Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler's comments on last night's win vs Boston on CSN Philly
Pinch me, I must be dreaming. Before this series with the Red Sox started I tried to reassure myself that even if the Phillies didn’t win this series, things would be ok. Imagine my delight now that the Phillies have taken both games at home against the Red Sox and today go for the sweep in the businessperson’s special at 1:05 down at Citizens Bank Park.
The Red Sox had been one of the hottest teams in baseball, they still are but they have stalled out with some offensive sputtering lately. Sound familiar? It’s uncanny that both the Red Sox and the Phillies have been enveloped by a cloud of offensive uncertainty. The Phillies have experienced this quite a lot this year, but the baseball gods must be smiling on them, because we keep on winning.
Charlie Manuel has said that the Phillies will stay atop the NL East until someone ‘hungrier’ comes along. I don’t like those propositions really. If you’re on the Atlanta Braves or the Mets and you hear and read those comments, it makes you want to play better and try and do just that. There are plenty of ‘hungry’ teams to go around, and plenty of season left in the baseball year.
I had some apprehension that Vance Worley would get a rude welcome from the Boston Red Sox last night. Worley did a lot to raise his stock and get beyond the latest asking of ‘what have you done for me lately’ type of mentality that some people have had toward him and pitchers like Kyle Kendrick. It’s good to see that Worley won last night and pitched a great game. It' was a 2-1 victory for the Phillies and the bullpen did a marvelous job as well. Who would have though Antonio Bastardo would be closing games out at all this season?
David Ortiz played first base last night, and Adrian Gonzalez was moved to right field in an attempt to generate some additional offense for the Red Sox last night. This move seems to have been best for the Red Sox, and on paper you would think that this would have done the job to generate offense, that is the funny thing though that this game of baseball is not played on paper but on the baseball field.
I can remember last season’s meet up with these Red Sox though, when the Phillies couldn’t get the job done against them. The Phils lost last year’s series with the Red Sox 4-2 during the regular season and it’s nice to be going for a sweep of the Red Sox today.
With every win against the Red Sox, were helping yet another giant in the AL East, and they are the NY Yankees. Somehow the Yankees must be rooting for the Phillies too in the back of their mind as with every Phillies win against the Red Sox, it puts the Sox that much further away from the Yankees.
It’ll be Cole Hamels today with his 9-4 record taking on the tough Jon Lester who is also 9-4 for the Red Sox. It’s perfect weather forecasted for this afternoon’s game at around 75 degrees.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
It’s fun to pick the All Star Game players, even though I think some of the picks may be purely done by fans picking their favorite players over the one that would be best at that game representing either the National or American League.
With that in mind, I give you the FightinPhillies.com picks for the All Star Game 2011, remember voting ends on Thursday so get to your favorite team’s site and get your vote in. Vote for your favorite Phillies here.
American League Picks:1st Base: Paul Konerko - White Sox(tough one to pick, it’s really a 4 way tie)
2nd Base: Robinson Cano – Yankees
Shortstop: Asdrubal Cabrera – Indians
3rd Base: Adrian Beltre – Texas
Catcher: Alex Avila – Tigers
DH: Hideki Matsui – Athletics
Outfield: (3) Jose Bautista – Jays
Curtis Granderson – Yankees
Carlos Quentin – White Sox
National League Picks:1st Base: Prince Fielder – Brewers
2nd Base: Brandon Phillips – Reds
Shortstop: Jose Reyes – Mets
3rd Base: Placido Polanco – Phillies
Outfielders: (3) Matt Kemp – Dodgers
Ryan Braun – Brewers
Hunter Pence – Astros
That is what they ask you for on the official voting form as seen above.
Additionally they ask you to pick for the Home Run Derby Fan Poll by selecting 3 players from each league from 10 players in each league. Here are my picks:
National League Home Run Derby players:Ryan Howard
American League Home run Derby players:Josh Hamilton
Who’s your picks? Tell us about them in the comments section. These All-Star Picks are done annually by all of the members of the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance, which we are a member of, check out their site here.
It's been one of the most hyped series of the year when the 2011 schedule was announced. It's the Boston Red Sox tonight at Citizens Bank Park for the start of a three game series.
