Monday, April 28, 2014

Cole Hamels looking for win 100 in next start

Here's Cole Hamels as he looked on Photo Day during Spring Training 2014

Cole Hamels last win was on September 14th, 2013 against the Washington Nationals, it left him with win number 99 on his career, all these wins coming as a Phillies pitcher. He stands to pass a couple of Phillies pitchers who have held records for a long time.

In his 9 seasons as a Phillies pitcher, Cole's overall record is 99-75 with a 3.38 ERA. He of course was the MVP of the 2008 World Series which the Phillies won, so his successful pitching in the World Series has made him an icon of Phillies history.

Hamels is almost like a player of old times, he's lived in Philadelphia ever since securing the very nice contracts that he's signed with the team. While many other players just collect a paycheck and live all over the country and the world, Hamels prefers to live in Philadelphia with his wife, Heidi.

When Hamels wins his next game, he'll be all by himself in 7th place on the Phillies all-time wins list by a Phils pitcher at 100 wins. Right now he is tied at 99 wins along with Charles Ferguson, who from 1884 to 1887, pitched in an incredible 257 games and he won 99 of them. Next up on the list is a recent Phillies pitcher, Curt Schilling, who stands at 101 total wins, so Hamels could be in 6th place by himself after he passed the 101 wins mark.

The all-time lead for Phillies pitcher wins is Steve Carlton who amassed 241 wins over his Phillies career, he went on to win 329 total games during his career combined with his Phillies wins.

We'll find out on Tuesday night when the Phillies take on the NY Mets and Jonathan Niese at CBP at 7:05 PM.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Phils return to rally for win in Arizona

Papelbon and Ruiz celebrate the Phillies win last night, it was the Pap's 7th save of the year

Carlos Ruiz almost wasn't a Phillies player this year, the team considered replacing him with someone else, what a mistake that would have been. Ruiz is a player who quietly goes about his business, and plays the game hard and has great games that don't really get a lot of hype. Last night was one of those night's again for Ruiz.

Last night, Ruiz went 3-4 with 1 RBI in a comeback Phillies win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also put a great swipe tag on a runner with the new, 'don't block the plate rule'. As announcer Tom McCarthy said, it's been a tough adjustment for a lot of catchers because prior to this year the catcher always blocked the plate and that is what was taught for years.

Cliff Lee got hit early in this game, he was making his pitches, but the Diamondbacks made a few key hits and the Phillies found themselves down 5-0 fairly early in the game. The Dbacks would let the Phillies back into this game, committing 3 errors along the way in a 6-5 comeback win for the Phils.

The Phils climb back up to .500 with the win at 12-12 on the year. The Diamondbacks dropped down to 8-19 on the year, the Phillies broke the Diamondbacks 3 game winning streak. Bronson Arroyo is now 37 years old and with last night's game he is 1-2 with a 7.77 ERA so far.

Cody Asche paid some dividends last night, as he seems to be struggling to hold his position. He's been platooned the last few games with Freddy Galvis, who has had a horrible road trip  he's 0-23 on this slump for him.

Today it's AJ Burnett for the Phils, he is 0-1 with a 2.73 ERA so far.

Notes for Phillies players:

How hot is Ruiz? (from the Phillies Press notes for today)

Over his first 14 games this season (3/31-4/19), catcher Carlos Ruiz was
batting just .204 (10-49) with four extra-base hits and no RBI ... But since Monday, Ruiz has busted
out of his slump in a big way, batting .500 (11-22) with a .593 OBP, 1.502 OPS, six extra-base hits
(4 2B, 3B, HR), seven RBI and eight runs scored in six games

Rollins on the edge of Phillies greatness

Jimmy Rollins has been on the Phillies for a very long time, he's also amassed a great amount of hits, he's only 35 hits away from breaking the Phillies all-time record - Mike Schmidt owns the record for most hits as a Phillies player at the moment at 2,234.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Phils can't build on LA series win; Zombie apocalypse?

It was 'Zombie Night' in Arizona last night, and Phillies pitcher AJ Burnett dressed up for the event

The Phillies couldn't build on a good thing that they were onto in LA, they dropped the first game in Arizona to a team that is one of the worst teams (record wise) in the MLB. The only other team that is lower than the Dbacks is the Houston Astros with a .292 winning percentage.

