There was a sign posted on every door in the Phillies clubhouse following their last game, July 14:
After The All-Star Game
7:30 p.m., July 18, bus leaves for New York
2:30 p.m., July 19, Citi Field workout (mandatory)
Players scattered for the four-day All-Star Game break. Whether they were on the bus didn’t mattered. Being there for the workout did.
The Mets are throwing their three best young pitchers in this weekend’s series, the start of a nine-game, three-city trip (St. Louis & Detroit). It is the Phillies’ fourth straight road trip involving three cities.
Don’t know how many stories I’ve read saying this trip is crucial. Hey, every game, let alone every trip, is crucial.
The Phillies finished 7-3 before this four-day break to get to 48-48. The Cardinals and Dodgers were also 7-3.
Going into this series, the Phillies have won six straight games at Citi Field, a place which wasn’t friendly when it opened in 2009. Overall, the Phillies are 20-16 there.
Sixty-six games remain on the Phillies schedule. Twenty-two are against the two teams ahead of them, Washington and Atlanta.
History shows the Phillies excel after the All-Star Game. Since 2007, when their run of five straight division titles began, their 269-168 record is the best in the majors. Since Charlie came here in 2005, 357-228, second only to the Yankees’ 364-230.
A year ago, the Phillies were 13 games under .500 at the break. They went 44-31 to finish the season at 81-81.
Minor League Report
Transactions: LH reliever Jay Johnson was promoted to AAA from AA. Cesar Hernandez, who went from AAA to Reading to play CF during the Lehigh Valley All-Star Game break, returned to the IronPigs.
**Lehigh Valley lost, 3-2, to Columbus. IronPigs are streaky: lost 5 in a row; won 4 in a row and have now lost 4 in a row. Cesar Hernandez, 2-4, 28th steal; fielding error in CF led to an unearned run. LP: Ethan Martin (10-6), 6 IP, 3 R, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO.
**Reading won, 7-5, at Portland. C Sebastian Valle, 8th-9th HRs; 5 RBI. 3B Maikel Franco, 3-5; hitting .389. WP: Jesse Biddle (4-9), 7 IP. 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO. SV: Michael Nesseth (5). Reading has won 3 straight after losing 8 in a row.
**Clearwater was rained out at Bradenton.
**Lakewood lost, 8-0, at August, getting two 8th-inning singles.
**Williamsport lost, 8-4, to Hudson Valley, getting 3 hits, one being the 5th homer for 3B Zach Green.
**Gulf Coast League Phillies blasted the Astros, 14-2. SS J.P. Crawford, 3 hits, 3 RBI; batting .400. DH Wilmer Oberto, 4th HR, a grand slam.
July 19, 1955, 2nd game–Playing their sixth game in four days and with Robin Roberts pitching on two days rest, Phillies beat Cincinnati, 6-2, in Connie Mack Stadium. Roberts had two hits and drove in three runs while pitching a six hitter.
July 21, 1973–RF Hank Aaron hits his 700th home run off LHP Ken Brett during the Braves’ 8-4 loss to the Phillies at Atlanta.
July 21, 1997–RHP Curt Schilling strikes out 15, the most by a Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton’s 16 in 1982, but loses, 3-2, to Pittsburgh. After 17 years with the organization, C Darren Daulton is traded to the Florida Marlins for Billy McMillon.
Check out http://www.phillies.com/alumni for a vintage photo of Brad Lidge, who will retire as a Phillie on August 1 when the Giants are at Citizens Bank Park. All fans will receive a commemorative print of Brad.