The Red Sox have a loyal following of fans, and they'll be there tonight to watch Josh Beckett, who is having a great year so far with a 6-2 record and 1.86 ERA. He'll face one of the hottest pitcher's in the NL, Cliff Lee. Lee has turned it up a couple notches in his last few starts. During the month of June, Lee has started 4 games so far and he has 4 wins, with 2 of those a Complete Game.
This is the series you've been waiting for as a baseball fan, as the middle of the season is here and it's baseball weather out there tonight. It'll be hot, and humid tonight and that tends to do something with baseballs. They fly a little further, and they seem to get just a little more lively in the humidity.
Don't think about October just yet, there is plenty of baseball season left to be played. It would be presumptuous to think that the Phillies and the Red Sox will meet again in October. There is now 15 days until the All Star Game though and tonight we're going to see two of the best teams in baseball go at it.
Cliff Lee so far in June 2011 prior to tonight's start:
- 4 games started, 4 wins
- 2 CG and 2 SO in those 4 wins
- 33 innings pitched, gave up 19 hits only 1 ER
- ERA in June is a scorching .027
- Combined from his 4 starts in June: 6 BB, 24 SO, 0 HR
Monday, June 27, 2011
We’re looking forward to the Red Sox series starting on Tuesday night, but today we’ll be looking back at this day in Phillies history.
On June 27th 2007, the Phillies first baseman, Ryan Howard, stunned the Philadelphia Phillies home crowd of 31,000+ with a mammoth 461-foot home run and became the fastest MLB player in history to hit his 100th home run for his career. The home run solidified Howard’s reputation as a home run hitter. Howard’s contract extension of $900,000 for one year for the 2007 season has now long since been eclipsed by his $10 million dollar 2008 contract and $15 million dollar 2009 salary and $19 million 2010, followed up by $20 million each year in 2011, 2012, and 2013. It certainly does pay to be a good home run hitter.
On June 27th 1963, the Phillies player, Johnny Callison, hit for the cycle at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Callison went 4-5 with 4 RBI. The Phillies went on to win the game 13-4 in this one back in 1963 and for the Phillies it had been a long time since anyone had hit for ‘the cycle’. In fact, you have to go way back to 1933 to May 26th of that year to find the previous time that a Phillies player hit for the rare cycle before Callison did it in '63. It was Chuck Klein who hit for the cycle both times previous to Johnny’s cycle in 1963, Chuck hit his May 26, 1933 and on July 1, 1931.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Here's how the postgame looked in the Oakland/SF area last night after the A's won
The Oakland A’s aren’t on too many lists to make it to the playoffs this year. You wouldn’t know that last night in Philadelphia as the Athletics pitching held the Phils in check for most of the game. Trevor Cahill is one of the younger players in the MLB, and he’s looking like he may be on his way to being a great pitcher. Cahill broke into the league at 21 years old, in 2009. Last season, Cahill put up an 18-8 record for the A’s and sported a 2.97 ERA in 30 starts. He just made his 17th start of the season last night, and now improves to 8-5 on the season behind the 4-1 victory.
Silent bats and lack of hustle spell defeatPhillies bats went silent last night, 5 players at the core of offense for the Phillies all produced no hits, Rollins,Polanco, Howard, Ibanez, and Brown. It’s games like these that make you wonder about this team, can they get the job done when they need to? Yes, they are sitting up in first place with a 48-30 record, but we haven’t seen them get in sync in the offense department all that much this season yet. They still have the best record in baseball, and I can’t figure out how that is with this balky offense.
Domonic Brown got a chance to start last night, he is getting a taste of major league life, but I am not so sure he’s ready for the every day job of playing for the Phillies. Yes, he has potential but he isn’t seasoned to the point where he is ready to take on that roll, it is something that must be earned. Take his hit last night to second base, the ball was bobbled and Brown had been running at half speed to get to first, so he was out anyway. Does he have potential? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to use it.
Hamels and Halladay just can’t seem to win their 10th lately
Cole Hamels was denied a chance to win his 10th game last night, he’s been affected by the Phillies offensive drought as many pitcher’s have already this season. Roy Halladay will again go for the first Phillie with 10 wins on Sunday in the series finale with Oakland. C.C. Sabathia has already won his 10th game over in the AL last night.
It’s Roy Halladay (9-3 2.51 ERA) vs Josh Outman (3-1 2.86 ERA) today at Citizens Bank Park. Halladay looks for win #10 and the Phillies are looking for win #49 on the season. Let’s see if this offense can step it up a bit.
