Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Combined No-hitter for Phillies is the first ever for Phillies

You never know what your going to see at a ballgame.

Yesterday in Atlanta, the Phillies did something that has never been done by a Phillies team before. It was a combined no-hitter for the pitchers. Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon all get credit for the combined no-hitter.

Did you miss this one when it was playing live? You can download an app for that, it's called "No-Hitter Alerts" it will let you know who has got the no-hitter going as the game is being played.

Monday, September 01, 2014

John Mayberry Jr now a Blue Jay

John Mayberry Jr no longer on the Phillies - his stay on the team was long considering how he didn't blossom into a player the Phillies expected him to become

John Mayberry Jr has been with the Phillies all of his career until yesterday.

Mayberry was brought up from the Phillies system in 2009 after coming here from the Texas Rangers as a minor leaguer and he was expected to be a force in the outfield for the Phillies. He never developed into a force though, he added to the team coming off of the bench most of the time.

Mayberry seemed to have his own style on the field, he wasn't a scrappy type of player, he instead was a player who at times seemed to look like he needed to hustle a little more on the field especially when he was on base.

In 2011, Mayberry seemed ot be coming around for the Phils, he hit 15 HR and drove in 49 in 104 games. Then in 2012, he played nearly a whole season of baseball with 149 games and produced nearly the same production of 14 HR and 46 RBI. His BA took a serious dip in 2012 and in the last two seasons has been falling even worse as he finished out his Phillies career with a .213 BA in 63 G for the Phils.

The Phillies received a minor league 3rd baseman, Gustavo Pierre from the Blue Jays in return for Mayberry Jr.

Here's Mayberry's stats with the Phillies:

2009 25 39 57 8 12 3 0 4 8 0 2 23 .211
2010 26 11 12 4 4 0 0 2 6 0 1 4 .333
2011 27 104 267 37 73 17 1 15 49 8 26 55 .273
2012 28 149 441 53 108 24 0 14 46 1 34 111 .245
2013 29 134 353 47 80 23 1 11 39 5 27 90 .227
2014 30 63 122 11 26 7 0 6 21 0 15 30 .213
6 Yrs 500 1252 160 303 74 2 52 169 14 105 313 .242
162 Game Avg. 162 406 52 98 24 1 17 55 5 34 101 .242
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/1/2014.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Looking at the Mets and Phillies rivalry in the past 7 years

Rollins has been the chef in the Phillies kitchen with the NY rivalry over the years

Rewind back 7 years ago, it was 2007 and the Phillies needed a small miracle to capture the NL East crown. There was tough talk between the Phils and the Mets about who was "the team to beat". Near the end of the season the 2007 Phils reeled off an incredible 13-3 run to make the impossible happen.

Jimmy Rollins specifically carried the torch for the Phillies back then, he boldly proclaimed more than a few times that "the Phillies are the team to beat." His words made headlines in the NY papers, and suddenly the NY fans had a poster boy to chant and mock every time he and the Phillies came to the big apple.

Last night, there was a comical story told by Tom McCarthy about a fan who was very vocal and stood up when Rollins came to bat and yelled, "You ruined my childhood Jimmy!".

It was 2007 and the final game of the season was being played at CBP, I happened to be in attendance for this game and it's still one of the most thrilling games that I've ever been to. The Phillies had to win and the Mets had to lose for the NL East title to belong to the Phillies. The Phils weren't even playing the Mets that day, they were playing the Washington Nationals to close out the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start on the last day of the season in 2007 and the win

The crowd was electric before the game even started in Philly. Yes, we were scoreboard watching too, every play was scrutinized on the field that day. It was almost like the Phillies had already made it to the World Series. There was such a long gap in between 2007 and the last time the Phillies even made the postseason, there was added excitement that the Phillies season might not be ending when the regular season was over.

In the end, the Phillies won the game vs. the Nats but NY had lost just minutes before thus handing the NL East crown to them and wild celebration broke out on the field and in the stands. I remember Harry Kalas singing "High Hopes" on the field after the game and a new air of Philadelphia becoming a 'baseball city' was about to dawn.

Since then, the rivalry has simmered here and there, but nothing like it had become a few years ago.

