- Scouts got a final look at Hellickson before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Hellickson did not pitch his best, allowing nine hits and three runs in just 5 2/3 innings, although he doubled down the left-field line in the fifth inning to score two runs and give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, but he also bruised his pitching hand during the same at-bat. The bruise made it difficult to grip his curveball and cut his outing short. "Still not really sure what it is," Hellickson said. "A bruise. Or I popped something in there. But I felt fine, though, after I did it."
- The Phillies scored four runs in a most unusual way in the eighth inning. They sent nine batters to the plate, but nobody got a hit. Here's how they fared: (walk), (fielder's choice), (walk), (walk), (walk), (error), (error), (hit by pitch) and Rupp (grounded into double play). "I'll just say this," Mackanin said, "when you score four runs without a hit, you better win that game."
- "I can't control any of it. So I've just been focused on every start and in-between starts. Whatever happens, happens. Hopefully I'm still here on Tuesday." --
- Eickhoff is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four career starts vs. the Braves.
- Freddie Freeman will look to continue his hot hitting vs. Eickhoff, against whom he's batted .417 (5-for-12) with a double and a homer.
- A.J. Pierzynski enters Sunday's game with no walks in his last 104 plate appearances. Baltimore's Jonathan Schoop leads the Majors with no walks in his past 107 appearances.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
GAME RECAP: Phillies Defeat Braves 9-5
In a matchup between two of the top pitchers who could potentially be moved before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, outdueled on Saturday night at Turner Field, as the Phillies defeated the Braves, 9-5. Philadelphia jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by , but Atlanta quickly stormed back. drove in with a single to tie the game in the third before handed the Braves their only lead with an RBI single in the next at-bat. Teheran appeared to settle in after the second inning, retiring eight straight batters before running into trouble in the fifth. With runners on first and second, Hellickson provided his own support, doubling down the left-field line to score both and give the Phillies a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Opposing pitchers were 3-for-34 vs. Teheran this year before the at-bat. "The big hit for me was Hellickson's double after he couldn't get a bunt down," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. After the Phillies scored two more runs in the sixth, the Braves cut the deficit to 5-3 and knocked Hellickson out of the game on 's RBI single in the bottom of the frame. After surrendering four runs on no hits to the Phillies in the eighth, Atlanta couldn't mount a comeback despite scoring two runs in the bottom of the frame. It fell to 8-4 against Philadelphia this season. "[Until that inning], we were right there," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It just didn't happen in that inning, pretty much. We could have kind of kept the game right there in the eighth, but there were just a couple of tough plays that didn't go our way."
Despite leading the Phillies in innings pitched and registering a quality start in 13 of his 21 outings this year, Jerad Eickhoff is tied for second in the Majors with 12 losses. And as he prepares to take the hill for Sunday's series finale against the Braves at Turner Field, the right-hander will be aiming for his first win since July 4, when he allowed two runs in an 8-2 victory over Atlanta. Eickhoff came close to snapping his winless drought on Tuesday, when he allowed one run across seven innings vs. the Marlins. But for the 13th time this year, he received three runs or fewer of support in a 5-0 defeat. On Sunday, Philadelphia will look to back Eickhoff against Atlanta starter Joel De La Cruz, who will be making his first start since giving up seven runs (four earned) against the Phillies on July 4.
