Monday, April 29, 2019

Rare complete game for Phils, we welcome Motown on Tuesday

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Cutch playing hard for the Phillies yesterday in the win

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Eflin throws the first CG in a long time for the Phillies

Zach Eflin did what a lot of today's pitchers can't accomplish. That is complete a full game of pitching. If you can remember, Roy Halladay used to do this regularly for the Phillies, he had 9 CG in 2010 for the Phils, and 8 in 2011. It seemed like he wasn't happy unless he pitched a complete game.

The last CG for the Phillies was in 2017, when Ben Lively last pitched the CG in September. They just don't make pitchers like they used to. Eflin improved to 3-3 on the season with the 5-1 win yesterday. This is the third straight series that the Phillies have taken while playing the Marlins.

The Phillies have offered a "May Weekday Plan" for $60 - you'll get admission to all the games in May. That equates to 10 games for Standing Room to all of them. The whole Milwaukee series, and 3 Cardinals games. Not a bad price if you have free time on the weekdays to check out the action.

The Phils have the day off today and then pick up with a short 2-game series against the Tigers at CBP. The last time the Phillies played the Detroit Tigers was in 2016 - the Phils finished a 3-game series at 1-2 in which they played in Detroit.

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New shoes for the Phanatic on his birthday

A lot of fans are still on the fence with Bryce Harper, he's been making himself quietly known since the season started, the weather hasn't really warmed up all that much though and he's still getting acquainted with his new surroundings, so you can't fault him much so far. Still a lot more fans really like Harper, so we'll see how he continues to help the Phillies win down the stretch as the season rolls on.

Tomorrow it will be Vince Velasquez (1-0 1.99 ERA) vs. Tyson Ross (1-3 4.03 ERA)  Kind of a rare 2-game series on tap with the Tigers starting Tuesday, we'll go to Detroit to play the Tigers on July 23 and 24th.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Is less actually more with the Phillies?

Looking at this picture of Nick Williams going up to bat last night with a generic red batting helmet, had to bring you to the question is less actually more? Who took the 'P' off of Nick's helmet?

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The Phillies got back into the win column last night on a soggy, damp, windy, and chilly evening in Philadelphia, as the Phils and the Marlins were able to get game 2 of the series in after mother nature had dumped quite a lot of rain on the area. The grounds crew earned their money on a night like this, but it was good that the game was able to get played.

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Bryce Harper launches one into the stands to help the Phils win last night

The Phillies did accomplish this with some bat power. JT Realmuto, Maikel Franco, and Bryce Harper all launched homers to give the Phillies a 4-0 win. With Jean Segura coming back on Saturday, this should help the Phils get back to that winning combination that they had going before the slide started happening. They came into last night's game losing 6 of their last 8 games.

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Jake Arrieta is outspoken, I wonder if he would appreciate players criticizing his pitching?

Jake Arrieta (3-2) takes the mound tonight at 6:05 PM vs. (0-3) Trevor Richards - Jake will get the start after he made his comments that the Phillies weren't playing very well. That is a politically correct way of putting the comments that Jake made about his team, he specifically went after Bryce Harper and addressed the way he got thrown out of the game in New York as well. Pitchers usually don't say things like this, we've kind of heard this from Jake as well last year, is that why the Cubs let him sail into free agency?

Friday, April 26, 2019

Marlins out hit the Phils and take first game of 4

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Bryce Harper has really yet to find his groove with the Phillies

Who would have thought that the Phillies would have trouble with the Marlins in a baseball game this year? Well, we saw just that last night as the Phils and the Marlins battled through a 1-1 tie into extra innings and then the Marlins took a decisive win 3-1 over the Phillies.

The Phillies wore their uniforms from an era that the Phillies were quite good at times, the powder blue uniforms, which ironically were the road uniforms many years ago, were worn last night at the stadium. 

