June 2011

Red Hot

When you are hot, you are hot.

Folks, the Phillies are hot.  Everything is clicking these days, pitching, hitting, defense.  So, they aim for a four-game sweep Thursday afternoon against the Marlins.

Kyle was outstanding in the Wednesday afternoon game.  When he works at least six innings, he is 27-6 with a 2.72 ERA.  That’s pretty impressive.

Then, the offense staged a come-from-behind extra-inning win in the night game.  Clutch hits from Shane and Chooch did it.

In the middle of the clubhouse are two eraser boards where instructions are left for the players.  After Wednesday night’s game, “Everybody dressed, 11:30 Thursday” was the message posted in blue ink.  Players had to hustle home Wednesday night and pack for a six-game road trip.

The Phillies will board a Delta Charter flight following Thursday’s game for a long flight to the northwest part of the country, Seattle to be specific.  It will be a three-game weekend interleague series against the Mariners starting Friday night.

Wall of Fame Inductee
John Kruk, the last player to compile a .300 career batting average with the Phillies, is the 2011 inductee into the Toyota Wall of Fame.  He compiled a .309 average during his six-years with the Phillies, good enough for ninth on the club’s all-time list.  Richie Ashburn’s .311 is eighth.  Until Kruk came along, no one had hit .300 since Ashburn finished his Phillies career in 1959.

Kruk will be inducted on Friday night, August 12, before the Phillies-Nationals 7:05 p.m. game.  Darren Daulton, the 2010 inductee, will have the honor of introducing his former teammate. 

Yesterday in Phillies History
1991: RHP Andy Ashby became the first Phillies pitcher to strike out the side on nine pitches.  He did it in the fourth inning of a game that the Cincinnati Reds won, 3-1.

Down On The Farm
Well, major roster shuffles have taken place the last two days:

Lehigh Valley: RHP Brian Gordon (5-0) exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and will start for the Yankees Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium . . . RHS Eddie Bonine faces Tommy John surgery . . . RHS Nate Bump was placed on the DL with a hamstring strain . . . INF Ronnie Belliard has voluntarily retired . . . RHR Chance Chapman was assigned to Reading.

Reading: INF Cody Overbeck, who leads the league in homers and RBI, has been promoted to Lehigh Valley . . . Also going to LV are LHS Ryan Edell, RHR Phillippe Aumont and RHR Justin De Fratus.

Clearwater: 1B-DH Joe Savery has been promoted to Reading as has RHR Justin Friend, who leads the league with 19 saves.

Players of the Week (June 5-12)
            **Pitcher: RHS Vance Worley, Lehigh Valley.  Was 1-0 for 1 start, a 6-0 win on Tuesday vs. Durham.  He worked 7 innings, allowed 3 hits, 2 walks while striking out six.  Over his last two starts (both wins), he’s pitched 13.2 scoreless innings.  The 23-year-old was selected in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft out of Long Beach State University and signed by Tom Kissner.
 
            **Player:  3B-1B-LF Cody Overbeck, Reading.  Batted .358 with an organization-high 10 hits, including four homers.  He drove in eight runs.  For the season, he leads the Eastern League with 18 home runs and 46 RBI.  The 25-year-old was selected in the 9th round of the 2008 draft out of the University of Mississippi and signed by Mike Stauffer

4 Aces, 4 Wins

Four aces, four straight wins, five runs allowed.  That’s what’s happened the last four games as Doc, Cliff, Roy-O and Cole did their thing on the mound.

Cole once again was brilliant on Tuesday night before leaving with stiffness in his back.  He says he won’t miss his next start.

Extra base hits have been few and far between this season.  Not on Tuesday night as the Phillies pounded five home runs and two doubles in a rare easy win.

Game ended around 11 p.m.  So, it is back to the park for two games Wednesday, the first at 1 p.m.  Then, it is back again for another 1 o’clock afternoon game on Thursday.  A three-game marathon in two days.

New Record
Thanks to the support of the fans, a new record was set on Monday night when $893,033 was raised to help strike out ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  Since the Phillies adopted ALS in 1984, they have raised over $12.7 million to fight the disease.

