Friday, September 30, 2011

Phillies Talk Live Podcast

  It's Phillies Talk Live with Rich Baxter and Jim Mulry on one of the longest running independent podcasts on the internet that covers the Phillies.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Playoff times announced for weekend series NLDS vs Cardinals at Philly

  We've waited long enough, and now we know the times for the games in Philadelphia for the NLDS on Saturday and Sunday.

  Game 1  (Saturday)  5:07 PM EST

  Game 2  (Sunday) 8:37 PM EST (updated)

 Of course the Phillies will be playing the St. Louis Cardinals in this series

 Comcast SportsNet has coverage of the games before and after. The NLDS Series is being televised on TBS. Here is the schedule for local Phillies coverage on Comcast SportsNet:

PHILADELPHIA - (September 29, 2011)  - Comcast SportsNet, the region’s leading source for local sports coverage, is the home of the most comprehensive Phillies post season coverage with in-depth coverage on-air and online.  Throughout the Phillies 2011 postseason run, Comcast SportsNet will provide extended Phillies coverage, including “Phillies Pregame Live” and “Phillies Postgame Live” for every postseason game. Both programs will feature highlights, exclusive interviews with players and managers, plus expert analysis from former Phillies Ricky Bottalico and Chris Coste and former MLBer Ben Davis.

Leslie Gudel , Marshall Harris,’s Jim Salisbury and John Gonzalez will  cover every Phillies game and e a part of playoff editions of “Daily News Live” , “SportsNite” and “Road to A Ring” playoff specials.  

Comcast SportsNet’s game-day coverage of the Phillies-Cardinals series begins on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. with “Phillies Pregame Live” from Citizens Bank Park. Michael Barkann will host with Ricky Bottalico and Chris Coste providing analysis. Ben Davis will host a live online chat at during both Phillies games this weekend. The schedule for the first two games of the Phillies-Cardinals series is below.

Saturday, October 1
4:30 p.m.               Phillies Pregame Live from Citizen Bank Park
5 p.m.                     Ben Davis live chat on
6 p.m.                     SportsNite
8:15 p.m.               Phillies Postgame Live
10 p.m.                  SportsNite
1 a.m.                     SportsRise

Sunday, October 2
6 p.m.                     SportsNite
6:30 p.m.               Full Contact
7 p.m.                     Phillies Pregame Live from Citizens Bank Park
8 p.m.                     Ben Davis live chat on
10 p.m.                  SportsNite
11:15 p.m.            Phillies Postgame Live
1 a.m.                     SportsRise

Historic night for the Phillies and Manuel as they win Game 102 to finish 2011 season

New season wins total for Phillies now at 102 courtesy of the 2011 Phillies

It was a historic night for baseball last night for the Phillies. They battled back in a game that they looked to be in a real tough spot to win. The Phils rallied back last night to tie the game in the late innings behind a Chase Utley sacrifice fly and then go ahead and win it in extra innings with a Hunter Pence bloop hit that scored Brian Schneider. The Phillies set a new season wins mark last night with 102 wins on the season.

If the Braves won last night, they were going to be heading to St. Louis to play the Cardinals in a one-game playoff. The two teams would have been tied if the Braves won, but it was just not to be, and the Braves go home despite having a great season. They will not go into the playoffs at all. Instead it will be the Cardinals, and the Cards will now play the Phillies in the NLDS that starts in Philly on Saturday, a time hasn't been announced yet for the game.

Here's how the Phillies pitchers looked last night as they started their quest on the historic night. It was not one, but several starters who took to the mound for the Phils.

The Phillies started out with Joe Blanton, who hasn’t started a game since May 5th, Joe pitched pretty well. Big Joe pitched 2.0 innings and gave up 1 ER on 4 strikeouts. This may be the last year we see Joe Blanton in a Phillies uniform, he’s going to be on the playoff rosters, so he isn’t done with us just yet.

Cole Hamels came in and looked sharp with the exception of the home run he gave up to Dan Uggla to give the Braves a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. Hamels ended his regular season stats with a 2.79 ERA with his 3.0 innings he pitched on the night. Hamels also ends the 2011 season with a 14-9 record. Hamels struck out 194 batters in the 2011 season with 216 innings pitched.

Vance Worley followed Hamels on this night on the mound. Worley has been the biggest surprise on this roster. He’s won 11 games for the Phillies this season and had 119 SO. Worley added the last 2 SO tonight, and finished the season with a 3.01 ERA.

The bullpen then held this game down for the Phillies and the 13th inning, when the Phils shocked the Braves and ended their season in a dramatic come from behind win.

It wasn't the only record on the night, Charlie Manuel earned his 646th win as manager of the Phillies and that feat moved him into first place among Phillies managers.

This night that was the last night of the season will be remembered by many, it was one of baseball's greatest nights. The Boston Red Sox also suffered the fate of the Braves last night, as the Toronto Jays stormed back to win over the Yankees being down 7-0 late in their game. They just don't make these kind of plays in other sports and that is why baseball tops them all.

