Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ruf impresses in field last night





 Stanton hit homer number 36 last night in Miami, but his 3 RBI wasn't enough to beat the Phils

Darin Ruf is ready to play everyday in the Major Leagues right now. He showed a tremendous glove last night as he chased down a fly ball that was about half the way down into right field.

Ruf can either play first base or left field, so it will be interesting to see what route the Phillies go with him.

The Phillies earned a win to take them back to .500, Jimmy Rollins paced the Phillies offense last night, going 3-4 with 3 runs scored.

It didn't matter in the playoff race to the Phillies or Marlins as they are both officially out of any playoff contention. Now, the Phillies have one more game in Florida, then go up to Washington DC to close out their season.

Roy Halladay soldiered through this start, again he gave up a lot of runs, but managed to hang in their for his final start of the season and earned the win to finish out his season at 11-8. The 35 year old future Hall of Famer started 25 games this year for the Phillies in his injury shortened season.

What comes next for this team in the off-season? We'll start to find out real soon, as there won't be too much October baseball for the Phillies to play this year.


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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Howard done for season



Instead of the nickname, "Big Piece" which Charlie Manuel calls Ryan Howard, perhaps we should change that to "Big Toe." In a late afternoon announcement, Ryan Howard has announced he has a broken big toe.


This is almost surreal as with what happened to Howard last year, and now this revelation that was announced just minutes ago. Apparently, Howard dropped a lead bat on the toe on Thursday and only now has it come to light that it's broken. This story kind of smells a little phony.



Add this to the list of Phillies oddities this season and just remember at least he won't be making the last out this year. Howard has a long time to rest up and perhaps spend a little of that $20 million dollar salary this year.

Matt Gelb reported the story early Saturday evening online here at philly.com


Lee suffers another Phillies offense let down


The Phils shopped Lee this year, will he be a Phillie next year?


It's been consistent for Cliff Lee for most of this season. The Phillies just haven't scored runs for him when he has been the starting pitcher this season. The Phillies only scored 1 run during the game last night in Miami, and mercilessly, Lee didn't get the loss in this game.

The Phillies have scored 0-2 runs in 10 of Cliff Lee's 29 starts this year. All of those games ended up with Lee being 0-7 because of it, last night was a no-decision for Lee. It's very hard to win a game when you just don't score runs. It happened again last night in Miami for Lee, who may get the last start of the season for the team in Washington on October 3rd.


Run totals and number of games in which the Phillies scored for Lee's starts:


  • 0 runs = 1
  • 1 run = 6
  • 2 runs = 3

  

Cliff Lee has had 5 games in which he has had 10 strikeouts or more this season. His record in those games is 1-2 with 2 no-decisions.

Incredibly, the season went to July 4th until Cliff Lee got his first win. To get to that point, Cliff Lee was 0-5 in 13 starts for the Phillies, including a string of 8 no-decisions for him. In his last three starts in June, Lee was not pitching his best baseball, he surrendered 5, 5, and 6 ER during that stretch before he turned it around and pitched much better in the second half of the season after the all-star break.

Phils lose the first one down in Miami last night in the bottom of the 9th, after they had the table set for them in the top of the 9th and John Mayberry Jr. struck out to end the Phillies threat. These are hits you have to make as a major leaguer, if you want to be a star. Mayberry Jr. is a good ballplayer, but he is just not a star player.

A strange move by Charlie Manuel last night, not allowing Darin Ruf to bat and he pinch hit for Laynce Nix instead when the Phillies were threatening. Some of Charlies moves leave you wondering why? He's done this again and again, and no one calls him out on these strange moves.

Five more games left in this 2012 season, and maybe the Phillies should allow the called up minor leaguers to get in there and take this team into the offseason.


Oh yeah, if you read the blog yesterday, you would have known that with just 1 more loss the Phillies are out of the playoffs, last night was that loss and they are out for 2012. A major let down, and complete failure by this team that should see a lot of changes in the off-season, and FightinPhillies.com will have plenty of off-season posts on this.


Funny ... but true. This is a screenshot from the Boston Herald this morning.. how could they get this wrong???

 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crash, boom, bang - Phillies season putters out of postseason - 1 game to elimination




We may dub this season the 'Phillies Train Wreck Season'...




It happened again last night, the Phillies lost. We're kind of getting used to that now, the Phillies have dropped to .500 again and have a 78-78 record. The loss to the Nationals was just what this team needs to look at in order to improve.

The Phillies were outplayed by a younger, hungier and more aggresive team that now owns the spot that the Phillies used to own. They were beat by the NL East Champion, Washington Nationals.

That sounds so strange when you say that out loud, the NL East Champion (with a magic number of 3), Washington Nationals. That's what they are though with a magic number of only 3 to win it, the Phillies are now dangling by a thin thread with only 1 more game between them and total elimination from the second Wild Card spot.

The Phils play this year was pathetic, and they don't even deserve to be in the playoffs, if they were in the playoffs we'd probably be speaking about a different sport. I am kind of glad the MLB isn't like the NHL or NBA that seemingly lets any team into the playoffs. No, this Phillies team didn't make the cut this year and we'll have a whole off-season to find out why.