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Castro is the only remaining 'star' on this team

It was Starlin Castro who hit the home run that put the Marlins in the win column last night. Castro is one of the last remaining 'star' players still on the Marlins. It seems every season that the Marlins trade off any of their stars. The Phillies acquired JT Realmuto from the Marlins, the deal was official on February 7th 2019, and we got Realmuto and the Marlins got Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro, and minor leaguer Will Stewart.

The series carries on through the weekend, The Marlins are 8-17 on the year, the Phillies shouldn't be having problems with this type of team. Speaking of the Phils, they have floated down to almost a .500 season now at 13-12 on the year. Even with the recent losing by the Phils, they are still in second place as the Mets and the Braves have had some setbacks lately as well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Game 2 tonight promises more fireworks

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Jeff McNeil got hit on the finger last night after an errant pitch

The Phillies and the Mets are suddenly rekindling their rivalry in a big way, and last night was an indicator of just that. The Phils were kind of mad at home plate umpire, Mark Carlson, and Jake Arrieta took the loss dropping him to 3-2 on the year.

Phillies relievers didn't fair too well last night either, plunking two Mets players in the process with the 5-1 loss at Citi Field. The Phillies have lost 4 of their last 5 games, and the trouble is that losing becomes something you start getting use to. That's not good, so we'll see if the team can bounce back tonight with a much needed win.

Both the Phillies and the Mets are knotted up for first place. Both teams have had some injury news to report lately. The Mets with Jacob DeGrom being one of the top players that are out for the NY Mets. The Phillies have lost a couple players as well, Odubel, and Segura, among the top two.

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Michael Comforto seemed like he was going to be the Mets big slugger but with Alonzo on the scene, they are twice as potent

We'll see if these two teams start tangling from the start of this game tonight, or will things settle down? The run line on the betting services is 8.5 so that should be interesting if these two teams can get some more runs on the board tonight.

Phils boil over in NY in loss to Mets

The Phillies might have needed to blow off some steam and that is exactly what they did last night in New York as the calls of a certain umpire started to get on the nerves of Bryce Harper and many other players, Harper chose to do something about it, and charged the ump (preceded by his manager, Gabe Kapler that is).

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Harper looks as though he didn't like a few calls last night in the game

What ensued was a Phillies loss though and then some tough words in the locker room afterwards from Phillies starter, Jake Arrieta. Arietta's comments were directed at his teammates, saying they weren't ready to play and Harper shouldn't have reacted the way he did. At least Harper shows emotion though, and when Arrieta left the mound, he looked as if he didn't give up 7 H and 3 R on the night, he looked as if he pitched ok, uhhh, I hate to tell you Jake, but for $20M we are expecting more from you!

We had Jimmy Rollins in the TV booth last night, cursing during one of the times that the Phillies pitcher hit a second Mets player. Jimmy, you're not supposed to say curses on air! But, he sounded ok, a bit more polished that the normally self depraving John Kruk sounds like most of the time. At times he sounded too fair to the opposite team.

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Jake should try to practice what he preaches more than preaching to the press

But all of this spells a loss for the Phillies, inconsistent and certainly a air of rift in the clubhouse with the way Arrieta opened up his mouth to the press. If anything say that to your teammates, which he probably does anyway, but really I think Arrieta should put his money where his mouth is, he isn't an example of a $20M dollar starter for sure. He's certainly not the clubhouse leader in this group too, but he sounds like he is just so much better than the others.

These two teams go at each other again on Tuesday night, get ready for more action! Phils lost 5-1 in this one, as they show signs of average play in the last few games.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Phillies look to salvage series in Denver on Easter Sunday

Happy Easter everyone!

The Phillies looked very good going into the Rockies to play Colorado for a 4-game series. Well, they dropped the first two games to the Rocks and won last night to try to put themselves into position to at least finish .500 on this series and get out of town with a tie.

Bryce Harper was finally in a position to put the Phils into the win column, and managed to do just that with a decisive 3-run homer that led the Phils to victory by the score of 8-5 last night. Can the Phils do it again with a victory today out in Denver starting at 3:10 PM local time vs the Rockies. The Rockies will welcome in another NL East powerhouse, the Washington Nationals after the Phillies leave town.

