Sunday, October 04, 2015

Join FightinPhillies for our last game of 2015 chat at 2:45 PM EST

Live Blog Phillies 2015 last game chat

The long road to getting First Pick in the 2016 MLB Draft for Phillies

Franco is back for only a few of the last games of the year in 2015

Yes, we get the first pick in the 2016 June MLB draft. But how did we earn that?

It's really not easy to lose 100 games in a baseball season. You have to work at it, and the Phillies start to this 2015 season and leading up to the All-Star Break have shown just how to get on a road to losing that many games.

In the first 15 games of this season, the Phillies only managed to win 5 games. In May, when the weather was starting to warm up, you would have thought this team would play better, they only played slightly better than April. On May 30, the Phils were 19-32.   In the month of June, the wheels came off, the Phils started the month off with 2 wins, then proceeded to lose 19 of a total of 27 games in the month. On the last day of June, the Phils were 27-52.

The team needed some major changes, there were none forthcoming from upper management. It wasn't till a while later that Ruben Amaro Jr. would be able to make some moves with Cole Hamels and Chase Utley.

It was rumored that a new team president would soon take the reins in the press, and it was Andy MacPhail, who had a lot to do with Ryne Sandberg not being named the Cubs manager several years ago. When the news broke about MacPhail possibly being hired, Ryne lasted a few days during all of the rumor and speculation, but resigned on June 26th after a road trip to New York, where the Phillies beat the Yankees in 2 of the 3-game series. Ryne cited not wanting to lose as a primary reason for his resignation, but with MacPhail supposedly being hired was the final nail in his managerial coffin.

The resignation of Ryno came as a complete surprise to many, including the players themselves. Some unkind remarks were made by a couple players in public, Ben Revere was one of them. Seems respect for a Hall of Fame player only goes so far with some people, the Phillies went into a tailspin after the resignation, only winning 3 of their next 12 games. The Brewers swept the listless Phillies at home at CBP in 4-games straight starting on June 29th, and then the Phils embarked on a 10-game road trip that saw them win only 2 of those games.

I've always thought that this team wasn't as bad as their current record reflects, perhaps that group that played together up to the All-Star Break just couldn't gel as a team. Nothing went right, there was plenty of dissension.

The fans are still with this team, not as many as before of course, but the team has attracted 1.8M fans to the ballpark this year, and that's not as bad as it could be. It's the lowest total amount of fans through the gates to watch a whole season of games since 2002, the waning years of Veteran's Stadium, when only 1.6M fans came out to watch this team in that cavernous stadium.

Win or lose today, the Phils have been through some really nasty changes this season, they've seen a lot of veterans leave this team. Can youth and some additional components change this team around for next season? For that, we'll have to wait till next year, a long off-season of 5 months until Spring brings our hopes back again for yet another season.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Doubleheader leaves only Sunday left in disappointing season

A sea of empty seats from Thursday as the Phil set another record for fewest fans at a home game at Citizens Bank Park

They seemed like they had a lock on this dubious honor. With only 3 games to go though, the Phillies may not end up as the worst team in baseball as the Reds have been falling faster than the rain that has fallen from the sky the last couple days.

At stake is first pick in the draft in June, which could land them a pick that they haven't made since picking up Pat The Bat. Who would they select this time around?

Interestingly,  ex-Reds pitcher, Aaron Haring is pitching in the first game in a true doubleheader, as fans will be treated to two games for the price of one. Ticketholder's to Saturday night's game are the fans who will get both games.

So, if you're brave enough to go out in this chilly, cold, and rainy evening, you are one of a few diehard baseball fans.

The Phillies will face the Marlins. Every year this match up has been getting more and more boring. The Marlins seem like they should be down at the bottom of the NL East with their 69-90 record, but the Atlanta Braves are just above the Phils in a terrible showing by everyone in the division except for the Mets.

