Saturday, May 31, 2014

Phillies and Mets battle in Game 2 of 5 game series

Domonic Brown set a tone at CBP last night, he hit a home run and it could be the start of him finding the swing that brought him to he All Star Game last year. Dom hit a home run that was only his 3rd of the season, but it was a 3-run blast and it helped the Phillies stay in this ballgame against a feisty Mets team.

See the blast on right here.

The Mets aren't that bad this year, they seem to have an extra edge to them and only appear to be missing a starting pitcher and a hot bat to have them doing much better.

Of course the Mets and the Phillies have been seesawing back and forth from the bottom of the NL East, but they still aren't terrible. Both teams are still only 4.5 or 3.5 GB out of first despite not playing all too well.

Game 2 of the home series against the Mets went extra innings. These two teams seem very evenly matched and it showed tonight. 

The game turned into a 14 inning marathon and the Phils ended up the winners by a 6-5 score. Reid Brignac ended up hitting the game winner and it was the first ever game that Reid started, so it will be a memorable one for him.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What’s in the future for Chase Utley?

  Chase is "The Man" is he heading to Cooperstown after his career?

It’s not been the best week for the Philadelphia Phillies.

After Josh Beckett held us without a hit, securing the first no-hitter of his career and the first of the season, things were looking bleak for the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday after a 6-0 defeat against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The series finale also saw the boys lose an instant-replay challenge in the third inning at Citizens Bank Park. While the Phillies were under the impression that Chase Utley’s throw from second base on an attempted double play beat Andre Ethier to the bag, umpires said that the call stood.

However, it’s not all bad news for our team – in fact, second baseman Chase Utley is rumored to be heading for the Hall of Fame. ESPN’s Buster Olney recently took a look at the potential Hall of Fame credentials for the 35-year-old. When asked his opinion on the best player he’d seen lately, Olney replied: “Chase Utley,” justifying his comments with descriptions of how Utley has been getting to low pitches in a way that he hasn’t been able to achieve for years.

Major setbacks

Utley was plagued by injuries from 2010 through to 2013, equivalent to almost one and a half full seasons. At his peak, he had been an All-Star in five straight seasons, finishing in the top 10 in the NL MVP voting three times.

“He was the best, most consistent offensive middle-infielder for a solid chunk of that decade,” added Olney. Utley’s career WAR stands at 59.6, and Olney believes that, given his triumphant return to baseball of late, he just needs two more great seasons to rival legends like Pee Wee Reese.

A future with the Yankees?

Of course, if Utley cannot make it into the Hall of Fame, all is not lost – he is also seeing interest from the New York Yankees. The Yankees, who stand at ninth place in the Fox Sports Power Rankings, don't have second baseman Cesar Hernandez in the waiting, rumor has it that Utley could just be in with a chance.

After a disappointing week for the Phillies, betting sites like will soon be turning to the future of the team’s best players rather than our overall performance. The Phillies would be wise to make their decision quickly as to the fate of one of their best players, whose life-long experience and consistent skill is a vital asset to a team such as the Yankees.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Phillies Talk Podcast: 5 games with the Mets at CBP

We're talking with Gary Mack of Mets Musings Podcast on the Phillies and Mets starting off their 5 game series at home in Philly.

Jimmy asks Gary a lot of questions, and it was great to be guests on Gary's show which we included into our show on Phillies Talk.

Check us out on as well for great baseball talk from all over the world.

Late inning win for Phils over Rockies errors

It was an improbable comeback for the Phillies last night. The team needed something good to happen in the bottom of the 9th inning and the Rockies committed 2 errors in the inning to allow the Phillies a better chance to win the ballgame.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dom Brown just can't find his groove

A compilation of last year's HR barrage by Brown that appeared in the CrashburnAlley blog

Domonic Brown electrified the baseball world last year in the month of May. He could do no wrong, all of a sudden it seemed as if he had found his swing. The swing that some people could only dream about, he hit 12 HR in the month of May last year.

