April 2011

Impressive DL List

Golly, the DL continues to grow further thinning the 25-man roster.  Joe has joined Chase, Brad, Domonic, J.C. and Jose. That’s a pretty impressive list.  Let’s hope Chooch’s sore back doesn’t add him to the list.

Dane Sardinha was recalled from Lehigh Valley to dive the Phillies some catching depth and lefty reliever Mike Zagurski was optioned back to LV.

Vance Worley comes up from LV to replace Joe and will start tonight, the first of a three-game weekend series with the Mets.  Vance’s 25 strikeouts in 22.2 innings led all Phillies minor leaguers.  Both Worley (third round) and RHR Michael Stutes (11th round) are products of the 2008 draft.

Tonight starts a stretch of 15 games against the NL East. The Braves provide the opposition for six of those games, three each the next two weekends.

Phillies and Mets met at Citizens Bank Park in the second series of the season earlier this month.  NY won the first game, 7-1, and the Phillies bats took over for wins in the next two, 10-7 and 11-0, getting a total of 32 hits.

New York had a six-game winning streak end last night.  In those six games, they outscored the opponents, 39-17.  The Mets were 4-11 on April 16 and 7-3 since.

Next two games are on national TV: FOX, 1:10 Saturday afternoon and ESPN, 8:05, Sunday night. 

Tonight is game #25.  After 25 games a year ago, the Phillies were 14-11.

This Date In Phillies History
1981—Steve Carlton struck out Montreal’s Tim Wallach in the first inning to become the first left-hander to reach 3,000 strikeouts.  Phillies were 6-2 winners at the Vet.

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley dropped an 11-8 decision to Pawtucket . . . SS Freddy Galvis homered for the second time in the last three games as Reading won 4-0 at Erie; three hurlers combing for the shutout.  2B Harold Garcia will have surgery to repair a torn  ACL in his knee and will miss the rest of the season. He was hitting .300 in 12 games . . . RF Domonic Brown was one of seven Clearwater Threshers with 2 hits in a 9-6 win over Lakeland.  He’s homered in each of his two rehab assignment starts . . . RHR Garrett Claypool threw five, 3-hit, shutout innings as Lakewood edged Charleston, 6-5, in 12 innings.

Polly’s Bat Sizzling

Polly’s bat remained sizzling while other bats awoke in the Phillies win Wednesday night, ending a 5-2 road trip.  The win upped the Phillies day game record to 9-0, the only team in the majors without a loss in such games.

Led by his four hits, the top three batters went 8-for-15 with seven runs scored and four RBI.  Polly awoke this morning with a .389 batting average, second-best in the NL.  He has 37 hits in April, one shy of Chase’s 2008 first-month total.  Records date back to 1970.

The offense, which has struggling, produced six extra-base hits out of the dozen.  Everybody bemoaned the silent offense but it happens.  The World Champion Giants have lost six of seven, scoring 14 runs while batting .188.

Cole benefitted from the offensive attack.  He did allow his first home run of the season but the game was in hand.  According to ESPN.com, he threw 31 cutters, the most for any of his starts this season.

Team has a day off today and then the red-hot Mets come to town, winners of their last six going into their game tonight in Washington, DC.  Saturday’s 1:10 p.m. game is a FOX telecast and Sunday’s 8:05 p.m. game will be on ESPN.

Helping Japan
On Friday, as part of Asian Pacific Night, the Phillies will be joining Major League Baseball’s efforts to raise funds for UNICEF to benefit the relief efforts in Japan.

A silent auction till take place in the first base plaza.  Fans may also contribute financially at each gate.

Down On The Farm
2B Kevin Fransden had his third straight two-hit game in an 8-2 Lehigh Valley win over Pawtucket, defeating RHP Brandon Duckworth, ex-Phillie and ex-IronPig . . . RF Steve Susdorf was 5-for-5 (two singles, a double, homers #2 and 3) and eight RBI in a 14-6 Reading romp at Erie.  C Tuffy Gosewisch also had a pair of homers and 3B Carlos Rivero added four hits . . . Batting third and playing right field Domonic Brown went 2-4 with a home run in his first rehab game with Clearwater, an 8-6 winner over Lakeland . . . Lakewood lost, 6-2, to Charleston as LHP Jesse Biddle fell to 0-3.