Last Start? – has made his case. Now, he waits. He allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings in Saturday night's over the Braves at Turner Field. He doubled down the left-field line in the fifth inning to score two and give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, but he also left the game in the sixth with his right hand bothering him after he got jammed fouling off a pitch during the same at-bat. It was not Hellickson's finest performance in recent weeks, but it was his final one before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. "I have no idea," Hellickson said when asked if he thought he would be traded. "I'll find out Monday." Scouts from several contenders watched him pitch, including those from the Rangers, Blue Jays and Tigers. It was the first time Hellickson had not pitched at least six innings since June 4, snapping a streak of nine consecutive starts of six or more innings pitched. He seemed to be on track to pitch six again, but he bruised his pitching hand in that fifth-inning at-bat, which made it difficult for him to throw his curveball. "Still not really sure what it is," Hellickson said. "A bruise. Or I popped something in there. But I felt fine, though, after I did it." The Phillies did not want to draw attention to Hellickson by having a full-blown conference on the mound, so Phillies manager Pete Mackanin had pitching coach Bob McClure check on him by himself. "I don't want to lose the game because he's got a sore hand," Mackanin said. "In the end, it's not a big deal. It's not like his elbow was hurting, you know what I mean? I don't care, I don't want to lose the game." Hellickson has a 2.49 ERA (14 earned runs in 50 2/3 innings) in his last eight starts. He has struck out 34 and walked six in that span. A contending team in need of starting pitching might want somebody like that. But what is the asking price for Hellickson, who will be a free agent after the season? ESPN.com reported earlier this week that the Phillies are looking for an organization's top-five prospect. It is believed the Phillies have a high asking price because they could make Hellickson a qualifying offer following the season. If he rejects the one-year contract, which could exceed $16 million, the Phillies would receive a compensatory Draft pick if he signs elsewhere. So, in the mind of the Phillies, they want talent comparable to a potential Draft pick. Of course, Hellickson is not the only Phillies' starter available in a trade. The Rangers and Phillies have been discussing a deal for , although sources told MLB.com that a deal is unlikely. "I can't control any of it," Hellickson said. "So I've just been focused on every start and in-between starts. Whatever happens, happens. Hopefully I'm still here on Tuesday."
No Hits – Sometimes it's best to put the ball in play. Sometimes it's best just to put the bat on the shoulder and let the other team do the work. The Phillies let the Braves gift them four runs in the eighth inning on Saturday night in a at Turner Field. Philadelphia sent nine players to the plate in the inning, but not a single batter got a hit, thanks to some wild pitching from and and some shoddy defense from the Braves' infield. "I'll just say this," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said, "when you score four runs without a hit, you better win that game." Here's how it happened: Cervenka started the inning. walked; bunted into a fielder's choice; walked; was walked intentionally; walked to score Galvis; Weber replaced Cervenka. reached on an error to score Featherston and Hernandez; reached on an error; got hit by a pitch to score Herrera; grounded into an inning-ending double play. ESPN said it is the first time the Phillies have sent nine batters to the plate without recording a hit since July 17, 1992, against the Dodgers at Veterans Stadium. That inning featured three walks, three errors, one flyout and two strikeouts. It is the first time it has happened in a game since the Cubs did it against the Rockies on Aug. 5, 2014.
Today In Phils History – Goldie Rapp’s 23 game Phillies rookie record hitting streak came to an end on this day in 1931. The Phillies concluded a 20 game home stand on this day in 1944 (which was followed by a 26 game road trip and another 20 game home stand. In 1982, Manny Trillo’s MLB record 89 game errorless streak came to an end on this day against the Cubs. 5 years later, Steve Bedrosian became the 1st Phillie to reach 30 saves in a single season. Danny Jackson went the distance and recorded 3 sacrifice hits against the Pirates in 1993. The following season, Kim Batiste recorded his only walk of the season in 209 at bats. That same day in 1994, Steve Carlton was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. It was also on this day what the Phillies traded away Terry Mulholland (1996), Shane Victorino (2012), and Hunter Pence (2012) while receiving Desi Delaford (1996), Ethan Martin (2012), and Tommy Joseph (2012). Finally, Happy Birthday to John Vukovich who would have been 69 today.
The Phillies are currently 48-58 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 60-52-1 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.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
GAME RECAP: Braves Edge Phillies 2-1
While auditioned for the crowd of scouts that came to see him at Turner Field on Friday night, provided a more encouraging glimpse of his potential as a starting pitcher and helped the Braves claim a 2-1 win over the Phillies. and recorded RBI singles during a two-run second inning that doomed Velasquez and proved sufficient for Jenkins, who allowed just one unearned run over six innings en route to claiming his first career win. The Phillies had won each of the past five games played against the Braves. "[Velasquez] was tough, and our guys hung in there pretty good against him," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "You're not going to get a whole lot, and thank God we didn't give up a whole lot. It was a good ballgame." Velasquez escaped multiple threats as he surrendered two earned runs and seven hits over six innings. The Dodgers and Rangers were among the teams that had scouts in the stands to watch the Phillies right-hander, who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 18 starts. Philadelphia's only run was tallied in the third inning, when scored from first base after bobbled 's single in left field. "Their guy was effectively wild, let's put it that way," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "We had him on the ropes early."
