Baseball’s hottest team is leaving town. Milwaukee extended its winning streak to 6 games last night, longest current streak in the majors. The Brewers have defeated the Phillies 6 straight times, going back to last season. It is Milwaukee’s first sweep ever in Philadelphia.
In each game of the series, the Phillies lead after 1 inning. The Brewers followed a pattern, scoring heavily over the last three innings: 4 runs on Tuesday, 5 on Wednesday and 3 last night. Their bats are smoking, out-scoring their opponents, 42-18 while batting .320 in the streak. Only twice in 3 games against the Phillies, did Milwaukee hitters go 1-2-3 in an inning.
Coming to town for the weekend is Miami, the opposite of Milwaukee (6-0 on the road). The Marlins are 0-3 on the road, after a 5-2 start at home.
Citizens Bank Park Saturdays
Phillies are saluting Alumni who had key moments in the 10-year history of Citizens Bank Park on Saturdays.
Rheal Cormier, who recorded the Phillies first CBP win on April 15, will be here tomorrow night to throw out the first ball. Rheal has the distinction of picking up the Phillies last win in both Jack Russell Memorial Stadium and Veterans Stadium.
Ballgirls from each of the 10 years will be returning and signing autographs inside the Left Field Gate.
Tomorrow is also the 10th anniversary of the first regular season game at CBP. Visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni to learn about that game and other “firsts”. The Alumni page also contains a feature about CBP Phun Phacts, including video of the first home run by Bobby Abreu.
241,904—The number of $1 hot dogs consumed last year at CBP. This year’s first Hatfield Phillies Franks Dollar Dog Night is Monday (Atlanta).
Minor League Report
Transactions—Brian Bixler (LV) was released . . . RHR Justin Friend, AA to AAA; RHR Hector Neris, AAA to AA.
Lehigh Valley lost its 3rd straight, 4-2, to Rochester. 1B Jim Murphy, 2 of LV’s 5 hits, including only extra-base hit, a double . . . LP: Barry Enright (0-1) . . . RHR Mike Adams is scheduled to pitch against Rochester tomorrow night.
Reading stretched its winning streak to 5 games, 2-1, at Harrisburg. LF Cam Perkins, 2-4; hitting .360 . . . RF Kelly Dugan, 1st HR . . . 1B Brock Stassi, RBI single in 6th plated 2nd run . . . WP: Austin Wright (1-0) . . . SV: Jay Johnson (1) . . . ND: LHP Hoby Milner, 0 R, 1 H. 4.2 IP; left game after being hit on his pitching hand by a line drive.
Clearwater lost its 5th in a row, 7-3, at Tampa . . . 2B Freddy Galvis, 1-4, a triple; played all 9 innings . . . DH KC Serna, 2-4 . . . LP: Jon Prosinski (0-2)
Lakewood lost its 4th in a row, 6-0, to Hagerstown before 7,006 in home opener. . . Blue Claws limited to 3 doubles . . . LP: Tyler Viza (0-2).
With MLB’s new instant replay system, the behavior of managers has drastically changed. Managers used to sprint to the umpire in question and begin arguing. Now, they walk slowly while looking back at the dugout for a signal. Once they reach that umpire, they peek again at the dugout for a signal to challenge the call or walk back to the dugout.
It will be interesting to see if there are fewer ejections this season.
Bullpens and defense win games. Right now, the Phillies are struggling in each category: 9 errors in 8 games and 10 unearned runs in the last 3 games, all losses. Bullpen gave up 5 runs over last 2 innings in a 9-4 loss last night.
Cliff tries to stop the slide tonight and end Milwaukee’s 5-game winning streak against the Phillies.
Marlins come to town for the weekend. Ace Jose Fernandez (2-0, 0.71 ERA) tomorrow night. A. J. makes his Philly debut.
From Elias Sports Bureau
Brewers are 5-0 on the road. Only other time in team history they won their first 5 was 1987 when they started 7-0 and 13-0 overall.
The Phillies hadn’t lost their first 2 home games, allowing 9 or more runs, since 1929 at Baker Bowl.
43 years ago today the Phillies beat Montreal, 4-1, in the first game at Veterans Stadium. Jim Bunning was the winner; Larry Bowa got the first hit and Don Money hit the first home run.
Phillies flashback moments are posted daily at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley split a pair against Buffalo, 5-3 L in 11 innings and 1-0 W in 7-inning game, a combined shutout by LHP Cesar Jimenez and RHP Hector Neris (1-0). CF Clete Thomas, 1st HR in the loss.
Reading won its 4th in a row, 4-1, over New Hampshire. WP: RHP Severino Gonzalez (1-0). SV: RHP Ken Giles (3); struck out the side in the 9th inning for the 3rd time in 3 appearances.
Clearwater lost its 4th straight, 5-3, to Tampa. LHP Ethan Stewart (0-1). SS Freddy Galvis, 0-4. RHP Mike Adams, .2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. Cole starts tomorrow night at
Lakewood lost, 2-1, in Greensboro. 3B Zack Green, 2-4, 2 doubles. LP: Mark Leiter (0-1).
If These Walls Could Talk will be available starting May 1 in book stores and online. Chapter 7: General Managers, starting with John Quinn down through the years to Ruben Jr.