Even more important, the Phillies home record is settled for his year, and you guessed it, they have a losing record at home in front of their hometown fans. 40-41 is the best this team could give us from home this year. 41 losses is a lot of losses to add up when you are talking about a total of 78 losses. Had things change and they were able to make up some of those losses and turned them into wins, we could be talking about the post season, but we're not.

Another game, another loss. Mercilessly, there is only 6 more games left in this season. The Phils end this season on the road with 3 games in Miami and then up to face the NL East Champions for 3 games and they go home, not to CBP, but to their own houses to watch playoff caliber baseball on tv this year.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Phillies fans new target is a familiar face




Someone should tell Jayson Werth that he isn't going to win this battle.

Werth drew a line in the sand when he was injured in Washington on a play where he slid on the field and this wrist didn't do too well with the impact. Some Phillies fans at the Nationals stadium cheered and or jeered Werth after the incident happened. Immediately after it happened, of course they had no idea that he had broken his wrist.

Jayson took his complaint to the press almost immediately. He actually took the time to write to the Washington Post reporter that was covering the Nationals named Adam Kilgore. He complained that it made him sick to his stomach that fans would yell and be happy because he suffered an injury.

What Werth didn't realize though is that he was a Phillie and he had left the team for more money and deserted the very fans that used to cheer him. What would he expect everyone to be? Of course you shouldn't wish anything bad to anyone but maybe it was there way of expressing their discontent that he was no longer a Phillie.

It happened again last night in Philly though. The boos are getting louder and the fans are starting to take a dislike to a player they used to love. Jayson Werth should know that it isn't personal, but with his not throwing a ball up to fans last night, he's crossed a line with them and they will always win in the end.

This morning on the Angelo Cataldi show, a very mad Angelo made a point that Phillies fans should give Werth the 'business' tonight. Boo, boo, and more boo, whatever it takes to make him feel unwelcome here now. That's what will probably happen too, it's a battle that Werth won't win and probably will open more sore feelings with him. He shouldn't take on a beast like the Phillies fans can be when provoked and prodded.

Phillies close out home season for 2012 tonight



Maybe the Phillies players should take their spot on the dunk tank after this season



The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals last night in the second game of the final series at home of the 2012 season. The Phillies record against the Nats though is still a winning one, the season series with them is at 8-6, with 4 more games between the two teams left.  Tonight is the last game at home for the Phillies this year.

41,440 watched baseball in Philadelphia last night as the Phils just never recovered from some early runs put on the board by the Nationals who have won the NL East for the first time as a franchise.

The Phillies season is one for the books, no one could have predicted that this team would finish so poorly, and look so bad for most of the season. The Phils are now an incredible 40-40 at home this season, so one more home game will tell if they can at least go out with more wins than losses at home.

To put the way the Phillies finished this year in perspective, the team now sits at .503 with a 78-77 season, about the same as the Pittsburgh Pirates or Arizona Diamondbacks in the standings. The major problem with the comparison is that the Phillies payroll this year was $174.5M and the other two teams of the Pirates ($63.4M) and Diamondbacks ($74.2M) combined do not even equal the Phillies payroll this year.

The Phillies fans supported this team fully this year, the team has drawn more fans than any other NL team so far this season. The fans supported the team even though the standings were like they were. Despite it being a tough season, with the Phillies being back by as much as 20 games out of first and presently are 16 GB. A lot of the tickets were sold before the season even started though, as Phillies fans wanted to get their tickets early and didn't anticipate the team would turn in a season like this.

Here's a list of teams by attendance in 2012 along with the average age of players and the managers of each team:

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Phillie Memories: Pete Rose and his never heard before interview


  




The signing of Pete Rose to the Phillies happened from a combination of things, the local TV outlet that showed Phillies games to the home viewers, and a willingness for Pete Rose, who wanted to come play in Philadelphia. There were other deals on the table, but Rose really wanted to play in front of Phillies fans.

Maury Z. Levy interviewed Pete Rose for Philadelphia Magazine back in 1979, and this never before heard interview will be heard for the first time here at FightinPhillies.com and a couple of other blogs, thanks to Maury’s permission and his sending us the information along with his website MauryZLevy.com

Pete Rose was never lost for words, he comments here on why he thinks his salary is more than justified and he’s one of the best in baseball. Back in 1979, a million dollars was still a lot of money to be paid as a Major League ballplayer, Rose's salary was for 4 years and $3.325 M 



Click here to Listen to the interview


Maury also did a controversial interview for Playboy magazine with Pete Rose later in the year in 1979. Here is some of the text of that interview:

PLAYBOY: Have you analyzed the Phillies' problems? The team seems to fold during play-off games. What do you think?

ROSE: I don't know, they just ran into bad breaks. They don't play with the same aggressiveness in the play-offs that they do in the season, it seems like. Why? I don't know. It's just experience. If we get in the series this year, things will be all right.

PLAYBOY: And what if you don't make it to the world series?

ROSE: Well, I can't do everything.

PLAYBOY: One of your trademarks is the headfirst slide into first base. Have you always done it that way?

ROSE: Yeah, always did it that way. I used to practice that. I used to practice in the swimming pool all the time, used to always dive in the swimming pool like that. Exactly like you're playing baseball. That's about the only place you can practice that without getting hurt.