- The Phillies acquired Velasquez from Houston in December as part of the trade, so would they really trade him less than eight months later? It is unlikely, but the presence of scouts, particularly three from the Rangers, is noteworthy and the rebuilding Phillies certainly will listen to what teams have to say. After all, what if they get an offer they can't refuse? "Am I aware of it? Yeah," Velasquez said about the trade speculation. "I can't control anything. If they trade me, they trade me. I can't do anything about it. What am I going to do? The only thing I can do is pitch. That's my job."
- hit a pinch-hit double to center field with two outs in the ninth inning to put the tying runner on base, and Hernandez worked a walk to put the go-ahead run at first. But Herrera grounded out to shortstop Aybar, who threw to third to end the game. "The play to end the game was a good play," Mackanin said. "It just worked out perfect, going to his backhand. There's nothing [pinch-runner Tyler] Goeddel could have done. Just a [heck] of a play."
- "Our whole goal was to get young pitchers, because they're the most expensive commodity. If you can develop young pitchers like him and have four or five of those guys, then you're ahead of the game, but at the same time I'll listen to any offers if you get three guys for him that are really good looking prospects. You've got to consider it." -- Mackanin, on trade talks between the Rangers and Phillies for Velasquez.
- The Phillies challenged a call in the seventh inning that successfully stole second base. The replay official in New York ruled that d'Arnaud failed to maintain contact with the base as Phillies shortstop applied the tag. He overturned the call and d'Arnaud was out.
Right-hander is scheduled to start the third of a four-game series on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET against the Braves at Turner Field. Hellickson (7-7, 3.65) is the mostly likely Phillies player to be traded before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline and talks could pick up with traded Friday to the Marlins, which removed one more starter from the board.
Calm Among The Rumors – Matt Klentak made the centerpiece to his first major trade as Phillies general manager in December. Could Velasquez really be traded again, fewer than eight months later? The Phillies and Rangers are having serious talks about the possibility, although sources told MLB.com on Friday they do not believe anything is close. But three Rangers' scouts, including one of their top talent evaluators, watched Velasquez pitch in Friday night's to the Braves at Turner Field. Texas would not be wasting the manpower if talks were not legitimate, although they are expected to watch pitch Saturday night, too. MLB Network's Jon Paul Morosi first reported earlier this week that Texas wants Velasquez. "Am I aware of it? Yeah," Velasquez said about the trade speculation. "I can't control anything. If they trade me, they trade me. I can't do anything about it. What am I going to do? The only thing I can do is pitch. That's my job." It is safe to say the Phillies would have to be very impressed with a trade package to deal a young and talented pitcher under team control through 2021. Klentak and Phillies president Andy MacPhail have repeatedly stressed they believe they key to returning to the postseason is building a talented and deep rotation. That said, it would be foolish for the rebuilding Phillies to cover their ears and not listen to what teams had to say. Even Phillies manager Pete Mackanin acknowledged that. "Our whole goal was to get young pitchers, because they're the most expensive commodity," he said. "If you can develop young pitchers like him and have four or five of those guys, then you're ahead of the game, but at the same time I'll listen to any offers if you get three guys for him that are really good looking prospects. You've got to consider it." And the Phillies are listening. The trade with Houston almost fell apart in December when the Phillies had concerns about Velasquez's physical. The Phillies and Astros eventually reconfigured the trade, including right-hander as insurance. Velasquez missed some time in June because of a strained right biceps, but it was not serious. He has pitched six or more innings in each of his past five starts, including on Friday against the Braves. He allowed seven hits, two runs, two walks and struck out five in six innings. "He did a good job," Mackanin said. "But Vince is a power pitcher, and he didn't look like a power pitcher today. I bet he used more two-seam fastballs, changeups and breaking balls than he did his four-seam fastball. He pitched well, obviously, but he's pitching differently than you would expect him to pitch." Of course, the next time Velasquez pitches, it could be for somebody else. Asked after the game if it would disappoint him to be traded again, Velasquez said, "No, no. At first, when I got traded from the Astros, it was kind of tough for me. But you have to move on, you have to make the best of what you've got. If things happen, just let it happen. If I go to another team, then I've got to make the best of what I've got there. "There's a lot of things that are in the future. I don't know what to expect is what I'm saying. Again, all I can do is live in the present and live another day tomorrow. If something happens, something happens. I've got to make the best of what you've got today."
