Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Halladay helps Phils win with pitching and bat

What hasn't Roy Halladay done this year? Last night he proved again that he is an all around player on the Phillies as not only did he pitch great on the mound, he sliced a Bronson Arroyo pitch into the right field corner for a double and drove home 3 runs last night in Cincinnati. The Phils went on to a 9-0 win.

All of those years that Roy Halladay didn't get the chance to bat is starting to catch up with Roy. Pitchers, especially those like the superstar Halladay is, aren't supposed to be doing that well at the plate. Most pitchers that go up to bat are more or less looked at as an easy out, but not the Phillies pitchers who have really stepped it up at the plate this year.

Cliff Lee leads the Phillies pitchers in offense. He has been a hitting machine this season. Lee has 13 hits with two of those being home runs, and he has driven in 13 RBI's on the season. Cole Hamels is right behind Lee with 8 hits and now Halladay has 7 hits on the year. Halladay has now tied Phillies pitchers in RBI's for second place on the team with Vance Worley, who also has 3 RBI's.

This is the time of the season when we start talking about 'Magic Numbers'. The magic number is how many games the Phillies either have to win or Atlanta has to lose to give the Phillies their Division title. That number is now at 29, so any combination of either Phillies wins or Atlanta losses will make the number move lower. It doesn't seem to matter for Atlanta as it seems like they are in the drivers seat for the Wild Card playoff spot in the NL.

The Phils extend their stay in Cincinnati tonight with Cliff Lee on the mound tonight against Dontrelle Willis. The game gets underway at 7:10 PM. One more game remains in the series, as I look at the schedule :)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Phils get back to business, winning

The Phillies have continued their winning ways last night by a 3-2 score over the Cincinnati Reds. The win total now stands at 84 on the season and there is more than a month left to play.

Cole Hamels returned to the mound, and looked sharp. Cole pitched 6.0 innings and struck out 7 in the game, and only gave up 2 runs. Hamels didn't get credit for the win last night, but his return possibly signaled that he is ok and not going to lose any starts for now.

The Reds have been a team that looked like it was going places, but this season the team hasn't lived up to it's good play of last season. The attendance last night reflected that with only 21,000 plus fans in the stadium to watch baseball in the Queen City.

The Phillies lead on the Atlanta Braves is 6.5 games as we near the end of August. The Braves have been having a great season of their own and have shadowed the Phillies now for a month solid and seem like they are maintaining their great season with a 79-54 record so far. The Phillies play the Braves a total of 6 more times incuded in those games is the Phillies ending the regular season there in Atlanta for the final three regular season games.

Roy Halladay is scheduled to start tonight, he is looking for his 16th win on the year. He will face Bronson Arroyo, and his strange high kick delivery for the Reds. Arroyo is 8-10 for the Reds this year so far. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Phillies set to face Reds tonight

 It's been really tough to think about baseball in the Philadelphia tri-state area during the past couple of days. Preparing for a hurricane is not one of the easiest things we'll ever do. People had to evacuate their homes, secure their property, and shop for emergency supplies.

It's been years since this area has had a hurricane bearing down on it, and it looks as though we weathered the storm, but now the flooding is what most people will have to deal with in and around Philly as we pick up the pieces and start to resume our lives.

I watched a little of Sunday Night Baseball last night, it was two teams that I normally wouldn't go out of my way to watch. The Anaheim Angels and the Texas Rangers were on tv last night, and it was just so good to see a game after all that went on in the area in the last week. I guess that is why they call baseball our 'national pastime.'

The Phillies are back at it tonight after probably one of the toughest weeks ever in their home stadium. An earthquake on Tuesday, and a hurricane and tornado warnings on Saturday and Sunday were about all the elements that mother nature could throw at us.

The Phillies will face the Cincinnati Reds tonight in Cinncy. The Reds seemed like they were going to be contenders this year after making it to the NLCS last year. The Phillies ended the dreams of the Reds in that series by a shutout in the series 4-0.

The Reds have been one of those teams that are overdue for something good to happen to them. The last time other than last year that the Reds have made it to the playoffs was in 1995 when they were also swept in the NLCS 4-0. That is a long time without any playoff baseball in a city. It's probably why there have been rumblings of expanding the playoffs in the MLB to include more teams when there has been a handful of teams that are always dominating in the past few years.

I don't think were seeing a rematch of last year's NLCS here in Cinncy tonight. The Reds are 66-66 and not really in contention for a playoff spot this year. The Reds are sitting 13 games back behind the Milwaukee Brewers this year so far and it looks as if they will not make the playoffs at all.