Tomorrow will be the end of a season that has been more than a struggle. David Buchanan is scheduled to start the final game of the year on Sunday's finale.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Phillies break Colon and beat the Mets, finally

Phils beat Colon for first time in 2015 last night

Kudos for the Phillies, last night, they beat Bartolo Colon and handed him his 13th loss of the year. That's something that the Phillies couldn't do for much of the regular season as the Phils have just won 3 games of 17 played against the Mets for the 2015 season. The Mets are now 6-2 against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park with 2 more to play.

Colon brought a 4-0 record, and 2.33 ERA in against the Phils this year, it's incredible that the Phillies really were in effective against him nearly all year. It's a streak that ended last night, thanks to a first inning HR by Darin Ruf and then protecting that lead for most of the game and ending with a 4-3 victory.

The attendance was listed in the box score at 15,277 but there were many empty seats as a threat of rain and windy weather chased many fans away from the game early.

The Phils had some bright spots in this game, Odubel Herrera went 4-4 in the game, ending a nasty 0-10 streak he brought into the game.  Herrera raised his BA from .287 to .293 on the year with the 4-hit night.

The Mets were 1-10 in the RISP department, while Lucas Duda hit 2 HR to pace the Mets but it wasn't enough. Cespedes went 0-5 last night. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Last home stand for Phils for 2015

Aaron Harang has been really bad all year for the Phils with his 6-15 record

It's been a long season for this team and for the fans that have stayed in there and continued to watch them play even though at times it's been very difficult.

The Phils finish up at home this year, with 3 more games against the Division winners, NY Mets and then the last three games against the Marlins over the weekend.

The Phillies vs. Mets match up has been especially hard to watch this year, as the Phillies are 2-14 in the series this year. The Mets have owned the Phillies this year for sure. Just think where the Mets would be if the Phillies were able to win just half of those games against the Mets. It wouldn't have been so easy for the Mets to take this NL East crown if the Phils had played them better.

What was wrong with this team? Just about everything, but in the end it was the fact that this team couldn't get the hits when they were needed the most. There were base runners, and runners in scoring position but the lack of clutch play was huge in this terrible season for the Phils.

The pitching was horrible too, not too much to brag about from this staff, it's nearly last in all categories this season.

That was the incredible part, that all the coaches and staff were kept in tack from last year, and what we got was even a worse finish than last year. It's really hard to believe that this coaching staff was not cleaned out of the Phillies team after the 2014 season let alone kept in for all of this debacle of a season. That's almost an insult that something wasn't done about that.

All the while, the prices keep rising for parking every year, and for tickets and the fans have really let it be known that they are not into paying to see this team the way they've played this year. Where will it go next year? This fan base may even shrink more as fans start to drop off from seeing this many losses in a year.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

This Phillies team is so not clutch

When you watch great baseball games, you can get an appreciation for clutch hitting and fielding. We've seen it in Philadelphia, but not in a long time.

Take last night's extra inning game with the Nationals, runners on in the top of the 9th for the Phillies with Darin Ruf up to bat. Jonathan Papelbon on the mound, throwing the ball straight down the plate at knee level. You would think that Ruf could make some contact, but what does he do? Practically nothing. He watches pitches sail right down the middle of the plate then the count works against him and he pops out. He did the same thing in the 11th, then grounded out. What is he waiting on a Septa bus to roll down the middle of the plate?

Being a really good player brings some basic requirements. A lot of these Phillies players on this team don't have what it takes to make them really good ballplayers. Hence the 97 loss (and counting) season.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mackanin wasn't the answer to Phillies woes

Andy MacPhail's first hiring move not exactly inspiring

The Phillies continue to baffle when it comes to moves that they are making.

Pete Mackanin was a good choice to ride out the rest of the season after Ryne Sandberg made his decision to leave the team back on June 26th, 2015. Is he the type of guy that the Phillies will see take the reins of this team into the future?

The answer to that is probably no.

Why then would the Phils even think about having him on for another year? The offseason is looming, there will be many choices for teams with managers that are going to be available after the season and maybe some good candidates that could have taken this job.