The Diamondbacks won their 8th game of the season last night against the Phillies, and sent the Phils back to a sub-.500 team again at 11-12 on the season. It's this mediocrity that the Phillies must avoid to make them a better team.

To their credit, the Phils battled back to a 4-3 score in the top of the 7th inning, but couldn't score anyone in the next inning despite runners on second and third base. The team mounted another rally in the 9th, closing the gap to 1-run but John Mayberry Jr. struck out with two men on base to end the game for a 5-4 Diamondbacks win.

A young Diamondbacks fan arrives 'zombie style' at the park for last night's game

Friday, April 25, 2014

On to Arizona, Phils take 3 of 4 from LA Dodgers

Marlon Byrd turns in a great game with 4 RBI on the night last night in LA

The Phillies showed that they have a lot of fight left in them, they took the decisive game 4 last night in LA to give them the series win.

Carlos Ruiz hit a nice two-run double (he did not "fear the beard") and put the Phils on top to stay and Marlon Bryd's 4 RBI's on the night were enough to give the Phillies their 11th win of the season.

The game had a couple of plays that were under review last night, and those reviews were lengthy, one over 4 minutes and the other over 3 1/2 minutes. There was a play at the plate last night, it looked like it was an out, and it was. I liked the way Dodgers announcer, Vin Scully, remained neutral during the replays of the play. If this play were overtuned though, this wouldn't be baseball, it would be something else. I don't understand what the actual rule is? A catcher can't block the plate or a runner can't bowl the catcher over? What happened to good old fashioned baseball, where if you chose to block the plate as a catcher, you had to deal with the consequences. Initially Scully called this a 'great play by Asche' on the throw home, and he was right.

Scully went on to sum up review plays like this that "the longer it takes, the righter the call would be." In some ways he is right, how can you call a guy out when he is tagged and before this wouldn't even be a play that you would think about.

  Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) will pitch for the Phillies tonight in Arizona. The game starts at 9:40 PM Eastern tonight. Notes from last night: Carlos Ruiz -  3-3  2 RBI Marlon Byrd - 3-5  4 RBI Mike Adams with the BS and W last night

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hamels and Greinke great matchup but Phils lose last night

The Phillies have been playing better out in LA, they've been hitting more and scoring more runners. It was Cole Hamels return to the mound for the first time in 2014 last night in LA too and he was very good through 6 innings only giving up six scattered hits. Zach Greinke was on the hill for the Dodgers though, and he kept the Phillies off balance with excellent pitching himself, getting 11 SO on the night.

Ryan Howard had a nice bloop hit to left field and an RBI, scoring Jimmy Rollins on the play. It's plays like that with Howard just making contact with the ball that he needs to do more of. Especially with the shift on, he just needs to make contact and bloop the ball out to left.

"The Wild Horse" is Yasiel Puig's nickname and he earned that name again last night with a triple off the wall in right, it almost seemed like that ball could have been caught by Marlon Byrd but he got turned around on the ball, and Puig had his 2nd triple of the season.

The series wraps up tonight in LA on this roadtrip for the Phillies, it would be nice to see them win this series. It's Kyle Kendrick vs. Dan Haren at 10:10 PM local time tonight.

Notes from last night

Hamels denied his 100th win for his career, he still sits at 99

Jayson Nix hit his 1st HR as a Phillie last night

Chase Utley hitting .384 on the season

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two wins in Tinseltown - Hamels on hill tonight

Domonic Brown gets the game winning RBI hit last night in LA

It's tough for the average working guy or gal to see the late games from the West Coast. Thank goodness for the condensed games that you can view on MLB.TV. The Phillies won their second straight game against the LA Dodgers last night and their 3rd win in a row last night.

It was a power packed game with 19 combined hits by the Phillies and the Dodgers, and it was well pitched with A.J. Burnett and Hyun-Jin Ryu (pronounced  Ree-Yoo),  going deep into the game that was really close.

A few errors by the Dodgers and some good hitting from the Phillies made the difference though, as the bullpen for the Phils held up with Antonio Bastardo and Jonathan Papelbon closing the door on the Dodgers. As the Phils won this one 3-2 in the 10th on a Domonic Brown double that sent Carlos Ruiz home.