Phillies injuries are now forcing pitchers into new rolesThe hand injury to Ryan Madson leaves the Phillies with an unlikely closer now in Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo. This is how deeply the closer has been hurt in Philly. Are these young guys up to the challenge? Brad Lidge may only be a short time away from returning, but the Phillies have never needed him more that now. According to many reports including on Philly.com, Roy Oswalt says he hopes to return in August. We’ll see what the Phillies can do without Oswalt in the rotation.
Phils have off day to prepare for Red Sox Series
The Phillies have an off day on Monday and then welcome in one of the biggest hyped series of the season with the Boston Red Sox, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The Red Sox have been one of the hottest teams in baseball, coming from 5 games back in the bottom of the AL East standings in the early part of the season. They poured it on a little this season, sweeping the Yankees in 3 games in New York in mid-May, and sweeping the Los Angeles Angels in a 4 game series in Anaheim back in mid-April. The Red Sox started the season winning only two games on their first 12 games of 2011 to catapult themselves into first place in the AL East today with their 44-32 record. The Red Sox just lost on Saturday night to the Pirates, who had their largest crowd ever last night at PNC Park, who beat the Red Sox 6-4.
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Phillies lost the final game of the series 12-2 in St. Louis on Thursday night, and Roy Oswalt left the game early with stiffness in his back. He’s had the same feeling in April and back then said, “It’s just muscle tightness.” It still could be just muscle tightness now, although some websites and pundits are reporting it may be the end of Roy Oswalt’s career. I don’t know how anyone could write something like that when no doctor has said what is wrong yet, so the wait begins to see if this was just another flair up of tightness.
In early May, Oswalt’s back problem was well known. Oswalt had this to say about it in the first week of May, "It's not to the point where it's unbearable," Oswalt said. "It's a little bit of a concern. I don't want it to linger until July or August. So maybe in two more days I'll bounce back."
Roy Oswalt is a fierce competitor and he wants to win with the Phillies, so this has to be tough for him, but I think he may miss a couple rotation starts behind this, but it’s up to Oswalt and the Phillies team doctor to make any decisions along with Phillies management. This is an ongoing process, and to say anything else is just pure speculation.
The Phillies welcome in the Oakland A’s to Citizen’s Bank Park tonight. The A’s are just coming from New York where they played the New York Mets in a 3 game series. Oakland lost 2 of 3 games to the Mets in that series.
The Oakland A’s offense is near the bottom of the whole MLB in production. The pitching for the A’s on the other hand is in the top 10 of several categories, 3rd in the MLB in ERA, 7th in Quality Starts, 9th in WHIP, and 8th in BAA with only .248.
The rumors of the Phillies being interested in Josh Willingham, who is on the A’s, have circled around for a couple days, Willingham just went to the 15 day DL with a strained Achillies, so if the Phillies make any kind of move for him really soon, he will be on the DL. I am not so sure the A’s would even consider moving Willingham, as he is the best run producer so far on the team.
The A’s have a 34-42 record and are 4th in the AL West. Vance Worley gets the start tonight for the Phillies, he is 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA. This will be Worley’s 6th start of the season for the Phillies.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Phillies history is such a rich array of vivid memories for some. If you lived through something, you've still probably have it tucked away somewhere in your memory bank. Today, is a special day for FightinPhillies.com, it is the 1,000th post and it's also the day that history was made on the ball field, so I am very happy to be able to bring you a Phillies historic moment today thanks to Chris Jaffe from Hardball Times.
Cliff Lee gave us a masterful performance last night, he reminded me of how he pitched during the playoffs and World Series for the Phillies in 2009. He earned his 8th win of the season last night as the Phils blanked the Cardinals 4-0. Lee's record improves to 8-5 and 2.87 ERA, as he went the distance and pitched a CG last night.
This year we have a historic rotation on the mound for the Phillies. That story has been well covered by the media, but today in Phillies history we are going to look back at another pitcher the Phillies had on their team, Rick Wise. On this day in 1971, Wise pitched a game that will go down as perhaps one of the best in Phillies history.
