Sunday, June 28, 2015

It Would Have Been A Nice Game By Revere

GAME RECAP: Phillies Game Postponed

Adam Morgan said his goal as a pitcher is to go out and finish a game he started. Saturday, he technically did that. Morgan's start Saturday vs. the Nationals was cut short, as the contest was postponed due to rain after an inning and a half. Saturday's game has been rescheduled as a doubleheader Sunday. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. ET, and the second game will begin shortly after the conclusion of the first. Kevin Correia will start the first game as scheduled for the Phillies. Severino Gonzalez will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start the second game as the bonus 26th-man the Phillies are allowed to carry in the event of a true doubleheader. For the visiting Nationals, Stephen Strasburg will make his scheduled start in the first game, and the starter of the second game has yet to be announced. Morgan, who allowed three hits in two innings, said after the game that he was "disappointed" that he didn't get the chance to throw deeper into the game. Interim manager Pete Mackanin said he felt the same way. "It's a shame, because we feel good about him and we lost him," Mackanin said. "We've seen this happen before and it's something that you can't get around. Unfortunately for us, we lost him, but hopefully we can put together a couple of good games tomorrow." The rain delay lasted 1 hour, 27 minutes before the game was postponed. Morgan said he thinks he could have returned to the game had it not been called, but he was unsure whether or not he would've been put back in. Fans who bought tickets to Saturday's game may exchange those for tickets to any remaining Phillies home game in 2015, including Sunday's doubleheader.

  • Kevin Correia will make his fourth start with the Phillies on Sunday. He is 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA. Each of his successive starts have lasted fewer innings and come with more earned runs, culminating in his most recent start on June 22 when he allowed five runs on eight hits over four innings. The only Nationals player with whom Correia has a long history is Dan Uggla, who is 6-for-19 lifetime vs. the right-hander.
  • Correia has struggled against left-handed batters this season. Lefties are batting .351 with an OPS of 1.066, and they have driven in 10 of the 11 runs he's allowed.
  • Any issues Correia has had with lefties look miniscule compared to Gonzalez's. In five outings in 2015, left-handers have batted .528 with an OPS of 1.276 over 43 plate appearances, which is particularly alarming as he has only allowed one home run to those batters.
  • Denard Span, Bryce Harper and Yunel Escobar were all out of the starting lineup Saturday with various injuries. Span and Harper were labeled by manager Matt Williams as "day to day," and Escobar rested with swelling in his hand after getting hit by a pitch on Friday. It has yet to be made clear whether an MRI will be necessary.

On Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, an entire weekend's worth of baseball will be wrapped into one afternoon. The Phillies and Nationals will play an old-fashioned back-to-back doubleheader Sunday, with the first game scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET to make up for Saturday's game, which was postponed due to rain. Kevin Correia will start for the Phillies and Stephen Strasburg will counter for the Nationals. Severino Gonzalez will return from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start for the Phillies as the 26th man on the roster, which is allowed in the case of a doubleheader. The Nationals have not yet announced who will start the second game. Strasburg, who is 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 2015, is 5-2 lifetime vs. the Phillies with an ERA of 2.48 and a WHIP of 0.94. In the 80 innings he's thrown against Philadelphia in his career, he has struck out 92 batters. Ryan Howard, Ben Revere, Carlos Ruiz, Domonic Brown and Cody Asche -- the active Phillies with 10 or more plate appearances vs. Strasburg -- are a combined 23-for-92 with 23 strikeouts and nine extra-base hits.


Too Bad It Doesn’t Count – Phillies center fielder Ben Revere got a hit, stole a base and made one heck of a catch in the first two innings of Saturday afternoon's game against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Too bad none of it counted. "You end up the year at .320 or 49 stolen bases or 199 hits, and you get one taken away from you," Revere said after the game was postponed because of rain. "If that happens, I'm going to be ticked." The game has been rescheduled as part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Revere caught a ball at the wall in the top of the second inning, a few feet to the left of the 409-foot sign in center field. According to Statcast™, Adam Morgan's pitch left Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore's bat at 102 mph and traveled 402 feet to center field. Revere took his first step in 0.54 seconds and covered 87.96 feet, hitting a top speed of 17.63 mph to make the jumping catch at the wall. "Those are the toughest ones to really predict," Revere said. "It's hit and it kind of takes off. You don't know if it'll hit off the concrete wall and shoot off. A double could possibly turn into a triple or something. I tried to jump as high as I could to catch it. Luckily, it found a way into my glove." Revere is batting .294 (85-for-289) with 11 doubles, six triples, one home run, 19 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and a career-best .715 OPS this season. His 85 hits are tied for 11th in baseball, and his 34 hits in June are tied with teammate Maikel Franco for the second most in the Majors. Revere will have to keep up his recent burst to approach 200 hits. He is on pace for 183.