New Book
Steve Carlton had a year in 1972 that will go down as one of the greatest individual pitching performances ever.  It concluded with the first of his four Cy Young Awards. 

Steve Bucci and Dave Brown have written a book about that fantastic season,
Drinking Coffee with a Fork: The Story of Steve Carlton and the ’72 Phillies.

It is available now online and in book stores.

E-Mail Bin
From Alan: I have been looking all over for a long time trying to get my hands on a 1950 Phillies World Series jersey patch. I have looked on so many websites just to see what the patch looks like but have only ever seen the NY patch. My questions: was there a Phillies patch ever made, and is their a place licensed to recreate it; how can I get one?

“In my lone time with the Phillies I’ve never seen or heard of a Phillies World Series patch back in 1950.  If it did exist, perhaps someone can post it on this blog.”

From Timothy: What is the process for retirement of a player’s number? It would be great to see the late great Tug McGraw get the honor of being retired.

“The Phillies policy is that the player needs to be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to have a jersey number retired.  In my experience, each club has its own policy.  There is no one set policy.”

From Skip: I remember in 1950 attending Phillies games with my dad and granddad.  I remember seeing a pregame infield practice by the Phillies where they did not use a ball. Can you get any details about this phantom infield, perhaps film? I was around 5 at the time but trying to re-live what I saw with my grandson.

“I have vague remembrances, too. I’m not aware of any video from that era.  But, I reached out to Bob Miller, who pitched for the Whiz Kids.  He thought the phantom infield was done mostly in the minor leagues or perhaps before one of the City Series games with the Philadelphia A’s.  He recalled coach Benny Bengough was the ‘hitter’ and Dick Sisler at first base but can’t remember the others.  ‘Hey, I’m 85 in a few days and I can’t remember that far back,’ he laughed”  Again, if anyone has more information, kindly post it on this blog.”

Another Series Win

Chalk up another series win for the Phillies.  Chalk up another win for the starting staff.

Roy-O followed fellow starters Doc and Cliff with a stellar performance on Sunday.  Doc held the Cubs scoreless on Friday, Cliff allowed one run tne hext day and Roy-O yielded three, all coming in the first inning.  As great pitchers can do, he didn’t allow a run the rest of the time on the hill and Ryan Madson ended the series with a save.

Roy-O avoided his first ever five-game losing streak. Doc’s win over the Cubs was his first ever against them.  He’s never beaten two clubs, the Phillies (0-0) and Giants (0-3).

A year ago, Howard hit the most home runs in the NL off a LHP.  This year, he has none.  But, in his last 15 ABs against southpaws, he has nine hits. Included was the game-decisive single Sunday.  His 15 RBI against LHP is tops on the club.

Good signs: Ryan’s come through with clutch hits recently which is huge.  Chase is also swinging the bat better. 

No game Monday night but all the players, Charlie and his staff will be at Citizens Bank Park for the annual Phillies Phestival, a continuing effort to strike out ALS.  Once again, the fans have demonstrated great support as the event is sold out.

Individually, the players are also big contributors in the community.  Just check out their tickeet programs during this homestand:

**Doc’s Box: CHOP patients; Little Smiles; Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children.
**Flyin’ Hawaiian All-Stars: PAL; Variety—The Children’s Charity
**Lidge’s Legion: CHOP patients.
**Ibanez Team Resurgence: Covenant House.
**J-Roll’s Aces: Bethune Elementary School.
**Romero’s Rookies: ACLAMO Family Services.
**Lee’s VIPs: Camp No Worries.
**Hamels’ Heroes: Willow Grove Naval Air Station.

First Peek
Newly drafted players who have been assigned to Williamsport are in town for their entry physicals Monday.  Tuesday noon will include lunch at Citizens Bank Park with their teammates, who will be flying to Philadelphia from Tampa.  For almost every young player, it will be the first visit to Citizens Bank Park, where they hope to play for the Phillies some day.