Thanks to Hardball Times, for this article on Rick Wise.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Victorino scores as Polanco was hit by a pitch to ignite the rally
I am just watching a replay of the pitch that was thrown to Placido Polanco and it doesn’t look at all like that pitch was intended for the catcher’s glove. When Polanco was at the plate, that ball was thrown directly at Placido. Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, is not a new pitcher, he’s been in the league since 2008 and has very good command with a 2.70 ERA. How then did he manage to hit two of the Phillies best players? I did some research on how many batters Jason Motte has hit in his career and I think you’ll be surprised. This season Motte has hit two batters prior to this game, before that in his whole career, Motte has only hit 2 other batters since 2008. Incidently, Motte’s last time this year he hit someone was also when the bases were loaded on June 7, 2011 against Houston and that resulted in a Houston run, but Motte was allowed to finish out the inning in that game as he got the next two batters out.
The final score in Game 1 of this series with the Cards was not as it appeared for most of the game, but the Phils ended this one 10-2 with a win behind the 9 run 8th inning that broke this game open.
Roy Halladay was taken out of this game before the Phillies got to the Cardinals bullpen so he didn’t get his 10th win last night. I am not too sure why Manuel did this, but in past games Halladay has been allowed to go the distance. The move by Charlie actually cost Halladay a win, and becoming the first pitcher with 10 wins on the season in the MLB. There is a ton of pitchers in the league with 9 wins now, Halladay and Hamels are up there among them. Hamels and Halladay will get their next chance for 10 wins against Oakland at home this weekend.
Game 2 of the series continues with the St. Louis Cardinals tonight with Cliff Lee on the mound for the Phillies. Lee is looking to build on his 7-5 record tonight He’ll face a familiar pitcher, formally on the Phils, Kyle Lohse. Lohse looked promising when he was on the Phillies but for some reason he was never offered a long term contract with the team. Lohse had 3 wins for the Phillies in 2007 and then signed with St. Louis and went on to a 15-6 year in 2008. After an off year of 4-8 in 2010 and a 6-10 year in 2009, Lohse is again on a good streak with a 7-3 record so far this season with a 2.88 ERA.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly breaks down the series with the Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals got some bad news yesterday as Albert Pujols fractured a bone in his left forearm that will have him out for up to 6 weeks. The play didn’t look all that bad that Pujols injured his arm on, it’s just one of those freaky things that happen in baseball.
The Phillies road trip stops in St. Louis for three games with Roy Halladay on the mound tonight. Roy is looking for his 10th win of the season. These games against teams like the Cardinals may be what we’re seeing in the playoffs this year, should the Phillies make it of course.
Phillies aces are feared by other teams
In a Cardinals blog called C70 – there is a poll that is running that let’s readers express how well the Cardinals will do against the Phillies aces that will face them in the series. Tonight is Halladay, Wednesday is Cliff Lee, and Thursday is Roy Oswalt. The Cardinals have a couple of their better pitchers going in this series as well, with Lohse on Wednesday, and Chris Carpenter on Thursday.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Wins and losses for the road can improve for the Phils
In 2009, the big story was that the Phillies road record was fabulous. They won game after game on the road and the opposite held true of their home record in ‘09. Fast forward to 2011 and the road record for the Phillies is 17-16, as compared to the best road record in baseball for a division leading team by the Boston Red Sox at 22-14.
The Phils of 2011 have two sides to them, one side can win and score runs like crazy and the other just can’t get it done. On Sunday, we saw the team that just can’t get it done as Cole Hamels pitched a great game but couldn’t benefit from it because the offense went to sleep.
upcoming series with cardinals should be interesting
The upcoming series with St. Louis starting on Tuesday night will tell a good story about this 2011 Phillies team. The Cards are locked up with the Brewers in a first place tie and this series will be a battle between two division leaders.
The Phils have more wins than any other division leading team in baseball, but somehow they make you feel they are missing something at times. The Braves are still very much in this race and the Mets have been playing better baseball too, along with the Washington Nationals. Right now the Phillies lead looks pretty good in the standings, they are 5.0 games up on the Braves, but if a string of losses happen, we could find this race much more interesting around the All Star Break.
Phillies in the standings:
45-28 / Home: 28-12 Road: 17-16 / Last 10: 8-2 First place: NL East
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The Phillies already celebrated Father’s Day for the hometown fans last Sunday, but today is the real Father’s Day and the Phils will play a 4:10 PM matchup today at Safeco Field in Seattle.
I’d like to send a hearty ‘Happy Father’s Day’ to all the dads who read this column, and if you’re anyone else than a dad, you can do something nice for dad today as it is the special day of the year in which we honor him.