Pitching Near The Deadline – Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he expects to pitch Saturday night against the Braves. If not, he will figure out something else. Hellickson remains the Phillies' most likely candidate to be traded before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Contending teams need starting pitching, and Hellickson is 7-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 21 starts. He has allowed one earned run in 14 innings in his last two starts, and he has a 2.20 ERA in his last seven starts. His past few starts have been heavily scouted. "Everybody is anxious to find out," Mackanin said Friday. "There's a little bit of drama there." Hellickson is a free agent after the season, so if the Phillies can acquire a legitimate prospect for him, it makes sense to move him. But ESPN.com reported earlier this week that the Phillies' asking price is very high -- they're reportedly looking for an organization's top-five prospect -- because the Phillies feel they could make a qualifying offer to Hellickson if he is not traded. The Phillies believe Hellickson would reject the one-year contract, which could be worth more than $16 million. If he does and signs elsewhere, the Phillies would receive a compensatory Draft pick. In other words, the Phillies want a player comparable in talent to the player they potentially could select in next year's Draft. And if Hellickson accepts the qualifying offer? Well, the Phillies could afford it. They have almost no financial commitments beyond this season. And while the Phillies theoretically have five young starting pitchers that could fill out the 2017 rotation --, , , and -- the attrition rate for starting pitching is high, so the Phillies probably would pursue a veteran starter in the offseason, anyway. Of course, most of this could be posturing on the Phillies' part. It is worth mentioning that one option for contenders fell off the board Thursday when the Padres traded to the Marlins. The Cashner deal could heat up talks for the Phillies. "To be very honest, I don't know anything," Mackanin said. "I think it's better off that way. I might say the wrong thing without meaning to. I'd rather not know. I'm not in the decision-making process, as far as who they're going to trade for. The scouts are scouting. The people in the front office make their decision based on what information they have on these other players. "I would like to think, if we were playing for a pennant down the stretch, I would get a little bit of input on what we need. It's not what I need right now to help win. It's, 'What is the best deal?' So I don't want to know about it." But whether or not a trade is made before Monday's Trade Deadline, Mackanin thinks something will happen afterward. "After the smoke clears, then we'll evaluate and maybe bring up a young guy and maybe make a change in-house, I'm guessing," he said.
Today In Phils History – Pinky Whitney led the Phillies to victory in 1929 when he hit for the cycle against the Pirates. In 1937, 1B Dolph Camilli played 9 innings without recording a putout. 20 years later, Ron Northey, who was signed earlier in the day, hit a pinch hit 2 run homerun (an MLB record tying 8th of his career). 2 years later, Willie McCovey went 4 for 4 (2 triples) in his MLB debut for the Giants as they beat the Phillies 7-2. In 1995, Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn were inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. Ryan Howard drew a MLB record tying 5 walks on this day in 2006. As we near the trade deadline it is not surprising that there are a lot of transactions that occurred on this day including the departures of Bobby Abreu and Corey Lidle (2006) and Ryan Franklin (2006). However, the acquisitions are more interesting as there are a number of players that we forget were once Phillies including Todd Jones (2004), Felix Rodriguez (2004), Kyle Lohse (2007), Hunter Pence (2011). During trade season there are a lot of debuts as well including the Phillies debuts of Larry Anderson (1983), Roy Oswalt (2010), and Hunter Pence (2011) as well as the MLB debuts of Chuck Klein (1928), Art Mahaffey (1960), Michael Bourn (2006), and Cody Asche (2013). Finally, happy birthday to Casey Stengel who was born on this day in 1890.
