May 8, 2015 |
ATLANTA - When Elvis Araujo jogged in from the visiting bullpen to the mound at Turner Field on Tuesday night, he was able to shake off some of the big-league butterflies that are natural for anyone in his major league debut. All Araujo had to do was look behind him to see the defense he had up the middle: shortstop Freddy Galvis, second baseman Cesar Hernandez and centerfielder Odubel Herrera. The same Venezuelan trio was back in those positions when Araujo, also Venezuelan, pitched out of the 'pen again on Wednesday.
May 2, 2015 |
It was a good April for Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies. You couldn't tell that, of course, by simply watching the games at the big-league level. For the most part, the Phillies have been every bit as bad as advertised. They entered Thursday afternoon's lopsided loss in St. Louis ranked last in the league in hitting, last in the big leagues in OPS and runs, 27th in fielding percentage, and 24th in starting pitching ERA. That's a special brand of bad, and their 8-15 record speaks for itself.
May 1, 2015 |
ST. LOUIS - Following Wednesday night's 5-2 loss, the Phillies' offense had failed to score more than two runs for the 12th time in 22 games this season. The top of the lineup, led by Odubel Herrera, hasn't been an issue. The bottom of the lineup, where Freddy Galvis had been hitting regularly before yesterday, wasn't a problem. But the middle of the Phillies' lineup - their Nos. 3 through 5 hitters - had combined to hit .156 (38-for-243) with 14 extra-base hits entering yesterday's matinee at Busch Stadium.
April 30, 2015 |
ST. LOUIS - The nerves weren't there for Severino Gonzalez last night. But one of baseball's best lineups was present at Busch Stadium, and it made his first big-league game a pretty forgettable one. Ten batters in, Gonzalez watched seven of the nine previos batters in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup reach base - and four come around to score, too - en route to an early exit in the Phillies' 11-5 defeat. "I wasn't nervous at all," Gonzalez said through interpreter and Phillies first-base coach Juan Samuel.
April 28, 2015
The Phillies have had a plan for shortstop Freddy Galvis since the beginning of spring training, and the results in the early part of the season have been encouraging. The plan was for Galvis to hit the ball more on the ground, use the entire field and not have him go for the big blast. After going 3 for 3 and scoring two runs Sunday in a 5-4 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves, Galvis is hitting .361. Considering he hit just .176 in 119 at-bats for the Phillies last year, this is real progress.
April 28, 2015 |
AS GOOD AS it was, you ain't seen nothin' yet. If you thought the diving stop and throw up the middle Saturday night is the best that Freddy Galvis has to offer, think again. That wasn't even his best play in the past 6 months. "No, it was not my best," Galvis admitted yesterday. "I had one that was better, playing winter ball in Venezuela this year. " That's saying something, because Saturday's play might have been Galvis' signature moment. This was Jeter, diving into the stands; Ozzie, barehanded up the middle.
April 27, 2015 |
RYNE SANDBERG walked out of his office, through the tunnel to the dugout and right onto the field about a half-hour before the Phillies took regular pregame batting practice yesterday afternoon. Ryan Howard was peppering the catchers with strikes from the mound, letting them practice throwing down to second base. Outfielders were working on their throws into the infield. Later, Larry Bowa shot sharp ground balls with a fungo bat to infielders. "Basic fundamentals of catching the ball, throwing the ball, routine plays, hitting the cutoff men," Sandberg said shortly after the extra work - and after addressing his position players, too. "Not asking for any miracles, just make the routine plays and make it a priority.
April 26, 2015 |
The Phillies batboy plucked Freddy Galvis' batting helmet from the dirt near home plate as the team celebrated near first base. The helmet had been spiked by Galvis after he leaped to his feet following his slide into home for the winning run of Friday's 1-0, walk-off win over Atlanta. It was left behind as he sprinted to grab Ben Revere, who ignited the celebration with a grounder to first base. Galvis reached on a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cesar Hernandez. With Revere batting, he moved to third on a passed ball.
April 22, 2015 |
FROM JUNE 6 to June 19 last year, the Phillies won eight out of 13 games, averaging 4.8 runs while outscoring their opponents by a combined 29 runs. We bring this up as a reminder that, over the course of a 6-month baseball season, everybody is bound to have a good couple of weeks. Likewise, everybody is bound to have a bad couple of weeks. So as we look at some of the more notable individual performances from the Phillies' first 13 games, it's worth wondering whether we have witnessed an accurate reflection of reality or just a couple of those weeks that happened to fall at the start of the season.
April 20, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Odubel Herrera stood on first base and looked into the Phillies dugout. The rookie outfielder clapped twice to his teammates after driving in an insurance run in the ninth inning of a 5-3 victory Saturday over the Washington Nationals. He raised his fists to his helmet, mimicking a pair of bull horns. Herrera - nicknamed "El Torito," or "little bull" - brought energy to a Phillies team that needed a spark. The win was their first after six straight losses. Herrera had three hits, including a double for his fifth extra-base hit in four games.