Velasquez, Bats Impress
Velocity Vince Velasquez returned to the mound and was impressive, seven strikeouts in five scoreless innings. His trademark fast ball topped out at 97 mph. A real boost for the rotation.
An equally big boost was the Phillies season-high 16-hit offense that produced the largest margin of victory this season, 8-0. After scoring nine runs in the 0-6 homestand, they’ve scored (44) on this seven-game (3-4) road trip. Their biggest inning of the season, six in the seventh, included a walk to Edubray Ramos in his first ever at-bat.
Odubel Herrera and Peter Bourjos, the 1-2 hitters, combined to go 7-10 with four runs scored. Bourjos is as hot as the Phoenix temperature. On June 11, he was batting .192. With his third three-hit game of the trip boosted his average to .259.
Game two tonight with Arizona’s ace, Zack Greinke, on the mound. He’s won five in a row.
In 15 MLB Sunday games a total of 79 relief pitchers were used. There were no complete games and only four starters worked eight innings. All these pitching changes has to affect the pace of the game. So, cut down the time it takes for a reliever to come in from the pen and then warm up. That won’t happen because pitching changes mean radio and TV revenue or a chance to grab another hot dog.
And, this stat gem from Elias Sports Bureau: 52 home runs were hit on Sunday, the most for one day since June 11, 2006, when 54 left the park. HR ratio this season: 2.09 per game in April, 2.28 in May and 2.52 this month.
Minor League Report
Players of the Week (June 20-26)
CF Carlos Tocci, Clearwater… The 20-year-old batted .515 (17-33) with three doubles, six RBI, two walks, a stolen base, six runs scored, a .543 on-base percentage and 1.149 OPS in seven games. He hit safely in all seven of those contests, extending his season-long hit streak to 10. Tocci had multiple hits five times last week, including a career-best five-hit effort on June 26 vs Daytona. Tocci, a Venezuela native, was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on August 23, 2011.
RHP Jose Taveras, Lakewood… The 22-year-old Taveras made one start, setting a career-high and new franchise record by striking out 15 batters. The strikeout total is a high for all of the minor leagues. In that same start, Taveras tossed 8.0 innings for the first time this season, holding Greenville to a run on just two hits while walking none. Taveras was signed by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic as an amateur free agent on November 10, 2013.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (45-33), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Lost, 5-3, to Columbus. LP: Ben Lively (3-1), 6-7-5-5-1-4; 1st loss since last July 11 at Reading; had been 11-0 since. 1B Darin Ruf, HR (9). RF Nick Williams’ 10-game hitting streak stopped . . . James Russell (2-3) 7:05 tonight vs. Columbus.
Reading Fightin’ Phils (54-23), 1st place, Eastern League Eastern Division.
Won, 8-7, over Erie on walk-off HR by DH Jake Fox (13). It was Reading’s 11th WO win. RF Dylan Cozens, 21st 2B, 20th HR, a grand slam in the 3rd inning. 3B Harold Martinez, 2 2B . . . Thomas Eshelman (0-0) 7:05 tonight vs. Erie.
Clearwater Threshers (4-1), tie 1st place, 2nd half, Florida State League North Division.
Lost, 5-4, to Daytona in 10 innings. ND: Shane Watson, 6-6-1-1-1-2. 1B Kyle Martin, HR (9), 3 RBI. RF Jiandido Tromp, 2 2B. CF Carlos Tocci, 1-5, extending hitting streak to 11 games . . . John Richy (2-2) 7:00 tonight vs. Daytona.
Lakewood BlueClaws (3-2), 3rd place, 2nd half, South Atlantic League North Division.
Won, 6-5, in Hagerstown. WP: Sutter McLoughlin (1-1); SV: Zach Morris (3). 2B Josh Tobias, 2 1B, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R. 3B Damek Tomscha, HR (3). C Deivi Grullon, 2 2B . . . Alberto Tirado (0-0) 7:05 tonight in Hagerstown.
Williamsport Crosscutters (5-6), 4th, New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.
19-year-old RH Adonis Medina (2-0) lost a no-hitter on his 99th pitch, a one-out single in the last of the 9th in Auburn. In 21 innings over 3 starts, 0 runs. CF David Martinelli, 1st pro HR; C Gregori Rivera, 1st HR . . . Ranger Suarez (0-0) 7:05 tonight in Auburn.
Gulf Coast League Phillies, (2-0), 1st place, Northwest Division
Won, 9-6, in Lakeland against the Tigers West. ND: Mauricio Llovera, 5-4-1-1-2-7. SV: Tyler Frohwirth (1). RF Jesus Alastre, 3 H, RBI. 2B Daniel Brito, 2 H, 2 RBI; DH Jhailyn Ortiz, 2 H, 2 R, RBI. CF Malvin Matos, 2 H, R, RBI, SB . . . 12 noon today vs. Tigers West.
Lehigh Valley: added RHR Dalier Hinojosa on rehab assignment from Clearwater.
Reading: placed OF Andrew Pullin on the DL.
Clearwater: placed LHP Matt Imhoff on the DL.
June 28, 2004–3B David Bell hits for the cycle in 14-6 win over Montreal at Citizens
Bank Park. Grandfather Gus Bell did it in 1951 against the Phillies at Shibe Park. Each
happened on a Monday night. David’s final hit of the cycle was a triple, earning a
reunion with third-base coach, the late John Vukovich.
June 28, 2011–LHP Cliff Lee is the third Phillies pitcher to toss three consecutive shutouts (3-0 vs. FL, 6/16; 4-0 at StL, 6/22, 4-0 vs. BOS today). He joins RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander (1916) and (RH) Robin Roberts (1950). Alexander holds club record with 4 in a row in September 1911.
Mike Drago, Reading Eagle: “Thomas Eshelman told me that when he got traded, parents bought him If These Walls Could Talk by Larry Shenk to learn Phillies history.”
I can be followed @ShenkLarry