July 2010

Impressive Debut

Make no doubt about it, the fans knew who he was and were pumped to see him in a Phillies uniform.

OF Domonic Brown, the # 1 minor league prospect according to Baseball America, made his debut a memorial one last night, taking the spotlight from Doc and another outstanding pitching performance, his eighth complete game, which matches the Phillies entire pitching staff a year ago.

When Dan Baker announced the starting lineups around 7:01 p.m., the sellout crowd cheered loudly.

7:32 Standing ovation as he approached the plate for his first at-bat.
7:33 Double off the right field wall; another standing O.
7:37 Scored his first run; fans behind the dugout stood and cheered.
7:40 Right field fans stand and cheer as he takes his place in the outfield.

Number 9
When Domonic came to spring training back in February, #78 was hanging in his locker.  When he came to the big leagues yesterday, Frank Coppenbarger had assigned him to #9.

The last Phillie to wear that number?  Miguel Cairo, last year.

Looking back at those who wore it:
2005 Thomas Perez
2000 Brad Mills
1990 Von Hayes
1980 Manny Trillo
1970 Mike Ryan
1960 Harry Anderson
1950 Mike Goliat

This Date in Phillies History
1983–The Phillies announced they had purchased a right-handed relief pitcher from their Portland minor league team in the Pacific Coast League.  He was the property of the Seattle Mariners but was on loan to Portland because it was his home town.  Say hello to Larry Andersen.

It cost the Phillies $50,000 to purchase his contract from the Mariners.  Rumor has it the fee was to be paid at $1,000 a year for 50 years….by LA.



Long Ball Night

Last night was more like the Phillies of the past three seasons: the offense picked up the pitching.

Cole, uncharacteristically, struggled with his control but the offense took over, thanks to three home runs.  This team is built on power and speed and those two attributes are starting to resurface.

Shane’s injury will be re-evaluated later today.  Todd Zolecki will post the news as soon as it is available.

Weekly Conference Call
Ruben conducted his weekly conference call with his staff and pro scouts.  Obvious topic this week is the 4 p.m. (EDT) trade deadline on Saturday.  Ruben and his assistants will be going to Washington for the weekend.

Traveling Hawaiian
Came across the following note on the BlueClaws blog, the official blog of the Lakewood BlueClaws produced by Greg Giombarrese, Director, Media & Public Relations.  It is a blog worth following.

“The Keoni De Renne Eastern Tour…IF Keoni De Renne has rejoined the BlueClaws, his third stint with the team this year…He began the season with the BlueClaws before
going to Reading for two weeks (where he was the only R-Phil to get a hit off Stephen Strasburg)…He then went to Clearwater, was sent to extended spring training, then was reactivated by Clearwater…In early June, he was sent to Lakewood again, where he finished the half…On June 21st, it was back to Clearwater…In early July, he was sent to Reading and then Lehigh Valley, before re-joining the BlueClaws…Overall he is 24-78 (.308) in 30 games with four Phillies affiliates this year.”

De Renne is an infielder who was signed as a minor league free agent this spring.  He was born on Honolulu.

Retro Night
Tomorrow night is 1980’s Retro Night. Phillies memorabilia from that era will be on display in the Mitchell & Ness Alley Store.  Anthem: Tommy Conwell from Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers.  Phillies photos on PhanaVision will be featured as TV characters from the 1980s.

Fans are encouraged to dress as they did in the 1980s.  Not me.  My leisure suite doesn’t fit.  It shrank.



500 for Charlie

Early in the season, the Phillies had more success on the road than home.  That’s made a u-turn.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, we’ve won back-to-back four-game series at home for the first time since 1977 when we did it against the Pirates and Mets.  That’s only 33 years ago.

The eight consecutive wins is the longest streak ever at Citizens Bank Park and the longest since we won 16 in a row at our home in 1991 when we were at Veterans Stadium.  One other time we also had 16 consecutive wins at home, 1977.