The Phillies are currently 47-58 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 67-47-0 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.
Friday, July 29, 2016
GAME RECAP: Phillies Beat Braves 7-5
The Phillies entered Thursday having lost nine of their past 13 games, while their offense had not scored more than four runs in a game since the All-Star break. But in a 7-5 win over the Braves at Turner Field, the Phillies snapped their recent run-scoring drought, registering a five-run first inning and three homers. put Atlanta in a first-inning hole when he allowed a three-run home run to . followed with a solo shot, marking the fourth time this year the Phillies have hit back-to-back homers. Two more batters reached base before Wisler recorded the first out of the game on his 27th pitch. "That's what you kind of like to have," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "When 3-4-5 come up, you hope the other team gets nervous." The Braves right-hander settled in after that, retiring 13 of the next 15 batters. But after giving up a two-out single to Joseph in the fifth, hit a two-run homer to give Philadelphia a 7-0 lead. held Atlanta scoreless until the fifth, when sparked a three-run inning with an RBI double. The Braves tallied a run in the sixth and ninth innings, but it wasn't enough, as they fell to 3-7 against the Phillies this year. "It's just hard when you get down," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "The biggest pitch was the two-run homer [Wisler] gave up. You can live with the five [runs in the first inning] and then he settled in, but that was huge right there I thought. Five is doable with all of the at-bats we had left."
- The Phillies expected Altherr to be an everyday outfielder this season, but he tore a tendon in his left wrist in March. He rejoined the Phillies on Thursday and in his first game back, he singled and scored in the first, hit a two-run homer in the fifth and singled in the seventh. "Definitely, especially sitting around thinking about how that first game's going to be being back," Altherr said, asked if this was the perfect season debut. "For it to be like that it was definitely special."
- Nola continues to search for consistency. He has a 9.82 ERA in his last eight starts after allowing three runs in five innings against the Braves, finding himself in trouble much of the night. In three of his first four innings he retired the first two batters he faced before putting runners on base. then lost a ball in the lights to start the fifth, which led to a three-run inning. Still, Nola picked up his first win since June 5. "He's not the same guy," Mackanin said. "He's just struggling with command once again. He's not dotting his fastball like he normally does. His curveball is erratic. He needs to get back on track."
- "I played golf with him last year in the spring when he wasn't even on the radar. God, can he hit a driver. They're real high and they just carry. It's unbelievable. So I knew he had power. Then, when you watch him take BP, the sound that the ball makes coming off his bat is different than the other guys'." -- Mackanin, on Joseph's homer to center in the first.
- Franco is on pace to hit 29 home runs. If he can hit 30, he would be the first Phillies third baseman to hit 30 or more homers in a season since Scott Rolen hit 31 in 1998.
- Wisler's rough first inning concluded with a double play that was awarded after the Braves successfully challenged that shortstop tagged before stepping on the second-base bag to record a force out. Ruiz would not have been forced to third base had Aybar first stepped on the bag before applying the quick tag.
- The Braves were not as fortunate in the eighth inning when they unsuccessfully challenged Garcia's throw beat to first base. The original safe call was confirmed, resulting in an infield single.
(8-2, 3.34 ERA) faces the Braves in the second game of a four-game series Friday at Turner Field at 7:35 p.m. ET. He is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in five starts since returning from the disabled list in June because of a strained right biceps.