PLAYBOY: Why do you do that? Some people think it's just to showboat.

ROSE: Showboat, shit. It's just the easy way to slide and the fastest. And the safest, I think.

PLAYBOY: Is that how you got the nickname Charlie Hustle?

ROSE: No, that came in 1963, in spring training. Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford gave it to me because I ran to first every time I got a walk.


You can read the whole interview that Maury did for Playboy with Pete Rose here at Maury’s bloghttp://mauryzlevy.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Phillie Memories: The signing of Pete Rose

 


 One of the Phillies best first baseman ever was a player who should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. He helped the Phillies win their first ever World Series win back in 1980, and he’s been a person that has been around baseball his whole life.

 I am speaking about Pete Rose, a player whose accomplishments in baseball are numerous. His contributions to the Cincinnati Reds team were many as well and it earned him the name “Charlie Hustle.”

 Rose had a great career as a player then almost immediately moved into a role as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Rose started his professional baseball career at the age of 22 in 1963. He played the season with the Reds in his first year, it was 154 games. The season earned him the coveted ‘Rookie Of The Year’ for 1963 and started Pete Rose off to greatness in baseball.

 Rose played for 24 seasons in baseball, and in 1980, with the Phillies, he played in all 162 regular season games for the team, and hit 42 doubles that season at 39 years old. Pete Rose was phenomenal, the younger fans of the game today, only know him as a player who is being kept out of the Hall Of Fame because of things he would do after his career as a player, but as a manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

 I could write a 400 page book about the subject of Pete Rose and why he isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but should be. That would be entirely too much to post here on the website, but this post will feature Pete Rose, the player, and how his great accomplishments helped the Phillies win their first ever World Series, and how the Phillies landed Pete Rose as a player back in 1979.

 The Phillies were on the cusp of doing some great things in the mid to late 1970’s. In 1976 and 1977, the Phillies teams scored the most amount of wins ever up to that time in a season for the franchise. In the ‘76,’77, and ‘78 seasons, the Phillies finished in first place in the NL East, and made it to the NLCS all three years, only to lose all three times. There was a missing ingredient to the team, a piece of the puzzle that the Phillies needed to add to help propel them further. The puzzle piece was Pete Rose. In the offseason of 1978/1979, Pete Rose would be one of the most sought after free agents ever in baseball.

 On December 3rd 1978, the Phillies announced they had signed Pete Rose. The move was criticized as ‘outrageous’ with the amount of money the Phillies would be paying Rose for his services. Of course, in relation to the amount of money that some baseball players make today in 2012, this amount of money seems almost trival.

 The Phillies signed Pete Rose to a 4 year deal for the sum of $3.225 million dollars, much of what it took to pay Pete Rose that kind of money back then was tied to a local TV station, who still airs a lot of Phillies games, WPHL was instrumental in making the Pete Rose deal happen as it was reported here in Sports Illustrated in 1979.

 Next in this series: the Maury Z Levy interview with Pete upon his arrival in Philly in 1979, this interview has played on a couple of blogs over the years including Maury's own blog. We'll hear that tomorrow in the next post.

Monday, September 24, 2012

PhilliesTalk - Remembering the 70s






The Phillies look as though they are out of the Wild Card race, they are now 5.0 GB in the extra wild card chance. That doesn't stop us from talking about Phillies baseball though.

Jim Mulry steered this show back to the 1970's when the Phillies were a much different team, so this show we're drifting back to the memories of the time that the Vet opened and Steve Carlton was king of the hill for the Phillies.

Join Rich Baxter and Jim for the latest edition of PhilliesTalk.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Howard's 300th HR of his career, the Atlanta connection



On September 22, 2012, Ryan Howard hit another milestone in his career with his 300th home run of his career. Howard of course has hit all of those as a Phillies player. He started with his first home run of his career back in 2004 on September 11th when he took Bartolome Fortunato deep in New York against the Mets.

It didn't take Howard long to reach 100 HR's in his career, that came back in 2007, on June 27th in Philadelphia vs. Aaron Harang and the Reds. Ryan was an early fan favorite in his career as the crowd is always dazzled by the long ball, and Howard has delivered plenty of those.

Ryan Howard was drafted in the 5th round of the amateur draft in 2001, and made his Major League debut on September 1, 2004. This highest home run total in a season with the team was in 2006, when at 26 years of age, Ryan smacked 58 HR's and drove in 149 runs. In the World Series winning season of 2008, Howard had his next highest total with 48 HR's and 146 RBI in the regular season.

Ryan Howard's season for this year didn't begin until July 6th, he was on the DL for the months of April, May, June and the first 5 days of July. He's still salvaged a decent season accumulating 14 HR and 55 RBI so far in 66 games.

Breaking down Howard's 300 home runs:

Team with most HR's against career: Atlanta - 42
Total HR hit at home at CBP career: 151
70 of Ryan's 300 HR came with 2 pitches
96 of Ryan's 300 HR came with 2 outs


Ryan Howard will face Tim Hudson today, with a home run against Hudson today, Howard can make Hudson tie with Chris Volstad as the pitchers that he has hit the most home runs against. Volstad has given up 8 HR's to Howard while Hudson is sitting at number two on the list with 7 HR's against.


