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SPORTS
November 13, 2011
With the addition of Jonathan Papelbon as the closer, we now know that the Phillies' pitching department is at least going to remain among baseball's elite, if not the gold standard. We also know that pitching was not the problem during these past two postseasons, when the Phillies were eliminated first by the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series and then by the St. Louis Cardinals one round earlier. Nothing is wrong with the plan that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies have implemented.
SPORTS
July 24, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ON MAY 28 against the Colorado Rockies, Antonio Bastardo walked four of the five batters he faced. He was booed off the mound. (The Phillies still won the game.) Two years ago, on the day Ryan Howard returned from his Achilles' injury, Bastardo entered the eighth inning of a scoreless game against the Atlanta Braves. He walked in a run and then served up a back-breaking grand slam to Brian McCann. Those are the moments most people are able to recall when they think of Bastardo's role in the bullpen in the last few years.
SPORTS
July 10, 2011
We have reached the all-star break and the Phillies are on pace to win more than 100 games for only the third time in franchise history. The starting rotation, even with one of its four aces (Roy Oswalt) and the expected fifth wheel (Joe Blanton) on the disabled list, has more than lived up to expectations. The bullpen, despite being on its fourth closer (Antonio Bastardo), has far exceeded expectations. The lineup, rarely intact for the second straight season because of an assortment of injuries, continues its downward spiral from the height of its success, when the team won the World Series in 2008.
SPORTS
July 25, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE TRADE deadline is a week away and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will say that there aren't any untouchables on his roster. And he should say that, because saying anything else is simply bad business. But if the Phillies expect to compete at some point in the next 2 years - and that's the mindset of a front office that's against going the route of a 5-year rebuilding plan - you don't trade the only star on your roster who is in his prime. You don't trade a 30-year-old who happens to be one of the best pitchers in baseball.
SPORTS
July 15, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
IT IS SO obvious that it does not need to be said. But the nature of the job requires that we say something about this team, so let's get on with it. In wrapping up the unofficial first half of the season with a 10-3 loss to the Nationals, the Phillies offered a tidy summation of their year to date. They are not particularly good at scoring runs, nor are they particularly good at preventing them. In baseball, that is a bad combination. After it was over, a dejected Ryne Sandberg tried to focus on the positive things that he sees from his team heading into the All-Star Break.
SPORTS
July 21, 2014 | By Max Cohen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The same thoughts race through Aaron Brown's mind each time he steps up to the plate for the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters: What would I throw here if I were the pitcher? What does the situation call for? Brown, The Inquirer's 20th-ranked Phillies prospect, can run through the scenarios because it wasn't long ago that he was a pitcher himself, and a dominant one at that. Before the Phillies selected Brown in the third round with the 81st pick of the MLB draft last month as an outfielder, he starred as a pitcher and outfielder at Pepperdine for three seasons.
SPORTS
July 14, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
It is 2018, the final year of Cole Hamels' seven-year contract signed during a long summer when the lefthander proclaimed his belief in the Phillies' desire to win, and a remarkable thing has happened. The Phillies - bottom-dwellers for the previous five years - have pushed into a pennant race. Hamels is 34 now; the wavy, black surfer's hair from 2006 is thinner and splotched with gray. He is the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia, and still a productive pitcher as the No. 3 starter in the rotation.
SPORTS
July 15, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MINNEAPOLIS - J.P. Crawford, sandwiched between Chicago Cubs power-hitting prospect Kris Bryant and White Sox infield prospect Micah Johnson, sat easily in front of his locker stall in the home clubhouse at Target Field. He was a couple of hours away from taking the field with the 50 players selected among the game's top prospects to play in yesterday's All-Star Futures Game. He was just 402 days removed from being drafted by the Phillies out of Lakewood (Calif.) High School.
SPORTS
April 7, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Matt Gelb, and Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writers
Third baseman Maikel Franco, who hit for both power and average during an impressive season split between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading, tops the list of The Inquirer's Top 25 Phillies prospects. Ten of the 25 are pitchers, including eight right-handers. There are six outfielders, four catchers, three third basemen, and two shortstops. Here is the Top 10: 1. Maikel Franco 3B, Lehigh Valley, 6-1, 180, age 21 Franco won't turn 22 until August and combined to hit .320 with 31 home runs, 103 RBIs, and a .926 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage)
SPORTS
July 22, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - It was 3:14 p.m. when Gerry Davis looked to the gray sky. Kyle Kendrick finished his warm-up tosses for the sixth inning, and waited in a downpour. No one wanted to continue, not when the Phillies trailed by five runs and had a plane to catch. Davis, the home-plate umpire, waved the Phillies to their dugout. That is how Kendrick's 20th start in 2014 ended Sunday. The 29-year-old righthander eradicated whatever trade value he possessed with his third straight miserable outing, an 8-2 Phillies loss to the Braves.
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