Fast forward just one season, and Dom Brown now looks like a completely different player again. The player that a lot of us had been hearing about, how great he could be and how much potential he has. Brown has morphed again from potental superstar to a player that is way under the radar and is practically struggling to stay in the majors.

Some credit Phillies assistant batting coach, Wally Joiner, with helping Brown find his swing. Joiner is no longer with the team, but if it was Joiner, it seems like Brown has forgotten everything that he told him. Joiner is with the Detroit Tigers now, as a first base coach.

Brown did so well last year in May, he wrote his own ticket to the All-Star game. His season last year looks so much different than anything he's done up to that point and this year he has gone back to the numbers that didn't attract too much attention. Pointing to the fact that however was working with Brown somehow unlocked his potential with some skilled coaching.

Brown is still young, at 26 years old, he's one of the youngest players on this Phillies team. In 47 games in 2014, Domonic has 3 HR and 22 RBI.

Can Brown remember the things that unlocked seemingly unlimited potential last year? Maybe he should call Joiner and ask him to talk a little bit? It couldn't hurt.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Each new day brings something different for this Phillies team

Ryan Howard batted in 5 RBIs on the night last night, shades of the 'old' Ryan Howard emerged when he did that a lot just a few years ago

Every new day is bringing a different result for this Phillies team. They go out and get 'no-hit' then they come back and look like they could beat any team on the diamond. The team plays very poorly, then they come back the next day and score 10 runs on the board.

It's the inconsistency that is making a lot of fans wonder, "What kind of team is this?".

One thing is still for sure, the Phillies are in next to last place in the NL East, as the win last night gave the Phillies a lift out of the basement and allowed the NY Mets to occupy the cellar for the time being.

The Phillies are still only 5.0 GB in the NL East despite the up and down type of season they are having. They seemingly can find no common ground for winning yet, but have improved their home record to 10-14. If they could get a winning streak going, we could be talking a different tune about this team. The talk would be more like what would they be like in the playoffs.

That type of talk is very far away though, as the team chugs along with games they look bad in and then games they look great in.

Chase Utley is still in third place for besting BA in the NL with .337 but the team is 27th in the Major Leagues for runs scored and that is the difference between them doing really well and not so well. The team pitching has improved to 20th place in the Majors concerning team ERA at 4.07 so that was an improvement.

What will tonight bring for this Phillies team? We'll find out as Cole Hamels goes for win 101 in his career at 7:05 PM for the Phillies.   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dodgers and Phillies not living up to hype

Phillies fans get to see Puig at least for this series

The Dodgers came into the 2014 season as being hyped as the team to beat in this year. They are odds on favorites to make it to the World Series as well, but something happened along the way.

The Dodgers have a lot of pitching firepower, think of the 2010 Phillies, when we had 4 legitimate aces on the team but somehow still couldn't get deep into the playoffs. The Dodgers still have a long season to go this year, but they are in 3rd place in the NL West and a little far behind the 1st place San Francisco Giants who now have 30 wins to their season.

The Phillies, who have one of the highest payrolls in baseball is on cruise control, but the problem is that there is no one at the wheel with this team. They are floundering in last place and though it seems like manager Ryne Sandberg is shuffling players around like a deck of cards, not a lot of good is coming from it.

How did the Phillies get in such bad shape? The pundits called them a next to last place finisher not in only the NL but in all of baseball. Could this be possible? This writer didn't think that was the case, but the team hasn't lived up to even modest expectations as of now.

The spotlight needs to be placed on Ruben Amaro, he's had the luxury of having these sky high payrolls and has done virtually nothing with spending all of that money. His watch should be over now on this team, he can do nothing to help it anymore.

It's going to be a long season for this team, the writing is already on the wall for that. With an 8-13 home record, the team would have to turn incredibly hot and start to wins games in bunches, but they appear unable to do that. Any team want some aging superstars who are earning far too much for what they are producing?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Phils suffer worst loss of season vs Marlins

These kind of games just kind of sneak up on the Phillies out of no where and that's just what happened last night as the team lost 14-5 against the Marlins.

The Phillies have been playing much better, and have risen out of the basement of the NL East a couple days ago, but turned in a game that saw the most runs scored against them since 12 runs were scored against the team twice already on April 18th and May 8th.

