Ibanez Leads Way to Sweep of Pirates

With the addition of href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/pencehu01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Hunter Pence, the offense is expected to ignite.  Last night, href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/player_search.cgi?results=howarry01,howard002rya&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Ryan Howard saw more pitches in the zone, with Pence providing protection.  The talk is all about Pence, but href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/i/ibanera01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Raul Ibanez is showing that there is no need for him to ride the pine.  Known as a streaky hitter, Ibanez is in the midst of a hot streak. class="alignleft" title="Ibanez" src="http://talksportsphilly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/raul.jpg" alt="" width="187" height="262" />

Ibanez  finished the day 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs.  He started the action with a solo shot in the first inning.  The one run was enough for starter href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/worleva01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Vance Worley, until the fifth inning.

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Worley came back to earth, allowing four runs over six innings.  He struck out seven, but allowed a go-ahead home run to href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/overbly01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Lyle Overbay in the sixth inning.  The Pirates added a run in the seventh on href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jonesga02.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Garrett Jones‘ double, leading 5-3.  It looked as if the Pirates would salvage a game from the series, but Ibanez had other ideas.

After doubling, Ryan Howard made a huge baserunning mistake on a fielder’s choice, and it looked like Joe Biemel would see his way out of the jam.  Clint Hurdle decided to stay with the righty against the lefty, and it proved costly.  Ibanez jacked his second home run of the game into the left field seats.  The game would be even at five.

With two runners on base, href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/utleych01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Chase Utley had the perfect opportunity to win the game.  However, he flied to deep center, ending the inning.  It was time for free baseball.

href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bastaan01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Antonio Bastardo tossed a 1-2-3 tenth inning, giving it a chance for the offense to win it.  Hunter Pence doubled, getting into scoring position for the red-hot Ibanez.  He didn’t disappoint, lining a base hit to right field.  Pence rounded third, and scored easily to give the Phillies a 6-5 victory.

The offense is heating up at the right time.  Ibanez, Howard, Utley, and href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/player_search.cgi?results=rolliji01,rollin001jim&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker" >Jimmy Rollins are all swinging the bat better.  With Pence in the fifth spot, the offense is that much scarier.  The pitching has been great all year, and now it is time for the offense to do the same.



Rauuuuuuuuul! Walks It Off

What a day for Raul Ibanez as the Phillies sweep the Pirates.



Check Out Hunter Pence’s ‘Custom’ Phillies Cleats

New Phillie Hunter Pence hasn’t quite gotten all of his new Philadelphia gear just yet, but apparently he found a way to keep true to his Reebok contract. TMac and Sarge indicated he might have had a little help from his new teammates with this little custom job:



Check Out Hunter Pence’s Custom Phillies Cleats

New Phillie Hunter Pence hasn’t quite gotten all of his new Philadelphia gear just yet, but apparently he found a way to keep true to his Reebok contract. TMac and Sarge indicated he might have had a little help from his new teammates with this little custom job:



Video: Citizens Bank Park Reacts to Hunter Pence Introduction



Phils to Spot Pirates a Few All-Stars in Sweep Bid

When Charlie Manuel handed over Saturday night’s lineup cardthe first with ‘Pence’ scrawled below ‘Howard’it included a whopping eight players who have been All-Stars at least once in their career. In fact, all but two have been All-Stars more than once. Here’s a look at the ASG resumes of last night’s Phillies starters, plus today’s lineup and pitching matchup.



Gameday: Pirates (54-51) vs. Phillies (67-39)

style="color: #ffff00;">Pittsburgh Pirates (54-51) at style="color: #ff0000;">Philadelphia Phillies (67-39) class="alignright" title="Giants" src="http://www.celebopedia.net/pittsburgh-pirates/images/pittsburgh-pirates.jpg" alt="" width="147" height="110" />

Jeff Karstens (8-5, 2.41 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (7-1, 2.02 ERA)

Time: 1:35, Citizens Bank Park /> TV: MyPHL 17 /> Weather: Mostly Sunny, 92 /> Media: href="http://twitter.com/#!/philliesnation">Twitter and href="http://www.facebook.com/philliesnation">Facebook

The Phillies have a shot at sweeping the Pirates and holding on to a 5-game lead in the NL East over the Braves.

They’ll also look to continue their hot hitting. Ryan Howard was a monster on Saturday, going 4-for-4 with a homer and two doubles. Hunter Pence slipped into the background in his Phillies debut going 1-for-5 with an RBI batting in the 5-hole. Perhaps his inclusion in the lineup is already starting to pay off.