Cole Hamels quest for Cy Young contention continues tonight. We'll see if the tough start he had in his last game follows him to Cincinnati or was just a question of needing more rest. Hamels has gotten a lot of rest lately with the rainout and postponements so we'll see how he does tonight. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Phillies homestand now disrupted by Irene

Irene is not partial to baseball or anything else for that matter

This has been some week for Phillies fans, I haven't posted in a few days as most of the area has been preparing for a large hurricane named Irene. The Phils wanted to try and get this series played by shuffling the Sunday game to this afternoon at 1:05pm and then playing a night game on top of that (Of course the Phils cancelled the night game prior today). As soon as I saw that schedule I had to wonder to myself if the Phils were reading the same reports as the rest of us.

 The Philadelphia/NJ/Delaware area was under a Hurricane Warning for two days now but somehow, the decision was made to 'play two' as this massive storm was bearing down on the area. Even on Saturday a.m., when the reports came in that North Carolina was under 95 MPH winds and tornado warnings, and the storm was due to moving quickly to the north- Phillies top brass were under the impression that they were going to play baseball and no decision was made as 1:30 pm neared. Maybe they should use a new weather service or get a clue. It's going to rain....

The team actually didn't announce a postponement of the already rescheduled game that was supposed to start at 1:05 PM until after this time on Saturday, that is plain wrong. A large part of the Phillies fan base comes from New Jersey and areas outside of the city of Philadelphia, most people at the coast line were evacuated from their homes and under a state of emergency around the area.

The week that just was in Philadelphia and vicinity has been one that I am sure will be remembered for a long, long, time. First, there was an earthquake on Tuesday, 8/23/11 and that occurred just before 2 pm on a game day. Never before has this area felt the effects of something as strong as that. The stadium had to be checked for cracks and the safety of it's fans that were going to fill the stadium later that night.

Now, there is a hurricane bearing down on the area. This kind of puts a damper on baseball, but there will be more baseball to come. Remember to heed the warnings and advice of local government if you live in the tri-state area around Philadelphia, this storm may have been downgraded slightly from what originally was forecast, but it will remain very dangerous just the same. The Philadelphia tri-state area has not had two events like the ones that are affecting us today and last Tuesday in the history of baseball.

Hopefully, we'll all get through this storm without any trouble, and we'll be watching some great games again by the Phillies who have taken to the road and Cincinnati for Monday night. Talk to you all then!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake rattles Phillies ballpark, remembering the 1989 World Series

Live coverage just after the 1989 World Series earthquake in San Francisco, CA

I can never remember a time that the Phillies organization had to inspect a Phillies stadium for an examination for earthquake damage. No, not even when Ryan Howard is blasting home runs out of the ball park like a howitzer did the Phillies have to worry about any seismic activity, but today at 1:50 PM on August 23, 2011 there was a significant earthquake that rattled the tri-state area including Philadelphia and cities like New York and Pittsburgh, and Toronto. The Phillies game was just over five hours from starting when the rattling started.

The feeling was unmistakable, the vibrating ground and swaying objects were violent enough to send workers scrambling out of buildings in the area and even the ballpark at Citizen's Bank Park was evacuated for the safety of those inside. The epicenter of the earthquake was a few hundred miles away in Virginia, but it certainly didn't feel that way in the Philly tri-state area.

The baseball world remembers the 1989 World Series earthquake that caused havoc in the area around San Francisco, as the Giants and the Oakland A's were getting ready play Game 3, and at 5:05 PM Pacific time the earth shook violently and stopped the game from it's 5:35 PM Pacific time scheduled start. More than 62,000 fans were in Candlestick Park for the start of the game, there were no injuries at the stadium. Broadcasters either stood at their posts or completely abandoned them as told in this entry in wikipedia:

 The ABC Sports team remained in their broadcast booth and appeared composed once a backup generator restored power. By contrast, the broadcasting team in the CBS Radio booth next door, consisting of Jack BuckJohnny Bench, and John Rooney, ran out as soon as the earthquake started. Bench ran to a spot underneath a steel grate, to which Buck quipped, "If you would have moved that fast when you played, you wouldn't have hit into so many double plays." The ESPN live coverage of the Series (ESPN and ABC at the time produced separate broadcasts) was interrupted during then-television analyst Joe Torre's pre-game report on the field. Their equipment van was the only one with a generator, and they continued their live coverage with Chris Berman and Bob Ley. Separately from the broadcast, Peter Gammons and Oakland Athletics pitcher Bob Welch were walking by Marina Middle School in order to get a residency pass when they spotted a slightly unshaven man with a white wind-breaker waiting in line for his pass, who turned out to be Joe DiMaggio, who was concerned over the status of his sister, Louise. Gammons shared this story during a 1999 SportsCenter Flashback special chronicling the 1989 World Series.

The Game 3 of the 1989 World Series was delayed for 5 days, and then another 5 days for the restoration of links for television broadcasting. It was a World Series like no other and Oakland ended up shutting out the Giants by a 4-0 series.

On this night in 2011, it was the Phillies team beating the Mets in our 'Earthquake Game' - the day Philly shook. The Phillies were the winners tonight by a score of 9-4, I think a lot of us will remember this day in the area that felt the quake and maybe even the game between the Phillies and the Mets, there was more than anticipation in the air for sure.

