July 2015

New Phillies from Texas

Unless you were riding a dog sled behind some huskies in Alaska’s frozen tundra, everyone knows by now the eight-player Phillies-Rangers trade is official.  Announcement was made Friday afternoon in the Media Room at Citizens Bank Park.

Before the trade deadline expired at 4 p.m., the Phillies picked up two minor league pitchers from the Blue Jays for Ben Revere. Will profile them in the next blog.

So, during the week, the Phillies acquired seven pitchers, a catcher and outfielder for Jon Papelbon, Cole Hamels and Revere.  More building blocks in the mix.  You’ll notice on the six players from the Rangers are big building blocks as each is 6-foot-2 or over and 200 or more pounds.

2015 Harrison

LHP Matt Harrison . . . 6-foot-4, 240 pounds . . . 29 years old . . . Born in Durham, NC . . . In the Rangers rotation from 2009-2013 . . . 18-game winner in 2012 when he was on the AL All-Star team . . . Had three surgeries in 2013-2014 for neck and spine issues . . . 1-2 for three starts this season; made first start on July 8. Gave up six runs in that start and last start (July 27) but threw six scoreless innings in winning in Denver (July 21) . . . 50-35 career record . . . Originally drafted in the third round by the Braves in 2003 . . . Acquired by Rangers in a seven-player trade on 7/31/2007 . . . Signed through 2017.

2015 Thompson

RHP Jake Thompson . . . 6-4, 225 . . . 21 . . . Born in Rockwall, TX . . . 6-6, 4.72 in 17 starts in AA this season; 84 strikeouts in 82 innings . . . 4-3, 3.88 in last 10 starts . . . Pitched in Pan Am Games this year winning 6-0, over Nicaragua on July 15; 7 innings, 1 hit, 10 strikeouts . . . Winning pitcher in the 2014 Futures Game . . . All-Star, 2014 and 2015 . . . Originally drafted in the second round by the Tigers in 2012. Committed to TCU but chose pro ball . . . Traded to the Rangers a year ago.

2015 Nick Williams

OF Nick Williams . . . 6-3, 200 . . . 21 . . . B-T: L-L . . .  Born in Galveston, TX . . . Hit .299 in AA, leading the Frisco RoughRiders in hits (113), doubles (21), home runs (13) and stolen bases (10). Hit .357 in July, including a 7-for-7 in a doubleheader. Removed from his last game on July 29 as deal was being finalized.  Was hitless in one at-bat ending a 9-game hitting streak . . . Was 1-for-1 with an RBI and run scored in July’s Future Game . . . Chosen on MiLB.com’s First-Half All-Risers Team in July . . . All-Star 2014 and 2015 . . . Played in Arizona Fall League in 2014 . . . Drafted in second round by the Rangers in 2012. Committed to Texas A&M but chose pro ball . . . Only one of the six players that wasn’t on the Rangers’ 40-man roster.

2015 Eickhoff

RHP Jerad Eickhoff . . . 6-4, 240 . . . 25 . . . Born in Evansville, IN . . . Began season in AA, 1-0, for two starts . . . Made AAA debut (Round Rock Express) on April 24 and lost a no-hitter allowing a home run with one out in the ninth inning at Colorado Springs; struck out 10 . . . Overall: 10-4, 4.11 ERA; leads AAA staff in innings (111.2) and strikeouts (107). 5-1, 3.40 ERA in last 10 starts. Removed after 5 scoreless innings on July 29 in his last start as deal was being finalized . . .  Led Texas League in strikeouts (144) in 2014 . . . Originally drafted in the 46th round out of high school by the Cubs in 2010. Opted to attend Central Community College (IL). Drafted in 15th round by Rangers in 2011.

2015 Asher

RHP Alec Asher . . . 6-4, 230 . . . 23 . . . Born in Lakeland, FL . . . Began season in AA, 1-4, 3.98 ERA for 8 starts . . . Promoted to AAA on May 26 . . . Combined: 4-10, 4.43 ERA, 37 walks, 97 strikeouts in 107.2 innings . . . All-Star 2013-2014 . . . Led South Atlantic League in strikeouts (139) in 2013 . . . Originally drafted by Giants in 23rd round in 2010. Opted for Polk County Junior College (FL) . . . Drafted in 4th round by Rangers in 2012 . . .Dad, Bob, is the public address announcer at Joker Marchant Stadium, home of the Detroit Tigers spring training and Detroit’s Florida State League team.

2015 Alfaro

C Jorge Alfaro . . . 6-2, 225 . . . 22 . . . B-T: R-R . . . Born in Sincelejo, Columbia . . . Hit .253 in 54 games in AA, 5 homers, 21 RBI, .746 OPS . . . Threw out 27.8 percent of base stealers . . .  Left game on June 28 following a double; sustained a left ankle injury and has not played since . . . All Star 2013-2014-2015 . . . Selected to Futures Game in 2013 (did not play, fractured finger from HBP) and started for the World Team in 2014 . . . Signed by the Rangers as a third baseman as an international free agent, 1/19/10, at age 16 . . . Younger brother, Jhoandro, was drafted by the White Sox in 2014.

Chooch Milestone

On a night when Chooch played his 1,000th major league game, Harang ended a personal losing streak and Giles picked up his first save at Citizens Bank Park, 4-1, over Atlanta.

Ruiz, who drove in two runs, is the 34th active major leaguer with 1,000 or more games.  Chooch joins Howard, Utley and Rollins from the 2008 World Champions who have played 1,000 games with the Phillies. 963 have come behind home plate.  He’s fifth on the Phillies all-time list and just two shy of matching Darren Daulton, who is in town for the Toyota Alumni Weekend.

Harang had lost eight in a row since his last win on May 14.  In 19 innings against the Braves this year, he’s allowed just one run.  He pitched for Atlanta last year.  Giles gave up a pair of singles but ended the game with a strikeout. Two of his pitches registered 101 on the radar gun. Howard drove in his 19th run this month, among the NL leaders.