More on the playoffs in the next couple days, as now we know it will be the Cardinals that the Phillies will face in the first round.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Phils move closer to playoffs on Saturday and new record



  101 Puts the 2011 Phillies in a three way tie for most wins in a season


It’s almost too tough to watch the Braves sink like a ship in need of a serious bailout, but it’s the Phillies that are sailing proud in this final series of the year in the regular season. We’ve just about forgotten about the epic 8 game slide near the end of the year and now after the second win in this Atlanta series, the Phillies can set a new record with one more win against the Braves on Wednesday night.


The Phillies have tied the record for wins in a regular season at 101 on Tuesday night in Atlanta, when all Braves fans could do was sit and root for the Houston Astros, who were playing the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards are right on the heels of the Braves for the wild card spot in the NL. Hard to believe that Charlie Manuel has also tied Gene Mauch’s Phillies manager wins mark at 645, with the win tonight.


The Braves and the Cardinals could end in a tie for the Wild Card berth into the playoffs and it will go down to the final game of the year to see if that is a possibility. Atlanta is in a late ‘epic fail’ at this point, it looked like the wild card spot was theirs to have just a few weeks ago.


The Phillies meanwhile are much improved from what we’ve seen and are ready to face their yet unknown opponent in the NL in Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday for Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS. Roy Halladay will kick off the series for the Phillies on Saturday. The time of the game is still a mystery as well. That’s too bad that fans with tickets don’t even know what time the game will be this late in the week. It should be scheduled better to allow the fans to plan their time around the game and not the other way around.


We all still remember Roy Halladay’s awesome first game in the NLDS last year (it was also his first appearance in the postseason) when he pitched a ‘no hitter’ against the Reds in Philadelphia. Can he repeat this awesome feat this year?


The other NL Division series of course is undecided on who the opponents will be so we’ll wait to see what happens there. The AL Series in New York will kick off a serious weekend of baseball with an 8:37 PM first pitch on Friday night. The Yankees have home field advantage like the Phillies do. The Yankees at least have the time up for the fans, although they don’t know who they’ll be playing just yet.

100 wins for the season with win last night






It’s been something that has eluded Phillies teams for over 30 years, and only the third time in club history that it’s been achieved. That of course is a 100 win season for the Phillies that hasn’t been done since 1977. The Phils beat the Atlanta Braves last night and took their spot at third place on the all-time wins for a season mark.


Around the 1st of September this year, it seemed that this Phillies team would easily slide into the top spot on that list as the club with the highest amount of wins in season. Baseball happens though, and now the team must win their final two games of this 2011 regular season to set a new record.


For a feeling of how long it’s been since the Phillies had a 100 win season, consider the last year it was done, in 1977 and the year before in 1976. Here are a few of the things that were happening at that time in 1977:


  •   Jimmy Carter was President of the United States
  •   Legionnaire's Disease was identified Jan 18, 1977
  •   Star Wars hit the theatres for the first time
  •   Elvis Presley died at 42 years old
  •   Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was the top LP of the year

Monday, September 26, 2011

Win from Phils yesterday helps a little

  Charlie Manuel is glad to see the losing end from the Phils

The much needed win from the Phillies yesterday put a band-aid on a very bad problem they’ve had lately. Not being able to score runs and win ball games was a problem this team has had just after winning the NL East Division. The team was in a free fall and there looked to be no end in sight to when it would end. I am not subscribing to many baseball writers who don't think the Phillies had their best lineup in for the losing streak either. That isn't an excuse, and these 'replacement' players have gotten the job done all year for this team. The win yesterday from the 'regulars' doesn't quell my suspicion that this team is cured of losing all together.

Losing can attach itself to you and stay with you a while. The Phillies now move on to end the regular season with 3 games in Atlanta. The Braves had a great season on their own, and it was very good that the Phillies had a big lead going into the last two weeks of the season or these games really would have had some interesting meaning to them. They still do matter but only to finish out the season, and now that a record setting wins total for the season seems like it’s impossibility- we’ll see how the team does now as it should be in high gear for the playoffs that are just on the other side of this series.

Just after the regular season, the FightinPhillies blog will have a special promotion running so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Epic losing streak mars otherwise marvelous season



Division celebration 2011

The team hasn’t won since the division winning game on September 17


It’s been a few days since I’ve posted here on FightinPhillies. The Phillies team has been on a prolonged losing streak that has now reached epic proportions. The team is now in the final days of the regular season in 2011, and last night the Phils dropped the second game of a day/night double header and extended their losing streak to 8 in a row.


To think that this losing streak doesn’t matter is wrong. No, the Phillies won’t lose the division behind it or lose their spot in the playoffs, but the long term losing streak has dug it’s nails into this team at the worst moment in the season possible. Playoff baseball a lot of the time is about emotion and treats teams that are playing great baseball well. This is not what is happening with the Phillies.