Lose, Pack and Travel

Roy-O had allowed just five runs in running up a 3-0 record in his first four starts.  Tuesday night, he was tagged for five runs in three innings as the Phillies lost a second straight night and dropped into second place behind the red-hot Marlins.

It was his first loss since his first outing with the Phillies last July 30.  It was also the first time since April 8 that the starter pitched less than six innings.

The Phillies out-hit the Diamondbacks, 12-7, but left more men on base, 10-2. 

So, it was back to the hotel, pack, get up early for an afternoon game Wednesday and fly home.

A First
Elias Sports Bureau:  When Doc fanned 14 on Sunday and Cliff followed with 12 on Monday, it marked the first time for the Phillies dating back to 1900 that their starters had 12 or more strikeouts in consecutive games.

Charity Event
Jen and Chase Utley will be hosting their Utley All-Star Animals fourth-annual Casino Night on Thursday at the Electric Factory. The event benefits the PSPCA through the newly-formed Utley Foundation.  Among the auction prizes is a trip for two to spring training next March.

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley was held to two hits in a 7-2 loss to Pawtucket . . . Reading lost a pair at Erie, two hits in a 4-0 first-game shutout and 4-3 in the second game . . . 1B Darin Ruf hit two homers (including a slam) and drove in five runs as Clearwater coasted in Tampa, 10-0, before behind shut out on three hits in the second game, 4-0 . . . 1B Jim Murphy hit two homers (#5-6) and drove in six as Lakewood crushed Charleston, 11-1 . . . RHP Brody Colvin, on the DL at Clearwater with a lower back problem, pitched three innings in an extended spring training game.  RF Domonic Brown was 5-for-5 with two homers and will begin a rehab assignment with Clearwater today.

What Would You Have Done?
What profession or occupation might you have chosen if you didn’t play baseball? The question has been posed to Phillies Alumni.

“If I hadn’t played baseball I really couldn’t say what life would have led me to, but I enjoyed sales. Being around people most of the time made me comfortable. I also enjoyed the subjects I took in college for becoming a doctor, but that was cut real short,”  reliever Jack Baldschun (1961-65).

Bats Remain Silent

The five-game winning streak ended last night in Chase Field, thanks to Ian Kennedy’s first complete game and first shutout of his career. 

Phillies offense was silent once again.  Hitters went down 1-2-3 in six of the nine innings.   In the last 11 games, the Phillies have scored 32 runs, but they have an 8-4 record.

Cliff took the defeat, allowing a pair of homers. The last three home runs given up by the Phillies have come off him.  The four runs were the result of the third-fourth homers he’s allowed and his fourth walk of the season turned into a run.  Phillies pitchers have given up 10 homers, fewest in the NL.

Michael Stutes made his major league debut with an impressive 1-2-3 eighth inning.  He’s wearing #40, which is an improvement over the #68 he wore in spring training . . . Bullpen has a 14.1 consecutive scoreless inning streak going . . . Elias Sports Bureau: Sunday marked the fourth time in Doc’s career he lost a shutout with two out in the ninth inning.

This Date In Phillies History
1980—Steve Carlton set a modern NL record with his sixth career one-hitter, a 7-0 shutout of St. Louis.

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley dropped a 5-3 game in Buffalo . . . Reading (at Erie) and Clearwater (at Tampa) were rained out.  Each has a doubleheader today . . . Lakewood returned home and won, 4-3, over Charleston on CF Aaron Altherr’s walk-off single; he stole three bases in the game.

