June 5, 2015 |
RYNE SANDBERG could see it 2 years ago. Maikel Franco was 20 years old and in his first full camp with the team, but the then-future Phillies manager could sense what was coming. "Maikel just has an aura about him of having confidence and feeling comfortable," Sandberg said before last night's game. "And I've sensed that, really from the get-go. He just seems to be comfortable. I think he has confidence in his ability, and I think that goes a long way with him coming up big in the last couple of games in those moments that we haven't come up big. " Are some players just built for the big moment?
June 5, 2015 |
Maikel Franco had never before in person witnessed Aroldis Chapman and his triple-digit radar gun readings. The Phillies rookie had only ever seen the Cincinnati Reds closer pitch on television. "I just knew he throws hard," Franco said, smiling. That's apparently fine with Franco, a good fastball hitter. The 22-year-old third baseman belted a 98-m.p.h. Chapman heater for a game-tying three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth of an eventual 5-4, 11-inning Phillies win Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
March 6, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Last spring, Ken Giles was the kid in the back corner of the clubhouse with the filthiest fastball in the Grapefruit League. Since he had never played above Class A, though, Giles was sent to minor league camp midway through March. But then he would become a cult hero in Baseballtown, striking out 51 percent of the batters he faced during a monthlong stay at Double A Reading. And then he moved along to Allentown, where Triple A hitters were sent into fits with his triple-digit heat.
August 15, 2014 |
ANAHEIM - The eyes began to open in Clearwater, Fla., 6 months ago. Ken Giles, the righthander armed with a triple-digit fastball, pounded the catchers' gloves, reshaping their leather with each pitch. He peppered their mitts with four-seamers that produced an audible pop every morning he threw. Anyone standing within a dozen feet or so couldn't help but look to see where that sound was coming from. When Giles departed for minor league camp in March, his first major league tryout over without a goal fulfilled, he had done enough to pique the interest of his first-year manager.
May 29, 2013 |
Things are getting chippy in the Buckeye State during the Cincinnati-Cleveland interleague series. Even the broadcasters are getting into it. Tom Hamilton, the longtime "Voice of the Indians" was incensed after Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman buzzed a couple of high-and-inside fastballs past Tribe slugger Nick Swisher in the ninth inning of Cincinnati's 4-2 win Monday. After the second pitch, Hamilton sounded as if he was ready to come out of the booth to brawl. "What you'd love to see Swisher do here is knock it right off the temple of Chapman and see how much fun it is to have a ball coming at your head," Hamilton said.
April 17, 2013 |
CINCINNATI - For 2 hours and 26 minutes Monday, the Phillies and Reds played sublime baseball. They exchanged dominant starting pitching, thrilling hits and breathtaking defensive plays. A 4-2 Reds victory ended when Aroldis Chapman fired a 100-m.p.h. fastball past Ryan Howard, and everyone could have used a lengthier distraction. Ben Revere wrote "PRAY For Boston" on a piece of tape, affixed it to the webbing of his glove, and made one of the most incredible catches in recent memory.
March 1, 2013 |
SECOND BASEMAN Robinson Cano has received a "significant" offer from the Yankees, according to general manager Brian Cashman. "We've made an offer to him. We've made a significant offer to him," Cashman said Thursday, though he refused to elaborate. The GM was under the impression that managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner had said as much to reporters earlier in camp. But Steinbrenner merely disclosed that there had been a preliminary discussion with agent Scott Boras about his client.
September 13, 2012
The Reds are giving fireballing closer Aroldis Chapman a few days off to rest his tired pitching shoulder. The lefthander struggled with his control and hit only 96 m.p.h. on the radar gun Monday night during a 14-inning, 4-3 win over Pittsburgh. Normally, his heat is more in the range of 98 to 101 m.p.h. Chapman walked three of the five batters he faced in the 10th inning and had to be taken out during an inning for the first time this season. Afterward, he was examined and a tired shoulder was diagnosed.
September 13, 2012 |
THE 11-YEAR-OLD boy was wearing blue-and-orange sneakers, a set of high-tops that shared a color pattern with his baseball team. In a few hours, he would find a seat in the stadium and watch his favorite player - R.A. Dickey - chase his 19th win. This has become a tradition for Michelle Pegno and her 11-year-old son, Matthew Lunden. Eleven years ago, on a blue-sky morning that resembled the one at Citi Field on Tuesday, Michelle lost her husband. Matthew lost his father. To commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 - or maybe to take a coffee break from it - they went to a Mets game.
August 24, 2012
IT WAS '90s Retro Night at the ol' ball yard, and the Phillies were flawless in their execution. Half of the crowd left in the eighth inning, the lineup combined to go 4-for-31, and the home team lost and dropped to 57-67. It was 1990 all over again, minus the artificial turf and sewer rats. The homage to the days of "Saved By the Bell" and the American middle class provided a necessary distraction from the action on the field. The '90s, you may recall, were not kind to the Phillies.