September 2008

Focus on Brewers

Tonight’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Werth, rf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Burrell, lf; Victorino, cf; Feliz, 3b; Ruiz, c; Moyer, p.

Downer Defeat
Yesterday’s loss was a real downer.  It can be summarized as: yet another solid start from Brett, yet another game in which the offense went flat (no base runners after the fifth inning) and a third loss in the last three weeks in which the bullpen gave up game-deciding runs in the 8th-inning.

Tense Time
Yet, we’re still in two races, NL East and NL wild card.  Losing two of three to Washington have made things more tight and tense.

We can’t worry about what the Mets or Astros or Cardinals or Cubs are doing.  The focus needs to be on each day’s game, starting with the Brewers.  These four games will go a long way toward how we and the Brewers will fare the rest of the season.

Phillies vs. Brewers
All-time   41-32
2008   1-1
2007   4-3
Citizens Bank Park 11-5
Miller Park  10-13

National TV
Tom McCarthy, Eric Karros and Ken Rosenthal comprise the broadcast team for Saturday’s FOX telecast, a 3:55 p.m. start.

Postseason Tickets
Registration is currently taking place online at for fans to be eligible to win a purchase opportunity for all three rounds of the postseason.

Online registration ends at 12:00 p.m. next Wednesday (September 17).

Even though things aren’t rosy right now, we’ve got to continue plans for the postseason, the same thing 12 other clubs are facing.






Focus On Today

Today’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Werth, rf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Burrell, lf; Victorino, cf; Dobbs, 3b; Coste, c; Myers, p.

Focus On Today
Best thing about last night: it is over…gone…outta here.  Put it behind and focus on this afternoon.

After four at-bats, the Marlins led, 9-1.  We battled back but couldn’t get over the hump.  Kyle is scuffling right now.  One of Charlie’s favorite sayings: “stay positive.”  Kyle is trying but it is difficult. 

Roster News
Geoff Jenkins has been reinstated from the DL but Andy Tracy is lost for the season with a broken bone in his left hand.

National TV
Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy will do the play-by-play on FOX this Saturday afternoon.  He will team with Eric Karros and Ken Rosenthal.

Since FOX was rained out of the Phillies game in New York last Saturday, the network has the ability to select one more Phillies game this season, either the 20th or 27th.

Hawaii Bound
Three Phillies minor league prospects will be playing in the four-team Hawaii Winter Baseball League that begins later this month:

**OF Michael Taylor: combined .346 average for Lakewood and Clearwater, 39 doubles (tops in Phillies minor league organization), 19 homers and 88 RBI.  The 6-foot-6, 24-year-old was a fifth-round selection in June 2007 out of Stanford University.
**OF Dominic Brown: a .291 hitter at Lakewood with 77 runs scored (most in Phillies minor league organization), 23 doubles, 22 stolen bases.  The 6-foot-5, 21-year-old was a 20th-round selection in 2006 out of Redan High School (Lithonia, GA).  He turned down a football scholarship to the University of Miami to sign with the Phillies.
**RHP Chris Kissock: 4-6, 4.37 ERA, 3 saves in 38 games (7 starts) at Lakewood.  The 6-foot-4, 23-year-old was a 9th-round selection in 2007 out of Lewis-Clark (ID) State College.


Burrell Returns to LF

Tonight’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Werth, rf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Burrell, lf; Victorino, cf; Dobbs, 3b; Ruiz, c; Kendrick, p.

Big Win
Obviously, any win at this time of the season is big. 

Four walks hurt Phillies pitchers (three scored) and for a while it looked like the offense took a nap last night.  After scoring five runs in the first two innings, the bats went silent until Jamie Werth delivered a three-run homer on the first pitch from reliever Joe Nelson in the 7th.  That gave us the cushion for an eventual 2-run win.

View from GM Box
Where does GM Pat Gillick park himself for a game at Citizens Bank Park? 

Glad you asked.  There’s a two-tiered private box, dedicated to the late Paul Owens, located in the Press Box area on the Hall of Fame Club level.  It is adjacent to the visiting team’s radio booth just to the left of home plate (looking at the field).

Pat was joined last night by Ruben Amaro, Mike Arbuckle, Steve Noworyta, Dallas Green and Mike Ondo.

Pat usually sits in the second row next to a 15″ TV.  Two other smaller TVs are in the front row.  Replays are analyzed, pro and con, by those in the GM box.

“Come on” is the most frequently used phrase from Pat.  The tone can be encouraging or discouraging, depending upon the moment.  The comment can be aimed at players or umpires.

Vote for Jamie
Jamie Moyer is one of 30 players nominated for the 2008 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award given annually to the big league player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement. 

It is one of 10 Players Choice Awards presented by the Major League Baseball Players Association.  Players on each team nominated one teammate as a candidate for the Miller Award.

Fans may vote online at through September 14.

Phillie Fact
We have the best September record in the NL over last 5 seasons, 73-44.

Very Sad Phone Call
On this date in 1997, GM Lee Thomas called me at 4:30 a.m. Calls from your boss at that hour are usually not good news.

This time the news was shocking…..Richie Ashburn died in a New York hotel.  

We beat the Mets that night, 1-0.  Ashburn’s retired uniform number: 1.







September Stampede

Tonight’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Victorino, cf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Werth, lf; Dobbs, 3b; Stairs, rf; Ruiz, c; Blanton, p.

September Stampede
Basketball has March Madness.  Well, say hello to baseball’s September Stampede.

The Hunt for October baseball continues.  The Phillies are among a handful of teams that are in a September Stampede for the hunt.

Brilliant pitching by Brett and Jamie led the Phillies to two wins in New York. Each held the Mets scoreless.  The Mets offense came to life last night and salvaged one game in the three-game Shea Stadium swan song. 

The final day at Shea for the Phillies was a day-night doubleheader.  Oddly, the Phillies first games at Shea (June 19, 1964) were a doubleheader, created by consecutive rainouts April 20-21.  Phillies won both games in ’64, 2-1 behind Art Mahaffey and 7-2 behind Ray Culp.

Johnny Callison hit the first Phillies homer in Shea (1st game) and Ryan Howard the final one in last night’s game.

Last night’s loss ended a tough, 10-game road trip at 5-5.  Playing .500 ball on the road is considered a success.

Now, the Stampede continues in a tough, 7-game homestand against the Marlins and Brewers.  Winning big at home is critical.  For a while there this season, the Phillies struggled at Citizens Bank Park.  But, they’ve won nine of their last 11 at home and need to continue that pace.

This Date
In Phillies history………
1915 First place, 2-game lead
1950 First place, 5 1/2-game lead
1976 First place, 5-game lead
1977 First place, 6-game lead
1978 First place, 3-game lead
1980 Second place, 1/2 game out
1983 Second place, 1/2 game out
1993 First place, 61/2-game lead
2007 Second place, 6 games out