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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.

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

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

Phils Go Four in a Row

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For the fourth consecutive year the Philadelphia Phillies have clinched the National League East pennant. This comes after trailing by seven games earlier in the season.

In a season plagued with injuries where every starting position player went on the disabled list, it seemed improbable  that the Phillies were a championship-contending team; however, the mid-season call-ups and bech players stepped up and filled the roles nearly to perfection.

Wilson Valdez stepped up nicely while both Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins were injured this season. Not only did Valdez deliver a solid defense but he also brought the lumber. While batting .257, Valdez gained 84 hits bringing in 33 runs.

Greg Dobbs, Ben Fransisco, Cody Ransom, Brian Schneider, Paul Hoover, and Mike Sweeney. These are all names that you would think of first when thinking of Phillies players. Nonetheless, all of these players contributed to the team's success by coming off of the bench or filling in for an injured starter.,

Another contributor to the late success of the Phillies is Dominic Brown, Once named the top prospect in all of baseball, Brown finally got his call to the big leagues due to an injury to centerfielder, Shane Victorino. In Brown's 31 games he racked up an average of .211 while belting two monsterous home runs.

But despite having the number one prospect in all of baseball playing in the organization, the big story for the Phils this year was pitching. The offseason addition of pitcher Roy Halladay was the greatest acquisiton in baseball.

Not only did Halladay toss a complete game shutout to clinch the division, but he also became the first Phillies pitcher to win 20 games in a season since Steve Carlton accomplished the feat 24 years ago. To top off this amazing season, the southpaw also threw nine complete games, three of which were shutouts, as well as a no-hitter.

It would seem that behind solid pitching of Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt that the Phillies could be an unstopable force in the playoffs. As long as everyone stays heathy and continues playing the way they have been lately, there could be a repeat trip to the World Series.

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