It’s official – The Phillies announced today that Ryne Sandberg is no longer the “interim” manager. He has been signed to a 3-year deal, with a club option for a 4th year. With a new manager in place, everyone was smiling and laughing before the game. But the smiles faded as the day wore on. It is a shame the Phillies could not scrape out a win for Sandberg today; they got swept by the Mets in a 3-game series. For the first 3 innings, Cliff Lee was so sharp, it looked like he may pitch a no-hitter. But he ran into trouble in the 4th inning and allowed a run. He wound up allowing 2 runs over 7 innings, which is still great, but only helpful if the offense does its part.
An odd thing happened today. The Phillies actually showed signs of life as they swept the division leading Braves in a 3-game series. Inspired baseball is not something we have seen a lot of this year, so this game was a real treat. On top of his game again, Cole Hamels pitched 8 innings, allowing only 2 solo homers, both of which were absolutely murdered off the bat of Evan Gattis. The official word is that the 1st homer went 486 feet, which is a MLB record for the season. Yikes! But aside from Gattis, Hamels had few problems. The Phillies scored two runs in the first inning, but could not seem to kick start a rally after that despite some base runners. Actually, base running was a...Read more
After missing 3 months of the season due to right shoulder surgery, Roy Halladay finally returned to the mound for the Phillies yesterday. The stars aligned in favor of Sunday ticket holders when the Phillies used up originally scheduled starter Tyler Cloyd in Saturday night’s 18 inning, 7-hour marathon loss to the Diamondbacks. Halladay was supposed to make a rehab start in Reading on Sunday, but was instead called back to the bigs. Sorry, Reading fans. Reading’s loss was Philly’s gain. Halladay looked a little rusty at first, but eventually found his groove. Over 6 innings, he allowed only 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. Halladay may have given up more if not for the magic glove of Roger Bernadina. In the 3rd inning, Bernadina made a spectacular jump at the centerfield wall to steal a home run away...Read more
This has certainly been an interesting week for the Phillies. Let us review the many weird happenings: - First, manager Charlie Manual got the axe last Friday and Ryne Sandberg took over. - People cried, complained and gave Charlie lots of hugs. - Manual admitted to CSN Philly’s Leslie Gudel that he knew he could not win this year or last year with the team assembled as it was. Shocker. Not really… - On Monday, David Murphy of Philly.com posted an article about how the front office was to blame for the Phillies failures. Also not a shocker… - The Phillies Triple-A Iron Pigs gave away a free funeral valued at $10,000 as part of a promotion. Seriously. - After 2 losses, Sandberg got...Read more
Billy the Philly Fan and Steve from My Two Cents rant about the state of the Philadelphia Phillies, their future, and suggest what the team needs to do to rebuild.Read more
Well, it took a few days, but the Phillies finally squeaked out a win for interim manager Ryne Sandberg. The 3-5 win over the Dodgers ended yet another long losing streak for the Phils who are now solidly in 4th place in the NL East, 2.5 games behind the Mets for 3rd place. Getting this win against the hottest team in baseball was going to require a combination of things to occur. Pitcher Cole Hamels had to be good, which he was. Hamels went 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs. The Phillies offense had to produce. And although it was not at all pretty at times, 7 hits and 3 RBI did the trick. Carlos Ruiz, who has struggled lately, went 4 for 4 and Darin Ruf smashed a solo homer in the game. Read more
While I was really hoping that the Phillies bats would show up in Atlanta last night, it seems my wish was mistranslated by the universe. Bats did show up…but not the baseball kind. The game was delayed twice last night. The start of the game was delayed nearly 2-hours due to rain; the second delay came during the game and was caused by a couple of bats getting busy on the field. Real bats, with wings and all that. After being man/glove-handled by Braves third baseman Paul Janish, the love-struck bats finally detached and one flew away. The second bat was transferred to the aptly-named Batboy, who fulfilled his job duties on multiple levels during this game. Looks like those bats picked the wrong place to host their little rendezvous. I do hope they were reunited later in the evening.
Hey Phillies fans…anyone else out there suffering from a severe case of the baseball blues? It is hard not to be down in the dumps after watching this Phillies team continue to suck, game after game. Getting swept in a 3-game series by the Nationals this weekend had to be the pinnacle of shame and embarrassment in an already dreadful season. Even dumping Delmon Young could not cheer me up. Young, who they never should have signed in the first place, was designated for assignment on Friday and replaced by White Sox reject, Casper Wells. Nothing on Wells’ stat sheet gives me any reason to hope either. This is the 5th team for Wells this year; that alone is telling. Just three days earlier, the Phillies also nixed Laynce Nix. I guess his .180 batting average was just not getting it done (*note sarcasm here).
The Phillies made the official announcement yesterday that Chase Utley will be a Phillie for life. They have signed him to a contract extension for 2-years at up to $27 million, with 3 option years that would max out the entire contract at around $75 million if he stays all 5 years. He would be 39 years old in the 5th year. There is some risk involved as Utley has battled serious knee issues over the years. The 2nd year of the contract has a clause built-in which adds $5 million to his salary if he can avoid the disabled list. Although the specifics of that are hazy, it appears that he can go on the DL once, but no more than that. That does give the team at least a little insurance. But Utley has not had any knee issues this year and his production is up....Read more
Alumni Weekend for the Phillies is something for fans to look forward to each year. Players of the past come back to be celebrated and adored once again. This year, Brad Lidge retired as a Phillie; Curt Schilling was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame; and the 1993 NL Championship team was honored on their 20-year anniversary. The following is a photo diary of Sunday’s events and, unfortunately, a few not-so-fun happenings from the Phillies 1-4 loss to the Braves. Here is a photo of 1993 manager Jim Fregosi signing my championship pennant and another of the joining the celebration: Players of old joined current Phillies players at their respective positions prior to the game as the National Anthem was played. Having the 1993 and 2013 players together was a very nice touch. And Darren Daulton got a...Read more