Chooch’s Milestone

00 Joseph HR
Two souvenir baseballs in two nights for Tommy Joseph.  On Monday he got his first big league base hit, a single to center. Last night in his first at-bat as the clean-up hitter, he homered off the left field foul pole, his first dinger. He followed two more singles, his first three-hit game in the bigs.  Sorry, no more souvenirs.

Speaking of the foul pole, Larry Andersen’s shallow thought, “If a ball hits the foul pole, why is it a fair ball?”

Vince Velasquez (5-1) threw 103 pitches (32 foul balls) in five shutout innings and left the game.  He struck out half of the 20 batters he faced. Bullpen of Araujo-Bailey-Hernandez-Neris-Gomez was brilliant, four innings, five hits, one run, one walk and seven more strikeouts. 17 strikeouts was one short of the club record for a nine-inning game. Joseph made a back-handed grab of a ground ball for the final out.

Elias Sports Bureau: Velasquez is the second Phillies pitcher since 1893 – the year the mound was set at 60′ 6″ – to fan 10 or more batters in a game in which he pitched no more than five innings. Robert Person did it on April 28, 2000 against the Cardinals (10 SO, 5 IP


00 Chooch
Carlos Ruiz caught his 1,000th game to join Mike Lieberthal (1,139), Red Dooin (1,124) and Bob Boone (1,095) as the only catchers in franchise history to reach that lofty number. That’s a lot of foul ball bruises.

Chances are Chooch caught more wins.  We know he was behind the plate for four no-hitters.

Frank Coppenbarger, Director Team Travel and Clubhouse Services, always keeps champagne on hand in case of a special occasion.  He broke it out in the clubhouse after the game to salute Chooch.

Marcell Ozuno had a 12-pitch walk leading off the second inning.  In the Phillies first, they went down 1-2-3 on eight total pitches.  Quite a contrast . . . Series finale this afternoon and then the Braves come to town for the weekend.  Today is weather education day at the Phillies.  Can someone educate us on why all the lousy weather this month? . . . Aaron Nola, today’s starter, has a 6.00 ERA in the first inning of his brief major league career.  Perhaps he should do something different like walking backwards from the dugout to the mound.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (20-18), 4th place, International League North Division.
Won, 5-4, in 10 innings on a wild pitch on an intentional walk attempt.  Win was 5th in last 6 games. Win was 5th in last 6 games. Starter Alec Asher saw a perfect game, shutout and win evaporate in the seventh inning: double, single, back-to-back home runs. LF Cedric Hunter, HR (3). 2 hits: 2B Darnell Sweeney, RF Will Venable . . . Zach Eflin (4-0), 10:35 this morning vs. Syracuse.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (25-13), 1st place, Eastern League East Division.
Won, 9-1, at Bowie as Nick Pivetta won his 3rd straight start, 7-2-0-0-1-6; has allowed only 3 runs in last 3 starts. SS J.P. Crawford, 3 H, 3 RBI. 3B KC Serna, 4 hits. C Jorge Alfaro, HR (#2). CF Ramon Quinn, SB (17) . . . Ricardo Pinto (1-1), 6:35 tonight at Bowie.

Clearwater Threshers (25-13), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Rained out in St. Lucie . . . Matt Imhof (4-1) and Ranfi Casimiro (4-2), 10:30 DH this morning in St. Lucie.

Lakewood BlueClaws (15-22), 6th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Lost, 4-1, at Hagerstown which is 8-0 vs. Lakewood this season. BlueClaws had 10 hits but were 0-11 with RISP and left 10 on base. LP: Tyler Gilbert (1-4), 7-7-4-2-1-8
. . . Shane Watson (2-1), 10:35 this morning in Hagerstown.

This Date
May 18, 2005–RF Bobby Abreu caps a 10-game span in which he hits nine homers, five coming at Citizens Bank Park. He also tied a team record, with RBI in 10 straight games.

Book Signing
The Fightin’ Phillies is the title of my new book published by Triumph Books.  Larry Andersen wrote a hilarious foreword. I’ll be signing:

**Thus Sunday, May 22, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia; 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

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