Friday, August 31, 2012

Rollins in the dog house again, run hard all the time


Jimmy Rollins again is making the headlines for not running to first base with some steam behind him.

Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies played the Mets and Jimmy hit a very high fly into the infield at Citizens Bank Park. Normally, 9.9 times out of 10, this ball is caught. Not on this day though, and even though Rollins made a strong jog to first upon hitting it, it still appeared that he wasn't going full out on this hit.

 This was the pop up hit by Rollins that sailed into the high sky at CBP

Most runners probably wouldn't have just started running as if they've hit a hot shot down third base, and had to get down the line to beat a throw. Rollins threw his bat in disgust and started on down the line, which if the ball had been caught, no one would have said anything.

The pop-up wasn't even dropped yet, and Rollins was just about at first base

So, the Mets drop an infield fly and Rollins is in the dog house again, as he was pulled out of this game and benched by Charlie Manuel. Yes, the play made Jimmy Rollins look bad, and he brought it on himself. Had he just put his head down and started running, he wouldn't be in this mess right now, again.

Is what Jimmy did a lack of respect for his manager or team? I don't think that is the case, Rollins simply made a mistake and made himself look bad in the process. It was only discovered by a dropped ball in the infield. Any other time, the ball is caught and yes, Rollins did run down to first, just not a all out jam down the line.

Rollins has ignited some fans who have been on the fence about some of Jimmy Rollins base running habits over this past season. The range of responses were that we should be replacing him with someone that hustles more, and hustles all of the time.

Columnist David Murphy from the Philadelphia Daily News, made several points on a post game show about Rollins and offered up the opinion that perhaps the Phillies could replace Rollins at lead off position with another player, but defended Rollins as a valuable member of the team.

Jimmy Rollins knows how to hustle, he's a proven superstar who is also a NL MVP, he knows about hustling and that's what got him to the MLB. In the past two years, he's had a few poor judgements on his part. Yes, after you hit that 500th pop up to he infield, your brain probably tells your legs, 'This is an out.' And that probably what Jimmy has fallen into, believing that he can let up a little and not go all out, when possibly he doesn't have to.

The problem with that mentality about not going all out, is that it is seen by players, and fans at the game and it's easy to spot. It's a bit more difficult to see on tv, because most of the time, the camera follows the ball and not the runner, but last night on the broadcast of the game, the announcers themselves spotted it and pointed it out for everyone at home as well.

Being a pro athlete has responsibilities, and Rollins broke one yesterday afternoon. You hustle out every play, and hustle all the time. No one will ever fault you for hustling but they'll be all over you the minute you don't. This isn't Sunday afternoon softball when we just skip around and jog to the next base. Rollins knows this, but somehow he trusted his inner voice that told him, 'Ah, this is just an infield fly, it's going to be an out' - hopefully this voice inside him isn't trusted anymore and he just overrides the situation with hustle, and we know Jimmy can do that.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cloyd gets debut, Phillies drop two in a row

Tyler Cloyd probably didn't expect to get his MLB debut in August, but that's exactly what happened last night as Cole Hamels had a stomach virus and the call was answered by Cloyd to start for the Phillies in the second game of the three game series with the Mets.

It was one of those games again for the Phillies offense. They struggled to find the offense against the Mets pitcher, Matt Harvey. The Phillies just couldn't get anything going as they looked listless and without any sense of urgency that this season is closing in on them and collapsing right in front of them.

The two losses to the Mets have allowed the Amazins to regain a tie for third place in the NL East, this season has been an embarrassment to the Phillies now. We've been at 'full strength' for some time now, and still this team is wallowing in mediocrity.

Teams that have nearly half of what the Phillies are paying these group of players are performing better than this team, and perhaps it will be a great time to make some big changes to this team in the off-season. The success of last year is gone and the previous 5 years is gone, and there doesn't seem to be too great of a chance that this group will find the magic ingredients that are needed for a winning ballclub even in 2013.

The Phillies phaithful fans have not deserted this team, some 42,000 plus were in attendance last night, and the Phils offense just couldn't respond, leading to the 37th home loss of the season, the home record stands at 31-37 now which is terrible for the Phils considering that Houston has 90 total losses but has won 27 at home. The Phillies are playing just above that number to their hometown support.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Phillies take on Mets at home

The Phillies and the Mets are starting to rekindle that rivalry that we've known they've always had, but in the past few years seemed to be on the back burner. The Mets close out their 2012 visits to CBP with a three game series on Tuesday, Wednesday, and a businessperson's special on Thursday.

This year's Mets team has fallen quite a bit from the All Star break to where we are now in the season. They are currently in 4th place just below the Phillies. In this season, they were in first place for 7 days of the season, and as high as 8 games over .500 - but that is all but a memory for them as there is still better than a month to play left in the 2012 schedule. The Mets have turned a 13-29 record in so far after the All Star break.

Tonight's starter for the Mets is Chris Young, he's gone 1-5 with a 5.11 ERA in the second half of the season so far, he was 2-2 in 6 starts prior to the All Star game.

