Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Latest Phillies Talk Podcast: Bring on September!

It's a brand new edition of Phillies Talk Podcast, the longest running independent show that talks about the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.

It's the end of August, the Phils looked as if they may make things interesting for the stretch run a few weeks ago, but in the last could weeks that story has changed. They can't seem to sustain a win streak, and the offense is still one of the worst in baseball. They still have some respect though despite that dismal fact.

Tune into the show to hear some great talk on the team, some upcoming guests and more on this edition of the Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich Baxter.

Have a comment or guest that you'd like to get us in contact with, just email me at rich (@) fightinphillies.com and send me your email or audio file!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Phillies need to clear the benches

This post is long overdue, but it's one that was talked about here on the FightinPhillies.com blog toward the end of last season. The Phillies had turned in a miserable season last year, and it wasn't too far away from the season that they turned in before that. I know all the talk has been about rebuilding and having patience for the rebuild to take place. You can even read a piece in the papers today around Philadelphia by Matt Gelb, Philly.com Phillies beat writer, on the patience needed for young Phillies pitchers.

What can't be understood by this writer or many other fans of the Phillies is how the same bunch of bench coaches have hung onto this team even though it is doing so poorly, even during the 'rebuild' that has been ongoing for several years now.

The time has clearly come for the Phils to clear the benches of this coaching staff, except for the manager, Pete Mackanin, who has inherited this bunch and deserves better. What hitting coach stays around with the worst offense in the league that long? Look at the Phillies, and it's as if the position doesn't even matter. Same can be said for the pitching. It's up, and down, all round. There's no rhyme or reason to why these coaches havent' been replaced yet. I know they aren't on the field making things happen, but every now and again you have to look at what's happening with the team, and it's not pretty right now.

Another Phillies blogger set out a twitter post to this just yesterday,  

And how could anyone not be disappointed with the coaching? We've seen the same mistakes night after night, this is a young team, but they've been playing baseball professionally for a long time now. The message is not getting through.

The talk around the Phillies will start to gravitate towards the expansion of the rosters on the 1st of September, we'll be seeing some players come up from the minors and some old familiar faces to help this team on the field out and be able to play the rest of this season out. This coaching debacle cannot and shouldn't be forgotten by the fans, you're the one paying for the tickets, going to the stadium and supporting this team, in addition to the television revenue that has presumably isn't being used for baseball purposes anymore cause the team is acting like it has no money to spend.

Your coaches for this 2016 Phillies team: (need to be replaced)

Steve Henderson- hitting coach (mind you the Phillies have been one of the worst hitting teams the past couple years)

Steve Henderson #5

Photo of Steve Hendersonphi
Full Name:
Steve Henderson
Uniform #:
COACHING CAREER: Named Phillies hitting coach on Oct. 4, 2012...Prior to being named to his current position, spent three seasons as a minor league coordinator for the Phillies: outfield/baserunning (2010) and hitting (2011-12)...Was TB's hitting coach for five years (1998; 2006-09) and the minor league hitting coordinator for eight years (1997; 1999-2005)...Spent three years as a coach with HOU (1994-96), the last two as the hitting coach...Served as a minor league coach for PIT for four years (1990-93).
PLAYING CAREER: Played 16 professional seasons, including parts of 12 years in the Major Leagues...Selected by CIN in the June 1974 draft...Finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1977 to Andre Dawson...Led NYM in RBI (65) in his rookie year of 1977.
PERSONAL: Steven Curtis Henderson... Married Pam Baxley (Nov. 15, 1980)...1970 graduate of Jack Yates High School (TX)... Attended Prairie View A&M University (TX)... Hobby: Golf.

