Monday, July 30, 2007

Phils Sweep Bucs; Make Trades

The Phils swept the Pirates in a weekend series at the Cit House and made a couple of moves to bolster their chances to at least keep pace with the Mets until Chase Utley gets back.

The Phils bashed the Pirates in this series, outscoring them by a total of 23 - 7 for the series. On Friday, Jamie Moyer was the beneficiary of a lot of early run support and the Phils trounced the Bucs 8 - 1 in a rain-shortened 7 inning tilt. Pat Burrell had a homer and 3 RBI to provide the offensive punch.

Saturday saw JD Durbin get in some early trouble, falling behind 5 - 2, but the Phils tacked on 8 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and came away with a 10 - 5 win. Chris Coste struck a big blow in that most productive inning with a 3-run homer.

Kyle Kendrick was the hero on Sunday, holding the Pirates to 1-run on 6 hits as the Phils completed the sweep with a 5 - 1 win. With the score 3 - 1, pinch hitter Chris Coste came up in the 8th inning and salted away the win with a 2 run single. We lost another key player for the year in this game, as Ryan Madson went down with what is being termed as a strained shoulder. Furthermore, it is the same exact muscle in his shoulder that Brett Myers injured earlier this year. Not quite as big a blow as losing Chase Utley, but bad nonetheless.

The Phils start a road trip tonite at take on the Cubs at Wrigley. Cole Hamels is pitching tonite, so I'll definitely make an extra effort to tune in.

New Phils

Pat Gillick made some moves over the past 72 hours that I think can help the ballclub until Utley can get back to the lineup and he may not even be done yet.

Last Friday, he got 2B Tad Iguchi from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Mike Dubee. I was a little surprised by this trade, because I thought the Phils would be comfortable taking their chances with Abe Nunez playing 2nd until Utley got back, but apparently, the White Sox were so willing to part with Iguchi, they accepted virtually anything (which describes low-to-middling minor league pitcher Mike Dubee perfectly) to dump salary and make room for highly touted 2B prospect Danny Michar. Iguchi should be able to admirably fill in until Utley can make his return. Good deal, in my estimation, by Gillick.

Today, in a bit of a surprise, the Phils acquired starting pitcher Kyle Lohse from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitching prospect Matt Maloney. It's a surprise, in that the Phillies really liked Matt Maloney, who won 16 games for Lakewood last year in route to winning the "SALLY League"(South Atlantic League) pitcher of the year award. He was 9 - 7 this year in Reading and was considered a good prospect by the club. Lohse is another salary dump type of deal, in that he is going to be a free agent at year's end. His numbers aren't great (6 - 12 record and an ERA approaching 5), but he's got a couple of CGs and is a young guy (28 years old). If he performs well down the stretch, it would be a win-win for Lohse and the Phils.

I'm just OK with this deal only because I thought Maloney had a chance to be something good, but I guess the Phils figure they don't have time to find out if he'll be any good and if they lose Lohse to free agency, I guess they'll just take their compensatory draft pick and walk away.

Are the Phils done? Not so sure. Do they really need to keep Rod Barajas, who is barely playing nowadays? Maybe another team needs a fat veteran backup catcher. Could they use Michael Bourn as a chip to get bullpen help? Will they decide to cash in on Aaron Rowand's career season in a big deal to net more pitching? Stay tuned...

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