Baseball aficionados sometimes debate the ratio of Ryan's strikeouts to his home run hitting ratio, and going for the long ball a lot has probably contributed to the increase of strikeouts by Howard. In the past few years, Howard has seen a decrease in strikeouts in number but an increase in the strikeouts per home run ratio. This due to not playing as many games in a season, especially with the injury season this year.

In 2008, Howard had 4.145 strikeouts for every home run hit, and this year the figure is at 6.5 strikeouts for every home run. The all-time leader for this stat with over 300 HR is Joe DiMaggio with a 1.022 strikeout to home run ratio. DiMaggio didn't really strikeout that much in a season, in his 13 year Major League career.

Halladay's horrid outing against Braves



These kind of starts usually do not happen to the caliber of pitcher that Roy Halladay is. Last night before the sold-out Citizens Bank Park, 45,377 fans were in shock though as Roy Halladay only lasted 1.2 innings in one of the worst starts that the future Hall of Famer has ever had.




The horror started early for Halladay. In the first inning, Freddie Freeman caught a Roy Halladay fastball and deposited it off the right field second deck and staked the Braves to an early 3-0 lead. A Jason Heyward bases clearing double would bring the total to 6 in the second inning and Halladay's night was over. Those were the scoring plays, but sprinkled in with that was 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.

Roy Halladay hasn't looked like the pitcher that we've grown accustomed to seeing. This is Roy's 15th season of pitching, and he did have the injury earlier in the season with a sore throwing shoulder, and his record on May 29th, 2012, at the time this happened was 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA.

In the 2012 season, Halladay has now reached 151.1 innings on the season, but has given up 74 runs already. In the past two previous seasons, Halladay has given up only 65 runs in '11, with 233.2 innings pitched, and in 2010 it was 250.2 IP and he gave up a total of 74 runs on the full season.

Halladay was interviewed last night after the game, and talked about 'spasms' in his back and acknowledged that his getting older may have contributed to problems that he's had this year. Listen to the interview by thanks to CSNPhilly, at the locker room after the game.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Phillies score season high 16 runs to sweep Mets







You know it's gonna be a great game when after it's over, Ryan Howard has 5 RBI's and leaves another 6 on base. It was that kind of game last night in Queens, as the Phillies had one of those rare games where everything went well for them.

The Phils wasted no time in this game, they came out swinging in the first and put up 8 runs on the board. In the first inning. The score was quickly 4-0 and the Mets changed pitchers, but that didn't phase the Phillies as when the Mets took starter Jeremy Hefner out, and brought Collin McHugh in. The Phillies made the most of the opportunity and scored 4 more runs in the first inning.

Jimmy Rollins scored twice in the first inning alone. Juan Pierre went 5-6 in this game, and Chase Utley was 4-5 with 4 RBI. Ryan Howard hit a 9th inning grand slam after the Phillies were up 12-1 to make it 16-1 and added to his total against the Mets as a team, he now has a total of 34 career home runs against the Mets.

Tyler Cloyd picked up his 2nd win on the season, going 8.0 innings and striking out 6 batters, only giving up 1 ER and scattering 3 hits.

16 was the most runs the Phillies scored in a game this year, the other highest total that the Phillies put up was 13 runs back on May 2nd, they ended up losing to the Braves that game 15-13.

It's Atlanta tonight at home, a series that could have been very interesting had the Phillies been closer to them. The Nationals clinched a spot in the playoffs last night, other accolades will come for this team.

The Phillies stay at 4 games back in the wild card because the other teams above them all won too. The miracle of them making the playoffs is just about dim, the fans keep the hope but it remains a very outside chance that they will be able to make it.

The Milwaukee Brewers have the most steam in challenging the Cardinals for that final playoff chance, they are now 2.5 GB and winners of their last 5 in a row, but St. Louis has been winning as well, reeling off 4 wins in a row themselves. For them, they have to win to stay alive.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rally kings are back, Phils win 2nd game in NY


The Phils are in position to make a clean sweep of the Mets on Thursday night

The Phillies were down to their last out, and it didn't look good in Queens late in the game on Wednesday night against the Mets. Jimmy Rollins had gone down swinging, and then Ty Wigginton had a similar fate, struck out swinging. Chase Utley had a magnificent battle for a walk, and then Ryan Howard came up and belted a long drive that sailed into the night sky and promptly bounced off the 2nd level overhang.

We needed a victory and got it tonight, after a Papelbon save. The score was 3-2, and despite Cole Hamels' 6.0 innings of work with 10 strikeouts, could not earn the win tonight as the Phils rallied late when the bullpen had taken over.

The hopes were not dimmed tonight, but a wild card seems unlikely but the important part is that the Phils have to keep winning. The have to keep winning and hope the teams like the Cardinals and the Dodgers lose. Anything is possible, but again it's the odds and time that are starting to be the enemies of this team.




Ryan Howard couldn't have come through at a better time for the Phillies or himself. He was 0-19 up to that point, and 0-7 in this series. One swing turned him from a player that is mired in a slump to a post game hero with an interview after the game.



Domonic Brown had a tough time tracking down a tailing fly ball in left in the bottom of the 9th to dive and make a great catch to save this game, the ball had some movement on it, and was spinning away from Brown when he made the catch.

