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SPORTS
April 20, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
DENVER - The Phillies will have played for 24 days when Cole Hamels throws his first pitch Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. That, in all likelihood, is the return date for Hamels. It will mark the franchise's longest period without its homegrown ace since 2007. They crave his presence. "It's pretty much right on schedule when you think about it," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. There is still some internal debate whether to start Hamels on Tuesday or Wednesday, but Sandberg believed Wednesday was best because that order places A.J. Burnett between Cliff Lee and Hamels, his two lefthanded starters.
SPORTS
April 14, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
READING - Kenny Giles elicits excitement for how hard he throws the ball from fans and teammates alike. "We call him 100 miles Giles," Reading catcher Tommy Joseph said. Maybe they should call him 101 miles Giles, which is the number the Reading righthander touched on the radar gun during last Sunday's 4-3 win over visiting Portland. As if he needs any more motivation, Giles admits that he receives an extra boost when the crowd reacts to the abnormally high radar-gun readings.
SPORTS
April 13, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
HELP COULD soon be on the way for the Phillies' beleaguered bullpen. Veteran setup man Mike Adams is targeting a Monday return, contingent upon a successful outing at Triple A Lehigh Valley today. The Phillies' bullpen entered yesterday with a 5.40 ERA, ranked second-worst in the National League. Phillies relievers were averaging only 7.09 strikeouts per nine innings, second-lowest in the NL (Washington and Atlanta rank first and second at 12.71 and 11.86). Adams, 35, was one of baseball's best setup men from 2008-12, prompting the Phillies to sign him to a 2-year, $12 million deal last offseason.
SPORTS
April 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies will receive reinforcements in the form of Freddy Galvis and Mike Adams over the coming days. Galvis, who was sidelined at the end of spring training by a MRSA infection, could be activated Friday for the series opener against Miami. Adams will pitch Saturday for triple-A Lehigh Valley. That could set him up for a Monday return. The Phillies crave a reliable righthanded presence in the bullpen. Whether Adams, 35, can be that pitcher after major shoulder surgery is unknown.
SPORTS
April 11, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
IN THE final days of spring training, David Buchanan was told he wouldn't be on the 25-man Opening Day roster but was given a decent consolation prize. Buchanan was scheduled to throw in the final exhibition game at Citizens Bank Park, where he'd never pitched, and he also had a good chance to jump into the rotation when the Phillies needed a fifth starter in mid-April. But that exhibition game was rained out and Buchanan won't be in South Philly this weekend, either. He's a victim of bad luck and unfortunate timing.
SPORTS
April 11, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Nothing in professional sports carries less overall meaning than the outcome of a single regular-season baseball game, or even a short stretch of games. The story of a major-league season is a quilt sewn tediously together bit-by-bit, day-by-day, and even the best teams in the game drop somewhere around 60 stitches before it is over. It is tempting, though, to look through the microscope of one night and think there is something to discover. It's also wrong, but always tempting. All right, that takes care of the qualifiers.
SPORTS
April 9, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE PHILLIES and their equipment - balls, bats, helmets, etc. - arrived in Chicago in the early hours of Thursday morning, still more than 24 hours before they would play their first game at Wrigley Field. But as Chase Utley patrolled the front of the cramped visiting clubhouse in the 100-year-old ballpark on Friday, with a ski cap keeping his head warm in the early-morning cold, he couldn't find an important piece of equipment. He poked into one bag. And then another. "I can't find my bat," he said of his game bat. Utley eventually found it. Although the bat broke at one point over the weekend, Utley and his swing stayed in tune for the final half of a road trip that saw a couple of the team's key cogs in sync at the plate.
SPORTS
April 6, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
CHICAGO – Someday we might be able to extract Chase Utley's deepest thoughts and most pleasant memories from a career that still might land him in the Hall of Fame. Like his Hall of Fame manager, however, there's little chance the Phillies second baseman is going to reveal much of anything about himself until his career is over. In his mind, Utley has too much to do, too little time to do it and he'd rather spend his time trying to get it all done instead of talking about it. Ryne Sandberg understands his second baseman because that's exactly what Ryne Sandberg was like when he made a living playing baseball for the Chicago Cubs here in the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.
SPORTS
April 4, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas - Cole Hamels will start his official rehab assignment Sunday with single-A Clearwater, and a return later this month looks increasingly probable. Hamels, who is recovering from biceps tendinitis and a fatigued arm, said at the end of spring training that he expected to need six starts before being major-league ready. (He has made two in scrimmages.) Hamels will attempt to simulate a typical spring training one month later than everyone else. If Hamels pitches every fifth day and does not suffer any setbacks, it could put the lefthander back in the Phillies rotation around April 26. But the Phillies could cushion a few of those outings with extra days and have Hamels pitch the opener of a homestand against New York on April 29. That scenario makes sense because it would come on the regular turn for the fifth spot in the rotation.
SPORTS
April 3, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - Before last night, the last time Ryan Howard started a game and didn't hit cleanup, the Phillies were in the midst of a 27-year World Series drought. On June 29, 2008, Greg Dobbs was the designated hitter and Jayson Werth hit eighth. Marlon Byrd was in the other dugout, playing for a Rangers team that started Vicente Padilla a night earlier. Last night, during the Phillies' first trip to Arlington since that midsummer interleague series in 2008, Howard was out of the cleanup spot.
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