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September 21, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - It is too early to tell exactly when J.P. Crawford, a highly touted shortstop and the Phillies' top prospect, will reach the major leagues. But it is not premature to begin to gauge whether Freddy Galvis, the Phillies' shortstop all season, could factor into the team's equation at second base in the future. Galvis started at second base for the first time this season in the Phillies' 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field. Although interim manager Pete Mackanin insisted there was "no ulterior motive" to the temporary position change, it makes sense for the Phillies' front office to see Galvis play on the right side of the infield before season's end. Galvis "might play two or three games" at second base over the final two weeks of the season, Mackanin said.
SPORTS
September 11, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
At this point in his career, Ryan Howard, for all intents and purposes, is a platoon player. The aging slugger has not started against a lefthanded pitcher since Aug. 5, when the Phillies lost to Brett Anderson and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. That is what in part makes Howard's recent struggles all the more noticeable. His 0-for-4 performance in the Phillies' 8-1 loss to the fourth-place Atlanta Braves on Wednesday extended his hitless streak to 29 at-bats, the longest of his 12-year major-league career.
SPORTS
September 10, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Aaron Nola's rookie season is winding down. But regardless of whether it ends after two or three more starts, it will have more than comfortably reaffirmed the notion that he will be a mainstay in the Phillies' rotation for years to come. Nola pitched seven scoreless innings Tuesday night in a 5-0 victory against the Atlanta Braves, lowering the 22-year-old righthander's ERA to 3.56 through 10 major-league starts. Last year's seventh overall draft pick has allowed an impressive 1.14 walks plus hits per inning pitched through 602/3 big-league frames.
SPORTS
September 10, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
WITH THE possible exception of an uber-talent, No. 1 overall pick such as Stephen Strasburg, no 22-year-old kid arrives in the big leagues and is immediately crowned a stopper, let alone an ace. Such fancy words are set aside for the pitchers who have put in the time on a big-league mound, who have been selected to an All-Star Game, finished high on a Cy Young Award ballot, or shined in postseason play. So, as manager Pete Mackanin has said more than once in the last two weeks, let's not get ahead of ourselves and crown Aaron Nola as anything more than what he's been in his first seven weeks in the big leagues: a very consistent, polished, young pitcher with a lot of promise and a knack for righting his team, too. In his 10th major league start, Nola shut out the Atlanta Braves for seven innings in helping the Phillies snap a five-game skid in a 5-0 victory at Citizens Bank Park last night.
SPORTS
September 9, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A dreadful stretch of performances from the Atlanta Braves ensured Monday's Phillies' game to be the least desirable of Major League Baseball's 15 Labor Day games. The matchup was reflected in the attendance as the smallest crowd in Citizens Bank Park's 12-season history showed up to watch baseball's two worst teams. An announced 15,125 in the stands for the Phillies' 7-2 loss marked the team's worst attendance since April 23, 2003, when a mere 13,444 attended a win against the Colorado Rockies at Veterans Stadium.
SPORTS
September 3, 2015 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tyrik Glenn's commemoration of his old friend runs from his neck to his toes. Glenn, a senior linebacker and running back for the Williamstown football team, lowered his shoulder pads to show off the writing on his under pads - "R.I.P #62. " He has the same message on the toes of his football cleats. "This is our biggest motivation now," Glenn said during a break in Williamstown's preseason practice on a hot and humid morning in Monroe Township. Glenn and two-way back Joe Early - and many of the Braves' seniors - were close friends with Darius Boyer, who drowned July 2 at the age of 17 while swimming at a former quarry in the township.
SPORTS
August 4, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The second-half steamroller known as the Phillies finally was slowed, but for those looking at the future of this franchise, it should be an interesting final two months. A 6-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park enabled the winners to salvage a victory from the four-game set. Since the all-star break the Phillies are 12-3, and even after the loss they own a plus-31 run differential. With all the minor-leaguers acquired in recent trades, plenty of young guns will be knocking on the major-league door, so the players already here have to hold their ground.
SPORTS
August 3, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin gathered his players before last month's all-star break. He challenged them to "choose one of two paths" before they departed San Francisco for a four-day recess. "Either we're the team that has the bad record, or we're a better team than our record," he told them. Mackanin believed the Phillies were better than baseball's worst record. He hoped his team agreed. Since that meeting, the Phillies have been the major leagues' hottest team.
SPORTS
August 2, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies may not be turning heads, but at least they haven't succumbed to the easiest of temptations - packing it in following a seemingly hopeless first half of the season. On the day Cole Hamels' departure to Texas was made official, the Phillies continued their unexpected second-half turnaround with a 9-3 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night. Entering the evening, the Phillies were tied with the San Francisco Giants for the best winning percentage since the all-star break.
SPORTS
August 1, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Aaron Harang was supposed to drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Northeast Extension on Thursday morning and pitch in Allentown. The plan called for Harang to make a rehab start with triple-A Lehigh Valley before joining the Phillies. But the team's plans were expedited. Harang was in the majors - not the minors - Thursday. The righthander's opposition was not the triple-A Yankees, but the major-league Braves, whom he stymied for five innings in a 4-1 win. Despite no rehab start, he looked fit as he allowed one run. Harang had been sidelined since July 1 with plantar fasciitis, which caused a stabbing pain in the bottom of his left foot.
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