The trade with Texas hasn’t been officially completed. Hamels wasn’t at the park but Diekman was in uniform.  Will have another post whenever it becomes official, letting you meet the newest Phillies.

8-Player Trades
Raised the question yesterday as to the last time the Phillies were in an eight-player trade.  Bill Loos posted it as a question and his belief was correct: February 29, 1979: OF Jerry Martin, C Barry Foote, 2B Ted Sizemore, RHP Henry Mack and Derek Botelho to the Cubs for 2B Manny Trillo, OF Greg Gross and C Dave Rader.

Also e-mailed baseball historian Skip (Memory) Lane.  Within 48 minutes he answered that there were two such trades, the one mentioned above and November 12, 1910: P George McQuillan, P Lew Moren, 3B Eddie Grant and OF John Bates to the Reds for 3B Hans Lobert, OF Dode Paskert, P Fred Beebe and P John Rowan.

J-Roll Returns

rollins mjs
In what seems like an extension of Alumni Weekend, Jimmy Rollins returns to Citizens Bank Park for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and Thursday afternoon.

It was June 14, 2014 when Jimmy Rollins broke Mike Schmidt’s record for the most hits in Phillies history, one of the many great historical moments during the first 10 seasons at Citizens Bank Park.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (47-59, 4th place, North Division)
Lost third in a row, 3-2, to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  IronPigs had only 8 hits over last 2 games, 5 for Tyler Henson, including 3 last night.
Next: Jason Berken (5-7) 7:05 tonight vs. Norfolk.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (56-49, 3rd place, Eastern Division)
Were shut out in New Hampshire, 4-0. LF Cam Perkins, 2 of their 6 hits.  LP: Mark Leiter (2-6), 7-6-3-2-1-9; strikeout total is a season high.
Next: Joely Rodriguez (2-2) 7:05 tonight in New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (22-12, 1st place, North Division)
Rained out in St. Lucie.
Next: Ricardo Pinto (3-2) and Matt Imhoff (5-3) in 4:05 DH tonight in St. Lucie.

Lakewood BlueClaws (19-13, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Fell 4 behind division-leading West Virginia by losing, 7-4, there. BlueClaws had 9 singles in losing their third in a row.
Next: Elniery Garcia (6-7) 7:05 tonight in West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (25-14, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Dropped 5-2 decision to Lowell.  LF Mark Laird, 2 hits, 2 RBI.
Next: Mitch Gueller (5-1) 7:05 tonight vs. Vermont.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (20-11, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Lost, 1-0, in 10 innings to the Tigers. 2B Jose Antequera, 1b, 2b out of the team’s 5 hits. ND: Sam McWilliams, 6-5-0-0-1-4.
Next: 12 noon today at Astros.

Yesterday in Phillies History
On the of the greatest days in franchise history took place in Cooperstown, NY, 20 years ago when Richie Ashburn and Mike Schmidt were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Phillies fans turned the village into a sea of red.  As estimated 28,000 attended the ceremonies a record crowd.

Hal Bodley, dean of baseball writers, covered the event for USA TODAY.  Now a senior correspondent at MLB.com, recalls that day at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.



Announcement Pending


With the trade deadline at 4 Friday afternoon (EDT) following trade rumors on twitter became addictive.  Local baseball writers as well as key national writers are on my follow list.

Who wanted Hamels?  It kept changing.  Then TR Sullivan, who covers the Texas Rangers, tweeted that the Rangers were still in and talks were fluid.  Citing “sources” various reports were tweeted that the Phillies and Rangers agreed to a deal.  One writer would tweet a couple of names, another would add another name or two.

Finally, it was reported that Hamels, Diekman and cash were going to Texas for 29-year-old LHP Matt Harrison and five prospects, 21-year-old RHP Jake Thompson listed as the Rangers’ #4 prospect by MLB.com pipeline, OF Nick Williams, 21, listed as #5, C Jorge Alfaro, 22, #6, RHP Jake Eichhoff, 25, #17 and RHP Alex Asher, 23, #29.

Neither team has confirmed the deal as physicals need to be reviewed.  I don’t recall a deal involving eight players.   When the Phillies got Lee from Cleveland, that deal had six.

Early this morning Sullivan tweeted:

Stay tuned.  Will post again once the deal is finalized.

Toyota Alumni Weekend
It all starts at noon today with the sold-out Alumni Luncheon featuring Wall of Fame inductee Pat Burrell as the guest. Seven Alumni will make surprise appearances. Burrell gets inducted on Friday night at 7 with the Braves-Phillies game to follow.  All fans will receive a commemorative print of Burrell, courtesy of Toyota.

Phillies Alumni will be signing autographs at various ballpark locations from 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Saturday.  The John Vukovich Award will be presented to Clearwater pitching coach Steve Schrenk prior to the introduction of some 50 former Phillies players.

Earlier Saturday a 3,750 square-foot mural featuring 34 prominent players and icons depicting Phillies historical moments will be unveiled.  Festivities begin at 11 a.m. The mural towers eight stories high on the side of a building at 24th and Walnut Streets.  Some of the Phillies greats in the mural will be in attendance.

On Sunday, a special taping of the Phillies Behind the Pinstripes with host Scott Palmer will start at 12 noon in Ashburn Alley.  Several Phillies Alumni will be involved.  All fans will receive a Toyota Phillies Alumni Fathead featuring five Wall of Famers, Steve Carlton, Darren Daulton, Dick Allen, Mike Schmidt and Burrell.