Or, perhaps this offense is just plugging along at its usual summer pace – they love to hit when the weather gets warm.

Today it’s Vance Worley on the mound seeking the sweep against a scrappy Pirates team that is fighting for its life in the NL Central. I think I speak for many when I say I’d love to see the Pirates make the playoffs again, but for this weekend, we want nothing less than three wins for the Fightins.

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I didn’t get a chance to put my two cents in over the last few days, but I’m excited to see Pence flourish here. Was it the best move to make? In my opinion, no; but what’s done is done. I’m upset to see the Phillies continue to pick Raul over Domonic, but such is baseball life. Brown will get his.

For now, this is the lineup we’ll see. It is certainly a lineup that is strong enough to win the division, the league, and the World Series.

The Pirates will have a new face on the roster today after acquiring first baseman Derrek Lee from the Baltimore Orioles. No word on if he’ll make it in time for today’s 1:35 start.

Tonight’s Lineup: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Ibanez LF, Schneider C, Martinez 3B, Worley P.

style="margin-right: 10px;" src="http://www.ratebeer.com/beerimages/full_size/707.jpg" alt="Orval Trappist Ale" width="43" height="143" align="left" />Your Gameday Beer – Coors Light

Tap the Rockies today on this very warm, slightly humid afternoon. I’ve grown to take Coors for what it is, the best of the Big 3. It’s not going to wow you, but it will cool you off and sort of refresh you. On taste alone, St. Bernardus 12, it ain’t. But if you’re at CBP and in need a refresher, you could do worse, I think. It’s Coors, and it won’t kill you. Enjoy the game.  -By Pat

style="color: #ff0000;">GO PHILLIES!



Asomugha to Wear Number 24, Give Best Eagles Pressers of All Time

Listening to the words of the new Eagles and watching the front office move swiftly to sign the players it wants this week, we may be entering a new era in public perception of the ownership, management, and head coach. A winning organization for more than a decade of the LurieBannerReid regime, the team has had plenty of support in Philadelphia. They’ve also had detractors though, for a number of reasons, among them a perceived smugness and contentedness without the benefit of a Super Bowl, as well as a ridiculous notion that they’re somehow cheap. There have been some missteps and poor PR moments along the way, and we’re still without that Lombardi Trophy, but it’s not for lack of effort on the franchise’s part, and you need look no further than the silver-tongued words of newly signed Nnamdi Asomugha to see how they are perceived around the league.To say the All-Pro corner was well-spoken and seemingly wise beyond his years is an understatement. Asomugha spoke highly of the Eagles, commenting that they were his top choice all along.He even found a way to namedrop President Bill Clinton, and somehow do it casually while talking about the work of his foundation. The Eagles’ commitment to community was a factor in his decision to come to Philadelphia, as was the quality of their product on the field. So too was their commitment to winning and the quality of the organization from ownership to players.One of my favorite moments from Nnamdi’s first presser as an Eagle and there were a lot of them came when he was addressing what his number would be when he puts on the Midnight Green. It won’t be the 21 he wore in Oakland, because that number is already taken in Philadelphia.



Plaxico Signs With Jets, Lofa Tatupu to Be Released by Seahawks

It’s not trade deadline day in the NFL, but it’s every bit as circus-like as 32 teams continue seeking to fill out their rosters. One name long linked to the Eagles can be scratched off that list, as Plaxico Burress signed with the New York Jets this morning. Also coming over the wire today is news that the Seattle Seahawks will oblige LB Lofa Tatupu’s request to be released.



MLB Trade Deadline Open Thread

While we assume the Phillies’ most notable trade deadline strike has already come, as it has in previous years, on Ruben Amaro Jr Day, July 29th, the official trade deadline is today, and there could still be a new pinstriper or two by the time the clock ticks 4 PM.



Pence Protects, Howard Bashes In Phillies 7-4 Win

Quite the debut for Hunter Pence as the Phillies defeat the Pirates on an exciting night in South Philadelphia.



Hunter Pence Grateful for Opportunity to Win in Philly

Hunter Pence arrived in Philadelphia this afternoon. He couldn’t seem more excited to have the chance to win a championship in our town.



First Look: Hunter Pence in a Phillies Uniform



Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Eagles Sign DL Cullen Jenkins, trade Brodrick Bunkley

The Eagles spending binge continues, signing free agent defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins from the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers to a five-year deal.



Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Eagles Sign DL Cullen Jenkins

The Eagles spending binge continues, signing free agent defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins from the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers to a five-year deal.