It's just a bad season so far for this team that doesn't seem like it's going to change for them too much. We'll see how they do on the upcoming homestand.

12:40 PM start today in Miami, and then it's home for a 10 game homestand for the Phillies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Strange 3 game road trip for Phils now in Miami

The Phillies were going to be home for much of the last half of May. Sandwiched in between this home stand though is a brief road trip to Miami to play the Marlins. It's kind of strange, I don't remember the Phillies ever having such a brief road trip like this before.

Miami has been knocked down a few pegs since they've lost their phenom pitcher, Jose Fernandez. Jose is just one fo the latest crop of pitchers to suffer arm problems and needing Tommy John surgery to fix it. Fernandez was sailing with a 4-2 record before the injury and the Marlins are still 23-22 on the season. Fernandez though will miss the rest of the season.

What the Marlins are last in though is attendance in the NL. The team ranks last in that category with not a lot of home town support. Crowds of only 15-18 thousand have been commonplace with the team this year at home and even though the season is 1/4 over, the club has only seen less than 500K fans pass through the turnstiles in 22 games at Miami.

Contrast this with the Phillies and the Philly hometown fans have given a lot more support to their last place team, the Phils home attendance is 8th of 15 NL teams. The Phillies are use to having more fans than that support them but with the way they have been playing they've lost a few of the casual fans that have become more rare at CBP.

Since the Angels series, the Phillies have 14 games at home and these 3 road games are the only games that the Phillies have to travel for. Maybe they can start getting more comfortable at home as they still have a 8-12 record there.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Wow, that was easy, Phillies win and snap losing streak thanks to Asche and Brown

The Phillies were due to have a breakout game, and they did just that tonight against the Reds. The team snapped their 4-game losing streak courtesy of getting some great run suppport for Cole Hamels, who won his 100th career game on the night.

This is what we've been waiting for, and the offense came alive on Saturday night in South Philly.

Cody Asche had 3 RBI and Domonic Brown had 5 RBI, two players that have been overdue to have a good game for the team, came through tonight.

Domonic Brown had his best game of 2014 after a very poor start, he came into the game on Saturday night batting .214 but quickly added to his RBI total, which was 15 in 38 games, and bumped that total up to 20 in one game. Brown, who hit 27 HR in 2013, currently has 2 HR total with the one that he hit against the Reds on Saturday night.

The Phillies home record is still something of a concern, they have a 7-12 record now with the win. The team is 11-10 on the road.

Cole Hamels is the 7th pitcher to win 100 or more games for the Phillies with the win tonight. It was the 249th game that Hamels had started, all with the Phillies in his 9 years in the MLB.

Cesar Hernandez, hit his first home run of his career as a Phillie. 

Phils can't seem to snap losing streak

Hamels looks for win 100 again tonight, he's not having a great year so far with a 5.32 ERA

Losing streaks just seem to happen in baseball.

The Phillies are in the middle of one right now, having lost 4 in a row now and the owners of a bad home record of  6-12 already in this baseball season.

The team has anchored itself to the bottom of the NL East for the moment, and it's early as I've said, so there is no where to go but up for the Phillies soon, but they better start playing better.

What is the reason for this? They seem to have players that are very capable to do well. The problem is that they aren't doing well, and it's very evident as the Phils are the third from the bottom in the NL in runs scored, but surprise the Atlanta Braves are even worse than the Phillies in that category but are in first place.

That would bring us to pitching. The Phillies have the next to lowest ERA in the NL, the only team that is worse is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Atlanta Braves lead the NL in the lowest team ERA, so there you have it. While you can't place all of the blame on the pitching, the Braves are scoring a lot less runs but giving up even fewer runs, and the are atop the NL East.

Batters also have the highest combined batting average against the team at .268, so combined with that and the Phillies lack of run production, you have a last place team.

Where can they go from here? Things have to change, pitchers and batters have to get better, and start to turn this ship around fast. All the while, we'll probably hear nothing from GM Amaro, who will issue the standard line near the All-Star break that he will have to trade some players, and he's done that before and the team has gotten worse.

