Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mets Rookie Dominates Phillies In Shutout

GAME RECAP: Mets Embarrass Phillies 7-0

The Mets' bats may be starting to warm up. New York blasted four home runs Wednesday, including two from Lucas Duda and one from rookie starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard to complete a three-game sweep of the Phillies with a 7-0 win at Citi Field. Syndergaard showed all of the potential that made him the Mets' No.1 prospect. On the mound, Syndergaard tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings and struck out six. At the plate, he tied a franchise record for pitchers with three hits, including the first homer by a Mets pitcher in almost three years. The Mets banged 11 hits and seven runs off Phillies starter Sean O'Sullivan, who fell to 1-4. Syndergaard improved to 2-2, lowering his ERA to 2.55 through four starts. "When you go and have the stuff he's got and throw the ball around the plate, you're going to get a lot of outs," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "His two-seamer today -- he just learned it last week, and he got ground ball after ground ball with it." The Phillies limp back to Philadelphia, closing out a 10-game road trip with seven losses in their last nine games. "Yeah, it was really bad," Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis said. "We were playing really good. We had some tough games, like the [5-4 loss in 10 innings Tuesday]. But we're getting better, man. I think we're getting better. Hopefully, tomorrow we'll have a nice day off and come back."

  • O'Sullivan had been on a little roll entering Wednesday's start. He had allowed two or fewer runs in six or more innings in consecutive starts for the first time since April 2011, when he pitched for the Royals. But the seven runs Wednesday were the most he had allowed since he allowed seven in 2 2/3 innings on June 2, 2011. "Everything felt real flat from the get-go," O'Sullivan said. "I knew it was going to be one of those days when I'd have to grind out at-bats. Our bullpen has been pretty taxed lately, so I kind of had to bite the bullet."
  • Sandberg said he chose rookie left-hander Elvis Araujo to pitch in a high-leverage situation over left-hander Jake Diekman on Tuesday because Diekman was the Phillies' long man. Sandberg used Diekman in a mop-up situation Wednesday, when he pitched 1 1/3 innings. Diekman (7.00 ERA in 21 appearances) allowed one hit and struck out two. It was the third time in his last seven appearances he had not allowed a run.
  • The Phillies had just three extra-base hits in the series: two doubles and one triple. The Mets had nine, including seven home runs.
  • With one out in the fourth, Syndergaard launched a solo homer to deep center field off O'Sullivan for his first career big fly. Syndergaard also singled twice, making him the first pitcher with three hits and a homer in the same game since Randy Wolf in 2009. No Mets pitcher had homered in a game since Jeremy Hefner on May 29, 2012. "He's 6-foot-7, 245 [pounds]," Collins said. "We expect him to be able to hit it that far."
  • "They have the possibility of seven starters over there with [Zack] Wheeler and [Dillon] Gee. They throw arms at you from the start. No doubt about it." -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, on the daunting task of facing the Mets' rotation.
  • Hamels went 7 1/3 innings and gave up one run on six hits in his May 18 start vs. Colorado. Hamels also recorded seven strikeouts in the outing.
  • Hamels has been his best during night games this season, posting a 4-1 record and 2.09 ERA in seven starts.
  • Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has a .321 batting average in 56 career at-bats at Citizens Bank Park. That includes four home runs and eight RBIs.
  • When Bettis has started for Colorado, the Rockies are 3-0 on the season. That includes a 6-5 victory over Philadelphia on May 19.

The Phillies will host the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday to kick off a three-game weekend series between the two National League foes. The opener will mark the fifth meeting between Colorado and Philadelphia this season, with the two splitting a four-game series last week. Cole Hamels is scheduled to get the start for the Phillies, and he has been impressive, posting a 5-1 record and 2.23 ERA in his last seven starts. Colorado will send out right-hander Chad Bettis after pushing back Jordan Lyles' scheduled start. In his previous start against the Giants on Sunday, Bettis went 8 1/3 innings and surrendered only two runs on six hits for his first win of the season.


Rotation Shuffle – The Phillies tweaked their rotation for this weekend's series against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Cole Hamels and Aaron Harang will pitch Friday and Saturday, respectively, as scheduled, but because the Phillies do not play Thursday, they will skip Severino Gonzalez's turn in the rotation Sunday. Right-hander Jerome Williams will pitch Sunday's series finale instead. The Phillies also do not play Monday, so it is unclear if and when Gonzalez will slide back into the rotation.

