July 7, 2013 |
The Phillies were home on an idyllic summer evening, and they could dream. No team in baseball has played fewer games in their own ballpark. There are luxuries the road does not offer. Before a 5-4 victory Friday was complete, a grounds-crew member handed the Phanatic an Atlanta Braves batting helmet. The mascot crushed it. He flashed the Braves dugout. Everyone cheered. The fans crave that old winning sensation. No one knows what the Phillies' future will be, although portents could come during this 10-game home trial.
July 28, 2012 |
ATLANTA - Cole Hamels wandered aimlessly around the infield grass Friday night after his $144 million arm failed once again. He peeked toward center field, and not yet knowing the ball's fate, started walking in a circle. Finally, when a fat 92 m.p.h. fastball landed as a three-run Brian McCann home run, Hamels paused and stared into the night. "It was a long week," Hamels said later. There is no explaining how a pitcher two days removed from signing one of the largest contracts in baseball history authored a first act as gruesome as the Phillies' 6-1 loss to the Braves at Turner Field.
May 4, 2012 |
ATLANTA - The stationary bike beeped twice, and Joe Blanton stepped off after 15 minutes exactly. Around him, the rest of the Phillies reveled in a brisk getaway day 4-0 victory over the Braves. A team official worked feverishly to push up the team's charter flight to Washington. Brian Schneider iced his back with a wide smile. Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon lounged in a corner of the room and laughed. "I was hoping for under two hours," Blanton said. His first shutout in 1,797 days took 2 hours, 2 minutes to complete.
September 18, 2012 |
DAN UGGLA got Atlanta started with his bat. His glove helped finish off his former club. Uggla hit a three-run homer in the first inning and sprawled to snare a ground ball that ended a Miami threat in the eighth, Martin Prado tied a career best with four hits and the visiting Braves beat the Marlins, 7-5, Monday night. It was the fourth straight win for Atlanta, which moved within five games of idle Washington in the NL East. "Three-run homer, but for me Danny saved us defensively," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
June 20, 2014 |
ATLANTA - Ryne Sandberg prefers '80s rock, maybe some Journey or REO Speedwagon, but the 54-year-old Phillies manager smiled when hip-hop penetrated his office's walls at Turner Field for three straight days. "I know the songs," Sandberg said Wednesday. That is because they played on repeat in the Phillies' clubhouse to celebrate wins over Atlanta. The Phillies are six games under .500 after a 10-5 destruction of the Braves, and teams on pace for 74 victories do not make statements in the span of three days.
August 26, 2011 |
Brian McCann finally got his swing back where he likes it. The Braves are pretty happy with it, too. McCann homered twice and visiting Atlanta beat the Chicago Cubs, 8-3, yesterday. "I just haven't really swung the bat that great since coming off the DL. When you don't feel good and you face good pitching, it's an exposure," he said. "I've been working in the cages the last 3 or 4 days trying to find it, and today I made some strides. "I went down to the cage this morning.
August 9, 2012 |
David Ross, Atlanta's 35-year-old stocky backup catcher, stole second base standing up in the seventh inning Wednesday night for his first career steal, and another mutiny started in the stands at Citizens Bank Park. "We want our money back!" one fan yelled. "Yeah!" said another. The ballpark emptied, a 12-6 Phillies loss to the Braves the latest cause for consternation. It was a night when pitching systematically failed the Phillies, beginning with Kyle Kendrick's clunker of a start.
October 1, 2011 |
A week ago, Williamstown had one of the biggest wins in its football history. On Friday, the Braves settled for a defining victory, one that showed the program's staying power. Instead of suffering a letdown, the Braves never let up in a 41-17 win over visiting Moorestown in an interdivisional West Jersey Football League game. What this showed is that the Braves are not only talented enough to produce dramatic wins, but that the program can move on. And, of course, continue winning.
April 18, 2014 |
The night before, Ryne Sandberg said the game begins with pitching and defense. Baseball, of course, is one of only two games - cricket is the other - in which the action is initiated by the defensive team, starting with the pitcher, but that's not what the Phillies manager was referencing. He was talking about how teams with the best pitching and defense usually wind up at the top of the standings, a theory that can be proved simply by looking at the five National League teams that reached the postseason last season.
March 27, 1995 |
Take a few walks, a hit batter and numerous errors, and you have the ingredients for a tough game. That was situation Octorara found itself in in just the first inning Friday against visiting Pequea Valley, in the nonleague softball opener for both teams. "It was crazy," Braves coach Deb Feather said after she had watched Pequea score nine times in the first inning, then hold on for a 12-9 victory over her club. The cold and wind didn't help either team, but the first-inning jitters put the Braves in a hole they could not quite dig out of. "That first inning just broke us," Feather said.