If the Phillies did not have the cushion they have, they could’ve easily ended up like the Mets did in 2007. You don’t want to lose 90 percent of your last 15 games at the end of the season, no matter what place your in. There is no easy answer for the losing streak, but the most obvious answer would be that the team is just not playing simple baseball. Simple in getting on base, and moving the runners is about as basic as the Phillies need to start doing.


The story of this season is still developing, you can’t predict anything in this game and that is a good thing. Around the first day of September, the Phillies looked like they would pull away with 105 wins or more on the season. They don’t appear to be heading that way now. This losing streak has put a damper on the total wins needed to even break a new record now.


Could the Phillies team have made a big mistake of believing their own hype? Did the celebration last too long for the Division win in 2011, if you watched it on tv, the team almost looked as if they won the World Series. It was great to win the division this year, but hopefully this team hasn’t fell into a trap of thinking that it’s all going to be handed to them because it just isn’t. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Double Trouble: Funk continues with losses to Nationals in Double Header




Lee is denied win 17 on the year tonight, the Phils losses continue



Let’s just hope this isn’t the same team we see in the playoffs. Yes, it’s been a long season. On my blog post yesterday, I even flubbed up typing in the wrong team that the Phillies were playing- fixing it only after proofreading my post several hours later. It was kind of the way the Phillies day and night went. They lost both games to the Washington Nationals, one that started at 1:05 PM and then the night cap, at 7:05 PM.


Could this team be out of gas with the fine season that they put up on the board? The last month for the team has been a long continuous stretch of time for the Phils. The month of September has seen the team have zero days off. A double header today and last week really stretched the overworked team just in the past two weeks and now it’s starting to show.


There are only 2 more home games remaining after the double loss against the Nationals. The season is winding down to a  precious 8 final games in which the Phillies can still break the season win total of 101. It just doesn’t seem like it is going to be as easy as some have thought it would be a couple weeks ago.


Many pundits aren’t reading into this, and that isn’t their job to. Most daily beat writers just write about what happened to the team on a particular game. They don’t read too much into what may happen down the road most of the time. Is this losing streak good at this time? Of course not, this team doesn’t like to lose and it’s not a good habit to get into. Can this team rebound? Of course they can, but doing it is the first step. It’s kind of like a ship that has suddenly sprung a big leak, there are people there to take care of it, but will the leak grow or can they contain it and get back to smooth sailing? Time will tell.


Check out what “The Philies Girl” blog had to say about these games here

Check out what Philly Inquirer had to say about these games here

3 of 4 lost to Cards, no 20-game winner for Phillies?

Halladay's loss may mean no 20-game winner for the Phillies this year

A midst the celebration from Saturday night, there has been some play that you wouldn't expect from the Phillies especially at this time of the season. The team lost 3 of 4 games to the St. Louis Cardinals, but clinched home field advantage for the playoffs anyway last night. This is not what you expected from this powerhouse Phillies team that had been doing pretty well. Home field advantage will mean nothing if this team plays like this in the Division Series that starts up in about 10 days.

The losses to the Cardinals have also done something else, there will not be a 20 game winner on this team this year. The loss for Roy Halladay last night, virtually assures that we won't have a 20 game winner this year and it puts a cloud over Roy's chance for a back to back Cy Young Award. Roy does have what appears to be 2 more starts in the season, unless he is rested which is probably what the Phillies will do for at least one of his starts.

The offense has went completely flat over the past several games, and there is no explanation why really. This team was sailing along and all of a sudden, it stopped cold. Maybe they are believing their own hype? They could be tired, although I don't think it's that.

Losing 3 of 4 to the Cardinals was one thing, and rewinding back to the prior weekend, we saw the Phillies lose to the Houston Astros 3 times in a 4 game series. Six losses to two teams in two weeks is not how this team has played all season and now, even though everything is set up for them to have home field advantage and having clinched the division, there somehow is a feeling that this Phillies team is beatable.

The Phils have a day/night doubleheader again. We welcome in the Nats to end the season homestand for this series. We'll see if this losing streak is a trend and continues or do the Phillies start playing like they are capable of.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Phillies: NL East Champs for 5th straight year

Ibanez Grand Slam NL Clinch 2011
Mad Dog Madson Ruiz 2011 NL Clinch
Phillies Clinch 2011
2011 NL Champs
  NL East scene on the field from My17, just after the victory last night.

I remember the day when we clinched in 2007, I still feel that this game may have been the best game that I’ve ever been at. The epic Mets collapse was happening, the division was basically theirs to win, and the Phillies stormed back to win the division on the last day of the regular season. The crowd at the stadium that day was electric. This 2007 NL East Division win started it all off, and there looks like there is no end in sight.

Fast forward and this core group of players have now won 5 NL East championships, with the victory last night over the St. Louis Cardinals last night. This team of course is a little different from the other teams that has won the Division, but they are making history and they have accomplished something that has never been done in Phillies history. Five straight championship years by the Phillies is beyond some people’s imaginations.

