Valleys Dominate

A 162-game season is a mental and physical grind filled with peaks and valleys. As many had predicted, the Phillies season hasn’t had many peaks. Oh, there was a seven-game winning streak but valleys have dominated.

The Phillies are headed for their first 100-loss season since 1961 (47-107).  The club record was set in 1941 (43-111) when they played a 154-game season.

Whatever the final record there will be some positives.  Number 1 they will get the number 1 pick in next summer’s draft.   Galvis, Herrera, Hernandez and Franco have been given a chance to play.  They are building blocks for the future even though they have had peaks and valleys.  All were hitting well until they faced three consecutive Cy Young pitchers on the just-completed a weak California week.  Combined the four were 6-41 with 16 strikeouts.

The last two drafts and the Rollins and Byrd trades have helped the Phillies minor leagues system get turned upward again. With the trading deadline coming up at 4 p.m. (EDT) on July 31, the plan it to add more prospects.

Combined, the six minor league teams have a 212-183 record. More building blocks are on the way.  Tomorrow we’ll look at pitchers and catchers. Wednesday, infielders and outfielders.

Building a winner takes time.  As Pat Gillick has said it will also take patience.  Unfortunately, a lot of people fit a cartoon I recently saw, “Dear Lord.  Give me patience……but give it to me now.”

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (40-51, 4th place, North Division)
Won 2 of 3 in Pawtucket.  ND on Friday for Aaron Nola, 6-7-2-2-2-6; allowed both runs in 1st inning.  WP Sunday:  Anthony Vasquez (5-3), 8-4-0-0-2-4. SV: Adam Loewen (4-5). RF Aaron Altherr, 5-14 weekend.  LV enters the All-Star break with 11 wins in last 14 games.
Next: Thursday night at Rochester.

Reading Fightin Phils (48-42, 2nd place, Eastern Division)
Split 4 games in Akron. Was no-hit in 7-inning first game on Saturday night but won the 2nd game, 3-2 and the series finale, 7-2, on Sunday. C Andres Knapp extended his Reading hitting streak to 13 games.  SS J.P. Crawford and manager Dusty Wathan missed last two days (3 games) because they were in Cincinnati for Sunday’s Futures Game.  Crawford was 1-3, R, RBI. Nola didn’t pitch as he threw 6 innings on Friday night.
Next: Thursday night home with New Britain.

Clearwater Threshers (13-5, 1st place, North Division)
Won 2 of 3 in Ft. Myers. 8th shutout on Friday night; WP: David Whitehead (6-7), 8-6-0-0-1-2. WP Sunday in 4-1 decision: Brandon Leibrandt (6-2), 6-6-1-1-0-3. SV: Ulises Joaquin (10).
Next: Ricardo Pinto 7:05 tonight in Ft. Myers.

Lakewood BlueClaws (10-8, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Closed a 6-3 homestand by taking 2 of 3 from Hickory. RF Herlis Rodriguez had a walk-off single in the 10th inning on Saturday, 4-3.  WP: Matt Hockenberry (3-3). Jerome Williams made 2nd rehab start on Sunday, no decision, 4-6-4-4-0-5. BlueClaws rallied for 7-4 win.  WP: Will Morris (1-0), 5-4-0-0-0-3.
Next: 7:05 Tuesday night in Kannapolis.

Williamsport Crosscutters (17-5, 1st place, Pinckney)
Ended 4-game losing streak by winning 4 times over the weekend, Friday DH vs. Tri-City and next two vs. Connecticut. Wins boosted home record to 13-1.
Next: Luis Morales 7:05 tonight vs. Connecticut.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (14-4, 1st place, Northwest Division)
Split a pair vs. the Pirates. Win came Saturday when they scored 6 in the 10th for an 8-2 win. 1st HR for 3B Jose Antequera and C Edgar Cabral in the big inning.
Next: Tigers 12 noon today at Carpenter Complex.

Today In Phillies History
1915: The Phillies beat Cardinals in St. Louis, 8-0, to take over National League lead, which they hold for remainder of season. Grover Alexander wins his ninth game in a row, his second longest winning streak with Phillies.





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