Bob McClure - pitching coach (who could forget the infamous phone of the hook trick in Washington DC when all Bob wanted to do was call in a relief pitcher, wave the white flag, this was a sign if nothing else)

Robert McClure #22

COACHING CAREER: Named Phillies pitching coach on Nov. 21, 2013...Was not affiliated with a club for the 2013 season after working as BOS' pitching coach in 2012; had originally joined BOS as a special assignment scout/instructor prior to being named pitching coach...Spent six seasons (2006-11) as KC's pitching coach where he guided 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, among others...Served as a minor league pitching coach for COL for seven years (1999-2005), including three years with Salem (A, 1999-2001) and four with Colorado Springs (AAA, 2002-05)...Coached his son's Sequoia High School baseball teams in Redwood City, CA from 1995-98...Worked as a scout for FLA in 1996...Began the 1994 season as FLA's bullpen catcher before being promoted to bullpen coach in May of 1994, a position he held for the remainder of the season.
PITCHING CAREER: Selected by KC in the third round of the secondary phase of the 1973 draft...Pitched for parts of 19 seasons in the Major Leagues (1975-93)...Was a member of the 1982 AL Champion Brewers...Earned the win in relief in the deciding Game 5 of the 1982 ALCS vs CAL.
PERSONAL: Robert Craig McClure... Married Shirley Brockmeier; has four sons: Jake, Adam and twins Teddy and Brock, and one daughter, Jessica... 1970 graduate of Terra Nova High School (Pacifica, CA), where he lettered in baseball, football and basketball... Played at the College of San Mateo (CA); went 17-1 and batted .340 in his college career and earned All-State and All-America honors... Played Little League baseball with former All-Star first baseman Keith Hernandez...Hobbies: Keeping up with his twins and saltwater fly fishing.

Larry Bowa- Bench coach (Love Larry, but it's time to move on, he's a lifetime Phillies all-time favorite player but hasn't brought nothing to the table on making things happen for this team. He's better off not being on this Phillies coaching staff)

Lawrence Bowa #10

MANAGING/COACHING CAREER: 2016 is his 51st year associated with MLB, 42nd in the major leagues and 32nd with the Phillies...Is one of eight men to manage, coach and play for the Phillies...Named Phillies bench coach and infield instructor on 10/8/13, his second stint as a coach with the club; was previously the third base coach, 1988-96...Also was third base coach for the Angels (1997-99), Mariners (2000), Yankees (2006-07) and Dodgers (2008-10)...Coached on six teams that went to the playoffs (1993 PHI, 2000 SEA, 2006-07 NYY, 2008-09 LAD)...Spent four years as manager of the Phillies (2001-04) and one-plus for the Padres (1987-88)...Named 2001 NL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, USA Today Baseball Weekly and ESPN the Magazine, after managing the Phillies to their first winning season since 1993...Managed the Las Vegas Stars (SD's triple-A affiliate) to the Pacific Coast League championship in 1986...Served as bench coach for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic
PLAYING CAREER: Five-time NL All-Star (three starts)...two-time Gold Glove Award winner...Finished with a .980 fielding percentage...Played 2,222 career games at SS and five at second base...12-year Phillies career ended Oct. 27, 1982, when traded to CHI with Ryne Sandberg for Ivan DeJesus...Played in one Division Series, four LCS and one World Series with the Phillies and one LCS with CHI...Holds World Series record starting seven double plays in 1980...Ranks second in NL history in most games played at SS (2,222), trailing only Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (2,511), and sixth in MLB history behind Omar Vizquel (2,709), Luis Aparicio (2,583), Derek Jeter (2,544), Smith and Cal Ripken Jr. (2,302)...Ranks second in NL history in highest fielding percentage (.980) by a SS (min. 1,000 games), behind Jimmy Rollins (.983), and sixth in MLB history trailing Omar Vizquel (.985), Rollins, J.J. Hardy (.982), Mike Bordick (.982) and Cesar Izturis (.981)...Led the NL in fielding six times: 1971-72, 1976, 1978-79, 1983...Finished third in MVP voting in 1978, behind Dave Parker and Steve Garvey.
PERSONAL: Lawrence Robert Bowa… Married Patty McQuivey (11/6/15)… Has one daughter, Victoria (Tori) Ashley (7/20/83)… 1963 graduate of McClatchy High School (Sacramento, CA), where he lettered in baseball and basketball… Attended Sacramento City College… Spent one winter working in the Phillies ticket office… Was formerly a member of the Phillies Speakers Bureau… Honorary Chairman of Christmas Seals Drive (1973)… Member of Phillies basketball team which participated in fund-raising games during the mid-1970s… One of many players who worked with Garry Maddox in fund-raising events for the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic… Has been a permanent resident of the Philadelphia area since 1976… Has written two books: Bleep: Larry Bowa Manages (1988) and I Still Hate to Lose (2004)… Was inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame in 2002, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame in 2016… Spent the 2005 season as a studio analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight and co-host for Sirius/XM Radio and worked three years (2011-13) as a studio analyst for MLB Network.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