It's going to be the season debut for Cole Hamels tonight. It's so fitting that Hamels is starting his first game in LA, after all his nickname is Hollywood, so he's in his element out there in LA.

Highlights from last night's win in LA:

Ben Revere  4-5  1 SB
AJ Burnett 3-3 (a hot bat last night!)
Ryan Howard BA is up to .270

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action! It's the Dodgers

The LA Dodgers are like a rags to riches team compared to a couple of years ago when Frank McCourt owned this franchise and everything seemed like it was going downhill. Of course their was the divorce with the McCourts and at the same time, the zaniness of Manny Ramirez and the PED suspension that surrounded "Manny being Manny" and it was just a bad time for the Dodgers.

Fast forward to 2014, and the Dodgers now are benefiting from a huge TV contract that seems like it's filled the coffers of the team for many years and this year, the team went on a spending spree.

The Dodgers acquired some highly touted free agents. The Dodgers investment in Adrian Gonzalez is paying off hugely for them. Gonzalez has 5 HR and 17 RBI in the first 19 games that he's been in, he leads the Dodgers in just about every offensive category. Adrian also has a .301 BA on the season so far.

Yasiel Puig has also paid off for the Dodgers, he's one of the most exciting young players in baseball today. He's got a bad-boy image with some run-ins with manager, Don "Donnie Baseball" Mattingly, so it makes it a sideline type of attraction. Puig is writing his own ticket though, he almost looks like a football player and he plays his heart out on the field.

Add these couple of pieces to an awesome lineup of starting pitchers, and you have a team that's built to compete with the best teams in the league. Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, and Paul Maholm round out a very solid rotation for the men in blue.

It's the Phillies only trip to LA to play the Dodgers this year, and hopefully some of the stars and sites out there will motivate the team's offense a little bit more. It's been a very tough road trip so far, and the Phils are now the sole owners of the NL East basement.

The Phils will make a trip out to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim later in August, but they have to deal with this Dodgers team for 4 straight games starting tonight. I am thinking the way this series goes, will be the way the Phillies season goes, as the Dodgers seem like the team to beat in the National League.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Flat in Coors Country

The Phillies are playing like an old stale beer that's been left out on the counter of one the Coors beer stands out there in Colorado.

Come on, only 5 scattered hits yesterday and it resulted in a 3-1 loss by the Phillies again. What happened to the offense?

Looking at the Phillies batting averages, it's easy to see why this team is struggling. Three Phillies players have a BA that is just above .200, Howard (.217), Asche (.205) and Ruiz (.204)

This team needs an answer to this problem, the losses are starting to happen more and more and the Phils are now in the basement of the NL East because of it.

Maybe it's deeper than just early season slumps, this team has sort of just meandered it's way through April and doesn't have a lot of positive things to show for it.

Does the hitting coach need to be changed? Should the Phillies go out on the market and make a trade to try to jump start this offense? At $165M in salaries, which is third in all of baseball, the Phillies have to have one of the highly paid and underachieving teams on the field.

It's the Phils vs the Rockies again this afternoon at 2:10 PM Eastern, Easter Sunday, with Hernandez vs. Nicasio.

The Phillies offense has scored only 3 runs in the last 4 games total, and have a .151 team BA in those last 4 games with no extra base hits.

On a brighter note: Cole Hamels is scheduled to return back to the mound for the Phillies in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, April 23rd, at 10:10PM for his first start of the year.

Happy Easter to all the readers of FightinPhillies!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lee and Phils on losing end of a pitchers duel

Cliff Lee turned in an awesome game last night, he struck out an incredible 13 batters and ended up on the losing end of a 1-0 pitcher's duel at CBP last night. An announced crowd of 23,382 saw plenty of great pitching last night, but only a few glimpses of offense.

The Phillies could only muster 3 hits against Julio Teheran who pitched an equally masterful game last night.

Some games the Phillies offense just don't look like it has it together, and last night was one of those nights. That is what make's this team not rise above and look like a dominating type of team.