500 Wins
Last night’s win was Charlie’s 500th with the Phillies.  The top four managers according to wins for the Phillies:
Gene Mauch (646)
Harry Wright (636)
Danny Ozark (594)
Charlie (500 and still going)

1,000th Phillie
According to Phillies fan and historian, Dennis Orlandini, Vance Worley became the 1,000th Phillies player to appear in a game since the post-war 1946 season.  The first player on that list was outfielder Johnny Wyrostek.  There’s a name only Senior Citizens would remember.

Orlandini’s source was retrosheet.org, an awesome baseball website.

Worley, by the way, is making his AAA debut tonight vs.s Durham.

Philadelphia Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition is the official, definitive pictorial history of the Phillies.  It begins with a story and photos of the City of Philadelphia in 1883, the Phillies first year in the National League.  It ends with the end of the World Series last November.  Easiest way to purchase a copy is to call 1-800-GO PHILS.



J-Roll Rolling

There’s little doubt, how J-Roll goes, so go the Phillies.

He’s really struggled since coming off the DL for the second time.  But, he’s beginning to find his rhythm at the plate and results show.  In the first three games of this series, he’s 7-13 (.438) with five runs scored.  So, this afternoon, the Phillies go for a sweep of the four games against the Rockies.

Another List
Here’s the top four for most pinch-hits in a Phillies uniform:
Greg Gross (117)
Tony Taylor (53)
Tommy Hutton (52)
Greg Dobbs (48)

Book Review
Came across the following comment from George Widman about the new Philadelphia Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition.

“It’s never made sense that publishers of books about baseball, baseball players, baseball teams, etc., seem so blind about baseball photos. This book turns that practice upside-down, with not simply an abundance of photos, but a collection and selection so beautifully done, it’s breath-taking. That the photos are so faithfully reproduced is the icing on a great cake. The research for and the collecting of these rarely-seen images must have been very challenging, but for the readers, it’s a walk-off grand slam. High-fives and a cream pie in the face (that’s a good thing).”

This definitive pictorial history of the Phillies can be purchased by calling 1-800-GO-PHILS.



Yet Another 4-game Series


When you are 1-6 on a road trip and you win the final game, that plane ride home is much more pleasant.  Needless to say 2-7 isn’t cceptible whether you are home or on the road.

Well, it sure beats the 1928 Phillies who went 2-17 on a trip to every NL city: Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, Boston and New York, May 5-27.  That’s a lot of train rides.

We’re currently in a quirky part of the schedule. Since July 1, we have played four, four-game series.  And, we start another one tonight against the Rockies.  Then, one more for 2010, home with Houston in late August.

How dominating was Cole?  He had no-hit stuff but Wainright (10-0 at home this season) matched Cole pitch for pitch.  Finally, some “firsts” settled the issue: Polly’s first home run since May 19, the first run off StL’s McClelland at Busch Stadium (25 innings) and Jayson’s first hit with a runner in scoring position since June 24.

Elias Sports Bureau Says: It was only the third game since 1900 that went beyond the 10th inning in which a team allowed only one hit.  The other two were 1959 (Braves beating Pirates) and 1962 (Yankees beating Braves).

National TV
Tonight’s game is on the MLB Network (blacked out in some areas).  Tomorrow afternoon, FOX with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

Elite Company
Phillies all-time home run list has Howard now sitting in fourth place:
Mike Schmidt (548)
Del Ennis (259)
Pat Burrell (251)
Howard (244)

OK, if that’s the top four for home runs, what’s the top four for singles? Glad you asked:
Riche Ashburn (1,811)
Ed Delahanty (1,525)
Larry Bowa (1,498)
Roy Thomas (1,236)

Philadelphia Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition is the official, definitive pictorial history of the ballclub. Easy way to buy a copy or two: call 1-800-GO-PHILS. 






Another injury

“We’re upbeat.  Something weird is going on here. We’re not having the storybook season we wanted to have.”

