: Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Gaylord Perry.

Giants Stand Tall Against the Phillies in Game 1

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If I could punch one person in the face everyday, there would be no doubt who would recieve today's hit: San Fransisco Giants' outfielder Cody Ross.

This is not for any peronal reason. I have never met the man. This would be just because of his preformance during the first game of the 2010 National League Championship Series that took place Saturday night.

 

cody ross.jpg In a game that was being forshadowed as a pitching duel between two previous Cy Young Award winners (Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay), Ross stole the spotlight.

 

halladay and lincecum.jpgWith one swing of the bat, not only did Ross snap Halladay's 34-at-bat streak of not allowing a hit, he put an end to the hitless game that Halladay was throwing. But mainly, it gave the Giants a 1-0 lead on the road in a crucial opening game of the series.

He retuned to the plate in his second at-bat for a repeat preformance. With a 3-2 count, after a called ball that appeared to be the third strike, Ross hit another homerun to the same section of the stadium.

"Yeah, I did [think it was a strike]," Halladay said to reporters after the game. "But that's part of it. There were obviously calls that they wanted, too. It's part of the game. If you don't get a pitch, you have to make a pitch on the next one."

 The 4-3 loss has now put the Phillies in uncharted waters. They are now losing a playoff series for the first time since the 2007 National League Divisional Series. Before Saturday, the Phillies had won the previous seven consecutive postseason Game 1s.

Despit that, the Phillies look to tie the series as Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 8:03 at Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank Park.

NLDS: Phillies vs Reds

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Does good pitching beat good hitting? That has been the qustion asked of this series.

As the Philidelphia Phillies three remarkable starting pitchers (Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels) took on this year's best hitting team in the majors, it is clear that great pitching is unbeatable.

The Cincinnati Reds, who led the league in multiple batting catagories, were help to only eleven hits in the three game series. The eleven hits is the fewest allowed in a division playoff series ever

PHILLY'S PHANTASTIC PITCHING
Fewest hits allowed in a Division Series:
H Year Team Opp. AB AVG R
11 2010 Phillies Reds 89 .124 4
13 1998 Yankees Rangers 92 .141 1
14 1996 Braves Dodgers 95 .147 5
14 1999 Yankees Rangers 92 .152 1
15 2009 Angels Red Sox 95 .158 7

The no-hitter that was thrown by Halladay on Wednesday night was only the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history. It was also the second no-hitter of the season for Doc Halladay.

 

roy-halladay-perfect-game.jpgHe always says, "Lead by example." This was definately the way to do it. After seeing this tremendous preformance the other starting pitchers knew what they had to do. 

In game three, Cole Hamels tossed a complete game shutout allowing only 6 hits and not allowing a single run to score.

Oswalt did struggle in his start though but the bullpen stepped up and cmae through to get the win. although the Reds did score 5 runs, only three of which were earned.

 

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The Phils will have to wait a few days to see who they will face in the next National League Championship but they seem to remain cool and collected.

It seems like behind the solid pitching and great hitting, The phillies could earn two more champaign baths this year on the way to winning another World Series

Eagles Week Four: Vick vs. McNabb

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