June 15, 2016 |
TORONTO - Last month, when Jerad Eickhoff threw a slider that Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton missed by a foot, Larry Andersen's eyes widened. Andersen - former reliever and minor-league pitching coach, now broadcaster - considers himself a slider connoisseur. When Eickhoff shelved the pitch in a subsequent start, Andersen approached him in the dugout. Eickhoff, who tossed six shutout innings Monday in a 7-0 win over the Blue Jays, had become too predictable as a two-pitch starter.
May 25, 2016 |
THEY DON'T score many runs. Sometimes they don't score any. They play awful one night, put you to sleep the next, make you say 'Wow' the day after. The crooked numbers once posted by the all-powerful, mostly American lineups of the most recent resurgence of the Phillies, the one that electrified this town over the previous decade, are long gone, replaced by wins of the smallest of margins, and a game played on them as well. Bunting. Sacs in the air and on the ground. First-to-thirds.
May 23, 2016 |
For the second time this season, the Phillies were stymied by the Atlanta Braves' Williams Perez, who gave himself the best of birthday presents. Pitching on his 25th birthday, the righthander limited the Phillies to two hits for the second time this season as the Braves earned a 2-0 win on a cold, rainy Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, where the infield looked like a quagmire by game's end. "It was ugly weather and an ugly game," manager Pete Mackanin said. Perez (2-1) pitched 61/3 shutout innings, striking out four and walking one. In his previous appearance this season against the Phillies, on May 11 in Atlanta, Perez allowed one run on just two hits over eight innings in a 5-1 win. "He was throwing the ball down and away and threw a pretty good change-up, too," said shortstop Freddy Galvis, who was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
May 18, 2016 |
The crowd rose Monday at Citizens Bank Park for an unfamiliar ritual, to laud a Phillies hitter. Tommy Joseph cracked a single up the middle to start the sixth inning of a 5-3 loss to Miami. It was the first major-league hit for the 24-year-old first baseman, and as the scoreboard flashed his achievement, the weeknight crowd roared. These moments are fleeting because the Phillies cannot have nice things. Six pitches later, Freddy Galvis erased Joseph. The shortstop bounced into a routine 5-4-3 double play.
May 17, 2016 |
Once Cameron Rupp hobbled back to the Phillies clubhouse Saturday night after his incredible collision at home plate that will be replayed and replayed, the catcher found concerned teammates. His friends and family texted to see if he was OK. They all asked the same first question: "How's your head?" "My head?" Rupp said. "My head's fine. Did you see what my leg did?" Rupp's left leg crumbled under the weight of Eugenio Suarez crashing into him at the end of the 4-3 win over the Reds.
May 16, 2016 |
The nadir of the Phillies' Latin American scouting and development program is easily identifiable. Look back at the 1989 season, and you'll find an opening-day roster that included as many players born in France as the Dominican Republic. When Juan Samuel was traded to the New York Mets later that season, the French population ruled over the Latin one inside the Phillies clubhouse. Vive la France never was a great slogan for a big-league baseball team, and since born-in-Paris shortstop Steve Jeltz was the only French representative, it really would have been a rotten one. Not surprisingly, the Phillies of that era were awful.
May 12, 2016 |
BALTIMORE - A year ago, former Phillies reliever Ryan Madson was one of the feel-good stories in baseball, returning after a three-year absence because of injuries to be a major contributor for a World Series champion in Kansas City. Madson parlayed that performance into a three-year, $22 million contract with the Oakland A's, where he looks every bit as effective as when he was closing in his final season with the Phillies in 2011. Entering Tuesday's action, the 35-year-old Madson was 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA in 14 appearances.
May 11, 2016 |
MIAMI - Derek Dietrich lowered his shoulder into Carlos Ruiz, and the Phillies catcher's mask went flying as two bodies smashed Saturday night. Ruiz thudded to the ground with the ball secured in his mitt. The Phillies dugout erupted as a stoic Ruiz shuffled toward them. He could still take a hit. "They were excited about Chooch," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's a tough guy. " Ruiz has provided the Phillies so much in 18 years, ever since he signed in Panama for $8,000 and earned $31 million in the majors.
May 5, 2016 |
ST. LOUIS - Pete Mackanin visited the mound in the ninth inning of Wednesday night's 5-4 loss just as Busch Stadium was starting to become unglued. The Cardinals had the bases loaded. The Phillies had a one-run lead. Mackanin, the Phillies manager, told his closer to get a ground ball. A double play would end it. Jeanmar Gomez listened. He induced Stephen Piscotty to hit a grounder, but the ball was slapped wide of shortstop Freddy Galvis. Galvis slid to field the hit, but the game was tied.