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SPORTS
June 14, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MINNEAPOLIS - An agitated and exasperated Charlie Manuel spent almost 10 minutes defending his lineup card, and specifically, Ryan Howard's place in that lineup yesterday afternoon. In short, he made it clear there weren't a whole heck of appealing options in his underachieving, injury-ravaged, flawed lineup. It wasn't until the final minute of his daily prename session with the media that another of his team's sore spots surfaced in the conversation. Setup man Mike Adams has given up runs in five of his seven outings since returning from the disabled list 2 weeks ago. "We have to get him where he's consistent and well," Manuel said of his struggling eighth-inning reliever.
SPORTS
June 14, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - Charlie Manuel did not flinch as chaos materialized 10 yards from him. He leaned on the dugout railing Wednesday night and dangled his right arm. Justin De Fratus uncorked an eighth-inning wild pitch that plated the decisive run in a 4-3 Phillies loss to the Minnesota Twins, another game blown by a broken bullpen. The manager shifted his feet and stared straight ahead. His team is disintegrating before his 69-year-old eyes. He ranted about it at length, using strong language.
SPORTS
May 18, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
The scoreboard has been kind to the Phillies. While they slip, slide and fall in their modest pursuit of reaching .500, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals have failed to pull away. It's hard to believe that any team could have a worse on-base percentage than the .304 the Phillies have posted through 41 games. But five teams do, and the Nationals, at .292, are one of them. The Braves, meanwhile, started 13-2 and have gone 9-16 since. The misfortune of others will not matter if the Phillies cannot fix their myriad problems.
SPORTS
May 12, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHOENIX - Jimmy Rollins never shed his batting gloves. With the tying run 90 feet away, he tapped one to first base that sealed a 3-2 Phillies loss. Rollins retreated to the clubhouse with the rest of his downtrodden teammates and went straight to one of the five laptops in the middle of the room. For 16 minutes, Rollins watched. Dressed in full uniform, he moved the mouse with his right glove. He tapped on the keyboard with his left glove. He stood up, pretended to swing, and pulled off his No. 11 jersey.
SPORTS
April 26, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CHASE UTLEY stood at his locker Wednesday more than 3 hours before the first pitch was thrown and was asked about a play that happened 3 nights earlier. Utley, it was assumed, forgot how many outs there were during Sunday night's game against St. Louis when he dashed off second and toward home with one out in the first inning. He was doubled off, ending a rally. Utley, however, didn't forget the number of outs. He read the ball as a blooper, took his chances and took off. Major league veterans with All-Star credentials usually aren't prone to mental or physical gaffes, and Utley, as it turns out, was guilty of neither.
SPORTS
April 26, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
When a surgeon removed one of Mike Adams' ribs last winter, the pitcher finally felt at ease. His right arm, which could once throw a fastball at an average of 93 m.p.h., was no longer numb. The Phillies paid him $12 million to provide stability in the eighth inning. Then a 5-3 Phillies loss to Pittsburgh happened Wednesday, and it resembled the nightmares of a season ago for both pitcher and team. Adams could barely top 91 m.p.h. He never looked comfortable during the span of four batters, all of whom reached base.
SPORTS
April 26, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ON MONDAY, the Phillies called on a 22-year-old from Triple A to start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jonathan Pettibone was more than effective in his major league debut, taking what little offense his teammates provided and making it hold up in a one-run win. The bullpen was also instrumental in the victory. In the three games since, the Phillies sent Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to the mound in succession. The Phils lost all three games. Although the All-Star starting pitchers did their part, the offense continued to be mostly M.I.A.
SPORTS
April 8, 2013 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
TAKE AWAY a gem of a performance by Cliff Lee and a bases-clearing, pinch-hit double by Kevin Frandsen and the Phillies would be 0-6 heading into Roy Halladay's scheduled start against the Mets on Monday night. So things could be worse. But in the wake of a 9-8 loss to the Kansas City Royals that featured their second implosion in 3 days, they also could be much, much better. The root cause of the Phillies' fourth loss of the season was simple: Cole Hamels did not have as much success adapting to umpire Eric Cooper's strike zone as did Royals righthander James Shields, who allowed four runs in the first inning and then put up zeroes in the next five.
SPORTS
March 28, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The view from the bullpen was Mick Billmeyer's primary domain during his first nine seasons as a big-league coach with the Phillies. Out there, he was mostly anonymous except for the 15 minutes of unwanted fame he received in May 2010, when the Colorado Rockies complained to the commissioner's office that he was using binoculars to steal signals while the Phillies were hitting at Coors Field. "That got a little too much play," Billmeyer said recently before a Phillies Grapefruit League game at Bright House Field.
SPORTS
March 27, 2013 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Charlie Manuel wants Phillippe Aumont in his bullpen. At least, that's what it sounded like on Monday afternoon after the hulking righthander threw a nine-pitch scoreless inning against the Blue Jays in one of his last Grapefruit League outings of the spring. Manuel talked about the potential of pairing the hard-throwing, 24-year-old with lefthander Antonio Bastardo in the seventh inning, while also pointing out that it might take some time for some of the players on the lower end of the bullpen totem pole to get into a regular-season groove.
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