Sunday, February 17, 2019

Do the Phillies actually need Machado or Harper?


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The story is getting so old now it's a shame. Everyday for months now, we've been hearing about the saga of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper and the possibility of them joining up with the Phils this year.

What is the benefit of getting either player? Well, they are very good ballplayers. Are they actually worth all of the money that we're hearing they will be paid? In the long term deals that each are seeking, it probably will be a negative thing years down the line.

The Phillies aren't really ready for either player in my opinion. They haven't been in contention for a while and even though they have showed some promise last year, the likelihood of adding a superstar player and ending up with a playoff team is possible, but not guaranteed. Look at Mike Trout and the Angels, they are a team with perhaps the best player in baseball but they can't make the playoffs.

A superstar player sometimes comes with a lot of baggage. In my opinion, Harper and Machado will both bring a lot of baggage to any team that they go to. Both players have been in some high profile situations that haven't been all that endearing to them.

Take Machado's "I'm no Johnny Hustle guy" comment, that is an instant red flag for Phillies fans. He's one of the pampered guys of the game. You hustle each and every play, we don't need a player like Manny with an attitude like his.

If I were John Middleton, I would withdrawal any offer to either of them, the Phils have a fairly solid team built for 2019, I don't think that the addition of Machado or Harper make them that much better. I'd rather go out and get a decent starting pitcher to add to the rotation and the impact of that might even be better for this team.

Soon, the Machado Harper circus will be over, and the baseball season will begin, the story will fade and thank goodness, I for one, am so tired of hearing about both players and where they will end up at this point.

Friday, February 15, 2019

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Check it out and see a quality lineup of sports information and live sports programming, exclusive originals and libraries of programs. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hearts on Fire - Phillies look to build on '18


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Soon this will be the scene from Spring Training, baseball will be back and the passion is reignited again for Phils fans




It's another Valentines Day and yup, the wait is over for pitchers and catchers as the guys are back in camp for yet another upcoming baseball season. I've been away from this blog for sometime now due to a deeply personal life changing family event that had me taking a long break from writing about Phillies baseball and searching my soul for answers.

When a piece of your heart is torn away from you, it's not that easy to recover and get back up and see the world in the same light.

On the baseball diamond, the Phillies showed some real promise last season. The team played like they were on fire up through the All-Star break last season. Lineup changes and all, night after night, it looked like a shoe-in that the Phillies were going to coast into the playoffs by the mid-summer classic. Well, things happen as they say, and things for the Phillies took a drastic change last year just after the All-Star break.

The Phillies added a few veterans to the mix before the trade deadline last year, but it may have had an overall negative effect on the team. They had changed a winning combination and went with some longtime veterans that added some excitement to the team, but didn't necessarily make it a better team overall.

Gabe Kapler, the young Phillies manager, was being mentioned by some as 'Manager of the Year' for the way the Phillies seemed to be turned around, that changed when the Phils took a turn after the All-Star break after the team looked like it was coasting it's way into a playoff spot. Even Kapler himself was talking about the closeness that the Phils were possibly going to be getting into the playoffs at certain points.

What happened? There are different opinions as to the exact whys these things happened to the Phillies last year. It was just short of an utter collapse which was very noticeable. Being able to move players around like puzzle pieces just wasn't working. There was a call for some sort of uniformity. Have a more steady lineup every night, stop with all the changes all the time.

We have all season to look back and wonder why, but now it's Valentine's Day- a start up of yet another season of hope starts down in Clearwater, Florida for the Phillies and for the fans that like to follow the team.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Phils early Spring Training 2019 schedule






Here's an early look at the Spring Training schedule for 2019 - check back for updates!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Phillies find themselves in a tough spot lately


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Can the Phils get back to the winning that they have experienced just a few weeks ago?


The past 14 days for the Phillies have been a very rough time for this talented team. The team finds itself in a losing way. They came into Sunday's game against Milwaukee losing their last 4 games in a row. The Phils now find themselves close to .500 again after being on the plus side of that .500 mark for a long time. The highest the Phillies have gone above .500 was 9 games over when they landed in first place on May 26th - since then though the team has gone on a slide. The Phils have lost 10 games out of while only winning 3 - that has put them back to 4.0 GB behind the NL leading Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves who are tied as of today.

What things can go right for the Phillies in the next couple weeks? They have a lot of home games to play. They have been very good at home for the most part, they share a tie for best home record with San Francisco at 19-11. If they can continue this, look for the Phils to rebound and again start to challenge the Braves and Nats as we go on in the season.

