Tag Archives: Darin Ruf

Up and Down Phillies Fall to Rockies Despite Revere’s First Career Homerun

28 May

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

 

Ben Revere gets his first career home run in loss to Colorado.  Photo by Webster Riddick.

Ben Revere gets his first career home run in loss to Colorado. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—Any optimism from the Phillies rout of the Colorado Rockies on Monday night was soon gone and forgotten after Tuesday night’s lackluster performance.

Reverting back to the team that fails to get timely hits and has a bullpen with a bad habit for turning small deficits into even larger ones, the Phillies found themselves on the bad end of a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Rockies in front of 23, 159 fans at Citizen’s Bank Park.

The Rockies broke a 1-1 in the top of the seventh on a three-run home run by catcher Willin Rosario off Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels, who had been pitching well coming into that inning. He started the inning by getting the dangerous hitting Troy Tulowitzki to ground out to third.

Hamels then gave up walks to Corey Dickerson and Michael Cuddyer. After getting first baseman Justin Morneau to fly out to center, Rosario swung at Hamels first pitch and knocked it into the seats in right field.

“It was just a poorly executed pitch,” Hamels said. “(Rosario) is an aggressive hitter. I know he’s swinging and I have to be able to make that pitch.”

While Rosario’s home run was the decisive blow of the game, it probably shouldn’t have come down to that because the Phillies offense failed to come through when it mattered most.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Phillies had the bases loaded and nobody out, but failed to score a single run. The Phils inability to come through in what could have been a big inning was a huge momentum killer.

“We wanted to come away with at least one run there and possibly more,” said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. “With (Ben Revere) and he happened to get a pitch inside there and he hit it to the defense. It’s just something about getting the job done in that situation. We’ve talked about that approach the pressure is on the pitcher. We’re to get one run in first before you get two or three.”

The Phillies got their only runs of the game on a pair of solo home runs. The first came in the fourth inning from first baseman Darin Ruf. The second came from a player least likely to knock the ball out of the park—centerfielder Ben Revere who homered to right in the bottom of the seventh inning.

It was Revere’s first career home run and it took 1,466 at-bats in the major leagues to get his first round tripper. The homer by the diminutive centerfield was the lone bright spot of an otherwise terrible performance by the Phillies.

“It was definitely good getting that monkey off your back, I guess,” Revere said. “My game is mainly hit line drives and hit a ball on the ground. I get into a lot of trouble when I hit the ball in the air. At least that time, it went over the fence. I was hoping we would have won the game.”

Revere’s home run cut the deficit to 4-2 coming into the eighth inning. Unfortunately, the Phillies bullpen gave up two more runs. Phils reliever Jeff Manship gave up a triple to Rockies pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge and an RBI double to centerfielder Drew Stubbs, who later scored on an RBI ground out by Brandon Barnes.

“(Manship) is our guy in the eighth right there,” Sandberg said. “The guy has got to step up.”

Phillies Notebook: Utley Trade Rumors Not True

28 May

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

 

With the Phillies struggling, there is speculation that the Phillies could trade second baseman Chase Utley by the July 31trade deadline.

With the Phillies struggling, there is speculation that the Phillies could trade second baseman Chase Utley by the July 31trade deadline.

PHILADELPHIA–Despite rumors to the contrary, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told the Philadelphia media before Tuesday’s game, the team has no interest in trading second baseman Chase Utley.

“First off, no one wants to trade Chase Utley and no.2 I don’t think Chase Utley wants to go anywhere and he has the power to decide what he wants to do,” Amaro said. “The point is kind of moot. The same with Jimmy. The same story.”

The website, Rant Sports, recently reported the Yankees were interested in Utley in exchange for some top-rated prospects and a mid-level veteran.

Amaro said those rumors happen all the time because the Phillies (22-26) are not in first place. Utley is currently batting .337 with four home runs and 25 RBI. His contract runs to the end of 2015.

Sandberg open to Platooning Howard and Ruf

In Monday’s win over the Colorado Rockies, Ryan Howard had a breakout performance with five runs batted in and three hits after batting just .088 in his last 10 games coming into the game and hadn’t hit a home run since May 8.

As much as Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg would like to keep Howard in the lineup just to keep his groove going, he rested Howard Tuesday and replaced him at first base with Darin Ruf in order to give him some time with a lefthanded pitcher on the mound for the Rockies.

“I’ve been looking for a day to give (Howard) a break. He’s played a number of games in a row and he had a real good approach against a right-handed pitcher (Monday) and I was happy with that,” Sandberg said. “I want to give Darin a chance against a left-hander with four right-handed pitchers in a row after that.

“After a big game like that, sometimes it’s a good time to give a guy break, make it a positive and let (Howard) build on that against the right-handed pitching that’s coming up after tonight’s game.”

Sandberg said if Ruf, who bats right, can be productive at hitting left-handers on a consistent basis, he will be open to platooning Howard and Ruf against right and left-handed pitchers.