Minor Leagues
Prospect Spotlight

2015 Tocci
19-year-old centerfielder with Clearwater is riding a 9-game hitting streak (15-37, .405), boosting his average from .283 to .313. For July, .355.  Began the season at Lakewood were he was hitting .321 when promoted to Clearwater on June 16.  Was selected to All-Star Game at Lakewood.  He was signed 8/23/11 out of Venezuela.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (47-58, 4th place, North Division)
Lost, 9-4, to visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  2B Tyler Henson had 2 of LV’s 3 singles.
Next: TBD 7:05 tonight vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (56-48, 3rd place, Eastern Division)
For the second straight game, Reading won on a walk-off hit, this one by CF Destin Hood in the ninth inning for a 9-8 decision over Erie. SS Angelo Mora, 1B, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI. LF Cam Perkins, HR (11), 2 RBI. 1B Brock Stassi, 2 RBI, boosting league-leading total to 68. ND: Ben Lively, 5-10-7-6-0-6, 3 HR.  WP: Stephen Shackleford (3-1). Bused to Manchester, NH, following the morning game.
Next: Mark Leiter (2-5) 7:05 tonight in New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (22-12, 1st place, North Division)
Posted 6-3 in Bradenton behind Brandon Leibrandt (7-2), 5-3-2-2-2-0. SV: Miguel Nunez (2). DH Dylan Cozens, 1B, 2 2B, HR (5) in 4 AB, 2 RBI. Hitting .522 since returning from a foot injury on July 22. LF Andrew Pullin, HR (11).
Next: Ricardo Pinto (3-2) 6:30 tonight in St. Lucie.

Lakewood BlueClaws (19-13, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Rode bus to Charleston, WV, for a four-game series against the first-place Power.  Lakewood is 3 games behind.
Next: Austin Davis (2-3) 7:05 tonight in West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (25-13, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Gave up 3 in the top of the ninth in a 10-7 loss to Lowell. 3 hits: LF Mark Laird, 2B Josh  Tobias. 1B Jesus Posso, HR (3), 2 RBI. ND: Franklyn Kilome, 3.1-3-3-2-3-4.
Next: Jose Taveras (4-1) 7:05 tonight vs. Lowell.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (20-11, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Suffered a 2-1 walk-off loss at the Tigers extending the losing streak to 5 games. 1B Luis Encarnacion, 2 of their 5 hits.
Next: 12 noon today vs. Tigers.

E-Mail Inquiry
From Dennis, “Where is Tommy Joseph now that he is switching to first base?”
Tommy is at Carpenter Complex working out at the new position.

Beat Goes On

2015 Adam Morgan
The beat goes on.  For the first time since 1970, the Phillies are 9-1 after the All-Star break thanks to a solid starting pitching job by Morgan, 3-2.  It is the third straight game in which a Phillies starting pitcher has picked up a win.  Five of the nine post-All-Star Game wins are by starters.  In 46 games prior to the ASG, starters won three times in 46 games.  In his first appearance as the Phillies new closer, Giles picked up a save.

Morgan gave up a home run to the first batter and a run in the next inning but really settled down giving up two runs in six innings, throwing just 79 pitches. Another building block for the future?

The win ended an eight-game Phillies losing streak to the Blue Jays, including six in Toronto.  When scoring three or less runs, the Phillies are 7-45; scoring four or more, 31-18.

Elias Sports Bureau
No team that had been at least 25 games under .500 at the All-Star break won nine of its first 10 games after the break.  In case you forgot, the Phillies were 33 below.

Minor Leagues
Players of the Week (July 20-26)
1B Brock Stassi, Reading…Stassi, 25, hit .444 (12-27) in seven games with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. His 66 RBI are most in the league, and he also ranks among the top four in average (.315), on-base percentage (.406), total bases (156) and walks (54). His home run on July 23 was his ninth of the season, which is a new career high. Stassi was selected by the Phillies in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Nevada-Reno and was signed by Joey Davis.

LHP Ranger Suarez, GCL Phillies…Suarez, a 20-year-old lefthander, started one game, tossing 6.0 scoreless innings while allowing only two hits and a walk against the GCL Yankees. He struck out five batters. He has allowed only two earned runs in 27.2 innings pitched while allowing 15 hits and four walks. Suarez was signed as an amateur free agent in April of 2012 by the Phillies and Jesus Mendez.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (47-57, 4th place, North Division)
Dropped 5-3 decision at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  ND: Jesse Biddle, 5-1-2-1-5-4. LP: Cesar Jimenez (2-4). RF Brian Bogusevic, 2-4.  CF Aaron Altherr, 2-3, RBI.
Next: Sean O’Sullivan (0-0) 7:05 tonight vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (55-48, 3rd place, Eastern Division)
Kelly Dugan’s 2-out walk-off single capped a 4-run 9th inning as Reading ended a 3-game losing streak, 4-3, over Erie. C Andrew Knapp doubled in 2 runs and 3B Harold Martinez followed with an RBI double to set up Dugan’s heroics. WP: Colton Murray (6-1; ND: Chris Leroux, 7-6-2-2-1-5. 1B Brock Stassi, 22nd-23rd doubles; previous career high was 12 a year ago.
Next: Ben Lively (7-7) 12:05 this afternoon vs. Erie.

Clearwater Threshers (21-12, 1st place, North Division)
Split a pair vs. Bradenton, 4-1 W and 2-1 L. WP: Victor Arano (4-9), 6-5-1-0-3-3. Started season 0-7 but is 4-2 in last 9 starts. SV: Ulises Joaquin (13).  ND in 2-1 loss: Yacksel Rios, 5-3-1-1-0-5. LP: Alexis Rivero (0-2). CF Carlos Tocci, 3-7 and SS Malquin Canelo, 3-5, in the DH.
Next: Brandon Leibrandt (6-2) 10:30 this morning at Bradenton.

Lakewood BlueClaws (19-13, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Lost, 3-1, to Kannapolis. LP: Ranfi Casimiro (6-6) had his 4-game win streak end, 6.2-7-3-2-3-5.
Next: Day off for a bus ride to West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (25-12, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Won, 6-5, vs. Lowell. C Gregori Rivero, HR (3), 2 RBI. LF Vinn Biter, 2-run double. WP: Sutter McLoughlin (1-0), 4 SO in 1.1 IP. SV: Robert Tasin (7).
Next: Franklyn Kilome (2-0) 7:05 tonight vs. Lowell.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (20-10, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Finally got to play and lost two to the Pirates by the same 4-3 score.  Pittsburgh won the second game (7 innings) with 4 runs in their last at-bat, the final two on a walk-off HR off Horace Stubblefield, his first HR and blown save as a pro.  Phillies 3 runs came on a 2-run HR by C Edgar Cabral (2) and 1st pro HR by RF Bryan Martelo.
Next: 12 noon today at Tigers.

