July 2012

Joe-B Makes It Three

Pitching is the name of the game, supposedly the Phillies strength when the season started.  Ever since Doc went down in late May, the pitching hasn’t been there.

Joe-B gave another standout performance last night, Ryan homered for the first time, Papelbon closed the door and the Phillies have a three-game winning streak.

Last time they won four in a row was May 23-26.  Going for their fifth, Doc took the mound in St. Louis on May 27 and left early with an injury.  The starters struggled until baseball resumed last Friday. Tonight Doc returns, trying to stretch the streak to four straight.

Ryan’s homer was his 11th in 94 at-bats in Dodger Stadium. Guess he likes the place. Shane’s bat has come to life.  He had two triples in the first half of the season and one in each of his last three games.

Chooch is in a slump.  For the first time since July 6, he didn’t get a hit in the first inning.

Down On The Farm

**Lehigh Valley won, 6-3, at Durham.  DH Hector Luna, double, 2 homers (#1-2), 5 RBI. LF Domonic Brown returned to LV lineup, 1-3, double, RBI. RHS Tyler Cloyd (9-1), 1 run, 6.2 innings.

**Reading bashed Portland, 11-2.  6 different players had 2 hits, 4 had 2 RBI. RHS Austin Hyatt (3-3), 0 runs, 2 hits, 7 innings, 8 strikeouts.

**Clearwater beat Bradenton, 7-5; fourth win in last 5 games.  Won game with 4 runs in the eighth. C Cameron Rupp, 9th home run, 2 RBI.  RH Garrett Claypool (3-2) pitched .1 inning and picked up the win.

**Lakewood had its 5-game winning streak end, 9-8, to Savannah. 1B Chris Duffy, 4-5, single, double, 7th-8th homers, 5 RBI.

**Williamsport dropped 3-2 decision to Vermont. SS Roman Quinn, 3-5, 4th triple, 11th steal.

**Gulf Coast League Phillies dropped their third straight, 7-5, to the Yankees.  1B William Carmona, 3-4, RBI. OF Herlis Rodriguez, first home run in the states, 3 RBI.

Alumni News, Notes, Photos

Visit www.phillies.com/alumni


Plenty of “Firsts”

For just the third game after the All-Star Game break, there sure were a lot of firsts on Sunday:

**Cole’s first win ever in Coors Field and first since June 19.

**Phillies first two-game winning streak since June 13-14.

**First series win since June 19-21 at Citizens Bank Park against, well, the Rockies.

**First homer this month for Hunter.  He ended June by homering in the last three games.

**First win on a Sunday since May 13, ending eight straight losses.

**Chooch got yet another hit in the first inning, giving him 31 hits in 66 at-bats, .470. That’s the best in the majors for any player for the first two innings, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

**On Saturday, Shane got his first extra base hit since June 13.  Now, his last three hits are double, triple, triple.

Delta charter flight after Sunday’s game took the Phillies to LA for three games that starts Monday night.  Phillies will face Nate Eovaldi for the first time Monday.  Their Denver loss came Friday night, the first time they faced Christian Friedrich.

Doc returns to the rotation on Tuesday night.  Phillies haven’t won three in a row since he got hurt on May 27.

Down On The Farm (weekend edition)

**Lehigh Valley dropped 2 of 3 but held on to the North Division lead, 1 game over SWB.  1B Cody Overbeck hit a grand slam in the first inning on Sunday, a 6-5 loss. LHS Pat Misch (7-10) allowed 1 run on 2 hits in winning on Friday night.

**Reading also dropped 2 of 3 to fall into third place in the Eastern Division.  RHS Jonathan Pettibone (7-7) lost, 3-1, on Sunday, allowing 2 hits, both solo home runs, over 6 innings.

**Clearwater won 2 of 3 and trail first-place Tampa by .008 in the second half.  1B Lance Nix had a two-run, game-winning single on Friday night.  DH Jim Murphy won Saturday’s game with a walk-off SF and had 3 doubles on Sunday. His 59 RBI lead the organization.

