July 2010

All-Star Notes

Baseball’s focus tonight is on the All-Star Game in Anaheim.  Last time the NL won an All-Star Game was 1996 at Veterans Stadium, 6-0. 

Phillies managers were 5-0 until Charlie lost last year.  Now, he is the first Phillies manager to pilot two All-Star teams.  Hope he ends the 0-13 run.

Other All-Star notes:

**Doc is the first Phillies right-handed starter on an All-Star team since Vince Padilla in 2002.

**First Phillies rookie to make an NL team: Del Ennis in 1946.  Last Phillies rookie: J-Roll in 2001.

**Four Phillies have homered in All-Star Games: Johnny Callison (1964, Shea Stadium), Dick Allen (1967, Anaheim), Greg Luzinski (1977, Yankee Stadium) and Mike Schmidt (1982, Municipal Stadium).

**Three Phillies pitchers have been the winning pitcher: Ken Raffensberger (1944, Forbes Field), Doug Jones (1994, Three Rivers Stadium) and Heathcliff Slocumb (1994, The Ballpark at Arlington).

**Ten years ago Mike Lieberthal was the Phillies lone All-Star.

**Chase Utley was elected the starter for the fifth straight year.  But, he won’t be there became of an injury.  Last Phillie in the same situation was Lenny Dykstra (1994).

**Only one Phillies player has ever won the All-Star MVP award: Johnny Callison, 1964, for his 3-run walk-off home run at Shea Stadium that gave the NL a 7-4 win.

Minor League All-Star Games
Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IrongPigs, will host the International League stars against the Pacific Coast League stars tomorrow night.  Game is sold out.  The MLB Network will televise the game.

Weather conditions wiped out the AAA All-Star Game FanFest (Pigapalooza) on Saturday at Coca-Cola Park.  It has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 29.  Visit the IronPigs website for more information.

Pennsylvania is also hosting the AA All-Star Game tomorrow night, the Eastern Division stars against the Western Division stars, at Harrisburg’s Metro Bank Park.  For ticket information visit the Harrisburg Senators website.

Unusual Weekend

(In 9 innings, please)

That was a sign a young fan displayed during yesterday’s game at Citizens Bank Park.  The young fan got his wish as the Phillies swept four games from the Reds for the first time since 1975 at Veterans Stadium.

It capped an unusual weekend:

**Thursday: Brian Schneider hit a walk-off home run for a 4-3, 12-inning win.

**Friday: Trailing, 7-1, going into the bottom of the ninth against Reds rookie Leak, the Phillies tied the game with six runs and won it in the 10th on a walk-home home run by Howard, 9-7.  It was the second time in Phillies history they have won back-to-back games on walk-off homers.  The other time was 1962 when Johnny Callison did it.

**Saturday: Reds rookie Wood had a perfect game through eight innings before Ruiz doubled in the ninth.  But, the game went into extra innings for the third straight day.  J-Roll won it with a walk-off single in the 11th, 1-0.  It was the first time in franchise history that they won three straight games on walk-off hits.

**Yesterday: Hamels, JC and Brad combined on second straight 1-0 win over another Reds rookie starter, Maloney.  Last time the Phillies posted consecutive 1-0 wins? How about 1913, April 18-19 at Brooklyn.

Anaheim Bound
Charlie, Ryan and Doc plus the Phillies coaching staff and the Reds’ All-Stars flew to Anaheim for Tuesday’s game on a Phillies charter flight after yesterday’s game.  Chase was not on the plane as he cannot play on Tuesday.

Others on the flight included a handful of team executives plus members of the Communications, Sales and Advertising Departments, sponsors and premium ticket holders. 

Walk-Off Fever
The Lakewood BlueClaws won their 11th walk-off game out of 49 home games on Saturday night. CF Jiwan James got the game-wining hit (single), the third time he’s done it.

Down at Carpenter Field, the Gulf Coast League Phillies ended a five-game losing streak with a 12th-inning walk-off homer by Carlos Perdomo, his first in the states.  (He played the last two years in Venezuela).

She Said Yes
Williamsport left-handed pitcher, Kevin Angelle, proposed to his girl friend, Maegan, between the third and fourth innings last night at Bowman Field.  She said yes.  There were a lot of witnesses as the Crosscutters had their largest crowd of the season, 3,032.

The All-Star Game will be played in Anaheim.  It may be overshadowed because tomorrow is National French Fry Day.