Off Road Trip – It is hard to remember, but a little more than a week ago the Phillies opened a 10-game road trip with a victory in Colorado. It extended their winning streak to six games, their longest since they won seven consecutive games from Sept. 5-12, 2012. The streak gave the players in the Phillies' clubhouse a reason to feel good about themselves following an 11-23 start, which was the worst record in baseball and the organization's worst start since 1971. But the Phillies have lost seven of their last nine following Wednesday afternoon's 7-0 loss to the Mets at Citi Field. "Yeah, it was really bad," Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis said. "We were playing really good. We had some tough games, like the [5-4 loss in 10 innings Tuesday]. But we're getting better, man. I think we're getting better. Hopefully, tomorrow we'll have a nice day off and come back." But the good vibes certainly were harder to find as the Phillies cleared out the visitors' clubhouse. "Nope," Ryan Howard said, when asked for a comment about the series. Wednesday was the 19th time this season the Phillies have scored two or fewer runs. It was the fifth time they have been shut out. The Phillies are averaging 3.12 runs per game this season, which is the lowest average in baseball in a non-strike season since 1972, when the Angels (2.93), Rangers (2.99) and Indians (3.03) struggled more than these Phillies. The Phillies had trouble against the Mets' starters over the past two games. Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard allowed six hits and struck out six in 7 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday. Jacob deGrom allowed two runs on six hits and struck out nine in 7 1/3 innings Tuesday. "They have the possibility of seven starters over there with [Zack] Wheeler and [Dillon] Gee," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "They throw arms at you from the start. No doubt about it." The Phillies have lost 20 of their last 25 games against the Mets. They open a three-game series Friday against the Rockies, whom they split a four-game series with last week in Denver. "We started off the road trip pretty well," Sandberg said. "To lose the last four is not the way I would like to end the road trip, especially today. We play good baseball at home. We've rebounded at home, too. So hopefully that's the case starting this series." "It's kind of a blessing we have an off-day tomorrow," said Sean O'Sullivan, who allowed seven runs in 5 2/3 innings. "Hopefully, we can regroup."

No Midnight Ride For Revere – For now it looks like Ben Revere is remaining with the Phillies. The Angels acquired outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis from the Mets on Wednesday. The Phillies and Angels had been talking about a Revere trade for some time, sources had told The Phillies wanted at least one Minor League player in return, but the sides could not reach an agreement. The Angels are expected to continue looking for ways to boost their offense, so perhaps the Phillies and Angels will keep talking. The Phillies have been trying to trade Revere because of an imminent logjam in the outfield. Cody Asche is learning to play left field at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Right fielder Domonic Brown also is in Triple-A. Both are expected to rejoin the Phillies at some point, which means other players will have to move. The Phillies have committed to Odubel Herrera in center field, which has made Revere movable. Outfielder Grady Sizemore also could be an odd man out. He hits left-handed like Herrera, Asche, Brown and Revere. Sizemore entered Wednesday hitting .191 (25-for-131) with no home runs, six RBIs and a .472 OPS since Sept. 5, 2014. Nieuwenhuis had been designated for assignment on May 19. It only took the Angels cash to acquire him.