We're winners tonight, with the make up game 7:10 PM on Thursday night.  

Phils slip overnight to 4 GB without playing



Phils vs Mets resumes tonight from Citi Field




The Phils and the Mets were postponed last night, due to a large rain storm that was packing 50-60 mph winds. The game will be rescheduled for Thursday when the Phillies were supposed to have a day off before heading home and welcoming in the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals to head into the last dozen games of the season.

The team then travels down to Miami next weekend and then ends the season in Washington with 3 games on October 1, 2, and 3.

The St. Louis Cardinals won last night and increased the Phillies deficit to 4.0 GB today, without the Phillies even playing.

The Houston series summed up the season for this team, the Phillies needed to go in there and win at least 3-4 from the Astros, and despite them being the worst team in the league, the Phillies couldn't deliver and tumbled down in the wild card race. On September 12th the team had won 7 in a row, and was 3.0 GB in the Wild Card. The Cardinals lost a couple games in the period the Phillies were losing to the Astros, with more wins in Houston they could be only 1.0 game out of the Wild Card today.

The run for the extra wild card spot has kept a lot of fans interested. Let's not confuse this race for success in the season. This Phillies team didn't meet the expectations set by the players and certainly didn't meet the fan's expectations.

In two weeks, the season will end, and then all of the baseball pundits will try to figure out where this team went wrong. Yes, we had injuries this year, but those injuries alone didn't cause this collapse by the Phillies alone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

PhilliesTalk Podcast: 15 Games to go in 2012








Who would have guessed that the Phillies would lose 3 of 4 to the Astros down in Houston? That they did, now it's on to New York for three. Only 15 games left in this really bad season from the Phillies. Here's this week's edition of Phillies Talk - the podcast.


Get yourself an Audible free trial, click the link to support our show - it's a 30 day trial for free, just cancel before the end of the 30 day trial and you owe nothing. Audible.com is a great service, and I'm sure you'll like it.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Phillies Frandsen almost makes historical milestone



A snapshot of Reyes who bobbled the ball and was charged with his 16th error of the year



For the past couple weeks or more, the venerable Baseball-Reference.com, had a fun milestone that it was tracking in Major League Baseball. The website had calculated that there was going to be 500,000 errors in baseball since it all began way back in 1876.

That 500,000th error was supposed to happen sometime over the weekend, and indeed it did. The website has a disclaimer that this is just a fun stat that it was watching as the milestone started to get closer, BR.com admits that it may be less than perfect and also says that sometimes the MLB takes away errors, sometimes even days later.

Nonetheless, it was pretty fun to watch as the number got closer. On Saturday night, September 15th, the milestone was met. Before I tell you who did it, there is a Phillies connection to the story.

Kevin Frandsen is not really a natural third baseman, he is sort of a journeyman who has played a lot of positions on a few different major league teams. He's played third base for 43 games for the Los Angeles Angels back in 2010 and committed 5 errors during that span. On Saturday night, Frandsen appeared in his 36th game as a Phillies 3rd baseman, and almost took the crown of the supposed 500,000th error when he committed a throwing error in the 7th inning of the game with the Phillies and Houston Astros last night.

Baseball-Reference calculated that Frandsen's error was number 499,998 only 2 away from the 500k feat, and the games played on to find a winner.

The next error was Joaquin Arias, a third baseman for the San Francisco Giants. Joaquin's error was 499,999. The winner would be next.

The supposed 500,000th error in the Major Leagues was courtesy of Jose Reyes, of the Miami Marlins, who went 3-4 and contributed to the Marlins win over the Cincinnati Reds. Reyes made an error in his 144th game with the Marlins this year at shortstop, the error was the 16th on the year by Reyes. Sixteen is around the average amount of errors in a full season by Reyes, but on this night, he's made a milestone according to Baseball-Reference.com, a fun little sidebar to the 2012 season by that website.


Phillies player milestone for today, September 16th ....


Today was Mike Schmidt's first home run as a Phillies player. He was a September call up and the home run enabled the Phillies to win the game on September 16, 1972 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia vs. the Montreal Expos. Schmidt went on to hit 548 homers in the MLB during his career.

From Paul Kertz's book 162-0 Imagine a Phillies Perfect Season ... buy your copy here

 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Phillies say goodbye to Astros this series





The Houston Astros are in the last few weeks of season as being in the National League. This will be the last series that the Phils and the Astros will play as National League foes.

They started off as the Houston Colt 45's and kicked off the 1962 season as the new kids on the block in the National League along with the brand new New York Mets team with the 1962 expansion of the National League.

The run as the Colt 45's was brief, only three seasons. After 1964, the team was renamed as it had a new home in the Houston Astrodome, and the Houston Astros were born. The Houston Astrodome was a premier place to play baseball in 1965, and the stadium was home to the Astros until the end of the 1999 season.



The move to the Astrodome also gave the Houston Astros a new logo and was used by the team for 10 seasons until 1974, when the Astros yet started to change again. In January 1975, a Houston Astros pitcher was found dead in a car in an apparent suicide or horrible accident by carbon monoxide poisoning. His death was listed as accidental, and his wife suffered a broken jaw, but stated she didn't know how she suffered the injury. The pitcher's name was Don Wilson and his son was also killed in this horrible incident, as well as his wife and daughter being injured. Read more about this story here at Seamheads.com.

