Monday, May 9, 2016

Phillies Deliver On Mother’s Day

GAME RECAP: Phillies Edge Marlins 6-5

Tyler Goeddel and Andres Blanco delivered back-to-back RBI doubles in the decisive eighth inning to rally the Phillies to a series-clinching 6-5 win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park. It was the second consecutive game that the Phillies came back from a late deficit to defeat the Marlins, who have lost consecutive games after entering the series on a four-game winning streak. The victory gives the Phillies an 11-3 record in one-run games this season. "Winning two out of three from this team, one of the hottest teams in baseball, is really satisfying," Phils manager Pete Mackanin said. "Those guys swing the bats, they've got a heck of a team. To beat them two out of three is a nice feeling going into Atlanta. Our pitching and defense really performed." Marlins starter Justin Nicolino was staked to a 3-0 lead in the fourth, but the Phillies rallied to tie the game in the sixth and grabbed the lead with a run in the seventh off reliever Nefi Ogando. Nicolino, making his third start of the season, gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits in six innings. Aaron Nola also went six innings, allowing three runs for the Phillies. The doubles by Goeddel and Blanco came off Marlins reliever David Phelps, who was saddled with the loss after inheriting the lead in the eighth. "They're fighting. They're playing with a lot of confidence, very similar to what we have been doing all year," Phelps said of the Phillies. "We never really feel like we're out of the game, and I'm sure they feel the same way over in their clubhouse. All three games were hard-fought."

  • Odubel Herrera scored from second on Cesar Hernandez's groundout in the seventh inning to break a tie and give the Phillies a 4-3 lead. Herrera, who singled and stole second, went to third on Hernandez's grounder to the right side of the infield. Bour made a nice snag, but his throw to Ogando led him into Hernandez at the bag. The two collided, sending Ogando sprawling. Herrera never hesitated around third. "That was huge," Mackanin said. "We came back twice."
  • After 12 straight games scoring four runs or fewer, the Phils finally broke through with back-to-back eighth-inning RBI doubles from Goeddel and Blanco to give the Phils a 6-5 lead. "Goeddel, it was great to see him come up with a big hit," Mackanin said. "He needed that."
  • Ichiro, who started in right field to give Giancarlo Stanton a day off, singled in the seventh for his 2,948th career hit. He is seven hits behind Willie Keeler for 32nd on the MLB all-time list.
After an off-day on Monday, lefty Adam Morgan gets the nod on Tuesday when the Phillies conclude their road trip with a three-game series in Atlanta. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. Morgan has allowed three earned runs in each of his previous two outings this season, with no decision in either.


The Man In Pink – Andres Blanco is a pleasure to be around. His infectious smile and bubbly personality is a welcomed addition to any clubhouse. His mom did well in raising him in Venezuela. Blanco stood on second base, wearing pink shoes and pink high socks -- after swinging a pink bat, a league-wide showing of solidarity in the recognition of breast cancer awareness, and pointed to the sky following his eighth-inning go-ahead RBI double in the Phillies' 6-5 win over the Marlins. That's how he honored his mom on Mother's Day. "That's for mom, and grandma passed away a couple of days ago," Blanco said. "It's appreciation and gratitude." It has been many years since his mother died, but Blanco continues to celebrate Mother's Day in her honor and with his own family, a wife and two boys. He was glad she was able to spend three days with him on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while the Phillies were in South Florida. "At least I had time to wait for midnight when the day starts and give the present," Blanco said. "At least it's better than nothing." Such is the life of a Major Leaguer traveling the country from March to October. Blanco knows well how precious the time is spent with family. "It's always a pleasure to have your own family with you," Blanco said. "For American players, it's closer. They can fly mom in for the special day. For the Latin guys, it's kind of far away. We would like to have [our families] with us all the time, but it's impossible." Mother's Day remains special each year for Blanco as it brings back memories of his mom. "I'm reminded of what she always told me growing up, that if you want to do something, do it good, and if you want to be great, you've got to go out there and do everything exactly the way they ask you to and practice hard to get better," Blanco said. Authentic game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats and other gear from Mother's Day games will be auctioned exclusively at, with proceeds benefiting the fight against breast cancer. The complete Mother's Day collection -- which includes the special caps and jerseys being worn by players on Sunday -- is available at the Shop.

