April 2013

Prayers for Boston

Pinch hitters have been more productive than the starting nine. That will change….trust me.

Yet, a baseball game and a few hits isn’t all that important in the aftermatch of the tragedy in Boston. Our prayers and thoughts go to the people in that fine American city.

Catching the Reds when they were riding a five-game losing streak wasn’t good. Cliff pitched great but the offense was perplexing.

Chase came off the bench to tie the game in the top of the eighth, his fifth career home run out of 16 pinch-hits. He’s drive in 17 runs in that role. He’s the third Phillie with five career pinch dingers, joining Gene Freese and Bill Nicholson. I case you are wondering, five have hit six and three have hit seven. Cy Williams’ 9 is the club record.

With three pinch-hit homers so far, the Phillies have a ways to go to match the club record of 11 set in 1958.

Minor League Report
**Lehigh Valley won, 8-3, at Pawtucket, scoring 5 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th. 1B Josh Fields, 4-4, 2 homers, 4 RBI, boosting average to .526.

**Reading was blanked on 3 singles and a double, 4-0, by three Harrisburg pitchers.

**Clearwater lost, 8-1, to Daytona Beach. RF Aaron Altherr, 1-4; leads club with .357 average.

**Lakewood won 2nd in a row after losing 7 straight, 5-1, at Hagerstown. 1B Art Charles, 2nd homer, a 2-trip blast that broke a 1-1 tie in the 7th inning.

This Date
1942–Happy Birthday Jim Lonborg.

April 16, 1953—2B Connie Ryan goes 6-for-6 (four singles, two doubles) in 14-12 loss in Pittsburgh.

April 16, 1959—Dave Philley gets major-league record ninth straight hit as a pinch-hitter (eight in 1958) as Phillies drop 7-3 decision in Milwaukee.

April 16—Oh, no: Burt Hotton of the Cubs pitches a no-hitter against the Phillies in Wrigley Field in 1972 and six years later, Bob Forsch of the Cardinals no-hits the Phillies in St. Louis.

Visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni for more phlashback moments and a feature on John Kruk.

National TV Spotlight

Winning two of three games in a series is a formula for getting to the postseason. The Phillies won their second straight series on Sunday in Miami.

It wasn’t pretty or dominating but it was two of three. They could have won all three and could have lost all three.

After the offense exploded against the Mets in the previous series, the offense fell into a familiar pattern….struggling to score runs. In the Marlins series, the Phillies were a combined 6-30 with runners in scoring position. Two of the hits, at least that’s what I recall, didn’t score a base runner, which makes RISP a little sketchy. Take away those two hits and they were 4-30. Either way, not good.

200 For Doc
Doc certainly seemed to be more like the old Doc on Sunday. Thanks to Lance’s pinch-hit homer in the top of the ninth, Doc picked up the win, the 200th of his career. Only 108 other pitchers have gotten there.

The last pitcher to get his 200th in a Phillies uniform was Steve Carlton, July 23, 1978, a 13-2 decision over the Astros at the Vet. He was the 78th pitcher to reach 200. That win evened his record at 9-9.

Reds Next
Phillies arrived in Cincinnati after Sunday’s afternoon game for three night games against the Reds, who have lost five in a row. Don’t like that.

Phillies have had success at Great American Ballpark. Since it opened in 2003, the Phillies are 22-13. The Reds have no former Phillies on their roster.

Eyes Of The Nation
Along with their normal local and MLB.com coverage, the Phillies will be seen on national television in six of their seven games this week.

The Phillies-Reds series will be covered by ESPN on Monday, MLB Network on Tuesday and ESPN2 on Wednesday. The Phillies-Cardinals series will be aired on MLB Network on Thursday and Saturday, and on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball to close out the week.

Speaking of ESPN
Paul Hagen has a new “Where are they now?” feature on John Kruk in http://www.phillies.com/alumni. Krukker is now part of ESPN’s Sunday Night broadcasting team which means he’ll be at the Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night. Great photo of the ESPN SNB crew accompanies Hagen’s story.

Baron’s Corner
Birthday wishes go to Pete Rose, 72, on Sunday and Ted Sizemore, 68, today. Sizemore can always remember his birth date since he has to file his income taxes by that date.