From the Rockies Press notes on Charlie Blackmon:

WE BELIEVE YOU NOW • Charlie Blackmon hit his first leadoff home run of 2019 in yesterday’s game, one game following his 12th-inning, walk-off home run to beat the Phillies on Friday night … his 31 leadoff home runs are a franchise record and the most in the National League since his debut in 2011. • Blackmon became the first player in Rockies history to ever hit a leadoff home run one game after hitting a walk-off home run … he is the first Major League player to do so since Brett Gardner, who hit a leadoff home run on July 28, 2017 vs. Tampa Bay after hitting a walk-off home run in the Yankees’ previous game on July 27.

Blackmon has been a thorn in the Phillies side for years now, and he still is.

Scouting today's Rockies pitcher, Jon Gray, facing the Phillies:

GRAY DAY • Colorado’s 2013 first-round pick (third overall) out of the University of Oklahoma. • Will make his fifth start of the 2019 season, his second at home. • His 93 starts since the 2015 campaign are the most by any Rockies pitcher (Chad Bettis, 84).

THE TIME IS HERE • Secured his first win since Sept. 24, 2018 vs. Philadelphia, his last time out at San Diego, snapping a four-game winning streak … pitched seven innings and allowed one run on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts … lone run came on aWil Myers solo home run in the fifth inning. • It was his first road win since Sept. 1, 2018, a 4-2 victory at Petco Park (6.0,7,2,2,1,1).

PHILLIES • Has made five career starts against the Phillies, going 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA (30.2 IP, 14 ER) 14 walks and 35 strikeouts over those starts. • In three career starts against Philadelphia at Coors Field is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA (20.1 IP, 4 ER) six walks and 19 strikeouts … made his last start against the Phillies on Sept. 24, 2018 (7.0,4,1,1,3,7).

KEEP IT IN THE PARK • Has allowed a home run in 16 consecutive games since July 31, 2018, the longest streak in franchise history … John Thomson allowed a home run in 13-straight from May 17-July 23, 2002. • It is the third-longest streak in Major League history … the Major League record of 20 games was set by Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven (Sept. 8, 1986-June 10, 1987).

GONE FISHIN’ • Logged his 13th career double-digit strikeout game on March 31 at Miami … two shy of tying Pedro Astacio’s club record of 15 games. • Only pitcher in franchise history to have three games of 12 or more strikeouts … has three games in his career with double-digit strikeouts and no walks, tied for the most such games in team history (also: Jorge De La Rosa, Astacio).

Thursday, April 18, 2019

With Mets series win in rearview mirror, Phils look to improve in Colorado

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Steady Jake has replaced Shaky Jake for the Phillies, and that's a great thing

The Mets were ushered out of town in three games with a series loss, and right after the matinee game yesterday, the Phillies left town too, going out to Denver for a 4-game series to continue what I've said is a kind of strange schedule that the Phillies have had already this year. I don't remember the time when the team has been home for such short series and then right back out on the road again. Well, I guess we'll just have to play that famous song by Willie Nelson as we get ready for the Phils to start up a new series with the Rockies out in Colorado.

Nick Pivetta was optioned to AAA yesterday, that was kind of expected, he's not been too steady of late, and with the work he'll get in down in the minors, he'll be getting back to being consistent. Jake Arrieta improved to 3-1 on the season with the win yesterday, it was described as him 'getting back to MVP form'. That's a good thing, I was worried a little about Jake, he seemed to be a bit inconsistent at times as well, but apparently now he has found his groove again.

Phillies on fire are: Maikel Franco, still proving himself to the Phillies and fans who were ready to see him wave goodbye to the team. JT Realmuto has caught fire lately, he seems to be settling into his new home. Scott Kingery with 5 RBI the other night is saying, "I'm still here, and I can play."

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The Phils have to keep Arenado from hurting them in this series

What will happen in the Colorado series? I still have a lingering memory of late last season when the Phillies folded like a house of cards and played terribly in Denver. I hope they can look much better in this series.

