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).

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