They still left as champions, now only 1 left

Carlos Ruiz left the team to go to a contender out on the left coast this past week

Ruiz joins Chase Utley out in LA who continues to amaze at 2nd base for the Dodgers

One by one, the team that earned a championship now many years ago, in 2008, left this team to go their separate ways. Another important part of the championship team in the form of Carlos Ruiz made his way to Los Angeles to join the Dodgers this past week.

It's players like Ruiz that will remembered by Phillies fans for years to come, as now they move into the latter stages of their baseball careers. They will all surely be involved in future honors at the stadium when we bring back the alumni on the weekends that we honor the former Phils players.

Now, there is only one connection left to that time that the Phillies arguably had one of the best runs that they ever had in their history. That player is of course Ryan Howard. Howard isn't the same player that he was back in the magnificent run that this Phillies team put together, it looked as nothing would stop him around the time that Ruben Amaro signed him to a very big extension of  $125M back in 2011 that took him through this season with a club option for next season.

Howard and Utley came up to the big club around the same age timeframe. Howard made his debut as a 24-year old, back on September 1, 2004. Chase Utley made his debut for the Phils as a 24-year old as well back on April 4, 2003. Sometimes players have already established themselves as bonafide MLB players by that age. The Phils seemed to keep hold of players for a long period of time before bringing them up to the big leagues.

There is a lot of mystery into what goes into making a championship team, there is no real formula, it's just a kind of magic that seems to happen. The Phillies had 103 total victories in 2008 counting the playoffs and World Series, so the team put 103 diamonds on the championship ring, totaling a cool 3.84 carats add those to the ruby inlayed "P" on the ring, and this token of appreciation by the team really made it's way home with the players that earned it. These players will always be referred to as 'World Series Champions" - a rarity that has only happened twice in Phillies history.

Here's the World Championship ring of Harry Kalas from 2008, it recently was auctioned off, and fetched $45,000 at the Hunt Auction.

p.s.   A little fact about a Phillies World Series ring:  Mayor Michael Nutter donated his authentic 2008 World Series Phillies ring to the Philadelphia History Museum's baseball collection before he left office. The mayor also donated some items that Tanney Dragons gave him, a hat and t-shirt, that commemorated their Little League World Series championship run.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

St. Louis has it's way with the Phils- we fall to 9 GB in Wild Card

Freddie Galvis tries, but he has the lowest OBP of any every day player in the MLB - he needs to get on base more and stop thinking he is a home run hitter. On the flip side he does have 12 HR and 50 RBI for the team

There is a saying that you can always dream. Well, Phillies fans have been dreaming a little bit about a possibility of this team snagging a wild card spot this year. Don't laugh out loud just yet. You have to admit that at times, this team has looked very inspired and when the winning was flowing, it looked as if they had found a way to work in harmony together despite having one of the worst offenses in the MLB.

Ok, you can let out a little giggle now. This weekend, and in fact this whole home stand, could have sent a statement to teams that the Phils were on a mission. With the home stand record at 5-4 though, that statement was a blank stare of a team that still doesn't have it all together. We lost 2 of 3 to the Cardinals, and 2 of 3 to the Dodgers, but the home stand did start off brightly when the Phils swept the Rockies away last weekend. In fact with that sweep of the Rockies, they were riding a 4-game win streak into the first third of the home stand.