Phils, Mets rivalry not what it was

Mr. Met has not had reason to be too happy this season 

 You always knew when the Mets were in town to take on the Phillies. The New York Mets have had a fairly large contingent of fans that used to follow them down the NJ Turnpike on road trips. In the past couple of seasons, that contingent has been reduced. The bubble of optimism that used to surround the Mets team has long since faded. The Phillies beat the lackluster Mets by a score of 10-0 last night.

Cliff Lee earned his 14th win and suddenly he has catapulted himself up with the top 2 pitchers on the Phillies team in the wins column. If Cliff Lee should land the Cy Young award this season, it will be one of the best stories of the year. Lee has struck out more batters than any Phillies pitcher so far this year, he added another 7 last night to bring his season total to 191.

 What will become of the Mets? That subject is an interesting one, as they have players on the team that were supposed to do great things, but they haven't quite lived up to those expectations. Jose Reyes has been on the Mets for 9 years, he was playing his heart out until he got injured but I don't think the Mets are going to re-sign him for a long term deal after this season. He is still 28 years old, so youth is on his side though for any other team that is thinking about adding Reyes.

 Vance Worley gets another chance at winning his 9th game of the year tonight, in his last 3 starts Worley has a 5.14 ERA and his early success is now starting to show signs of wear even though he is still 8-1 on the season. He will face Jon Niese, 11-10 with a 4.05 ERA. That is one of the Mets biggest problems, their pitching overall is in need of a major overhaul.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Heartbreak on Capitol Street…




It’s the Presidents Race at the Nationals Park



In a long baseball season (with another 1:11 rain delay today) there will be games you win and games you lose but on Sunday afternoon in Washington DC, the Phillies ended up losing a heartbreaker to the Washington Nationals. The Phillies were down to one strike before they would have won the game on a high breaking ball that was the deposited into the left field stands by Ian Desmond in the bottom of the ninth off of the usually dependable Antonio Bastardo.


Bastardo just one strike away from sealing victory

Bastardo looked like he was going to strike out the side in the bottom of the 9th inning. Antonio brought his 5-0 record with 8 saves and 1.32 ERA into the game and the Phillies fans were on their feet and cheering him on when the Nationals’ Ian Desmond swung and swatted the high breaking ball out of the park. The fans feel silent like the air had been let out of a giant balloon. Michael Schwimer, who would have got his first win of his pro career watched the scene from the dugout, he couldn’t do anything but wonder, “what if.”


Lidge loses game in 10th behind hitting Jonny Gomes to force home winning run

The game was not truly lost after Antonio Bastardo had his blown save, Brad Lidge would also get the loss. Interestingly, Michael Schwimer also had a blown save so the Phillies piled up 2 blown saves by three different pitchers before Lidge would hit Jonny Gomes to end the game with a ‘walk off’ hit by pitch. That is fairly rare, and doesn’t happen often. In fact, Gomes didn’t make any move to get out of the way of the pitch, he just stood there and let the ball hit him. The ball sailed into the batter’s box so, the game was over just like that.


The Nationals announcer gloated that the Nats were able to get two games from the Phillies in ‘walk off’ style which was especially sweet after the park as he said was ‘infested’ with Phillies fans. Yes, Phillies fans that made the trip down I-95 and bolstered the attendance of the lowly Nationals. You have to take some tough losses along with the wins though, and those fans from the two games that ended in tough losses probably understand how cruel baseball can seem at times a bit better now. It doesn’t always work out as it seems like it will in this game.


Important plays of the game

  • Carlos Ruiz hits a home run (5) that tied the game 2-2 in the 2nd
  • Chase Utley hit a home run (9) in the 3rd inning to give the Phils 3-2 lead
  • Jimmy Rollins pulls a muscle in the 3rd inning, listed as: day to day


The Phillies take on the New York Mets for three games at home in Philly, an off day on Thursday, and then the Marlins come to town for 3 games over the weekend.

Phillies look to take series with Nats this afternoon


Mayberry throws out Zimmerman

   John Mayberry’s throw denies the Nats a run in the 4th last night


The Phils righted the loss of Friday night with a convincing 5-0 win last night in Washington DC before the largest crowd ever at Nationals Park. The influx of fans were courtesy of the 2011 Phillies team as the fans filled the DC ballpark and actually drowned out most of the Nationals fans with cheers for the Phillies throughout the game.


Oswalt looks like he regains health in DC start

Roy Oswalt looked back on a healthy track again last night as he breezed to the easy 5-0 victory. The Phillies needed only 9 hits to score the 5 runs last night and improve Oswalt’s record to 6-7 on the season. Oswalt surrendered 8 hits over 8 innings and gave up no runs on the night.


Roy Halladay goes for the Phils this afternoon. Weather may be an issue in DC today as there is a 60 percent chance of rain by noon, and it increases to over 70 percent as the afternoon goes on. Halladay is seeking his 16th win of year today.