Minor League Report
**Lehigh Valley (4-5) won 2 of 3 at Syracuse. LH Adam Morgan picked up his first AAA win on Saturday, 0 runs, 3 this, 1-3 as a hitter with an RBI; faced 28 batters, 22 four-pitch outs . . . RH Ethan Martin got his first AAA win on Sunday.

**Reading (6-4) also won 2 of 3 in first home series (Erie). RH Brody Colvin, first AA win on Sunday. 1B Jim Murphy, hitting .381, belted second home run in that game.

**Clearwater (5-5) lost 2 of 3 at Brevard County.

**Lakewood (2-9) ended a 7-game losing streak with an 8-3 win at Greensboro on Sunday. 1B Art Charles, 3 hits, 3 RBI.

This Date
April 15, 1985
Mike Schmidt plays in his 1,795th game to break the club record held by Richie Ashburn.

April 15, 2004
Four-run eighth inning lifts the Phillies to a 6-4 win over the Reds, their first victory in Citizens Bank Park. LHP Rheal Cormier is the winner; save for Billy Wagner. Homers by 3B David Bell and C Mike Lieberthal.

On The Road

Phillies left for their road trip to Miami and Cincinnati around 5:30 p.m. Thursday on a Delta charter flight to Florida.

Lannin, Cole and Doc are lined up for the weekend series against the Marlins.

The Phillies bats heated up in the last two games against the Mets, both wins. They have six homers in the last two games after hitting only four in the first seven games. In the last decade, they hit three homers in 169 games (133-36).

Pitching has been the issue for the Phillies. They’ve allowed nine total runs in winning four games and have given up 45 in the five defeats.

The Marlins, on the other hand, haven’t hit in their 1-8 start. They are last with 16 runs scored and third from the bottom in the NL with a .217 average.

Doc, who is scheduled for Sunday’s afternoon game, has struggled in his first two starts. A year ago, he allowed no homers in his first 40 innings. This year, three homers in first 7.1 innings. He’s allowed 12 hits, 12 runs and struck out 12, a strange string of numbers. Career-wise, he’s 7-3 against Florida, 3-1 a year ago.

Marlins Park, which opened a year ago, didn’t welcome the Phillies warmly. They are 4-5 in the new place.

Phillies Alumni on the Marlins include Qualls, Dobbs, Polanco and Pierre.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley (2-4) and Reading (4-3) were not scheduled.

Clearwater (3-3) blasted Daytona, 12-2. 3B Maikel Franco headed a four-home run outing by the Threshers with 2 doubles, 1st homer and 3 RBI. Leads club with 10 RBI. RH Perci Garner (1-0) coasted to his first win. The night before, the Threshers scored 14 runs in an 11-inning win at Daytona.

Lakewood (1-7) lost, 6-4, at Greensboro. RF Brian Pointer and 1B Art Charles hit 1st homers. No decision for RH Shane Watson, 3 runs, 6 innings.

This Date
April 12, 1965—Phillies win first NL game played in Houston’s Astrodome, 2-0, over the Colt 45s. LHP Chris Short tosses four-hitter and 3B Dick Allen homers.

April 12, 2004—Cincinnati Reds spoil inaugural opener at Citizens Bank Park with 4-1 win. RF Bobby Abreu hits first homer in new park.

April 13, 1955
Robin Roberts losses no-hitter at Connie Mack Stadium when Alvin Dark singles with one out in the ninth inning. Robbie prevails, 4-2, over the Giants. Richie Ashburn, injured late in spring training, sees club record consecutive game playing streak end at 730 games.

April 13, 1983—Trailing, 9-5, C Bo Diaz hits game-winning grand slam with two out in the last of the ninth off RHP Neil Allen to defeat the Mets, 10-9.

April 13, 2003—Phillies score club-record 13 runs in one inning (4th) en route to a 13-1 romp in Cincinnati.

April 14, 1960—34-year-old Gene Mauch replaces manager Eddie Sawyer, who resigned after 9-4 opening day loss in Cincinnati two days earlier.

Don’t forget to check out http://www.phillies.com/alumni for more phlashback moments.