State Of The Minors – Players of the Week: Player C Gabriel Lino, Reading...Lino, 22, led all Reading players with a .412 average last week, collecting seven hits and five RBI in seven games. On May 22, Lino tallied a season-high three hits, including his third home run of 2015, while driving in two runs in a win over Portland. The following day, he went 2-3 with an RBI, making him 5-for-7 with a home run, three RBI, two doubles and a run in the first two games of the series. Lino recorded at least one hit in all but one of his seven games, pulling his batting average up more than 30 points over that span. The Venezuela native was acquired by the Phillies in a June 2012 trade that sent Jim Thome to Baltimore, and he was originally signed by the Orioles and Calvin Maduro. Pitcher - LHP Brandon Leibrandt, Clearwater...The 22-year-old southpaw is no stranger to awards this season, as this marks his second Minor League Player of the Week Award to go along with a Minor League Player of the Month Award for April. Leibrandt started two games last week, earning the win in both after two strong performances. On May 18, he held Brevard County to one run on five hits, striking out five and walking none in a complete-game effort. He then tossed 6.0 one-run frames against Palm Beach on May 23, giving him a 1.20 ERA (2 ER in 15.0 IP), 0.75 WHIP, 10 K, 0 BB and a .208 opponents average in the two starts combined. This season, Leibrandt has allowed two earned runs or fewer and pitched at least 6.0 innings in eight of his nine starts, and he currently ranks first in the Florida State League in innings pitched (59.0) and WHIP (0.88), third in strikeouts (52), fifth in wins (5) and 10th in ERA (2.29). Leibrandt was selected by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of Florida State University, and was signed by Aaron Jersild. Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 18-27, 5th place…The IronPigs clicked on all cylinders last week, winning a season-high six straight games before dropping a close 7-5 contest to Charlotte on Sunday. The six game win streak was one game shy of the franchise record, and since starting the season 6-20 Lehigh Valley has rebounded to go 12-7. Top hitting performers - SS Chase d'Arnaud played in five games, collecting seven hits in 18 at bats (.389) while driving in five runs. He had three hits on May 24, one of which was his first home run of the season…OF Brian Bogusevic clubbed two home runs including a grand slam, and drove in a team-high six runs during the week…INF Cord Phelps hit an even .300 with a .391 OBP and five runs scored. Top pitching performers - LHP Joely Rodriguez had his best start of the season on May 21, holding Charlotte to just four hits over 7.0 scoreless frames. Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his last two starts…RHP Seth Rosin appeared in three games out of the bullpen, and made quick work out of the opposing hitters in all of them. He pitched at least 1.2 innings in all three appearances, allowing just one hit and no runs in each…LHP Cesar Jimenez converted all three of his save opportunities, tossing a scoreless inning in each of them…RHP Dustin McGowan also was 3-for-3 in saves, striking out four in 4.1 scoreless innings. Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division … 23-19, 3rd place… Reading did not have the best start of the week, dropping two straight to New Hampshire, but they rebounded to win four of the next five to pull four games over the .500 mark. As has been true most of the season, the Fightins' success lives and dies with its pitching. In their last five games of the week, they held opponents to only eight total runs (1.6 per game) as opposed to 10 runs allowed in their two losses to start the week. Top hitting performers - 1B Brock Stassi played in all seven games and led all Reading players with eight hits. Two of those hits were home runs, helping Stassi to a .615 slugging percentage and 16 total bases…2B Brodie Greene recorded hits in all but one game during the week, raising his average nearly 20 points in six games. He hit .389 with a double, two walks and two runs scored…C Gabriel Lino hit .412 (7-for-17) with a home run, five RBI and a 1.118 OPS, earning himself Phillies Minor League Player of the Week honors…OF Roman Quinn hit his third home run of the season and tallied 10 total bases. Top pitching performers - RHP Zach Eflin pitched a career-high 8.2 innings in his start against Portland on May 22, allowing only four hits and two unearned runs while striking out five batters…RHP Aaron Nola came within one of matching a season high eight strikeouts in his scoreless 7.0-inning, four-hit start on May 20. He is 6-3 with a 1.87 ERA this season …RHP Tyler Knigge pitched two games in relief, yielding only a hit and walk in 4.0 total innings…RHP Nefi Ogando also pitched 4.0 scoreless frames out of the bullpen, striking out three batters. Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 22-22,T-2nd place…Clearwater saw positive results last week, as they began and ended the week with a pair of wins. The .500 mark has been status quo for Clearwater for the better part of the season, but it may not take much more to remain high in the divisional rankings as the Threshers sit in a tie for second place just four games back of the Daytona Tortugas. Top hitting performers - SS J.P. Crawford tallied nine base hits in 24 at bats (.375) while reaching base at a .444 clip. He has multiple hits in 10 of his 17 games this season…C Willians Astudillo hit .350 with three runs scored and an RBI…CF Aaron Brown drove in a pair of runs, doubled and hit .318 with a .423 OBP in seven games. Top pitching performers - LHP Brandon Leibrandt started two games and was brilliant in both. He put forth a complete game, one-run effort in a win on May 18 over Brevard County, and followed that with 6.0 innings of one-run ball on May 23 against Palm Beach. Leibrandt was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season, with the first coming for the week of April 20-26…RHP Colin Kleven went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA (two ER in 12.0 IP), 0.75 WHIP and 13 strikeouts against just one walk…RHP Mark Leiter scattered six hits over 8.0 shutout innings on May 21, striking out six Palm Beach batters…RHP David Whitehead posted his sixth quality start this season with a 6.0-inning, one-run effort against Palm Beach on May 22…RHP Ulises Joaquin did not allow a run in two games and converted his lone save opportunity. Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division…21-21, 5th place… Lakewood lost twice to start the week, but then won four of the next five to climb back even at 21-21 for the season. Ranfi Casimiro set the tone for a strong finish with a seven-inning shutout in game one of a doubleheader on May 22, and the rest of the staff followed suit. The BlueClaws allowed only two runs in each of the next three games, and the team now ranks fourth in the South Atlantic League with a 3.24 team ERA. Top hitting performers - INF Damek Tomscha led Lakewood with nine hits and three extra-base hits as he hit .409 with a .985 OPS. He drove in three runs and scored another six in just seven games…INF Grenny Cumana batted .350 with three RBI, two runs, a double and a walk…1B Rhys Hoskins recorded seven hits and walked five times, helping himself to a .350 average and .462 OBP for the week. He had a double, triple, five runs scored and two driven in. Top pitching performers - RHP Ranfi Casimiro was awarded a complete-game shutout after going the distance in a 7.0 inning affair against Greensboro on May 22. He has allowed one run or fewer in four of his last five starts…RHP Alexis Rivero saved two games in two chances, tossing 4.0 scoreless innings in relief.

