Good Riddance

After 50 years in the NL, the Astros are moving to the AL next year.  What this means is the Phillies won’t be visiting Minute Maid Park every year.  Good riddance.

The Astros staved off 100 losses by taking three of four from the Phillies there over the weekend.  Since the new park opened in 2000, the Phillies are just 18-26. The Phillies won the first game in that park (then called Enron Field) but only 17 in the next 11 years.  They were swept four times.

The weekend put a severe dent into the Phillies hopes of sneaking in as the second wild card.  A 13-game span against teams with a losing record started off 3-0.  Now, it is 4-3, with the Mets next in NY for three starting on Monday night against their best pitcher.

Too often this season, a late-game bullpen meltdown and inconsistent offense haunted the Phillies, who scored 12 runs on 16 hits in winning Friday and then had just six runs the next two days.  They lost to a rookie lefty on Saturday, his second win in 13 starts and the first time he didn’t allow a run.

Thursday the meltdown came in the eighth inning, Sunday the seventh.  In the three losses, Phillies hitters were 5-31 RISP.  They left 31 on base.

The Astros have been outscored by 206 runs but out-homered the Phillies, 6-2.

Fifteen games remain.  The Phillies can ill afford many more losses.  Meanwhile, the Cardinals next nine games are against the Astros (six) and Cubs (three).  But, we can’t worry about other teams.

MLB Roundup

There were 15 games played in the majors on Sunday.  That’s 30 starting pitchers.  Not one pitched a complete game.

On the other hand, a total of 126 relief pitchers were used.  The longest outing?  2.1 innings.

Instructional League

Players ranging from 16 years of age to 25 are among the 52 minor leaguers who’ll participate in the Florida Instructional League program in Clearwater, FL.  First workout is Tuesday at Carpenter Field.

Four prize left-handed pitchers will receive individual instructions from September 24-28, Adam Morgan, Austin Wright, Jesse Biddle and Ethan Stewart.  None will participate in games. Schedule begins September 24 and for the Phillies, ends October 12.  Game times: 1:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted; Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.  No games on Sundays.

Phillies players will dress and work out at Carpenter Field. Games will be played at Bright House Field.   There is no admission charge.


September 17, 1900: Cincinnati SS Tommy Corcoran, coaching at third in a game at Philadelphia, uncovers a wire in the coaching box that leads across the outfield to the Phillies clubhouse, where reserve catcher Morgan Murphy reads the opposing catcher’s signs and relays them to the Phillies coach by using a buzzer hidden in the dirt.

September 17, 2001: Baseball returns after the September 11 terrorist attacks. 3B Scott Rolen rips two home runs to lead the Phillies past Atlanta, 5-2.  Rolen becomes just the fifth player to hit two home runs in a game off RHP Greg Maddux.

For more phlashback moments, visit





On top of all their obvious problems (bullpen, lack of clutch hitting, etc.), the Phils need to find a way to make Ryan Howard play like a major league first baseman. He refuses to stretch, catches wth two hands and, most importantly, seems incapable of digging a throw out of the dirt. At least three of the recent losses were directly attributable to the failure to dig out throws — watch the other first basemen around the league and you’ll see that the Phils are at a pronounced disadvantage in this respect.

The BIG GLOVE SPITTER must have Jamie Moyer’s “use two hands” pleadings etched into his pea brain.

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