The Phillies are 22-13 at Nationals Park All-time and at home in Philly, the Phils are even better at 48-22 All-time. The Phillies road record is 37-23 so far on the season. The Phillies are 20-5 with Halladay starting, he has started 25 games so far, prior today’s game.


The Phillies will face Chien-Ming Wang today and he is 2-2 with a 4.22 ERA. Wang spent 5 years on the Yankees and now faces an uncertain future with the Nationals in 2012 unless he shows some promise in his remaining starts this year.  Steven Strasburg is supposed to return in 2012 and that will bolster the Nats pitching game next season.


Keys Points of last night’s game


  • Hunter Pence hits 4th home run as a Phillie
  • John Mayberry throws out Ryan Zimmerman at home
  • Roy Oswalt strikes out 9 and breezes to 6th win on the season
  • Wilson Valdez hits a 2 run triple to right field in the 4th inning

Saturday, August 20, 2011

DC Collapse, Nats Storm Back to Late Win


Ryan Zimmerman Slam

   Zimmerman Grand Slam sinks Phillies in the 9th, a walkoff



The weather forecast around Washington DC was promising, there wasn’t supposed to be any rain around the area of the stadium according to weather forecasts or just a slim chance of a shower. The forecasters were wrong. Just before game time, the skies around Nationals Park opened up and this game was delayed 2 hours and 22 minutes before it got underway.


The Phillies seemed to cruise in this game once it got started. The Phillies held a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the 9th and looked as they were going to win their 81st game on the season. Take nothing for granted in baseball though, as in the bottom of the ninth, the Nationals would storm back to score an incredible 6 runs and wrestle this game away from the Phillies.


The Phillies scratched Roy Oswalt from his start and put Kyle Kendrick on the mound to start the rain delayed game. Livan Hernandez, who was scheduled to start, got the ball for the Nationals and it looked as if the Phillies finally were going to beat Hernandez after losing to him just the week before.


The Rally was started by Jayson Werth, our old friend

The Nationals rallied back into the game in the bottom of the 9th. Jayson Werth scored to make the ballgame 4-3 and started the comeback. With Werth, it  is more a personal thing to come back and beat the Phillies. The Nationals may have beat the Phillies on this night, but that is as close as they’ll get to the playoffs for that team, and Werth is a big disappointment with a $20 million dollar salary and .227 BA and 14 homerun season. Jonny Gomes, hit the ball that scored Werth for the Nationals and continued the rallly.


Even though Ryan Zimmerman hit the grand slam that won the game for the Nationals gave credit to Werth with this quote after the game. "Talk to him," Zimmerman said. "He got the hit to start it."


These are the games that you look back at and wonder how the team lost them. It’s part of the long season of baseball though and there is still much more to be played before this season is over. It’s Madson’s second blown save of the season in 23 save opportunities.


The moves that Charlie Manuel doesn’t make sometimes don’t look good

Another questionable move by Charlie Manuel had him leaving Ryan Madson staying in for the whole inning in the bottom of the 9th as he didn’t feel the need to take Madson out and bring in someone else after it appeared that Madson didn’t have it on the mound. Would it have mattered? Maybe yes or maybe no, but most major league managers would have made a move in the same position. Manuel has a successful team, but he does make a lot of questionable moves, most of the time for the things that he doesn’t do during a game. Charlie stayed with Madson and showed that he had his faith in him to close the game out, a fly ball and catch and it was all over and in the win column for the Phillies, but it just was not to be.


This loss by the Phillies makes it the second time in a week that the Phillies have been bit in the 9th inning. Once by the Diamonbacks and Roy Halladay with the loss, and now with the Nationals and Ryan Madson getting the loss.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Phillies win series late in Philly, travel to Washington for weekend

Here is the 'brawl' again in case you missed it

A rain delay of over two hours is never much fun at the ballpark, if you are a fan there, you just head for a concession stand and get a snack and then hope and pray that for the last two hours that you've waited, the rain will let up and the game will eventually begin again. That's what happened last night in Philly as the rain delayed the Phillies 80th win of the season for a while. The Phils did go on to win this game 4-1 that with the delay was a lengthy 4 hours and 45 minutes plus total. David Herndon picked up the win for the Phils in this game. It ends up being Vance Worley's second straight game in which he didn't get a decision as he didn't go far enough into the game to earn the win.

 The Phillies will take their game on the road to Washington DC over the weekend starting tonight when the Phillies face a pitcher that they seem to have a lot of trouble with, Livan Hernandez. The Phillies will counter with Roy Oswalt.