The Phils have split the series with Seattle with a win last night their 45th of the year, 5-1 at the chilly Safeco Field. Seattle led most of the game 1-0 before the Phils stormed back to take this one by scoring 2 in the 7th inning and 2 more in the 9th inning. Shane Victorino had 4 RBI in this game.
People that don’t follow the Mariners got a rare look at a guy we normally only see in the All Star Game. Ichiro Suzuki is a player who can teach you how to go about winning games. He unselfishly tries to get on base any way he can, and reminds me a lot about the way Pete Rose used to approach a pitcher. If you get on base, good things will happen as illustrated in game one of the series with Seattle, Ichiro got on base 3 times and scored 3 times.
Vance Worley is back as a Phillies starter. The Phils let him go 5 innings last night and he looked pretty sharp. Mention was made on the TV broadcast of how bringing Worley up as a starter and then trying to put him in the bullpen has hurt his game. This reminds me a lot of what happened with Brett Myers. Who’s decision is this to do these kind of things, I don’t think it’s Charlie Manuel.
It’s Cole Hamels for the Phillies today, he is 9-2 with a 2.49 ERA. Here is his season breakdown so far this year from baseball-reference:
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thanks to MagelB from the Philadelphia Inquirer for the Raul Ibanez photo from twitpic
Raul Ibanez came to the Phillies three seasons ago now, and despite his initial burst onto the scene in Philly, it’s been a downhill slide for him ever since and he’s getting the bulk of his contract this year at $12,166,000. Is Raul living up to this salary?
Despite being small and looking quick, Raul has never been a base stealer, but some would argue that he is stealing salary in Philly as his decline continues this year. This is Raul’s 16th season in baseball, and in 2009 he came to the Phillies fresh after the Phillies won the World Series and we waved goodbye to Pat Burrell. He burst onto the Philly scene with 34 home runs his first season, and could barely hit half of that the next season which was last year, with a total of 16 HR’s.
Raul blended in well with the superstars on the Phillies, but he never became one of them. His fall from where he started at in 2009 was a swift one, going on extended slumps that you thought he would never recover from. His seasons in Philadelphia including this year, have never seen him drive in 100 runs, even with his 34 HR in 2009. That’s what the Phillies though of him when they brought him here, this was a player that drove in 100+ runs from 2006 (123), 2007(105), and 2008(110) with the Mariners.
There are rumors that Raul may be gone, but where would he go? Will the Phillies be content with eating a large portion of his contract? If there can be one player to point to as a bit of a failure signing by Ruben Amaro Jr., it would be Raul Ibanez. He hasn’t lived up to the expectations except for that outstanding year in 2009 with his 34 HR, but now that is just a distant memory.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Phillies will honor one of the more popular Phillies from the 1990’s, Mr. John Kruk. The Phils will put his plaque up in the ‘Wall of Fame’ at Ashburn Alley before the Nationals play the Phillies on August 12th.
Kruk was also voted to the “All-Vet Team” by the fans who selected him as their 1B selection back in the last season (2003) at Veterans Stadium. The Wall of Fame originated at Veteran’s Stadium and has carried on to CBP, the last Phil to join the wall was Darren Daulton in 2010.
Today of course John Kruk works for ESPN, he’s cleaned up a bit and has an easier job of talking about baseball rather than going out on the field every day, but he’s been there, he’s a Phillie for life now being enshrined into the ‘Wall of Fame.’ He was important part of the rag-tag group that went all the way to the World Series in 1993, when no one thought they would except those player on the team!
Here is some more history of Kruk from his career at ESPN (courtesy ESPN):
John Kruk, a three-time All-Star outfielder/first baseman, serves as an analyst on ESPN’s Emmy Award-winning,Baseball Tonight. He joined ESPN for the 2004 season, making his debut during a Spring Training telecast between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies from Tampa, Fla. In March 2006, Kruk also provided game analysis for several World Baseball Classic and Spring Training telecasts on ESPN.
Kruk retired in 1995 following a 10-year Major League career with the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and the Chicago White Sox, in which he posted a .300 batting average with 100 home runs and 592 runs batted in. During a White Sox/Orioles game, Kruk retired from baseball after hitting a single in the top of the first inning off Baltimore’s Scott Erickson.
In 2003, Kruk served as TV and radio analyst for Comcast SportsNet and WPEN-AM, respectively, and worked in marketing and client relations for the Phillies. He was named to the All-Vet team, which honored the best players to take the field in the 32-year history of Veterans Stadium, in 2003.