That quote came from Ryan Howard in this morning’s Wilmington News-Journal story by Martin Frank.

Yes, the storybook season is blurry.  Another loss last night and another injury (Jamie). Cole and Doc are the only starters that have been healthy all year.  They have pitched well but have suffered from the lack of run support.

A team that lived by the home run is now suffering by the long ball.  The enemy has 13 homers in six games since the second half resumed.  Only Arizona has now allowed more homers in the NL.

J. A. Happ started last night for Lehigh Valley and threw three scoreless innings, 44 pitches, 34 for strikes.  He threw fast balls, a change ups and cutters.  “Crisp three innings” said pitching coach Rod Nichols.  We sure can use a 2009 Happ back in the rotation.

This Date
On this date in 1973, Hank Aaron hit his 700th home run in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium.  It came off Phillies lefty, the late Ken Brett.



Cardinals are hot

Kyle was 4-0 against the Cardinals in his career, allowing a total of five runs.  Last night, he fell behind in the count consistently and the red-hot Cardinals got him, posting five runs in one inning on three home runs.

In case you are wondering the Phillies record for home runs allowed in one inning is four set by Bill Kerksieck in 1939 and tied by Charlie Bicknell in 1948.

Elias Sports Bureau: It was the first time in Kyle’s career that he suffered a loss after being staked to a lead of three or mroe runs.  His record in such games is 22-1 with seven no-decisions.

Charlie ran out his 55th different lineup in an effort to get the offense going.  We out-hit the Cardinals, 13-8, but hits don’t count.  Eleven of our hits were singles, seven of their eight were extra base hits.

78 days until the first Division Series game.  The road doesn’t get any easier as the Cardinals next three starters are a combined 32-12 with a 2.50 ERA.  Anything worthwhile doesn’t come easy.  I don’t remember who said that, might have been Casey Stengel or Santa Claus.

Bull Schedule
Greg Luzinski will be signing autographs at the Bridgeton (NJ) Invitational Tournament on August 3 and at the Reading Phillies game the next night.

He’ll be one of the many Wall of Famers who will be on hand for the pre-game festivities on Friday, August 6, when Darren Daulton is inducted.  Ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. with the Phillies-Mets game to follow.  All fans will receive a beautiful commemorative print of Darren, compliments of Toyota.

Howard Lone Bright Spot

July 19

What a difference a week makes. 

A week ago we got up this morning and were giddy following a four-game sweep of the Reds at home.  This morning, we got up and the giddy feeling was gone after we lost three of four in Chicago.  It could have very easily been a sweep.

Ryan is off to a strong second half start.  He’s been known to turn it up in the second hlf of the season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, he’s hit in 18 straight games at Wrigley Field, longest streak for a Phillie since Dick Allen (1964-67).  He’s been our lone bright spot on the offense.

Inconsistent offense and pitching continues to plaque the Phillies.  Who would have ever thought that J-Roll would be hitting .182 since coming off the DL and Werth would have one home run off a lefty and a .160-something batting average with runners in scoring position.  Certainly not blaming these two for the team’s offensive troubles but those numbers are stunning.

After the game, the Phillies had a short flight to St. Louis where it doesn’t get any easier.   A four-game series against the Cardinals starts tonight.  After tonight, the Phillies face their best three pitchers who are a combined 32-12.

Then, home for four games with the Rockies starting Friday night.  Jiminez leads the majors with a 15-1 record.  He’s pitching tonight which means he’ll face the Phillies this weekend.  Oh brother.

Streak Ended
Lakewood CF Jiwan James was hitless in three at-bats in yesterday’s second game in Kannapolis (1-3 in the first game).  His hitting streak ended at 24 consecutive games, a club record. 

He had just 18 hits in the first 17 games but went 16-28 in the next seven games. 

The 21-year-old was a football-baseball star at Williston (FL) High School.  Phillies drafted him in the 22nd round in 2007 and were able sign him. 