Newest Phillie

2015 pivetta
RHP Nick Pivetta . . . 22 years of age . . . 6-foot-5, 220 . . . Former Canadian Junior National Team star . . . 4th round selection by Washington in 2013 . . . 10th best Washington prospect by Baseball America; 13th by MLB.com . . . Began season at Potomac (Class A Carolina League), 7-4, 3.02 ERA, and promoted to Harrisburg (Class AA Eastern League) on July 5, 0-2, 7.20 . . . Selected to Carolina League All-Star team . . . 21-15, 3.60 ERA, in two pro seasons, 201 strikeouts in 267.2 innings . . . In  MLB.com’s new listing of Phillies minor league prospects, Pivetta has moved into the 10th spot . . . He’ll join the Reading Fightin’ Phils.

Today in Phillies History
1983: Phillies purchase contract of RHP Larry Andersen from Seattle Mariners.

1984: 2B Juan Samuel and CF Von Hayes are the first Phillies to hit back-to-back home runs to lead off a game, a 6-4 win over Montreal at the Vet.

1989: Phillies retire LHP Steve Carlton’s #32 in pre-game ceremony before 47,277 at the Vet.

Tweet of the Day
Yesterday from Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com:
“There’s no better place for Jonathan Papelbon than Washington, D.C. He can moonlight as a diplomat in his spare time.”



Souvenir Shirt

2015 no hit t shirt
Just on the market is a Cole Hamels no-hit T-shirt.  On sale online and at the Majestic Clubhouse Store in Citizens Bank Park. Could be a real collector’s gem if the no-hitter was Cole’s last in a Phillies uniform.  His next scheduled start is Thursday night against the Braves at home.  Trade deadline is 4 p.m. on Friday, the first day of the Toyota Alumni Weekend.

1st of 13
Phillies’ first no-hitter came a long time ago.  Make that, a very, very long time ago, their second season:

August 29, 1885: RHP Charlie Ferguson, 1-0, over the Providence Grays at the Phillies home field, Recreation Park.  Age: 22. Catcher: Jack Clements.  Season record: 26-20, 2.22 ERA.

“Ferguson, the Philadelphia pitcher, accomplished the feat today by retiring the Providence team without a hit in a full nine inning game. Eight of the visitors went out on strikes, one on a foul tip, and seven on short infield flies, only five balls being hit by them to the outfield, all of which were caught.  His pitching was very steady, except in the fourth inning when he gave two men their bases on balls.  The only run of the game was made by Mulvey in the ninth inning, when he reached first on a hit, stole second, went to third on Fogarty’s out and came home on a wild pitch,” New York Times, August 29, 1885.

During this era, the mound was 50 feet from home plate. Pitchers threw from a flat surface and seven balls were needed for a walk. Batters were allowed to request where they wanted a pitch to be thrown.  But, there was no speed pitch or pitch count.

Toronto Next
Phillies return to interleague play tonight and tomorrow night in Toronto.  Blue Jays lead the American League with 528 runs scored and 196 doubles.  Their 130 home runs are second.  Their pitching staff’s 4.07 ERA ranks 12th the bullpen’s 16 saves are last.  In other words, they out-muscle their opponents.

Two teams have a two-game rematch at Citizens Bank Park on August 18-19, a two-game homestand.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (47-56, 4th place, North Division)
Won their 3rd in a row, 3-1, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  WP: Anthony Vasquez (7-3), 8-5-1-1-2-2; his 3rd straight win. SV: Dustin McGowan (7). CF Aaron Altherr, 2 RBI and threw out a runner trying for a double.  Both managers were ejected in the game.
Next: Jesse Biddle (2-0) 7:05 tonight in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (54-48, 3rd place, Eastern Division)
Lost their 3rd consecutive game, 4-3, to Erie.  LP: Zach Elfin (5-6), 2-6-4-4-0-1. HRs: C Andrew Knapp (2); LF Cameron Perkins (10); going into this season he had a career total of 13 over 3 seasons.  Knapp was ejected in the 9th inning.
Next: Chris Leroux 7:05 tonight vs. Erie.

Clearwater Threshers (20-11, 1st place, North Division)
Were rained out. 5 p.m. doubleheader today in Bradenton, Victor Arano (3-9) and Brandon Leibrandt.

Lakewood BlueClaws (19-12, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Lost 1-0 to Kannapolis. LP: Tyler Viza (4-6), 9-6-1-1-0-6.  BlueClaws held to 2 singles, 1B Kyle Martin with 2 out in the 4th and CF Jiandido Tromp, leading off the 9th.
Next: Ranfi Casimiro (6-5) 11:00 this morning vs. Kannapolis.

Williamsport Crosscutters (24-12, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Were not scheduled. Alejandro Arteaga (3-0) 7:05 tonight vs. Lowell

Gulf Coast League Phillies (20-8, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Losing, 1-0, after 1, game vs. Pirates was suspended by rain.  12 noon DH today vs. Pirates. Haven’t played since Thursday because of rain.

Today in Phillies History
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.

Phun Fact
Reds replace Cubs as the last team to be no-hit, 7,026 games ago.  The Phillies Rick Wise did it in 1971, becoming the only pitcher to hit two home runs while tossing a no-hitter.


Wrigley Weekend Sweep

2015 weekend

Baseball, a game of the unexpected, was at its’ finest this weekend in Wrigley Field. Against the Cubs’ pitching staff which had the fourth-best ERA in the league, the Phillies scored 21 runs and hit 21 extra-base hits.  Last time they had that many extra-base hits in a three-game stretch was 2001.