Altherr Returns – Phillies outfielder finally has his shot. The team activated him from the 60-day disabled list before Thursday's over the Braves at Turner Field. He hit fifth and went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run, giving him a nice start in what is expected to be an important audition over the Phillies' final 58 games. "Definitely," said Altherr, asked if it was the perfect season debut. "Especially sitting around thinking about how that first game's going to be being back. For it to be like that, it was definitely special." Altherr opened Spring Training as a projected everyday outfielder, but he tore a tendon in his left wrist in March, which required surgery. After a lengthy recovery spent mostly in Clearwater, Fla., Altherr rejoined the Phillies ready to prove he should be part of the Phillies' future plans in the outfield. "I just want to see him play," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before the game. "We want to see him play as much as possible. So if he stays healthy, I'm going to keep running him out there. That's what this year is all about. We're finding out about the guys that are here. He is potentially an important part, so we want to see what he does. I'm anxious to see what he does." and Rule 5 Draft pick will continue to play in left field, although Asche continues to receive the bulk of the playing time. He has started 42 of the last 51 games in left field, but he has hit .094 (5-for-53) in his last 17 games. "As I said earlier in the season, this is a very big year for Cody to prove that he can be part of the future and he needs to step it up," Mackanin said. "Goeddel needs to play. I need to play Goeddel. I have to come to a conclusion so I can speak intelligently at the end of the year about what I think, if Cody fits in, if Goeddel fits in, if [Jimmy] Paredes fits in. But Asche and Goeddel, we have to know. I don't want to go into Spring Training next year wondering. "After two or three years of opportunities that should give you a pretty good indication whether a guy fits or not. However, there's two months left in the season and anything can happen. So I'm not discounting anybody." And things could become even more complicated in terms of playing time, both in the outfield and infield, if Triple-A shortstop J.P. Crawford and outfielder are promoted at some point. Mackanin said the two prospects are "on the radar, but nothing has been determined on whether they're coming or not. They don't want to send up a guy that might not be ready." About the only thing certain is that Altherr will play a lot. He missed too much time not to play. The Phillies placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder to make room for Altherr on the 25-man roster.
Nola’s Mixed Results – Perhaps the 'W' next to 's name in the box score will help. He grinded through five innings Thursday night in a over the Braves at Turner Field, allowing eight hits, three runs, three walks, one hit batter and striking out five in five innings. He threw 95 pitches, extending the first, second and fourth innings after he had retired each of the two batters he faced. Still, he got his first win since June 5. "It has been a while," Nola said. Pitchers these days are not judged by wins because so much in a game is out of a starting pitcher's hands. But while wins are not a true measuring stick of a pitcher's worth, pitchers still like to see a good record next to their name. So maybe this will get Nola moving in the right direction again because he has not looked like himself for some time, including Thursday. Atlanta entered the game with the worst offense in baseball, averaging 3.43 runs per game, but the Braves reached base 12 times against Nola. "Fairly OK," he said, assessing his performance. Nola has a 9.82 ERA in eight starts since he beat the Brewers on June 5. He struggled so much in June and July that the Phillies skipped his final start before the All-Star break. The Phillies breathed a sigh of relief July 18, when he pitched six scoreless innings against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. But Nola has allowed 14 hits, nine runs and five walks in nine innings in two starts since. "He's not the same guy," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's just struggling with command once again. He's not dotting his fastball like he normally does. His curveball is erratic. He needs to get back on track." "I feel like I have the command for the most part, but there's some areas I still need to get better at and work to get better at," Nola said.
Mid-Season Prospect Rankings – The Phillies entered the season with one of the top farm systems in baseball, and that has not changed. MLB.com's , released Thursday, includes five Phillies: shortstop J.P. Crawford (third overall), outfielder Mickey Moniak (34th), outfielder (62nd), catcher (72nd) and right-hander (73rd). Only the Astros (seven) and Pirates (six) have more players in the top 100. The Phillies had seven players in the preseason top 100, but right-hander , outfielder Cornelius Randolph and outfielder dropped out because of injuries. Moniak, whom the Phillies selected with the first overall pick in the 2016 Draft, joined. The ranking of baseball's is completed by Draft and prospect experts , and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status are eligible for the list. The rankings follow the Collective Bargaining Agreement guidelines for which players fall under the international pool money rules: Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible. Interestingly, 16 prospects in the Phillies' top 30 joined the organization since the Phillies officially began their rebuilding process following the 2014 season. Nine of the 16 joined via trade: Williams (ranked third in the organization), Alfaro (fourth), Thompson (fifth), Appel (11th), right-hander (18th), right-hander Thomas Eshelman (19th), right-hander (24th), right-hander (26th) and right-hander (30th). Six came in the last two Drafts: Moniak (second), Randolph (sixth), right-hander Kevin Gowdy (10th), second baseman Scott Kingery (14th), third baseman Cole Stobbe (15th) and left-hander JoJo Romero (25th). One joined as an amateur free agent: outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz (21st).