A pitcher-outfielder, he was 0-4 in his pro season debut with the Gulf Coast League Phillies.  He missed the entire season in 2008 because of a right biceps injury and was moved to the outfield a year ago at Williamsport. The 6-foot-4 switch hitter began the season slowly (.213 when he began the streak) before catching on fire.

James is currently batting .275; .280 against right-handed pitchers.  July: .381 in 16 games.  His most productive inning is the first: 26 hits.  He has 24 stolen bases (15 caught).

Chicago Weekend

Best way to forget a whipping on the field is to get back out there soon.  That’ll happen this afternoon in Wrigley.

Four batters into the game, Ryan gave us a 2-0 lead.  Then, the offense went passive again until it was too late in the ninth.  Meanwhile, Jamie struggled early and the rest is history.

National TV
Final game of this four-game set in Chicago on Sunday is an 8:05 ESPN Sunday night telecast.  On most Phillies schedules, it is listed as 6:05 p.m. but was moved back sometime ago.

Minor League Notes
CF Jiwan James singled in his first at-bat last night to stretch his hitting streak to 22 straight games, a new Lakewood BlueClaws record.  The South Atlantic League record is 37, so he has a way to go.

LHP Matt Way of the Clearwater Threshers was placed on the DL with a left hip strain.  He was the Phillies minor league pitcher of the month for July when he was with Lakewood.

Two Williamsport players are the players of the week for last week.

Whiz Kids Special Show
Skip “Memory Lane” Clayton will air a 3-hour special on the 1950 Phillies on one of the Phillies network stations, WBCB, tomorrow starting at 5:00 p.m. If you don’t live in the area, you can hear the show on wee.wbcb1490.com.

Skip originally aired the show 35 years ago on another station.  Now he’ll replace some of the key moments from that pennant-winning season. 

Plus a ton of interviews: Eddie Sawyer, Richie Ashburn, Del Ennis, Mike Goliat, Granny Hamner,  Willie Jones, Andy Seminick, Dick Sisler, Eddie Waitkus, Bubba Church, Jim Konstanty, Bob Miller, Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons.

Plus Joe DiMaggio, Joe Garagiola, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto and Duke Snider.

Enjoy the weekend!



Will 2nd-half trend continue

Since Charlie has been at the manager, the Phillies re 19 games above .500 at the All-Star break.  After the break, 70 games over.

The after the break portion of the schedule begins tonight in Wrigley Field, the first of four games against the Cubs.  About half of the team was on the Delta charter last evening.  Many of the players headed home for the three-day break and went to
Chicago on their own. Those at the All-Star Game in Anaheim went directly to the Windy City.

Next eight games are against the NL Central.  The Phillies are 16-8 vs. the Central, including sweeps in Milwaukee and Houston.  After the Cubs, the Phillies head south to St. Louis and four games against the Cardinals.  Then back home for four against the Rockies and three vs. Arizona. 

Bobby Shantz, Dick Allen and Tug McGraw are among 15 inductees in Class VII of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.  The annual banquet is November 11. 

Number 1
Baseball America’s John Manuel has posted his top 50 prospect list as the minor leagues also hit mid-season.

His number 1 prospect is outfielder Domonic Brown.

Another Streak
Second baseman Harold Garcia of the Clearwater Threshers recently broke the Florida State League record by hitting in 37 consecutive games.

Centerfielder Jiwan James of the Lakewood BlueClaws tied the club record by hitting in his 21st straight game last night, a first-inning single.  Ambiorix Reyes set the Lakewood record in 2001.

James is hitting .327 since he started the streak on May 30.  The BlueClaws are 28-11 during his streak. His season average has reached .264, the highest since .270 on April 15.

James, a 21-year-old switch hitter, was a 22nd round selection in 2007 out of Williston (FL) High School. He missed all of last season with a right biceps injury. 

The Phillies seem to have a lot of depth in centerfielders in their minor league system, all very athletic players.