The players celebrated mightily after the victory last night. Champagne and beer and cigars marked the moment that this Phillies team has now officially won the title of NL East champs. Ruben Amaro said it best after the game, he said that this group of players really like one another, and with a big group of players like the players on the Phillies, that isn’t all that easy. A group of players that stand up for one another and have one another’s back is what they are. It’s a magical combination of personalities that end up in a winning result.

There will be time to digest what has happened in this season after it is all over. The work is still there for the team. We may see some more rest for some of the regulars as the regular season winds down, but there is still the better part of 12 days left in the regular season before the playoff scenarios start.

Check out what the party looked like and sounded like on Todd Zolecki's blog from here!

It’s Party time now, the division is ours and the focus soon turns to the playoffs. Can this team take all of what it has done so far and manifest it to a series of victories to reach the World Series? We’ll see.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

La Russa and Manuel are two different managers, but both are successful




Tony LaRussa is an overachiever, he sometimes is accused of over managing baseball games. He’s been with the Cardinals forever it seems, and he started out his managerial career in 1978 with the Chicago White Sox organization in Double-A ball.


La Russa is a thinker, and a mover and shaker. He has a law degree from the Florida State University College of Law, though his passion is baseball. He’s accumulated quite a stack of awards over the years for being a baseball manager.


Part of being a manager in baseball is luck, and another part is skill. Knowing when to push the right button at the right time is the gentle art of managing with a bit of luck thrown in and of course having the good players on the team as well. You can be one of the best managers ever and without the proper personnel, you would sink to the bottom of the deep dark MLB ocean of teams that could have, should have, but did not.


Manuel is the opposite of La Russa’s ‘hands on’ approach


Charlie Manuel is the direct opposite of La Russa. Manuel prefers to let the game play on most of the time. He makes moves but not in a calculated or flashy way. Manuel has been a player over in Japan(with great success) and with that wise knowledge of the game, he puts it to use when he needs to. Some would argue Manuel relies on “playing the game out” instead of making certain moves that other more cerebral managers would make.


Some people call this method that Manuel employs as ‘playing baseball the right way.” Not sprinkling it with sugar coating or trying to make moves that involves making the manager a key part of the ballgame.


LaRussa is the longest tenured manager in the MLB


For the moment now, La Russa is the longest tenured manager in all of baseball. That title used to belong to Bobby Cox with the Atlanta Braves. Tony La Russa has been a manager in the MLB since 1979. He’s been with the Cardinals since 1996. La Russa also has a one year mutual option to return to the Cardinals in 2012. No announcement yet if that contract will be renewed by the Cards, but there is not reason to believe they wouldn’t want him back.


Phillies Magic Number to clinch NL East in 2011 is now at 1


Charlie Manuel has had a great past 5 seasons as manager of the Phillies. He has enjoyed first place finishes in the NL East for what today could be the 5th in a row. The Phillies are just 1 game away from clinching their 5th straight NL East title with either a win tonight or a loss by the Braves against the Mets before the Phillies game even starts. Manuel’s managerial career started in the MLB in 1983 as a minor league manager. He was a well accomplished player in Japan, hitting home run titles and was dubbed, “Aki-Oni” or ‘Red Devil’ by fans in Japan and other players there.


It just proves that there are different ways to go about things in baseball and both these managers from the Cardinals and the Phillies prove that. Manuel has more of the ‘go out and beat ‘em with what you got’ attitude and La Russa reserves the right to make some aggressive managerial moves during some games. You need the good players though, for without them a manager is just a man without an identity. When was the last time you read anything about the manager of the Kansas City Royals for example and could you even name him? That is what brings the manager the accolades, as he can’t win a ballgame by himself.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Magic number down to 2, clinch could happen tonight






The season is down to 2 combinations of either a Phillies win or a Braves loss that will give the Phillies the NL East title again. It’s the 5th year in a row that the team has accomplished this. Now there is no doubt that this past five seasons will qualify for a ‘dynasty’ status for the team. It’s perhaps the best times this franchise has seen in it’s long history.


The work is not over, what lies ahead is the playoffs. In the past 5 years, the Phillies have been to the World Series twice. Last year they lost in the NLCS by a 4-2 series, and the San Francisco Giants won it all after that. Is this 2011 Phillies team a team of destiny, where nothing less than a trip to the World Series is in order?


The Phils will be facing much better pitching against the Cardinals in the series that starts tonight. The Cards are battling for a wild card spot against the Braves. It looks like an outside chance that the Cardinals will get in, the Braves have a 4.5 game lead on the Cardinals for the Wild Card spot in the playoffs. Stranger things have happened though and the Braves have been in a bit of a slide lately.


The champagne is on ice, the Phillies look poised to pop the cork on yet another NL East Division victory.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We're In! Phillies clinch playoff spot for 2011

Halladay wins 18th as Phils get into the playoffs for the 5th year in a row

It seemed like so far away but the time has come with the Phillies and win #95 on the season officially puts us in the playoffs for 2011. The team hasn't quite clinched the division yet, but they may come over the weekend vs. St. Louis. That is when we'll see the champagne and party break out.

