September 2010

Joe Makes It a Solid Four

Everybody focuses on the big three, Doc, Cole and Roy-O but Joe is no slouch as a starting pitcher, giving the Phillies four solid starters. 

Backed by four home runs, Joe turned in another impressive mound performance last night (1 run, 6 innings, 8 strikeouts).  Since June 13, the Phillies are 13-5 when he starts.  Since August 18, he is 4-0 in seven starts.  Since coming to the Phillies in July of 2008, he is 23-14.

Chase continued his hot September.  He has three homers off lefties in his last 25 at-bats.  For this month, 16 RBI.

The Big Piece drove in his 100th run, putting him in triple digits for the fifth straight season. That ties the Phillies record for consecutive 100-RBI seasons held by Hall of Famer Chuck Klein had five in a row (1929-33).  Schmidt’s longest streak was four straight years, something Utley had matched going into this season.  Chase’s stint on the DL will end his streak.

With Joe picking up the win, the Phillies are 29-15 since the Oswalt trade, 21-12 for the starters.

For the season, Phillies starters lead the majors in innings, complete games and shutouts.  Their 60 wins match the Padres for the most in the NL.

Over the last four Septembers, the Phillies have the best record in the NL, 61-35, a .635 percentage.

Happy Birthday
Former third baseman from 2003-06, David Bell, who is 38.  David managed the Carolina Mudcats in the AA Southern League this season.

Down 1-0
Lakewood was held to four hits and one run in losing 3-1 last night in Greenville, SC. 

Roy-O Throws 000 000 000

The scene changes but the goal remains the same, win a series. 

Roy-O was spectacular yesterday as the Phillies won the rubber game of the three-game series in New York. Now, Miami for three with the Marlins. 

Elias Sports Bureau: Oswalt tossed a four-hit shutout to defeat the Mets on Sunday in the 300th start of his major-league career. Oswalt (146-81) has the third-most wins through his first 300 career starts of any active pitcher. Only Andy Pettitte (156-87 in 2005) and Doc (153-78 earlier this year) had more wins (as a starter) through their 300th start than Oswalt.

The trade to bring him to Philadelphia certainly looks like a gem.

The series win was their 11th in the last 12, including the last four on the road.

We’ve now had winning seasons in eight straight years, the longest since nine in a row, 1975-83. 

BlueClaws Open Finals
Game 1 of the South Atlantic League Championship playoffs (best-of-5) is tonight in Greenville, SC. 

Manager Mark Parent has named four 20-year-old right-handed starters for the series. 

Results of each game will be posted on this site under FEATURES.

Happy Birthday
Rick Wise turns 65 today.  He’s the only pitcher in major league history to hit two home runs while pitching a no-hitter (1971).


Doc Bids for #18

Doc is going for his 18th win tonight.  The last Phillies pitcher to win more then 17 games?  Cy Young Award Winner, John Denny, who went 19-6 in 1983.  Been a long time.

Looking for something different to do tomorrow?  Without rain, you certainly aren’t mowing your grass.  No leaves to rake.  Perhaps a football game.  Or, a trip to New York to see the Phillies in a 4:10 FOX telecast game.

Well, there’s an event at Citizens Bank Park that is open to the entire family…yep, free.  It is the Phanatic Walk Photo Event.  Weather forecast is perfect.

Final Number
OK, the entire world is waiting.  The final count on Dollar Dogs in 2010 is 211,299.  We’re assuming that many rolls were included.

This year’s total surpassed last year (202,732). 

Minor League Awards
RHP Austin Hyatt was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year.  He spent most of the season with the Clearwater Threshers before moving up to Reading. 

1B Jonathan Singleton, who turns 19 on September 18, was named the Most Outstanding Prospect in the South Atlantic League.  Baseball America also named him the league’s Most Exciting Player.

OF Domonic Brown, who began this year in Reading, was given the same award by Baseball America for the Eastern League.

Happy Birthday
Sunday, a pair of Alumni turn 85….Whiz Kids catcher Stan Lopata and manager Frank Lucchesi, who won the last game at Connie Mack Stadium and the first game at Veterans Stadium.


Winning Another Series

Sept 9
The Big Piece had a big game and Cole continued his shutout streak last night, enabling the Phillies to win the series from the Marlins, 3-1. Winning each series is such a key to making it to the postseason.  Taking three of four after losing the first isn’t easy but this team doesn’t make it easy.

From Elias Sports Bureau: Ryan drove in six runs for the second time this season, the first player in the majors to do so.  Since 1920, when baseball began tracking RBI, the only other Phillies to record two such games in one season were Cy Williams in 1927 and Pete Incaviglia in 1996.

Cole extended his career-best scoreless innings streak to 25.0 innings (last run, August 24 against the Astros, 4th inning). His streak is the 10th best in Phillies history.  On the immediate  radar for Cole are Steve Carlton (26.0, 1972), Randy Wolf (27.0, 2002), J. C. Romero (28.1, 2007-08), Carlton (28.2, 1981) and Curt Schilling (29.0, 1992) and Tommy Greene (29.0, 1991). Club record is 41.1, Grover Cleveland Alexander, 1911.

