Tag:Ben Francisco
Posted on: October 4, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 10:52 pm

Game 3 concerned Phils, but they win it

ST. LOUIS -- This was the game the Phillies were concerned about.

They knew the numbers. They knew Jaime Garcia has dominated them. They knew that basically every hitter they would send to the plate has terrible career numbers against the young Cardinals left-hander.

Hey, numbers aren't everything.

Ben Francisco was 1-for-9 against Garcia when Charlie Manuel sent him up to pinch hit in the seventh inning (and, according to baseball-reference.com, the hit was an infield single). Now he's 2-for-10, and the second hit was a three-run home run that gave the Phillies a 3-2 Game 3 win and turned this series decidedly in their favor.

Garcia was very good again Tuesday. Before Francisco's home run, the Phillies had just four hits, all of them singles, in 6 2/3 scoreless innings. But an inning that began with a Shane Victorino single took a bad turn for the Cardinals when a two-out Yadier Molina passed ball led to a Tony La Russa intentional walk of Carlos Ruiz.

That brought Francisco to hit for Cole Hamels, who had already thrown 117 pitches in six shutout innings. Francisco had just the one hit off Garcia, but he did have a long fly ball against him, a couple of weeks back in Philadelphia.

"I almost hit one out, hit it to the wall," Francisco said. "That night, I wanted that pitch back."

This time, Garcia wanted it back, after it turned into the home run that changed the game.

It did not win the game, simply because the Phillies still had nine outs to get, and their bullpen is a huge postseason question.

With the help of Vance Worley (a regular-season starter), and with Ryan Madson's first five-out save since 2009 (and just his third ever), the Phillies got the job done in this game.

They've gotten past the dangerous Garcia, who had them so nervous, and they're one win away from qualifying for their fourth straight National League Championship Series.

And now the pitching matchups seem to be in their favor.

Roy Oswalt goes against Edwin Jackson in Wednesday's Game 4. And even if the Cardinals win that one, the Phillies feel ultra-confident with Roy Halladay ready (against Chris Carpenter) in a potential Game 5 back in Philadelphia.

This was the game that really worried them, the game that had turned this series into such a worry.

No thanks to the numbers, they won it.

Posted on: March 5, 2011 4:51 pm

Phils' Brown out with hamate fracture

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Domonic Brown's tough spring just got a whole lot worse.

The young Phillies outfielder, struggling at the plate in his attempt to take Jayson Werth's vacated job in right field, broke the hamate bone in his right hand on a swing in the Phillies' 4-3 spring loss to the Pirates Saturday.

General manager Ruben Amaro said that Brown will be reevaluated next week, but that surgery is likely. The recovery time for surgery is 3-6 weeks, which means Brown would miss most of the remainder of spring training and possibly the start of the regular season, as well.

Brown was hitless in 15 at-bats this spring before Saturday. He apparently broke the bone on his first swing of the day, but continued the at-bat and got his first hit. He came out of the game at that point, and was taken for X-rays.

"I'm sure he's disappointed," Amaro said. "But it's part of the game."

Ben Francisco, the other main contender for the right field job, had two more hits Saturday and is hitting .421 in seven games this spring.
Posted on: July 29, 2009 1:41 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2009 3:40 pm

Phillies get Lee, Francisco from Tribe

Frustrated in their attempts to acquire Roy Halladay, the Phillies have acquired Cliff Lee from the Indians instead, multiple sources involved in the talks told CBSSports.com.

The teams were in heavy discussions this morning, and as of early afternoon, the deal had come together, pending physicals. The Phillies, who have been searching for a right-handed bat, will also get outfielder Ben Francisco from Cleveland.

The Phillies will send pitchers Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson to the Indians, an American League executive told CBSSports.com's Scott Miller. Knapp, a 6-foot-5, 18-year-old right-hander currently pitching in Class A, is considered the key player in the deal.

Halladay was always the Phillies' first choice, but an asking price that began with both Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ was deemed too high by some in the Phillies front office. Lee, who won the 2008 American League Cy Young award and is having a good follow-up season, was regarded as a reasonable backup plan.

Lee was 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA for the Indians, but he had pitched much better than his record. The Indians have been held to one run or none in six of his nine defeats.

Lee also has strong career numbers against National League opposition, going 12-2 with a 3.18 ERA in interleague play.

Like Halladay, the 30-year-old Lee can become a free agent after the 2010 season. He is making $5.75 million this year, with a $9 million club option for 2010 that will certainly be exercised.

The Indians had scouted Drabek, but he isn't in the trade. While Knapp is still in Class A, some scouts regard him even more highly than Drabek.

"He's Josh Johnson, potentially," one scout said last week.

Knapp, the Phillies' second-round draft pick in 2008, is just 2-7 with a 4.01 ERA in 17 starts for Lakewood, but his other numbers are very good. In 85 1/3 innings, he has allowed 63 hits, with 39 walks and 111 strikeouts.

Lee gives the Phillies a heavily left-handed rotation, joining with fellow lefties Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer and J.A. Happ. The Phils also have right-hander Joe Blanton, and have Pedro Martinez getting ready in the minor leagues.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com