Following lunch, they’ll bus to Williamsport for a late afternoon workout at Bowman Field.  Crosscutters’ season opener is Friday night, hosting State College.  Mickey Morandini is their manager.

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley won two of three over the weekend to keep its hold on first place . . . Reading dropped two of three, the lone win going to RHS Brian Rosenberg on Friday, 7 scoreless innings . . . RHS Julio Rodriguez (8-3) won on Friday for Clearwater; the Threshers dropped the next two in Daytona Beach . . . RHS David Buchanan (8-3) won on Sunday, the second straight for Lakewood following an eight-game losing streak.

Streaks End

The law of averages caught up with Madson and the Cubs CF Colvin.  The result: a come-from-behind Chicago win on Thursday that featured a rain delay, instant replay and an ugly game-winning run in the 11th.

Leading, 3-2, Madson had his first blown save after 14 consecutive ones by giving up a Soto homer in the ninth.  Colvin, 0-for-34, hit an apparent game-decisive home run in the same inning but the Phillies appealed.  Instant replay overturned the home run and ruled a fan-interference ground-rule double.  Soto’s homer was the first off Madson since July16, 2010 (Ramirez of the Cubs).

The Phillies had gone 32-0 when leading after eight innings.

Then in the 11th, Colvin reached first on an infield hit when Howard couldn’t get the ball out of his glove.  He advanced to second on a passed ball and scored the winning run when Polly’s errant throw to first would have ended the inning.  The error was the Phillies seventh in their last seven games.

J-Roll had given the Phillies a 3-0 lead with a second-inning home run.  The rains came and the stopped, once again hit the snooze button. The Cubs bullpen hurled 8.2 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits.  It was the eighth time in the last nine games that the offense could produce only three runs.

Phil-Ins
The blown save was just the second for the Phillies bullpen, the other coming April 15 . . . Saturday’s 4:05 game is on FOX . . . Dick Perez, official artist of the Phillies and The Baseball Hall of Fame for over 25 years, will be signing copies of his new book, The Immortals: An Elaborate Visual Documentation of Baseball. He will be in the Majestic Clubhouse Store from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Today in Baseball
1981: Pete Rose singled at Veterans Stadium to tie Stan Musial’s NL record of 3,630 hits.  Houston’s Nolan Ryan struck out Rose the next three at-bats.

Down On The Farm
CF John Mayberry (#1) hit a walk-off home run as Lehigh Valley nipped Durham, 6-5 . . . LHS Ryan Edell (5-1) got the win, RHR Justin DeFratus, his 6th save, as Reading beat Trenton, 4-1, riding home runs by DH Matt Rizzotti (11), 1B Cody Overbeck (17) and C Tim Kennelly (1) . . . RHR Justin Friend’s streak of 18 consecutive saves ended as Tampa scored three unearned runs in the eighth inning for a 4-3 win over Clearwater . . . Lakewood was losing, 3-0, after 4.5 innings when the game was suspended by rain.  The Phillies, Lehigh Valley, Reading and Lakewood all had rain delays.

Cole Brilliant

Cole turned in another brilliant pitching performance as the Phillies took the rubber game of the three-game series against the Dodgers on Wednesday night despite a .178 team batting average for the series.

He tossed eight scoreless innings, struck out nine and really rose to the occasion in the seventh.  Clinging to a 1-0 lead, he got out of a first and third and no out jam: pop up, strikeout, pop up.