The win was Cole’s first over the Marlins since September 22, 2006.  Since then, he was 0-6 in 10 starts against them.

Today is a day off, a welcome one after playing 24 games in 23 days.  Phillies won 15 and lost 9 during this stretch, which is incredible.  Team will bus to New York this evening for a six-game road trip, three each against the Mets and Marlins.  Then, back home for the final homestand, Sept. 17-26.

Saturday’s game in NY is a FOX telecast, 4:10 p.m.

Speaking of days off, the Phillies are not scheduled for any Thursday this month, which is very unusual.  But, the first Thursday, September 2, was a rescheduled one-game stop in Denver, a game the Phillies won, 12-11. 

Over the current decade, can’t find any September that had five or four days off.  Most was three.  Then again, mother nature could change all that as it did on the second of this month.

Phillies Career Home Runs
Mike Schmidt, 548
Del Ennis, 259
Pat Burrell, 251


Back in Phirst Place

“Phirst Place”.

A couple fans hoisted similar signs after the Phillies’ win last night.   The Phillies were in first place the day before Memorial Day and didn’t get back there until the day after Labor Day. 

Injuries and inconsistent play kept them from the top but to their credit, the players battled and hung in there.  Then last night, the Phillies became the first NL team to reach 80 wins.  Amazing.

Since July 21 when they were seven games behind the Braves, the Phillies are 32-14, best in the NL.

The offense looked like itself last night….home runs, extra base hits, stolen bases. The Big Piece had a double up the left-center field alley and a home run to left.  That’s a good signing when he’s going the other way.

On the pitching end, Joe did a good job as the starter but the bullpen had a meltdown.  The Marlins’ game-tying run came on a single, error, balk and wild pitch.  Madson was charged with a blown save because of his wild pitch but the Phillies manufactured a game-winning run on a single, steal and single.  Unnoticed in the end was Durbin’s two-thirds of an inning in which he kept the Marlins off the scoreboard with runners on first and third and one out in the seventh.  He should get a save.

It wasn’t easy getting back to the top of the division.  Staying there will be even harder. 22 games left in the regular season.

Two veterans have hit milestones that will someday land them in Cooperstown, NY.

Trevor Hoffman recorded his 600th save last night, the first reliever ever to reach that number.  The Brewers are out of the race but the fans (over 33,000) were there. After the final out, Hoffman was mobbed by his teammates, the crowd stood and cheered and cheered and even a couple of Cardinal players were applauding in their dugout. Along the way to 600 saves, #100 came against the Phillies at Veterans Stadium on April 13, 1997. He’s had 29 career saves and five blown saves against the Phillies.

Old friend Jim Thome homered again, #586, which ties Frank Robinson for 8th place on the all-time list.  He’s hit four in the last three games.  One of his milestones came at Citizens Bank Park, #400 pm June 14, 2004.





Roy-O Comes Through

Roy-O stepped up and ran his Citizens Bank Park record to 8-0 with a night-game win over the Marlins after the Phillies fell flat in the afternoon game yesterday.  Big game pitchers are just that…big game pitchers.

Since we acquired Roy-O, he’s 5-1 in eight starts which is the reason we brought him here.  At home, he is 4-0; with Houston in Minute Maid Park this season, he was 2-9.

Offense still lacks consistency yet we’re right in the middle of the pennant race for the fourth straight year.  In the first game, 0 runs, 1 hit through eight innings.  In the second game, a 5-run second inning.  Phillies have scored five or more runs in an inning 19 times, sharing the major league high with the Diamondbacks.  There’s the  inconsistency.

Over 90,000 fans came through the turnstile yesterday.  Phillies passion is sky high.  Looks like the sellout streak will run through the rest of the season.  Wow!.

Career Saves
Brad is climbing the Phillies record book when it comes to career saves:
Jose Mesa (112)
Steve Bedrosian (103)
Mitch Williams (102)
Tug McGraw (94)
LIDGE (93)

Brad’s save yesterday was the 29th for Roy-O.  Remember, they were teammates in Houston.


4 More Weeks

Today’s the unofficial end of summer.  Just seems as if Memorial Day was yesterday.

Four weeks from today, at least nine NL teams will be packing for the winter.  Postseason battles follow for four NL teams.  In case of a tie, there may be a game or two three weeks from today.

For the Phillies, they could win the East, earn the wildcard berth or have a one-game playoff.  It all means September will be filled with meaningful games.

Today marks one of those day-night features.  Biggest challenge is for the clean team getting Citizens Bank Park in ship-shape for the night game, which will be televised by the MLB Network (barring local blackouts). 

Second-biggest challenge rests with the Phillies pitching staff.  Six pitchers were used  yesterday.  The Phillies are adding two more to the expanded roster today, RH Vance Worley and LH Nate Robertson.

Weekend Review
Two out of three from the Brewers.  Just think of the last five Phillies losses at home, three have come from Brett Myers, J. A. Happ and Randy Wolf.