Bryce Watch: Bryce hasn't been overpowering this team with offense so far lately, he's been chipping in, but not having the breakout games we've seen some other players having. He's still in a mode of being acclimated to his new team, yes, he's appeared calm and cool about the transition, but he's not completely settled in with this new team yet. He'll be having some of those multi-HR games that we are expecting from him. Hopefully.

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This picture is from the 85th All Star game in 2014 - who would have guessed in 5 years Cutch would be a Phillie?

Phillies get All-Star Game for 2026 - (from press release notes yesterday)

IN CONGRESS, JULY 2026: As announced yesterday by Commisioner Manfred, Major League Baseball has awarded the 2026 All-Star Game and accompanying All-Star Week events to the Philadelphia Phillies … Baseball’s Midsummer Classic will be held in Philadelphia for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of American independence and follows suit from 1976, when Veterans Stadium hosted the All-Star Game in the year of the nation’s bicentennial … The Phillies, who also hosted the All-Star Game in 1952 (Shibe Park) and 1996 (Veterans Stadium) are currently one of five teams who has hosted or will host an All-Star Game in three entirely different stadiums in the same city (not counting stadiums that changed names) … The Cincinnati Reds (Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium, Great American Ballpark), Minnesota Twins (Metropolitan Stadium, Metrodome, Target Field), Pittsburgh Pirates (Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium, PNC Park) and St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium, Busch Memorial Stadium, Busch Stadium) are the others … As the fourth All-Star Game hosted by the Phillies in Philadelphia, they will also become just the ninth team in history to host four games in the same city (CWS, CIN, CLE, DET, NYY, PIT, STL and the Washington Senators) … The Athletics also hosted an All-Star Game in 1943 at Shibe Park.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Phils go down in extras vs. Mets

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Is there a photo op that baseball commish Rob Manfred doesn't like to get into? Here he is with Jamie Foxx 

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And another, the commish with Phillies billionaire part-owner John Middleton

The Phillies and the Mets battled last night at CBP. This was to be expected as both teams have really started out the season very well. The Mets really were an unknown commodity entering this season and so far even the ardent Met fan would agree that this really wasn't foreseen to be happening this early in the season.

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Noah Syndergaard throws the baseball vs. the Phils last night

The Brody Van Wagenen (Mets new GM) era has begun. If you listened to the ESPN baseball feed of the game last night, you have my sympathies. That broadcast was a really whiny weak example of the way a game should be called. Ryan Howard was in the both, he really outshined the veteran broadcast team and was understated in doing so. The ESPN crew droned on about every conceivable thing unrelated to the game at times, I really had to turn the volume down on this game.

Back to the game, (as the ESPN crew couldn't do much of the time) it was a back and forth event like a heavy weight fight that went slug for slug. The Mets prevailed in less than perfect conditions, in fact it was really cold with a biting wind. It's mid-April, and we're reminded how cruel the weather can actually still be in this month around the Philadelphia area.

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Nola hasn't looked like the Aaron we know lately

Noah Syndergaard faced off against Aaron Nola, and again, the conditions were less than perfect for sure last night, so I am not so sure we can really use this to gauge the starting pitching performances. Nola hasn't been his usual self, for sure. We'll continue to keep a close watch on him especially his next start, but the Mets just out hustled the Phils last night. Oh yes, did I tell you how much I do not like every player wearing the number 42?

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B Harp could have gone a long way to be a hero last night

Bryce Harper was setup to be a hero last night, he came up in the bottom of the 8th inning with the bases loaded. The drama, the tenseness, Harper missed a big chance to deliver on that mega contract he received as he harmlessly popped up to end the inning. These are the spots where Mike Schmidt use to deliver on time after time for the Phillies, for those of us old enough to remember, that is what makes a great baseball player, one who delivers when it is counted upon to do so.