Players of the Week (April 18-24)
**SS Edgar Duran, Lakewood.  Hit .381 in five games, three runs scored and eight hits, boosting his average from .231 to .286.  He began the week with multi-hit games of 2-3-2.  In his last 10 games, he is batting .324. The 20-year-old is in his fourth pro season after signing as an amateur free agent, 12/20/07, out of Valencia, VZ. He was signed by Sal Agostinelli and Jesus Mendez.

**RHP Jonathan Pettibone, Clearwater.  Was 2-0 for 2 starts with a 0.00 ERA, 9 hits in 13 innings, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts.  He was also named the FSL pitcher of the week by MiLB.com. He’s 3-0 for the season with a 0.38 ERA, third lowest in the FSL, with just 2 walks in 24 innings.  Opponents are hitting .190. The 20-year-old was selected between the 3rd and 4th rounds in June 2008 out of Esperanza (CA) High School.  He was signed by Darrell Conner.

Love Petco Park

Citizens Bank Park has been a good home for the Phillies, a place where they have compiled an impressive record.  And, the fans love the place.

But, the home ball yard needs to take a back seat to Petco Park.  The Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Padres there yesterday, their 11th straight win in San Diego’s park. That’s the longest road streak in the majors. Last loss there was August 16, 2008.  In the history of Petko, the Phillies are now 22-4 which makes it their pet park.  (Sorry, that is really corny).

Phillies pitchers gave up three runs in the four games and lowered their road ERA 1.90, the stingiest in the majors.  Overall, their 3.00 ERA trails only the Marlins (2.98) and Padres (2.95).

Doc was outstanding again, raking up 14 strikeouts and losing a shutout in the ninth inning.  Antonio got a one-pitch save.  Other Phillies pitchers who have fanned 14 include Chris Short, Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton (five times), Terry Mulholland and Curt Schilling.

Offensively, the Phillies seem to score enough to back up the pitching. 

Inside The Park
Shane’s inside-the-park homer was the first of his career in the majors.  In Phillies history dating back to 1900, there have been 244 such homers by 115 players. Club record for a season belongs to catcher Red Dooin, 5, in 1904. Outfielder Sherry Magee is the Phillies’ career leader with 19.

Good Thing
It’s a good thing that the Phillies have a deep and experienced starting rotation.

With Jose joining Brad and J. C. on the disabled list, the bullpen is a bit thin and less experienced.  Ryan becomes closer #3 on the season which means the others in the pen need to step up.  So far Antonio is doing that.

D-Backs Next
Chase Field in Phoenix has been a different story for the Phillies as they are 19-25.
Diamondbacks come into the three-game series (night, night, day) with a team batting average of .258 which is in the middle of the pack and a 5.16 ERA which is last in the NL.

Because of continued NHL and NBA playoffs, the Phillies games on Tuesday and Wednesday have been switched from Comcast SportsNet to The Comcast Network.

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley was 2-1 over the weekend in Buffalo, winning the last two games by the same 7-5 score.  1B Jeff Larish hit three homers (#4-5-6) . . . Reading was 2-0 in Akron.  Wins went to RHR Michael Cisco (3-0) and RHS J. C. Ramirez (3-0), seven shutout innings. SS Freddy Galvis was 4-for-9 . . . Clearwater was 1-1.  RHP Jonathan Pettibone (3-0) was Saturday’s winner with 7 shutout innings . . . Lakewood was 0-2 and outscored 21 to 18 at Asheville. (Reading, Clearwater and Lakewood were not scheduled on Easter).

What Would You Have Done?
What profession or occupation might you have chosen if you didn’t play baseball? The question has been posed to Phillies Alumni.

“I thought I wanted to be an architect, but I couldn’t draw a straight line,” INF Kevin Jordan (1995-2001).

Shutout Starts Trip

The Phillies went into last night’s game with the fourth-best average in the NL with runners in scoring position, which is hard to believe considering they aren’t scoring runs. That average dipped as they stranded 12 but the offense rode homers by Ben and Brian and three hurlers blanked the Padres to start a seven-game road trip.