Doc, who had received 20 runs in his 10 losses, was the benefit of a rally on Saturday despite giving up a career-high four homers.  Last time that happened to a Phillies pitcher was 2004, Eric Milton against the White Sox.  Prior to 2004, 1962, Art Mahaffey against the Mets.

Cole’s 1-0 win on Friday was the fifth for the Phillies this season, which matches 1982.

The Phillies have won nine of their last 10 series.  At home, seven of eight.  Winning this four-game series against the Marlins might be a little tougher than taking two of three.

J-Roll Climbing
Here’s the list of those with the most hits in Phillies history:
Mike Schmidt (2,234)*
Richie Ashburn (2,217)*
Ed Delahanty (2,207)*
Del Ennis (1,812)
Larry Bowa (1,798)
Chuck Klein (1,705)*
Rollins (1,705)
*Hall of Famers

September Numbers
Phillies are 4-1 this month.  They’ve won 17 in each of the last three Septembers and are 51-32 over those seasons, best mark in the NL.

So Close
The Williamsport Crosscutters had a heartbreaking loss yesterday.  They entered the day in second place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division .5 games ahead of Jamestown in the battle for the wildcard berth.  The Crosscutters’ loss coupled with a Jamestown win left Williamsport in third place, .5 behind second place and postseason playoffs.

The Lakewood BlueClaws begin their best-of-3 semifinal playoffs on Thursday at L. P. Frans Stadium in Hickory, NC, home of the Crawdads (Texas Rangers).  Hickory finished second to Lakewood in the North Division.  Lakewood won both halves, a South Atlantic League first since the 2004 season.

Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) are in Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park on Friday and Saturday nights.  Tickets are available.




Edge to Phillies?

In a season of 162 games, there are pivotal games that change the course of where a team will finish at the end of the season.

Thursday night in Coors Filed could well turn out to be “the” pivotal game of the year for the Phillies.  Time will tell.

In what resembled a heavyweight fight, both teams threw in some haymakers and in the end the Phillies had an amazing come-from-behind 12-11 win, something this team has done over and over in the last three seasons. 

A total of 358 pitches were thrown and six went out of the park.  Combined there were 35 hits, eight walks, only 13 strikeouts, three doubles, six homers and 22 runners left on base. Larry Andersen said on radio, “This game was terrific, ugly and lot in between.”

The Phillies’ three homers came in the nine-run 7th against three different relievers, something that hasn’t happened in the majors for 10 years, 11 days (Elias Sports Burea). Chase capped the explosion with his fourth career grand slam (three against the Rockies with two coming in Coors Field).  The exciting win ended a 6-1 road trip through San Diego, LA and Denver, not an easy chore.  It certainly made the early morning arrival today a lot cheerier.

Now, the Phillies face 16 home games and 12 road games through the end of the season (October 3).  13 are against teams with a winning record (Marlins 7, Braves 6).

The Phillies have the third-best home record (43-26) which includes a 2-6 mark in their last eight games.  Atlanta has the best home record (49-19) in the NL but the Braves are only 29-37 away from Turner Field. The Braves have 13 home games left and 12 road games.  16 games are against teams with winning records (St. Louis 4, Phillies 6, Marlins 6).

So, the Phillies appear to have an edge but once again, the game isn’t played on paper.  Certainly the division title or wildcard entry is there for this team to grab.

Five more weekends of pennant-race baseball.  Enjoy.  Try and relax.

Home Runs Starting to Come

The long ball is starting to come around, starting pitching continues to be stingy and Chase and Ryan are showing signs of getting their stroke back.

Most important, the Phillies took two of three in LA with yesterday’s win.  They’ve won 10 of their last 12 series.

Lefty Kershaw had given up just four homers to right-handed hitters all season. That number quickly jumped to six. J-Roll picked on his second pitch of the game for his 35th leadoff homer.  Shane led off the second with a solo shot, his first homer in the last 31 games.

Roy-O didn’t have control of his fastball but he battled and kept the Dodgers to 1 hit in his time on the mound.  He’s 26-9 lifetime this month.

One More Game
Team left for Denver after the game and got there before the Rockies who played a night game in SF.  Phillies and Rockies meet at 7:10 this evening (EDT) in a rescheduled game from May 12.

So, it was check into the hotel last night and check out this afternoon.  No time to send out the dirty laundry.  Team returns home for seven games after the game. Arrival time is estimated at 3 a.m. tomorrow.

Who’s Second?
Jimmy has a commanding lead in leadoff homers for the Phillies.  The top five:
J-Roll (35)
Juan Samuel (14)
Lenny Dykstra (12)
Doug Glanville (8)
John Briggs (6)
Bake McBride (6)
George Paskert (6)
Tony Taylor (6)

September 1st
Phillies have begun September in first place eight times in franchise history.  The first two times were 1915 and 1950.  The last two times, 1993 and 2009.

August Record
Phillies finished last month, 18-10.  August included a five-game winning streak (start of the month) and a four-game losing streak.

The win total was the third highest in team history: 22-7 (1977), 20-8 (1950), 20-9 (1991).