Management has changed, players have changed and moved on, but the rivalry is still there. It's just on the back burner on simmer at the moment.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remembering Richie Ashburn and his buddy, Harry

 Chris Wheeler, who was silenced by the CSN Philly group after over 40 years on the air for the team, is the last in the line of great Phillies broadcasters included with Kalas and Ashburn

Every time the Phillies play the Mets near September or in September in New York, I think back to when we lost one of the greatest Phillies players ever, and most recently, a great Phillies broadcaster, Richie Ashburn.

It's been quite a long time since we lost Ashburn, it was on September 9, 1997. Ashburn was in the Phillies hotel in New York and never made the team bus to the Shea Stadium ballpark. He had passed away in the hotel room on the road with the team.

Ashburn had a life that was baseball. He traveled all year long talking about the game and his longtime friend and co-worker, Harry Kalas, was devastated with the news of losing Ashburn.

The camaraderie and conversations in the booth was things that you could only dream of now. Subtle stories told by two of the best announcers the game has probably ever seen in tandem are but a memory now in the minds of older Phillies fans.

How would we know that we would think back to some of those stories from time to time. We'll never forget Ashburn and Kalas. They were a class act that may never be duplicated.

Below, Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn go into the Hall of Fame on July 30, 1995

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Phils battling tough teams as end of August nears

The Phils have used the small ball approach to winning and it's working

The Phillies are battling the tougher teams lately, and have a nice 3 game win streak to show for it. The Phils are now in a postion to sweep the Washington Nats, a possibility that didn't see all that probable just a few short weeks ago.

They are doing it with small ball, the base hits that are turning into runs.

The team is still 15.5 games out of first place and have a record of 60-72, but it is now appearing that the Phils may be able to at least equal last year's disastrous 73-89 record if they continue playing like they have the past week.

No, it's not what we expected at the beginning of the season. At least some of us.

For some reason, this team hasn't been able to pull it together now in a few seasons. In 2012, the Phils were 81-81 and have been on a downward slide since then.

Charlie Manuel was let go last season at a 53-67 record, so far Ryne Sandberg has remained out of the spotlight for why the Phillies aren't doing so well.

For now though, we'll take these last couple of games and try to build off of the positive of this. Start from little and try to think bigger.

One thing is probably for sure, the bulk of this team will probably change this offseason, so you may want to get out to the ballpark before it all changes. It may be the last time you see some of these players in a Phillies uniform.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Here come the Nats

Jimmy Rollins hit a 2-run HR yesterday but had a serious look on his face rounding the bases for the Phils, possibly thinking about his Phillies career as the home games start to dwindle down in 2014

The Nationals have been a team that were rumored to be a playoff team for a couple of years now. Nothing quite worked out for them in those last few years but it looks like we may see them in this postseason for sure.

The Nationals just beat up on the SF Giants in Washington 14-6 on Sunday and now have a commanding 8 game lead in the NL East as the Braves appear to be fading.

The Nats are 9-1 in their last 10 games.

The Phillies did well against the Cardinals. They took the series but remain 17.5 GB in the cellar of the NL East. They still haven't been eliminated offically from postseason play but still have a very slim 0.1 chance which is close to no chance at all.

The Phillies need to regain their resspect in the NL East, and take some of the pain of this ugly season away by doing well against the Nationals in this series.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Brown says he tries to hustle for every ball but fans see something different

Domonic Brown had a very bad game for the Phillies last night. His play where it seemed like he allowed a ball to bounce in front of him and then throwing a ball off line to third base was the start of the Phillies looking very much like the 'Bad News Bears' last night at CBP. After the game, Brown explained that it was still very wet out there and he didn't want to risk the ball going by him if he slipped.

It's not the first time that this has happened this season. We've seen more than a few of these plays from Brown. Here's the play from last night:

In his defense, Brown only has 2 errors all season long, and that is 101 game appearances so far for Brown this year. Errors aren't earned on balls he just runs up on but doesn't catch though, and we've seen plenty of those.