Weekend Happenings

Three more games with the Reds at home and then the All-Star Game break. Phils are in the middle of 12 games against the NL Central.  After the break, four games in Chicago and four in St. Louis before returning to Citizens Bank Park on Friday, July 23 and the start of a four-game set with the Rockies. 

What is that? 

It is the AAA FanFest being held tomorrow at Coca-Cole Park in Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  The ball club is out of town.

Part of tomorrow’s schedule:
12:30 p.m.-1 p.m., Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler will autograph his book.
1-1:45, Larry Andersen and Gary Matthews autograph session.
2-2:45, Greg Luzinski and Marty Bystrom autograph session.
3-3:45, Darren Daulton and Ricko Bottalico autograph session.
4:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m. MLB.com writer Todd Zolecki will autograph is book.
5:15 p.m.-5:45 p.m. Phillies historian and author Rich Westcott will autograph his Phillies books.

For more information: call 610.841.PIGS or go online:

Sunday TV
MLB’s XM All-Star Futures Game will take place on Sunday at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Two of the Phillies best prospects, outfielder Domonic Brown and right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart are members of the U. S. Team that will face the World Team.

Game time is 6:00 p.m. (EDT).  It can be seen live on ESPN2 and MLB.TV.

Home Run Derby is Monday night and the All-Star Game is Tuesday night.

Hard to Believe
On this date in 1996, Mike Piazza homered to lead the National League to a win over the American League in the All-Star game at Veterans Stadium.  It is the last time the NL has won the game.

Philadelphia Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition is the official, definitive history of the ballclub. It is on sale now by calling 1-800-GO-PHILS. 


Red-Hot Reds

One first-place team left town last night and another first-place team is here for the final four games before the All-Star break.

We won’t see the Braves again until the final two weeks of the season.  Over the last 12 games, we face them six times, including the final weekend.  Early in the season, the Braves lost 9 in a row.  Since then, 41-21.  Hopefully, they will cool down.

The Reds are the top offensive team in the NL, leading in hitting, runs, total bases, home runs, RBI, grand slams, slugging percentage, RISP and pinch-hit homers (7).  They’ve posted winning months in the first three months of the season for the first time since 1992.  So, they are for real.

They have six rookies on the roster and the Phillies will face three rookie starters after tonight.

Good news: Phillies are 13-8 against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park.

Minor League Notes
2B Harold Garcia and LHP Matt Way are the Phillies minor league players of the month for June.  Each was promoted this week.

Way suffered the loss at Clearwater in his first start on Tuesday, allowing 3 runs in 4 innings.  Garcia singled in his first Reading at-bat last night.

Way and May flipped rosters.  TH Travis May was scuffling at Clearwater and was sent to Lakewood with Way moving up to the Threshers.

Happy Birthday
This is unusual.  Five former Phillies right-handed pitchers have birthdays today:
Ed Keegan (71), Darrell Brandon (70), Gary Kroll (69), George Culver (67) and Lerrin LaGrow (62).

Brandon is a great trivia question: who was the last Phillie to wear #32 before Steve Carlton.  Brandon was assigned that number in spring training of 1972.  Steve Carlton came to the Phillies from the Cardinals during spring training and was given his old number in St. Louis (32).

Halladay Ends Holiday

Doc delivered.  Losing three of four in Pittsburgh over the holiday weekend and trailing the Braves by five games, a win was needed last night.

The guy has amazing concentration.  He sure is a quality horse at the top of the rotation.  Just think, he has seven complete games at mid-season.  The entire Phillies staff a year ago had eight.

From Elias Sports Bureau
Doc threw 93 pitches, the third-fewest pitches thrown in a nine-inning complete game in the majors this season: Homer Bailey (Reds), 90 pitches in a shutout at Pittsburgh on May 12 and Armando Galarraga (Tigers), 88 in his imperfect game vs. Cleveland on June 2.

It was Halladay’s seventh complete game this season, the most by any major leaguer prior to the All-Star Game since Halladay himself had seven in 2008. Since the 2000 season, only one pitcher other than Halladay had seven CGs prior to the break: Mark Mulder (A’s) in 2003.

And it was Doc’s 10th win of the season, marking the sixth straight season that he has amassed double-digit wins prior to the All-Star Game. He’s the first pitcher to have a streak that long since Catfish Hunter had 10-or-more wins before the break in each of seven straight years from 1970 to 1976; and the only other pitchers who have had six-year streaks of that type are all, like Hunter, Hall-of-Famers: Robin Roberts (1950-55), Sandy Koufax (1961-66), Juan Marichal (eight years, 1962-69) and Bob Gibson (1965-70).