The Mets and the Phils square off again tonight in Philadelphia. It will be a tiny bit better out there weatherwise, not the biting wind that we had, but it will still get chilly. Bring a blanket, have some hot chocolate and enjoy the game! It was a tough 7-6 loss last night in extra innings.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Phils playing the Mets tonight - the surging NY Mets

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It took the Phils 14 innings to beat the Marlins, now the Mets are in town for a quick 3 game series

The Phillies come home after a brief road trip to Miami, Florida. Is it me, or has this Phillies schedule been a little odd lately? A lot of time off, and odd series being played. The Phillies managed to pull out the victory yesterday in Miami and it took them 14 innings to do it. A win is a win though, and we'll forget about how the Phillies should have put the Marlins down easier but didn't in this series.

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The NY Mets and new phenom Pete Alonzo are in town, Alonzo reminds me of player by the name of Mike Trout

We'll forget about that Marlins series, because the first place NY Mets are in town for a three game series and tonight's game is going out on ESPN. Wow, when is the last time we've seen the Phillies having been so many times on National tv broadcasts? Probably back to 2009, the year after the team won the World Series, and then reappeared the the '09 WS against the Yankees.

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It's Jackie Robinson Day, on top of all of this, so maybe the team can go out there and get down to business. I am not a fan of everyone wearing the number 42 tonight during the game. We know Jackie's number, and why have everyone wearing it? Major League Baseball has a way of really beating a point into the ground sometimes, and this is one of those times. The celebrations for Mother's and Father's Day is getting close as well. Ok, we get it, let's play ball and limit all the distractions.

The Mets have really surprised coming out of the gate as one of the early leaders in the NL East, they took the spot from the Phillies, who looked convincing for first 9 games, then have settled back to earth in the last several games.

The good news is that we'll miss Jacob DeGrom in this series, again an odd one for the Phillies, as they come home from Miami to play the Mets for 3 games then head right back out on the road. DeGrom pitched a bad game against the Braves last night, he took the loss. The Mets have won 3 out of their last 5 games. The NY Mets have also scored 6 or more runs in their last 8 games. So the Phillies have a formidable opponent to deal with.

The Mets are throwing Syndergaard, Matz, and Wheeler at the Phillies in this series, and the Phils will counter with Nola, Pivetta, and Arrieta. The only real uneven matchup is the middle game, with Steven Matz at 1-0 (1.65 ERA) going up against Nick Pivetta 1-1 (9.45 ERA) but other than that, we should be good for this series.

From the NY Mets broadcast department and special statement from the owners of the Mets, Fred and Jeff Wilpon:

“Our thoughts and prayers continuously remain with Ron for a full recovery and we look forward to seeing him back in the broadcast booth soon.”

Statement from SNY sent earlier Saturday night
SNY broadcasting analyst Ron Darling, announced this evening that he will be taking a temporary medical leave following tonight’s Mets game. Doctors have been monitoring Darling over the last few months and tests revealed a mass on his chest. Darling is now scheduled for a medical procedure next week. The doctors have told him that if there are no complications he should be back in the booth alongside Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez next month.
“My health is the top priority right now for my family and I,” said Darling. “I’m looking forward to being back in the booth with our crew and my friends Gary and Keith as soon as I can.”
SNY studio analyst and former New York Met Todd Zeile will fill in for Darling during his medical leave.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Miami series says a little about this team

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JT Realmuto makes his return to his former team's city: Miami

How long will the Phillies believe in Zach Eflin? He's up, and down but rarely is he consistently very good. Pitching will be the undoing of this team and so far that is proving true. An upgrade to the pitching staff was really needed in the off season. Granted, Eflin has started out very good this year with a 2-0 record, but how much of that is because of the offense?

Standard Pitching
4 Yr4 Yr1719.4725.0449271.248207
162 162 1213.4725.0434189 33144
Generated 4/14/2019.

Looking at Zach's record, he was 11-8 last year with a 4.36 ERA. Last night he gave up 10 H and 6 ER to get the loss- his first of the season. Eflin is signed through the 2019 season, with his $590,000 salary, so based upon that, what can we really expect from him? A pitcher like him will be able to make about $3-4 million a year after his contract is over, and he's a pitcher who isn't all that dominating.