Just The Most Recent Surprise – The news that Ryne Sandberg had abruptly stepped down as manager of the Phillies on Friday hit the organization with the same sort of force as the fierce storm that lashed the region three days earlier. It knocked down speculation, uprooted assumptions and left a trail of disarray in its wake. It was not, however, the first time the franchise has been stunned by an unexpected departure. In fact, surprises of a similar magnitude occurred on at least three previous occasions. May 29, 1989: Mike Schmidt announces his retirement on Memorial Day weekend. A day earlier, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, the future Hall of Fame third baseman had gone hitless in three at bats. He was 39 years old and batting .203 for a team that was destined to finish last. He'd been thinking about quitting for almost a week, since hurting his back while jogging on the warning track. But nobody saw it coming. "Mentally, I had sort of been thinking about it," Schmidt recalled years later. "'Might this be the end? What other sign do I need?' I was looking for a jumping-off point." The omen came right on cue. In the bottom of the fourth, with two outs and two on, the 10-time Gold Glove Award winner let a routine grounder go between his legs. Will Clark followed with a grand slam. After the game, Schmidt called his wife and his agent. He told manager Nick Leyva what he planned to do. On the charter flight to San Diego he informed the traveling party. The official announcement came the following day at Jack Murphy Stadium. "I think the important thing at the time of my decision is that the team -- and you always want to put the team first -- was not a contender," Schmidt said in 2009. "Everybody understood it was a rebuilding process. We weren't going to win the division. Whether I was there or not, we were pretty much going to finish in the same place. Maybe it would be easier to rebuild without having to think about me. I was not going to be a big part of their future. Once I removed myself, the rebuilding process started working pretty quickly." June 20, 1997: Bill Giles resigns as Phillies president. It was Giles who put together the group that purchased the team from the Carpenter family in 1981. He had the final call on all decisions. The way the partnership agreement was structured, it was almost impossible to dismiss him. And he clearly relished his role. So the news that he had resigned to accept the largely ceremonial position of team chairman sent shock waves throughout Veterans Stadium. "It hit me like a ton of bricks," center fielder Lenny Dykstra said at the time. Giles would later say that he made his decision after taking a long, solitary walk near his cabin in the Poconos. It seemed apparent that the struggles the Phillies were having on the way to a second straight last-place finish, and the sometimes-personal criticism that came along with it had begun to wear on him. It didn't help either that at an Owners' Meeting in Philadelphia, several of his peers reportedly expressed concerns over the state of his team. All of that became clear in retrospect, but it was a bombshell when it happened. April 14, 1960: Manager Eddie Sawyer quits after an Opening Day loss. Sawyer had managed the pennant-winning Whiz Kids in 1950, was dismissed in '52 and then was rehired as a midseason replacement in '58. But the Phillies finished last that season, and again the following year. Sawyer ran the Phillies during Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla. On Opening Day at Cincinnati's Crosley Field, his team jumped out to a 4-0 lead. But the Reds scored five times in the bottom of the second and romped to a 9-4 win. Future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts was charged with eight earned runs over 4 1/3 innings. Sawyer had seen enough. Before the next game two days later against the Milwaukee Braves at Connie Mack Stadium, he resigned. When asked why, he memorably explained: "Because I'm 49 years old, and I'd like to live to be 50."

Making An Impression – A trio of future Phillies made their mark on the Minor Leagues Friday night, including the team's No. 1 prospect J.P. Crawford. The 2015 All-Star Futures game selection and baseball's No. 16 overall prospect led off the second game of a doubleheader with a solo home run that would prove to be the winning margin in Double-A Reading's 4-3 victory over Akron. The shot was his second of the season as a Fightin Phil and first since June 7. Crawford has shown a steady bat -- .291/.400/.436 -- since his promotion in late May and has eight doubles and 20 walks in 26 contests. The star of the night was No. 13 prospect Cord Sandberg, who unleashed a grand slam for Class A Lakewood. The left fielder's strength at the plate has remained mostly under wraps this season, but he stepped up in the third inning to launch his second dinger of the year and give the Blue Claws a lead they would not relinquish in a 6-3 win. On the mound, No. 16 prospect Victor Arano proved why he was worth acquiring from the Dodgers last August, scattering four hits over seven shutout innings for Class A Advanced Clearwater. The win was Arano's first in 11 tries this season, although he has given up three earned runs or less in seven starts this year. He moves to 1-7 with a 5.25 ERA after striking out three and walking none.

The Phillies are starting the season as expected and are now at the bottom of the NL east at 26-49. Given the departures, aging stars, injuries, and performance so far this season, this could end up being the worst team in franchise history! All time, the Phillies are 49-57-2 on this day.

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