There has been a dramatic drop in the fan base in the Milwaukee series, crowds in the low to mid 20,000 fans range have perhaps signaled that maybe the recent amount of losses have kept some fans away. Baseball attendance in general has been down, the Phils have had a home average of around 25,059 per game as of today. The Mets have had a lot of back luck in the past few weeks as well, but they still average 30,000 at home per game.

Looking ahead at the Phils schedule, it seems like they have some formidable competition in the next couple weeks, they will play the Washington Nationals in 6 games before the end of the month and the Yankees for 3 games. 

Is this team a playoff team? Can they regain what they had just a few weeks ago? Starting pitching has been a bit dodgy lately and so has the offense, if the two can turn it around, we may see the optimism return to the fans that we may have a winner here.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Phils embark on one of the longest road trips of the year


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This Dodgers team for 2018 was picked by many to do really well, that hasn't worked out too well yet for them 




A West Coast road trip is usually a long one, and this road trip that the Phillies are on even has a stop in Chicago to visit the Cubs after going to LA and San Francisco. It's a 10-game road trip, and hopefully the Phillies will find what they did at home with their great home record of 19-9. On the road, the team is less than stellar, with a 10-12 record. This is going to have to improve if we start thinking about the Phillies as a team that has a chance to make the playoffs.

The next longest road trip that the Phils will play isn't until July 7th to July 15th - but with a makeup rained out game to do in Baltimore that will be played on the 12th of July, the Phils will actually have an 11-game road trip to do then.

Let's see if they can win some series on this current road trip though, a tough 4-game stand at Dodger Stadium is first up for them to try to conquer. A record of 29-21 overall has the team in 2nd place at this point in the season.

Again, this team hasn't really showed a side to them to go out and put teams away, they have been finding ways to win but not dominating. That is the concern, and this road trip is going to say a lot about what we may see from the Phillies for the upcoming weeks. Can they continue to find ways to win, or will they become mired in that kind of mediocre road play that we've seen from them so far.

Luckily both the Dodgers and San Francisco haven't been playing too well lately. The Cubs are another story, they have been picking it up over the past 2 weeks and have surged into 2nd place in the NL Central with a 28-22 record with going 6-4 in their last 10 games.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Phillies take over first place on Memorial Day Weekend 2018


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A huddle for first place, the Phils have finally won a game that takes them into first place



To hear the words, Phillies and first place in the same sentence is something that the fans of this team have been thinking about for many years now. The World Series win was an incredible 10 years ago (that went by really fast to this writer).

Well, like the ebb and flow of the tide, the winning can return to a baseball team over time, if the right ingredients are there on the team. It takes some winning pitching, and the Phillies have been experiencing this in the past few weeks. Aaron Nola is 6-2 on the season and the addition of Jake Arrieta, was another great add to this starting roster. We've seen Vince Velasquez have a few good starts in a row as well. Add this all up with some timely hitting and we're in first place!

It's not a dominating type of first place though, it's been at times a very tentative arrival in the top spot as the Phillies have had some bumps in the road with relief pitching over the past 10 days. The important thing though is they are finding ways to win. Again, it's not a dominating type of winning like this team is going on the diamond and beating up on teams.

Some timely hitting off of the bench by Nick Williams and a steady effort from both Odubel and Maikel have really transformed this Phillies offense for the moment.

Can this Phillies team hold on to first place and stay there? We'll see, the Atlanta Braves have been playing really well and have two top hitters in Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis. If the Braves are going to make a run at this division, they will have to pitch better. It will be fun to see how this race shapes up, the Mets have been playing some poor baseball but they are still only 3.5 GB off the pace.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Phillies are starting to associate themselves with winning


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The Cardinals are going back home to face the Phillies after a victory today in Minnesota


The Phillies managed to play in Baltimore today despite a threat of rain and the washout from last night that will be made up on July 12th. More than play today in Balto, the Phillies managed to win their 24th game of the year and improved their road record to 8-10 by a score of 4-1 this afternoon.

Nick Pivetta improved to 3-2 on the year and his ERA is now 3.72 - he also struck out 11 batters on the day so it was a very good outing for him. The bullpen did have a test late in the game, the Orioles had the bases loaded but the relievers managed to curtain the Orioles two good hitters in Adam Jones, and Manny Machado who both came up to bat when the bases were loaded.

The Phils now travel onto an important test in St. Louis, perhaps the most important series of this year so far, that just past the 1/4 pole of the season with the 40th game of the year. So this season that really seems to have been off to a slow start with bad weather through April has suddenly been moving on pretty fast.