A lot more of the Houston Astros history could fill a volumes of blog posts, there were many great stories and memories that the Astros created along the way. The move in the year 2000 to the Minute Maid Park was phenomenal for the Astros, they had a brand new home after the Astrodome was suffering after years of decline. The new stadium opened as Enron Field, a name that would become synonymous with scams and fraud just after this in 2001. Enron was a Houston based company that was the biggest companies in the world with electricity and natural gas, and other businesses. The multi-billion dollar business went bust in 2001, with such large holdings as many pipelines, electrical production plants, and more.

The Houston Astros brought down the Enron Field name in favor of Houston Astros Field until the association with Minute Maid Park was announced.

A Phillies player had the first hit in the Enron Field, it was Doug Glanville who had the first ever hit in the new stadium, a single to right field.

Yes, the memories of the Astros are many. Who can forget the Killer B's? Biggio and Bagwell. Names from baseball history like J.R. Richard, and Jose Cruz, and of course Nolan Ryan.


pics courtesy of wikipedia




Thursday, September 13, 2012

Swept into playoffs mode, goal is within reach for Phils

While the World Series may be a stretch, can the Phils at least get into the playoffs?


The Phillies are in a peaking position. They've been winning at the right time, when they need to the most. This winning streak has lead to a winning record, finally, and a quest of a different sort. The quest for a playoff spot.

The Phils seem to have some extra gas in their tank, like a hockey team that has come onto the ice for the 3rd period and just go out and give it their all.

Two sweeps in a row, and now the Phillies head down to a series with a team (The Houston Astros) that only has 45 wins on the season, and it will be the last time the Phillies ever play this franchise as a National League opponent as the Astros will move to American League next year.

The St. Louis Cardinals lost on Wednesday night, and that loss has afforded to get the Phillies within 3.0 games on a Wild Card berth with 19 games to play. The Cardinals have been losing in bunches, this was there 3rd lost in a row on Wednesday night and the Pittsburgh Pirates have dropped an incredible 5 in a row to a record of 72-69 as this race for the extra Wild Card spot is proving to be an attractive prize on a team that is still in the hunt for it.

In years gone by, the extra Wild Card spot didn't exist, so the race for something that wasn't there anyway didn't exist. In other words, you really didn't have too much to play for after the fact that you wouldn't make the playoffs at all. This addition of an extra Wild Card matchup originally had been met with a lot of disapproval including myself, but I must admit, it's been adding a lot of interest to a part of the season that used to be just not as interesting.

The Phillies were written off by a lot of people, but not by themselves, they haven't won anything yet, and still have a somewhat horrible record. The wind is blowing well for the team though, with a lot of wind in their sails.

Since Aug 31st, the Phils have been magnificent with even another win on Wedneday:
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Even steven - after 142 games we're even





How sweet it is... Even after 142 games, the Phillies will have gotten back to even and the season just doesn't seem like such a bust...so much as it did.

The bright hopes of playoff fever have crept into the scene as the Phillies have started to peak and play much better baseball over the past 10 games or more.

Let's not fool ourselves, this team should have done much better, and even if they did make the playoffs, there is still a lot to be said about what went wrong this year. The missed opportunities, and lost games have all contributed to this 71-71 season so far.

Let's look ahead though, if the Phillies can continue to run the table, they might be in for a win total in the mid-80's or so.

Roy Halladay notched his 10th win of the season, with some help from the Phillies bullpen. He practically threw a tantrum though when Charlie Manuel came out of the dugout to take him out. That's a bit of emotion from Halladay, but when you're in front of 40,000 at the ballpark, and a couple hundred thousand watching at home it's very noticeable. Manuel used to stay with Halladay all of the time, but now made a wise move to get him out of the game, no matter what Halladay thought about it.

The magic number where the Phillies can't win the division is now 4, any combination of Phillies losses and National wins moves the number. The good news is the Phillies have closed some ground on the final Wild Card spot, they are now just 4.0 GB for that with a lot of games to go yet.

It's late afternoon baseball today, the Phillies and the Marlins from CBP, at 4:05 PM



  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Phils winning but still face outside chance for playoffs



Phillies playoff odds are still incredibly slim, as the season winds down to 21 games left


The season may be coming down to a lot of 'what ifs'. What if the Phillies won a couple more games than they did? The team has been winning more frequently of late, but it may not be enough to get into the playoffs as the odds of them making it are still only 1.5 percent according to the calculations on ESPN.com

In the NL East, it is near a lock that the Washington Nationals will win the NL East for the first time ever, and the Atlanta Braves will also get into the playoffs as well. It may be the first time in 5 seasons that the defending champions of the NL East, the Phillies, do not make the playoffs.

The Phillies are still a full 17 GB out of the first place, with perhaps the most glaring part of the season being their home record which they still have more losses than wins at 36-37. What if they won more home games this year? The Phils have won 8 out of their last 10 games, and reeled off 5 wins in a row, so they are getting hot at the time they really need to.

Can the Phillies still make the playoffs? Yes, they must continue to play at the winning pace that they have been playing at to have the best chance. Teams above them like the Pirates, Dodgers, and Cardinals would have to continue to lose as all of these teams did last night.