Midway Point
Last night was game #81, which means the midway point of the season.  We’re 43-38, same as the last two seasons.

In 1980? 44-37.

Ten years ago? 37-44. 

Streak Is Over
2B Harold Garcia of the Clearwater Threshers had his 37-game hitting streak end last night, 0-for-3, in Daytona Beach, which is ironic in that the old Florida State League record of 36 straight games was held by a Daytona Beach player, Joe Altobelli, way back in 1951.

During the streak which began on May 24, Garcia hit .354.  Since joining Clearwater from extended spring training on May 16, he’s been hitless in just three games, including last night.

The 23-year-old switch-hitter from Venezuela fell way short of the all-time minor league record: 69 games in 1919 by Wichita’s Joe Wilhoit.

College Honor
OF/1B Chris Duffy, selected in the 26th round last month out of the University of Central Florida, will be in Anaheim next Wednesday.  He’s one of five finalists in the Golden Spikes Award for the outstanding amateur baseball player in 2010. 

The left-handed hitter batted .447 and had a slugging percentage of .850, both UCF records, while hitting 21 homers and driving in 81 runs.  He was previously drafted by the White Sox in the 9th round in 2006.

Belated Happy Birthday
Phillie Phanatic and a big birthday cake appeared in the Phillies TV booth last night.  Broadcasters Gary Mathews and Tm McCarthy celebrated birthdays.  Larry Anderson pointed out the cake had 112 candles on it.




July 4 Already

Hard to believe it is July 4.  Where has the time gone?  Just seems as if it was June 30.

Pittsburgh is a nice city but not very nice for the Phillies.  As we head into the weekend:

**We are 11-18 at PNC Park.  Not very good.

**The 7-8 hole hitters have 4 HR and 11 RBI in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday losses.  The rest of the lineup has 0 RBI.  Guess RBI could stand for Really Been Inept.

**Who will get hurt next?  Hopefully, we’ve had our share.

Minor League Note
Clearwater 2B Harold Garcia stretched his hitting streak to 34 straight games Thursday night.  The Florida State League record is 35 set by Joe Altobelli in 1951 with the Daytona Beach club.  You can follow Garcia’s weekend on http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp.

Interesting Note
Bob Warrington, a Phillies baseball historian from the land of Maryland, sent the following e-mail:

“With the 4th of July upon us, I decided to do some just-for-fun research on Phillies’ players with patriotic names.  I came up with one, although I’m sure there probably are others.
“He is George Washington Harper, who played outfield for the Phillies in 1924-26.  Harper had a respectable 11-year career in the major leagues and did fairly well with the Phillies.  In 1925, for example, he played in 132 games and fashioned a .349 batting average, with 173 hits and 97 RBIs.”

Happy Birthday
Greg Dobbs turns 32 today.

You can check other Phillies birthdays on this website.

Have a great, safe, extended holiday weekend!

Reds are tough

Tough loss yesterday.  From Elias Sports Bureau: Doc struck out 10 batters and allowed 13 hits.  He’s the fourth pitcher since 1975 to do that: Steve Carlton (Phillies, 1983); Roger Clemens (Boston, 1991) and Curt Schilling (Arizona, 2001).

Having three regulars on the DL and out of the lineup has an adverse effect on the offense. In the last two games, we’ve had 3-run homers from Schneider, Valdez and Sardinha.  Valdez had one career homer in the majors before this year, Sardinah, zero.

The Reds are a tough team and we get them at home for the last four games before the All-Star Game break, starting on Thursday night.  Before that, three games with the first-place Braves.

July is here (startling revelation, I know).  Last July we were 20-7.  Under Charlie, we’ve been a better second-half team.  We need to continue that trend.

Minor League Notes
**RF Domonic Brown homered last night for Lehigh Valley, his second homer in as many games.

**Clearwater 2B Harold Garcia stretched his hitting streak to 33 games with a first-inning single.  The night before he had a bunt single in his last at-bat of a game halted by rain in the 7th inning.

**Williamsport RHP Eric Pettis and Lakewood RHP Colby Shreve each lost no-hitters in the seventh inning.

**Lakewood won the game on a wild pitch in the last of the ninth, their ninth walk-off victory in 37 home games.