 Shane Victorino will serve a suspension game tonight, the suspension was reduced to two games from three following an appeal. It seems as if Major League baseball has given a bit of leniency to Victorino, but I am not sure why. His actions did qualify for at least three games and the Giants pitcher should have received the same. Phillies fans appreciate the reduction as Shane won't be away for long, so we'll just chalk this one up as another win for the team.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Series finale with Arizona is tonight






The Arizona Diamondbacks look and play like a hungry team of players that may be an opponent of the Phillies in the playoffs this year. The Dbacks look like they are ready to make the stretch run in the roughly 6+ weeks left in the season. The Giants may be the World Champions but they have stumbled a bit of late, and the Arizona Diamondbacks look like a team that is ready to take their place out in the NL West.


The Phillies had that explosive offense reappear last night with the ignition of it starting with a Wilson Valdez double off the centerfield wall that scored two Phillies and put the team up by a 4-2 score. The offense came late in the game, with 3 runs scored in the 7th and 4 more runs scored in the 8th inning.


Cliff Lee emerged as the winner, as he was lifted after 7 impressive innings. The bullpen carried the rest of the way, and a win is better than what happened the night before when Charlie Manuel just kept riding the back of Roy Halladay. The playoffs are coming, and we have to save some for the playoffs, you can’t always go out there and throw a complete game.


It’s Vance Worley tonight for the Phillies. Worley will try to avenge his last start in Los Angeles where he got roughed up for 6 runs. Worley didn’t lose that game though as the Phillies rallied back for a 9-8 win. Worley’s record remains at 8-1 on the year.


It’s a 7:05 PM start tonight at CBP.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Diamondbacks bite the Phils late in the game




The Arizona Diamondbacks have been quietly getting better all year long. The team is in first place in the NL West, and last night the Dbacks showed how dangerous they can be. The Phillies clung to a 2-1 lead until the 9th inning and then sprung to action with a Lyle Overbay 2-run double. Overbay drove in all three runs on the night.


Roy Halladay was sharp with 14 strikeouts and just couldn’t close the door on the Diamondbacks but Charlie Manuel tried to gain another complete game for Halladay in the process. Perhaps if the bullpen was called on to close this game out, we’d have a different outcome in this game. Charlie Manuel said, “He’s my ace” when asked why he left him in the whole game. I think as the season goes on, Manuel might want to reconsider working his ace so many innings.


The unveiling of the statue that started as a fan’s dream, came true last night at the stadium. The Harry Kalas statue was unveiled for all to see last night and of course the fans were moved by the sight.  A permanent home for a statue of a person who meant so much to the fans, HK.


The Dbacks have been hot lately, they’ve won their 7th straight last night. Their record now is 69-53. Atlanta won it’s second straight game against the World Champion San Franciso Giants last night. The Giants now fall 3 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West.


Roy Halladay’s record stands at 15-5 as the Phillies again face the Diamondbacks at home tonight. It will be Cliff Lee for the Phillies tonight, Cliff is looking for win 13 on the year. Cliff has been turning the heat up on his game lately and now is rising up with both Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels for the best record for Phillies pitchers.


Phillies firsts:  Last night Roy Halladay got some wood on a ball and slugged his first career double!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Listening to baseball on the ‘radio’–and the first baseball game ever broadcast on the airwaves






I got an interesting email this evening about listening to baseball games on the radio. The fond memories we all have of someone we know or knew and how they enjoyed listening to baseball on the radio float back into our memories from time to time. Here is how it all started.


The other night, was the anniversary of the first baseball game ever broadcast on the radio. Oddly enough, the first game ever broadcast was a Phillies game. The year was 1921, and things were much different then. There was no television to watch but if you had a radio, on this night on August 5, 1921 you were treated to the first ever broadcast of a baseball game. The game was from Pittsburgh and it had the Pirates taking on the Phillies.


The funny part is that sometimes, the announcers weren’t even at the games, they were reading the accounts of the game from a ticker tape. My, have we come a long way to all of the internet and online coverage we have today.


Listen to a baseball game on radio sometime, you’ll really like it. If you don’t get good reception, try the MLB Radio package for $19.99 per season you can tune into all of the regular season games on radio all season long.


Oh yes in case your interested, the Phillies lost that first ever broadcasted game to the Pirates 8-5, but it ushered in a new era in the sport, and one that continues to be fun to this day.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Phillies return to winning ways, Harry Kalas statue to be unveiled today

Roy Oswalt talks to the media after the game and Charlie Manuel accesses his start

The Phillies returned to their winning ways last night with the 78th win of the year and Ryan Howard putting up 4 more RBI's to bring the Phillies a 11-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils exploded with 5 runs in the 3rd inning and helped Roy Oswalt improve his season record to 5-7 with the win. Oswalt is continuing to get stronger with each start, he said in a postgame interview.

Ryan Howard added his 26th home run in the 1st inning on the night and he scored Jimmy Rollins on that hit. Howard is now at 95 RBI on the year and there is still a month and a half left in the season. Ryan's highest total of RBI in a season is 149 which he hit in 2006, and then 146 in the 2008 season.