All Star Ballot Not Looking Good – The Phillies are going to have at least one All-Star, and it is likely to come from the pitching staff, but their position players are lagging behind on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.98 ERA), Aaron Harang (4-4, 1.93 ERA) and Jonathan Papelbon (1.42 ERA, 11 saves) each could make cases for themselves. The case is harder to make for Phillies position players, although Freddy Galvis is sixth among National League shortstops with a .709 OPS and Ryan Howard has played better recently, raising his OPS to .817. That is Howard's best production since 2011, his season that ended with a ruptured left Achillies tendon. No Phillies player is among the highest vote-getters in the first National League All-Star voting update. Fans can cast their votes for starters at and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots. Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info. Following the announcement of the 2015 All-Stars, be sure to return to and cast your 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities. The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit Upgrade – Today's schedule starts with a White Sox-Orioles doubleheader that makes up the games that were postponed last month in Baltimore, and then a Corey Kluber-vs.-Nelson Cruz matchup that headlines six more games to follow. Along the way, you are about to have another one of those MLB.TV moments that make you realize how far we have come since the first live video broadcast stream by a major sports league in 2002. Major League Baseball Advanced Media is introducing its new Web-based media player (version 5.0), for those who currently subscribe or those who sign up now for MLB.TV Premium ($114.99 a year or $24.99 a month) or regular MLB.TV ($94.99/$19.99). You'll notice the difference right away as the HD media player has an in-page layout, so it all happens in your browser with no need for an additional download. Corey Kluber, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, is back on track for the Indians after allowing only two runs in his past three outings. In his 10:10 p.m. ET start at Seattle, he'll face a lineup that is led by Cruz, who has 18 home runs, and now it'll be Cruz's move because the Nationals' Bryce Harper tied him atop the MLB leaderboard on Wednesday night. Want to watch Mike Trout and the Angels at the same time? In the new MLB.TV media player, there is a new game scoreboard that will make it easier to track scores of games happening around the Majors. Simplified user controls add to the fun of following those and other games, improving the user experience. A clickable linescore lets you jump between innings or to single-game highlights. The multi-view design provides an easy way to watch multiple games at once -- a key asset for Fantasy owners. You can watch highlights in a secondary picture-in-picture window. "It's a savior," said former All-Star right-hander Carl Pavano, now a busy father of three who uses his MLB.TV Premium subscription on multiple devices in South Florida to prepare in his role as a Marlins pregame and postgame analyst on Fox Sports South. "This really frees up more time. If you want to be active, go to a park in our neighborhood, T-ball games, you try not to take your attention from those, but in my line of work and with my history in baseball, it's important to me. It's nice having that connection wherever you go." From its now technologically archaic beginnings -- a 300K live stream to 30,000 viewers in August 2002 -- MLB.TV has charted a trail of "firsts" along the path to its place as the most widely distributed sports streaming service, covering nearly 30,000 games to millions of subscribers in that timespan. Among those subsequent mileposts were: First to stream its entire season (2003); first to wire its venues for TV-quality streaming (2005); first to use adaptive bit rate streaming (2008); first to stream live 720p HD video (2009); first to stream live games/subscription product to iPhone (2009); first live video on connected devices (2009); first to stream live games/subscription product to iPad (2010); first to stream live video to a gaming console (2010); first live games embedded on Facebook & Twitter (2011); first with live audio overlay technology (U.S. Patent Nos. 8,640,181 and 8,832,768), delivering the capability to switch the live audio feed on MLB.TV broadcasts from the TV to radio announcers without disrupting the live video stream (2012); and first to make a live video stream embeddable to any site on the Internet (2013). "MLB.TV is brilliant, especially for me here in the UK, where we have limited games on our TV," said Chris Bailey, a Giants fan and native Brit in Leicester, England, who is subscribing to MLB.TV for a third consecutive year. "I play Fantasy baseball and it is great for keeping up with your teams and how you are doing. I also love the in-game highlights that flash up, so if there are runs in another game, you can watch during innings of the game you are watching."

The Phillies are starting the season as expected and are now near the bottom of the NL east at 19-30. Given the departures, aging stars, injuries, and performance this spring, don’t expect their competitive place in the standings to last. All time, the Phillies are 52-46-0 on this day.

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