There was a lot of extra fielding practice on the field before last night's game, and the sloppiness of some previous games is starting to get under Ryne Sandberg's skin as well as fans who aren't used to seeing a Phillies team that is lacking some of the fundamentals of the game.

The businessperson's special is on tap today for the final game against the Braves in this series, there is a make up game to be announced for the Tuesday night rainout that will be made up later in the year.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chase Utley still tops in BA so far in 2014

Chase Utley has had one of the best starts in batting that he's ever had.

He is currently on top of the NL for batting average at .489 - he was sitting at .500 for the young season just yesterday and we're already 13 games into this 2014 season.

Chase was 2-5 last night, he had a double, and a single.

The Phils dropped a tough loss to the Braves after back to back home runs by the team sunk the Phils chances late in the game, the Phils did battle back with 5 runs to take the lead in this one but lost 9-6 as the bullpen couldn't hold this lead when they were leading by 1 in the late innings.  Dan Uggla lifted a grand slam off of Jake Diekman.

That's a couple games this season already lost by the bullpen, this mystery of getting a solid bullpen doesn't seem like it's solved for the Phillies. The pen has contributed to a couple losses on the early season already.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The big drop: Where are the Phillies fans at CBP?

The Phanatic is a fan favorite at CBP

The Phillies first 5 home games of the year are in the books, and there is a stat that really stands out so far with the first few home games in the books.

Yes, the Phillies haven't been doing all that well in the past few seasons, we've heard plenty about that, last year the Phillies were over 3M in attendance though, and the fans were still hanging in with this team, hoping and wondering would they return to the glory that a lot of the fans were used to from the magical seasons of 2009, 2009, 2010, and 2011 when the team won the most games in the history of the franchise.

Through the first 5 games though, a lot of the fans are what's missing so far at Citizens Bank Park, so many fans that they could fill up an entire stadium by themselves. The difference in the first 5 home games is 46,167 less than in 2013 through the same first 5 home games.

Yes, ticket prices have risen, and parking is now $16.00 but when you're winning fans seem to be able to absorb those prices somewhat easier. Now that the Phillies haven't been to the playoffs in a couple years, the air may be out of the Phillies balloon. Philadelphia had been a 'baseball town' in the last 7 years or so, it was a magical transformation that attracted some of the biggest names in the game who wanted to come to Philadelphia to play.

The only other team in baseball that has drawn worse so far in this early season at home has been the Toronto Blue Jays, who are at -55,104 fans through their first 6 home games in Toronto.

Maybe when the weather is consistently warmer, much like it will be today at the park, the fans will be back. There might be a point though that we'll see the types of crowds like their use to be at the cavernous Veteran's Stadium when 20,000 scattered through the stadium for a lot of games, but back then if you wanted to go see a game you were paying at most $27 a ticket when now the seats from first to third are now about $75 per game.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pettibone gets first start of 2014 tonight

Jonathan Pettibone has pretty much been the Phillies choice for the 5th starter on this team. He'll get his first chance of the season tonight to pitch since coming off of an injury that he had toward the end of Spring Training. His opportunity to be the 5th starter may be a short one when Cole Hamels returns, that is of course if Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) continue to do well for the team.

Pettibone only pitched 2.0 innings in Spring Training, the 23 year old will get his first start of the season in the Phillies rotation tonight. He finished last year with a 5-4 (4.04 ERA) season with the Phillies last year, in 18 starts, he pitched 100.1 innings.

Jonathan was drafted in the amateur draft in the 3rd round in 2008.

The Phillies dispatched the young Marlins phenom Jose Fernandez last night, Fernandez had come into the game with a 2-0, 0.71 ERA last night. Fernandez is from Cuba, the same place where the Phillies pitcher, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is from. Gonzalez got a 3 year deal from the Phillies for $12M but had shoulder soreness and is on the DL.

World Series – or World Cup – or both?

For most visitors to this site, the soccer World Cup is a little bit of a sideshow compared with the “real thing” of the World Series.

In fact, let’s be honest, for most baseball fans, calling the soccer World Cup a sideshow is too strong. But for the rest of the world, it ain’t like that! The soccer World Cup final is just about the most-viewed TV event on the planet, so us baseball fans must be a little out of step somehow. And the fact that the forthcoming World Cup finals will be held in the country that has enjoyed more success in the tournament than any other certainly makes the whole thing bigger still.