For the Phils, it's Vance Worley. He's had an up and down season with the Phillies this year. In the first half of the season, Vance had a 4-5 record with a 3.54 ERA, and 2-4 with a 5.04 ERA after the All Star game.

The Phillies wild card hopes got a small setback overnight as teams above them win, they get further back in the wild card, without playing a game last night, the Phillies dropped to 10.0 GB in the wild card standings.

Only a couple more days until the rosters expand to 40 players, we'll see some new faces on the Phillies in September as the famous 'September call ups' start to invade the team. For some it may be their only playing time in the major leagues, and for other players it may be the start of a fantastic MLB career.

Monday, August 27, 2012

PhilliesTalk: Into Labor Day For Phils

Our thoughts on the Phillies as we head into the Labor Day holiday weekend for 2012.

What will be coming up for the Phillies in 2013 and will they get back on the right track for this?

Rich and Jim talks Phillies once again on Phillies Talk Podcast, the independent netcast on the Phillies. Listen to us on iTunes, TuneIn Radio App, Stitcher Radio,, and everywhere you can find the best shows on the internet.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rating the Phils Prospects for 2012

Trevor May ranks high on a lot of people's list to do well in the future

A lot of the fun of baseball is trying to find the next great player in the MLB. Specifically if you're a Phillies fan, you want to find the next great Phillies player before he makes the team. The top 25 prospects were ranked today in the Reading Eagle newspaper, and this is what the lineup looks like.

1. Jesse Biddle, LHP Clearwater, 20

2. Tommy Joseph, C Reading, 21

3. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP Lehigh Valley, 21

4. Cesar Hernandez, 2B Lehigh Valley, 22

5. Sebastian Valle, C Lehigh Valley, 22

6. Trevor May, RHP Reading, 22

7. Adam Morgan, LHP Reading, 22

8. Lisalverto Bonilla, RHP Reading, 22

9. Ethan Martin, RHP Reading, 23

10. Maikel Franco, 3B Lakewood, 20

11. Cody Asche, 3B Reading22

12. Justin DeFratus, RHP Lehigh Valley, 24

13. Roman Quinn, SS Williamsport, 19

14. Darin Ruf, 1B/OF Reading, 26

15. Tyler Cloyd, RHP Lehigh Valley, 25

16. Brody Colvin, RHP Reading, 22

17. Austin Wright, LHP Clearwater, 22

18. Philippe Aumount, RHP Philadelphia, 23

19. Tyson Gillies, OF Reading, 23

20. Jiwan James, OF Reading, 23

21. Larry Greene, OF Williamsport, 19

22. Carlos Tocci, OF Gulf Coast League, 17

23. Leandro Castro, OF Reading, 23

24. Kelly Dugan, OF Lakewood, 21

25. Julio Rodriguez, RHP Reading, 21

My rankings of the Phillies prospects were more based on certain players and how they were performing this year, as I don't really get that much time to see many of the minor league games. Here's how my ballot looked as I submitted my Top 15 to Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle for the 2012 survey.

1. Trevor May
 2. Jesse Biddle
 3. Darin Ruf
 4. Sebastian Valle
 5. Brody Colvin
 6. Justin De Fratus
 7. Jiwan James
 8. Cody Overbeck
 9. Tug Hulett
10. Phillipe Aumont
11. Cesar Hernandez
12. Julio Rodriguez
13. Tyler Cloyd
14. Jonathan Pettibone
15. Lisalverto Bonilla

We'll see some of those names as we have Phillipe Aumont the other night in Philadelphia, and see what happens with these players as they progress and mature within the Phillies system. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Phillies occupy 3rd place is Wild Card possible?

The Phillies have finally moved up the ladder in the NL East, it wasn't easy but they now occupy the 3rd position spot in the NL East with some recent Phillies wins and the Mets seemingly falling apart at the seams lately.

Is a Wild Card spot possible for this team? Yes, of course, they still have time, but the other teams that stand in front of them don't plan on going down the ladder of success and that may be the bigger problem. Several things would have to happen to help the Phillies along with a quest of making the Wild Card, which there are 2 positions available this year.

A look at the teams above the Phillies are what may prevent the Phils from getting into the playoffs this year. Leading the Wild Card positions as of Friday night, August 24th, are the Atlanta Braves, and the  St. Louis Cardinals. Close on the heels of the Cards are the resurgent Pirates, and then the LA Dodgers. Those 4 teams are battling for the spots as of now.

The Dbacks and then the Phillies round out the top 6 teams that are chasing the coveted two Wild Card positions. The Phillies seem to pull up to the 10 GB mark as they have a few times, but then can't string a long winning streak together to pull even closer.

The Phils also face another interesting number and that is the Wild Card elimination number. As of Friday night, the elimination number is 28. A lot can happen in a month, the Phils can keep winning but as long as teams above them remain winning also, then the Phils season will end at the end of the regular season.