The expectations at the beginning of the 2011 season was for great things to happen, and with Roy Halladay's 18th win and 8th CG on the season today, with the 1-0 win, the good and great things may just be starting to happen for the Phillies now that they are in the playoffs.

Another record fell today, with this 2011 team being the fastest clinching team for the playoffs for the Phillies in the 146th game of the season. The old record was set in 1915 that was done in the 147th game, and this year we beat the record by one day.

Roy Halladay became the first Phillies pitcher to win at least 18 games back to back since Steve Carlton did it in 1979/1980. This game was also Roy's first complete game shutout on the season.

The lone Phillies run yesterday came from a Placido Polanco RBI single, that scored Shane Victorino from second base. Polanco made it to second base on the throw.

The Phillies now have the day/night doubleheader at home tonight vs the Florida Marlins, with the 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM starts.  Next season the Phillies will open their home season in Philly against the Miami Marlins, on April 9th, 2012. The Marlins are undergoing a name change, and will sport a brand new stadium in Miami.

The magic number to win the division is 4 now, and any combination of Phillies wins or Braves losses totaling 4 will give the Phillies the NL East Division title for the season.

Games vs. Florida Marlins:

2:35 PM Game 1:  Kyle Kendrick (7-6) vs. Anibal Sanchez (8-7)

7:35 PM Game 2: Cliff Lee (16-7) vs. Alex Sanabia (0-0)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Houston: We (may) have a problem

Phillies look to "Stop" the losing streak

It just seemed like yesterday that the Phillies were on a winning streak that would never end. Just like most good things though, it ended and now has been replaced by a sloppier and less than great way that the Phils have been playing for the past couple of nights.

It’s good to rest some players, but I think the Phillies now officially have a problem with stringing back to back bad games on the board vs. the Astros. It’s not time to panic, mind you, but these games that we’ve been seeing from the Phils is kind of concerning.

We’re stuck on 94 wins now for more than a few days, and even though we are 10 games up in the standings over the Braves, you can’t like the direction the Philllies are starting to go.

Maybe we're thinking too much about this, we all love a winner and when the Phillies don't win, there's a sort of panic that starts setting in. There is also one of the hottest teams in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals getting ready to meet the Phillies for a long 4 game series at home in Philly this weekend through Monday.

There's been whispers of 1964 already, and we'll have more talk on that year later in the month on this blog, but for now it's Houston and a slight signal that there may be a problem. We'll see what happens this afternoon when the Phils and the Astros wrap this series up.

If the losing streak has you rattled, read on and these numbers will comfort you:

The Phillies are 46-16 in their last 62 games played on Wednesday

Phillies road record in the last 28 games: 20-8

Phillies record on the last 73 games played on grass:  52-21 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Myers mutes Phillies offense

The old Ace of the Phillies, Brett Myers

We remember that sparky, and quirky side of Brett Myers. Last night we saw the better pitching side of him as Myers silenced Phillies bats in a loss down in Houston by a score of 5-1. If Myers didn't win another game this season, he would have probably preferred his win to come against his old team.

Roy Oswalt took the loss for the Phillies. The Phils had the early lead in this game, but after a Carlos Lee home run off of Oswalt, the Phillies never came back to challenge the Astros in this one. The Phils offense just could not get anything started off of Brett Myers.

Hunter Pence started the game off great with a double into right and he received a nice ovation from the fans.

Earlier in the week on the website, it had J.A. Happ as probable against Roy Halladay in the third game on Wednesday afternoon, but Happ will start tonight against Cole Hamels. Happ has had a season that mirrors the way the Astros have played, he is 5-15 on the year. Cole Hamels takes his 14-7 record into tonight's game down in Houston. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

'Phillies Talk' Podcast - Phils Return to Houston

We're back on the job with the Phillies Talk Podcast, talking Phillies baseball with the Phils returning to Houston. It's the longest running independent internet broadcast about the Phillies. Right here with Rich Baxter and James "Jim Dog' Mulry talking sports with you on "Phillies Talk". Find the show right here or subscribe on iTunes or Android podcasts.

We're looking for sponsors for the show, email me at for more information on sponsoring some shows.

Oswalt and Pence return to Houston

A little song about Houston from Glen Campbell

It’s the return to Houston for some of the newest Phillies on the team. Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. It hasn’t been all roses for Oswalt in Philly, he was largely booed by some fans who like to voice their opinion loudly in Philly towards the end of August when John Buck of the Marlins hit a grand slam off of him. As Oswalt said, ‘It was pretty much one bad pitch.”

That is what mystifies me about people what would boo their own players at home, with such a great season we’re having there is no reason to do that. I think Oswalt gets a nice warmer welcome tonight in Houston as he faces the Phillies old friend Brett Myers on the mound.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11–The 10th Year Anniversary

World Trade
The day that changed America, September 11, 2001

It’s the anniversary of one of the worst attacks ever in the United States. It was  on this day in 2011 that a group of well organized terrorists did the unthinkable. Simultaneous hijacking of 4 large aircraft loaded with civilian passengers, and three of them carried out their missions which was to destroy as much as they could, the 4th was brought down by a courageous group of passengers on the plane that realized what was happening.

