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SPORTS
February 23, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Starter-turned-reliever Ethan Martin is back to starting. At least for now. "He needs to pitch. He didn't get enough reps last year," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday. "I think he needs to work on all his stuff and the command of all his pitches, and I think this is the best way to do it and get his arm strength going. " Martin, the 25-year-old righthander the Phillies acquired in 2012 from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Shane Victorino, spent last year as a reliever.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
IF YOU'RE reading this after making it through the last 3 days of our annual October State of the Phillies series, congratulations. It's been a long week. Running through the limited options involving fixing the Phillies infield, outfield and starting rotation (with the same front-office group intact to do the fixing) surely hasn't made you feel too good. So, as a reward for your loyal readership, we end this series with a segment of the team that doesn't need fixing. (Imagine that!
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
IF THERE is a lesson to be learned from the Royals' run to the World Series, it is that a dominant bullpen can make up for a lot of deficiencies. Their lineup wasn't any better than the Phillies, who outperformed them at rightfield, third base, shortstop, second base and catcher. Rotation? With a healthy Cliff Lee, the Phillies would have been equal in four of five rotation slots. The bullpen is where the roads diverge. The Phillies were good, but the Royals were dominant. Their closer and two primary setup men each logged at least 62 innings with an ERA under 1.45.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
AS THE Philadelphia region prepared itself for the main event of the day's sporting schedule, a Little League game played out during a long inning at Citizens Bank Park on yesterday afternoon. And not of the high-caliber kind that's being played this week in Williamsport. More of the endless, error-filled brand of ball found at your local recreation league fields each weekend in the spring. The fourth inning of a matinee between the Phillies and Seattle Mariners featured a wild pitch, a passed ball, two errors, Cole Hamels' pitch count nearing 90, and one baserunner caught between third and home when his teammate missed a bunt sign.
SPORTS
July 3, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MIAMI - In the next 4 weeks, there could be more than a few changes to the Phillies' roster, including in the bullpen. While the relief corps is home to the team's most promising crop of youngsters (Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, Justin De Fratus, Mario Hollands, et al.), two veteran relievers could move on before the July 31 trade deadline: closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup lefthander Antonio Bastardo. If and when one or both of those guys go through the exit door, it could open up a spot for the second-priciest pitcher the Phillies have signed in the last year: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.
SPORTS
June 20, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - The situation demanded emotion, Justin De Fratus decided. It was not that Chris Johnson whiffed at a De Fratus slider in Monday's 10th inning to strand the potential winning run at third base; this represented more to the 26-year-old Phillies righthander. De Fratus pumped his right arm, twisted on the mound, and screamed. "It just felt like everybody in the stadium, everybody in Philly, they're so used to that spot ending in a loss," De Fratus said. "I was like, 'Not this time.' It very easily could have gone the other way. . . . It was a sign of hope.
SPORTS
June 19, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - There was enough progress for Cliff Lee to stand on a hill Tuesday to throw a baseball, an otherwise trivial act, except that 30 days had passed between mound sessions. Lee fired 20 fastballs at what he deemed "max effort. " The test, he said, will be how his strained left elbow feels Wednesday. That could determine whether Lee can make a return to the Phillies before the all-star break, which starts July 14. "Potentially," Lee said. "It's tough to sit here and say anything right now. " Lee called his bullpen session "a pretty big step.
SPORTS
June 6, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ETHAN MARTIN'S floppy blond locks haven't grown back in the last 10 weeks. At the end of spring training, the Phillies righthander, along with catching prospect Tommy Joseph, shaved his head in support of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's "Cut for a Cure" campaign. Although his hair has been slow to return, Martin's right arm has come a long way back in the 2 1/2 months since he was last with the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. Martin made his first appearance of the 2014 season on Tuesday night, posting two shutout innings against the Washington Nationals, with one walk and one strikeout.
SPORTS
June 4, 2014 | By Max Cohen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before Monday's game against the New York Mets, Phillies relievers Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman sat beside each other at their lockers. Diekman stared intently at his laptop while De Fratus listened to music. The pair had to cherish the time to relax; the bullpen hadn't had much time do that over the last four days. The team's bullpen racked up 25 innings in the series, the result of three extra-inning games. The relievers surrendered nine runs in those innings but just three before they allowed six in Monday's 11-2 loss.
SPORTS
May 13, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - Cole Hamels had thrown more pitches yesterday afternoon than he had in any of the 248 big-league games that preceded it. He struggled with command, but he combatted a rising pitch count with sheer talent and perseverance. He put six straight zeroes onto the scoreboard after allowing a single run in the first inning and, when his work was over following 133 pitches, the most any major league pitcher has thrown this season, Hamels retired to the clubhouse for his poststart workout.
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