For the Phils, they'll just have to take one day at a time, and try to keep winning. On August 24th 2007, the Phillies had recorded 66 wins and 61 losses, then they made their historic run that caught the Mets on the final day of the regular season to win the NL East Division in dramatic style. Of course their record before tonight's game 1 against the Nationals was 58-67. Now with the win tonight, the Phils are 59-67.

News and Notes:  Randy Wolf was released on his birthday from the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night. He was a Phillies pitcher for 8 years posting a 69-60 record from 1999 to 2006. Wishing Randy well where ever he ends up next. Bernie the Brewer wished Randy a "Happy Birthday" in a tweet to him, and in the next hour, the Brewers announced that Wolf had been released.

Advance news about 2013: The Phillies will open their home schedule next year against an American League team, the Kansas City Royals. This just doesn't sound appealing at all. It's part of Bud Selig's vision of mixing the baseball league together for the whole season. I say 'Boo' to this, let us have our National League rivals please.

The Phillies will make a Mid-West swing through American League cities in '13 according to the Phillies Zone on, Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota. Read more about that here.

Coming in September on - Pete Rose : a special series on Pete Rose becoming a Phillie in 1979. You'll want to read this special series on how Pete Rose became a Phillies player and helped them go onto World Series victory in 1980.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Phils welcome in first place Nationals tonight

John Mayberry Jr and Manuel talk about last night's Phillies win in 11 innings, 4-3

The Phillies used to be the powerhouse in the NL East and the National League. Last season, they won 102 games which is the most games the Phillies ever won in a season. This year of course that has changed. Tonight, the Phillies welcome in the first place Washington Nationals.

The Nationals have been energized by a group of dynamic players, most of them younger. The Nats have a nice mix of veterans and new superstars on this team. The Phillies meanwhile have a lot of players that have been with the team for years, and are making a ton of money to play this game.

A few years ago (prior to 2007), for the Phillies to have a player that was making over $10 million per year was a rarity. Now many of the Phillies position players have bloated the payroll to record levels and when you can't prove the results of a championship, you start to wonder why the team is so clogged with superstar salaries and aren't producing superstar results.

One thing the Phillies still have going for them is the fans. In all of the National League, the Phillies fans still have gone to the ballpark more than any other team. This despite the Phillies turning in a dismal season that is something that can only be described as a complete failure to compete properly.

Let's see how this series goes for the Phils, as there is about 5 weeks left to the season, and the Phillies do not look to be in a rush to try to make a playoff run. The season isn't over yet, but does this team have the fortitude to do better?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The 90's uniforms were back last night

From @phillies on twitter

Tommy Greene was on the mound again for the Phillies ushering in 1990's Retro night at the ballpark last night. Yes, we know the Phillies lost again by a score of 3-2 last night, but we're going to be positive in this post and enjoy what is a really fun time for the fans and players alike when the team wears a jersey from years ago.

The fans really love the jersey that were worn last night, many fans really like that color combination and it brings back memories of Veterans Stadium back when they see it.

Even the scoreboard had graphics from an earlier time in the 1990's, this one had Chase Utley superimposed onto a 90210 photo on the scoreboard last night:

Jimmy Rollins - aka 'The Fresh Prince' last night at 90's Retro Night at CBP

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lee bitten again by no offense, Pap gets 5th loss

Cliff Lee for the Phillies at the 2011 ALS Phestival

It's a story that has been played out many times before. Usually when a pitcher gets 9 strikeouts and only lets up 2 Earned Runs in a game it's usually enough to get a victory. Not in Cliff Lee's world though, as again the Phillies could only muster 1 run scored for him on the night last night.

It's now 9 games out of 23 starts for Lee that the Phillies have scored 0-2 runs for him. This used to happen to Cole Hamels in seasons past all of the time. Now Lee has taken his place with the lack of support and that led to the 13th game in which Lee has a ND, at least he didn't suffer the loss last night as the Phillies went on to lose the game 5-4.

The Phillies did rally but the end result was too little and too late as the bullpen again gave up the runs that led to the loss for the Phillies. Jonathan Papelbon, our $50M closer, got his 5th loss of the season last night. That's pretty significant in itself. Here what Charlie Manuel and Pap had to say about it after the game from CSNPhilly.

This Phillies team just floats above mediocrity, there's no consistency in winning games for them, just one season after the 2011 team recorded the most wins ever by a Phillies team. There is still time for them to regain some of that swagger that we know they are capable of, but the time is ticking against them now with only 5+ weeks in which they have to do something.

The series continues tonight between the Phillies and the Reds. Worley and Arroyo at 7:05 PM tonight. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Phillies start to produce some runs finally

The Phillies exploded with 12 runs last night, and were victorious over the Reds in game 1 of their four game series with them. The game before, the Phillies unleashed for 8 runs in a lopsided victory with Kyle Kendrick on the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The run production is great to see and it's something that the Phillies haven't been able to do this season all that well. Last night, the Phillies scored 10 runs or more during a game for the fourth time this season. The last time the Phils scored at least 10 runs in a game was way back on May 30th against the NY Mets in New York.