**Lakewood won all 3, stretching winning streak to 5 in a row.  BlueClaws are .5 out of first place in the Northern Division, second half.  1B Chris Duffy was 9-13, 2 doubles, grand slam, 7 RBI.

**Williamsport won, 8-3, on Sunday to end a 5-game losing streak, that included defeats on Friday and Saturday nights.  RF Larry Greene hit his first pro homer on Sunday and drove in 4 runs.

**Gulf Coast League Phillies lost, Friday and Saturday after winning the first four games of the week.  OF Domonic Brown began rehabbing there on Wednesday.  In five games, 11-19, .579, with 7 doubles.

**Venezuela Summer League: 19-year-old LH Douglas Parada threw a no-hitter on Saturday, 5-0, over the Rays.  One batter reached base on an error-third baseman.  He struck out 14.  For the season, 7-0, 0.69 ERA.

Present and future have been covered in the blog today. For the past, check out www.phillies.com.alumni.



Taking A Break

Taking a break with Phillies Insider during the All-Star Game break.  Friendly laptop needs an oil change, tire rotation, new roof, power washing, pacemaker or whatever.

Will be back on Monday, July 16.

Meanwhile, do you know Mike Schmidt’s fondest All-Star Game memory?  Or, Tony Taylor’s?  Or, Curt Simmons’ ?

Check out Alumni Views on www.phillies.com/alumni.

Alumni page is filled with other All-Star Game information and photos.


Consistently Inconsistent

Remember Richie Ashburn telling a story about his last game as a player.  1962 with the Mets and the season ended with the Mets hitting into a triple play.  They finished with 120 losses, still a record.  Whitey always laughed when he told the story, “Casey Stengel was our manager and he told us after the game, ‘Fellas, this was a total team effort.  No one individual could have done this.’”

In a way, that sums up the Phillies season which now pauses for a four-day All-Star Game break.  Over the course of the season it has been all phases of the game, starting pitching, bullpen, offense, clutch hitting, defense and even base running.  Consistently inconsistent, if that makes sense.

So, now they are under .500 at the All-Star Game break for only the fourth time in the last 15 years and first time since 2006.

There are a lot of numbers that jump out but here are my top three:
**17-27 at home, matching the Padres for the poorest home record in the NL.
**10-25 since Doc went on the DL on May 29.  Phillies were 26-25 at the time.
**0-36 when trailing after seven innings. 

Friday night in Denver starts the post-All-Star Game segment.  There are more games to be played.  Second-half surges have been a strength under Charlie.  They need another one, a monumental one.  Got to keep battling.

Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley was held to 1 run on Friday night, was shut out on Saturday and the first game on Sunday and scored in only one inning in Sunday’s second game, but it was a 7-spot in the second inning, featuring three-run homers by Pete Orr and Michael Martinez.  RHS Tyler Cloyd tossed 6 shutout innings in Sunday’s first game and will start for the IL in Wednesday’s All-Star Game in Buffalo against the Pacific Coast League. 

**Reading lost all three in Richmond, ending the week at 1-6. LF Leandro Castro was 6-13, boosting his average to a club-high .317.  FirstEnergy Stadium hosts the AA All-Star Game on Wednesday night.  RHP Jordan Whatcott was added to the All-Star team, the ninth Reading Phillies player.

**Clearwater won 1 of 3 on the road, that coming on Sunday at Brevard County behind RHS Brody Colvin (5-4), 1 earned run, 6 innings.
**Lakewood also won 1 of 3 on the road, that also coming on Sunday.  1B Chris Duffy hit a grand slam in sparking the 7-5 win in West Virginia. 

**Williamsport, ditto, 1 of 3 on the road, the win, 11-8, on Sunday in Staten Island. CF Brian Pointer hit a grand slam in the first inning and came back with a two-run homer in the next inning.