Frenchy hit a game-winning home run that started the sweep on Friday night, his third straight clutch home run late in a game (8th, 9th, 10th innings) in the last week. His nine for the season are the most since 2012.

Having given up 16 hits to the last 29 batters he faced, Hamels no hit the Cubs on Saturday, allowing two walks in facing 29 batters.  It was his first win since May 23 and the Phillies first complete game of the season and his first CG since 2013. His 13 strikeouts are the most for any of the 13 no-hitters in Phillies history. Subject of massive trade rumors, Hamels, whose nickname is Hollywood, certainly wrote a Hollywood script if that was his last Phillies start.

Herrera played two games in center field in six minor league seasons. A former infielder, the Phillies converted him to a centerfielder this spring. Saturday was just his 67 big league game in CF. He made two spectacular catches to save the no-hitter, including the last out when he fell down making the historic grab.

Nola, making his second big-league start, completed the sweep throwing 91 pitches in 7.2 innings, while allowing four runs.  He got his first big league RBI.

Finally, Phillies are 8-1 since the All-Star Game break. Keeping up that pace, they will finish 85-77.  As Harry Kalas loved to sing, “High Hopes.”

Next, Tuesday and Wednesday night  games in Toronto and then back home for Alumni Weekend (Atlanta, Thursday through Sunday) followed  by the Dodgers and Alumnus Jimmy Rollins, August 4-5-6. Cole’s next start is scheduled for Thursday night vs. Atlanta.

Minor Leagues
Prospect Spotlight

2015 hoskins
1B Rhys Hoskins, Clearwater. Began season at Lakewood and promoted to Clearwater on June 25.  Combined: .314, 25 doubles, leading organization with 13 home runs and tied for most RBI, 66.  Drafted in 4th round, 2014 out of Cal State Sacramento. B-T: R-R; 22 years old.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (46-56, 4th place, North Division)
Won 2 of 3 vs. Syracuse over the weekend.  WP: Juan Gutierrez (4-1) and David Buchanan (3-0). RF Aaron Altherr hit 12th homer, #6 with LV on Saturday. LHR Adam Loewen hasn’t given up a run since July 6, 10.2 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 11 SO in 9 appearances.  Dave Brundage managed his 2,500th game in the minor leagues on Saturday.  Jayson Werth played RF on rehab assignment with Syracuse.
Next: Anthony Vasquez (6-3) 7:05 tonight at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (54-47, tie 2nd place, Eastern Division)
Dropped 2 of 3 in New Britain. WP: RHR Colton Murray (5-1). SV: Stephen Shackleford (22). SS J.P. Crawford, 5-12.  1B Brock Stassi, 6-14, HR (10), 4 RBI; has hit in 8 straight (14-31, .452) and driven in a run in 5 straight.
Next: Zach Eflin (5-5) 7:05 tonight vs. Erie.

Clearwater Threshers (20-11, 1st place, North Division)
Lost 2 of 3; first two games vs. Jupiter and Sunday at Bradenton.  WP in second game of Saturday DH:  LH Matt Imhoff (5-3), 5.2-2-1-1-2-5; SV: Alexis Rivero (1). CF Carlos Tocci, 6-game hitting streak with 4 RBI. Hoskins, 5-10 weekend.
Next: Victor Arano (3-9) 7:00 tonight vs. Bradenton.

Lakewood BlueClaws (19-11, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Won all 3; 13 wins in last 17 games. WPs: Clayton Rayburn (3-1), Shane Watson (1-2) and Will Morris (3-0). SV: Matt Hockenberry (9-10). 2B Scott Kingery, 5-13; hitting .375 in last 10 games; 1B Kyle Martin, 6-12; .359 in last 10.
Next: Tyler Viza (4-5) 7:05 tonight vs. Kannapolis.

Williamsport Crosscutters (24-12, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Won first 2 at Aberdeen before losing Sunday. WPs: Mitch Gueller (5-1); leads league in W; Tyler Gilbert (1-0). SV: Anthony Sequeira (3). CF Zach Coppola, 8-game hitting streak ended Sunday; hitting .361 in last 10 games. C Jesus Posso, 2nd HR.
Next: Day off.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (20-8, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Rained out of a single game on Friday and a (DH) on Saturday. Felix Paulino 12 noon today vs. Pirates.

Reading: RHP Colin Kleven on DL (lower back strain)

Today in Phillies History
1950: RF Del Ennis sets a club record by driving in seven runs in two consecutive innings (seventh and eighth) as the Phillies pound Chicago, 13-3, at Shibe Park.

1935: 2B Jose “Chile” Gomez, a native of Mexico, becomes the first Hispanic player to appear in a Phillies uniform.  He is hitless in four at-bats in a 5-0 win over the Braves in Boston.

1966: Pitching classic in Dodger Stadium as Dodgers edge Phillies, 2-1, in 12 innings.  Winner LHP Sandy Koufax strikes out 16 in 11 innings while loser RHP Jim Bunning fans 12 in his 11-inning outing.

Phun Fact
The Phillies have thrown the most no-hitters in the majors since 2010, four.


Burrell I WOF

2015 Burrell WOF print
A week from tonight Pat Burrell will become the 37th member of the Toyota Wall of Fame in ceremonies that begin at 7 p.m. with the Braves-Phillies game to follow. Burrell is the 13th outfielder in the WOF.  Only Del Ennis (259) has more home runs than Burrell (251) among WOF outfielders.

All fans will receive a commemorative print (above), courtesy of Toyota. Wall of Famers scheduled to attend include: Jim Bunning (1984), Steve Carlton (1989), Mike Schmidt (1990), Larry Bowa (1991), Dick Allen (1994), Greg Luzinski (1998), Garry Maddox (2001), Tony Taylor (2002), Bob Boone (2005), Dallas Green (2006), Juan Samuel (2008), Darren Daulton (2010), John Kruk (2011), Mike Lieberthal (2012) and Charlie Manuel (2014).