That’s the way the rest of the world view it anyway and with the world’s biggest gambling exchange, Betfair, the home nation are warm favorites at somewhere just better than 3-1 to win on 13th July in the famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Having a bet on the World Cup can certainly make the whole thing  a little more interesting for fans of baseball anyway. Betfair currently has Argentina installed as second favorites at somewhere around 4-1, followed by Germany, holders Spain, then Belgium (yes really!), France, Holland, Italy, England , Uruguay and a host of other nations.

If you can pick out a good outsider, then you may really get a good run for your money and on that score, Uruguay look interesting at around 30-1. Uruguay haven’t been much of a force to be reckoned with in world soccer in recent years, but with Luis Suárez up-front, they can beat anyone on their day. Oh and coincidentally, Uruguay won the competition the last time it was hosted in Brazil in 1950, so perhaps that’s portentous?

Following one team will certainly make it a little more interesting, but it can never compare with the World Series of course – unless the USA win the thing. Just don’t gamble your hard-earned cash on the States though!

Will a healthy Howard lead to Phillies wins?

Ryan Howard is healthy, and now that the weather is warming up, we should see Ryan bloom back into one of the league's most feared hitters.

A combination of Howard and Byrd could be a one-two punch for the Phils this season. 

So far, Howard has only 1 HR on the season and he has yet to catch that home run swing at the plate that we've all loved for many years now. Howard's injuries of the 2012 and 2013 seasons impacted a quest to be the Phillies all-time homerun leader, and now with 312 total HR's - it would seem almost impossible for him to eclipse Mike Schmidt's 548 HR as a Phillies player.

For a while, Howard seemed to be on a path to Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame, can he regain that momentum again and help this Phillies team like he did now some years ago?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Brewers stymie Phillies in sweep, next up the Miami Marlins

The Phillies outlook was great in the first couple series of the year against the Texas Rangers and Cubs on the road, the Phils came away with a 3-3 road trip to start the year.

Then the Brewers happened.

The Brewers are playing like a championship caliber team right now, the went into Boston and swept the Red Sox and then did the same to the Phillies.

Ryne Sandberg talked about how the Phillies need to pickup on the offense and get some runs across the board. The Phillies have had plenty of opportunity to do that, but with runners on base, the Phillies just can't seem to deliver when they need to.

The schedule doesn't get any easier as April rolls on. The Phils face a Marlins team next that was sailing along fine for their first 6 games, then they ran into the Washington Nationals and they too have lost 4 straight games now.

So for tonight, one of these two teams will be breaking a 4 game losing streak. The Phillies are currently in the basement of the NL East at 3-6 on the season. 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Big League Chew and FightinPhillies Blog with an awesome gum giveaway

The good folks at Big League Chew and FightinPhillies blog is giving a case package of  Big League Chew gum specially endorsed packaging featuring Cole Hamels.

Here's the details on the Big League Chew Giveaway - pick one of these methods to enter:

#1  Follow 'Big League Chew' social media and follow them on twitter at @BigLeagueCheww and follow
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Tweet "I want my Big League Chew - @fightinphillies and @bigleaguecheww "- to all of your followers

#2  Like the Facebook accounts of Big League Chew and FightinPhillies  and post to each "I want my Big League Chew" on each account page

Winner will get 12 free packages of Big League Chew shipped right from the factory - winner will be randomly chosen from all entries and announced on April 20th, 2014  ------ 

Braun's monster day sinks Phils in Opener

Ryan Braun played like a beast yesterday. He is coming off of last season where he steadfastly said that he didn't use steroids but eventually said that he did and was suspended for it for 65 games from July 22nd to the end of the 2013 playing season.

Many players on the team and fans supported Braun throughout his ordeal with this, and behind yesterday's performance, you have to wonder, is some of what he took in 2013 still powering him?

Braun smashed 3 HR's and had 7 RBI on the day, that is certainly a mammoth day for him. Braun has always hit the Phillies hard though, these numbers are Braun's against the Phillies for his career including yesterday:

In 44 career games, Ryan Braun is 
batting .392 (69-for-176) with 17 HR, 
37 RBI and 35 runs scored against 
the Phillies.....Braun owns the highest 
batting average of any player against the 
Phillies since 1900 (min. 175 at-bats).