**Gulf Coast League Phillies  split a pair against the Pirates on Friday and beat them on Saturday. C Willians Astudillo continues to lead the club in hitting, .457.

July 9, 1953: RHP Robin Roberts’ streak of 28 consecutive complete games ends when he is relieved by RHP Bob Miller in the eighth inning vs. Brooklyn at Connie Mack Stadium. The Phils score two in the bottom of the eighth for a 6-5 win.  Roberts began his streak on August 28, 1952.  This season in the NL, three teams have no complete games and three others have one each.

July 9, 1957: LHP Curt Simmons is the starting hurler in the All-Star Game at St. Louis, the seventh straight year in which a Phillies pitcher has started the game (Robin Roberts 5, Simmons 2).

July 9, 1967: 3B Dick Allen becomes the first player to hit a home run over the center field fence between stands and flag pole at Connie Mack Stadium since the fence was raised to 32 feet in 1934.  Blow comes off RHP Nelson Briles in the eighth inning of a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.

July 9, 1996: RHP Ricky Bottalico pitches a scoreless fifth inning as the NL defeats the AL, 6-0, at the Vet in the 67th All-Star Game before 62,670 fans.

For more Phillies phlashback history and All-Star Game history, visit www.phillies.com/alumni.



Breaks Go Against Phils

Granted, for the last month or so, the Phillies haven’t played well and the losses have been piling up.  Last night, things just didn’t go their way in the fateful ninth.

The offense battled and clawed against the league’s hottest pitcher and carried a 5-4 lead into the last of the ninth.  Time for Papelbon.  He turned out to be human and the Phillies are now 35-1 when leading after eight.

A leadoff double, followed by a sacrifice, a strikeout, hit batter, walk (didn’t get the call on a 2-2 pitch for a game-ending strikeout),  a base hit that ricocheted off Papelbon and rolled too far for him to make a play (game tied) and a bloop game-winning hit.  Another tough defeat.

Three more games and then a four-day All-Star Game break.

Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley won for the 5th time in the last 6 games, 7-2, over SWB.  3B Tug Hulett, single, grand slam, 5 RBI.  Howard, in final rehab game, 2-3, RBI. LHS Pat Misch (6-10), 2 runs in 7 innings for the win.  Domonic Brown, on DL with right knee injury, headed for rehab in Clearwater.

**Reading lost, 4-2, at Altoona. 2B Cesar Hernandez, 1B Darin Ruf and LF Leandro Castro, 2 hits each.  RHR Trevor May, no decision, 2 runs, 3 hits, 5 innings, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts.

**Clearwater won its 4th in a row, a 4-2 decision at Lakeland.  LHS Jesse Biddle (5-3) got the win, 9th save and second straight for RH Tyler Knigge, who hasn’t allowed a run since May 29.

**Lakewood won for the 3rd time in 4 games this week, 11-4 at West Virginia.  LF Aaron Altherr (12 games) and 3B Maikel Franco (9), extended their hitting streaks.  RHR Gabriel Arias (3-4) fanned 5 in 3 scoreless innings for the win.

**Williamsport ended a 5-game losing streak with a 5-4 win in Brooklyn. SS Roman Quinn, 3-4, 7th and 8th streals. 1B Chris Serritella, 2nd home run, 3 RBI. LF Larry Greene, 3-5, RBI. 3B Mitch Walding, 2-5, RBI, hitting .365.  RH Jordan Guth (1-0) won his first pro game, 1 unearned run, 5 innings.

**Gulf Coast League Phillies won, 8-7, scoring 3 in the bottom of the ninth. INF Jairo Cordozzo,  two-run, walk-off double. RHR Keivy Rojas fanned all seven batters he faced.  Win went to RHR Felix Santos (1-1).

July 6, 1929, 2nd game: St. Louis Cardinals score 10 in the first and fifth innings in handing the Phillies a 28-6 loss at Baker Bowl.  It is the most runs ever scored against the Phillies, who had 17 hits.