Burrell made his major league debut in 2000.  He wore #33 and played first base in Houston’s Enron Field.  He has the distinction of getting the last hit at Veterans Stadium and last spring training hit at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium.

New Wrigley
Improvements have been made to the National League’s oldest ballpark, Wrigley Field.  The Phillies make their only visit there 4:05 this afternoon and Saturday afternoon and 2:20 Sunday afternoon. The bleachers have been expanded to make room for additional seats and a new Jumbotron scoreboard has been added.  Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen wondered in the improvements eliminated the spiders in the visiting radio booth.

The Cubs’ first game April 20, 1916.  The Phillies won their first game there, 4-2, on May 21 of the same season.  Known as the White Stockings, Chicago was part of the league when the Phillies entered the league in 1883.  The Phillies have played more games in Wrigley than any other park, a 389-477 record.  Overall, the Phillies are 1099-1217 vs. the Cubs.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (44-55, 4th place, North Division)
Scored 3 in the last of the 9th and had the tying run on second base with no out but the rally fell short, 7-6, to Toledo.  LF Aaron Altherr, 6th 2B, 5th HR, RBI. LP: Nefi Ogando who allowed 4 runs in the 8th, snapping his 9.2 scoreless inning streak in AAA since the promotion from Reading on 6/24.
Next: Severino Gonzalez (1-5) 7:05 tonight vs. Toledo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (52-45, 2nd place, Eastern Division)
Lost, 7-2, at New Britain.  1B Brock Stassi, 2-run HR (9) in 9th.
Next: Ben Lively (7-7) 7:05 tonight in New Britain.

Clearwater Threshers (19-9, 1st place, North Division)
Went extra innings for the second straight game vs. Jupiter but lost this one, 3-2, in 10. RF Dylan Cozens, 1B, 2B, 3B. LF Aaron Brown, HR (7), 2 RBI, 5th SB.  ND: Brandon Leibrandt, 7-3-2-2-1-2, 2 HR.
Next: Ricardo Pinto (3-1) 6:30 tonight vs. Jupiter.

Lakewood BlueClaws (16-11, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Dropped 5-1 decision to second-place West Virginia which opened a 3-game lead over Lakewood.  2B Scott Kingery, 3 of his team’s 6 hits. LF Cord Sandberg’s 10-game hitting streak ended.
Next: Elniery Garcia (6-7) 7:05 tonight vs. West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (22-11, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Ended a 3-game losing streak with 8-3 win in Hudson Valley. 2B Josh Tobias, 1B, 3B, 2nd HR, 2 RBI. C Gregori Rivero broke the game wide open with his 2nd HR, a 7th-inning grand slam.  WP: Jose Taveras (4-1), 5-6-2-2-2-6.
Next: Mitch Gueller (4-1) 7:05 in Aberdeen.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (20-8, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Lost 2 consecutive games for the first time this season, 6-3 and 8-2 in a DH vs. the Blue Jays.  3B Lucas Williams, 18-year-old 3rd-round selection last month, 3-6 in DH, extending his hitting streak to 8 games.  CF Juan Luis, 7-11 in last 4 games, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB.
Next: 12 noon today at Yankees1.

Lehigh Valley: INF Russ Canzler on DL (oblique strain); INF Casey Serna, from Reading;

Reading: INF Angelo Mora, from Clearwater

Clearwater: INF Luis Espiritu, from Gulf Coast League

Lakewood: INF Drew Stankiewicz on DL (left oblique strain); INF William Cuicas, from Williamsport

Today in Phillies History
1998: Phillies sweep a doubleheader against Florida, winning both games in the 12th inning (6-4 and 7-6).  Mark Parent catches all 24 innings.

2011: GM Pat Gillick is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  Pat is in Cooperstown this weekend as part of the induction ceremonies.

Alumni News/Photos
Don’t forget to visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni for features and photos about Phillies Alumni.  Paul Hagen just posted a “Where Are They Now?” on pitcher Mike Williams.

Allen Returns for Alumni Weekend

This time it was Herrera who delivered the walk-off hit that gave the Phillies their first-ever series win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Philadelphia.  Until yesterday, the Rays had won their last six series in Philly, dating back to Veterans Stadium.

For the first time since 2011, the Phillies won back-to-back interleague series.  That year they were 2-1 over Oakland, Boston and Toronto. If they are to make it three straight, the Phillies will have to sweep two games in Toronto next Tuesday and Wednesday.  Before that, three day games in Wrigley Field starting at 4:05 Friday.

The win was the Phillies 24th at home this season, six via walk-off fashion.

Toyota Alumni Weekend

Dick Allen
A week from Friday, Pat Burrell will be inducted into the Toyota Wall of Fame.  Charlie Manuel will do the honors. Returning to participate in the traditional pre-game festivities that begin at 7 p.m. is the popular Dick Allen.  He was inducted in 1994.

Nola Fever
Not only was Tuesday’s crowd the Phillies largest non-fireworks crowd since May 14, Comcast SportsNet’s rating was a 4.9, highest since June of a year ago.  Top selling jersey on Tuesday night was #27, Nola.

Elias Sports Bureau pointed out Nola was one of 13 pitchers born in the 1990s to start Tuesday night. Seven more did it Wedneday.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (44-54, 4th place, North Division)
Jesse Biddle picked up his second straight win, 7-4, over Toledo: 5.2-4-1-1-4-5. SV: Adam Loewen (8), 1-0-0-0-0-1. CF Brian Bogusevic, 3 H, 2 SB. RF Aaron Altherr, 2 H, 2 RBI, SB. 3B Russ Canzler, 2 H, 2 RBI.
Next: Sean O’Sullivan (0-0) 7:05 tonight vs. Toledo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (52-44, 2nd place, Eastern Division)
Lost, 6-4, at Bowa.  Zach Eflin, making his first start since June 29 because of participating in the Pan Am Games, was the lower, evening his record at 5-5; 4.1-9-6-4-0-3. RF Kelly Dugan, 2 H, 2 R. CF Destin Hood, 2 H.  1B Brock Stassi, 2 RBI. Andrew Knapp was hitless in 1 AB as a pinch-hitter, ending his hitting streak at 20 games (17 with Reading). After the 11:35 morning game, a bus ride to New Britain, CT.
Next: Coln Kleven (1-2) 7:05 tonight in New Britain.