Once again the offense produced just five hits, this time a double, two triples, a home run and a single.  Hitting for the cycle, I suppose. Ryan gave Cole all the runs he needed with a solo homer in the sixth, the Phillies first this month.  It was the 16th time this season that Ryan drove in a run that gave his team the lead, the most in the majors, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Then, the other Ryan took over with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Tracking Alumni
Larry Bowa, Dan Plesac and Mitch Williams are on the MLB Network . . . John Kruk continues his career on ESPN TV . . . Doug Glanville is a writer for ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine and an occasional guest on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight TV show . . . Jamie Moyer and Curt Schilling are also occasional guests on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Show . . . Other Phillies on the air include Larry Andersen and Gary Matthews (Phillies), Tim McCarver (FOX), Mike Krukow (Giants), Tommy Hutton (Marlins), Cookie Rojas (Marlins Spanish), Bob Walk (Pirates), Bob Uecker (Brewers), Keith Moreland (Cubs), Jeff Brantley (Reds), Jim Deshaies (Astros), Ed Farmer (White Sox), Ron Gant (Braves TV), Bob Scanlon (Padres pre and post-game), Ricky Bottalico and Chris Coste (Philadelphia Comcast SportsNet TV pre- and post-game), Darren Daulton (Philly radio station, 97.5 The Fanatic, during the season).

Down On The Farm
RHS Vance Worley (4-2) worked 7 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits as Lehigh Valley blanked Durham, 6-0 . . . RHS Austin Hyatt fanned 10 in 7 innings but Trenton rallied late for a 7-6 win over Reading . . . Clearwater and Lakewood were not scheduled.

Players of the Week (May 30-June 5)
Pitcher: RHS Trevor May, Clearwater. 1-0 for 1 start, 8 innings, 2 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, season-high 12 strikeouts.  Victory was his 4th straight, improving his season record to 4-2, 3.54.  Leads all Phillies minor league hurlers with 80 strikeouts (61.2 innings).  The 21-year-old was selected in the 4th round of the 2008 draft out of Kelso High School (WA) and signed by Dave Ryles.
 
Player:  1B Jeff Larish, Lehigh Valley. Hit .478 in 6 games, 11 hits including 3 doubles, 1 triple and 4 homers.  Drove in 12.  Triple, 2 homers and 7 RBI came in 12-2 romp on Monday at Gwinnett.  For the season, he’s hitting .265 in 48 games, 12 homers and 31 RBI.  The 28-year-old was signed as a minor league free agent on 11/22/10.

All-Stars
Five Lakewood players have been selected to the North All-Star team for the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, June 21, in Salisbury, MD: RHS David Buchanan, RHS Garett Claypool, RHR Lisalverto Bonilla, 1B Jim Murphy and DH Anthony Hewitt.

 

Phillies Turn To Cole

If the Phillies are going to take this series against LA, it comes down to Cole’s arm on Wednesday night.  Better throw in Cole’s bat, too.  He’s been swinging a mean stick lately.

Roy-O lost back-to-back games for the first time in a Phillies uniform on Tuesday night.  He threw a first pitch strike to 13 of the 26 batters he faced, but came out on the short end.  He allowed more than two runs for the second time in 10 starts this season. His own error, his first as a Phillie, was part of the Dodgers’ scoring.

The offense produced four singles and a triple.  In Roy-O’s four losses, they’ve scored eight total runs. 

Looking at box scores, six other teams had five or fewer hits on Tuesday.  So, maybe it isn’t just the Phillies.

Yearbook
Newest edition is available.  Phillies have been printing a Yearbook every year since 1949.  Among the questions asked the players:

“What artist or band would you hire to play in your backyard?”

Charlie Manuel: George Thorogood.
Antonion Bastardo: Camila
Domonic Brown: Lil Wayne
Roy Halladay: Kenny Chesney
Cole Hamels: Keith Urban
Ryan Howard: Lil Wayne
Raul Ibanez: Pearl Jam
Kyle Kendrick: George Strait
Ryan Madson: Breaking Benjamin
Roy Oswalt: Jimmy Buffett
Placido Polanco: El Torito
Jimmy Rollins: Jay-Z
Chase Utley: Kings of Leon
Shane Victorino: Zac Brown or Bob Marley

Can’t believe no one picked the Ink Spots.