Mackanin was speaking about the opportunity to guide this team from Spring Training next year after it was announced that he will be the manager for 2016, he was also surprised that it wasn't a longer contract, though the team does have an option for 2017.

Andy MacPhail could've have did what he was supposed to do, get a good manager, and a GM combination on board with this team instead of keeping what didn't work for this team all of this year.

Yes, the Phillies team pulled together after the All-Star break, they played really well for a month or so, but then everything degraded back to where it was when Ryno decided to quit. Keeping the entire coaching staff after last season was a debacle, and now it's getting compounded.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Phils limp toward end of season with a dozen games to go

The Phils have a younger team now, where does it go from there?

The Phillies are like a staggering prize fighter that just can't seem to regain consciousness. With 12 games to go, they have ebbed back into the team that we saw for much of the season, a team that can't seem to win at any cost. They now have lost 6 straight, and only have won 6 of the last 23 games that they've played.

In 2015, the team has set a new record for games in which they have scored only one-run in a game and that is 38, nearly a quarter of all the Phillies games this season, they have scored only once. That statistic itself is really hard to believe.

There has been many changes with this team this year, nothing has worked. At times, the team looked like it was going to turn around, especially after the All-Star break. That was a brief amount of time that didn't last too long.

This 2015 is now the team of rookies, especially in the pitching department. The problem is this staff is near last in every category in all of baseball. Team ERA is at 29 of 30 teams in the Majors, Quality Starts is at 28th tied, and BAA (Batting Average Against) is the worst in all of baseball at 30th in the league.

It's been a brutal time to watch Phillies baseball this season, the fans that hung in there should deserve a medal as most of the time we've seen uninspired play from this team.

Will they lose 100 games?

Remaining games on the schedule:

@ Miami Marlins - 3 games

@ Washington Nationals - 3 games

 Home - NY Mets - 3 games

 Home - Miami Marlins - 3 games

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Werth and Harper dismantle Phillies over series

Werth said he felt sorry for the Phillies fans after seeing many empty seats in the stadium this series

It was a great return to CBP for Jayson Werth, the ex-Phillies player that helped them win the 2008 World Series. Werth has been back many times to Philadelphia after landing with the Nationals for an incredible 7-year, $126M contract. That contract is nearly over now, it runs through 2017, and Werth showed why he is making that much cash during this series against his old team.

Werth may not be headed to the Hall of Fame after his playing days, but you wouldn't know that with the series he had in the past three games in Philly. Werth added in a post-game interview after he hit 2 HR's last night, "I always enjoyed playing here and hitting here."

Werth usually was clutch for the Phillies most of the time when he was playing for them. Was he worth that $126M to the Nationals?

Bryce Harper, who hit his 40th HR of the year actually gave Phillies fans a compliment after the game, the also got his 40th HR ball back from the fans. He said this about the fans after the game, "It's pretty cool to have that kind of ball, they're great fans here. They know baseball. They understand the game and I'm so thankful for that."

Werth went on after the game to say he never knew the seats were blue at the stadium with so many empty seats in the stands during the 3-game series, and that he felt sorry for the fans the way this team has sunk to the bottom. He added that the Nationals are basically at a 'must win' mentality for every remaining game.

Harper and Werth both hit some empty seats with all of those home runs that they hit in this series, each player hitting 4 home runs against the Phils.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nats chasing wildcard spot

The Washington Nationals were predicted to have a great season in 2015. That isn't what has been happening so far though, the Nationals will need a miracle to make it into the playoffs this year.

Last night the Nationals pulled out an extra innings win over the feisty Philadelphia Phillies. Jayson Werth practically won the game for the Nationals going deep twice on a night when Jonathan Papelbon got his first blown save of the season.

What went wrong with this Washington Nationals team?

It may mean that this group just does not go well together as they have been predicted to do well for several years now. Anything less than a playoff appearance has to be looked at as a failure by this team.

The Nationals seem like they were built to win for this year but this could be a group of players that are very much individuals instead of the team mentality.