This past week or two has been a turning point for this team, we didn't go out and acquire a veteran that could have brought some much needed offense to the team after the all-star break. We lost Aaron Nola for the season to the DL, lost Zack Eflin to the DL, and Vincent Velasquez has been getting lit up every time he's been on the mound for the last few starts, he has 4 losses and 3 ND since the All-Star break, he's been that stopper most of the year up to the AS break but lately his record has fallen like a rock to 8-6 on the 4 losses with his last 7 starts.

The Phils continue to cling to bargain basement players like they are down to their last few dollars, this just after they signed a huge cable tv contract defies the logic of the modern baseball team. Where Ruben Amaro seemed to flush cash out a high window of CBP, the new management acts as if their hands are tied when it came to making a deal around the trade deadline. This team was in striking distance for a possible run to a wild card spot, but now that seems like it's just a pie in the sky dream.

I know the team is rebuilding, but you still have to add to get somewhere in this league, you just can't do it all on farm hands most of the time. That's what we've been hearing for the last few years now, we're rebuilding. Well, they are rebuilding something that doesn't seem like it even has a solid foundation yet, so hopefully in the near future some good things will be happening with this team.

Next up for the Phils, it's off to play the White Sox in Chicago for two quick games, and then over the Citi Field to play the Mets next weekend.  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dodgers stomping Phils at home

Fans showered Utley with respect and applause on his return to CBP, he may not want to sell his condo he has for sale here in Center City, and run for Mayor instead!

It was great to welcome Chase Utley back to Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park for the first time in a Dodger uniform the other night. The fans showed him a lot of love with an opening ovation of over a minute and a half of solid cheering. For Utley, that wouldn't be enough for the opening night though, he went on to hit a home run and a grand slam and get even more applause and curtain calls. This was a game where the Phillies got soundly beaten, but we gave this one away and didn't care at all, because it was Chase.

The Phils dropped the first game in the series with the Dodgers by a 15-5 score, Chase Utley bolstered his BA to .255 in the first game and went 2-4 with 5 RBI on the night. Last night, he batted 0-5 and the Phillies lost by a score of 7-2 to the blue crew.

The Phillies had opportunities in last night's game but turned in a 1-9 with RISP and you have a hard time winning games when that happens most of the time. Each team banged out 11 hits for the game, Justin Turner, who had hit the Phillies very well in the past, hit a 2-run HR in the 5th inning. Tommy Joseph had a solo HR in the 6th inning to make it a 5-2 score at the time. Later on in the same inning the Phils had the bases loaded but failed to score anyone.

"Just didn't come through in the clutch," is how Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said in the post game interview and that about sums up most of the problems that the Phillies have. They just don't have a few players that you can count on to deliver when really needed.

The Phillies are still near the bottom in major offensive categories, as they have been most of the year. Here in mid-August the Phils are 28th in the MLB in runs, 28th in Batting Average, 30th in OBP, and 29th in slugging percentage.

Aaron Nola goes to the 60-day DL so his season is finished for the year.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Calling the TV broadcast of the game from the outfield on Tuesday night

If the voices sound a little happier on Tuesday night's baseball broadcast of the Phillies game vs. the Los Angeles, don't be surprised.

For the third year, Comcast Sportsnet will move the broadcast booth around the park a little to give the fans a chance to hear a different call of the game and possibly view the broadcast if you're at the stadium.

This year, the broadcast will be located out near Harry The K's Restaurant in left field, it's a lot of fun, and who can forget Tom McCarthy's catch of a home run ball when they recorded from the center field location a couple season's ago on June 27th, 2014. He made the catch so effortlessly, and then flung the ball back on the field because the opposing team had hit the home run.