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley was held to 4 hits in losing, 9-1, to Durham . . . CF Derrick Mitchell delivered a game-winning, 2-run homer in the last of the ninth as Reading beat Trenton, 4-2.  He drove in the winning run with a 12th-inning single the night before . . .
Clearwater had just 4 singles in losing, 6-0, to Tampa.  C Sebastian Valle had 2 of them, boosting his average to .357 . . . Lakewood lost for the 6th straight time, 10-3, at Hickory.  1B Jim Murphy extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

This Date
1968: Dodgers’ Don Drysdale works four scoreless innings against the Phillies before finally allowing a run after 58.2 shutout innings, on Howie Bedell’s sacrifice fly, his lone RBI of the season. 

 

Lee Lights Out Again

When Cliff is on, he’s really on.  After two games of being “off”, he returned to his norm on Monday night: 6 singles, 7 shutout innings, 80 strikes and 37 balls.  When he has that pinpoint control, it is lights out for the enemy.

In his last three starts at Citizens Bank Park, he’s 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA.  Remember when the park was first opened, media said no pitcher would ever come to Philadelphia because the park was a hitter’s park?  Well, don’t hear much about the ballpark’s size anymore.

According to Elias Sports Bureau: It was the 12th time in Lee’s last 38 regular-season starts the he struck out ten or more batters (since May 16, 2010). Lee reached double-figures in strikeouts in only three of his 193 major-league starts up to that point.

Offense wasn’t overly productive but managed to scratch out three runs. 

The win was the 800th in the big league career for Charlie.  Someday down the road, he’ll be a shoe-in for the Phillies Wall of Fame.

Inside the Draft
We were prepped prior to the draft on what to expect.  Once the first round (33 players) was out of the way, the compensation round would take place and Mickey Morandini would be stepping to the podium to announce the Phillies selection (39th overall).

MLB invites young prospects to the draft.  Many can’t attend for one reason or another.  There was only one prospect there, high school outfielder Larry Greene.  He and his dad would be sitting in the third base dugout of Studio 42.  Whichever team selected him, MLB would have a jersey and cap on hand for a presentation.

As the draft got into the compensation round, Mickey and I felt it would be a shame if Greene wasn’t drafted the first day.  He and his dad (his mother died recently) had traveled from Georgia.  It must have been a little nerve-racking to sit and hear all the others being drafted.

Rob Holiday (assistant scouting director) called from the Phillies draft room at Citizens Bank Park when the draft got to the 36th selection.  Mickey was in a back room waiting to make the 39th selection.  Tampa Bay was 38th and the Phillies were concerned that the Rays would take Greene.  They didn’t.  Mickey stepped to the podium, made the announcement, a big cheer went up from the fans seated in the bleachers and Mickey got to present Greene with his Phillies jersey and cap.  Tears filled Greene’s eyes for more than one reason, I’m sure.  He did a live interview and then came to our table to speak with scouting director Marti Wolever on the phone.

Once he has signed, Greene will most likely report to the Gulf Coast League team in Clearwater.

Down On The Farm
RHS Brian Gordon (5-0) lowered his league-leading ERA to 0.74 with 6 shutout innings as Lehigh Valley won, 3-0, in Charlotte . . . 1B Cody Overbeck hit his league-leading 15th and 16th homers and drove in 5 as Reading edged Trenton, 8-7, in 12 innings.  RHR Justin DeFratus (4-0) fanned 6 in 3 shutout innings . . . RHS Jonathan Pettibone (6-4) picked up the win as Clearwater bested Dunedin, 8-4 . . . Lakewood lost its 5th in a row, 8-5, at Hickory . . . Extended spring training played final game this morning . . . Williamsport opens its season on June 17; Gulf Cost League Phillies on June 20.

Good-bye PNC Park

PNC Park is a place where the Phillies have really struggled (13-22), including two weekend losses out of three.  Looking for some good news? We don’t go back there until 2012.

Doc came through as an ace should, stopping a four-game losing streak on Sunday.  He also chipped in with the bat and ran the bases as the offense finally put up some numbers on the scoreboard.  They are 23-3 when scoring more than three runs. 

Now, back home for the Dodgers starting on Monday night.  LA is fresh from taking two of three in Cincinnati, scoring 22 runs in their last two games.    Dodgers are 13-16 on the road; Phillies 19-10 at home.  Only the Brewers (21-7) and Diamondbacks (20-13) have more home wins than the Phillies.