“If it happens to work, it’s an opportunity to have a lineup like that that produces, it becomes an an opportunity and a possibility going forward just to get some consistency in the offense against right and left-handed pitching,” Sandberg said.

“If it’s effective and if it works, maybe it’s a positive for two players. It’s a positive for the team, but that’s yet to be seen. (Tuesday) is an opportunity to take a look at that.”
Sandberg may have to at some point. Ruf homered in tonight’s game.

There’s seems to be a belief on the Phillies (22-26) that if they can just somehow put every aspect of their game together on a consistent basis, especially the offense, they can contend for a division title.

“It’s hot, it’s cold, but at some point we can get scalding hot,” Howard said after Monday’s game. “For as hot and cold as we’ve been all year, we’re still not out of it. That’s the bright side of things. If we can get on a good streak, we’ll be right there.”

Franco Not Ready for Prime Time Just Yet

Maikel Franco needs more time at Triple-A Lehigh Valley to get ready for MLB competition according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

Maikel Franco needs more time at Triple-A Lehigh Valley to get ready for MLB competition according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

Even with starting third baseman Cody Asche on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said rising prospect Maikel Franco, who missed a couple of games with a respiratory illness, is not ready to come up from the Triple-A Lehigh High Valley Iron Pigs to the big league ball club just yet.

“He’s just not playing good enough baseball yet, he’s not really ready to be a big leaguer yet. And he’s not feeling all that well,” Amaro said. “He played like he was sick yesterday. There’s no reason to bring Franco unless he’s ready to be a big leaguer as far as I’m concerned.”

So far this season, Franco is batting .231 with a .358 slugging percentage and a .311 on-base percentage with the Iron Pigs. In the month of May, the 21-year-old Franco is batting .291 with three homers and 12 runs batted in. He also has .384 on-base percentage and a .465 slugging percentage.

“Offensively, he’s made some adjustments, he’s made some improvements better than in the earlier part of the season, but he’s not really going on all cylinders now. We’re still contemplating it,” Amaro said. “If he was ready to be in the big leagues, he would be up.”

Off the DL: Halladay Has a Solid Outing in Phillies Win over Arizona

25 Aug

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday

Roy Halladay pitched well since going on the disabled list in May and earned his first win since April. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Roy Halladay pitched well since going on the disabled list in May and earned his first win since April. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—If you needed any indication that Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay was back to his old self after spending most of the season the disabled list, all you needed to do was see the standing ovation he got from fans at Citizen’s Bank Park after he left the field in the sixth inning.

Halladay (3-4, 7.81 ERA) didn’t perform badly for a guy who got the call to pitch for the Phillies late Saturday night.  He was supposed to be pitching in a rehab assignment for the Phillies Double-A affiliate in Reading.

“I was half asleep. I was more than happy to come back,” said Halladay, who had shoulder surgery. “Hotel phone was going off, my cell phone was going off. Everything was ringing. I didn’t know what was going on. It took me a second to figure out what was going.”

Facing major league hitting for the first time since May, Halladay allowed just two runs on four hits in six innings of work with two strikeouts and two walks.  He said the velocity on his fastball, which was mostly in the high 80s, but got up to about 90-91 miles per hour, will eventually come, but he wants his other pitches such as his sinker or cutter to be effective as well.

“I’m going to continue to throw fast balls, but I need to show guys early in the count that I’m throw something soft and put as much in their minds as I can early,” Halladay said. “If I go out there and show them that I’m going to throw all fast balls, they’re going to be on it. I’m going to have mix and match and change speeds as much as possible.”

The Phillies offense Sunday helped Halladay by giving him a whole lot of run support and some spectacular plays in the field as the Phils came away with a 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Things started a little shaky for Halladay, who gave up two runs in the first two innings on an RBI groundout and a sacrifice fly.  But after the second inning, Halladay settled down and didn’t allow a run for the remainder of the game.

The offense came through in a big way. They scored four runs in the first inning. Two of those came on an RBI double by third baseman Cody Asche. Left fielder Darin Ruf had a base loaded single that put the Phillies on the board.

John Mayberry Jr. added to the Phillies lead by blasting a two-run homer to left in the fourth inning. The Phillies added three more runs in the sixth to close out the scoring.

“We scored early and then in the middle and then late,” said interim manager Ryne Sandberg. “In our wins on the homestand here the guys are really coming through with clutch hits, situational hits and big hits with guys on base. I feel  like it’s getting contagious throughout the lineup now.”

Phillies newcomer Roger Bernadina had a couple spectacular plays in the field including robbing Diamondbacks third baseman Matt Davidson of a two-run homer  with a leaping catch at the wall. He also had a diving catch in the seventh inning that took away another hit from Arizona catcher Tuffy Gosewich.

“For a second I thought the ball was over my head,” Bernadina said. “I kept going when I crossed the warning track, I jumped and made a catch out of it.”

Added Halladay: “That was probably a game-changing play.”

For good measure, Bernadina was 1-for-4 with a double and two runs batted in.