McCarthy, who assumed the role of 'the voice' of the Phillies on television after Harry Kalas passed away, had this to say about the different locations that Sportsnet has broadcasted from, "To be able to broadcast from different parts of the ballpark is such a treat for all of us,” said McCarthy. “Over the last couple of seasons we have been able to absorb the great vibes at the ballpark and enjoy the game with the best fans in baseball. This year will be no different. The perch at Harry the Ks is not only special in name but in atmosphere. This is a great opportunity for us to show off some of the best spots to watch a game. I know I can speak for Matt and Ben when I say we are excited for this baseball moment."

All of this is of course dependent on weather conditions, if rain is forecast in the area, the plan may have to be scuttled. 

Speaking of Harry Kalas, he will be honored with a bobble figurine on Saturday, August 20th, 2016, all fans will get the Harry Kalas figurine upon entrance to the ballpark when the Phils play the St. Louis Cardinals at 7:05 PM. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

How sweep it is! Phils sweep Rockies at CPB

Paredes is the star of the game today, with 3-RBI on the day, a hot one in Philly

It's been a while since the Phillies completed a sweep, with this afternoon's nail biter win on Sunday over the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies caused a scare with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, and managed to claw their way back to 7-6 with Jeanmar Gomez on the mound.

The Rockies made 4 errors in the game, and dropped all three games in Philadelphia. Combined in the three game series, the Rockies committed 7 total errors. Charlie Blackmon apparently loves to play in this park, he had two HR this afternoon, and 3 HR on Friday night in the series. There were some tense moments last night as the Phils pitcher, Luis Garcia, hit Charlie Blackmon, who had smashed 3 HR in the game the previous night and the Rockies pitchers hit Franco and Bourjos, two Rockies players were ejected in that game.

Johnny Paredes had the player of the game honors in the last game of the series, hitting 3-RBI and going 3-4 on the day. Paredes only needed a single to hit for the cycle in the game, but didn't come up with it.

The Phils have Monday off, then they welcome in the LA Dodgers including ex-Phillie, Chase Utley, back to Citizen's Bank Park to face the Phillies. The Phils lost 2 of 3 games to the Dodgers just last week in LA.

This will be Utley's first trip to play against the Phillies since he went to the Dodgers back in August of 2015. He is currently among the best 2nd baseman to ever play the game in the Jaffe WAR Score system, Utley is in the same class as Hall of Famers as you can see on this page on baseball-reference.com. Chase Utley, 37 years old (he'll be 38 in December), has been a player for 14 full seasons, he had a couple of partial seasons when he first came up with the Phillies in 2003. He'll be one of those players that is considered a 'lifetime' player of the Phils when he finally retires, and is among the most popular Phillies players in the last 15 years. He's sure to be included in future 'All Time' Phillies greatest players and a sure thing for the Phillies 'Wall of Fame' honors who this past Friday night, saw Jim Thome being elected to have his plaque on the wall.

The Phils are still looking for the future though despite this sweep, the team is still 56-63 as they try to get back to .500 on the season. They are 14.5 GB off the pace of the Nationals, and 6 GB off the Wild Card pace.

Mike Schmidt, Phillies broadcaster, said he couldn't wait till Spring Training 2017 to see what happens with this team, he was speaking about Jeanmar Gomez and how well he has handled the closing role for the Phillies this year, Gomez earned his 31st save of the year today, despite the Rockies picking up 2 ER off of him to sneak back into the game late in the bottom of the 9th.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Phils manage to salvage series in LA

Ryan Howard makes a big hit in LA, he racks up a 3-RBI double late in the game, do the Dodgers need a little of what Howard could offer that team?

