April 17, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - The first pitch Cole Hamels delivered last night ended up as a souvenir. Former Braves, Jays, Rays and A's castoff Yunel Escobar jumped on a fastball and deposited it in the small section of red seats to the left of dead center at Nationals Park. For the third time in as many starts this season, Hamels, the owner of the largest contract in Phillies history, served up the game's first run, putting his team behind. As he's often done during his decadelong career, Hamels rebounded at first.
April 13, 2015 |
THE UMPIRING crew took its time to get out to home plate Friday night. The Phillie Phanatic noted the umps' tardiness, shaking his head in mock disgust and pointing to the imaginary watch on his wrist. Eventually, the managers of the two teams converged at the plate, too, and the game got underway, only 2 minutes late of the scheduled starting time for the first pitch. Part of you wondered whether they were waiting for seat fillers to come in and turn the frown upside down on the 12-year-old South Philly ballpark.
April 12, 2015 |
Bryce Harper remained in the batter's box as the Phillies jogged toward their dugout. The Washington outfielder shook his head and lightly swung his bat three times. Harper was befuddled after watching Ken Giles' slider cross the plate to end the eighth inning of a 4-1 Phillies win at Citizens Bank Park. Giles showed on Friday night how potent his right arm is when his slider is under control. He struck out two batters and helped silence the notion that his back continues to ail him. Giles threw the menacing slider 10 times, eight of which were strikes.
February 10, 2015 |
TAKING A LOOK AT the Washington Nationals: Manager: Matt Williams Last 5 years: 2014: 96-66, first place; 2013: 86-76, second place; 2012: 98-64, first place; 2011: 80-81, third place; 2010: 69-93, fifth place Additions: Righthanded pitcher Max Scherzer, second baseman Yunel Escobar, utilityman Kevin Frandsen Loses: First baseman Adam LaRoche, righthanded pitcher Tyler Clippard, second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera ...
September 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Maikel Franco saw plenty of firsts in his second start with the Phillies. The prized third-base prospect got his first hit and was part of his first wild comeback effort. Ben Revere's two-out solo home run in the ninth inning sent the game into extras, and then Franco broke the tie in the 11th on a fielder's choice as the Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals, 9-8, on Friday at Nationals Park. Revere's shocking homer in the ninth off closer Rafael Soriano tied the score at 7. It was Revere's second career home run. "I was trying to put a good swing on the ball and do as much possible as try to drive it," Revere said of the blast.
August 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - San Diego natives, aces of their respective teams, division rivals. Right now, the relationship between Cole Hamels and Stephen Strasburg is mostly a professional one. When their playing days are through, Hamels said, "Maybe we'll mix in some golf. " For now, baseball is treating both just fine. Yesterday, in the Nationals' 4-0 win over the Phillies, the two pitchers combined to dominate each others' lineups for 14 innings. The only run scored against either of them was of the unearned variety, with a fielding error by Phillies third baseman Cody Asche setting up a two-out RBI single by Denard Span in the third inning.
August 4, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Phillies righthander A.J. Burnett has encountered his share of trouble in the first two innings of games this season, but this time there was a twist. His slow start was followed by a quick exit. One pitch after allowing a three-run home run to Anthony Rendon, Burnett was tossed, and the Phillies went on to lose, 11-0, to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Saturday night. After throwing a first-pitch ball to Jayson Werth, Burnett exchanged pleasantries with home plate umpire Chris Guccione.
June 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - With two runners on, two outs and another shutout loss hanging in the balance, Ben Revere jumped on a fastball from Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard, but the bouncing ball found a home in the waiting glove of shortstop Ian Desmond. Desmond fired to first and the Phillies lost their fourth straight game, 7-0, last night. Jordan Zimmermann and Clippard combined to hand the Phillies their seventh shutout loss in their last 27 games. Less than a half-hour after making the last out, Revere dressed in a quiet clubhouse and couldn't hide a frustration that's been mounting with the team as a whole for the better part of the last month.
May 19, 2014 |
THE PRESIDENT of the United States is required once a year to report to Congress on the "State of the Union. " It is often more of a campaign speech for the policies the president wants to enact, but, in a tip of the hat to tradition, the president always ends with the reassuring words, "the state of the union is strong!" When thinking about this, I decided that mid-May might be a perfect time for my report on the "the state of professional sports in Philadelphia. " If we polled the sports fans of our city and gave them a choice of "strong," "fair" or "weak," my guess is that "weak" would come in a solid first, followed by "fair," with "strong" in dead last.
April 23, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Mike Trout says it's "pretty cool" to be compared with Bryce Harper. He says the same goes for "Mickey Mantle and those Hall of Fame guys. " That underscores the big difference between the two young baseball stars who took the same field in a regular-season game for the first time Monday night at Nationals Park. The 21-year-old Harper still is a player best defined by his potential: The Washington leftfielder looks like he could be one of the all-time greats.