Last night, it was the Phillies 122nd game of the 162 game season, so the math is very simple with the Phillies having only 40 games left to play in the 2012 year. It's already that late in the season, but the Phils are only facing the Reds for the first time all season. You can thank interleague play for that.

At the All Star Break, the Phillies were 37-50 and 14 GB in the NL East, in last place. Since the All Star Break, the Phillies have played a little better, they've gone 20-15 in the 35 games since the break. Today the Phillies are still 19.0 GB from the Washington Nationals and have again cut the Wild Card to only 10 GB with the 40 games left to play.

Is a playoff run still possible? It would be one of the greatest stories in Phillies history if they can come back and somehow make it into the playoffs, and it is possible. A lot of things would have to start going well for this team. It would almost have to be like in a hockey game where a team really picks it up in the 3rd period and goes all out until the end of the game. That is what the Phillies would have to do to make it and get themselves into the playoffs in '12.

The Phillies have scored only 1 run in 19 games this year so far, they'd have to avoid doing things like that if they expect to make a serious run for the playoffs. In the games where the team has only scored 1 run, their record is 2-17. Even a game where the Phillies have scored 2 runs is something that they want to avoid, they have scored 2 runs in 17 games, and they are 1-16 when they do that.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Phillies Talk Podcast: 11 GB for Wild Card now

We're going live tonight at 8:15 PM for another edition of Phillies Talk Podcast.

 We're talking about the series with Cinncy and of course Jimmy Rollins becoming the player with the most games ever played at shortstop for the Phillies.

 Join us and look on the player for our phone number to join us live on the show!

Listen to the show to get a great offer from our sponsor,

Halladay looks to improve vs Reds on Monday night

Roy Halladay is going to be in the Hall of Fame someday, that much is for sure. Roy came to Philly to win championships and as close as that seemed in previous years, the pressure is starting to build to see if the team can still contend at all. Roy is going to get his 18th start of the season against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night in Philadelphia to see how he is improving his tough year this season.

Roy's poor season is not all his fault. Like the problem that has dogged Cliff Lee this season, it has also affected Halladay. That of course is the chronic lack of run support by the Phillies offense this year. Both Halladay and Lee have 8 of their starts in which the Phillies offense has only scored 0-2 runs for them. Those games have led to the bulk of both pitcher's losses, which are 6 losses each.

The Cincinnati Reds come to town on Monday night, and they are fresh off a walk-off win against the Cubs on Sunday. The Reds won't have one of their sluggers with them for this series. Joey Votto in on the DL and won't even be in the dugout with the Reds for this series in Philadelphia. He's healing from a couple knee surgeries, and is not ready to make it back into the lineup yet.

The Reds will be in town for 4 games, and the weather is supposed to be a bit cooler at the stadium for game times, but there is also some possible rain in the forecast for the first few days of the week so it will be interesting to see if we can get these games in without a rainout.

When the Reds return home to Cinncy, they will be retiring their jersey #11, from Hall of Famer, Barry Larkin. Larkin will be the 10th Reds player with a retired number. He had a long career filled with All Star years though and all of that added up to the election into the Hall. The hanging up of #11 for the Reds will take place on Saturday, August 25th.

Larkin's career did have him with the Reds for his whole career. He was with the Reds for 19 years in his career.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Phillies again in salvage mode in Milwaukee

Wheels and Tom McCarthy recap the win tonight by the Phils

Everytime something starts to go right for this team, there is 3 other things that go wrong for them. The Phillies seemed to narrow down a possible wild card run with being within 10 GB of that goal.  A couple of losses to Milwaukee and now the Phillies are a full 12.0 GB at the start of tonight's game and an embarrassing 20 GB in the NL East.

If someone were to tell me the Phillies would be 20 GB out of first place in the month of August at the beginning of the season, I would have though they were nuts. Well, that is what this team is as we start to head into the final 6 weeks of this season.

The Phils won tonight in Milwaukee, they will try to salvage this series on Sunday and put Kyle Kendrick on the mound to do so. The offense looked a little better tonight, but I am not so sure that this team isn't starting to get 'comfortable' with losing. There needs to be a lot more fire under them, and I don't really see that passion most of the time from a lot of the players on the Phillies team.

Hamels continues to win, the Phillies relied on Papelbon to close out this game with 4 outs, which he should be able to do. He got the job done tonight.

Is Ryan starting to heat up finally? Howard has been injured since Spring Training but he's been back for a while now too. His batting average is .231 but he's hit 7 HR and 21 RBI, and that is what his pay is being based on; the ability to deliver these large numbers in the HR and RBI category.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Phils and Brew Crew have similar records, and problems this year

The Phillies have settled into Milwaukee now for a four game series. The two teams should be equally matched as their records are very much the same this year. The problems both teams have been having are about the same as well.

The Brewers brought a 52-64 record into tonight's game with the Phillies. The Brew Crew is 18.5 GB out of first place, and 12.0 GB in the Wild Card, does that sound familiar with Phillies fans?