The above was in the press notes for the Brewers today, I think Ryne Sandberg may want to read this one and maybe give Braun a pass to first base, rather than letting him sink the Phillies like he did yesterday. I've heard the Phillies did hire someone in the sabermetrics department, but apparently he hasn't been updating the team on these type of stats.

The Brewers are scheduled to throw Matt Garza (0-1 1.13 ERA) against Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) (1-0 3.38 ERA) for the Phillies for the first night game of the season for the Phils, it's Opening Night at Philly tonight at 7:05PM, a free t-shirt for fans 14 and older.

The Brewers are on a 4 game winning streak.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Welcome to Opening Day at Philadelphia

Kendrick has now opened back to back Opening Day games in Philadelphia for the Phils with his scheduled start today

It's Opening Day in Philadelphia, baseball is back in South Philadelphia! Game time is 4:08 PM today at CBP. All Gates open at 1:35 PM - early birds can find the Majestic Clubhouse store open at 7 AM today in case you just have to get some Phillies gear this morning.

A day after the rain soaked the area, the cry of 'Play Ball' will be heard for the first time this year, and Kyle Kendrick is making his second consecutive home opener for the starting pitching position. Last year, Kendrick squared off against the Kansas City Royals and the Phils suffered a 13-4 loss with Kendrick getting the loss as well.

Today, the Phillies will face the Milwaukee Brewers as their home opener opponent. It's the 132nd Opening Day at home for the Phils (including when they were known as the Philadelphia Quakers.)

The Phils are 3-3 in their first road trip of the season to Texas and then Chicago to play the Cubs. The Brewers are 3-0 on the road so far adn come to Philly having swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway, the Brew Crew have a 4-2 record in the NL Central tied for first place with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers starters have a combined 1.99 ERA so far, and the Phils will face Kyle Lohse in the opener for the Brewers.

Lohse went 3-0 for the Phillies in 2007, and to this day I am still surprised the Phils didn't try to sign him for the 2008 season and beyond. Lohse instead went to the Cardinals in '08 for 5 years and went 55-35 with a 3.90 ERA with them, and he landed a $44.9 million dollar deal with them for those 5 seasons. In 9 seasons combined while pitching for NL teams, Lohse has compiled a 78-63 record.

Lifetime against the Phillies, Lohse is 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA, he has started 13 games over his career against the Phils, here's his starts over the years against the Phils:

2002 0 1 .000 3.00 1 0 0 6.0 5 3 2 0 5
2006 0 0 1.42 1 0 0 6.1 6 1 1 0 8
2007 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 7.0 6 1 0 0 4
2008 2 0 1.000 3.38 2 0 0 13.1 9 5 5 2 9
2009 0 1 .000 9.72 2 0 0 8.1 11 9 9 2 7
2010 0 1 .000 6.75 1 0 0 4.0 9 5 3 1 3
2011 1 1 .500 1.76 2 0 0 15.1 14 4 3 2 5
2012 0 0 2.03 2 0 0 13.1 10 4 3 0 7
2013 1 0 1.000 1.13 1 0 0 8.0 4 1 1 1 6
Career Total 4 4 .500 2.98 13 0 0 81.2 74 33 27 8 54
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2014.

The Phillies have been showing signs of life with some invigorated offense despite the many media pundits that have written them off prior to the start of the season.

Cliff Lee has started off great at 2-0 already this season, and we haven't even seen his best pitching yet, if the Phillies can get this offense on the same page, we may see this club contend with the contenders in the NL East. Still too early to say who that will be though.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Approaching rain postpones home opener for 2014

The Phillies missed a chance for a sweep in Chicago yesterday afternoon. It wasn't do to lack of chances on the base paths, the team was just 1 for 15 in RISP. They had many opportunities to get plenty of runs in, but they didn't do it.

The home opener is postponed with a threat of rain that will be moving into the area later today. The new opener will be on Tuesday at 4:05 PM for the home stand that has the Milwaukee Brewers visiting CBP.

