July 2, 2016 |
The calendar flips to July on Friday, which means the countdown to baseball's trade deadline has begun. During Ruben Amaro's seven-year reign as Phillies general manager, it was almost always a fascinating time of year. One year it was Cliff Lee coming in from Cleveland at the trade deadline, the next it was Roy Oswalt from Houston to fill the vacancy left by the offseason trade that sent Lee to Seattle. At the 2011 deadline, Amaro acquired Hunter Pence in a four-for-one deal that filled the right-field vacancy created by Jayson Werth's free-agent departure to Washington and Domonic Brown's inability to live up to his top-prospect status.
June 14, 2016 |
WASHINGTON - Cameron Rupp offered a few words to Jeanmar Gomez and then slapped the pitcher on the back. There was not much for the catcher to say. The task was simple. One more out and the Phillies were flying out of Washington with a win. The task proved to be too much. Jayson Werth ripped a two-run single up the middle. Gomez reached with his glove but never had a chance, and the Phillies left Nationals Park with a 5-4 loss Sunday afternoon. Their sixth straight loss to Washington proved to be the most brutal of them all. The Phillies - who looked dormant for much of the weekend - rallied from three runs down and went ahead in the ninth.
April 30, 2016 |
WASHINGTON - Cameron Rupp roared into second base on Thursday evening and pounded his fists. The Phillies finally found a run, breaking a scoreless tie in the ninth inning against one of baseball's top teams. Rupp skied a fly ball that soared past the reach of Bryce Harper and fell into deep right field, scoring the winning run of a 3-0 victory over the Washington Nationals. The Phillies - the team picked to finish as one of baseball's worst teams - had shocked the first-place Nationals again, completing a three-game sweep at Nationals Park.
April 19, 2016 |
In the season's first two weeks, the Phillies received more production from the No. 9 spot in the lineup than what their leadoff hitters mustered. The manager batted Freddy Galvis first on Sunday "for lack of a better option" and, naturally, Galvis stood at the plate in the most decisive moment of a 3-2 comeback win over Washington. He was the perfect hitter to oppose Jonathan Papelbon. The diminutive but aggressive shortstop swung at a fastball, high and outside. The ball sailed over Jayson Werth's head in left.
March 22, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - About a dozen fans who lounged on the grass berm beyond the outfield rushed Sunday afternoon to a fence near the visiting bullpen. Between the fourth and fifth innings of a meaningless Grapefruit League game, they snapped photos of the righthander with the flat orange brim of his cap pulled down. Ken Giles, Houston Astros closer, was throwing. He was greeted by a smattering of cheers. His first fastball registered 97 m.p.h. The next one, displayed on the scoreboard to fans at Bright House Field, went 99 m.p.h.
December 9, 2015 |
NASHVILLE - Matt Klentak is in his first year as general manager of the Phillies. But he is a veteran of the Winter Meetings, a conclave of baseball figures from clubhouse attendants to team presidents. And the one thing Klentak said he has learned at the Winter Meetings is that trades "can come together pretty quickly. " One of those moves could be Klentak's deal of Phillies closer Ken Giles, who is shaping up to be one of the most attractive relief pitchers on the market. Houston and the Chicago Cubs are two of the teams that have reportedly talked to the Phillies about Giles.
October 6, 2015 |
LANDOVER, Md. - DeMarco Murray is a star. He dresses the part. He carefully tightened the knot of his beige tie. It formed a perfect dimple over his tailored, patterned shirt, and it nicely set off his tailored blue suit. The ensemble radiated glamour in the crowded, smelly visitor's locker room. These, as it turns out, are Murray's fighting clothes. No longer will he play the good soldier. No longer will he keep his mouth shut. This was his Keyshawn Johnson moment; his Jonathan Papelbon declaration.
September 29, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - The Washington Nationals season began to unravel around the time they acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies and pushed Drew Storen to the setup role. On Sunday at Nationals Park, the Phillies happened to witness the ugliest moment of this disastrous Nationals season. Not surprisingly, it featured the Phils' former closer. In the eighth inning of the Phillies' 12-5 win, Papelbon and star Bryce Harper fought in the Nationals dugout. Papelbon had words for Harper when the National League MVP front-runner returned to the dugout after flying out, and when Harper chirped back, Papelbon shoved him against the wall by his neck before teammates separated them.
September 28, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - When Pete Mackanin and the Phillies arrived at Nationals Park yesterday afternoon, they had the chance to take part in the conclusion of the National League East race before the end of the weekend - and possibly as early as today. The New York Mets' magic number to clinch the division was 3, meaning that any combination of Mets wins and Nationals losses that totaled three in the coming weekend would crown New York the champ and eliminate Washington from playoff contention.
September 27, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Jonathan Papelbon could not talk on Friday afternoon about the three-game suspension levied earlier in the day by Major League Baseball. Any comments, Papelbon said, would disrupt the appeal process as he disagrees with the league's notion that he purposely threw at a batter on Wednesday night. But, the former Phillies closer could talk about other topics. Like his decision to approve a trade to Washington in July, believing the move would mark a return to the postseason.