On The Book Shelf

(Phillies Insider is taking a few days break. Will be back again on Friday).

In the meantime, plenty of books about the Phillies are about to appear on the book shelves and online………….

The Mouth That Roared by Dallas Green and Alan Maimon; foreword by Jayson Stark; Triumph Books; May 1.

Philadelphia’s Top 50 Baseball Players by Rich Westcott; foreword by Dallas Green; University of Nebraska Press; this month.

Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium by Rich Westcott; Arcadia Publishing Co.; currently available.

View from the Booth by Chris Wheeler; Camino Press; this month.

This Date In Philadelphia Phillies History by Skip Clayton and Don Bostrom; Camino Press; spring 2013. Originally published in 1978 by Allen Lewis and Larry Shenk; Stein & Day.

The Phillies Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle of the Philadelphia Phillies by Tyler Kepner; MVP Books; May 2013.

Game of My Life Philadelphia Phillies by Bob Gordon; Sports Publishing; this month.

Almost A Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the 1980 Phillies by William Kashatus; University of Pennsylvania Press; this month.

More Than Beards, Bellies and Biceps by Bob Gordon, Tom Burgoyne and Larry Andersen; Sports Publishing; June 2013.

This Date
April 8, 1969—Rookie SS Don Money homers twice and drives in five runs but Phillies lose season opener, 7-6, in 11 innings in Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

April 8, 1970—1B Willie Montanez is acquired from St. Louis Cardinals to replace OF Curt Flood, who refused to report to the Phillies after being traded October 7, 1969.

April 9, 1913—Phillies win first game played in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, 1-0, over the Dodgers. RHP Tom Seaton is the winner. He wound up leading the NL in wins (27), innings (322.1), walks (136) and strikeouts (168).

April 9, 1963–A new career is launched as Richie Ashburn joins the Phillies broadcast team of Byrum Saam and Bill Campbell.

April 10, 1971—Phillies win first game played in Veterans Stadium, 4-1, over the Montreal Expos. RHP Jim Bunning is the winner.

For news, notes, features and vintage photos visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Home for 6

After unloading 19 hits over the first two games of the season against the Phillies, Cliff and Pap silenced the Braves bats, allowing two hits in winning, 2-0, on Wednesday night.

While the Braves have handled Cole and Doc recently, it is a different story with Cliff. In his last 23 innings against the Braves, covering three starts, he’s allowed one run.
A year ago, Cliff’s first win came in his 13th start, which was on July 4. Guess he’s ahead of that pace.

The Royals are one of six American League clubs on the Phillies schedule, created by the new 15-teams in each league. This means the Phillies will play 20 different teams, the most ever.

The Phillies have played the fewest interleague games against the Royals and Angels, six games each. Phillies and Royals are 3-3, 1-2 in KC.

Modell’s Sports Goods home opener is 4:05 on Friday afternoon. Following the weekend set with the Royals, the Mets come to town for three night games starting on Monday.

Baron’s Corner
J-Roll played in his 1,795th game, moving ahead of Richie Ashburn into second place on the Phillies all-time list. He’s 609 games behind the leader, Mike Schmidt . . . Phillies took a Delta charter back home . . . Royals played an afternoon game in Chicago and were in bed before the Phillies charter left Atlanta . . . Bruce Chen is the lone Phillies Alumnus on the Royals . . . Kids Opening Night on Saturday, with a Turkey Hill Replica Gold Glove Trophy for all children 14 and under. J-Roll will receive his Gold Glove pre-game Saturday . . . Sunday afternoon is Ryan Howard IBEW Whiffle Bat and Ball Set for kids, again 14 and under . . . Tickets are available for all six home games, standing room only for Friday’s opener.

Minor League Report
**Lehigh Valley was thumped by Syracuse, 11-2. Tyler Cloyd started, 7 runs (6 earned) in 3 innings. He allowed 5 runs once out of 22 AAA starts a year ago. IronPigs had 6 hits, 3 coming in the 9th . . . Jonathan Pettibone starts Friday night.

**Reading was held to 3 hits in losing, 9-0, at New Hampshire. Dave Buchanan gave up 6 runs in 4.2 innings . . . Jesse Biddle starts Friday night.

**Clearwater lost, 4-2, at Dunedin, getting 5 hits. Hoby Milner was charged with 3 runs in 4.1 innings . . . Perci Garner in Clearwater’s home opener Friday vs. Dunedin.

**Lakewood was defeated by Kannapolis, 9-2. Jordan Guth, 6 runs (3 earned) in 3 innings. Attendance was 6,585 . . . Joshua Warner starts game 2 Friday.

This Date
April 5, 1957
Phillies trade five players and $75,000 to acquire SS Chico Fernandez from Brooklyn Dodgers.

April 5, 2012 
Phillies beat the Pirates, 1-0, in Pittsburgh. Roy Halladay is first Phillies pitcher to win back-to-back season openers since Art Mahaffey (1962-63). It was the third 1-0 opening day win in franchise history.

More daily historic moments can be found on http://www.phillies.com/alumni. Check ‘em out.

Familiar Reruns

Well, we’ve seen this before.

Phillies pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts against the Braves on Wednesday night but Atlanta won, 9-2. On May 6, 2011, they had 18 strikeouts, a club record, but lost to the Braves, 5-0.

In 2007, the Phillies began the season, 0-3, vs. the Braves; 2008, 0-2 (Nationals) and 2009, 0-2, again, the Braves. All three years ended in making the postseason, including back-to-back World Series.

In losing the first two this season, the Phillies and Braves each compiled 19 hits but the Braves scored more runs, 16-7, thanks to a 6-1 home run edge.

Doc failed to pick up his 200th win and was saddled with his 101st loss. He recorded nine of the 16 strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Since joining the Phillies in 2010, he’s had four outings of fewer than five innings in which he allowed four or more runs. Three have come at the hands of Atlanta.

Weather permitting; game 3 will be Thursday night. Cliff is going for the Phillies. He had 16 of the 18 strikeouts two years ago and was the loser.

Guess Who
OK, who has worn the Phillies uniform the most years?

The answer can be found in the newly-posted Alumni News & Notes at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Did You Know?
100 years ago on April 4, the Phillies and Philadelphia Athletics played a 2-2 City Series spring training game that was called because darkness after 18 innings. The A’s scored their runs in the first inning. The Phillies tied it with two in the last of the ninth.
Carroll (Boardwalk) Brown pitched all 18 innings for the A’s.

This historical tidbit is courtesy of baseball historian extraordinaire, Bob Warrington.

HOFers to make 1st tosses

Modell’s Sporting Goods Opening Day on Friday (4:05 p.m.) will be historic in a way. The Kansas City Royals of the American League are opening the Citizens Bank Park schedule. Yep, an interleague game.

If you haven’t heard, the Houston Astros, after 51 years in the National League, have moved to the AL to balance each league, 15 teams apiece. Thus, there will be an interleague game every day of the season.

To commemorate the Phillies-Royals 1980 World Series, two Hall of Fame third baseman, Mike Schmidt and George Brett, will toss ceremonial first pitches. Without a doubt, Schmidt and Brett are the greatest players in the history of the Phillies and Royals, respectively.

New Phillie
Ezequiel Carrara, claimed on waivers yesterday from the Indians, brings some versatility in that he can play all three outfield positions. Originally signed by the Mets as an 18-year-old, he was part of a three-team, 11-player trade at the winter meetings in 2008, winding up in Seattle.

The Mariners sent him to Cleveland in June, 2010, in a three-player deal. Any chance of the left-handed hitter making the big league Tribe this year sort of went out the window when Cleveland signed Michael Bourne. In parts of two seasons in the majors, he has 24 steals in 30 attempts.

PHL17’s ratings of the Phillies season opener on Monday, an 11.5 household rating, is the highest for the first game in the last 17 years. It was the number one program in the Philadelphia market . . . Doc tonight and Cliff Thursday night as the Phillies wrap up their first road trip.

“You know, if Lou Gehrig said, ‘I’m the luckiest man in the world.’ Well, if he’s the luckiest man in the world, I’m the second luckiest,” Don Zimmer, Tampa Bay Rays senior advisor who is entering his 65the season in baseball. The Rays saluted Zim and his family prior to their season opener on Tuesday.

Minor League Report
The top four Phillies minor league clubs begin their seasons on Thursday………

**Lehigh Valley hosts Syracuse, 7:05 p.m.
**Reading starts with a seven-game, New England trip, 6:35 p.m. Thursday at New Hampshire.
**Clearwater has a 3-mile road trip to Dunedin, 6:30 p.m.
**Lakewood opens at home vs. Kannapolis, 6:35 p.m.

This Date
April 3, 2004—Cleveland Indians defeat Phillies, 3-1, in On-Deck Series game, the first at Citizens Bank Park. As Whitey used to say, “Hard to believe, Harry.”

Don’t forget to visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Cole off, Chase on

Not the way Cole or the Phillies had hoped to begin the season. For the fourth time in the last 12 seasons, the Braves pinned an Opening Day loss on the Phillies last night.

Atlanta got to Cole for three homers in five innings. Once last season, Cole gave up that many home runs in a game, July 21 vs. the Giants at Citizens Bank Park. In 26 innings against the Braves last year, he allowed three homers. Turner Field is not friendly to Cole. In 15 starts, he’s 5-5, losing his last five. ERA going into last night was 4.18.

Making his first Opening Day start since 2010, Chase had a big game, falling a double shy of a cycle. His homer was #200, making him the ninth player in Phillies history to reach that plateau. Dick Allen is eighth with 204. A year ago, Chase homered in his first at-bat when he returned from the DL. This time, he homered in his second AB.

Everyone knows what a healthy Chase can mean for the ballclub.

Day off Tuesday is followed by another night game on Wednesday.

J-Roll started his 13th consecutive opener, breaking Bowa’s club record. The 13 straight starts matches the most for a NL shortstop since 1900; Cincinnati’s Davey Concepcion also made 13 consecutive starts . . . Braves led all NL clubs with 49 spring training home runs . . . Aumont, Brown, Horst, Kratz, Inicarte and Valez are on the Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers . . . 13 of the Phillies 25 players were not on the roster when last season started . . . Happy birthday to Pete Incaviglia, 49.

This Date
April 2, 1992
Phillies acquire RHP Curt Schilling from Astros for RHP Jason Grimsley.

For more historical moments, visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

*April Fool

How about batting Ryan Howard in the leadoff spot?* Over the course of the season, he’d get a lot more at-bats.

The 131st season opener is on tap tonight for the Phillies in Atlanta (ESPN TV). Team left Philly on a 6:30 p.m. Delta charter flight on Sunday.

Playing the Braves on opening day has happened often, 37 times of which 20 came when they were based in Boston. Since moving to Atlanta, seven times (you probably figured that out). Braves are 5-2, winning last three (2002, 2007, 2009). In Atlanta, 2-2.

Cole is the Phillies first LHP to open the season since 2001 when Omar Daal got the call in Larry Bowa’s first game as manager. Phillies won, 6-5, in Florida in 13 innings. Others who pitched for the Phillies, Padilla, Bottalico, Oropesa, Gomes, Mesa and Telemaco, the winner.

Phillies go into today with a three-game winning streak in openers, longest since winning six starting in 1962.

Opening Day Facts#
Most home runs
Mike Schmidt, 5
Chuck Klein and Scott Rolen, 3

Home Runs, First At-Bat
George Wood (1886)
Emmett Mueller (1938), lead-off
Mike Goliat (1951)
Clay Dalrymple (1962)
Tony Longmire, 1995 (pinch hit)
Roy Sievers (1964)
Garry Maddox (1979)
Greg Luzinski (1980)
Mike Schmidt (1984)
Tony Longmire (1995) pinch

Hitting Two Homers
Sherry Magee (1914)
Lefty O’Doul (1929)
Chuck Klein (1931)
Don Money (1969)

Last Homer
Placido Polanco, 2010, a seventh-inning grand slam

Most Wins
Robin Roberts 5
Grover Alexander 4
#This Date in Philadelphia Phillies History by Skip Clayton and Don Bostrom, Camino Books, April 2013 publishing.

*April fool.

This Date
Start of new month means the start of new Phillies phlashbacks. You check out the daily historical notes on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.