Sunday, May 24, 2015

Cole Deals, Howard Shines, but the tunes aren't fine

Howard and Werth share a hug on the field in DC - as Howard has picked up his game lately 

The Phillies went on the field down in Washington DC yesterday afternoon and played like a team on a mission.

Cole Hamels was pitching lights out baseball, he struck out 5 and only allowed 1 ER on the outing for his 5th win of the year. The 8-1 win was one of the best games of the year so far for the Phils.

The offense was on overdrive yesterday as well. Ryan Howard was 3-5 with 2 RBI, Maikel Franco was 2-4 with 2 RBI, and Ben Revere was 2-4 with 3 R scored. It was one of those days that you wished wouldn't end for a baseball team, especially the season that the Phillies have been having.

The Phillies are no longer in the basement of the NL East, that spot now belongs to the Marlins and that's a good thing for the Phils. Even the hottest player in baseball over the past two weeks, Bryce Harper, who already has 16 HR on the year couldn't save the Nats from the Phillies yesterday.

It's been well publicized about the Washington Nationals batting practice music for the Phillies yesterday, but it's been something that the Nationals have been doing to every team that comes to DC to play against them not just the Phils.

From an article in the Washington Post blog about the Nationals, the director of marketing for the Nats explains the move which is very minor leagueish but here's what she said:

“We like to be fun and creative with our in-game entertainment and the songs we play during visiting team batting practice is part of the show. So, we’ve selected some of Billboard’s top music set to a slower jam to wash over the field,” said Valerie Camillo, Nationals chief revenue and marketing officer. “Hopefully our fans will find it funny and maybe we can even get a smile out of some of the visiting team players.”

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ben Revere went from Phillies rising star to on the trading block

Ben Revere must wonder how much better does he have to be for the Phillies management 

The Phillies seemed to like Ben Revere for most of last year.

Revere has speed and got on base quite a bit last season for this team. He was in the Top 10 of batters in batting average for a part of the 2014 season. He banged out a career high 184 hits last season, and stole 49 bases. Revere finished the season with a .306 BA in his third season as a Phillies player last year.

With a season like that in 2014, you would assume this would be Ben Revere's home for a while. Patrolling the center field area for the Phillies for quite some time with those numbers.

Revere's RBI numbers could have been a little higher, but all in all, he did what he was supposed to do last season, get on base. Despite getting on base 184 times last year, Revere only scored 71 runs so that is a signal on how bad the 2-3-4-5 hitters were for the Phillies last year.

Fast forward to Spring Training in 2015, and Odubel Herrera. Herrera was a Rule 5 Draft pickup that the Phillies made in the off season over the Winter Meetings. They were hot on him, and thought of him as a highly coveted prospect.

Revere had proven his worth on a Major League team to the Phillies last season, but the Phillies bumped Revere out of center and now his name is being used in trade gossip.

Odubel's numbers this year aren't even close to what Revere produced last season. Yes, Herrera is a couple years younger than Revere, but in looking at his offense he has produced so far, Herrera hasn't been that juggernaut the Phillies thought he would be.

Herrera has 40 SO so far in the season, and he has only played in 43 G, in the same amount of games, Revere only has 15 SO and is batting much better with 3 triples and 7 doubles. Both players have about the same batting averages.

So, for this reason, I don't know how the Phillies would want to push Revere out. Going with a rookie like Herrera is more of a gamble for them. The only reason is probably that Revere is arbitration eligible in 2016, but he's been doing a pretty good job for this team especially last year even though the team as a whole didn't do well last year.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On a chilly night in Colorado, the win streak ends

Maikel Franco has been giving the Phillies a much needed pop with his bat so far

The winning streak was great.

It came to an end in a very chilly game last night as Justin DeFratus gave up a HR to Nick Hundley in the 8th inning to break up a 5-5 tie.

The Phillies banged out 11 hits in the game, and left 14 runners on base during the game. Ryan Howard went 0-4 and left 4 runners stranded by himself, so the Phillies did have opportunities to do better in this game.

Grady Sizemore dove for a ball in right field when the game was tied in the bottom of the 7th with the game tied 3-3 - the Rockies scored 2 runs on that play, as Sizemore couldn't make the catch.

In the game, Maikel Franco had 3 RBI for the Phils going 3-4 at the plate.

The Rockies scored 3 runs in the first inning alone to pace themselves on their way to the 6-5 win.

So, this game was very close, the Phils look to get back on the winning side again tonight in chilly Denver with another 8:40 PM EDT start.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Phils hang on to extend win streak to 6 at Denver with 4-3 win

Cole Hamels earns the win last night as the Phils hold on to a 4-3 victory

They made it interesting, but the Phillies earned their 6th win in a row last night in Colorado despite a fierce comeback towards the end of the game by the Rockies.

The Phils had a 4-1 lead into the 8th inning, but a single knocked home 1-run in a play at the plate that was reviewed. The Phillies lost that review, as Carlos Gonzalez slid into home under the tag of Carlos Ruiz.