Clearwater Threshers (17-9, 1st place, North Division)
Won their 4th in a row, 5-4, in 11-innings on a walk-off single by 3B Mitch Walding.  It was their 10th WO win and 12th extra inning win.  2 hits each: SS Malquin Canelo, CF Carlos Tocci, 1B Rhys Hoskins, RF Aaron Brown and Walding.  DH Dylan Cozens, in 1st game off the DL, homered.  ND:  Victor Arano, 6.1-7-2-2-1-2. WP: Miguel Nunez (3-2).
Next: Brandon Leibrandt (6-2) 7:00 tonight vs. Jupiter.

Lakewood BlueClaws (16-10, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Won 6th in last 7 to pull within 2 games of first place, 4-0, vs. West Virginia.  It was their 2nd straight shutout extending the streak to 24 scoreless innings. WP: Ranfi Casimiro (6-5), 7.2-3-0-0-2-6; SV: Joey DeNato (6). LF Cord Sandberg extended hitting streak to 10 games; 1B Kyle Martin’s streak ended at 10 games.
Next: Austin Davis (2-2) 7:05 tonight vs. West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (21-11, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Dropped 3rd straight, 5-3, in Hudson Valley. RF Jose Pujols, 2 H, 2 R.  CF Mark Laird, 2 H, RBI. ND Franklyn Kilome, 3-4-0-0-0-3.
Next: Jose Taveras (3-1) 7:05 in Hudson Valley.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (18-5, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Game was suspended by rain after 1 inning with the Phillies winning, 1-0, in Dunedin.  Game will be completed prior to regular game at 12 noon today.

Today in Phillies History
1978: LHP Steve Carlton becomes the 78th pitcher to win 200 games with a 13-2 decision over Houston.

You have just read the 1,800th Phillies Insider blog, a meaningful or meaningless milestone.  First one was March 30, 2006.  Thanks for reading. Now, be honest, how many times did you fall asleep?

Night of Firsts

There were a lot of firsts last night at Citizens Bank Park: first start for young Nola, who lost his first game, 1-0, on a home run by the visiting pitcher, the first such outcome in interleague play history and the first time the Phillies have ever lost a 1-0 game on a home by the enemy pitcher. The Phillies has just four hits, one being Nola’s first.

Nola was impressive on a night there was some buzz in the park.  The 28,703 crowd was the largest for the Phillies since May 14.  His name drew a big cheer when the starting lineup was announced.  He got a standing-O after the first and fifth innings when he left runners on base with a strikeout each time.

Going into the game, the Phillies had scored 22 runs, most in the league since the All-Star Game break.  They wind up being shut out for the 11th time. Crazy game.

Minor Leagues
Players of the Week (July 13-19) 
OF Cord Sandberg, Lakewood…Sandberg, 20, hit .435 (10-23) with a double, triple, five RBI and 5 runs scored in 6 games for the BlueClaws. He extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 4-4, 3 -run game on July 19 against Rome. Sandberg was selected by the Phillies in the third round of the 2013 draft and was signed by Alan Marr. He turned down a football scholarship to Mississippi State University to play baseball.

LHP Jesse Biddle, Lehigh Valley…Biddle, a 23-year-old southpaw, dominated in his July 17th start, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 SO in 7.0 scoreless innings. It was his first win in 2 AAA starts. Biddle was the Phillies’ first-round selection in the 2010 draft, and was signed by Eric Valent.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (43-54, 4th place, North Division)
Won, 5-1, vs. Toledo behind Anthony Vasquez (6-3), 6-5-1-1-1-2. SS Chase d’Arnaud, 2B, HR (3), 3 RBI.  C Erik Kratz, single, 2 2B, RBI.  CF Aaron Nola, 2-4, RBI, 5th SB.
Next: Jesse Biddle (1-0), 7:05 tonight vs. Toledo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (52-43, 1st place, Eastern Division)
Won 3rd in a row, 7th in last 8 games, 6-4, in Bowie. 2 Bowie errors and an RBI single by Brian Pointer accounted for 2 game-deciding runs in the 9th inning. C Andrew Knapp extended his hitting streak to 20 games (Clearwater 3 and all 17 games since promotion to AA: single, 2B, RBI. SS J.P. Crawford, 11th 2B, 4th HR, RBI. DH Art Charles, 7th HR, RBI.  WP: Colton Murray (4-1).
Next: TBD 11:05 this morning in Bowie.

Clearwater Threshers (17-9, 1st place, North Division)
Won 3rd in a row, 10-5, at Lakeland, pounding out 15 hits. 3 hits each for CF Carlos Tocci, LF Andrew Pullin (including 10th HR), SS Angelo Mora. C Chase Numata, 3-run triple.  WP: David Whitehead (7-8).
Next: Victor Arano (3-9) 7:00 tonight vs. Jupiter.

Lakewood BlueClaws (15-10, 2nd place, Northern Division)
BlueClaws were idle.
Next: Ranfi Carimiro (5-5), 11:05 this morning vs. West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (21-10, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Lost, 7-6, in 12 innings in Hudson Valley on a walk-off HR. 3B Jan Hernandez, 4 hits, including 6th HR, 3 RBI. 1B Brendon Hayden, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI.
Next: Franklyn Kilome (2-0) 7:05 in Hudson Valley.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (18-5, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Won 3rd in a row, 3-0, at Yankees2. WP: Ranger Suarez (3-0), 6-2-0-0-1-5; SV: Horace Stubblefield (4). 3B Lucas Williams, 2-3.  RF Dylan Cozens, RBI 2B.
Next: 12 noon today at Blue Jays.

