February 27, 2011 |
TAMPA, Fla. - It was more than a little disorienting, arriving in Clearwater as the 2011 Grapefruit League schedule began. Picking up 40 degrees on the thermometer was nice, but that wasn't it. Neither was treading carefully to avoid immaculately manicured infield grass instead of patches of black ice, although that was a welcome change. Oh, and we can safely report that the sun is still working just fine. It will find its way north, honest. But that stuff has always come standard with the change in latitude.
July 12, 2010 |
Hitting the all-star break in first How big was that Phillies win Sunday? It might just have kept them in the pennant race. According to Tom Verducci of SI.com, any team with a lead of more than five games at the all-star break is a virtual postseason lock. Since the current divisional format began in 1995, only one team led its division at the break by more than five games and failed to make the playoffs: the 2003 Royals, who blew a seven-game lead. Entering play Sunday, the Phils were 51/2 behind Atlanta.
May 16, 2008 |
Cole Hamels has had special moments like this before, and he expects more in the future. He expects them to be even better. The lefthander carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning in his Phillies debut on May 12, 2006, in Cincinnati. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in Houston on Sept. 16, 2006. He struck out 15 in his first complete game, in Cincinnati on April 21, 2007. But last night, Hamels (5-3) picked up his first shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
February 14, 2008 |
THEY WERE happy to get to the playoffs. They overcame so much. So, how to get back? In the aftermath of a three-game playoff sweep at the hands of the Rockies, the Phillies reflected and projected that they needed to do the following: Over the next four pages, we'll dissect how the team did in fulfilling its five offseason goals to improve its chances on the field, and follow that with a look at how the team's first trip to the...
January 17, 2008 |
Former Phillies righthander Jon Lieber, a 20-game winner for the Cubs in 2001, rejoined the team yesterday by agreeing to a $3.5 million, 1-year contract. Lieber will go to spring training next month with a chance to compete for a spot in the starting rotation. He can earn performance bonuses based on games started and innings pitched this season. The 37-year-old Lieber is 129-121 with a 4.28 ERA in 375 major league appearances, including 326 starts. He was 48-36 with the Cubs from 1999 to 2002, including 20-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 2001 when he made the NL All-Star team.
October 3, 2007 |
THE PHILLIES' pitching staff had a 4.73 earned run average this year. The Phillies won the National League East. This does not compute. Only the Marlins, Pirates and Reds had higher ERAs among NL teams. Each lost at least 90 games. And that's the way it's supposed to be. At least, that's what we've been taught. So what in the name of Alex Madrid is going on here? Why has this team been able to defy the accepted laws of baseball gravity to meet the Colorado Rockies today in Game 1 of their National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park?
July 22, 2007 |
Let's do something new and daring. Let's act as if we were in a major financial center. Let's pretend, just for the time it takes you to read this column, that Philadelphia plays in the same financial league as New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. Let's even, and this is the biggest leap of all, deal with Scott Boras. Let's get A-Rod. Remember, we're pretending here. Don't send me the usual 100 or so e-mails saying, "That will never happen. " I am stipulating up front that this is pure fantasy.
July 10, 2007
BUY OR sell? Starting to think sell. The Phillies are 44-44 at the All-Star break; this much we know. The rest will have to be surmise. Here goes. They have been here before and we have been here before, all for naught. To review, what follows is the Phillies' record and place in the standings for the last few July 10ths, all of which ended up a couple of months later with a handful of dust. Year W-L GB Div.GB WC 2007. . . 44-4 4 4 4 2006.
June 25, 2007 |
ST. LOUIS - The road has not been kind to the Phillies this season. They have lost five pitchers to injuries while away from Citizens Bank Park: Tom Gordon in Atlanta on May 1, Ryan Madson in San Francisco on May 3, Brett Myers in Florida on May 23, Freddy Garcia in Kansas City on June 8, and Jon Lieber in Cleveland on Wednesday. But a makeshift bullpen that ranked second to last in the National League in ERA and a clutch pinch hit from Shane Victorino helped them close a road trip yesterday with a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.