The Brewers blanked the Boston Red Sox yesterday 4-0, and a familiar name will face the Phillies when the rain finally clears out. Kyle Loshe, a former Phillies player, will face the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon.

Kyle Kendrick will get the ball for the Phillies for the Opener.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Mayberry Jr. still on Phillies radar as 'Can do'

John Mayberry Jr. is starting his 4th full season with the Phillies this year, he originally was called up with the Phils for 39 games as a 25 year old in 2009, then played only 11 games with team as a 26 year old as the Phillies continued to develop his play in the minor leagues.

Mayberry has brief glimpses of being a really good player, then he relapses into mediocrity.

John has started off the 2014 season though with a bang already, he had a home run in the 7-2 win against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley coming off the bench as a pinch hitter. The home run brought smiles to the faces of both Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa, as Mayberry has been awesome off the bench for the Phillies so far in 2014.

Mayberry's biggest obstacle so far in his career has been his low overall batting average and lack of production. He did have a much better Spring though this year batting .289 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in 45 AB.

Let's see if Mayberry can continue this pace all year, or at least improving upon his previous seasons. He's currently batting .333 with 1 HR and 4 RBI in 9AB.

Read more about the Phillies at Wrigley

Phillies vs Cubs related stories: Cubs writer envies not having Sandberg as Cubs Manager

Cubs ready for Opener but not the Wrigley Field Ivy

Friday, April 04, 2014

Phils in to play the Cubs and celebrate 100 Years at Wrigley

Wrigley Field in Chicago is one of the nicest places to take in a ballgame. The stadium is celebrating it's 100th Anniversary this year, and the Phillies are making their only stop to Chicago this weekend during the regular season.

The Cubs even put up a special 100 Year Anniversary website which has special features which fans can go to vote on the All-Wrigley vote for the Cubs best players ever.

The Phillies and the Cubs have a long history of playing each other, perhaps one of the most famous games between them was on a windy afternoon that turned into a slug fest on May 17, 1979 when the Phils out slugged the Cubs 23-22 in a 4 hour action packed game in front of a paid attendance of 14,952.

Of course Phillies manager, Ryne Sandberg, was one of the most famous Cubs ever, making it to the Hall of Fame being voted in January 2005 and the Phillies traded him to the Cubs along with now bench coach Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus.

Wrigley has a lot of great stories, and it's the stories that live inside one of the most famous houses of baseball in a time where not many of the teams have this much history in their stadium to talk about.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Deja Blew

This scene is becoming all too familiar to last year's flimsy performance of the bullpen. It's now two back to back for the Phillies bullpen as they were called into protect a lead and it all fell apart.

The Phillies could be 3-0 right now, that's a stretch for sure but without the bullpen keeping a lead for the Phils, this could be a long season.

Perhaps the relievers are getting this out of them early in the season.

Last night it was Jonathan Papelbon, he isn't going to save every game, but he did have some help with a bad play from Cody Asche.

After a very promising start, the Phils have to regroup and get in a winning frame of mind, the head to Chicago to visit the Cubs for the only time of the season they will be at Wrigley which is 100 years old this year, hopefully they can regain their winning ways.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ker Pow! How about 14 Opening Day runs!

The Phillies were written off by big name sports services with their fancy predictions. Yes, the season is still very young, but the Phillies went out on field Monday afternoon in Texas and made a statement. Old? Take that you old naysayers!

The Phils banged out 17 hits and 14 runs in their 2014 Opening Day debut in Texas. The last time the Phillies scored double digits on Opening Day was in 2010 when they beat the Nationals 11-1 but you have to go a little further back to 1994 when they did this before they whipped the Nats. In 1994, the Phillies scored 12 runs against the Colorado Rockies to open up the season back on April 4, 1994.

It was Cliff Lee's first start on Opening Day for the Phillies, an honor which he did once in 2009 with Cleveland.

Jimmy Rollins hit his 200th HR with a Grand Slam blast, and the Phils added another HR by Marlon Byrd in Game 1 of the season. J Roll also started his 14th straight season on the Opening Day roster for the Phillies. Cody Asche added a HR in the 8th inning, as the Phillies gave some runs back and made this game somewhat close again.

The Phillies made the most of their first game, can this continue? Phils win 14-10.