We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it, but for now it's another chance for Cole Hamels to earn win 100 of his career tonight in South Philly.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Asche has a game he'd rather forget

Cody Asche explains his frustration after the game, he can only go out there and keep trying

The Phillies had a rough game 1 against the Angels last night, they lost the game 4-3 and Cody Asche had a game that he'd rather forget as he made 3 errors by himself in the game. Asche let 2 balls play him as he couldn't properly field them, and made a throwing error to home on a close play at the plate to earn his third error on the night.

Asche, who will be 24 in June, has doubled his amount of errors that he's made all season in one single night, he now has 6 on the season which is tied with 5 other players for 3rd most in the NL. Ian Desmond for the Nats and Pedro Alverez from the Pirates both lead the NL in errors with 9. A third baseman is going to make errors over the course of a season though.

That kind of play makes you appreciate some of the Phillies baseball players that they have had at third over the years, namely Mike Schmidt who is a Hall of Famer and ate up nearly every ball that was hit to him down at third base. In 18 seasons at 3rd base, Schmidt did total up 328 total errors (313 at 3rd base) but he had 10 Gold Glove awards as well in his career.

Schmidt's Hall of Fame career with errors per season noted:

Year Tm Lg Age Pos G E Awards
1972 PHI NL 22 3B 11 1
1972 PHI NL 22 2B 1 1
1973 PHI NL 23 3B 125 17
1973 PHI NL 23 2B 4 0
1973 PHI NL 23 1B 2 1
1973 PHI NL 23 SS 2 0
1974 PHI NL 24 3B 162 26 AS,MVP-6
1975 PHI NL 25 3B 151 24 MVP-16
1975 PHI NL 25 SS 10 2 MVP-16
1976 PHI NL 26 3B 160 21 AS,MVP-3,GG
1977 PHI NL 27 3B 149 19 AS,MVP-10,GG
1977 PHI NL 27 SS 2 0 AS,MVP-10,GG
1977 PHI NL 27 2B 1 1 AS,MVP-10,GG
1978 PHI NL 28 3B 139 16 GG
1978 PHI NL 28 SS 1 0 GG
1979 PHI NL 29 3B 157 23 AS,MVP-13,GG
1979 PHI NL 29 SS 2 0 AS,MVP-13,GG
1980 PHI NL 30 3B 149 27 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1981 PHI NL 31 3B 101 15 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1982 PHI NL 32 3B 148 23 AS,MVP-6,GG,SS
1983 PHI NL 33 3B 153 19 AS,MVP-3,GG,SS
1983 PHI NL 33 SS 2 0 AS,MVP-3,GG,SS
1984 PHI NL 34 3B 145 26 AS,MVP-7,GG,SS
1984 PHI NL 34 1B 2 0 AS,MVP-7,GG,SS
1984 PHI NL 34 SS 1 0 AS,MVP-7,GG,SS
1985 PHI NL 35 1B 106 7
1985 PHI NL 35 3B 54 11
1985 PHI NL 35 SS 1 0
1986 PHI NL 36 3B 124 6 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1986 PHI NL 36 1B 35 2 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1987 PHI NL 37 3B 138 12 AS,MVP-14
1987 PHI NL 37 1B 9 1 AS,MVP-14
1987 PHI NL 37 SS 3 0 AS,MVP-14
1988 PHI NL 38 3B 104 19
1988 PHI NL 38 1B 3 0
1989 PHI NL 39 3B 42 8 AS
18 Seasons 3B 2212 313
6 Seasons 1B 157 11
9 Seasons SS 24 2
3 Seasons 2B 6 2
18 Seasons TOT 2399 328
Lg Pos G E Awards
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/14/2014.

Mike Trout didn't break out in this game, he went 1-5 in the game. He also got a rousing welcome to CBP last night, a lot of fans from Millville came out to support him as well as Phillies fans who are fans of his style of play.

Game 2 is an afternoon matchup this afternoon at 1:05 PM, the end of the quick 2 game series with the Angels wraps up today.