The Phils look like a dominating team at times, then other times, they look very much like an above average team. What do we have here this year? It's mid-April and we've seen a very good start to the year, then the team cooled off fast.

Teams like the Marlins should be handled by the Phillies, but they are not. That is the mark of a really good team. You're faced with an opponent that isn't evenly matched up with your team, and you go in there and show them why. The Phillies really haven't been doing that. They play really well at times, then not so well.

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We've seen our old catcher in this series, Jorge Alfaro, here is what Jorge has done so far in his career:

Standard Batting
4 Yr4 Yr4 Yr155549505521381857.273.330.761
162 162 162 162574528541441960.273.330.761
PHI PHI PHI 143508467471261551.270.327.749
MIA MIA MIA 12413851236.316.366.918
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2019.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Nationals cool off early Phillies fire in this series

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Nick Pivetta ran into a buzzsaw of Nationals hitters last night, and it wasn't too pretty

The Phillies had been sailing along since the home opener in the month of April so far. But last night the Washington Nationals put the Phillies fire out with a 15-1 drubbing that really seems to have set this team back on it's heels a little. The Phils dropped 2 of 3 games to the Nationals at home in the series.

Pitching has been the source of the Phillies weakness so far in 2019 - the offense had been essentially working like a machine for the first 9 games, a well oiled machine that had produced a lot of Phillies wins and had propelled them into first place in the NL East.

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Anthony Rendon has always hit well in the Phillies home ballpark, and last night, he did it again. Phillies pitching was pounded for 17 H on the night from the Nationals. Matt Adams is only batting .143 but went 2-5 with 4 RBI on the night, Rendon added 3 RBI and Adam Eaton chipped in with 2 RBI - so those 3 players had the bulk of the Nats 15 runs they scored last night.

Pivetta gave up 7 H and 7 R all of which were earned. It was easily one of his worst games as a starter for this team. Last season, he gave up only 9 runs combined in all of his 5 starts of April 2018. He has already given up 14 ER in 3 starts this year so far in April.

A big April crowd of 30,805 paid admission to see this beating of the Phils, and they probably didn't expect his outcome. Jeremy Hellickson, a former Phillies pitcher, brought his 9.00 ERA into last night's game and pitched a gem of a game for his first win on the year. The loss brings the Phillies record down to 7-4. The Phillies home crowd coming into this game last night was second in total (309,210) only to the LA Dodgers (324,327) out of all of the MLB, as many Phillies fans have visited the ballpark this early season to see what all the excitement is about with Harper and the rest of this team.

Today is an off day for the Phillies, the team heads down to Miami for the weekend.

Here are the probable starting pitchers for the Marlins series:

Friday: RHP Jake Arrieta (1-1, 2.77 ERA) vs RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 1.50 ERA)

Saturday: RHP Zach Eflin (2-0, 0.75 ERA) vs LHP Caleb Smith (0-1, 4.09 ERA)

Sunday:  RHP Vince Velasquez (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs RHP Jose Urena (0-3, 9.22 ERA) 

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Phillies continue winning with team baseball

Odubel Herrera puts a ball into the stands as he and Rhys Hoskins carried the Phils last night

The Phils continued their excellent start to the season last night with another win (4-3 over the Nationals) and the team effort again showed up as the number 1 reason that team is really doing well so far this excellent start to April. The Phils lead the season series now against the Nats 2-1.

The team looks like it's got an injection of youth now that Bryce Harper is on the team, players are seeming to have a lot more fun on the field. Maybe it's the "Positive Vibes" hat that Bryce Harper wore the other night in a press conference?

It just seems like everything is coming together for this Phillies team and they are starting to be consistent in getting wins, in games night after night. Odubel Herrera is known to put some baseballs over the wall for HR's and he got his first last night.

Rhys Hoskins has continued his pace as being the pacesetter for this team. Getting clutch hits when needed, he smacked 2 HR last night in the win. It's starting to get really fun to watch this team again, is this the team we've been waiting for?