Both teams have been hit hard by the injury bug.  The Dodgers have had 13 players on the DL at some point this season.

Top Perch
Phillies have been in first place on May 1 and June 1 six times in their history: 1900, 1964, 1993, 2001, 2008 and 2011.

Draft Time
It all starts at 7 p.m. on Monday from the MLB Network Studio 42.  First round and compensation round will be nationally televised by baseball. Phillies have the 39th overall selection on Monday.

Marti Wolever will operate out of the draft room at Citizens Bank Park.  Each team will have representatives at the MLB Network studio.  Mickey Morandini and I will be there for the Phillies and Mickey gets to announce the 39th pick, which is scheduled for around 10:16 p.m.

Other former Phillies scheduled to be there include Geoff Jenkins (Brewers), Dave Cash and Al Oliver (Pirates), Davey Johnson and Pat Corrales (Nationals).

Day two and three of the draft will be held Tuesday and Wednesday by conference call. Each day starts at 12 noon.  You can follow the full draft on MLB.com.

Down On The Farm
RHS Vance Worley (3-2) won on Friday night, 0 runs, 6 innings, but Lehigh Valley dropped next 2 weekend games in Charlotte . . . RHS Austin Hyatt (6-3) fanned 8 in 7 scoreless innings as Reading won, 5-0, Friday night in Richmond, which won the next 2 games . . . Jonathan Singleton returned to his natural position (first base) after starting the season in left field.  Clearwater won 2 of 3; 9 wins in last 11 games . . . LF Michael Dabbs was 5-13 during Lakewood’s 3 weekend losses.

Today in Baseball
1918: Casey Stengel, after being traded by Brooklyn in the offseason, made his return to Ebbetts Field a memorable one.  In his first at-bat, Stengel called time, stepped out of the batter’s box and doffed his cap.  A bird flew out.

“New” Starting 8

Geez, it is June 3 and the Phillies have their regular eight on the field for the first time since they lost the NLCS to the Giants last fall.  Shane is the latest to return from the DL. 

Then again, a year ago, Charlie had the starting eight only 17 times in 162 games and his team led the majors in wins.  The success a year ago and this season reflects the pitching staff.  The offense currently is ninth in the league in runs scored and homers.

Pittsburgh this weekend where the Phillies are just 12-20 in the history of PNC Park.  Dodgers start an 11-game homestand on Monday night.  Sometime during that game, the Phillies will make their first selection (39th player overall) in the First-Year Player Draft.  That announcement will come from the MLB Network and will be made by Mickey Morandini, who, long with myself, are representing the Phillies in the televised start of the draft.

Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley blanked Gwinnett for the second straight day, 4-0; 6 shutout innings for LHS Ryan Feierabend (4-2) . . . 8,120 fans were in attendance for Reading’s 9:35 a.m. game but the Phillies lost, 8-4, to Akron . . . C Sebastian Valle was 4-for-4 with a double, triple and RBI, boosting his average to .357 as Clearwater put away Port St. Lucie, 7-1.  RHS Trevor May (4-2) fanned 12 in 8 innings . . . Lakewood dropped a 4-3 decision in Greensboro, third loss in last 15.  1B Jim Murphy has 16 RBI in last 14 games.
 All-Stars: Florida State League All-Star Game (North vs. South) will be held June 18 at Bright House Field. Four Threshers have been selected to the North squad: Valle, RHS Jonathon Pettibone, RHS Julio Rodriguez and RHR Justin Friend.