Roy-O improved to 3-0 with his fourth straight six-inning outing.  He’s allowed just five runs.  Jose, pitching for the fifth time in the last seven days, recorded his fifth save and Antonio came up big as the Phillies won their eighth straight in Petco Park.

Phillies have five road wins, three via shutouts.  Since 2007, the Phillies have a 182-146 road record, a .555 percentage, best in the majors.

Phillies are 12-6.  April record a year ago was 12-10.  Club record for the month is 17 by the 1993 wild bunch (five losses) . . . Cooch didn’t appear in a game for the first time this season . . . Happy Birthday to two more Phillies Alumni, Terry Francona (52) and Mickey Morandini (45).

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley was blanked by first-place SWB, 6-0, for the second straight day . . . 1B Matt Rizzotti had three hits, boosting his average to .440, but Reading dropped a 6-3 decision in Akron . . . RHP Julio Rodriguez (2-0) threw five shutout innings to pick up a 4-2 Clearwater win over Brevard County.  RHS Justin Friend picked up his sixth save in six outings . . . Lakewood bowed, 5-4, in Asheville. 2B Jeremy Barnes had three hits and an RBI.

Long Ball Saves Phils

Having not scored more than four runs since April 9, a 3-0 deficit after five innings seemed insurmountable for the Phillies. 

Hitless innings were the norm (10.2 before Mayberry’s fifth-inning double) and then the missing long ball returned and the Phillies pulled out a 4-3 win yesterday afternoon to run their day game record this year to 7-0.

The Brewers were on the verge of their first series sweep ever in Philly until Polly and Shane went deep.  Polly’s sixth inning three-run homer ended a string of 17 scoreless innings.

Milwaukee had timely hitting, strong pitching and terrific defense in winning the first two games. They had stymied the Phillies 1-through-5 hitters (7-40) in that pair of games. Five of the six hits yesterday game from those five hitters.

One thing about this bunch of Phillies, they just keep grinding and grinding. 

Madson Climbing
Ryan picked up the win, his 37th, sixth on the club’s all-time list for wins by a reliever: Jack Baldschun (39), Jim Konstanty (40), Dick Farrell (47), Tug McGraw (49) and Ron Reed (54).

The Brewers’ first-inning run was the first off Phillies pitchers this season; Phillies first-inning runs: 16 . . . Lee threw 99 pitches in his previous complete game win and 93 in six innings yesterday . . .  Sellout streak now at 134 . . . Four-game series in San Diego starts tonight. Padres are last in hitting (.222) and first in ERA (2.97) . . . After southern California, it’s on to Phoenix and three games with the Diamondbacks starting Monday night.

Down On The Farm
SWB blanked Lehigh Valley, 6-0 . . . Reading boarded a bus for a seven-game road trip that starts tonight in Akron and ends in Erie . . . RHP Tyler Cloyd allowed one hit in six scoreless innings but Brevard County got to Clearwater’s bullpen for a 5-4 win . . . Lakewood, which could muster only 11 runs on 24 hits through the first seven games, exploded at Asheville, a 21-hit attack that produced an 18-8 win. The first eight players in the lineup had multiple hits.  1B Stephen Batts had two homers, drove in five.  LF Miguel Alvarez, four hits including three doubles.

On To San Diego Later Today

Doc wasn’t his usual sharp self and the offense continued to sputter so the Phillies have lost two games in a row.  They and the Rockies were the last NL teams without back-to-back losses and both clubs went down yesterday.

Longest Phillies had gone without consecutive defeats at the start of a season was 33 games by the 1995 team.

Last time the Brewers blanked the Phillies was 8/7/05.

Best part about last night’s loss: it’s over.  Time to focus on an afternoon game today. 

Those in the traveling party brought their luggage to Citizens Bank Park this morning for the Delta charter flight to San Diego this evening.  One thing you can count on: the weather in SD will be much better than what the Phillies faced during this homestand. 