The tough LA Dodgers handled the Phillies very easily the first two games of the series in LA, beating the fightins pretty soundly. The first two wins helped the Dodgers gain first place in the NL West but it would only be a short time they would be there, as the Phillies managed to win yesterday in LA and push the Dodgers out of first when the LA loss was combined with a San Francisco Giant win. In the first game of the series, Zack Eflin who started the series in LA off for the Phils looked not that good, with the loss he fell to 3-5 and also ended up on the DL. Elfin has had a Jekyll and Hyde type of starts for the Phillies since they brought him up. Corey Seager hit 2 HR in the first game of the series as the Dodgers sunk the Phils by a 9-4 score. Chase Utley faced the Phils for the first time in LA, he went deep in the first game as well. In yesterday's game though he turned in an 0-4 with 2 SO on the day. Utley told reporters he still monitors what is happening with his old team and of course he still stays in touch with some of the old players on the team he played with while in Philadelphia. The Dodgers will be in Philly next week to play the Phils, with the road trip over, the Phils are off tonight and then welcome the Rockies in for a weekend series in Philly starting Friday night. The record for the team is 53-63 and they are 15.5 GB from the Nats. At times they look ok, and at other times this team looks terrible. The missing pieces of the puzzle to make this team better are not in place yet. All we hear is that the team is rebuilding but that process is taking a very long time to start to look like a solid foundation is in place.  

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Phils can't contain Padres and Jankowski on 'Caminiti Night'

The Phillies West coast road trip started off pretty good in San Diego, they claimed a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the series, but came up short last night, losing to the Padres 9-7 behind a 14-hit barrage by the Padres and despite them making 3 errors on the night.

Center fielder Travis Jankowski even performed a daring dash to home plate when the Phils became lackadaisical on the field (it wasn't a steal) and Jankowski took advantage of it. What else did Travis do during this game? Well, he scored 4 runs and went 3-4 on the night.

Jake Thompson made his debut for the Phils, he gave up 6 ER on the night, on 7 H in 4.1 IP. A drastic difference than what he has been doing in AAA ball for the Phillies. We'll see when he makes his next start if he can settle down and find a groove on the mound for the Phils.

The Phils mounted a late comeback, but it wasn't enough on the night there in San Diego.

A humorous moment for the Phils later in the game, Freddy Galvis hit a ground rule double that ended up in the bullpen trashcan.

Ken Caminiti was inducted into the Padres "Hall of Fame" last night in San Diego - of course he was with the Astros as well during his career. Caminiti died back in 2004, he had tested positive for cocaine many times in Houston after his career ended on October 7, 2001 and later in 2001 was convicted and sentenced for a cocaine possession charge. A 2004 probation violation found that he had abused drugs again (at least the 4th time) and had been released from custody, he made his way to New York City to visit family and apparently associated himself again with the drug crowd there. Read out the last few hours of Caminiti's life in this article from ESPN. Caminiti had also abused steroids during his career and made no secret of it, read about that side of him in this SI article which is one of the best stories in the history of magazine. It's kind of hard to believe the Padres would hold his player in such regard, he brought shame to the game with his personal conduct and even though he did play well at times, the negatives far outweigh his positives.

The series wraps up this afternoon in San Diego, Jared Eickhoff vs. Jared Cosart in this game. Then the Phils head to LA on Monday to take on the Dodgers. Zack Eflin will make the first start in the series opener with the Dodgers. Eflin is a workhorse for the Phils, he already has 2 CG on the season for the team, the only other Phillies starter that has a Complete Game on the Phils is Vincent Velasquez, who earned a CG back on April 14th at home in Philly vs. the San Diego Padres.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Phillies rally in the 12th to bring home victory

New game, new hero for the Phillies last night with Franco coming up big for the Phils- he gets the double shower on the field 

The game of baseball is a strange game. The night prior to last, Aaron Altherr was the hero, going 4-5 with 5 RBI, he was in the lineup again last night but went 0-6 on the night (and had a lapse of judgement at the end of the game forgetting to touch 2nd base to complete the game wining hit by Franco). The Phillies pulled together as a team and earned the second victory in a row over the Giants though last night. The heroics didn't happen to the bottom of the 12th, the Phils loaded the bases and Maikel Franco just banged out a hit scoring Tommy Joseph to put this game in the victory column for the Phillies.