Kruk was a contributor to Fox Sports Net’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period from 2001 through 2003. Previously, he was a hitting coach for the Phillies’ Double-A team in Reading, Pa. during the 2001 season.
Of course being on the ‘Wall of Fame’ doesn’t retire a player’s number, that is reserved for only the players who have set extraordinary records as a player. There are some qualifications for the ‘Wall’ though: Phillies players with 5 or more years of service are eligible, position players require a minimum of 700 games and pitchers need a minimum of 180 games to be eligible. Managers and coaches need a minimum of 4 or more years.
Here’s a list of Phillies on the “Wall of Fame”
Robin Roberts (1978)
Richie Ashburn (1979)
Chuck Klein (1980)
Grover Alexander (1981)
Del Ennis (1982)
Jim Bunning (1984)
Ed Delahanty (1985)
Cy Williams (1986)
Granny Hamner (1987)
Paul Owens (1988)
Steve Carlton (1989)
Mike Schmidt (1990)
Larry Bowa (1991)
Chris Short (1992)
Curt Simmons (1993)
Dick Allen (1994)
Willie Jones (1995)
Sam Thompson (1996)
Johnny Callison (1997)
Greg Luzinski (1998)
Tug McGraw (1999)
Gavvy Cravath (2000)
Garry Maddox (2001)
Tony Taylor (2002)
Sherry Magee (2003)
Billy Hamilton (2004)
Bob Boone (2005)
Dallas Green (2006)
John Vukovich (2007)
Juan Samuel (2008)
Harry Kalas (2009)
Darren Daulton (2010)
John Kruk (2011)
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Skipper Charlie Manuel talks about the improved offense
"I don't believe what I just saw" is commonly attributed to some dramatic plays in baseball, and tonight's dramatic Phillies comeback win is just another time that this has happened. The Marlins seemed to be in control of this game and a lot of people were pretty sure Roy Halladay was about to lose his 4th game of the season but as the saying goes, "It ain't over till it's over." This game qualifies as an 'instant classic' for Phillies comeback wins.
The Phils stormed back in this game in the nightcap of a day/night game to score two runs in the bottom of the 9th inning, and then finish the Marlins off with a walk-off win Philly style in the 10th. Ryan Howard barreled around the bases after a Carlo Ruiz hit and the Marlins had to feel more of that losing feeling that they've been experiencing for a few weeks now. I would have to say the manager's job for the Marlins is at risk now as it looks as if nothing can save them from this free fall.
The day game win came easy. The Phils opened up an offensive burst that put up 8 runs on the day and left the Marlins with an 8-1 loss. Jimmy Rollins found his swing with another home run, his second in two days.
The wins today and tonight put the Phillies win streak up to 6 games now. Cliff Lee looks to add to his 6-5 record on Thursday for the 1:05 PM game when the Phillies wrap up the series with the Marlins and head out to Seattle after the game.
With the Phillies scoring 22 runs in three games with the Marlins so far, it may be safe to say that the drought is over and the scoring slump is a distant memory. You gotta love baseball with it's highs and lows. This is starting to get interesting.
A special announcement about John Kruk joining the Phillies 'Wall of Fame' will be made at Thursday's game, and FightinPhillies.com will have a story on it later in the afternoon on Thursday.
The Marlins were sailing along in the first two months of the season like they might be contenders for something in the NL East. On May 25, 2011 the Marlins were 9 games over .500 and in second place in the NL East. You wouldn’t have known that last night in Philly, as the Phillies finally broke out with 11 hits and 9 runs in a convincing 9-1 victory.
The Marlins fall from where they were in the end of May has been astounding. On the 25th of May, the team was only 1.0 games out of first place in the NL East with a 28-19 record, after the Phillies had went 5-5 in their last 10 games back near the end of May. Last night’s loss for the Marlins means that they have only won just 1 game in the month of June so far. Their record for June is 1-12. It’s more than a losing streak, it’s more like a total collapse by the Marlins.
The Marlins are now 32-34 and sinking steadily in the NL East standings, they are now in a distant 4th place and 8.5 games back. You can read a little about the decline of the Marlins at the Marlins Diehards blog here.