The Padres were rained out yesterday and have a day-night doubleheader in Chicago today.  So, the Phillies will land in SD before the Padres.

Petco Park is in downtown SD so the players can walk to the ballpark.  No buses needed for the next four days until the trip to the airport on Sunday night for a flight to St. Louis.

Phillies pitchers had given up just five home runs before last night . . . Offensively, the Phillies’ 11 homers are 11th in the NL . . . Phillies are 18-4 at Petco Park . . . Happy birthday today to Tommy Hutton, 65 . . . Hal Bodley has a great column on MLB.com on Pat Gillick, who went to Cooperstown yesterday to get a feel for his July Hall of Fame induction.

Summer Draft
Scouting Director Marti Wolever and the national and regional supervisors are underway in preparation for the annual First-Year Player draft, June 6-8.

By signing Cliff Lee, the Phillies first selection goes to the Texas Rangers (33rd overall). With Washington signing Werth, the Phillies will receive #39 (compensation A pick) and #66 (Washington’s second-round selection.

Phillies next picks are #90 (second round) and #120 (third round).

Down On The Farm
RHP Vance Worley (1-2) gave up two runs in 5.2 innings in Lehigh Valley’s 5-2 loss to SWB . . . 3B Cody Overbeck had a single, double, 6th homer and four RBI in Reading’s 8-6 win over Erie . . . Clearwater fell to Daytona, 4-3, Travis May (0-2) getting the loss . . . LHP Mario Hollands (2-1) gave up one earned run in 5 innings as Lakewood won at Asheville, 4-3 . . . Domonic Brown was hitless on five at-bats in extended spring training.

This Date In Phillies History
1920—Manager Gavvy Cravath inserted himself as a pinch hitter and beat the New York Giants with a three-run homer, 3-0.  It was his last of 119 homers in the majors. He was baseball’s all-time home run leader until passed in 1921 by a guy named Babe Ruth.

What Would You Have Done?
What profession or occupation might you have chosen if you didn’t play baseball? The question has been posed to Phillies Alumni.

“If I didn’t play ball I would have followed my father’s footsteps and been a union electrician,” Greg Luzinski (1970-80).

Nightmare Inning

Everybody has a nightmare from time to time.

Kyle, making his first appearance on the mound after nine days, had one lat night.  It all started with a four-pitch walk and was followed by a Sac-E 1, SF, HB, WP, I-BB, SF, I-BB, 1b.  It ended with a three-run 12th that pinned a loss on the Phillies, the sixth straight series in which they’ve dropped the first game.

The offense had its second straight game of low octane.  The first two runs were error-aided.  From the fifth inning through the 11th, they had just three hits, two by pinch-hitters. Orr had one of the pinch hits, a game-tying single in the last of the ninth. 

Phillies pinch hitters are the hottest commodity in the league, 12-for-22 . . . Phillies have out-scored their enemy, 16-0, in the first inning . . . Friday’s game from San Diego has been moved from Comcast SportsNet to the Comcast Network because of the Flyers playoff game . . . Brewers rookie manager Ron Roenicke played for the Phillies in 1986-87 . . . Art Mahaffey will throw out the first ball on Wednesday.  It was 50 years ago (April 23, 1961) that he struck out 17 Cubs, a Phillies record that still stands.  He threw 146 pitches in that game at Connie Mack Stadium, 98 for strikes. 

Down On The Farm
RF Brandon Moss hit a 3-run homer to give Lehigh Valley a 5-3 win and a split of a DH with second-place SWB.  3B Ronnie Belliard and RF Delwyn Young homered in the opening game loss . . . RHR Phillippe Aumont allowed his first runs of the season, four unearned in the top of the ninth as Reading committed four errors during the inning and lost to Erie, 5-1; SS Freddy Galvis was ejected during the nightmare ninth . . . 3B Travis Mattair had his third 3-RBI game in the last four as Clearwater defeated Daytona, 7-4; RHR Justin Friend recorded his fifth save . . . Lakewood had four hits and struck out 18 times in losing, 1-0, at Hagerstown . . . Domonic Brown went 2-3 with a run scored in an extended spring training game at Carpenter Complex against the Yankees, his first game action. Extended spring training does not count as a rehab assignment, which will come later for the young outfielder.