Can the Phillies continue to win in a St. Louis vs. a more powerful opponent in the Cards? The Cardinals beat the Twins earlier today in Minnesota, they are 23-17 on the year. The Cards were on top of the NL Central for a good part of May, they were in first place in the NL Central as recent as the 12th of May but slipped in the past couple of days, the Pirates have surged back into first place as of the time this column is being written. So, the Cards are still very much a good team and it will be an important test for the Phils to see if they are for real.

The Phils will be pitching Velasquez, Arrieta, Eflin, and Nola in this series. All have done really well in their last starts. Arrieta had a lead in a game the Phillies should have closed the door on but didn't, and that cost Arrieta and the team a valuable win. Let's see if the Phils can continue to find ways to put runs on the board and keep winning.

Notes on the Cardinal series:

2 of the 4 game series with be played in the afternoon, on Saturday and Sunday

The Cardinals have a team BA of .228 (Phils .248) - though the Cards have 49 total HRs to the Phils 44 HR team total

Odubel Herrera still leads the NL in BA at .357 and extended his on base streak today in Baltimore with a hit

The Phillies come into the Cardinal series with a 24-16 record - just behind the Braves in the NL East


Monday, May 14, 2018

Phillies to play Orioles in brief 2 game series


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The Orioles are coming off a big 17-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Baltimore on Sunday.


On Tuesday, the Phillies will play the Baltimore Orioles in a 2-game series down in Baltimore and then in July, the Orioles will travel up to Philadelphia for another brief 2-game series on July 3 - 4.

It was mentioned on a recent broadcast that the team will actually travel down to Baltimore from Philly on the day of the game. It will give the players an extra day to be home in the Philadelphia area, and they will no doubt be a bit pressed for time as they still have to check into a hotel and then get down to the ballpark for the game on Tuesday.

There will be a homecoming for Phils current Team President, Andy MacPhail, who got a job with the Baltimore Orioles on June 20th 2007, when Baltimore owner Peter Angelos hired him as Team President of the O's. Phils current GM Matt Klentak also met MacPhail there in Baltimore in 2008 when MacPhail hired Klentak as his Director of Baseball Operations.

Nick Pivetta and Vince Velazquez will be getting the ball on the mound to start the games for the Phillies. The Orioles have announced Andrew Cashner as facing off against Pivetta but have yet to announce the starter vs. Vince. The Orioles are in last place in the powerhouse AL East at 13-28 (15.5 GB) on the year.

The Phils will then travel to St. Louis for a 4-game series against the NL Central leading Cardinals. This should be another test to see whether the Phils are indeed for real this year with a 1 GB second place NL East spot that they have today just behind the Braves.

The Phils have 7 wins and 4 losses in the month of May so far, let's see what they can do on this road trip.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Tough loss to Mets with Neris in the 9th


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Jake Arrieta had a good game against the Mets, the Phils could only put 1-run up on the board the whole game


This moment last night looked almost too easy, the Phillies clinging to a 1-0 lead going into the 9th inning and the Phils closer, Hector Neris on the mound. The bullpen has been brilliant in the past week, but now time was about to catch up with that, as Hector served up the go ahead runs to the Mets after a stellar outing by Jake Arrieta.

Up to this point in the season, the Phillies only had one other blown save at home since the season started, it's been one of the reasons that the Phillies have had the best home record in the NL so far.

Phillies closer, Hector Neris got the first out in Adrian Gonzalez, and we were down to needing only 2 more outs. But that's the kind of thing that makes baseball so special. It's never a sure thing in this game, a team can battle back in an instant. Neris then had 2 strikes on Wilmer Flores, Flores then took a check swing that was actually a strikeout, but it wasn't called. On the next pitch, Flores singled to reach base.

Michael Conforto came up and launched a long foul ball that was long enough to be a homerun if it were straight. The table was set at this point, with Conforto who after the next pitch, launched a ball into right field off of the ATT sign.

Then things became unglued with another HR hit by Devin Mesoraco to put the Mets ahead 3-1 and give the Mets a victory in Game 1 in Philly.

What can you say? We haven't seen the bullpen give up too many games this year, they have been a solid part of the Phillies game so far. Maybe Neris had been a bit rusty in a game saving situation, he's been going into games with leads and the last blown save from him which resulted in a loss was just 6 days ago against the Nationals. Neris has an ERA at 5.17 ERA with giving up those HRs to the Mets.


Game notes:

Jake Arrieta -  5 SO  -  5H  - 7.1 IP

Odubel Herrera -  2-4 with 1 RBI - the HR which gave the Phils their only run