Today In Phils History – It was Orlando Cepeda’s 1st career homerun in 1961 that led the Giants to a victory over the Phillies who would go on to lose the next 22 consecutive games. 4 years later, the Phillies Ray Culp threw a 2 hit shutout against the Pirates while the two teams combined for 26 strikeouts. In 1974, Steve Carlton tossed a 2 hitter while Mike Schmidt connected for 2 homeruns against the Pirates. A decade later, Juan Samuel and Von Hayes became the 1st players in MLB history to hit back to back homeruns in the first 2 at bats of the game. 4 years later, Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe stole home against the Phillies. The following season, in 1989, the Phillies retired Steve Carlton’s uniform number 32. In 2002, the Phillies parted ways with former Rookie of the Year Scott Rolen as they traded him to the Cardinals for Placido Planco, Bud Smith, and Mike Timlin. 5 years later, Antonio Alfonseca recorded a strikeout on a single pitch after entering the game for the injured Ryan Madson. In 2009, the Phillies obtained Cliff Lee from the Indians. The following season, the Phillies acquired Roy Oswalt from the Astros. Finally, happy anniversary to Todd Pratt (1992) and Ricky Bottalico (1994) who made their MLB debuts with the Phillies on this day.
The Phillies are currently 47-57 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 55-50-0 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.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
GAME RECAP: Marlins Mash Phillies 11-1
sparked a big day for the Marlins with a spectacular catch and his 22nd home run as continued his dominance at home in the Marlins' 11-1 win over the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park. Stanton robbed to end the top of the first with a leaping grab at the wall in right field, then capped a three-run bottom of the first with a homer to left-center. The Marlins cruised from there, collecting 16 hits, including three from , who had two triples and two RBIs. "It was awesome," Kelly said of his first three-hit game since August 2014. "This game is tough when you're struggling a little bit at the plate and you're up there grinding it out. You feel that potentially it's going to bust open for you." The Marlins, who lead the National League with 954 hits, put their leadoff hitter on base in every inning and had four players collect three hits each. Conley worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering eight hits. He struck out six, walked three, and helped his cause with two RBIs. The lefty escaped bases-loaded, one-out jams in both the third and sixth innings while improving to 3-0 in his last five starts at home with a 1.41 ERA (32 IP, 5 ER) over that span. "There was great defense behind me and I was able to execute pitches," Conley said. "Even though we found ourselves in some jams, we were able to pitch out of those." Phils starter pitched into the sixth inning and was touched up for seven runs on nine hits as the Phillies are 4-9 since the All-Star break. They entered the break hoping to make a run at .500, but they would have to play 35-24 (.593) the rest of the way to accomplish that. "It's disappointing because we haven't gotten there yet," Joseph said about hitting the .500 mark, "but we've got just over two months to play. That's easily an attainable goal for this team."
- Eflin had a 2.08 ERA in his last seven starts, which included a shutout Friday against the Pirates and a complete game earlier this month against the Braves. But the Marlins jumped on Eflin early. His ERA jumped from 3.40 to 4.23. "You can't go out there and dominate every outing," Eflin said. "I just think it's a mindset thing. I always have a positive mindset, not really ever negative. I think it's a big thing as a starting pitcher, especially when you have four days off between starts. I'm going to work my tail off the next four days and really focus on the next outing."
