April 21, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - The bad thing about the first couple of weeks of the baseball season is that a few rocky innings here and there can create a stat line that makes a pitcher look like he shouldn't be in the major leagues. The good thing is that because the sample size is so small, a few good outings can quickly make the stats appear more reasonable. Of course, when you do a sudden U-turn and head back in the wrong direction, you quickly get back to where you started. When David Buchanan started yesterday's game, the Phillies righthander was 0-2 in his first two starts with an earned run average of 11.42.
April 3, 2015 |
AH, SPRING. That wondrous time of renewal, for naturalists . . . and recriminations, for baseball fans. Not all baseball fans, certainly. Just the ones whose teams used to be good, and are not good anymore. You know, Mets fans. And, lately, Phillies fans. There was a brief and rare span for the Phaithphul when April showers brought May winning streaks; when Chase Utley made his All-Star bid; when Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins started to warm with the weather. Now, the biggest name in the Phillies Nation is Ruben Amaro Jr., which seldom is uttered without colorful modifiers.
March 3, 2015 |
VIERA, Fla. - The Phillies marched out the Four Aces in February 2011 while Jayson Werth moved into his new spring-training home with the Washington Nationals. The Nats and Werth bore the brunt of a lot of baseball jokes at the time and one, in particular, was a cartoon conversation between two bears that circulated on YouTube. One bear played the part of Cliff Lee, who had just rejoined the Phillies as a free agent. The other was Werth, who had signed a seven-year deal for $126 million with the Nationals.
February 26, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A decade from now, Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada might be the best players in baseball. If that's the case, the Boston Red Sox will probably have added a World Series trophy to their showcase at Fenway Park, and the Phillies will likely be publicly flogged in all five of the city's squares. Even now, long before we know what is to become of Castillo and Moncada, there is a great divide between the perceptions of the Red Sox and Phillies, two teams that finished at the bottom of their divisions a year ago. Only one of the two is expected to finish there again in 2015, and it's not the Red Sox. Boston charted its rapid rebuilding project with a flurry of moves that started at last season's trade deadline and continued right through the news Monday that they had agreed to sign the highly touted Cuban infielder Moncada for $63 million.
January 9, 2015 |
WASHINGTON Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is scheduled to have surgery on his right shoulder today, a person familiar with the situation said yesterday. The source, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement about the operation had been made, said Werth is expected to be ready by the start of the regular season in April. The 35-year-old Werth was troubled by his right shoulder in early August, when he sat out a week for the NL East champions.
November 21, 2014 |
RYAN HOWARD turned 35 yesterday. These should be the best years of his life. In 2010, Howard was almost as big as Jared, his Subway co-star. With Donovan McNabb out of Philadelphia, Howard was the biggest show in town; the Big Piece, as manager Charlie Manuel called him; the linchpin in a Phillies machine that had potential Hall of Fame players all over its well-heeled roster. No one's heels were as golden as Howard's. In late April 2010, Howard signed a 5-year, $125 million extension that would keep him in Philadelphia through 2017.
August 28, 2014 |
THE INNING began with Cole Hamels serving up a game-tying home run, being greeted by his manager, and handing the ball over with nary a word or even eye contact. It ended with the rookie reliever hopping off the same mound in celebration, after striking out all three hitters he faced on 13 pitches. The score remained the same, but a game Hamels had owned for six innings was suddenly going Washington's way, before Ken Giles entered and quieted the Nats' bats. Giles' latest dominating performance awakened the sleepy crowd at Citizens Bank Park.
August 15, 2014 |
WHEN THE Phillies let Jayson Werth walk away in December 2010, there was talk that the outfielder was slowing down. That conversation got louder in 2011 when he hit .232 for the Washington Nationals, who signed him to a 7-year, $126 million contract. He played in just 81 games in 2012, hitting only five homers but batted .300 and the Nationals won the National League East. But the murmurs continued. Though the Nats slumped last year, Werth managed to play in 129 games and hit an impressive .318 with 25 homers.
August 4, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Phillies righthander A.J. Burnett has encountered his share of trouble in the first two innings of games this season, but this time there was a twist. His slow start was followed by a quick exit. One pitch after allowing a three-run home run to Anthony Rendon, Burnett was tossed, and the Phillies went on to lose, 11-0, to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Saturday night. After throwing a first-pitch ball to Jayson Werth, Burnett exchanged pleasantries with home plate umpire Chris Guccione.
August 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Early in the season, the Phillies' challenge was finding an outfield that could collectively play at a respectable major-league level. Now the challenge is finding everybody at-bats. While Marlon Byrd has been solid in right field, center and left had previously left the Phillies wanting for more production. The outfield has reversed course lately, and another example was provided during Friday's 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. The Phillies' first run was scored by leftfielder Grady Sizemore and the second came on a solo home run by Byrd.