The Brewers though have a much different payroll than the Phillies do. Milwaukee only has a $98M payroll this year, and I say 'only' in the relationship to the Phillies payroll which had ballooned to around $172M this season. This year is the highest payroll ever for the Brewers. They have never had a year in which the Brewers had a payroll of over $100M in their club's history.

The Phillies have $100M earmarked for just 5 of the top paid players on the team for next year. I wonder if we haven't seen the last of the moving of players off of this team that may even occur in the off-season.

There can be only one way where that may not happen. That would be that the Phillies make the playoffs this year. It's a longshot, but it's still very doable with the rules change that was made prior to the start of the season this year.

The last 5 years has seen the Brewers make the playoffs twice. Once last year, when they finished in first place in the NL Central, and lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS 4 games to 2. The prior year that the Brewers made the playoffs was in 2008, when the Phillies were rolling in the playoffs. The Brewers lost against the Phils in the NLDS in 4 games. CC Sabathia was on the Brewers back then, when Phillies pitcher, Brett Myers beat CC in Game 2 of the NLDS by a 5-2 score.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rollins eclipses Bowa at shortstop tenure for Phils

  Rollins signs for fans at this years ALS Phestival

Jimmy Rollins passed a milestone last night with his appearance in his 1,731st game starting at shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies. He now has passed Larry Bowa for the record at most games played at that position. Bowa held the title for many years as his stint of 12 years at the shortstop position from 1970 to 1981.

If you grew up in the 70's and into the early 80's you know what Bowa meant to the Phillies, he was always playing shortstop and always fiery and full of passion. I can think of only one other player that showed his on field enthusiasm more and that was Pete Rose when he played for the Phillies for 5 years from 1979 to 1983.In 1982 at 41 years old, Pete Rose played in 162 games for the Phillies, now that's what I call dedication.

Rollins said the record didn't mean that much to him, in a article with the Philadelphia Inquirer printed yesterday. I think it probably means more to him, it just hasn't sunk in yet. Jimmy Rollins will probably end up being number 2 on the Phillies all-time list of players with most games played. He has a while to go to catch Mike Schmidt at 2,212. His next player that he'll pass will be the great Richie Ashburn who has 1,785 games played in the outfield position as a Phillie in his career with the team.

Rollins also spoke of wanting to hit 3,000 hits in his career someday as written here in the Zo Zone by Todd Zolecki, he has a way to go before something like that, but for now, Jimmy has the record at most games at shortstop for the Phillies.

Rollins has worn 3 numbers while playing for the Phillies so far in his career, when he came up to the bigs in 2000, he wore 29, but the next year he kept the number that he's worn the most, 11. In 2003, he briefly switched to the number 6 jersey but only for that season. Ryan Howard of course is now most famous for wearing that number with the Phils over the past few years now. Here is Jimmy's career number with the Phillies, including last night's game. The Phillies won the game last night on Jimmy Rollins home run, it was the only run of the game.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Marlins add to Phillies win total

Big Z is in the bullpen now for the Marlins, here he is on June 3 vs the Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the first year of their brand new renamed ballclub and brand new stadium. They looked like they were going places this year. Towards the end of May they were in 2nd place in the NL East and then on June 3rd, the Marlins were in a tie for first place with the Washington Nationals. Their win in Philadelphia on June 3rd made that happen. The Marlins back then took 2 of 3 from the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

The NL East has been bunched up for a lot of this season, but since that brief tie for first the Marlins were in back in June, their season has now evolved into a steady slide down the standings and into basement in the division. The Phillies have been keepers of the basement for most of the season but with the win last night over the Marlins, there seems to be some kind of light at the end of the tunnel for the Phils.

Cole Hamels won his 13th of the year. Can the Phillies start playing like a hockey team that picks it up in the third period? Can they have saved up all of their energy for a late stretch run? I don't know if we can go that far yet, but they moved up to 11 GB in the race for the Wild Card in the playoffs, and I think we'll be watching that number quite a lot in the next 6 weeks.

Carlos Zambrano last won against the Phillies on June 3rd, he was a starter back then and he was dominant in that game, and could do no wrong. He was moved to the bullpen by the Marlins at the end of July. He went 1-6 after that game in Philadelphia 6/3 and by the end of July, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen wanted to move him into the bullpen. El Toro displayed a little of that temper last night that he has but that is a good thing, I like to see someone care enough to be upset with the play that isn't all that good at times. Zambrano just goes to extremes sometimes, and loses all of his control.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Phillies Talk Podcast: 2012 Alumni Weekend

It's Phillies Talk Podcast live tonight talking about the alumni weekend at Citizens Bank Park.

7:35 pm tonight on the blog, listen here or or download the show on iTunes, Android podcasts, Radio, and Stitcher Radio.

Brought to you by our sponsor, try them out if you like listening to audio on your phone, tablet, or computer, or in your car. Hot now is the Fifty Shades of Gray audio book series just click below for a great offer:

Cliff Lee is not as bad as his record shows

Cliff Lee hasn't been as bad as his record sounds. He's 2-7 on the season with last night's loss to the Cardinals. The fact is that the Phillies offense doesn't score much when he is on the mound. Last night, the Phillies lost yet another game to the Cardinals, making their record a horrible 51-62 or 19.5 GB off the pace of the Washington Nationals.

