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Cole Hamels

SPORTS
July 18, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
The fly ball left Joe Torre's bat and landed in Willie Montanez's glove in Busch Stadium's center field. By then, the astonishing had become routine. This was Aug. 5, 1972, and Montanez's catch completed a 5-0 victory for the Phillies, in a tidy 108 minutes, over the St. Louis Cardinals - Steve Carlton's 17th win that year, his sixth shutout, just another night of brilliance during one of the most brilliant seasons of starting pitching in Major League Baseball history. But there's an interesting footnote to that game that's revealed if you review its box score nearly 43 years later.
SPORTS
July 17, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
For being baseball's worst team, the Phillies did not lack for story lines in the season's first half. Between manager Ryne Sandberg's abrupt resignation, incoming president Andy MacPhail's hiring, co-owner John Middleton's coming-out party, Chase Utley's continued decline and Maikel Franco's impressive start, there was plenty to wrap your head around over the season's first three-plus months. Worst of the worst Most losses at the all-star break in Phillies history: Year   Won   Lost   Pct.    2015   29   62   .319    1997   24   61   .282    1945   21   59   .263    1972   31   57   .352    1961   23   55   .295    1969   39   55   .415    1941   20   54   .270    1942   21   54   .280    2014   42   53   .442    1992   36   52   .409    July 31 looms Two weeks from Friday at 4 p.m. remains a benchmark time for a Phillies franchise in transition.
SPORTS
July 17, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
The bad news first: The worst team in baseball is about to get worse. That probably seems unfair and impossible for a ball club that already has sunk to the equivalent of an ocean's Sea Monster Graveyard. But the Phillies are well known for being really good at being really bad and their final destination for 2015 appears to be baseball's version of the Mariana Trench, the deepest and darkest known place on the planet. To the masochists still following this voyage to the bottom of the baseball sea, it should come as no surprise that a more pronounced level of awfulness is on the way. In 15 days or fewer, the best starting pitcher and the best relief pitcher on the team are going to be wearing different uniforms, and we've known that was going to be the case since the season started.
SPORTS
July 15, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CINCINNATI - Jonathan Papelbon has long voiced his desire to pitch for a contender. That's why, he repeated on Monday, he signed the richest-ever contract for a relief pitcher in November 2011 to join the Phillies, then coming off a 102-win season and boasting a rotation headlined by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. On Monday afternoon he found himself in a room with 33 other National League all-stars, every one of them in a better team situation than the outspoken all-star closer for baseball's worst club.
SPORTS
July 15, 2015 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
THERE'S AN OLD "Saturday Night Live" skit in which Jon Lovitz, playing Mephistopheles as a defendant on "The People's Court," explains how he could have tricked an 18-year-old beautician into surrendering her soul to him, "by observing only the letter of the agreement. " "I'll give somebody eternal youth," he says. "Then have them sentenced to life imprisonment. " "It's standard . . . I'm the devil. " If Cole Hamels is still a Phillie on Aug. 1, it will be far from a life sentence and his deal will be far from devilish.
SPORTS
July 14, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
SAN FRANCISCO - Chase Utley grabbed his sunglasses from his locker and dashed out of the visiting clubhouse at AT&T Park, through the dugout and into the field. Utley spent about 10 minutes working on short sprints while his pitching teammates loosened up their arms. The Phillies did not have pregame batting practice or fielding work - not unusual for Sunday matinees - but Utley was able to get his healing right ankle a little work before heading home for the All-Star break. Two days earlier, on the Phillies' first day in town, Utley took light field work at both first and second base.
SPORTS
July 14, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - Cole Hamels is in line to make only two more starts before baseball's July 31 trade deadline. The Phillies ace will make his first post-all-star break start Sunday afternoon against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. If he pitches on normal rest and the team doesn't use the July 23 off-day to skip another pitcher's turn, Hamels would also start July 25 at Wrigley Field and then the night of July 31 at Citizens Bank Park. Whether he makes that July 31 start, of course, is the burning question.
SPORTS
July 13, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - When the Phillies reported for spring training in mid-February, their bullpen was viewed as their strength, and their rotation didn't look half-bad, either. It was scoring runs that would prove a big challenge. But with the Phillies ready to cap the unofficial first half of their season, it's the starting pitching that is letting them down as much as anything else. Baseball's worst team entered Saturday's game against the Giants with a major-league-worst 5.45 ERA and 580 hits allowed.
SPORTS
July 13, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - As the final days before the crucial July 31 trade deadline wear on, the Phillies' front office will continue to discuss, internally, the times at which their tradable assets would garner the most value. For instance, it's conceivable Jonathan Papelbon could prove easier to trade in the winter, when the then-35-year-old closer is likely to be pitching on a one year, $13 million deal. The less salary remaining on Ryan Howard's albatross of a contract, the better chance the Phillies could find a taker for the first baseman, who turns 36 in November.
SPORTS
July 12, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - When David Buchanan reported in May to the Phillies' facility in Clearwater, Fla., to rehab his severely sprained right ankle, the training staff assured him they would get him healthy and back to triple-A Lehigh Valley as quickly as possible. But the 26-year-old righthander had another destination he was working toward. "I was like, 'look, man, I don't want to get healthy to go back to Lehigh,' " he recounted Friday afternoon at AT&T Park. " 'I want to get healthy and go back to Philly.' " Once you get a taste of the sport's highest level, pitching in the minor leagues can be a humbling experience.
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