July 2011

Doc is 6th Phillies ASG Starter

Doc will be on the mound for the NL Stars tonight, the eleventh time a Phillies pitcher has had that honor.

Actually, he’s the sixth different Phillies pitcher to start, joning Robin Roberts (1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955), Curt Simmons (1952, 1957), Steve Carlton (1979), Terry Mulholland (1993) and Curt Schilling (1999).

Collectively they haven’t set the world on fire.  They are 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA.  Only Simmons in 1952 (3 innings) and Roberts the next year (also 3 innings) had scoreless starts.  Doc started two years ago for the AL and he gave up three runs (two earned) in two innings.

Winning Pitchers
Three Phillies have been the winning pitcher, all in relief.

Ken Raffensberger pitched two scoreless innings in 1944 and emerged the winner in a 7-1 decision.  Doug Jones pitched a scoreless ninth inning with the NL winning, 8-7, in 10 innings in 1994.  The next year Healthcliff Slocumb was the pitcher of record (one scoreless inning) when the NL rallied for a 3-2 win.

Five All-Stars
This year marks the sixth time the Phillies have had five All-Stars.

Other years were 1976 (Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Dave Cash, Greg Luzinski, Mike Schmidt); 1979 (Boone, Bowa, Steve Carlton, Pete Rose, Schmidt); 1981 (Carlton, Rose, Dick Ruthven, Schmidt, Manny Trillo); 1995 (Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, Tyler Green, Mickey Morandini Slocumb) and 2009 (Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth).

Most Pitchers
Doc, Cliff and Cole mark the first time the Phillies have had three pitchers on the All-Star team.  Seven times they had a pair, the last being 1999, Schilling and Paul Byrd.

Home Runs
Four Phillies have homered in the game: Johnny Callison (1964), Dick Allen (1967), Luzinski (1977) and Schmidt (1981).

With Shane and Polly unable to play because of injuries, guess the Phillies best chance for a home run would be Cliff.

Callison in 1964, a three-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth off Dick Radatz, a 7-4 NL decision.



All-Star Break

In a weekend matchup of the two best teams in the NL with the two best pitching staffs, the Phillies closed out the first half by taking two of three from the Braves.

First two games were classic pitching duels which was expected.  Sunday appeared to follow the previous pair until the Phillies offense exploded, sending Cole to a rare easy win.  In Cole’s six June starts, the Phillies scored total of 15 runs.  Sunday, 14. Crazy.

So, the Phillies take a four-day All-Star break with the biggest lead of any division. It marks the fourth time in franchise history that they’ve held sole possession of first place on May 1, June 1, July 1 and the All-Star break.  Previous years were 1993, 2001 and 2008.

There are 71 more games to be played, including the final three in Atlanta. The season is far from over.

Meaningful Game
All-Star Game is Tuesday night in Phoenix.  Will blog more tomorrow about the Phillies’ All-Star Game history.

A few years ago, baseball decided the winning league in the game will receive the home field advantage in the World Series. 

This is huge.  If the AL wins, that means their champion will host four of the seven World Series games.  It also means four games with the use of a DH.  Putting it bluntly, are the Red Sox stronger with Big Papa as a DH for four potential games? Are they weaker because he can DH in only three potential games? One game in a World Series is big, really big.

BlueClaws Blog
Noticed this in the official blog of the Lakewood BlueCraws:
“Tony Graham (Asbury Park Press) talked to BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle about the experience of having a big leaguer in the clubhouse, in this case Phillies RHP Brad Lidge, who made three rehab appearances in Lakewood .
“‘It’s a real, professional attitude they bring,’ Biddle said of the major leaguers. ‘They’re fun, they buy us food and stuff. We love having them here. Lidge is pretty much a guaranteed shutout inning, at the beginning, at the end, it doesn’t really matter.
“Lidge said: ‘We’ve been talking about what the big leagues are like. I hope they aren’t  scared to come up and ask me questions because one of the things I think we owe  to the young guys when we do rehabs like this is to answer some questions they have and help them prepare for the major leagues.’”
Lidge will continue his rehab in a 12 noon game today in Reading.


Taking a Break

Phillies Insider will be on an extended July 4 holiday break or the temporary active list or in a posting freeze…..whatever…..until July 11.

I’ll return and I hope you will do the same.


On The Road

Can’t believe it is July already. 

Having taken two of three from the Red Sox, the team flew to Toronto where they face the Blue Jays in three straight 1:07 p.m. games starting Friday.  In day games, the Phillies are 18-7, the Blue Jays, 10-21.

The two teams played their first interleague game back in 1997 at Veterans Stadium with the Phillies winning.  Toronto has a 17-16 edge in the series, but the Phillies are 7-5 in the Rogers Centre. 

Last year they met at Citizens Bank Park, but Toronto was the home team.  Because of a major event in Toronto, the games were moved to Philly.  The Phillies won two of three.

The loss against the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon ended the Phillies June at 17-10, the most wins for June since 1993 when that club was 18-10.  I the 10 losses this June, the Phillies scored a total of 18 runs.

At home the Phillies are 32-14; on the road, 19-17.  Road games will be the norm over the next 21 days as the Phillies will play three home games and 12 in enemy territory.

July 4 Baseball
If you want to catch a Phillies-related baseball game on Monday’s holiday, here are your options:

**Phillies vs. Marlins in Miami, 6:10 p.m.
**Lehigh Valley at Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
**Reading at Bowie, 6:05 p.m.
**Clearwater at Brevard County, 7:05 p.m.
**Lakewood at home vs. Hagerstown, 7:05 p.m.
**Williamsport at home vs. Jamestown, 5:05 p.m.
**Gulf Coast League Phillies at Disney World vs. Braves, 12 noon.

Down On The Farm
CF John Mayberry (3) and C Eric Kratz (11) homered in Lehigh Valley’s 4-2 loss at Buffalo . . . Reading collected 10 hits, all singles, in a 5-2 loss to Richmond . . . RHS Brody Colvin (1-3) picked up the win as Clearwater edged Brevard County, 5-4 . . . RHS Garet Claypool walked 6 in 5 innings during Lakewood’s 8-4 loss at Hagerstown . . . Williamsport scored 7 in the 1st inning and 5 two innings later and hung on for a 13-12 win over Auburn, which had 14 singles, 3 doubles and 2 homers . . . Gulf Coast League Phillies lost, 6-5, to the Blue Jays.

Three Lehigh Valley players were named to the International League team for the AAA All-Star Game against the Pacific Coast League in Salt Lake City, July 13: C Eric Kratz, RHR Michael Schwimer, LHR Mike Zagurski.