Finally some warmer weather crept into the area last night, it wasn't the freezing scene that we saw the other day with fans all covered up in blankets with the tricky month of April when it comes to playing baseball looks like it will give way to the warmer weather from here on out.

A marquee matchup with Aaron Nola taking on the Nat's Stephen Strasburg tonight at CBP, this should be a good test for Nola and the Phillies offense, can they continue their winning ways this evening?

From the Nats Game notes:

 The Nationals and Phillies will meet 19 times in 2019 (10 in D.C., 9 in PHI)...These clubs will meet during the first homestand and the final homestand of 2019...Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper played in 927 games for Washington from 2012-18...He was a six-time All-Star, 2015 NL MVP and 2012 NL Rookie of the Year.

Zimmerman closes in on 1,000 RBI

With 996 in hand, Ryan Zimmerman is four RBI shy of reaching the 1000 RBI mark for his career...When he does so, he will become the first Washington National to record his 1000th RBI in a Nationals uniform. • Zimmerman clubbed his first home run of the season on Wednesday, a two-run blast off Aaron Nola.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Expectations of winning, sets the bar higher for Phillies team so far

The Phillies have gotten off to a tremendous start so far, with a record of 5-1 so far, they are taking the first step towards telling the other teams in the NL East, that they are the team to beat this year. Last night, the Phillies capped off a win against the Minnesota Twins at home, and put up a 10 run barrage to do so. NBC Sports Philly describes the offense as relentless.

The Phillies have Bryce Harper, but he really hasn't been carrying this team yet, it's more of a team effort that has led to the success of the Phils so far this year. Yes, Bryce has brought a spotlight to this team, and having him in the lineup is a tremendous help to other players in the lineup. You can't just keep walking Bryce Harper to get to other players in the Phillies lineup because they are almost as good, and in Rhys Hoskins example, he is having his plate set for him a lot so far this early season. Hoskins went 3-4 last night with 4 RBI

Pitching hasn't been rock solid for this team so far, but we knew that going into the year. We'll see how this continues to evolve as the season starts to progress. Jake Arrieta needs to have a good game this afternoon, in a special Saturday matinee game that will be broadcast nationally on MLB Network - yes the same network that had the Phils on just a few days ago. His ERA is only 1.50 and he is 1-0 but the consensus is that he just hasn't displayed the dominance that has been associated with his previous years in Chicago.

Not a lot of people expected the Phillies to be contenders going right out of the gate, but it appears that they are becoming that in some people's eyes. As the season is going on, the bar is being raised a bit higher for this team. Expectations are raised and fans start to expect certain things to run in a good way. When it doesn't there is a problem.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

NBC Sports Philadelphia sets new records with Bryce Harper's return to WAS game

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Maikel Franco has been the hottest Phillies player so far in the early season, Franco went into today's afternoon game in Washington leading the club in BA and other categories

The game last night in Washington was a really special game, it was broadcast nationally on MLB Network with Bob Costas, and it was the highest watched baseball game since 2012 for NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Here's the official announcement for the 'most streamed game' ever in Philly sports history:

Phillies’ 8-2 Win Was Most-Streamed Phillies Game Ever

PHILADELPHIA- (April 3, 2019) – Bryce Harper returned to Washington, D.C., to face his old team, and with the Phillies off to their best start since 1915, last night’s game posted a 7.7 household rating on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Phillies’ 8-2 win-- highlighted by Harper’s two-run home run-- is the highest-rated regular season game of any sport on either NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBC Sports Philadelphia+ since July 2012 (8.11 HH Rating, 7/5/12, Phillies vs. Mets).

On digital, the game delivered 43,000 unique devices and more than three million minutes, making it the most-streamed Phillies game ever.  The prior high was set for Phillies’ Opening Day, which registered 37,000 unique devices and two million minutes. 

The Phillies play the second of a two-game series with the Nationals today at 1 pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia and on the MyTeams app.

