Howard Leads The Way

Well, another weekend of interesting and strange baseball. Result: Phillies win two of three and are now 6-0-1 in the last seven series vs. Diamondbacks.

Highlights and lowlights:

**KK, who has experienced numerous disastrous first innings, got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam on Friday without allowing a run. Offense produced nine runs, bullpen gave up four runs but KK beat the Diamondbacks for the first time ever. He’s now got a win against every NL team.

**Offense took 6-1 lead after three on Saturday and then went into hibernation. Bullpen imploded in the 13th inning.

**Antonio had the rare distinction of allowing a pinch-hit grand slam on Friday and a pinch-hit three run homer in Saturday’s loss.

**Roberto threw only 75 pitches in seven innings and allowed only two runs winning Sunday. He won two in a row for the first time since early in the 2011 season. He’s made 70 starts since then.

**Phillies had only four hits in that game but scored the lead run and insurance run thanks to Arizona errors.

**First two runs came on a homer by Ryan, his first since June 1. The two RBI gave him 20, which makes him second to Buster Posey, 21-20, for most RBI vs. a LHP in the NL this season. From Elias Sports Bureau: Howard has hit 81 percent of his home runs this season with runners on base (13 of 16), the highest percentage for any major-leaguer with at least eight homers.

**Phillies took the lead on an RRR in the sixth inning. What’s that, you ask? Replay Review Run. Ryan was out by a mile at home plate but the Arizona catcher didn’t allow a clear path to the plate. Phillies asked for a review, the out was removed and a run added. As Todd Zolecki reported, Sandberg said, “This year that’s a run. The last 100 years that’s not a run.” Personally, go back to the way the game was played the last 100 years. Home plate collisions are risky but part of the way the game should be played.

Special Day
The Phillies wore a patch on their jerseys yesterday commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first Hall of Fame class in Cooperstown, NY, that included former Phillie legend, Grover Cleveland Alexander.

What a day it was in that little village with the inductions of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and three legendary managers, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa.

Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt, Jim Bunning and Pat Gillick were there for the weekend festivities.

If you haven’t been to Cooperstown, put it on your bucket list.

On The Road Again
Road trip that calls for three games in New York and four in Washington starts tonight. Frank Coppenbarger’s itinerary called for busses Sunday evening to NY, a Delta charter flight on Wednesday night to DC and an AMTRAK charter train home next Sunday evening. Missing are canoes.

Number of the Day
12: Doubles Phillies hit in the three-game series.

Minor League Report (Weekend Edition)
Lehigh Valley was swept in a 3-game series in Buffalo’s Coca-Cola Park, the same name as the IronPigs’ play pen in Allentown. 2B-SS Cesar Hernandez, 6-13 series. 1B Maikel Franco, 7th HR on Saturday.

Reading won 1 of 3 against Akron, 3 hits in 5-0 Friday loss, 6-3 win on Saturday behind Hoby Milner (6-5) and Colton Murray (3rd SV) and 6-4 loss Sunday, Miguel Gonzalez yielding 2 9th inning runs to the visitors.

Clearwater won 1 of 3 at Jupiter. Friday and Saturday were 3-2 losses. 7-6 win came Sunday on Brian Pointer’s game-winning SF in the 9th inning. Jupiter manager Brian Schneider was ejected on the play. Pointer also hit a 2-run HR, #10. SS J.P. Crawford hitting .343 in last 10 games. CF Roman Quinn has 17 steals is 55 games.

Lakewood won 2 before losing a DH on Sunday to Kannapolis. No decision on Sunday, Matt Imhof, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 SO. Weekend HR: Larry Greene (1), 3B Mitch Walding (3).

Williamsport lost all 3, 2 at Mahoning Valley and Sunday at Batavia. 2B Drew Stankiewicz, 16 hits in last 10 games (.444), boosting season average to .325. 1B Rhys Hoskins hit 5th HR Sunday.

Gulf Coast League Phillies split 2 games, 14-1 loss to Yankees and 4-2 win over NYY. No decision Sunday for Jesse Biddle, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: 1B Carmelo Martinez (54), INF Ted Lepcio (85) . . . Tuesday: RHP Mike Williams (46), LHP Dave LaPoint 55) . . . Thursday: OF Pete Koegel (67), OF Fred Van Dusen (74) . . . Friday: RHP Freddy Garcia (42), OF Greg Jefferies (54), OF Greg Gross (62), INF Pete Mackanin (63) . . . Sunday: OF Wendell Magee (42), INF Kevin Elster (50).

This Date
July 25-28, 1951: RHP Robin Roberts (7/25 at St. Louis), LHP Ken Johnson (7/26 at STL), RHP Bubba Church (7/27 at Chicago) and RHP Russ Meyer (7/28 at CHI) set a club record with four consecutive shutouts.

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.

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