Here is some numbers from Dom's Sabermetric Defensive fielding stats:

Year Tm Age Pos Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rtzhm Rtzrd Rof Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm
2010 PHI 22 RF -4 -42 -2 -3 1 -2 -2 -22 -2
2011 PHI 23 RF -5 -14 -4 -2 -2 -1 -9 -24 -5
2012 PHI 24 RF -3 -13 -3 -2 -1 0 -6 -23 -6
2012 PHI 24 LF -0 -2 -1 -0 -1 1 0 0 -2
2013 PHI 25 LF -4 -5 -10 -7 -2 5 -7 -7 -13
2013 PHI 25 RF 0 32 0 0 0 0 1 80 1
2014 PHI 26 LF 0 1 -0 0 -1 1 -6 -9 -6
3 Seasons LF -4 -2 -11 -7 -4 7 -13 -7 -21
4 Seasons RF -12 -17 -9 -6 -3 -3 -16 -21 -12
5 Seasons TOT -13 -5 -11 -7 -5 -1 -29 -11 -33
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2014.

The negative numbers aren't good, and that's what is adding up to big trouble for the Phils and this season in particular. Didn't the Phils hire a sabermetric stats guy this year?

Some fans have compared Domonic's outfield style to John Mayberry Jr, which is also mentioned in the same breath as a 'lack of hustle' at times. It's been described as not getting to balls quick enough and shuffling your feet but not going anywhere at times.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Phillies might enjoy spoiler role

The Phillies would like to spoil the chances of the Cards, we'll see how they do in the weekend series starting on Friday night at CBP

The Phillies won't be making the playoffs in 2014, that news we already know. The Phils managed to pull off a series victory on Wednesday afternoon, the last businessperson's special on the schedule for this year against the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners are still in the hunt for the playoffs, and the Phillies probably liked the fact that they can do a little to prevent that from happening with the series win at CBP.

Who else can the Phillies 'spoil' the chances for? How about the St. Louis Cardinals who are in to play the Phillies next?

The Cardinals are the current Wild Card leader along with the SF Giants with the Braves just a half game back from the Giants in the WC race, and making the Cards stumble a bit would be probably just fine with the Phillies.

Incidentally, the Phillies aren't officially eliminated from the playoffs but the elimination number is 26 as of tonight for the team for a Wild Card bid into the playoffs.

Who knows what would happen if the Phillies happened to go on a 10 game winning streak?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Seattle comes in for rare series

The Phillies will miss Felix Hernandez for this series

The Seattle Mariners have been a revived ball club lately. Their road record of 33-24 is very good, and they just came off a a game where they beat the AL Central leader Detroit Tigers by an 8-1 score. The win also took the series from the Tigers in Detroit.

The M's are also 11-3 over their last 14 games. So they have been a hot team that is starting to churn with about 6 weeks left in the regular season.

For the Phillies, this matchup is rare, the Phillies and the Mariners have only played a total of 9 times since interleague play started and the Phillies have a 2-7 record against them.

Pitching tonight for the Phillies, it's 32-year old waiver wire pickup Jerome Williams on the mound tonight for the team. The Rangers put him out on waivers after only 2 games with them after he showed them a 9.90 ERA, he was with Houston before that and he had a 6.23 ERA in 26 games for the Astros.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Phils limp home from road trip, this team has folded up and quit

Tim "The Freak" Lincecum wasn't even on his best game, and ended up with the win over the Phillies in the final game of the series today in San Francisco

The Phillies haven't been this bad in a while. They are near the bottom of the MLB in a lot of categories in offense. The team returns home to Philly face the Seattle Mariners, who are 67-56 and winners of 8 of their last 10 games.

Phillies ranked by offense of the 30 teams in the MLB:

Runs: 22nd

Batting Average: 26th

On Base Percentage: 26th

Slugging Percentage: 28th

How does the Phillies hitting coach still have a job? Steve Henderson should be asked to pack his belongings into a box and not return. He's like the absent hitting coach at this point, as the Phillies have turned into a cold stone in the offensive runs production department.

It isn't the first year that these bad numbers have existed either, it's a few years now that this team has just folded up and haven't put up any respectable numbers to speak on in the NL East.

This team has notched it's 70th loss in this ugly season for them. Tough to watch this team play like this day after day.