Phillies fans should follow @NBCSPhilly on all social media channels for exclusive articles, videos, podcasts and photos all season long. 

Phillies off to one of the best starts in the 'modern era' of baseball

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Harper's triumphant return to Washington and a big Phillies win brings them close to best start ever

Don't look now, but the Phillies have quickly acquired a 4-0 record, which is a great start for them in the modern era, they last were 4-1 in 1905. The Phillies did start out 8-0 in 1915, a streak that may never be broken.

Maikel Franco is leading the MLB right now with a .545 BA , 6-11 with 3 HR and 8 RBI and the Phillies have only played 4 games. If Franco keeps up this pace, he'd have over 200 RBI's on the season!

The big story last night was Bryce Harper's return to Washington, the game was broadcast on MLB Network and the whole country got to see that the Washington Nationals fans are still sore about losing Harper because he was heartily booed in his old home. Phillies fans though were there in numbers, many of numbers, at times, Phillies fans out cheered the Nats fans in their own ballpark, and that's not too easy to do.

Bryce Harper is right behind Franco with a .429 BA on the season, 6-14 with 3 HR and 5 RBI. Not too bad for B Harp. In fact the Phillies offense is showing one of it's best showings in years, as the lineup is very solid and everyone has been pitching in and hitting at various times so far in the early season.

Harper of course spent his first 7 years as a big leaguer in Washington, he was a fan favorite and Washington was his home, but the Nats couldn't lock him up. Harper had 92 HR hit at Nationals Park before the start of last night's game, but he managed to hit his 1st HR as a member of the Phillies now there, so he has 93 total HR's at Nat's Park.

The Phillies smashed Nat's pitcher, Max Scherzer, for 7 H and 2 R before he was lifted. He's now 0-2 on the year with this loss. This is quite a different season in 2019, it's not so long ago when the Washington Nationals won 5 of the final 6 games against the Phillies just last season.

Today's game with be an afternoon matchup at 1:05 PM to finish up this quick two-game series, it will be Anibel Sanchez going up against Aaron Nola for the Phillies today down in DC. 

Monday, April 01, 2019

Phils with a stellar start to 2019

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The Phillies swept the Atlanta Braves, yes, the NL East champs from last year, to start off the season in grand style for the first series of the year. Fans were ecstatic to have the first 3 wins of the season with this baseball team that appears to be very capable on offense.

The Phillies are finding out why Bryce Harper has had so many walks, teams just don't want to pitch to him. If they walk Harper though, they have to contend with a guy named Hoskins though, and last night, Rhys Hoskins got hit by a pitch that was very inside, but was it intentional? Inentional or not, Phils manager, Gabe Kapler, was livid after the game.

The only few concerns of the first series of the season is the bullpen to a certain extent, and Jake Arrieta pitched ok yesterday, but he wasn't dominant. Is this the Jake we're going to see all year? This is Jake's 10th season in the MLB, his Spring wasn't particularly great, although that is something that isn't counted.

Here's Jake's record for his first 9 years in the bigs:

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G
9 Yr9 Yr9 Yr9 Yr9867.5943.62228
162 162 162 162 1510.5943.6234
CHC CHC CHC CHC 6831.6872.73128
BAL BAL BAL BAL 2025.4445.4669
PHI PHI PHI PHI 1011.4763.9631
NL (NL (NL (NL (7842.6502.95159
AL (AL (AL (AL (2025.4445.4669
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/1/2019.

The Phillies now head down to Bryce Harper's old team, the Washington Nationals. I don't think Nats fans will boo him, but you never know. It was rumored that Harper was offered $300M to stay in Washington, and it was declined. That is rumor, not fact. Whatever the case, Bryce Harper has really endeared himself to fans in Philly already, his work ethic and the fact that he's smacked a couple of HR's already has helped that.

This Phillies team is a rock solid team right now, there is no reason to believe anything else that this team is the team to beat in the NL East. The only question mark is pitching at this point in time, and that will be more known as the season goes on.