July 6, 1980:  LHP Steve Carlton strikes out St. Louis OF Tony Scott in the fourth inning for his 2,833rd strikeout, becoming the all-time leader for left-handers.  Phillies win, 8-3, at St. Louis.

July 7, 1964: A two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning by RF Johnny Callison gives the NL a dramatic 7-4 victory in the All-Star Game at Shea Stadium. See photo on www.phillies.com/alumni.

July 7, 1979:  3B Mike Schmidt homers in four consecutive at-bats for the second time in his career.  Schmidt homers in his final at-bat on July 6 and connects in his first three at-bats on this date against San Francisco.  Giants win, 8-6.

July 7, 1993:  Another classic.  Kevin Stocker makes his major league debut in one of the Vet’s longest games.  Los Angeles scored twice in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.  It all ends with CF Lenny Dykstra’s two-run double in the bottom of the 20th inning, a 7-6 win.  It matches the longest game in Vet history, May 4, 1973 vs. Atlanta.

July 8, 1898: RHP Red Donahue, Villanova University product, pitches 5-0 no-hitter against visiting Boston.

July 8, 1924: The Phillies play a 26-inning doubleheader against the Reds in Cincinnati without making an error.  Phils win the opener, 2-1, in 10 and lose the nightcap, 2-1, in 16 innings.  Each team gets complete games from the starting pitchers.

July 8, 1952:  LHP Curt Simmons is the starting pitcher as the Phillies host the All-Star Game, a 3-2 NL win in a game halted after five innings by rain, the only shortened game in ASG history.  See story on www.phillies.com/alumni.

July 8, 1992:  Jeff Grotewold ties a club record with his third consecutive pinch-hit home run during a 4-3 loss at San Francisco.  All three homers come in Candlestick Park over a four-game, three-day series.


Lee Benefits From Late Offense

Sometimes this game will make you scratch your head. 

With Cliff back to his old self, pounding the strike zone, he trailed after six innings, 2-0, on yesterday’s hot holiday afternoon in NY.  The offense was nil and it appeared as if he was headed for another loss.

Chase was 0-8 when he unloaded a game-tying home run in the seventh and Chooch followed with another homer.  Later, he had another run-scoring hit, giving him 22 RBI in the seventh inning or later. It is scary to think where the Phillies would be without him.

So, the Phillies led, 3-2.  In the five previous games on this trip (all losses), the Phillies never scored three runs in a game.  Then contagious hitting took over as they scored three more in the eighth and three more in the ninth.  Going into the eighth, they were 2-33 with RISP; they then went 3-5, enough to make you scratch your head.

Along the way, J-Roll ended an 0-18 and Polanco, 0-15.  Only Shane couldn’t break his 0-10.  On top of that, he hasn’t had an extra base hit since June 13.  Scratch your head?

Cliff ended his winless (0-5) spin which lasted since last September 26 in Atlanta.  The Phillies improved to 4-10 when he pitches, far from 22-10 a year ago.  Cliff’s capable of running off a long winning streak and that’s definitely when the Phillies need.

Club record for consecutive losses at the start of the season? 12 by RH Russ Miller in 1928; finished 0-12 that season in 33 games, 12 starts and then matched by LH Ken Reynolds in 1972; finished 2-15 in 33 games, 23 starts.

Oh, it was also the first win since Utley was back with the club.

Series finale tonight against R. A. Dickey, the league’s hottest pitcher.  Opponents are hitting .190 against him and he’s walked only 25 while losing only one game. Cole gets the job of beating him.

Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley’s 4-game winning streak ended with an 8-5 loss to SWB.  Ryan Howard had a scheduled day off but will be back at first base tonight against SWB. Michael Martinez accounted for 3 runs with his first home run.  RH Scott Elarton (5-6) allowed 7 runs in 4 innings in taking the loss.

