May 2012

Brilliant Joe-B

About 13 hours after the 11-inning marathon ended in which runs were crossing home plate in crooked numbers and a parade of pitchers came in from the bullpens, Joe-B put an end to the madness with his best performance in a Phillies uniform.

All he did was toss a 3-hit shutout using only 88 pitches in a 2-hour, 2-minute masterpiece.  One other time he had a 3-hit shutout and that was 2007.

The win gave the Phillies a series win in Atlanta, what could have easily been a sweep.  But, two of three is a formula to get you to October baseball.

Now, the scene shifts to DC and a three-game weekend against the Nationals at their ballpark, that the front office termed, “Take Back Our Park” from the influx of Phillies fans, making it sort of Citizens Bank Park south.  It will be interesting to see how many Phillies fans can get tickets.

Sizing Up The Nationals
ERA, 2.41, lowest in the NL
Strikeouts, 211, most in the NL
Opponents average, .212, second lowest

Average, .225, 15th in the NL
Runs, 82, 13th
Home runs, 14, 14th

Fielding percentage, .986, tied for second best
Errors, 13, tied with Phillies for fewest

Chooch Record
Chooch turned in a record performance with his seven RBI night in Wednesday night’s marathon.

He’s the 13th Phillie to drive in that many in a game.  The club record is eight shared by five players. None are catchers.

Which reminds me, Chooch needs to be an All-Star so start voting.

Back Home
Phillies will take an Amtrak charter train on Sunday night and  return home to face the Mets in three games starting on Monday night.

Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley lost, 6-5, when Charlotte scored 4 in the top of the 9th off Raul Valdes (1-2).  DH Hector Luna, 3-4, RBI.

**Reading scored 3 in the top of the 9th for an 8-6 win at New Hampshire.  3B Tug Hulett had a 2-run single that put the Phillies on top.  RHR Justin Friend struck out the side for his 7th save.

**Clearwater was a 6-5 loser at Daytona Beach.  RF Brandon Tripp, 1st HR, 3 RBI.

**Lakewood dropped a 5-4, 10-inning decision at Charleston when the RiverDogs scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th.  1B Bob Stumpo, 2-4, hitting .588.  3B Harold Martinez, 3-5, RBI.

May 4, 1973: PH Jose Pagan’s sacrifice fly gives the Phillies a 5-4, 20-inning win over Atlanta at Veterans Stadium, the Phillies’ longest game since April 30, 1919.  Game lasted 5:16.

May 5, 1938: RHP Hal Kelleher allows a major league record 12 runs (10 hits, 3 walks) in the eighth inning of a 21-2 loss at Wrigley Field.  Loser was Wayne LaMaster, who left the game with an injury and a 3-1 count on the Cubs’ leadoff hitter. The Cubs scored four times in the first inning, pinning the loss on LaMaster.

May 6, 1974: Phillies fall to San Diego, 7-6, before 4,149, smallest crowd in Vet history.

May 6, 2011: LHP Cliff Lee matches club record for a left-hander with 16 strikeouts in a 16-10 win vs. Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park.

For video of Lee’s performance, check out the May 6 flashback at


Blooper Leads to Win

Line drive caught by the shortstop.  Right-fielder makes a great catch against the wall. 

Later, blooper turns into a double and two batters later, winning run scores on a strikeout-wild pitch.

Sometimes luck plays a big role.  That was the story of the trip opener in Atlanta last night.  Late-inning clutch hitting for the second straight game has produced consecutive wins.

Mayberry, struggling big time, began with a blooper he hustled into a double.  J-Roll singled to put Mayberry on third from where he scored on the strikeout-wild pitch sending the Phillies to their eighth straight win over the Braves, dating back to last season.

Game was the first of nine straight against the NL East, a real chance to move up in the standings. 

Papelbon certainly has lived up to his hype.  Phillies are 12-12 and he has saved nine. Give Ruben credit, he was aggressive in signing the closer.  Critics said the Phillies overpaid.  Well, quality is quality and if Ruben had waited, the supply on the market would have diminished.

Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley ended a 3-game losing streak, 4-1, over Charlotte.  3B Mike Fontenot, 3-4, 2 RBI; hitting .407; C Erik Kratz, 3rd homer and was told after the game he was joining the Phillies to replace the injured Jim Thome.  RHS Scott Elarton (2-1), 1 run, 6 innings for the win.  LHR Jacob Diekman, 4th save, striking out the side on 14 pitches (10 strikes).  Third time in 10 appearances he has struck out the side.

**Reading lost, 8-4, at New Hampshire.  2B Cesar Hernandez, 2-4, 2nd triple; hitting .289.  RHS David Buchanan (1-2) was the loser, 5 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings.

**Clearwater scored 4 in the top of the 10th for a 7-3 win in Daytona.  LF Brandon Tripp tripled in the first 2 runs.  LHS Jesse Biddle left after .1 inning when he was hit on his left forearm by a line drive.  Further evaluation will take place today.

**Lakewood was blanked, 7-0, by Greenville.  DH Aaron Altherr, single, double, 9th steal, hitting .314.

May 2, 1970–In a real rarity, both Phillies catchers, Tim McCarver and Mike Ryan, suffer broken bones in their hands in the sixth inning of a 7-1 loss at San Francisco.  Utility player Jim Hutto finishes the game behind the plate.

Phillies first game ever took place May 1, 1883.  Read about the game and some of the baseball rules from that era on