Goeddel Coming Around – The Phillies broke out the bats on Sunday -- pink ones in fact, as part of Major League Baseball's recognition of breast cancer awareness on Mother's Day. After 12 straight games of scoring four runs or fewer, the Phils took the series from the Marlins with a 6-5 comeback victory. The Phillies overcame deficits of 3-0 and 5-4 to win with a two-run eighth inning. Back-to-back RBI doubles from Tyler Goeddel and Andres Blanco made the difference. "Goeddel's was a big hit and 'Whitey' [Blanco], he's special," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He just seems to come up big in the pinch all the time. And with a little bit of playing time, [Goeddel] is starting to look like the kind of hitter we think he's got a chance to be. He hit a good fastball. I'm happy for him." Goeddel entered the game looking to break out of a .147 slump and came up with the clutch hit. "I've been working in the cage," said Goeddel, who believes he can be productive with more playing time. "The results haven't been where I want them to be, but for [the double] to be a big part of the game was huge. It's getting my timing down. That's baseball. I'm glad I was finally able to come through." The nail-biter was Philadelphia's 11th victory in 14 one-run games already this season. "It's pitching and defense," Mackanin said. "We seem to scratch and get a run here and there. But you're not going to be in games if your pitching isn't good." As a team, the Phils banged out 10 hits and got at least one from each of the nine positions in the batting order. Cesar Hernandez collected two hits, including a leadoff triple in the fourth inning, and a single and a run scored in the sixth. He leads the club with nine multi-hit games this season. All of those have come on the road.

Happy Mother’s Day! – It was Cameron Rupp's first Major League Opening Day, on April 6, 2015. It was also Kathi Rupp's first opener -- at least as the mother of a big leaguer. As Kathi and the rest of the Rupp clan took their seats at Citizens Bank Park, they got a group text from Cameron. It read, "Here we go." "It was just a very emotional moment, because you know your child's dream came true," Kathi said. "The tears couldn't stop." A little over a year later, the Phillies chose Kathi as the mom they honored in an annual pregame ceremony the team holds during the Sunday home game closest to Mother's Day. Last year, it was Darin Ruf's mom, Mary. Before that, Domonic Brown's mother Rose Joseph Wood was the honoree. On Sunday, Kathi threw out the first pitch to Cameron -- just like she'd always imagined. "When Cameron made it to the big leagues, I had it in the back of my mind, 'Wouldn't it be cool for me to throw a first pitch to Cameron?'" she said. "Never ever did I think this day would come." "It's pretty special," Cameron added. "How many people get to say their mom has thrown a first [pitch] to them?" A mother throwing a first pitch to the son she helped raise into a Major League ballplayer may seem like a story coming full circle with a perfect ending. But the journey is hardly over. It's a goal of Cameron's parents to see him play in all 30 Major League stadiums. They've already checked a few off the list, including Citizens Bank Park, Chase Field and Citi Field. Kathi said they travel from their Texas home about once a month to see their son play. Next month, they're headed to Chicago to see him and the Phillies at Wrigley Field. Once they've checked off all 30, they plan on framing the ticket stubs together. "They both support me more than I can ever ask for," Cameron said. "I can't thank them enough … Them willing to be everywhere I am is pretty cool."

Today In Phils History – It is a homer happy day in Phillies history which began in 1923 when Walt Kinney hit a homerun in his last major league at bat. 50 years later, Johnny Bench came to the plate (three time in fact) and hit a homerun off of Steve Carlton. It was the second time that Bench took Lefty deep three times in a game but the first time against the Phillies. Nearly 20 year later, in 1992, Dale Murphy hit his 398th and final homerun of his career… he would retire the following season as a member of the expansion Rockies. Speaking of 1993, it was on this day when Mariano Duncan tapped into the magic of that season by hitting a grand slam with two out in the bottom of the 9th and down by three runs. Other events from the day include the Phillies picking up Ron Roenicke from Oakland and on the same day in 1986 making the mistake of releasing Dave Stewart. 15 year later, Jimmy Rollins stole the first of what would be a franchise record 35 bases before being caught. And finally, on this day three years ago, Charlie Manuel managed his 1,332nd game for the Phillies passing Gene Mauch for most game at the helm in franchise history.

The Phillies are currently 18-14 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. The Phillies finished the spring exceeding most expectations compiling a record of 15-11-3 (18-11-3 if you include the exhibition games against Reading and the University of Tampa). All time, the Phillies are 46-44-0 on this day. I expect the Phillies to finish in the bottom half of the division but not last in the NL East by finishing the season with a 77-85 record. Let the rebuild begin!

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