The Phillies are still 12.0 GB in the Wild Card race, with about 6 weeks left in the season. We've seen very little from them that they have a run left in them. Ryan Howard has been particularly horrible at the plate in the last few weeks. No excuses from him, the fact that he came into this season in the middle of the year shouldn't have anything to do with that. These are major league players and playing baseball is their job and love of their life, and Howard just hasn't snapped out of the funk he's been in since the middle of last year.

Back to Cliff Lee for a moment. Lee has been in 4 games this season when the Phillies have only scored 1 run the whole game. He's lost every one of those games understandably including last night's game. It's a simple fact that if you don't score runs, you're not going to win games. Another tough game for Cliff Lee was when the Phillies scored 0 runs in a game this season, Lee didn't get the loss, but the Phillies lost 1-0 despite Lee pitching 10.0 innings with 7 strikeouts. So if you were to throw those games out of the mix, Cliff isn't having all that bad of a year. He has 130 strikeouts and 140.1 IP, so far.

Batters have been hitting Cliff Lee more than in previous years though. This season already, Cliff has given up  142 hits. Of those 142 hits, 19 have been for home runs. In 2011, there were 5 games when Cliff gave up 10 H or more during a game, but his record at the end of the season was 17-8 with a blistering 2.40 ERA as he stormed back to challenge Roy Halladay for the best pitching record on the team. This season, Lee has given up 10 hits or more 4 times with about 7 starts left in the season for him this year.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A&E Video presenting the Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies

This video set from Major League Baseball Productions and A&E Home Video was just released a few days ago. The compilation includes 4 historic Phillies games that you'll want to have ready to watch anytime.

The four games included with both TV broadcast and radio-play-by-play recording for each game is:

1.   1980 NLCS Game 5 vs. Houston - October 12, 1980-
The Phillies captured their third pennant and first since 1950 led by Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, and a deep roster of stars..

2.  1993 NLCS Game 6 vs. Atlanta - October 13, 1993-
Powered by a relentless lineup and remarkable team spirit the Phillies captured the pennant with power, swagger, and style

3.  2008 World Series Game 5 vs. Tampa - October 27, 2008-
One of the most interesting finishes ever to a World Series. This game is of course the game that took several days to finish, an extraordinary end to the Phillies 2nd ever World Series title.

4.  2010 NLDS Game 1 vs Cincinnati - October 6, 2010-
Roy Halladay's no-hitter game that was only the 2nd time it happened in baseball history or postseason play.

Buy this cool set now online here 

 The nice folks at A&E Videos have arranged for to give a couple away to some lucky readers here and listeners of the podcast called Phillies Talk Podcast. So, you'll have a couple of ways to win.

Here on the website you can do one of three things to help you win, Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or Follow FightinPhillies posts by email. When you fill out the form below also make sure you've followed us on one of the above ways to win. Thanks and good luck, the contest will run until the end of August and we'll announce winners in the first week of September.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bullpen again disappoints, and Phillies lose

The first part of this word is what the Phillies bullpen has been pitching like

The bullpen has arguably been one of the worst spots on the Phillies team so far this year. No lead seems safe, or close scoring game with this current bullpen, and again, and again, the bullpen has let this team down resulting in a loss last night to the Atlanta Braves.

Last night it was the latest acquisition to the Phllies pen, Josh Lindblom, who gave up a bases clearing double. Lindblom didn't get the loss though because the bases were loaded with Braves courtesy of Antonio Bastardo, who walked two batters and gave up a hit to another. Antonio hasn't been that good all year, and again last night he's proven that.

The Phillies offense hasn't been that productive all year long, the loss earned the Phillies a spot right back in the basement of the NL East, as this nightmarish season continues. The offense did come to life last night, and rallied well at times, but the pitching on the team couldn't hold and the Braves just blew this game open to win 12-6.

Bastardo's numbers in the pen have been awful, in 36.1 innings pitched, he's given up 29 hits resulting in 22 runs. In the mix, he's given up 6 HR's out of those 29 hits, and he's walked 21 batters. In short, he's been terrible this year for the Phillies. It's hard to believe that he still has a spot out there in the pen, his seemingly magical style that he carried in previous years is long gone.

Antonio has eclipsed the bad numbers of Chad Qualls, he now has twice as many walks or more (21) as Qualls had on the season. The whole Phillies bullpen has been plagued by giving up walks. Michael Schwimmer has given up 15 BB, and Jake Diekman has given out 15 on the season as well. Closer Jonathan Papelbon has given up 11 walks so far as well.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Sellouts over, Phillies Dynasty is crumbling

Maybe Phillies fans were home watching the Olympics? A bad loss to the Braves tonight, they didn't miss anything

The glory years may be over for the Phillies. We've witnessed one of the greatest times ever in Phillies history from the end of the 2007 season when the Phillies caught the Mets at the wire, and I was at that last game of the season that year, probably the most exciting game I've ever been too. They talk about electricity in the air during a game, that was how I could describe it. This season just seems like the team will go no where, and with the loss to the Braves tonight, they not only played sloppy, they didn't even look the same Phillies team that we've known over the last few seasons.