Everyone who is over the age of 18 probably remembers where they were in 2001 when these tragic events occured, and it’s been a very fast ten years since this has happened. The events on this day changed the way America felt, and just about every other aspect of daily life in the US. The way we used to live came to an abrupt halt and with the wreckage of what we saw before our eyes.

A few years ago I went to a baseball game in New York on September 11th, it was a solemn event and one that I won’t forget. The Mets were playing the Phillies in this game, it was another solemn reminder of the day that changed this country. The game had a number of people in the stands that were survivors of the attack of 9/11 and it won’t be forgotten.

Baseball came to an abrupt halt on September 11, 2001. There was an eerie silence that followed from the moment the first plane struck the World Trade Center and the news of what was happening finally got out. We didn’t know if this was a full scale attack on this country or what was going on. With each minute that passed after the first plane struck the World Trade Center, there was nervousness and a feeling that has never had been felt by many of us, with the exception of those who went through World War 2. Air travel was suspended, cancellations of just about every way we lived our ‘normal’ lives took place, including the suspension of playing baseball games in the MLB.

Now 10 years later, the terror is in the shadows. It was put on the run and into submission for a while, but we should never forget and never let our guard down for it is the memory of this day that we shouldn’t forget that there is ideals to stand up for: liberty and justice for all.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Hamels wins 14th as Phillies cruise to victory in Milwaukee

The Sausage Race is a highlight of the night for many at Brewer Park here from Youtube

Cole Hamels is having a great year. He notched his 14th victory of the year last night in Milwaukee pitching a CG and the Phillies earned their 92nd victory of the year winning by the score of 7-2. The Phillies were down 1-0 in this game up until the 6th inning, when the Phils unleashed a 6 run barrage.

Hamels won this game going the distance with only 2 strikeouts on the night. He only needed 111 pitches on the evening to earn the win.

September has brought a different side to this team, gone are the inconsistencies that followed them in other months in this season. They have started another winning streak and it’s up to 4 games now with Roy Halladay scheduled for tonight.

Roy Halladay will be taking on Shaun Marcum for the Brewers tonight. Marcum is having a good year at 12-5 in his first year with the Brewers. These two guys were teammates on the Toronto Blue Jays, so they are very familiar with one another.

Important stat from ESPN Stats and Info:
Prince Fielder is 6-10 or .600 against Roy Halladay with a home run against Roy Halladay in this career

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Phils broom Braves last night, Milwaukee is next stop


The Phillies have been enjoying the month of September so far. A sweep of the Braves that was completed last night with the 3-2 win put the team 10.5 games up over the same Atlanta Braves and virtually has them in the driver’s seat to take their 5th division title. It was the Phillies 7th walk-off win of the year last night. Hard to believe it’s already going to be the Phillies 5th year of winning the division in the NL East.

Roy Oswalt looked sharp again last night, and I don’t think there is an issue of him making the postseason roster. That is why the Phillies brought him here, and if he is healthy, he’s going to be on the pitching staff. Young Vance Worley will have plenty of time to pitch down the road, and he’s done an amazing job, but if Oswalt is healthy he’s going to be an effective starter for the Phils in the playoffs. It takes more than just a good season to be called an ace of a pitching staff, and Oswalt has been an ace for years now.

The Braves didn’t leave town before something happened in the series that shouldn’t have. Chase Utley got hit in the head with a fastball and took the ball hard off of his helmet that just happens to have happened right after a disputed call on the field by the Braves. Utley will probably miss a couple games because of it, and didn’t travel to Milwaukee with the team. This pitch was not an accident, and it looked as if the Braves pitcher, Eric O’Flaherty, meant to throw at him.

An interesting thing about the MLB players these days is you can follow them on the computer from a program called Twitter. Several players have accounts that can broadcast their message out for people to read. Last night, Jimmy Rollins tweeted out about the plane ride to Milwaukee being an unpleasant experience with the weather being the way it was, he also later tweeted that the hotel that the Phillies were staying in there in Milwaukee was rumored to be haunted. So much for great times on the road!

The next team the Phillies play are the Brewers, they can be facing them in the playoffs, so this may be a prelude to the playoffs as well as the last series with the Braves being intense. This one will be an equally important one for the Phillies.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Worth the wait: Win 90 on the season

90 wins
90th win of the season, worth some rain to get

The rainy night did not look good to start off this game 2 of the series between the Atlanta Braves and the Phillies. There was nearly a two hour rain delay after the 7:05 pm start time, but just before 9:00 pm, the Phillies and the Braves got this game underway.

You kind of got the feeling that they were going to wait this one out, even if it took another delay to get this game into the books. The rain did indeed return again, but play went on through it and both teams just persevered and finally the rain storm again dwindled to just a fine mist.

Charlie Manuel said after the game, "We had to wait a while, but any time you win it makes it easier to swallow.”