Answering A Blog Post
Steve: I’m not sure how to e-mail you so let me post my question here. My kids got that nice Chooch t-shirt last weekend, which made me think of the great Chooch chest protector-shaped backpack of a couple years ago (which they didn’t get because the game was a Sunday night and they couldn’t stay up that late–boo to ESPN for “flexing” that game).
Anyway, what do you think are the five greatest Phillies giveaway items ever? For me, five of the best (not necessarily in order, and certainly I am forgetting some) are:
- Whitey and Harry bobblehead (this may be #1)
- 2008 World Champs pennant
- 1980 replica ring (a bit cheap-looking, but pretty cool)
- Phil & Phillis bobblehead
- Chooch chest protector backpack
Honorable mentions:
- Harry Kalas memorial service photo package
- Wall of Fame postcard set

We’ve given away so many items over the course of my career it is difficult to remember all of them and even more difficult to name the top five.  I’d even have trouble naming my top five ice cream flavors.  Anyway, I agree with you on No. 1, the Whitey/Harry bobblehead.  To me that was a classic.  And, I got to like the Charlie Manuel bobble.  That’s number 2 for me. 

Kurt Funk and Scott Brandreth spearhead the giveaway items and they deserve the credit for the variety. 

Lefty Launches New Website
Steve Carlton’s website has undergone a complete remake. It is quite impressive.  Check it out at www.stevecarlton.com.  He’s available for appearances and has autographed merchandise available. 

 

Pirates Next

Thursday is a day off for the Phillies, their first since May 12, a string of 20 games in 20 days.

They are enjoying the day  in Pittsburgh while the Pirates are playing in New York in the afternoon. 

PNC Park has not been a friendly park for the Phillies.  They lost three of four there a year ago and are only 12-20 since the place opened.  Oddly, the Pirates are just 9-14 at home this year.

Monday starts the longest homestand of the season, 11 games against the Dodgers, Cubs and second-place Marlins.  Remember an April rainout has been rescheduled for a 1 p.m. game on June 15 with the regularly scheduled game that night at 7. 

Draft Prep
Another long day in the draft room at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies scouting staff.   12 laptop computers fill a very large table.  No longer are there thick three-ring binders filled with scouting reports.  Scouting reports of nearly 800 players are stored in computers.  Old-fashioned land lines have been replaced by cell phones as the staff keeps in touch with the area scouts scattered throughout the states.  Marti and his staff are checking on updates on players they may draft, , recent performances, health status, signability, etc.

Eight magnetic boards circle the room.  Players are ranked by two levels, high school and colleges.  Dallas Green’s job is to place the magnetic names on the boards and then remove them as they are drafted.  Tough job.  Somebody has to do it.

First-Year Player Draft begins at 7 p.m. Monday on the MLB Network.  The first round and compensation round will be live on the network and also MLB.com.  Phillies will have the 39th, 66th and 90th selections in the first two rounds.    The 39th selection (compensation round) will be sometime around 10:15 p.m.  Rounds 2-30 will take place on Tuesday with rounds 31-50 on Wednesday.  Starting time each day is 12 noon (EDT).

Down On The Farm
C Eric Kratz hit his 9th homer and RHS Brian Gordon improved to 4-0 as Lehigh Valley won, 8-0, in Gwinnett, which is located in Lawrenceville, GA . . . Homers by Shane (#1), C Tuffy Gosewisch (#5, a slam), 1B Matt Rizzotti (#10) and LF Cody Overbeck (#14) powered Reading to a 12-9 win over Akron . . . Clearwater lost, 3-0, to Port St. Lucie, the second loss in the last 8 games for the Threshers . . . OF Michael Dobbs hit two homers (#2-3) and drove in 4 as Lakewood opened a road series in Greensboro with a 5-4 win, the 12th in the last 14 games for the BlueClaws.

Players of the Week
Pitcher: RHS Garrett Claypool, Lakewood.  1-0 for 1 start, 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 11 strikeouts.  Lowered his ERA to 2.30, second in the South Atlantic League to teammate David Buchanan (1.97).  The 22-year-old was drafted a year ago out of UCLA and signed by Shane Bowers.

Player: 1B Jim Murphy, Lakewood.  Hit .364 in 6 games with 3 doubles, 3 homers (#11-12-13) among 8 hits.  Drove in 9, pushing his RBI total to 36, tops in the organization.  Homers lead the SAL.  The 25-year-old was selected in the 17th round in 2006 out of Washington State University and signed by Dave Ryles.

 

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