The Brewers are also getting hot at this time, and are tied with the Phillies now at 5 games back for the final playoff spot. The Diamondbacks are 6 GB in the wild card as well, so there are a lot of teams vying for the playoff spot that before never would have existed without the change that the MLB made prior to the start of the 2012 season, when they added another playoff Wild Card chance.

The Phils are still under .500 on the season, now they have almost reached the elusive .500 level at 70-71 on the season. Would a .500 season be termed a success for this team? Not at all, this season was still a really bad year for this team. They did have some injury issues, but the season was mired in a haze of losses that continued to pile up on them for most of the season.

Just consider this fact, though he's been gone for over a month, the leader on this team in home runs (tied with Jimmy Rollins) is still Hunter Pence, he is also tied for the lead in RBI's with Carlos Ruiz for the top spot with 59 on the team. That doesn't sound like a player that you should have traded does it?

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Phillies vs Rockies series interrupted by rain





We've all done it. You hear the forecast on tv for the game time, and you don't know whether or not to go. It's a fine line that the Phillies management walks on a rainy night, they are under pressure to get the game in, especially when the Phillies don't play the Rockies anymore this season after this weekend.

Rain delays are tough to experience, most of the time, you're huddled in the public areas under cover, and despite the promise of seeing a ball game, sometimes it just isn't meant to be. I've been to many games in rain delays, and usually you're just standing around, most of the time without much information and just waiting it out, with a few thousand of other fans willing to endure the delay with you.

Here are some interesting facts to ponder as the seemingly endless delay carries on:

The Phillies end up playing the Rockies 9 times this season, it ties with the year 2000, when these two teams faced off 9 times in that season as well. The Phillies hold the winning mark in the all-time series between the Phillies and the Rockies by a 88-62 record going back to the first year of the Rockies franchise in 1993.

Believe it or not, the Colorado Rockies have never won their division. They have made the playoffs only three times since the team became the Rockies with a World Series appearance in 2007, which they lost in 2007.

The Phillies home attendance recently surpassed 3 million fans in 2012 for the 6th year in a row, if you think how many fans that is, the math is pretty simple. The Phillies have sold more than 18 million tickets since the year that the Phillies made the playoffs, 2007.


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

2,000 Hits puts Jimmy Rollins in great company





Jimmy Rollins has been playing baseball for sometime now. He made his debut way back in 2000, and now in 2012, Rollins has joined an exclusive club. The 2,000 hit club was joined by Jimmy with a hit in Cincinnati against the Reds on Tuesday night, September 4th. The hit was a double down first base, and moved Jimmy into some great company.

Rollins now joins other fellow teammates with the 2,000 hit plateau. Rollins joins, Juan Pierre, and Placido Polanco who also have 2,000 or more hits in their career.

Interestingly, a pitcher on the team that Rollins and the Phillies are facing in Cincinnati has the dubious distinction of giving up a total of 2,000 or more hits to batters, that is Bronson Arroyo who has played in the MLB during the same years that Jimmy has been playing, 2000 to '12.

Longtime Phillies shortstop of the 1970's and early 80's, Larry Bowa, finished up his career with 2,191 hits in his career. So next up is for Jimmy to pass Bowa for this feat.

Rollins has made a lot of statements that 2,000 hits is nice, but he has his sights on 3,000 if he can do it.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Springsteen wraps up at CBP welcomes in Baseball Postseason






'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen is wrapping up his second show in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park today, and he is appearing in commercials for the 2012 MLB Postseason as well. The only thing missing from the video is some pictures of our Phillies, maybe they can still suprise them all and make it to the postseason in 2012

Farewell Chipper, couldn't happen soon enough for Phils


Chipper Jones is set to retire after 19 years, all with the Braves


Phillies fans will remember Chipper Jones in his last year, if this is indeed his last year. The way he has been playing against the Phillies though, Chipper may want to re-consider his retirement after this season.

It happened again yesterday in Atlanta, the Braves were in striking range of the Phillies lead with runners on and Chipper Jones at the plate. First base was open and we could have walked him, but the decision was made to pitch to Jones.

What happened next was only the second time this year that a player on the Braves hit a walk-off winner against the Phillies, yes you guessed it, Chipper Jones.

When the pitch left Jonathan Papelbon's hand and sailed right down the middle into Chipper's wheelhouse, it then flew 15 rows back into deep center field to give Papelbon his 4th blown save of the year, and his 6th loss as a Phillie. These are pitches that we thought Papelbon would be able to make and succeed with this season, but he hasn't really lived up to the 'stopper' reputation this season.

Larry 'Chipper' Jones now has 468 career home runs, with 9 walk-off home runs, 2 of which came from the Phillies this season alone, back on May 2nd against Brian Sanches. The home run off of Sanches back in May broke a 13-13 tie and gave Atlanta the win in the bottom of the 11th inning, and of course last night's walk-off that came at the expense of Jonathan Papelbon.

Just like Ryan Howard has hit the most home runs against the Braves so far in his career with 40, Chipper Jones home run last night has tied the Phillies along with the Mets with the most home runs he has hit against another team with 49 each. The Braves play both the Phillies and Mets more this season, so that career number will change if Chipper hits more home runs against either team.