Nothing could be more true as the Phillies won 6-3 to bring their 90th win on the year. Vance Worley earned his 11th win on the year and is now 11-1 with a 2.86 ERA. Worley has exceeded a lot of expectations and is in line for Rookie of The Year, this game strengthened the case for ROY for him.

On this night, it was Raul Ibanez that had most of the hits that scored Phillies runners. Raul had 3 RBI in this game and 3 hits. Chase Utley added a home run and Hunter Pence went 2-3 and raised his season batting average to .310 on the year.

The final game of this series is tonight, again it is rain in the forecast. We’ll see if they can get this game in as well. It’ll be Roy Oswalt for the Phillies vs. Brandon Beachy for the Braves. Beachy just happens to be 0-3 against the Phillies in 5 starts, so we’ll see if that trend continues if they can get this ballgame in around the rain storms. This game will also be on ESPN as their Wednesday night baseball special.

The Phillies rewarded fans and ticket holders from last night's game, your patience or good luck if you didn't even go, is paying off. The Phillies have offered a free ticket to one of a half dozen games in the 2012 season, and I think that's just awesome for the fans. Here is the official news from the Phillies on this:

"We sincerely appreciate our fans' patience and understanding and we thank them for their incredible and continued support," said Vice President of Sales and Ticket Operations, John Weber.
"As a token of our appreciation, all fans holding tickets to tonight's game may exchange their tickets for a complimentary 2012 ticket to one of six dates."
Tickets may be exchanged for the Pavilion, Pavilion Deck or Terrace Deck seating area to one of the following six games during the 2012 season:
• On Deck Series Games against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, April 2nd or Tuesday, April 3rd (both games are scheduled to begin at 7:05)
• Any of 4 Monday home games between April 30th and May 21st (opponents and times TBD)
Fans should maintain possession of tonight's tickets (listed as September 6th & game 73) until mid-January 2012 when On Deck Series Games go on sale, or mid-February 2012 when individual tickets go on sale.
Exchanges can be done at the Citizens Bank Park Ticket Windows. All exchanges are subject to availability and will be done on a ticket-for-ticket basis.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Cliff Lee tomahawks the Braves in shutout



 204 strikeouts and 16 wins for Lee on the season


Cliff Lee was on last night against the Atlanta Braves. He kind of reminded me of the way he pitched in the World Series in 2009 when he was on the Phillies team. Lee could do no wrong last night. Not only did Lee notch his 200th strikeout on the season, he also pitched a complete game and raised his season win total to 16 wins. My prediction of Lee rising up to challenge Roy Halladay for most wins on the team has come true.


The Phillies shut the Braves out last night in convincing style. The regular season is now dwindling down to only about 3 weeks left. Atlanta was the Phillies nearest competitor in the NL East at 7.5 GB, and now with the loss they are 8.5 GB. The remaining games in this short series will be tested by rain, and the Phillies do end the regular season down in Atlanta. If there is rainouts the next two days, there could be an interesting scenario where the Phillies would be playing the Braves for 5 games at the end of the season instead of the final three.


This season has gone by all too fast, and last night’s win was one of those games you’d like to have on video for the long winter when there is no baseball to watch. The Phillies are starting to fire on all cylinders, they can sense that the postseason is around the corner. Isn’t it fun to look forward to October baseball?


Joe Blanton is back, read Todd Zolecki’s story on it here!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Joe West gets call right, Instant Replay misused though

Florida Hands Game
Florida Hands Game2

Video stills capture the fan interference but it wasn’t called initially

Nobody can argue that Umpire crew chief, Joe West, didn’t get the call right. In the end, this is where I think this protest will be denied. The Phillies did indeed protest the final game of a three game series in Florida today after a Hunter Pence long fly ball to right field wasn’t caught by the Florida Marlins fielder, Bryan Peterson. Could have Peterson even caught that ball? Joe West said, yes.

There were two fans just with the hands where you aren’t supposed to put them when a ball is in play. It all happens so fast though, and within a split second these two fans interfered with a baseball in play and it caused them to be ejected from the stadium and some embarrassment for sure. Hunter Pence had stood on second base for the better part of 15 minutes before Joe West and his umpiring crew emerged from the Sun Life Stadium review area just inside the Marlins dugout area.

Should this play have even been reviewed? A signal of homerun wasn’t called by any umpire, in fact they were fine with awarding Hunter Pence second base. Joe West made the decision to review the play. He didn’t have the proper reason to do so, but perhaps he did us all a favor. Should instant replay be used in baseball? Why not use instant replay on a close play at first base for instance?

You could see the look on Joe West’s face. He had opened a can or worms, but now it is up to Major League Baseball to determine if the Phillies claim of protest is warranted. Part of me says they should say to replay the portion of the game from where this occurred, but the other half of me is reassured that the MLB will probably do nothing about this, because the right call was made on the field. The catch is only after the play was looked at on instant replay, and that isn’t allowed by rule. So I think the MLB will just sweep this tidy little mess under the carpet like it does with most controversies.

