May 16, 2014 |
WELL, THE FOLKS from Millville had themselves a nice time. That's a good thing, because they seem like nice people. As for your fightin' Phillies? It's hard to figure out where to start. The past 6 weeks have offered us a thorough look at the holes that, as of today, are preventing most unbiased observers from treating this team as a serious contender. The current losing streak - three games after yesterday's 3-0 loss to the Angels - has served as sort of a tasting menu: No, the problem isn't listing problems, it's listing solutions.
May 15, 2014 |
The Phillies infielders converged at the mound in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss Tuesday night, and Cody Asche was the loneliest man in Citizens Bank Park. Mike Trout, the superstar an entire South Jersey town came to ogle, had just chopped a grounder at Asche. The 23-year-old third baseman backpedaled and lunged for the ball, which trickled past him. Now, Asche stood on the slope of the mound, a few steps from his teammates. Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure motivated Cliff Lee, who was pushed to the brink because of Asche's sloppy fielding.
May 7, 2014 |
Ryne Sandberg adjusted the top of his lineup Monday, albeit not by choice. Jimmy Rollins tweaked his right groin when making one of three fifth-inning assists Sunday. The 35-year-old shortstop thought it best to rest one day. His manager agreed. "It'd be smart to get him off his feet today," Sandberg said. Rollins' absence illuminated one of the formulas behind the Phillies' solid start. Their starting pitching, of course, carried play for more than a week. But the top of the batting order produced with consistency and provided the rest of the lineup with chances.
May 6, 2014 |
SEVENTEEN pitches into yesterday's start, Roberto Hernandez had thrown five strikes. This is not a formula for success on any kind of day, but with the outfield flags flapping so ferociously that every lifted ball made the fielders below look like a Monty Python skit, this inning had crooked number written all over it. But then Carlos Ruiz called timeout and chugged to the mound, and three strikes later Hernandez was out of a jam and Chooch had...
May 1, 2014 |
OFFICIALLY, Cole Hamels' night lasted into the fifth inning. But it looked very much over seven batters into the fourth. That was when he issued his third walk of the frame, this one with the bases loaded, to Mets starting Jon Niese. All told, it took Hamels 37 pitches to finish the fourth inning, and while the Mets managed to milk just two runs out of it, the effects were lasting. New York added three more runs in the fifth inning, and Roberto Hernandez trotted in from the Phillies' bullpen to face Niese.
April 30, 2014
CARLOS RUIZ entered the fourth week of the 2014 season hitting .204 without an RBI in 14 games. A week later, the Phillies catcher has been honored as the National League's Player of the Week. In the six games he started in Los Angeles and Arizona, Ruiz hit .500 (11-for-22) with a .593 OBP. Both numbers led all of baseball for the week. Ruiz began the week by going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI in a 7-0 win over the Dodgers last Monday. He ended it by knocking in one run and scoring another in the eighth inning of a 6-5, come-from-behind win in Arizona on Saturday.
April 30, 2014 |
JIMMY ROLLINS gobbled up the routine ground ball and fired it to a waiting Ryan Howard at first base, and Jonathan Papelbon pumped his fist in celebration. The starting pitcher was brilliant, the offense was timely and productive, the defense was solid and the closer finished it off. This was how games were supposed to play out in the baseball blueprint Ruben Amaro Jr. drew up. Heading into their second homestand of the season, the Phillies have a wining record (13-12) after 25 games, thanks to a teamwide effort.
April 29, 2014 |
PHOENIX - The fickleness that is hitting was not lost on Freddy Galvis. The 24-year-old infielder is 1 for 30 (.033) to begin 2014, a season delayed by a MRSA infection. He started five games on this West Coast trip, went 0 for 21, and lamented his bad luck. "I'd say in the last seven games, I've hit eight balls pretty good, and I have no hits," Galvis said. "But that's how it is. Sometimes you get five or six bloopers in a row and you have five hits. " Galvis struck out two times in each of his last four starts.
April 28, 2014 |
PHOENIX - It was not until Ryan Howard skied an eighth-inning pop-up in the desert that the path to a Phillies victory emerged Saturday night. Third baseman Martin Prado fumbled the routine ball. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson surfaced from the dugout and signaled for Trevor Cahill, a $30 million starter demoted to the bullpen. The Phillies batted around on Cahill, using three singles, a double, and two walks to manufacture four runs. A 6-5 win had earlier felt like a loss once the Diamondbacks dinged Cliff Lee for five runs.