The Phillies home sellout streak is over, it came to an end on a hot summer night on August 6th, 2012. The Phillies management are starting prepare for the worst, as players will now be moved because the team can possibly no longer afford them.

The season isn't over yet this year, and of course the Phils still have a chance to salvage the season by somehow making the playoffs. But this is a signal tonight that the baseball dynasty of the Phillies in the NL East is indeed over.

Youth and time have a nasty way of showing themselves really well in baseball. Teams that have stocked themselves with young players that can play well, are very much like the Phillies were a few years ago.

It takes a certain combination to win a championship, in 2008, we found that to be true. That 2008 Phillies team wasn't stocked with the best salaried players in the MLB, but they had that chemistry that doesn't happen all that often. The Beatles perhaps said it best, "Money Can't Buy Me Love" or in the Phillies situation I think that Ruben Amaro Jr. is finding out that money can't buy a championship either.

Phils out of basement in NL East, Braves in for 3

Rollins has been the Phillies 'Iron Man' so far this year playing in 105 games so far

The Phillies burst onto the 2012 season with high hopes and great expectations. In August now we've seen that the expectations haven't yet been accomplished, as the Phillies have never led the NL East all season for even a day. (After the first game, which the Phillies won, there was a tie for first with several teams)

On the second day of the season, the Phillies were in 3rd place and really never were able to eclipse that even, the most time for them this season has been spent on the bottom of the division in an unlikely last place position.

With the win yesterday, the Phillies are now back out of last place, prior to now they haven't been in 4th place in the NL East since June 27th. They also been in 4th place a few other times this year, but never rose above that mark.

It's a good thing that the MLB decided to add another Wild Card to the playoffs this year, as this is probably the only way in which the Phillies would make the playoffs. As of this morning, they are still 12.5 GB out of the Wild Card spot. It is still attainable for them though if they can just put some solid winning streaks in place.

The Braves are in town for 3 games, and the Phillies need to settle a score with team. The Braves have embarrassed the Phillies so far, and if the Phils have an ounce of pride, they should use it wisely and show the Braves that they aren't as bad as they've played recently by winning against them.

Note to keep in memory: Brian McCann has destroyed the Phillies this year by himself. Charlie Manuel doesn't respect any hitter that hits the Phillies, he downplays it every time and batters like McCann, have taken advantage of that. It's a fact that he's hit at will against us and it's points like this that tells me that Manuel isn't very saavy when it comes to managing a baseball club. He wants no part in helping keep a hot hitter against his team.

McCann has 16 RBI's against the Phillies by himself this year:

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Phillies Talk Podcast live at 7:35 pm tonight

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Blanton to start for the Dodgers today

Joe Blanton was in a groove with the Phillies. He always went out there and gave you innings, and that's what the Phillies needed. Usually a player is traded away when he doesn't perform well, and  Joe was making a lot of money this year $10.5M, but had a 8-9 record for the Phils .

Blanton leads the National League with a 6.39 strikeout to walk ratio this year, and since 2008, Blanton is 4th best winning percentage after the All-star break among all Major League pitchers with a .739 or 17-6 record.

On the downside for Joe is that he's given up a lot of home runs (22) that has him tied for the National League record for pitchers. Joe's ERA isn't the best either at 4.59.

Shane Victorino was happy to have Blanton on board with him on the Dodgers. He said Joe was a proven guy that can get you into the playoffs and be steady for the Dodgers, read the article on Victorino welcoming Joe here in the LA Times.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

2012 Phillies aren't showing the love or being shown it

Remember this story in Philly mag? A little love goes a long way, but no so much lately

The Phillies won, with Doc Halladay on the mound on Saturday night, that's the good news. It's encouraging to see Doc pitch like we know he can, but hasn't done that all that much this year.

The not so good news is all of the drama that has accompanied this team so far this year. The drama of putting Cliff Lee on waivers and then letting Joe Blanton go to the Dodgers for next to nothing was a little concerning for Phillies fans and the media alike. What does Cliff Lee on waivers do for any Phillies fan except make them nervous that the whole team is subject to collapse? Putting Lee out there was like the Phillies putting Ryan Howard out there on waivers, which they should.

Joe Blanton wasn't having a bad year, with that in mind I have to wonder what the reason was to deal him away.The question is why? I don't understand just shipping a decent pitcher like Joe Blanton to the Dodgers in return we got nothing. Isn't Joe Blanton a decent free agent after this season? The Phillies would have gotten draft picks if they offered big Joe a contract but he signed elsewhere?

Did Phils mangement just go in with the mindset that this season is toast, especially the talk from Ruben Amaro about 2013 already. The season isn't even over yet, is it?