**Reading won, 1-0, at Altoona.  A second-inning error allowed the run to score.  RH Austin Hyatt (2-2) combined with RH Ryan Duke and RH Lisalverto Bonilla (3rd save) for the shutout. Win ended a 3-game losing streak.

**Clearwater won its third in row, 3-2, at Lakeland.  Winning run scored in the top of the ninth on an error.  RH Kyle Simon (1-0), acquired in the Thome trade, won in relief of RH Perci Garner, 1 run, 2 hits, 6 innings.  RH Tyler Knigge picked up his 8th save.

**Lakewood committed 5 errors in losing, 13-2, at West Virginia.  1B Chris Duffy’s 19-game hitting streak (32-73, .438) ended with an 0-4 night.  RF Aaron Altherr extended his streak to 11 games (19-41, .463).

**Williamsport dropped its fifth in a row, 9-5, at Brooklyn.  1B Chris Serritella, 2-5, 2 doubles.  3B Mitch Walding, 1-5, dropping to .351.

**Gulf Coast League Phillies lost, 8-3, at the Yankees. 2 hits each for 2B Angelo Mora, LF Andrew Pullin, RF Dylan Cozens and 3B Zach Green.

All-Star Trivia
Who was the first Phillies catcher to start an All-Star Game?  Who was the last catcher to do the same?

Answers can be found on www.phillies.com/alumni.



Big 3 Behind 2011

While watching the Phillies on TV on Sunday, there was a shot of Cliff, Cole and Doc in the dugout.  Three of the best pitchers in the game were expected to carry the Phillies while the offense waited for Chase and Ryan.

Well, it hasn’t turned out that way, so far.

At the end of June a year ago, that trio was 28-12.  This year, 14-14. Of that total, Cole is 10-4, with three losses coming at the hands of the Marlins.

So while the offense hasn’t been consistent, the bullpen lacks experience and the defense falters from time to time, it is the starting pitching, supposedly the Phillies strong point, that hasn’t delivered.  Since Doc went on the DL, the starting pitching’s ERA is 5.09.  Ouch.

How much does Ryan Howard’s presence in a lineup mean?  Granted it is the minor leagues and not the big lights in the bigs, but Ryan has played five rehab games through last night and his team is 5-0 (Lakewood, 3-0; LV, 2-0).

Batting Leader
Chooch is leading the league in hitting but let’s not get too giddy because there’s a long way to go.

The Phillies have had only six batting titles, with Ashburn claiming two.  The list:
1910 LF Sherry Magee (.331)
1929 LF Lefty O’Doul (.398)
1933 RF Chuck Klein (.368)
1947 CF Harry Walker (.363)
1955 CF Richie Ashburn (.338)
1958 CF Richie Ashburn (.350)

Of that group, only Magee batted right-handed.

Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley tied it in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk and won on a wild pitch in the 10th, 5-4, over Pawtucket.  CF Kyle Hudson, 2-4, 3 RBI.  Howard, 1-4, double, RBI.

**Reading was held to 4 hits in losing to New Hampshire, 6-3.  LF Leandro Castro, 2-3, 6th homer, 3 RBI.

**Clearwater blanked Brevard County, 4-0, behind combined 4-hitter from LH Adam Morgan (3-8), Hector Neris and Tyler Knigge. 2B Albert Cartwright, 2-3, fourth triple, 2 RBI.

**Lakewood scored 2 in the bottom of the 10th for an 11-10 win over Hagerstown. Kelly Dugan’s single tied the game and Aaron Altherr walked with the bases loaded to force in the winning run.  1B Chris Duffy was 1-6, extending his hitting streak to 18 games.SS Tim Carver, 3-6, triple, 2 RBI, stolen bases.