 Rockies DJ LeMahieu smacked a one out triple in the bottom of the 9th inning off the right field wall over an out stretched Jeff Francoeur. Obidel Herrera was backing up Frenchy and was there to pickup the ball and throw it in as Francoeur had crashed off the fence and fell down, unable to make a play on the hit.

LeMahieu would score and make it 4-3 but Jonathan Papelbon closed out the game, and got the save and earned Cole Hamels his 4th win of the season.

There was plenty of action in this game, a couple of great catches from both teams, and Rockies player Nick Hundley was thrown out of the game arguing a check swing call from first base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. At the time, it was the bottom of the 8th and the Rockies had two runners on base and the score was 4-2. Hundley flied out to left field to end the inning and the Rockies threat ended, Hundley then got into it with Wendelstedt.

This current winning streak by the Phils was the longest winning streak since the team won 7 in a row back in September of 2012. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Streaking Phils get first sweep: Reminder this was only Arizona

Off to Colorado to play the Rockies

Yes, this team has equaled the win streak total of the longest win streak of 2014 which was 5 games, the 2014 team did that twice. Now, the 2015 has run up a 5 game win streak. Great news, always better to win, but this was Arizona keep in mind.

The Phillies opponents next up are the Colorado Rockies, the Rockies are also a team that isn't so good, so hopefully the Phils can keep it going out there in Mile High.

Some highlights from the sweep:

The Phillies had 31 H in the series

The Phils scored 17 R in the series

The Phils only grounded into 2 DP in the series

Here's the Phillies since 2013 against the upcoming opponent Colorado Rockies:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt
1 2014-05-28 PHI COL W 6-3
2 2014-05-27 PHI COL L 2-6
3 2014-05-26 PHI COL W 9-0
4 2014-04-20 PHI COL W 10-9
5 2014-04-19 PHI COL L 1-3
6 2014-04-18 PHI COL L 1-12
7 2013-08-22 PHI COL W 5-4
8 2013-08-21 PHI COL W 4-3
9 2013-08-20 PHI COL L 3-5
10 2013-08-19 PHI COL W 5-4
11 2013-06-16 PHI COL L 2-5
12 2013-06-15 PHI COL L 5-10
13 2013-06-14 PHI COL W 8-7
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/17/2015.

It's Cody Asche Wiffle Ball and Bat Day at CBP, but there is no Cody Asche

Cody Asche would probably have loved to play this game today in Philly

The Phillies seem to have a knack for making up promotions with players, then when it's time for the promotion, the player is no longer on the team with the big club.

Today's special giveaway for youngsters 14 and under is a Cody Asche special Wiffle Ball and Bat set. It retails for about $4-$5 at most stores and a kid would love to get this at the ballpark. All the while honoring one of their heroes as well on the field.

But, there will be no appearance by Cody Asche.

Asche was sent packing to the minor leagues last week in a hasty move by Phil's management to bring up Miakel Franco in the third base spot and send Asche back down to the AAA level.

My impressions so far on Franco:

1. He needs to hustle every play out and be happy he is on the major league club, he's not a star but certain things he does on the field lend one to believe that he already thinks he is a big star. He earned a walk the other night and practically strolled down to first, get some hustle in you on every play.

2. Franco 'made a face' when third base coach, Pete Mackanin waved him around the third base bag last night. It was almost a face that said, "I'll go if I think I should go" or "I can't believe your asking me to hustle real hard" type of a face. Just get your sign and barrel on! Don't look at the play developing as you're running, just get down the line and do your job.

Franco's long look back at the action after he was signaled to go:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Phillies Talk Podcast - Winning is always better

It's time for another edition of Phillies Talk Podcast, the longest running independent show that is on the internet that talks about the Phillies baseball team.

Download the show from iTunes or Stitcher Radio, and follow the show and blog on twitter @fightinphillies

Thanks for listening and we appreciate your support right here at  

Phils beat Arizona, win 3 games in a row

Franco makes his 2015 debut for the Phillies last night

The Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks last night in game 1 of their series at CBP.

A 3-game winning streak is what the Phillies are riding on right now, and it's really something that this team needed. You have to go back to last year in August to find the last time the team had 3 wins or more in a row.

Chad Billingsley did really well in this game, although after he said, "A step in the right direction, I'm not where I want to be. I've got room to improve." Billlingsley kept the Phillies in this game only giving up 2 R and 7 H in 6 IP. 

It was the season debut of Maikel Franco for the Phillies at third base. He went 0-4 with a SO in his debut. He's a highly touted player by the Phillies organization, and Cody Asche was moved to the minors to make room for him at third. Franco was scorching the ball in the minors hitting .355  with 4 HR and 24 RBI.

Here are the Phillies longest winning streaks from 2014 and now 2015 with 3 or more wins in a row thanks to BR.