Clearwater: INF Angelo Mora, returned from Pan Am Games.

Williamsport: RHP Sutter McLoughlin and RHP Jacob Waguespack, from Gulf Coast League; LHP Juan Figueroa, released.

Gulf Coast League: RHP Lewis Alezones, from Williamsport; INF Luis Espiritu, from Clearwater.

First Appearance

Abreu, Bobby

Abreu, Bobby

Bobby Abreu, selected to the All-Vet team in 2003, will be making his first appearance during the Toyota Alumni Weekend, July 31-August 1-2.

The former right fielder ranks second on the team’s all-time list in doubles (348); third in walks (947) and intentional walks (94); fifth in slugging percentage (.513); seventh in stolen bases (254); eighth in extra-base hits (585) and RBI (814); ninth in average (.303); and 10th in total bases (2,491) and runs (891).

Nola Tonight

Buchanan was the first Phillies right-handed starting pitcher to last 6.1 innings since May 14, won his first game since last August and was sent to AAA after the game. Phillies have three days off in the next 12 and will go with a four-man rotation. This way Buchanan can pitch in Lehigh Valley’s rotation regularly.

Papelbon threw 14 pitches—all strikes—in recording his 341st career save, matching Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers for 12th place on the all-time list.

Largest crowd of this series is expected tonight for the debut of Aaron Nola.  He, himself, will have 20 family and friends in the stands.

4-0 start after the All-Star Game break is Phillies best since 5-0 in 2009. As everyone knows, they lost the World Series that year.  Would be glad to settle for another WS loss this year.

Elias Sports Bureau
The Phillies were the 35th team since 1933 (the year of the first All-Star Game) to be at least 30 games below .500 at the break, but Monday night’s victory made them the first of those 35 clubs to win each of its first four games after the break.

Minor Leagues 
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (42-54, 4th place, North Division)
Lost 5-1, vs. Toledo. RF Tyler Henson, 3-5, including 17th 2B . . . LP: Jason Berken (5-7), 6-6-4-2-1-3 . . . Neifi Ogando, 1 scoreless IP; since 6/25 promotion to AAA, 0 R, 4 H, 8.2 IP, 4 BB, 9 SO.
Next: Anthony Vasquez (5-3), 11:35 this morning vs. Toledo.

League Honor2015 Biddle head
Jesse Biddle, who threw 7 shutout innings (3 hits, 1 BB, 7 SO) on Friday 17 for his first AAA win, is the MilB.com pitcher of the week in the International League.  Combined with his Reading record, he is 8-2 for the season, 5-1 in his last 10 starts.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (52-43, 1st place, Eastern Division)
Won 6th in last 7 games, 8-5, in Bowie . . . 4 hitters had multi-hit games . . . C Andrew Knapp led the way, 3-5, 4 RBI; has a 19-game hitting streak, the last 16 since he joined Reading; hitting .338 in AA . . . WP: Mark Leiter (2-4), 5-9-3-3-0-4. SV: Stephen Shackleford (21).
Next: Ethan Martin (1-0) 7:05 tonight in Bowie.

Clearwater Threshers (17-9, 1st place, North Division)
Won, 5-3, at Lakeland . . . RF Chase Harris, 3 hits, 15th stolen base . . . DH Willians Astudillo, 2-4, 16th 2B, 2 RBI; hitting .311 . . . WP: Cody Forsythe (3-2); SV: Miguel Nunez (2); allowed only 3 runs since June 14.
Next: David Whitehead (6-8) 6:30 tonight in Lakeland.

Lakewood BlueClaws (15-10, 2nd place, Northern Division)
2B Scott Kingery hit a 3-run HR and 1B Kyle Martin followed with a solo HR in a 4-run 11th inning that gave the BlueClaws a 4-0 win in Rome.  It was #2 HR for each; Kingery was the 3rd round selection last month; Martin, 4th . . . Until the homers, the lone Lakewood hit was a single by LF Cord Sandberg with one out in the 7th . . . ND: Tyler Viza, 7-6-0-0-1-3. WP: Matt Hockenberry (4-3) . . . Happy long bus ride home after the game from Georgia to New Jersey.
Next: day off today.

Williamsport Crosscutters (12-9, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Pounding 19 hits, Mahoning Valley coasted over Williamsport, 12-4 . . . 2B Josh Tobias, single, 2 2B; hitting .296 . . . CF Zach Coppola, 1-3, 11th stolen base; hitting .321.
Next: Alejandro Arteaga (3-0) 7:05 in Hudson Valley.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (18-5, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Defeated Yankees2, 7-5 . . . CF Juan Luis, single, 2B, HR (2nd), 3 RBI, 8th SB . . . 2B Jonathan Arauz, 3 singles . . . WP: Zach Morris (2-0); SV: Sutter McLoughlin (4), 0 R n 9.1 IP as a pro, 0 BB, 12 SO, 2 H.
Next: 12 noon today at Yankees2.

Lehigh Valley: OF Ethan Chapman, released; OF Brian Bogusevic, returned from Pan Am Games; signed C Erik Kratz.

Reading: RHP Reinier Roibal, placed on DL (right groin strain); C Logan Moore, from Lehigh Valley.

Today in Phillies History
1973: RF Hank Aaron hits his 700th home run off LHP Ken Brett during the Braves’ 8-4 loss to the Phillies at Atlanta.

1997: RHP Curt Schilling strikes out 15, the most by a Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton’s 16 in 1982, but loses, 3-2, to Pittsburgh.  After 17 years with the organization, C Darren Daulton is traded to the Florida Marlins for Billy McMillon.

Renewing Friendships

2014 Manuel ruiz alum
One of the neat things about the Toyota Alumni Night pre-game introductions is a chance for the former players to mingle with the current ones, such as Charlie Manual and Carlos Ruiz.  Nearly 50 Alumni will be at Citizens Bank Park on August 1.  With the trading deadline at 4 p.m. the day before, there might be some new alumni.