Roy Halladay returns to the mound for a Sunday start and his chance at winning his 16th game of the year. Halladay is tied with Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks with 15 wins to lead the National League. Cole Hamels is still at 13 wins with his start on Friday night not going the way he wanted it to. Cole has said that all of the aces are in a competitive spirit to do as well as they can with each start, it looked like Cole was trying to rush his game on Friday night and that he never looked settled on the mound.

Harry Kalas on the cover of the Phillies magazine from 2009

The moment a lot of fans and players have waited for is here today. The unveiling of the statue of Harry Kalas, longtime Phillies broadcaster and Hall of Fame announcer, will be today in the outfield at Ashburn Alley. The 7 1/2 foot statue will stand next to the restaurant that bears his name, Harry The K's. The statue was started with a fan's Facebook memorial page in 2009 that was put up the day after Harry passed away in Washington DC in April 2009 the movement gathered steam in November of 2009 and on December 1st 2009 this blog got an email from the sculptor of the statue and that he wanted to enlist Phillies bloggers in the quest for the funds to build Harry's statue, here is some of the press release from late November 2009:

Harry Kalas, whose Hall of Fame baritone voice was silenced on April 13, 2009, touched the lives of millions of Philadelphians for nearly forty years as the play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies. Kalas, with fellow Hall of Famer Richie “Whitey” Ashburn, formed what is arguably the greatest announcing team in the history of baseball.
While Harry’s colorful delivery expressed his love of baseball, his call of a game became a pure expression of love for the city and fans of Philadelphia. And, as much as Harry loved the people of Philadelphia, they remain wild about Harry.
In a heartfelt demonstration of that affection, a group of Kalas admirers has kicked off a plan to fund and build a permanent monument to the beloved broadcaster.
The day after Kalas died, Philadelphia Phillies fan, Antonio Jose started a petition on Facebook seeking support for a statue to be erected in Kalas’ honor and memory. One of the Facebook members that signed the petition was Philadelphia native and acclaimed sculptor, Lawrence J. Nowlan.
Nowlan, a Philadelphia native with a studio in Windsor, Vermont, is one of finest figurative bronze sculptors working today and is often on the short list for commissioned memorial sculptures. Most recently the artist created a heroically sized action scene of Nile Kinnick for the University of Iowa, a larger than life Ralph Cramden installed in New York City’s Port Authority and a series of intricately detailed bas-relief sculptures commemorating winemakers at the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame.
Nowlan had started sketching and sculpting Kalas over the summer and seeing the groundswell of support demonstrated on the Facebook page, inspired him to reach out to Jose. After explaining his background and vision of a Kalas monument to Jose, the originator of the petition invited Nowlan to share administration of the Facebook page.
Next, Nowlan gathered a group of friends to strategize a way to turn this dream into a reality. The goals– raise the money, sculpt the memorial and deliver the finished sculpture to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Today is the day when the statue will be unveiled for all to see, it's gonna remind us of Harry and how much he is missed by Phillies fans, players, and his friends on the broadcast crew that do the game every day and night. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday afternoon, but this event will be covered live on the Phillies pregame show on "Behind The Pinstripes" on WPHL 17 before the game so tune in if you're not going to the park today.

Update:  This game has been postponed today as of 10:30 a.m. due to weather, the Harry Kalas statue unveiling is moved to Tuesday, 8/16/11 at  6:40 PM 

Friday, August 12, 2011

John Kruk added to Phillies 'Wall of Fame"

Kruk and Mitch spoke today at the #Phils Alumni Luncheon held... on Twitpic

John Kruk and Mitch Williams today at the over-55 luncheon for Alumni Weekend at CBP

On Friday night at the ballpark, the Phillies honored one of the most colorful characters to put on a Phillies uniform. John Kruk was a Phillies player that Phillies fans just really adored while he was here in Philly. Kruk wasn't always the best, fastest, or clutch hitter, but he hustled each play and that's what the fans really appreciate more than anything.

Kruk was the catalyst of the rag-tag bunch that made up the 1993 Phillies. The '93 team wasn't expected to do much, but they made it all the way to the World Series, and even though they didn't win, they'll always have that special place in the fan's hearts for that magical season they put together. A lot of fans got to view this ceremony.

 These type of events most of the time are only being viewed by the fans that are at the ballpark, because they usually happen before the game. CSN Philly, Comcast Sports Net, decided to air the whole event for the many fans that are around the tri-state area to see. That was awesome by Comcast, and it was great to see all of the other players that are in Philadelphia for Alumni Weekend. Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Bob Boone, and Darren Daulton among other players were in attendance on Friday night, and they be at all of the games all weekend long. Congrats to John Kruk, a Phillies 'Wall of Fame' member inducted on August 12, 2011.

Phillies 20-Game winners: 2011 update

One of the most interesting topics in the offseason just prior to the start of the 2011 season was the talk about the pitching aces that the Phillies have on the team and who would be the pitcher or pitchers to win 20 games this season. The Phillies came to Spring Training with Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt.

