June 3, 2015 |
The long major-league baseball season will consist of several ebbs and flows for rookie third baseman Maikel Franco. This most recent stretch of games has offered of a reminder of that. After a hot start following his much-anticipated May 15 season debut with the Phillies, Franco has cooled off over the team's season-worst seven-game losing streak. The promising 22-year-old Dominican enters the series opener Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds mired in a 2-for-27 slump. "It's a game of adjustments," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
June 2, 2015 |
Freddy Galvis will enter the series opener Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds in his biggest slump in an otherwise great first two months of the season. The Phillies' 25-year-old shortstop sat Sunday, his fifth day off in the season's first 52 games. A recent 12-game stretch dropped Galvis' batting average from .355 to .289 after the loss to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. He had just seven hits in his last 52 at-bats and was hitless in his last 13. The ever-confident Galvis said he believes he is still hitting the ball well, just to the wrong spots on the field.
June 1, 2015 |
It was just a couple of weeks ago the Phillies were stringing together their longest winning streak in three seasons. Their recent struggles had already made that six-game stretch feel like a distant memory. Saturday's loss negated it altogether. A 5-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park was the Phillies' sixth consecutive defeat and dropped them to a season-worst 13 games under .500. They are the only major-league team with three losing streaks of five games or more, and the season has yet to enter its third month.
May 28, 2015 |
NEW YORK - There is no handy manual for when a major league manager should take out his starting pitcher, so the men who make the decisions must do so more on feel and gut than any strict guidelines. Jacob deGrom, reigning National League Rookie of the Year, didn't look like a pitcher anywhere near ready to leave the playing premises of Citi Field when he wrapped up his seventh inning of work against the Phillies last night. He retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced, nine via strikeout.
May 25, 2015
WASHINGTON - Stephen Strasburg needed just three pitches to dispatch Maikel Franco in the second inning Saturday. The power pitcher quickly threw two strikes past Franco when they met again in the third inning. The rookie had looked futile a night earlier against Max Scherzer. This seemed to be more of the same. Franco adjusted this time, sped up his swing, and met Strasburg's 0-2 fastball with a powerful stroke. He sent it over the right-center-field wall - the tallest fence at Nationals Park - for his second homer since rejoining the Phillies on May 15. It was a bomb, manager Ryne Sandberg said.
May 24, 2015
WASHINGTON - Freddy Galvis entered Friday night's game at Nationals Park with just three hits in his last 20 at-bats. This week's four-game series at Colorado was the shortstop's roughest stretch of the season. Galvis' reasoning for the slump was simple: It was cold. "Really cold," Galvis said. The Phillies played all four of their games against the Rockies in low 50-degree temperatures. Galvis' bat was just as chilled. He was happy to be in Washington, where Friday's forecast was 75 degrees at the time of the first pitch.
May 22, 2015 |
DENVER - On Wednesday night, Phillies manager and nine-time Gold Glove winner Ryne Sandberg used the word "unreal" when describing a play by first-year starting shortstop Freddy Galvis. The slick-fielding 25-year-old ranged in the hole that night, coming up with the ball and somehow letting loose on a strike to first base to record the out, despite the fact the throw came after Galvis was already airborne. Less than 24 hours later, Sandberg was pointing in the direction of his same sure-handed shortstop when asked about a seventh inning that began with a walk, unraveled with defense, and put the Phillies in a much more difficult position to rally in what was eventually a 7-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
May 20, 2015 |
DENVER - The ball was in the thin Colorado air only for a few seconds, but it must have felt more like several minutes for Freddy Galvis. The shortstop saw centerfielder Odubel Herrera raise his arms as the fly ball off the bat of Drew Stubbs came his way. But was Herrera signaling he had a beat on it … or that he had no idea where the ball was headed? Galvis gave chase. Herrera attempted to play catch-up, but he, too, was too late. A ball that Herrera, a converted infielder, should have caught fell onto the Coors Field grass, putting Rockies runners on second and third with one out in the fourth inning of a tie game.
May 19, 2015 |
Maikel Franco sped around the bases Sunday afternoon before slowing to a crawl as he approached home plate at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies rookie's first home run had sailed over the left-field fence to punctuate a 6-0 win over Arizona. It was a moment to savor. The third baseman blessed himself and pointed to the sky as his cleat toed the plate. He said it felt great - something, Franco said, he wants to continue. Manager Ryne Sandberg said it was good for Franco to get the homer out of the way. The win was the Phillies' fifth straight, their longest winning streak since July.
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.