Offensive highlights from last night for the Phillies:
Jimmy Rollins: 2-5 with 2 RBI
Shane Victorino: 3-5 with 2 R scored
Chase Utley: 2-3 with 2 RBI
Domonic Brown: 2-4 with 2 HR
Today brings a day/night set of games, it’s really not a traditional doubleheader as in the past, that meant that you were seeing two games played consecutively with just short break in between. It’s was always a fan favorite because you could buy one ticket and see two games. Today’s version must not be a favorite with players or fans, the first game starts at 1:05 PM and the night game doesn’t start up until the regular time of 7:05 PM. It’s just two games being played on the same day not anything to do with a doubleheader.
Phillies pitchers for today and tonight:
Kyle Kendrick @ 1:05 PM
Roy Halladay @ 7:05 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Phillies met their biggest fans last night at the ALS Phillies Phestival for charity. It was a perfect night as the weather really cooperated, here Cliff Lee met some of the fans that visited the Aces last night in Philly.
ALS Charity a big success and a hit with fans last night in Philly
The Phillies welcome in the Florida Marlins into town after last night’s ALS event which the team took part in on their off day. The players were available for autographs from 6 pm to 7:45pm or so, and their was a lot of fun activities built around the foundation of raising money for charity. Even the GM Ruben Amaro and Phillies ex-GM Pat Gillick were out taking official photos with fans and raising money in the process.
Marlins in for 4 games in 3 days
The Marlins are in town for 4 games in 3 days. The Wednesday 1:05 PM game is a makeup game from 4/16. Lately, the Marlins have attached themselves to a nasty 8 game in a row losing streak which took place from June 1st to June 9th and they came here from South Florida losing a 4 game series (3-1) with Arizona at home. This team was sailing along until the long losing streak settled in, they are now 32-32 on the season.
The Phillies will have the following rotation for the Marlins series:
Tuesday @ 7:05 PM: Cole Hamels
Wednesday @ 1:05 PM: Kyle Kendrick
Wednesday @ 7:05 PM: Roy Halladay
Thursday @ 1:05 PM: Cliff Lee
Roy Oswalt and the speculation that he may be hurt, just doesn’t hold water to me
In the Crashburn Alley Phillies blog (another wonderful Phillies blog by Bill Baer) yesterday, there was an article on Roy Oswalt and comparing a velocity chart to reaching to a conclusion that Oswalt is somehow hurt. That is what I don’t like about people looking at charts and graphs and trying to ‘play doctor’ with a player. If you were at the game on Sunday, during Roy’s 7th inning work, you would have seen a pitcher who is not hurt but was on a mission to strike people out. He was up there on the mound just letting it loose, and struck out two of the three Cubs he faced in convincing fashion in the top of the 7th (even Larry Anderson made special note of how well Oswalt looked late in the game on the radio). Oswalt may have lost a slight bit of speed or velocity, but let’s not forget he is getting a bit older with each start. Oswalt came here to win a championship, he’s starting to turn it up a notch, conditions may have presented themselves to cause a slight dip in velocity during those last few games back from his extended leave to help his family recover from a tornado, how would you pitch after returning from your hometown to see it wrecked in the fashion that some of these towns were last month?
Monday, June 13, 2011
One decent hit was all the Phillies needed to win the series against the Cubs and send another sold out crowd home happy on a Sunday afternoon. There were plenty of opportunities for the Phillies on this day, but the offense was only able to capitalize a few times. Ryan Howard finally delivered that key hit with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 7th inning, as his single scored two runs that allowed the Phillies to take a 4-3 lead in this game.
Roy Oswalt didn’t pitch a no-hitter on Sunday, but late in the game he turned it up a notch and fired the ball into Carlos Ruiz like a man on a mission just before the Phillies offense sputtered to life in the 7th inning. To me, he was trying to say ‘come on guys I am doing my part’.
I love the headlines that read ‘Offense picks up Oswalt’ in these type of games. Nothing can be further than the truth. In fact, it’s quite the opposite in yesterday’s game. The Phillies had so many chances to score, it was almost pathetic. Bases loaded twice and they only scored two runs out of it. This was against the Cubs and their 0-6 pitcher, Doug Davis with his 5.90 ERA.
Raul Ibanez was 1-4 in this game, he had two strikeouts in key spots of the game. His lone hit did produce an RBI though in the bottom of the 3rd. Carlos Ruiz left many on base in this game.