Consecutive wins in 2014/2015  with 3 games or more:

Rk Strk Start End Games W L Opp
1 PHI 2014-07-07 2014-07-11 5 5 0 MIL,WSN
2 PHI 2014-06-16 2014-06-20 5 5 0 ATL,STL
3 PHI 2014-08-24 2014-08-27 4 4 0 STL,WSN
4 PHI 2015-05-13 2015-05-15 3 3 0 PIT,ARI
5 PHI 2014-08-05 2014-08-07 3 3 0 HOU
6 PHI 2014-06-10 2014-06-12 3 3 0 SDP
7 PHI 2014-05-17 2014-05-20 3 3 0 CIN,MIA
8 PHI 2014-04-20 2014-04-22 3 3 0 COL,LAD
9 PHI 2014-04-11 2014-04-13 3 3 0 MIA
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/16/2015.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Billingsley experiment continues tonight

A few years ago, Chad Billingsley was a very good pitcher for the LA Dodgers. He finished up with an 81-61 record with the Dodgers over 8 seasons.Time and injury has changed that, though Ruben Amaro saw something in value of Chad to bring him to the Phillies.

Tonight, Billingsley is scheduled to make his third start for the Phillies, he is 0-2 so far with a lofty 9.00 ERA, His second start showed a little more promise than the first, and hopefully this start tonight will show even more of a better pitcher.

The numbers don't speak well so far for Chad though, he has 10.0 IP and has given up 16 H and 10 ER including 3 HR.

The Phils are riding a 2-game win streak, the team has not won 3 games in a row all season so far. The team has also been shut out 4 times by their opponents this season. Their team they need to improve the most against so far is the New York Mets, the Phils have a 1-5 record against them.

The homestand continues tonight as Arizona comes to CBP for a 3-game series. The Phils after this weekend go on the road to the Rockies for 4 games, the Nationals next weekend, the NY Mets next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Burnett lost 18 games for Phils last year; wins last night for Pirates

AJ Burnett looked last year like he didn't have anything left in him to pitch at a major league level for another season, he handled the Phillies quite well though last night as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phillies paid him an incredible $15M for one season in 2014 and Burnett had the worst seasons he ever had for his career. In 34 starts, he turned in a 4.59 ERA with an 8-18 record for the Phils, the Pirates took a chance with him in 2015 at a nice discount of $8.5M for 2015.

It was publicized that both the Phillies and Burnett declined the option that Burnett had for 2015 for another $15M, but I seriously doubt that Burnett wouldn't have accepted another big payday from the Phillies if they hadn't declined the option. Why on earth would the Phillies have wanted to bring Burnett back after such a terrible season.

Burnett's career is a strange one, his overall career record is about .500 now with 157 wins and 151 losses. He's made over $144M over his career that doesn't suggest he was a premier pitcher by the numbers he has generated. How did he get so rich for being so, average?

Burnett took advantage of free agency and his career took him to the Yankees for a large $82.5M contract which eventually would wind up with the Pirates picking up a portion of that. It was one of the Yankees worst signings ever, as Burnett turned in a 34-35 record with a high 4.79 ERA for the Yankees stint.

The Phillies couldn't answer to Burnett last night, though they beat one of the best a few days ago in the NY Mets Matt Harvey. That's what makes this team so baffling.

Here's Burnett's career numbers vs the Phillies (regular season) not including last night's start:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP ER BB SO HR ERA
1 2013-04-22 PIT PHI L 2-3 GS-5 5.0 2 3 7 0 3.60
2 2012-06-28 PIT PHI W 5-4 GS-7, W 6.2 3 2 7 1 4.05
3 2010-06-16 NYY PHI L 3-6 GS-4, L 3.1 6 4 3 2 16.20
4 2009-05-22 NYY PHI L 3-7 GS-6, L 6.0 5 2 7 3 7.50
5 2008-05-17 TOR PHI W 6-3 GS-7, W 6.1 2 3 8 0 2.84
6 2006-07-02 TOR PHI L 6-11 GS-5, L 4.1 5 3 6 1 10.38
7 2005-09-09 FLA PHI L 5-12 GS-3, L 2.1 5 3 3 0 19.29
8 2005-07-14 FLA PHI L 7-13 GS-5, L 5.0 6 4 3 3 10.80
9 2005-04-29 FLA PHI W 6-4 GS-7, W 7.0 2 1 8 1 2.57
10 2005-04-12 FLA PHI W 8-2 CG 9, W 9.0 2 0 3 0 2.00
11 2004-10-03 FLA PHI L 4-10 5-6 2.0 0 0 4 0 0.00
12 2004-07-26 FLA PHI W 11-3 GS-5, W 5.0 2 3 6 0 3.60
13 2004-07-21 FLA PHI L 1-2 GS-8, L 7.2 2 1 5 1 2.35
14 2003-04-14 FLA PHI L 2-5 GS-5, L 5.0 3 5 7 0 5.40
15 2002-09-27 FLA PHI W 5-2 GS-6 5.2 1 3 8 0 1.59
16 2002-06-25 FLA PHI L 6-7 GS-6 6.0 4 4 5 1 6.00
17 2002-06-05 FLA PHI W 2-1 CG 9, W 9.0 1 1 6 0 1.00
18 2001-09-21 FLA PHI L 0-1 GS-7 7.0 0 2 5 0 0.00
19 2001-06-30 FLA PHI L 4-6 GS-4, L 3.1 6 5 0 2 16.20
20 2000-09-15 FLA PHI L 4-7 GS-6, L 6.0 5 6 3 1 7.50
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/13/2015.