May 21, 2015 |
DENVER - Justin De Fratus turned around and watched as the ball traveled toward the wall in left-center at Coors Field. His two-strike, two-out pitch in the eighth inning quickly became Nick Hundley's third home run, and the Phillies trailed again. They could not battle back from their third deficit of the night. A 6-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies snapped the Phillies season-high winning streak at six games Tuesday night. "A pitch I was trying to get in the dirt," De Fratus said.
May 18, 2015 |
Elvis Araujo did not know he was the winning pitcher Friday until after the Phillies wrapped up their 4-3 victory over Arizona. The game ball was waiting for him in his locker in the clubhouse. The lefthanded reliever said he would place it next to the ball he earned earlier this season after striking out his first batter. "I was excited," the rookie said Saturday as his season of firsts rolled on. Araujo, 23, has been effective since being promoted last month from double-A Reading.
April 19, 2015
WASHINGTON - Luis Garcia needed just 11 pitches on Thursday night to cruise through his fifth scoreless inning of the season. He has not allowed a run since Sept. 10 of last season. The righthander, who was out of baseball three years ago, has become one of the steadiest arms in the Phillies bullpen. "I'm just here to do my job," Garcia said before Friday night's game against the Washington Nationals. "Every day is different. I'm just thinking about today. I'm not thinking about what happened the day before.
April 10, 2015 |
An 86-m.p.h. fastball smacked into Carlos Ruiz's mitt and Aaron Harang's regular-season debut with his eighth major-league team was underway. The journeyman was brought to Philadelphia to eat innings in a rebuilding season, but for much of Wednesday night his results more closely emulated those of the pitcher who made five consecutive opening-day starts for the Reds. Mixing his five pitches and changing speeds, Harang limited the Boston Red Sox to one hit through the first six innings of a chilly, misty night at Citizens Bank Park.
April 4, 2015 |
The Phillies' biggest free-agent outlay this winter brought them a 36-year-old righthander pitching for his eighth team in five years. The allure of adding a $5 million pitcher such as Aaron Harang, though, goes deeper. The well-traveled veteran eats innings. Relief pitching figures to be the strength of this year's Phillies. The more innings logged by starters such as Harang and fellow journeyman Jerome Williams, the less wear and tear in a rebuilding year on the young bullpen arms that are sure to factor into the team's future.
March 24, 2015 |
FORT MYERS, Fla. - With the three hitters projected to hit in the middle of the batting order past their 35th birthdays, the regular production expected from the Phillies' offense is uncertain at best. With Cliff Lee likely gone for the duration of the season and the likelihood that Cole Hamels could be traded before the end of the summer, the formerly formidable starting rotation is more than vulnerable. It's a 1-2 punch that has led some to believe to Phillies could flirt with 100 losses in 2015.
March 20, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Seemingly each time they discuss Elvis Araujo, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Bob McClure refer to the angle at which the ball travels from the pitcher's left hand to home plate. Araujo, in other words, stands an imposing 6-foot-6, 280 pounds. His fastball, which he complements with a slider and change-up, peaked this week at 97 miles per hour on the Bright House Field radar gun. In five Grapefruit League innings, he has allowed only two hits.
March 13, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The 30 pitchers in Phillies camp broke their circle and each took a few steps to pick up his glove. Cliff Lee found a spot among the two rows of hurlers and began playing catch with bullpen coach Rod Nichols. This was the start of Lee's throwing program Wednesday. As he tossed a baseball for about 10 minutes, pitching coach Bob McClure watched by his side. Afterward, the 36-year-old lefthander retreated to a back field and threw his first bullpen session since the elbow setback that has put in question his season and could lead to the end of his playing career.
February 23, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Starter-turned-reliever Ethan Martin is back to starting. At least for now. "He needs to pitch. He didn't get enough reps last year," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday. "I think he needs to work on all his stuff and the command of all his pitches, and I think this is the best way to do it and get his arm strength going. " Martin, the 25-year-old righthander the Phillies acquired in 2012 from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Shane Victorino, spent last year as a reliever.
October 17, 2014 |
IF YOU'RE reading this after making it through the last 3 days of our annual October State of the Phillies series, congratulations. It's been a long week. Running through the limited options involving fixing the Phillies infield, outfield and starting rotation (with the same front-office group intact to do the fixing) surely hasn't made you feel too good. So, as a reward for your loyal readership, we end this series with a segment of the team that doesn't need fixing. (Imagine that!