The Phillies now have 5 wins and 10 losses on the season against this Braves team this year. Interestingly, the Phillies also have the same record against the New York Mets at this point in the season, they only are 5-10 against the Mets. Against the NL East leaders, the Washington Nationals, the Phils are 7-5 so far with 6 mores games against the Nats until the end of the season.













Sunday, September 02, 2012

Phillies Talk Podcast: Labor Day Look Back Show





 It's Labor Day weekend, only a month or so more to play in the regular season for the Phillies. They were very 'hot' in Atlanta, I thought they would sweep the series, but no one told Chipper Jones that, so the Phillies had to settle for 2 out of 3.

Anyway, here's the Labor Day podcast edition of #PhilliesTalk Podcast, a special remixed show from Spring Training in March, when I talked with Chris Wheeler and what the 2012 season may bring.

Interesting to look back and listen to what we were talking about back then when there were so many high hopes for this Phillies team, who were coming off a tremendous 102 win season in 2011.

Hope everyone enjoys the holiday, and has a great time this weekend.

Visit our sponsor and sign up for a free trial to Audible.com via the link below, you'll help support the show and get a great deal in the process!



Winners of the Phillies Essential Games DVD set are here!



High Fives for our winners of the great DVD set of Phillies videos



The winners for the great giveaway from A&E home entertainment and FightinPhillies.com for “The Essential Games Of The Philadelphia Phillies” from both Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park are:

Evan Roderman
Linda Shay
Jim Lipnitz
James M.
Jeremy Kiehl


Congratulations and hope you enjoy this fabulous 4 pack of DVD’s that also includes the full game audio from the radio broadcast of each game. Here is what they won: (click on the photo to purchase this right from MLB.com)






ESSENTIAL GAMES OF THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES :

Since their formation in 1883 the Philadelphia Phillies have played more than 19,000 games. This DVD collection celebrates four remarkable games spanning four decades of Phillies pennants, champions, and spectacular victories.

The four games showcase powerful batting lineups, stellar pitching, and the energizing spirit of Philadelphia’s passionate, full-throated fan base. This time-capsule salute begins with the Phillies 1980 National League pennant clincher accomplished by one of the most decorated teams in history, and eventual World Series winners. The second, more than a decade later, showcases the relentless and colorful 1993 pennant-winning club which pummeled the National League. Then, with the start of a new century the Phillies found a new home and were crowned champions again in 2008, with the final World Series game preserved in this set. The closing game is an extraordinary, historic performance—Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in the 2010 NLDS—only the second postseason no-hitter in history.

100% classic Phillies. 100% Philadelphia baseball.

FOUR ESSENTIAL PHILLIES GAMES NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD!

1980 NLCS GAME 5, vs. HOU, October 12, 1980: The Phillies captured their third pennant and first since 1950 led by Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, and deep roster of stars.
1993 NLCS GAME 6, vs. ATL, October 13, 1993: Powered by a relentless lineup and remarkable team spirit the Phillies captured the pennant with power, swagger, and style.
2008 WORLD SERIES GAME 5 vs. TBR, October 27, 2008: Forced to wait a few extra hours it was all the sweeter as the Phillies held the World Series trophy once again.
2010 NLDS GAME 1, vs. CIN, October 6, 2010: A masterpiece performance for the ages as Roy Halladay spun a no-hitter, only the second ever in the history postseason play.


Thanks again to AETV.com and MLB Productions and Suzanne for making this possible.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Kratz and Frandson making the most of 2012 for Phillies



Roy Halladay doesn't like that Atlanta heat and humidity


If there are many positive things to remember about this season after it is all over, for me will be the playing of some unlikely heroics by a couple of players that came up from the Phillies minors. Erik Kratz has been in the minors for years, he started playing in 2003, and has stayed with it ever since even knowing that his dream of making it to the big leagues was starting to diminish with each passing year that he didn't make it onto a big league roster.

Last night, Kratz took a real hard collision at the plate from Chipper Jones, and then was able to put a baseball deep into the Atlanta sky for a massive home run that tied up a game that was in the 9th inning and didn't look too good for the Phillies with the Atlanta closer on the mound. The Phils take this game, 8-5 in the 10th inning.

Kevin Frandson has had a few trips up to the big leagues in his baseball career, but the trips were brief and he found himself back in the minors again after playing for the SF Giants and the LA Angels for a combined 200 plus games over a few stints with them. He started his professional baseball career in 2004, and now with the Phillies he's logged 30 games and is batting .357 in those games. He had a 4 hit day just on 8/30 against the Mets, it kind of seems like Frandson can play the game of baseball pretty well.

The Phillies took the first game in Atlanta and they are now 8 GB in the Wild Card. It's now a proven fact that Roy Halladay doesn't do well pitching in high heat and humidity, there has been many games that we've seen that so far from him in the past year or so. Halladay didn't get the win in this one either, in his 4.2 innings, he gave up 4 runs, of those two were home runs. A rough start for Halladay again.

We have the winners of the Phillies Essential Games DVD, they will be announced tomorrow, it was a two week contest here on the website and podcast that ended yesterday, so if you didn't win on this time, keep reading as FightinPhillies.com has several contests and giveaways throughout the year.