The Phils square off with the Diamondbacks again on Sunday afternoon, with Cliff Lee on the mound for the Phillies. Of course Cliff will be on the mound unless Ruben pulls another one of those unnerving deals like he did with Blanton who was supposed to pitch for the Phillies until he learned that the Phillies have shipped him out with only 2 hours to go until game time.

Chooch update: Out 4 to 6 weeks... ouch that hurts. Read about it here at the Zo Zone.

Phillies bring 21-30 home record to CBP tonight

The Phillies haven't risen to anyone's expectations for them to do well

The Phillies season hasn't gone as planned by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, it's been downright hard to watch as the Phillies who were on the top of the baseball world in the past couple years have seen it's rise to Camelot dissolve into the Schuylkill River with a disaster in 2012.

Just how did the Phillies get in last place and basically own it for the best part of the season now? Their home record is horrible, at 21-30. They play the Diamondbacks again tonight at the stadium.

The fans were excited when Chase Utley and Ryan Howard came back to the team and things were going to be great. Perhaps someone should tell Chase and Ryan that we kind of need more from them. Chase is doing much better than Howard though.

The Phillies aren't showing any improvement, and that is troubling, as they should have been stabilized by now. What is the reason for the slide?

The fans showed some of the frustration with boos at the ballpark for they effort that the Phillies have been showing. There will be much more of that, and then the fans will eventually start drifting away, no more sell outs and the Phillies magical past few years are just memory.

2013? Something good better happen now or sooner than now. I've never heard a GM and or players throw in the towel so quickly and effortlessly as was done in the past week.

Dodgers will take Phillies excess

Cliff Lee' wife asked Ruben Amaro not to upset their family again by trading Cliff after he wanted to pitch in Philadelphia and came here, Ruben tried it again!

When it was announced that Cliff Lee was on waivers, it wasn't a good time for most Phillies fans. The guy who was signed here and did so marvelously in the World Series in 2009 for us, and then sent away right after that, was a kick in the head for both fans and Lee alike.

Ruben Amaro made up for that and signed Lee to a multi-year deal again to be with Phillies for a long time, then the news of a couple days ago came out of no where with no good reason for it. Ruben Amaro is displaying a wild side to him, now that the Phillies have done so poorly this season.

The LA Dodgers scooped up Shane Victorino for a least the last couple months of this season. They were about to scoop up Cliff Lee from us and if that happened, a lot of Phillies fans would have revolted. They should even be mad now that the Dodgers took Joe Blanton from us instead of Cliff Lee, again probably for next to nothing. Lee went 17-8 for the Phillies last year, I hardly think that's the type of player you would want to get rid of.

 This isn't how the Phillies should be running their team. They are becoming a sinking ship that has Amaro making players walk off a plank, again for what reason? This team was assembled by Amaro, and now that things didn't work out, he's trying to make the players pay the price. Cliff Lee hasn't had the best support at all this season by the Phillies offense.

What does Ruben Amaro think he's playing with, monopoly money? He signed Lee, who was a free agent for 5 years and $120M - now seemingly wants to dump his prized signing for no good reason. Lee wanted to pitch for Philadelphia, if I remember correctly, he came here and took less money and now is being treated poorly.

 Lee has started 18 games so far this year. In those 18 starts, the Phillies offense has scored 0-2 runs in 7 of those starts, Lee has ended up 0-5 because of those starts. That is the reason that Lee isn't doing too well this year in case Ruben hasn't noticed. In 6 other starts, the Phillies have scored 3-5 runs, but the Phillies bullpen exploded several times, and Lee has gone 0-1 in those starts. The 2 wins that Lee has are with the Phillies scoring 6+ runs in the game.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The 'new' look Phillies now 2-0

 Nate Schierholtz will be very welcome at home in Philly with the HR and the good catch tonight in DC

Would the Phillies have gone 2-0 with Shane and Hunter in the lineup? Probably, but as with most things, change is inevitable and those changes have now become old news for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phils beat the Nationals for the second night in a row in Washington, before only 23,377 watching baseball, and I suspect not a lot of them were Phillies fans. I guess the 'Take Back The Stadium' plan is really working for the Nationals front office. If you remember, the Nats tried to launch this promotion by giving people who live in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, first chance at purchasing tickets for the games involving the Phillies games in DC.

Whatever the case, the Phillies are again on a winning streak, and these are the games that they need to win. The Phillies are now 15.5 games back from the Nationals, and even though that sounds bleak, with a few more wins strung together, they could start to narrow that gap. Right now, the Phillies are 12.5 games back from the Wild Card, but it's way to early to start thinking about that.

Jimmy Rollins has been on fire in this series, he's had 3 HR's already, and Nate Schierholtz (who came over from San Francisco) added his first HR as a Phillie, overall his 6th of the season.

Shane Victorino's debut with LA on Wednesday afternoon in LA, wasn't too exciting. He went 0-4 for the Dodgers, who also lost the game against the Diamondbacks 4-0.

Hunter Pence was playing for the Giants, but they start at the time this post is being written, Pence started the game in right for the Giants.