- The top three hitters in the Phillies' lineup (, and ) combined to reach base nine times, but they never scored. Hernandez's two-out double in the ninth prevented the Phillies from suffering back-to-back shutout losses for the first time since July 8-9, 2015, when and pitched in shutouts at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. "What do you think?" manager Pete Mackanin said, when asked if the Phillies' lineup needs a shakeup.
- "You have to stay even-keeled. You have to stay consistent. At least I have to. I have to try to stay consistent, emotionally." -- Mackanin, on the Phillies' recent struggles.
- Home-plate umpire Pat Hoberg ejected Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes after Phillies catcher was called out on strikes. It was Bowa's first ejection of the season. "He was mad at the umpire," Mackanin said. "He couldn't control himself. He had to let it out."
- The win clinched the Marlins' fourth consecutive winning month for the first time in franchise history.
- Three hits shy of reaching 3,000 career Major League hits, did not play on Wednesday. "It's a little uncomfortable as you get this close with [Ichiro] because you don't want to just put him in there to try to do this," Mattingly said. "We've been playing with him in the context of the team the whole year long; it's worked out perfectly. I know people want to see it and see it at home but I don't want to force it. [He'll play] when it's best for the team."
The Phillies open a four-game series Thursday against the Braves at Turner Field at 7:10 p.m. ET. Phillies right-hander hopes to turnaround his recent struggles. He went 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA in his first 12 starts this season, looking like a potential National League All-Star, but is 0-5 with a 10.61 ERA in his last seven starts.
Just A Bump – The further Phillies rookie distanced himself from his big league debut in Toronto in June, the more people marveled at how well he had pitched since. He entered Wednesday's to the Marlins at Marlins Park with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts since allowing nine runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays on June 14. His recent success included a shutout Friday against the Pirates and a complete game earlier this month against the Braves. But Eflin struggled against the Marlins, allowing nine hits, seven runs and four walks in five-plus innings as the Phillies dropped to 4-9 since the All-Star break. "You can't go out there and dominate every outing," Eflin said. "I just think it's a mindset thing. I always have a positive mindset, not really ever negative. I think it's a big thing as a starting pitcher, especially when you have four days off between starts. I'm going to work my tail off the next four days and really focus on the next outing." Eflin, whose ERA jumped from 3.40 to 4.23, allowed a leadoff double to in the first inning. He scored on a fielder's choice to make it 1-0, but followed and crushed a two-run home run to left field to make it 3-0. Stanton hit a 1-0 fastball, which left his bat at 112 mph and traveled a projected 435 feet, according to . "He hit it pretty well," Eflin said. Eflin allowed another run in the fourth and three more runs in the sixth before leaving the game. "Eflin wasn't the same pitcher he was in Pittsburgh," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "He just left the ball up. I didn't like the mix of pitches he used. We were hoping he'd use his curveball a little bit more. I thought he made some good pitches that the umpire missed. But that wasn't the reason. He just wasn't the same guy." It was a disappointment that Eflin could not replicate his success in Pittsburgh, particularly because he grew up in Orlando, Fla. He had family and at least 20 friends in attendance. "It's just the experience they got to have," Eflin said. "It's really cool knowing where I came from, all my friends being able to be here and supporting me." But the early returns for Eflin are encouraging, especially considering he was one of the first pieces acquired in the Phillies' rebuild. He joined the Phillies in December 2014, as part of the trade with the Dodgers. He makes his next start Tuesday against the Giants at Citizens Bank Park.
Today In Phils History – The Phillies acquired Chuck Klein on this day in 1928. Russ Meyer continued the Phillies shutout streak (4th in a row) against the Cubs in 1951. Harry Kalas was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame on this day in 2002 as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. 5 years later, Tadihiro Iguchi became the 1st player born in Japan to start for the Phillies when he was put in the lineup at 2B. Dominic Brown made his MLB debut in 2010. The Phillies lost 2 straight games on this day in 2011 for the first time in 46 contests. Finally, happy 30th birthday to Darin Ruf.
The Phillies are currently 46-57 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 47-65-0 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.