Fast forward to August 2011 and now we have a better picture about who is in contention to win 20 games for the Phillies. The first candidate would have to be Roy Halladay. Halladay mezmorized the competition last year and reeled off 21 wins last year for the Phillies, finishing off his season at 21-10. Halladay also picked up his second Cy Young Award of his career in the process. Cliff Lee isn't far behind at 12-7. Lee could easily run off 8 more wins to have 20 wins as well. He won all his games in June.

Roy Halladay is off to another great run at the 20 win mark and possibly in contention for the 2011 Cy Young Award with his NL league leading 15-4 record and 2.51 ERA so far. Right on Halladay's heels is Cole Hamels at 13-6 with a 2.53 ERA. They both have a chance to win 20 games this season.

The highest number of wins in a season since 1969 for the Phillies belongs to Steve Carlton. He won 27 games in 1972 for the Phillies. Carlton started 41 games and pitched 346.1 innings that season, of course he won the Cy Young for the first time in 1972 behind that season, and he would go on to win the Cy Young a total of 4 times in his career. Interestingly, Carlton's Cy Young Awards stretched out through his whole career, he won the award in 1972, 1977, 1980, and 1982. Carlton also posted a 1.97 ERA in 1972 and struck out 310 batters which was the most Carlton ever struck out in a single season.

Run support can play a big part in a pitcher's chance in winning games. Here are the Phillies run support so far this season per game average:

Cliff Lee:  3.70
Roy Halladay:  4.79
Cole Hamels:  4.25
Roy Oswalt:  3.41
Vance Worley:  5.98

Here is a list of 20 game winners or more for the Phillies since 1901:

190l Red Donahue 21-13
1901 Al Orth 20-12
1905 Togie Pittinger 23-14
1907 Tully Sparks 22- 8
1908 George McQuillan 23-17
1910 Earl Moore 22-15
1911 Grover Alexander 28-13
1913 Grover Alexander 22- 8
1913 Tom Seaton 27-12
1914 Grover Alexander 27-15
1914 Erskine Mayer 21-19
1915 Grover Alexander 31-10
1915 Erskine Mayer 21-15
1916 Grover Alexander 33-12
1916 Eppa Rixey 22-10
1917 Grover Alexander 30-13
1950 Robin Roberts 20-11
1951 Robin Roberts 21-15
1952 Robin Roberts 28- 7
1953 Robin Roberts 23-16
1954 Robin Roberts 23-15
1955 Robin Roberts 23-14
1966 Chris Short 20-10
1972 Steve Carlton 27-10
1976 Steve Carlton 20- 7
1977 Steve Carlton 23-10
1980 Steve Carlton 24- 9
1982 Steve Carlton 23-11
2010 Roy Halladay 21-10

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Comcast nominated for Phillies coverage and more for 2011

2011 is a potentially historic year for Phillies fans, and the Comcast Network who broadcasts most of the games. The broadcasts and shows we enjoy require a lot of work, and a lot of 'behind the scenes' people who aren't immediately apparent. Here's a list of shows that Comcast has been nominated for awards for this season.

Comcast SportsNet was nominated for excellence in the following categories:

Station Excellence
“Comcast SportsNet”
Brian Monihan, Senior Vice President and General Manager

Sports- Regularly Scheduled Daily Program or Sportscast

“Toyota SportsNite”-
Rob Kuestner, Assistant News Director
Nyree Berry, Production Assistant
Charles Dower, Show Producer
Bill Markel, Director
Lisa Hilary, Anchor
Rob Michel, Producer
Matt Azarva, Associate Producer

“Wells Fargo SportsNite”
Rob Michel, Producer
Michael Gatti, Supervising Producer
Bill Markel, Director
Gregg Murphy, Anchor/Reporter
Andy Slawecki, Associate Producer
Marshall Harris, Anchor/Reporter

Sporting Events/Game- Live/Unedited Program/Special/Series

“Flyers Hockey”
Shawn Oleksiak, Senior Executive Producer
Bryan Cooper, Producer
Nick Marchetta, Director
Carl Graber, Graphics Producer

“Phillies Baseball”
Shawn Oleksiak, Senior Executive Producer
Jeffrey C. Halikman, Producer
Ray Tipton, Director
John DiSangro, Associate Producer

“76ers Basketball”
Shawn Oleksiak, Senior Executive Producer
JR Aguila, Producer
Dave Goetz, Director
Beth Ely, Graphics Producer

Sports – Program Series
“Phillies Focus Series”
Rob Kuestner, Producer/Assistant News Director
Marshall Harris, Host
Michael Parisano, Editor
Kevin Feeney, Producer
Kevin Flatley, Chief Photographer
Jeffrey Wechsler, Associate Producer
Justin Krapf, Editor

Program One-Time Special
“Philadelphia International Cycling Championship”
Shawn P. Oleksiak, Executive Producer
Scott Faccenda, VP of Operations
Scott Ogle, Director
Brian McLendon, Tech Manager

