February 18, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The last month was uncomfortable, the last day infuriating. After a dozen years as a coach in the Phillies organization, Greg Gross said he knew his job security was in question when he read an early September comment in The Inquirer from manager Charlie Manuel that insinuated it would not be a bad idea to make some changes in the coaching staff. "We knew then that people were gone," Gross said last week by telephone from Scottsdale, Ariz. "We didn't know who or how many, but you knew some guys were not going to be back.
May 14, 2013 |
PHOENIX - Jonathan Papelbon walked to the bullpen in the sixth inning Sunday, as he does every time the Phillies play. The night before, he had thrown 29 pitches to record five outs because manager Charlie Manuel was desperate for a victory. That put his availability for the series finale in doubt. Mike Adams waited for Papelbon to arrive before disclosing his own news. The setup man asked the closer if he could pitch. "I'm good to go," Papelbon told him. "Good," Adams said, "because I'm not. " Adams was sidelined by back spasms he said occurred within the last five minutes of batting practice before Sunday's 4-2 win over Arizona.
May 10, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Roy Halladay slouched on a couch Wednesday morning and kept a large cup of coffee at his side while the rest of the Phillies clubhouse stirred before another day of baseball. He watched Atlanta against Cincinnati on TV. They played the game to which he has dedicated his life. A surgeon will soon cut a small incision in Halladay's right shoulder, and it will be months before he can pitch again. Still, he smiled Wednesday. He vowed that it would take more to pry baseball from his prized but defective arm. "I have no regrets at any point in my career," Halladay said.
April 9, 2013 |
It's early until it isn't. For a baseball team, there is a fine line between maintaining perspective and complacently allowing things to slip away. The Phillies have to watch that line very closely this year, especially when it comes to their pitching - particularly the bullpen. A week in, there are legitimate questions about the bullpen, and the outfield defense, and the lack of power. But the real question, after two lost series, is just what the Phillies accomplished during their seven weeks in Clearwater, Fla. Spring training was extended a bit because of the World Baseball Classic.
May 3, 2013 |
Good news for Phillies fans, Broad Street Run participants and spectators, gardeners, and anyone else expecting to be outdoors over the next four days: Expect pleasant temperatures, a fair share of sun, no rain and very little wind. Be glad you're not in parts of Minnesota or Wisconsin, where half a foot of snow could fall today. In Philadelphia, highs will be about 70 today through Sunday, which is about normal for this time of year. Lows will be a little on the chilly side, in the mid 40s after a low near 50 tonight.
April 30, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Time will tell whether the weekend was a respite against a rotten team or a springboard to a turnaround for the Phillies. Either way, they will take their three-game sweep of the New York Mets, a team that would be even worse off if not for the presence of young pitching star Matt Harvey in their rotation and the rancid Miami Marlins in their division. It can be said with certainty that the Mets are on the road to nowhere this season, even though their charter flight took them to Miami after Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Phillies at Citi Field.
May 15, 2013 |
CHANGES ARRIVED for the struggling Phillies offense more than 2 weeks ago, when Carlos Ruiz' suspension ended and Delmon Young was activated off the disabled list in the span of 48 hours. The Phillies' rotation has also undergone a makeover, albeit one they rather would have avoided. John Lannan and Roy Halladay were both placed on the DL with Jonathan Pettibone and Tyler Cloyd taking their respective spots in the starting five. But the one area that the Phillies haven't addressed is one that's been a problem spot for a good chunk of the first 6 weeks.
May 18, 2013 |
The scoreboard has been kind to the Phillies. While they slip, slide and fall in their modest pursuit of reaching .500, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals have failed to pull away. It's hard to believe that any team could have a worse on-base percentage than the .304 the Phillies have posted through 41 games. But five teams do, and the Nationals, at .292, are one of them. The Braves, meanwhile, started 13-2 and have gone 9-16 since. The misfortune of others will not matter if the Phillies cannot fix their myriad problems.
May 13, 2013 |
PHOENIX - The decision was made long before Tyler Cloyd allowed just two runs in 6 1/3 innings and pitched well enough to win Friday's 3-2 Phillies loss. Reliever Justin De Fratus was put on a cross-country flight to Arizona prior to the start of the game. "They told me no matter what happened they were going to send me down," Cloyd said. The Phillies do not need a fifth starter until May 21. They can go two turns through the rotation without one because of two off days next week.
March 29, 2013
The Phillies may be dancing to their last waltz this season after winning the World Series in 2008. What the core players did: The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays, four games to one, to win the 2008 title and were led by Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins struggled at the plate, but Series MVP Cole Hamels struck out eight and allowed just four earned runs in 13 innings over two starts. Here is how they fared that season: Hamels: 14-10 regular season; 1-0, 2.77 ERA and World Series MVP. Howard: .251, 48 HRS, 153 RBIs regular season; .286, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs World Series.