Yes, on this day the Phillies managed to win with a key hit by Ryan Howard. A win is a win, but there is still something strange about this offense. It’s like a water tap that was running hot a few seconds ago and then suddenly without warning it goes cold.
It’s an off day for the Phillies but still a work night as the ALS Phillies Phestival is on tonight at the ballpark. The gates open at 5 PM, and parking is available in lots R, S, and V. Players will be available from 6 PM to 7:45pm and of course there will be a lot of fun things to do all while helping the worthy ALS charity which fights Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Find out about the Silent Auction items here
Saturday, June 11, 2011
The Phillies and the Cubs used to be in the same boat as far as chances to be in the playoffs during the mid-1990's. It's still that way for Cubs fans as, the wait continues for them to make it to the ultimate series in baseball.
The running joke each year is when will the Cubs make the World Series or even the playoffs. Every year Cubs fans, who are amongst the most loyal in baseball, hope for their team to make it to the postseason. This year is no exception, but it looks like this year won't be the year they make it either. The Cubbies are a full 12 games under .500 as we head into play on Saturday afternoon.
The last time the Cubs were in the playoffs was when the Phillies won it all in 2008, that's a full three years ago now and the search continues for the next time the Cubs will make a playoff appearance.
The closest the Cubbies came recently to the World Series was in 2003, when the Cubs lost the NLCS by a 4-3 series loss to the Florida Marlins.
The Cubs have had one of the longest droughts in baseball. From the years 1946 to 1983, the Cubbies failed to even make the playoffs. In 1984, the Cubbies again came close to the elusive World Series bid when they lost in the NLCS to the San Diego Padres in a 3-2 series.
Here's what the Cubbies have been called in their franchise history:
Cubs: 1903 to present
Orphans: 1898 to 1902
Colts: 1890 to 1897
White Stockings: 1876 to 1889
Cubs World Series winners teams: 1907 + 1908
The Cubs have lost 7 World Series appearances since 1908, and one prior to 1907
Friday, June 10, 2011
The 100 degree day gave way to healthy thunder and lightning storms last night in Philly and surrounding areas
The Phillies seemed like they were going to be on cruise control for an easy win last night early. Mother Nature played her part with a nasty thunderstorm that settled down on the field at CBP, and when the game restarted, nothing seemed to go the Phillies way.
The Phils posted a quick three runs in the 2nd inning courtesy of Jimmy Rollins with a right field home run. That was about the extent of the Phillies offense last night as after the rain delay, there was no more scoring by the Phillies.
After a 1 hour and 17 minute rain delay, the game resumed with two new pitchers. The momentum the Phillies had before the delay was lost with the storm, and the Cubs clawed thier way back to a 4-3 victory in 11 innings. The game took 4 hours and 4 minutes to complete.
I don't usually like to go to rain delay games, because the game isn't the one that was started, it becomes sort of a game within a game. This 'game within a game' wasn't kind to the Phillies.
The Phils will try again tonight against the Cubs, in this 4 game series. Despite the problems that the Phillies have had lately, the team is only a few percentage points from the best record in baseball which is now owned by the Cardinals with thier .594 PCT compared to the Phillies at .587
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Chase Utley is a superstar on the field with the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s also one off the field with the Chase Utley Foundation and his association with projects that he is happy to promote.
Recently, Chase and wife, Jennifer, dedicated a ‘Kindness to Animals’ mural in the City of Philadelphia.
From the top photo above:
Phillies 2nd baseman Chase Utley (far left) and his wife, Jennifer, applaud as Mural Arts Program Executive Director Jane Golden (center) speaks during the dedication of the “Kindness to Animals” mural at 22nd and Dauphin Streets in North Philadelphia. Students from nearby Pratt Elementary School helped the Utleys paint the mural on home owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. School principal Denise Young and students are shown to the right of Ms. Golden. The Utley Foundation is dedicated to educate the community about the proper treatment of animals.
Here’s a bit more about what the foundation aims to do:
In 2011, Jen and Chase created The Utley Foundation. The Utley Foundation was established to bring awareness to the increasing epidemic of animal cruelty. Their mission is to educate the community in the proper treatment of animals and raise funds for the fight against animal neglect, pain and suffering. To find out more about the Foundation, it’s events, and the work in the community that Jen and Chase are doing, please visit TheUtleyFoundation.com
Thanks to Jan at the Philadelphia Housing Authority for the above photos!