Feature News Report
Piece of Philly History”
Tom Kretschmer
“A Storm Was Bruin: A Flyers Historic Comeback”
Neal Slotkin

Arts/Entertainment Program Feature/Segment
“A Brush with Immortals”
Brad Nau, Producer

Health Program Feature or Segment
“Race of His Life”
Brad Nau, Producer

Sports- Program Feature/Segment
“2010 Images of the Year”- Comcast SportsNet
Jay Passarella, Editor
Rob Rabena, Associate Producer
“Women’s Roller Derby”- Comcast SportsNet
Paul Aspan- Producer

Historical/Cultural Program Feature/Special
“Love of the Game”
Brad Nau, Producer

Human Interest Program Feature or Segment
“Washington’s Red”
Brad Nau, Producer
Amy Fadool, Sports Anchor

Promotion- News and Program Image
“Comcast SportsNet- We Live Philly Sports”
Eugenia Krug, Executive Producer
Kimberly Stewart, Producer

Editor- Program
Justin Krapf- Comcast SportsNet
Jay Passarella- Comcast SportsNet

Editor- Short Form
Jim Harnett, Comcast SportsNet
David DeMarco- Comcast SportsNet

Graphic Arts/Animation
“Daily News Live”
Jeff Dougherty
Ivan Cheitowskyj
William Green

On-Camera Talent
John Boruk, Comcast SportsNet

On-Camera Talent-Reporter- Sports
John Boruk, Comcast SportsNet

On-Camera Talent-Reporter- Sports Analyst/Play-by-Play
Marc Zumoff- Comcast SportsNet

Photographer- Program
Brad Nau, Comcast SportsNet

Writer- News/Commentary/Short From
John Boruk, Comcast SportsNet
The Comcast Network was nominated for excellence in the following categories:

Interview/Discussion Program/Special
“It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle: Jail for Bullies”-The Comcast Network
Lynn Doyle, Host
“It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle: 50 Years of Radio Memories”- The Comcast Network
Lynn Doyle, Host

Interview/Discussion Series
“It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle: Focus on Women”- The Comcast Network
Lynn Doyle, Host

Historic/Cultural Program/Special
“Murder in Memphis, Timeline to An Assassination” – The Comcast Network
Arthur Fennel
Brian Aiken

Comcast SportsNet, along with The Comcast Network, scored 31 Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations at a ceremony last night hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, which annually honor excellence in news, programming and individual achievement in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, will be presented September 24th at the Loew’s Philadelphia Hotel.

“I am very proud of everyone at Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network for producing outstanding work year after year,” said Brian Monihan, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia Senior Vice President and General Manager. “We are thrilled to receive another nomination for Station Excellence and wish everyone best of luck on Emmy night.”

Thanks to Maureen for the info on the great year Comcast is having bringing us local sports programming.

Phillies sweep Dodgers in 'instant classic'

The Phillies pulled off the improbable yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles. They needed one more victory to sweep the Dodgers and put their road trip into the record books as one of the most successful trips that the Phillies have ever had. The Phils started off the last game in LA by making Chad Billingsley throw more than 35 pitches in an inning, the Dodgers retaliated by scoring a quick 5 runs in their half of the first inning off of Vance Worley. Even Vin Scully thought the Dodgers would cruise to victory behind that, as he announced the game on the Dodgers radio network and liked what he saw from the blue crew in the 1st inning.

The game though would turn out to be an 'instant classic' for the Phillies. An 'instant classic' is one of the games that you would like to have in your collection of games on video as the Phillies didn't look like they would get a victory early on, but they stormed back and earned the win by the end of the game.

Vance Worley had one of his roughest starts of his professional career yesterday, lasting 4 innings and surrendering 6 hits and 6 runs before his day was done. Maybe it was his homecoming as Worley had attended Long Beach State in college and the home town jitters just got the best of him. He had probably been to Dodger stadium a number of times as a fan, and now here he was pitching to the LA Dodgers. That in itself is a daunting task, but Worley didn't get tagged with a loss in this game and he is still 8-1 on the season for the Phillies.

What we saw from the Phillies on this western road trip was the best 10 game road trip ever, that is a 129 year record that we're talking about here, so we all saw history being made. 9-1 is a mark that hasn't been done before in a 10 game road trip by the Phillies. This road trip now over, the Phillies come home to face the Washington Nationals over the weekend.

Road Trip recap:

  • Phillies sweep Colorado Rockies series Aug. 1-3
  • Phils win 3 of 4 games with San Francisco Aug 4-7
  • In LA, the Phillies sweep Los Angeles to go 9-1 on the best 10 game road trip for the Phillies
  • Phillies scored a combined 47 runs in 10 games on the 9-1 road trip
  • The only loss on the road trip is the San Francisco Giants game vs. Tim Lincecum on Sunday, Aug 7