Player of the Week:  DH-1B Joe Savery, Clearwater. Hit .550 in 11 games (22-for-40), with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 4 RBI and a .725 slugging percentage.  Easily led organization in hits and average.  First 5 games were multi-hit games, 4-2-4-2-2. Added 3 more 2-hits games along the way.  After spending the first four pro seasons as a LHP (28-31, 4.29), the 25-year-old has made the transition to an everyday player.  He was a two-way player at Rice University. In 68 collegiate games, he hit .355.  Last year at AAA, he batted .348 in 23 games.  Savery was the Phillies No. 1 selection in the 2007 draft.

Pitcher of the Week: RHR Phillippe Aumont, Reading, 0-0, 1 save, 4 appearances, 5.1 innings, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. He faced 18 hitters are retired 17, including the last 14 (7 on strikeouts).  The 22-year-old was a starter/reliever last year at Reading and Clearwater (3-11).  He returned to the bullpen this spring.  He came to the Phillies in
the Cliff Lee trade with Seattle in December 2009.  Aumont was the Mariners No. 1 selection in the 2007 draft.

This Date In Phillies History
1900—Phillies beat Boston, 19-17, in 10 innings, a major league record for most runs by two teams on opening day, a record that still stands.  Boston sent the game into extra innings by scoring nine in the ninth.

Chooch Delivers

Sunday’s game was almost like two different games in one. 

Sanchez had allowed 20 hits in 10.1 innings going into the game and the Phillies got to him for two runs on three hits in the opening inning. The offense then seemed to roll over and hit the snooze button. 

Meanwhile, Cole fanned six of the first 10 hitters before the Marlins strung together some base hits that produced two sixth-inning runs.  Sanchez, meanwhile, struck out six in his last three innings.  A Florida error set the stage for Chooch’s game-winning SF in the eighth that produced a one-run win.

Elias Sports Bureau: Ruiz’ game-winning RBI was the 12th in the seventh inning or later, all since 2007.  Only Ryan Howard has more among the Phillies (14).

Phillies are now 72-26 on Sundays in the history of Citizens Bank Park. 

John Mayberry Jr. will meet and greet fans in the Hall of Fame Club for 30 minutes on Tuesday, starting at 6 p.m. . . . The HBO Real Sports feature on Jimmy Rollinswill debut on Tuesday at 10 p.m. . . . For Wednesday’s Businessperson’s Special day game, a robot made by University of Penn students will throw out the first ball.   Wonder if the robot is better as a starter or reliever . . . Happy Birthday Today–Jim Eisenreich turns 52; Rico Brogna, 41.

This Date
April 18, 1987, Mike Schmidt hit his 500th home run, a three-run, game-winner (8-6 final) in the top of the ninth off RHP Don Robinson in Pittsburgh.

Down On The Farm (weekend)
Lehigh Valley won all three to move into first place in the IL North division; 1B Jeff Larish homered (#2-3) in each of the last two games . . . Reading also won three straight to take the EL Eastern Division lead; 3B Cody Overbeck homered (#4-5) in each game of Sunday’s twinbill . . . Clearwater dropped into a tie for second in the FSL North division despite winning two of three; 3B Travis Mattair had back-to-back three RBI games . . . Lakewood broke out of its slump with a 13-hit, 8-run win on Friday before dropping a pair on Sunday and getting 10 total hits.  Team batting average (.171) is last in the SAL; team ERA (2.65) is first.

What Would You Have Done?
What profession or occupation might you have chosen if you didn’t play baseball? The question has been posed to Phillies Alumni.

 “Had I not played professional baseball, I probably would have been a physical education teacher,” Marty Bystrom, RHP, 1980-84.