Oh yes, the Phillies did lose this game. It took 14 innings, and this game took it’s place as the 2nd most innings in a game that the Phillies have had to play this season. The other of course being the May 25th game with the Reds in which Wilson Valdez picked up his first and only win as a pitcher so far this season.

This game today will take it’s place in Phillies game history as perhaps “The Instant Replay Game”. Another game that we will remember for some time to come. The outcome of the decision by the MLB will be another interesting part of how all of this game finally played out as well.

Phillies are no stranger to Instant Replay reviews, here is one from 10/10/10 last year, when Chase Utley hit a home run in the playoffs:

Phillies Talk Podcast live at 6:45 tonight

Join Rich and Jim as we talk about the wild game down in Florida tonight, it's under protest for sure as the Phillies lost this game. We'll talk about that and more on this edition of the show!

Select the show from the player on this post, you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes or Android podcasts. Take us along for the ride, it's Phillies Talk Podcast, since 2006 with Rich Baxter and Jim Mulry. Phillies Talk is an independent podcast, we think you'll like it.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Another Phillies season record falls






You may not have known that with the win last night by beating the Marlins, the Phillies in 2011 have put themselves in the record books in Phillies history as the first team to be 42 games over .500 on the season.


Records are dropping this season in ‘record numbers’ so to speak. Is there nothing that this team won’t accomplish this year? For that answer, we’re going to go back into history and look at the team that held the most games over .500 record since 1976. The record was 41 games over.


1976 and 1977 teams had great pitching too

The 1976 Phillies have a lot of similarities to this team in 2011. At the end of the season in ‘76, the Phillies had a 20 game winner in Steve Carlton who went 20-7 on the year. Carlton in this season also had an incredible 13 CG’s on the year. Just behind him was Jim Lonborg with an 18-10 season. Larry Christenson and Jim Kaat each had 13 and 12 wins each respectively. So the Phillies of ‘76 had a great winning pitching staff as do this year’s Phillies team.


The 1976 team for the Phillies went 8-2 in their last ten games to win their 100th or more game, I don’t think this year’s team has to do that to reach the magical win mark of 100 games. I think this Phillies team will also break the most season wins which is 101 in both 1976 and 1977 by a Phillies team rather easily. Yet another record will fall.


Greatness in regular season doesn’t always mean World Series wins

My concern with all of this greatness is the way the 1976 and 1977 teams ended their season by not going to the World Series. A team can play amazingly during the season and then find a rough spot during the playoffs. The ‘76 team got swept by the Reds in 3 games straight in the NLCS, and the 1977 lost in the NLCS to the LA Dodgers by a 3-1 series. The 1978 Phillies also went to the NLCS and got beat by the LA Dodgers again by a score of 3-1 also. So even a team that does so well during the regular season doesn’t always do that well in the postseason.


Time will tell what happens with the 2011 Phillies and if they will make it deep into the playoffs. We’re enjoying the ride for now with all of this greatness that is going on. What is the next record to fall this season? We’ll talk about that in the coming weeks for sure.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Phils sweep into September


The Phils wrapped up a 4 game series in Cincinnati with a win and a sweep of the Reds to welcome September in on Thursday afternoon. September is when the weather starts to cool a bit, and the baseball rosters expand to 40 players. The expansion of players could give the regular players a bit of a rest down the road as the 2011 season starts to wind down. It’s been the first time since 1976 that the Phillies are 41 games over .500 on the season.

Phillies rookie pitcher, Vance Worley, got his 10th win of the season today and that takes his season record to 10-1 with a 2.86 ERA. It’s been a long time since the Phillies have had a home grown draft pick emerge into a great pitcher in his own right. Worley is staking his claim in this rotation, and even though he has had great support in his starts, the record doesn’t lie and he is still 10-1 on the year.

Regular season to wind up on September 28th this year

The 2011 regular season is due to end on September 28th in Atlanta this year. The Phils ended their schedule last year in Atlanta also, before that you have to go back to the 2006 season when the Phillies ended up their regular season on the road in Miami against the Marlins.

Looking at the prospect of having a 20 game winner on the Phillies in 2011

When we all heard that the Phillies were going to have the fabulous starting rotation that they do this season, a lot of people started to ponder who would be a 20-game winner from the rotation. We’ve had a lot of great performances so far and the odds on favorite to win 20 is still Roy Halladay. Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee have a chance as well so we’ll see what happens in the month of September with the starters.


Marlins New stadium

  New stadium for miami marlins


Three game series for the Phils in Miami to start the Labor Day weekend

This weekend will mark the last time that the Phillies will face the Florida Marlins. Next year the Florida Marlins will be called the Miami Marlins and they will be sporting a  brand new stadium and not have to worry about rainouts. The stadium will have all the modern necessities and a retractable roof to provide comfort to fans and players alike. I will always remember the games that the Phillies played down there with players on both teams being overcome with heat and humidity. It’s all going to be just a memory now that next year will bring the new stadium.