**Williamsport lost, 12-6, to Mahoning Valley.  1B Chris Serritalla, 3-6, 2 RBI. DH Cameron Perkins, 2-3, 3 RBI.

**Gulf Coast League Phillies beat the Braves, 7-3. RF Dylan Cozens, 2-4, 2nd home run, 2 RBI. 3B Zach Green, 2-3, 2 RBI. CF Herlis Rodriguez, 1-2, 2 RBI.

July 3, 1917: RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander pitches 5-0 and 9-3 complete-game wins in a doubleheader at Brooklyn, walking only one batter.  So much for pitch count.

Visit www.phillies.com/alumni for more Phillies history.



Season of Disbelief

Hard to believe, but we’re into the second half of the season of disbelief.

June started out with a 6-4 win over Miami’s Buehrle and ended with a 3-2 loss to him.  In between nine one-run losses among many more, and the month ended at 9-19.  Starters were 7-13, relievers 2-6.  The offense scored 4.4 runs per game; pitchers’ ERA was 4.74.  But, too many games in which clutch pitching and hitting were missing.

Under Charlie, the Phillies have traditionally been a second-half team and that’s the hill they face.  Joe-B was 3-1 in June and he started July with a loss, ending with the first sweep of the Phillies in Miami in eight years. Phillies haven’t won on a Sunday since May 13.

Three months to go and plenty of baseball to be played.  Got to keep battling and fighting.

All-Star Chooch
Congrats to the Phillies three All-Stars who’ll be heading for Kansas City in a week. Chooch didn’t get the starter’s job but Phillies fans went to bat for him in the voting.  In the end, SF fans got three players elected.

Chooch is the first Phillies All-Star catcher since Mike Lieberthal 12 years ago.  Other All-Star catchers from the Phillies include Jimmy Wilson, Andy Seminick, Smoky Burgess, Stan Lopata, Bob Boone, Ozzie Virgil, Lance Parrish and Darren Daulton.

Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley ended the weekend with a split doubleheader at home yesterday.  They won three of four to take over first place in their division. Three wins went to the bullpen: Phillippe Aumont (2-1), Michael Cisco (1-0) and J. C. Ramirez (1-0). Ryan Howard played first base in Sunday’s second game, 0-2, 2-1 win.  With Ryan in the lineup, his teams are 4-0 (3-0 at Lakewood; 1-0 in Reading).

**Reading won two of three and moved into first place in the East.  1B Darin Ruf homered on Friday and Saturday nights (#13-14).  RHR Ryan Duke, who began the season with Lakewood, moved to Clearwater and then Reading, picked up a win in his AA debut on Friday night.  He continued the climb in the organization by pitching two scoreless innings in Lehigh Valley on Sunday.

**Reading All-Stars: Eight players have been selected to the Eastern Division squad for the league’s all-star game in Reading on July 11: 1B Dari Ruf, 2B Cesar Hernandez, SS Troy Hanzawa, C Sebastian Valle, RHR Justin Friend (promoted to AAA), RHS Julio Rodriguez, RHS Lisalverta Bonilla and LF Leandro Castro. Manager Dusty Wathan and his staff, Frank Cacciatore and Bob Milacki will direct the Eastern Squad.

**Clearwater lost all three by the combined score of 28-13, two losses to Lakeland and one to Brevard County.

**Lakewood won two of three vs. Hagerstown. DH-1B Chris Duffy is riding a 17-game (.477).  3B Maikel Franco, seven RBI in two of the games.

**Williamsport won one of three.  1B Chris Serritella, 3-5, including a single, 5th and 6th doubles and five RBI during a 10-9 loss on Saturday at Auburn.

**Gulf Coast League Phillies lost twice (league doesn’t play on Sundays).  C Willians Astudillo is hitting .423.  The 20-year-old is in his first season in the states, having played three years in the Venezuela League where he compiled a .308 average with just 16 strikeouts in 166 games.

With the All-Star Game coming up soon, look for Alumni features on past All-Star games on this section.  New Peek at the Past photo features Johnny Callison’s game-winning homer in the 1964 ASG.