An inning before the win, the Phils had runners in scoring position but couldn't bring anyone home, usually that's a really bad sign when you're in extra innings. The team held solid though and kept the Giants back on their heels on the offense. The Giants hadn't had too many opportunities to win this game, but they did have a runner on in the top of the 11th by the name of Hunter Pence, David Hernandez was pitching for the Phils. Despite having Buster Posey up to bat next, the Giants just couldn't get anything going offensively and allowed the Phils to stay in this one.

Starting pitcher Aaron Nola was scratched before game time, he'll go to the DL for an undisclosed problem with Nola's elbow. Perhaps that is why his starts have been so erratic in the last few that he's had with the Phillies.

Ryan Howard has been hot since he's been back into the lineup, he hit another HR last night, he and Cameron Rupp went for back-to-back home runs in the 7th inning to make it a 4-2 game in the favor of the Giants at the time.

Franco probably should have been the Phillies representative at the All-Star Game, his overall performance on this team is tops.

The Phils go for the sweep today at 1:05 PM before hitting the road again after this brief 3-game home stand with the Giants. The Phils head to the West coast for three games with San Diego and then 3 more with the LA Dodgers.

Notable last night:

Game time:  4:02

Phils earned their 50th victory of the season

Ryan Howard last night:  3-4 with a HR

Johnny Cueto had 10 SO for the Giants in his No Decision

Phil Klein made his debut for the Phillies in the spot start pitched 5.0 innings, gave up 8 H and has a 7.20 ERA in this game for it, but the Phils stayed in this game

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Altherr has career night, Phils dismantle Giants

Aaron Altherr had a career night last night with 5 RBI, pacing the Phillies to a 13-8 victory as late in the game clutch hitting took over for this Phillies team.

The score was tied 8-8 in the 8th and it looked like anybody's game at that time, the Phillies took advantage of some timely hitting when they needed it. Maybe the extra rest did them well, as they had off on Monday at home awaiting the series to start with the Giants on Tuesday.

Obudel Herrera and Maikel Franco had a great game as well, Franco went 4-4 on the night. Cameron Rupp added the topper, a 3-run HR to put the game out of reach for the Giants.

It was great to see this dormant offense finally wake up a little. Is this a trend or just a blip on the long season?

Johnny Cueto vs. Aaron Nola tonight at the ballpark. All eyes will be on Nola tonight as we continue to see if he is struggling or will bring out a gem on the mound for the Phils. Cueto is 8-1 with a 2.63 record on the road though, so the Phillies could have their work cut out for them.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Trade deadline leaves the Phils behind as Phils still have worst offense

Can't remember the last time I've seen Howard sign autographs for the hometown Phillies fans on the field, but he's on the field at Atlanta doing just that.. hmmmm

You had to think something like this was going to happen to the Phillies at the trade deadline. That something was absolutely nothing. No trades completed by this team was a strange scenario that likened back to things that Ruben Amaro used to do with this club.

You have a guy like Hunter Pence, so what do you do? Go out and get rid of him and all of his offense. What does he do? Go on to help the SF Giants win World Series every other year. Moves like these really make you wonder.

Making no moves when a team is near the bottom of every offensive catagory in the entire league is inexcusable. Getting players like Tyler Goeddel and expect them to do miracles only goes so far. Goeddell is batting .203 in 70 games and has 4 HR and 16 RBI on the season, that's an explanation of why this Phillies team isn't doing well. Yes, he's 23 years old, made this team younger, but other players were raked over the coals with these kind of numbers. There is no excuse for this, except to say perhaps he's not the player you need on this team.

Peter Bourjos has had some nice moments with this team, currently he is on the DL, but looking at his total contribution, he's a guy that's a good bench guy but not an everyday major leaguer.

You don't hold a poker hand without any good cards, you have to do something to better your hand. The Phils just held on to a '9' high in their hand and what you get from that is a loss and fold your hand.

Three game home stand starts tomorrow with the Giants coming to town. I think we're going to see some great baseball played by the Giants, the rest of the season could turn out to be long for both fans and players on this Phillies team.

Current Phillies offensive stats: