April 2014

Elusive 100

Career win #100 has been quite evasive, elusive and slippery for Cole. After winning a career-high 17 games in 2012, he entered last season needing just 9 but finished with a career-low 8. His 8th win on September 14 got him to 99. He’s still sitting on that number.

After last night, the Mets are 14-7 against Cole, including 5-1 in his last 6 starts against them at Citizens Bank Park. In those 6 starts, he’s given up 29 earned runs in 31.1 innings. Cole struggled throwing strikes (55 strikes, 51 balls) last night as he walked 5 (4 in 1 inning, a first for him) and hit 1. A year ago (4/28), he walked 6. Yep, against the Mets.

It would seem as if the law of averages would be on Cole’s side against the Mets. Guess not.

Number of the Day
19: home runs for the Mets David Wright at Citizens Bank Park, most among the enemy.

Minor League Report
Players of the Week
Pitcher: RHP Mark Leiter, Lakewood . . . 2 G, 1-0, 0.64 ERA, 14 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 12 SO . . . 3-1 for 5 season stars, 1.97 ERA . . . Career: 7-1, 2.19 for 21 games, 9 starts . . . 23-year-old is the son of former Phillies pitcher, Mark Leiter; selected in the 22nd round, 2013, out of the New Jersey Institute of Technology and signed by Paul Murphy.

Player: C Tommy Joseph, Reading . . . 4 G, .375 average, 2 singles, 1 double, 3 HR, 9 RBI . . . Placed on the DL Saturday with concussion-like symptoms . . . Acquired from Giants 7/31/12 in the Hunter Pence trade.

Lehigh Valley lost, 8-0, to Pawtucket in a game called after 5.2 innings because of rain. IronPigs had 2 singles.

Reading lost its 5th straight, 10-2, in Portland; held to 6 singles. Needing work, RHR Ken Giles pitched the 8th inning and struck out the side.

Clearwater got pounded by Brevard County, 20-0. 6 Clearwater pitchers gave up 20 runs and 10 walks. The only Thresher to take the mound that didn’t give up a run was catcher Chad Carman who pitched a scoreless 9th inning. The Threshers had 4 singles and a double.

Lakewood won its 3rd straight, 9-4, at Lexington, a game called after 6.2 innings by rain. Blue Claws had 8 doubles, 2 each for RF Dylan Cozens and 1B Willians Astudillo. 3B Mitch Walding, in first game off the DL, 2-4, 2 RBI. WP: Alejandro Arteaga (2-3).

Transactions: INF Troy Hanzawa (LV) and LHP Franklin Vargas (extended), released . . . RHP Dan Childs (Clearwater), on DL . . . 3B Mitch Walding (Lakewood), activated from DL.

April 30 Flashback Moments
1887—Phillies beat New York, 19-10, in the first game played at Broad and Huntington Streets Park, later known as Baker Bowl . . . 1961—Manager Gene Mauch uses seven pinch hitters, five in one inning (8th), as Phillies prevail, 11-7, in 10 innings in St. Louis.

Big Moment
If These Walls Could Talk, my first book as a solo author, is available starting tomorrow. Triumph Books is the publisher. Book stores, online and the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park are places where the book can be found, rather purchased.

Will be talking about the book with Pat Williams on his radio show on WDBO in Orlando, FL, 2:30 tomorrow afternoon.

Book signings at Citizens Bank Park have been booked for June 1 (12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.) and June 13 (6 p.m.-7 p.m.). Will post other book signings as they become available.

Chapter 12: Unfulfilled Championship Seasons, an inside look at those seasons in which we fell short of the World Series.

Honors for Chooch

Congratulations to Chooch, the National League Player of the Week. He surely deserves the honor.
He’s the third Phillies catcher to win the award, joining Bob Boone (1979) and Mike Lieberthal (1999).

Mets Series
A two-game series starts tonight. Phillies hold an all-time edge, 475-417.

Mets, however, led 10-9 last season, including 6-3 at Citizens Bank Park. They have won the last four games.

Cole bids for his 100th career win. The Mets seem to have his number, 13-7.

Former Phillies on the Mets include OF Bobby Abreu and pitching coach Dan Warthen. C Travis d’Arnaud was originally drafted by the Phillies.

Number of the Day
259: Phillies team batting average which is second in the NL, but a distant second. Rockies’ .295 leads.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley dropped a 4-2 decision to Pawtucket in 11 innings . . . LP: BJ Rosenberg (0-1), 2 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1.2 IP. Left game in 11th after being hit on the head by a line drive. According to a media report, BJ said he was fine after the game.

Reading lost its fourth in a row, 8-6, at Portland . . . 2B Carlos Alonso, single, 2 doubles . . . LF Cam Perkins, 2-5 . . . DH Chris Serritella, 1st HR . . . LP: Jesse Biddle (2-3); struggled with control, 48 strikes, 38 balls.

Clearwater dropped its third straight, 6-5, to Brevard County . . . 2B KC Serna, 4 hits . . . CF Peter Lavin, double, HR, 2 RBI . . . LP: Jeb Stefan (1-2).

Lakewood was idle.

Extended Spring Training
Some 40 players participate in this phase of the Phillies baseball development program at Carpenter Complex. The players didn’t make the top four minor league rosters but will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League Phillies or Williamsport when their leagues begin play in June.

Players on rehab at the Complex often play in the games. Ethan Martin threw in a game for the first time yesterday, 1 inning, 1 hit, 18 total pitches. Darin Ruf and Miguel Gonzalez will soon get some game experience before moving to a higher pro level in the rehab process. Among the minor league prospects that are rehabbing and playing are SS Roman Quinn and 3B Mitch Walding.

Games are played Monday through Saturday against teams from the Blue Jays, Yankees and Pirates, meaning road trips to Dunedin, Tampa and Bradenton. Starting time is 1 p.m. except 10 a.m. on Saturday. On occasion, there is no game during the week and the day is listed as a “camp day”. That’s the case for the Phillies tomorrow.

There is no admission charge. On most days, sea gulls out-number spectators.

Stats and records are not kept as the primary purpose is instruction, development and rehab.

Routine schedule:
7:00 a.m.–Players report for breakfast (catered by Lenny’s Restaurant).
8:00 a.m.–Mandatory report time for all players, including those on rehab.
8:15 a.m.–Early work begins with coordinators; early hitting in indoor training facility.
9:30 a.m.–Player orientation.
10:00 a.m.–Stretch/long toss/conditioning.
10:30 a.m.–Fundamental of the day.
11:15 a.m.–Batting practice.
Noon—Lunch break.
1:00 p.m.—Play Ball! 7-inning doubleheaders are played 4 times per week.
4:00 p.m.–Postgame conditioning in weight room.

Tomorrow’s early workout schedule is posted on a bulletin board.

Staff includes Roly deArmas (manager), Rafael DeLima (coach), Steve Schrenk (pitching coach), Troy Hoffert (athletic trainer) and Armando Adame (strength & conditioning coach). The various coordinators will also spend time at EST in addition to visiting the four minor league teams.

This Date
April 29, 1981—Needing three strikeouts to reach 3,000, LHP Steve Carlton strikes out the side in the first inning against the Expos in FOUR minutes at Veterans Stadium.

More flashback moments can be found at http://www.phillies.com/alumni. A vintage photo of fans buying tickets at Baker Bowl is included on the page. Check it out.


Tough 10-game road trip out west to Denver-LA-Phoenix, different time zones, 8 night games, 2 losses to start and then a rebound to finish 6-4. Now, time for some R&R with a day off today.

Much of the success on the trip came from R&R as in Revere and Ruiz.

Ben led the club with 14 hits and a .341 average. Since last May 1, he’s hitting .336. Ruiz had a week that should win the NL Player of the Week honors, .500, 6 extra-base hits, 7 RBI and 8 runs.

Not to be overlooked yesterday was A.J., who was brilliant, 8 shutout innings. First win by a Phillies starter since April 4 (Cliff). Nieves caught A.J. for the second straight game. They now have a string of 15 consecutive scoreless innings going. By the way, the Phillies are 5-0 when Nieves catches.

Number of the Day
8: Phillies had gone 8 straight games scoring in the 7th inning or later until yesterday.

New York, New York
It will be Philadelphia against New York tomorrow night at the Sports Complex.

Phillies and Mets play and across the street, the Flyers face the Rangers.

Minor League Report (weekend edition)
Lehigh Valley: 1 win, 1 loss, 1 rainout . . . David Buchanan (3-0) picked up the win yesterday against Pawtucket, 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 5 SO . . . SV: Luis Garcia (3); 0 R in 6 G, 9 IP . . . 1B Jim Murphy, 2 doubles, 2 RBI . . . C Sebastian Valle, 3 RBI.

Reading lost all 3 at New Hampshire . . . Ken Giles blew first save on Friday night in 11-10, 12-inning defeat. His 6 saves lead the Eastern League.

Clearwater dropped 3 to Dunedin scoring 3 total runs . . . C Gabriel Lino, 2-4, HR, 2 RBI yesterday, first game since promotion from Lakewood . . . Friday and Saturday games at Bright House Field drew over 13,000. Sunday’s crowd in Dunedin, 387.

Lakewood split 4 games with Savannah, winning Saturday and Sunday after a DH loss on Friday . . . Mark Leiter (3-1) won on Saturday, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 SO; SV: Cody Forsythe (3) . . . HRs on Sunday, SS J.P. Crawford (2), 1B Wilmer Oberto (3).

Catchers: LV’s Cameron Rupp has been on the DL since April 14 (oblique straight); he leads the club with 4 HR . . . Reading’s Tommy Joseph went on the DL on Saturday (concussion-like symptons); he missed most of last season with 2 concussion injuries; Tommy was hitting .316 in last 10 games and leading the club with 4 HR, 15 RBI . . . His DL triggered a flurry of roster moves involving catchers: Valle from Reading to LV when Rupp went down; Logan Moore from Clearwater to Reading; Chad Carman from Clearwater to Reading; Gabriel Lino from Lakewood to Clearwater . . . Phillies also signed a catcher, Lars Davis, who was released by Arizona’s AA club last week; he played in AAA a year ago . . . Davis was sent to Reading; Carman returned to Clearwater . . . Also on DL this weekend: Reading OF Kelly Dugan (oblique); Lakewood OF Larry Greene (left wrist sprain).

Alumni Birthdays
Today: LHP Jim Poole (48), RHP Pedro Ramos (79), OF Jackie Brandt (80) . . . Tuesday: 1B J.R. Phillips (44) . . . Thursday: INF Rudy Meoli (63), OF Stan Palys (84) . . . Friday: C Keith Moreland (60) . . . Saturday: CH Davey Lopes (69) . . . Sunday: OF Jason Michaels (38), INF Freddie Andrews (62).

Hard To Believe
We’re still in April and All-Star voting is underway.

2 More Days
Yep, in 2 days it will be May 1. That means my book will be on sale in stores and online. Publisher: Triumph Books. Title: If These Walls Could Talk. Foreword: Larry Bowa. Paperback. 208 pages.

Chapter 11: All-Star Games, stories about the two games played at Veterans Stadium, including ASG memories from Phillies alumni.

Chooch Wins Academy Award

Reds v PhilliesA large green creature first appeared at Veterans Stadium on this date in 1978, Phillie Phanatic, who would become baseball’s most entertaining mascot. In this photo, Phanatic is acknowledging Jim Thome’s historic 400th home run at Citizens Bank Park 10 years ago in June.

Academy Award for Chooch
Byrd got the big hit, KK had another strong start, the bullpen imploded again but the Phillies rallied for a win last night. Winning a four-game series isn’t easy, especially on the road and especially against a highly-touted team many feel will go all the way.

But credit belongs to Chooch, who came into the series with no RBI. All he did was go 7-for-14, which included 4 doubles, a triple and a home run. He drove in 6 and scored 5, including a game-winner. Ryno had him everywhere in the batting order, fourth, fifth, seventh (0-3) and last night, second. In 3 games in the 2 hole, he’s reached base 12 times in 15 plate appearances.

The tough 10-game, 3-city trip ends in Phoenix, a weekend series against the lowly Diamondbacks, winners of their last 2 games. No game Monday and then the Mets for two at Citizens Bank Park starting Tuesday night, Hatfield’s $1 dog night.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley had a 4-game winning streak stopped, 9-5, when Norfolk scored 6 in the top of the 9th off Seth Rosin (0-1) and Justin DeFratus . . . 3B Maikel Franco, single, double, 1st HR.

Reading was not scheduled. Took a long bus ride for a seven-game road trip in New England (New Hampshire and Maine).

Clearwater won, 7-5, at Dunedin . . . C Logan Moore, 3 hits, 3 RBI . . . SS Malquin Canelo, 2 doubles . . . WP: Ethan Stewart (1-1).

Lakewood lost, 10-3, to Savannah . . . DH Wilmer Oberto, 2 hits, including 2nd HR.

Book Talk
Will be on WDEV’s SCORE program with host Jeff Fuller on Sunday night, 9:40 p.m., talking about my book, If These Walls Could Talk. Check it out at http://www.wdevradio.com.

Book is available starting next Thursday.

Cole Solid, But Gets L

Cole looked in mid-season form in his return from the DL but the Phillies couldn’t solve Greinke last night, a 5-2 defeat. He threw just 86 pitches and left the game, down 2-1, after 6 innings. The night before, the bullpen did the job and the Phillies won. Last night, the pen gave up 3 runs 2 innings.

Cole was making his first appearance on the Dodger Stadium mound since the NLCS on October 14, 2009. His bid for his 100th big league win fell short for the third time. Only six pitchers in Phillies history reached the century mark. Schilling is #6, 101 wins.

Series finale tonight and then three games in Phoenix over the weekend.

Zo Zone Note
Interesting note from Todd Zolecki’s Zo Zone blog:
“I’m not sure if this is an interesting fact or a case of digging too deep, but yesterday I discovered that today will be just the sixth day since the final month of the 2011 season that the Phillies will not have at least one everyday position player or member of their five-man rotation on the disabled list.”

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley won its 4th in a row, 5-4, over Norfolk on Troy Hanzawa’s SF in the 9th inning . . . 3 hits each for CF Tyson Gillies and RF Steve Susdorf . . . WP: Luis Garcia (2-0).

Reading won, 1-0, behind Jesse Biddle (2-2), Kyle Simon and Ken Giles (6th save). Biddle has 21 strikeouts in last 14.2 innings . . . Giles has 19 strikeouts in 10 innings . . . 1B Cam Perkins, 2-4; hitting .406 . . . C Tommy Joseph’s 4th-inning single drove in the lone run.

Clearwater ended a 5-game losing streak, 6-3, over Daytona. WP: Jeb Stefan (1-1) . . . SV: Dan Childs (1) . . . C Jesus Posso, 1st HR.

Lakewood lost, 9-3, to Charleston . . . CF Carlos Tocci, 2-3; hitting .385 in last 10 games . . . 2B Andrew Pullin, 1st HR.

This Date
1961, RHP Art Mahaffey struck out 17 Cubs at Connie Mack Stadium, a record a Phillies pitcher that still stands. Mahaffey, 23, threw 146 pitches, of which only 48 were called balls.

He fanned Don Zimmer, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks and Frank Thomas three times each in matching the Major League record for most strikeouts in a day game, set by Dizzy Dean of the St. Louis Cardinals against the Cubs, July 30, 1933.

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

Book Blurb
If These Walls Could Talk” is the title of my new book which will be available starting May 1 in book stores and on-line. Triumph Books (triumphbooks.com) is the publisher. Stories from the locker room, dugout and press box from my 5 decades with the Phillies.

Chapter 10: The offseason, spring training and opening day. Included are spring training and opening day memories by numerous Phillies Alumni.

Phillies Reach .500


Former second baseman Marlon Anderson is now with MLB.com. What’s his role? Check out Paul Hagen’s “Where Are They Now” feature on Marlon at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Back At .500
For the second straight night in Dodger Stadium, the Phillies got stellar starting pitching which resulted in a second straight win. For the first time since April 13, the Phillies are at .500, 10-10.

A.J. still hasn’t won on that mound (0-4) but he was outstanding, giving up just 2 runs in 6.2 innings. When a starter can get to the seventh inning, it sets up the bullpen to do its thing and Jake, Mike, Antonio and Pap shut the door.

Ruiz, who earlier had his first triple since 2010, began the 10th with a pop fly to short left. Instead of just jogging assuming the ball would be caught, he busted it. The ball wasn’t caught and he was on second base from where he scored on Domonic’s single. The error was the 22nd for the Dodgers in 21 games.

Phillies had 11 hits, 3 from A.J. (career-high) in the 9 hole and 4 from Ben in the lead-off spot.

Cole makes his first start tonight, meaning the Phillies have their rotation in order for the first time this season. He’s bidding to become the seventh pitcher in Phillies history to win 100 games.

Minor League Report

Players of the Week (April 14-20)
Pitcher: Jesse Biddle, Reading . . . 1-0, 1 G, 1.29 REA, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO . . . Won POTW for the fifth time in his career . . . Selected in 1st round, 2010, out of Germantown Friends School; signed by Eric Valent.

Player: OF Carlos Tocci, Lakewood . . . 5 G, .500 (11-22), 5 R, 4 RBI . . . 18-year-old is one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League . . . Signed as an amateur free agent, 8/23/11, by Jesus Mendez.

Lehigh Valley won 3rd in a row, 6-3, over Norfolk. DH Leandro Castro, 3-run HR (1st) . . . C Koyie Hill, 2-run HR, 1st . . . WP: Greg Smith (2-0) . . . SV: Justin DeFratus (1).

Reading lost, 11-5, as Richmond scored 6 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th. 6 Reading pitchers walked 9. C Tommy Joseph, 3-run HR, 3rd. All 3 HR have come in last 10 games.

Clearwater lost 5th in a row, 18-5, to Daytona. Cubs pounded out 17 hits, 12 for extra-bases.

Lakewood ended a 4-game losing streak, 7-5, over Charleston. RF Dylan Cozens, 3B, HR (2nd), 2 RBI . . . SS J. P. Crawford, 2-4, 2 R . . . 1B Willians Astudillo stretched hitting streak to 9 games, .485 . . . WP: Cody Forsythe (1-0)

Special Birthday
OF-1B-3B Chuck Harmon becomes the eighth Phillies Alumnus 90 years of age today. He closed out a four-year big league career with the Phillies in 1957, .256 in 57 games. Harmon also played for the Reds and Cardinals.

Other former Phillies in the Nonagenarian Club include SS Alex Monchak (97), P Lou Lucier (96), OF Wally Westlake (93), INF Alvin Dark (92), INF Solly Hemus (91), P Bob Kuzava (90) and P Don Grate (90).

Harmon was sent a Phillies jersey with his name and number (50) on the back as a special birthday gift, a club tradition for Alumni who reach 90.

New Book
Coming May 1, If These Walls Could Talk, my new book. Larry Bowa wrote the foreword. Chapter 9: A Rough Rookie Season. Yep, my first year with the Phillies was 1964, a season to forget.

Masterful Cliff

Following Sunday’s crazy game in Coors Field, the Phillies returned to normal baseball last night in Dodger Stadium.

Cliff ended a personal 2-game losing streak as the Phillies won, 7-0. In his previous 3 starts, they scored a total of 4 runs. Cliff was masterful, retiring 20 straight at one point. His ability to throw strikes is amazing. So far this season, 38 strikeouts, 2 walks. Cliff is 3-0 on the road this year, 74-42 lifetime.

Ryan hit his 5th homer in 19 games. A year ago, he didn’t reach 5 until his 31st game. He has homered in nine straight seasons at Dodgers Stadium, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Only other players to match that are Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy.

Chooch doubled in the first two runs, his first RBI in his 50th at-bat. A year ago, his first RBI came in his 51st plate appearance.

Mike Lieberthal and his family were spectators, front row seats.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley was a 4-2 winner at Scranton . . . WP: David Buchanan (2-0) . . . SV: Luis Garcia (2) . . . LV had 5 of its 9 singles in the first inning, scoring all 4 runs.

Reading defeated Richmond, 7-4 . . . WP: Luis Paulino (3-0) . . . LF Cam Perkins, double, 2nd HR, 3 RBI . . . C Tommy Joseph, 1st HR.

Clearwater lost its 4th in a row, 6-5, to Daytona in 11 innings. Last 3 losses were all extra inning games . . . HR by SS Angel Mora (1), CF Peter Lavin (2), 3B Harold Martinez (1).

Lakewood lost its 4th in a row, 4-1, to Charleston . . . 1B Williams Astudillo, 3-4, boosting average to .476.

Extended Spring Training: Steveinphilly posted a comment on 4/15, seeking information about this phase of player development. Will work on that. Stay tuned.

Book Talk
Will be talking about my book at 1:35 this afternoon on NBC Sports Radio’s “Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs” out of Dallas, TX.

If These Walls Could Talk will be available starting on May 1 in book stores and on-line. Chapter 8: Becoming a Baseball Man. How I landed my dream job with the Phillies, a strange journey that included three rejections by the ball club.

Triumph Books is working on some public book signings. Will keep everyone informed with the schedule.

Finally, Some Runs

“Move watches back 2 hours to Mountain Daylight Time.”

That reminder was included in the itinerary when the Phillies left Philly Thursday for Denver. Well, it took 2 days for the offense to kick in. Going into yesterday’s series finale against the Rockies, the Phillies had 1 win in their last 4 games and no (as in zero) extra-base hits, a franchise first since 1968.

Sometimes this game can drive you crazy. Yesterday, the Phillies pounded out 15 hits and a 10-9 win in Coors Field, banging out 7 extra-base hits. Leading the way were the Big Three, J-Roll, Chase and Ryan. Combined, 8-13, 6 R, 7 RBI, 5 extra-base hits.

Ryan had 4 of the hits and should have had a cycle. Official scorer ruled a single and an error on the righfielder who tried to make a diving catch of a liner. It should have been a double which would have completed a cycle. Phillies are hoping it will be reviewed.

The Phillies also had a 2-1 edge in replay reviews, including a game-ending play on a great scoop at first base by John Jr. Game over. Oops, Rockies want a review. Umpires got on the head sets and shortly signaled, “OUT.” Now, the game was over. Imagine if that had been the last out of game 7 of the World Series and the celebration had to be delayed until the umps checked with replay central. Being a purist, I’m not sure I like all these reviews and the home plate collision rule change.

Team left for LA after the game. Itinerary: “move watched back 1 hour to Pacific Daylight Time.” Four days in Dodger Stadium and the Phillies head for Phoenix. Then back home and another time change.

Minor League Review (Weekend Edition)
Lehigh Valley took 2 of 3 in Scranton, Luis Garcia and Cesar Jimenez getting the wins. Maikel Franco, mired in a 7-game spin in which had a total of 2 hits, was 3-5, 2 RBI.
OF Clete Thomas, 5-13 in the series.

Reading spilt a pair against Harrisburg. Jesse Biddle fanned 11 in 7 innings of 2-hit, 1-run ball, winning on Friday night. 3B Cesar Hernandez, 5-9, and saw his average drop to .500.

Clearwater dropped a pair of games vs. Lakeland, 13 and 11 innings respectively.

Lakewood lost 10-8 and 11-6 at Hagerstown.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: INF Greg Legg (54), C Mack Burk (78) . . . Tuesday: 2B Mickey Morandini (48), OF Terry Francona (55) . . . Wednesday: RHP Carlos Silva (35), LHP Rheal Cormier (47), SS Chico Hernandez (75), OF Chuck Harmon (90). . . Thursday: RHP Todd Jones (46), RHP Pat Zachry (62), RHP Joe Verbanic (71) . . . Sunday: 3B Pedro Feliz (39), RHP Bob Ayrault.

Tweet Time
From Mark Victoria: Eating 4 cans of alphabet soup will give you a giant vowel movement.

Book Talk
If These Walls Could Talk, my new book published by Triumph Books, will be available soon, as in May 1, book stores and on-line. Sneak preview: Chapter 7: Scouts, the unsung members of the Phillies. Included are scouting reports of Rollins, Utley and Howard.

Will be on radio tonight, 7:05, on Blog TalkRadio, iTunes, RadioRSQ, Sarasota, FL. Don Henderson and Doug Miles are the hosts.

Again, tomorrow afternoon, 1:35, on NBC Sports Radio’s “Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs” out of Dallas, TX.

Hope you can tune in.

Home Run Derby Night

The pendulum of emotions swung back and forth late in the game. 12 runs were scored off two bullpens in the last two innings.

Three consecutive homers in the eighth put Atlanta on top, 5-1. Domonic’s three-run homer capped a five-run Phillies eighth putting them on top, 6-5. But, Atlanta came back on Uggla’s grand slam to pull out a wild win, 9-6. With Papelbon and Bastardo unavailable, Jake got a chance for his first major league save. Instead, he was tagged with the loss. Phillies pitchers walked 9, 3 scored. They lost by 3.

Seven home runs were hit in the game that was 2-1 after 7 innings. Out in Cincinnati the Pirates and Red combined for 10 homers in a game suspended in the 6th inning by rain. In 9 major league games last night, there were 25 homers. Must have been Home Run Derby Night.

Four enemy players have had multiple home run games in this homestand, Braun, Stanton, Gattis and Uggla.

Chase extended his season-starting hitting streak to 11 games, longest on the club since Don Demeter began 1963 by hitting in 12 games in a row.

Minor League Report
Players of the Week (April 3-13)
Pitcher: RH Ken Giles, Reading. 4 games, 4-4 in saves, 5 IP, 11 SO, 2 BB, 1 H. Has struck out 11 of the 18 total batters he’s faced. Selected in 7th round in 2011 out of Yavapai College (AZ); signed by Brad Holland.
Player: LF Cam Perkins, Reading . . . Batted .432 in 10 games, 7 R, 7 2B, 4 RBI. Had 7 multi-hit games, including his last 4. Selected in 6th round in 2012 out of Purdue University; signed by Nate Dion.

Lehigh Valley was rained out in Syracuse.

Reading won, 7-4, in Richmond. 2 hits each: CF Zach Collier, LF Cam Perkins, 1B Brock Stassi, 2B Albert Cartwright. WP: Severino Gonzalez (2-0). SV: Ken Giles (5), fanned the side in the 9th for the fourth time this season.

Clearwater lost its 9th in arrow, 6-5, on a run in the last of the 9th in Tampa. Threshers out-hit Tampa, 15-12, but were 3-11 RISP. 3 hits: CF Peter Lavan, 1B Art Charles.

Lakewood was a 7-5 winner of Greensboro. CF Carlos Tocci, 4 hits, SB. SS J.P. Crawford, 2 H, 3 R, SB. WP: Mark Leiter (2-1). SV: Cody Forsythe (1).

Extended Spring Training program continues in week 2. Carpenter Complex games at 1 p.m. today (Yankees), Thursday (Pirates) and Saturday (Blue Jays).

Alumni Note
RHP Joe Blanton, the only Phillies pitcher to hit a World Series home run, has retired from baseball. A member of the 2008 World Champion Phillies, Joe won the NLCS clinching game in Milwaukee and was the winner in WS Game 5, a game in which he hit the home run during a 10-2 romp.

This Date
1985, Mike Schmidt breaks Richie Ashburn’s record for most games in Phillies history.

10 years ago, Mike Lieberthal’s 3-run homer in the 8th inning lifts the Phillies to their first win at Citizens Bank Park, 6-4, over Cincinnati.

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

Coming May 1
My new book, with a forward written by Larry Bowa, will be making an appearance in book stores and online. Triumph Books is the publisher; paper back and kindle.

Oh, the title, If These Walls Could Talk.

Spring Break
Heading back north the next couple of days so Phillies Insider will take a break until Friday. Is the snow gone?

Weekend Replay

Tweet of the Day
Yesterday, from Todd Kalas: “Can’t believe it’s been 5 years since we lost one of the greatest people I’ve known. I was so lucky to call him dad!”

Weekend Notes & Numbers
**Jose Fernandez had been lights out against the Phillies, 1 run in 18 innings a year ago. Friday night, Phillies scored 2 in the first inning; a bit later, he struck out 6 in a row. In the fifth, Phillies got 5 straight hits, pinning a noteworthy loss on him.

**J-Roll delivered a walk-off homer Saturday. His other WO HR came June 23, 2010, a 2-run job off Cleveland’s Kerry Wood. So, now he has one from each side of the plate, a Phillies first. In case you are wondering, the club record for most WO HR is held by that Michael Jack Schmidt, 10.

J-Roll’s teammates from that June 23, 2010 game, who are no longer teammates: Polanco, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Schneider, Valdez, Herndon, Zagurski, Baez, Gload, Durbin, Romano, Francisco.

**Phillies catchers were without an RBI until Nieves’ 2-run double in the 5th inning on Sunday. Chooch is 0-9 with RISP. That’ll change.

**LA said it best on radio Sunday, “Chase is on fire” after Chase’s 8th-inning homer gave the Phillies a sweep. Chase is riding a 10-game hitting streak (.500) with 10 RBI, leads the NL in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And, he missed 2 games with the flu. If he isn’t the NL Player of the Week, they need instant replay.

A week that started out glumly ended with glee. That’s Baseball.

Minor League Weekend Report
Lehigh Valley won on Sunday after losing the previous 2 games. RH David Buchanan pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) on Sunday and was lifted. RH Brad Lincoln (1-0) picked up the W, 4 IP, 3 H, 4 SO. CF Clete Thomas, 4-9 weekend, 2 RBI.

Reading’s 7-game winning streak ended on Sunday, 9-3 loss at Harrisburg. RH Ken Giles picked up 4th save on Friday. He’s fanned the last batter in each of the 4 saves. Cesar Hernandez played 3B for the weekend, 7-13, .538. LF Cam Perkins, 9-12, 3 doubles, 4 RBI; hitting .432.

Clearwater was swept in Lakeland, stretching the losing streak to 8 games. Lost Saturday night, 5-4, on a 2-out, 3-run homer in the last of the ninth. Cole started that game, 1 R, 6 IP, 6 SO, 67 pitches, 48 for strikes. Offense: 2 total runs in the 3 losses, 17 hits.

Lakewood was swept (3 games) at home by Hagerstown, scoring 4 total runs on 15 hits. 1B-DH Williams Astudillo, 4-10; hitting .391.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: C Paul Hoover (38), 1B Pete Rose (73) . . . Tuesday: OF Ricky Otero (42), 2B Ted Sizemore (69) . . . Wednesday: RHP Antonio Alfonseca (42), RHP Jim Lonborg (72) . . . Thursday: C Gary Bennett (42), INF Solly Hemus (91) . . . Friday: 1B Rico Brogna (44), RHP Alex Madrid (51), Jim Eisenreich (55) . . . Sunday: 1B Tommy Hutton (68).

Number of the Day
Phillies Insider ranking in March. Up from 20th the previous month among MLB Pro blogs. Thanks go to you.