The Phillies spoiled the home openers of the Rangers and Cubs last week. Braun almost single-handily spoiled yesterday’s Citizens Bank Park opener. He became the 6th enemy player to hit 3 homers in a game and 4th to drive in 7 runs in the 11-year history of the park. Defensively in right field, he made a diving catch of a sinking liner that saved 2 runs in the 2nd inning.
He came to town with 3 singles in 20 at-bats. He had gone 98 times at-bat without a homer. Braun feasts on Phillies pitching. In 44 career games, 17 homers, 37 RBI and a .392 average. At CBP, 10 homers, 21 RBI in 20 games. Maybe we should roll the ball toward him.
Going into the game, Phillies pitchers had allowed 2 homers, fewest in the league. In their first 5 games, the Phillies played good defense, not allowing any unearned runs. Yesterday 3 errors paved the way for 3 unearned runs. The previous game, they gave up 4. 7 is an NL high.
Game 2 tonight. According to broadandpattison.com, the Phillies are 18-17 on this date, including a 7-3 decision over the visiting Mets a year ago.
Tweet of The day
Roy Halladay yesterday: From my 1st day wear’n a Phils uniform to my last, was an amazing experience!!! Enjoy the game! Best fans on earth!!
Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley lost, 7-2, to Buffalo. C Cameron Rupp, 4th HR in 4 games. In 53 games at LV last year, he hit 6 HR. 3B-1B Maikel Franco continues to struggle, 2-20. LP: Mike Nesseth (0-1). No decision: David Buchanan, 2 R, 7 H, 5 IP.
Reading scored 2 in the last of the 9th to pull out a 6-5 win over New Hampshire. Walk-off single by DH Anthony Hewitt. 1B Brock Stassi, 3-4, including a run-scoring double to tie the game in the 9th. LF Cam Perkins, 2-4; hitting .389. C Tommy Joseph, 1st HR. WP Ryan O’Sullivan (1-1). No decision, Jesse Biddle, 4 R, 6 H, 7 IP. Fightin Phils have won 3 in a row.
Clearwater scored 2 in the last of the 9th but fell short, 7-6, to Tampa, the Threshers 3rd straight loss. 2B KC Serna, 2-5, including a 2-run double in the 9th. DH Art Charles, 1st HR. 3B Freddy Galvis was Clearwater’s lead-off hitter, 1-4, a triple. LP Colin Kleven (0-2). RHP Michael Adams, 1 IP, 1 SO.
Lakewood dropped a 4-2 decision at Greensboro. DH Samuel Hiciano, 2-3. C Jose Mayorga, 2-3, 2 RBI. LP: Shane Martin (0-1).
My Top Ten
Almost 43,000 fans voted for their favorite top 10 moments in the first 10 years of Citizens Bank Park. No one asked, but here are my top 10:
Winning the World Series. That was a real no brainer.
Winning the 2007 NL East crown. First post season since 1993. Say enough?
Doc’s postseason no-hitter. Only the second one in MLB postseason history. Plus, the first ever in CBP.
Shane’s grand slam. Most dramatic grand slam in my memory bank. Brett Myers’ long at-bat set up the slam.
J-Roll’s NLCS walk-off double against the Dodgers. Revenge for the 1979 Black Friday loss to LA. Finally!
2008 WS walk-off win in game 3. Chooch’s swinging bunt has to be the shortest game-ending hit in WS history.
First game in 2004. Sitting in the press box that afternoon and thinking, “Wow, this place is beautiful.”
Thome’s 400th HR. A great moment for a great man.
Harry Kalas statue. A real icon in our history whose bronze statue is about a Ryan Howard home run from Harry’s friend, Richie Ashburn’s statue. Very fitting.
Rowand’s catch. Memorable for us, pain-full for Aaron.
No. 11 is a personal one. After 33 years of working in a window-less office at Veterans Stadium, the new office had windows! There was a world out there.
My New Book
“If These Walls Could Talk” will be available May 1. Publisher is Triumph Books. Forward by Larry Bowa.
Chapter 5: Managers, from Gene Mauch through Charlie Manuel.
Most runs scored, 8-4 win over Nationals in 2005.
Most runs allowed, 13-5 loss to Cardinals in 2006 and 13-4 loss a year ago to Royals.
Kyle is 0-1, losing to Royals a year ago.
J-Roll: 9 games, 13 hits, .361 average, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 3 RBI. Actually was in the starting lineup for all 10 previous openers but scratched in 2010 after straining his left calf in pre-game warm-ups.
Chase: 8 games, 9 hits, .391 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 6 RBI. Had SF-RBI as a pinch-hitter in his first CBP opener, 2005.
Ryan: 7 games, 10 hits, .345 average, double, home run, 5 RBI. 2006 was his first opener.
Phillies starting lineup for the first regular season game 10 years ago:
Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley and Reading were rained out at home; Clearwater was idle.
Lakewood blew a 3-run lead in the ninth and a 1-run lead in the 11th at Greensboro, falling, 10-9. RF Dylan Cozens, 4-6, 3 RBI. SS J. P. Crawford, 4-6, including an 11th inning HR that gave the BlueClaws a 9-8 lead. Greensboro scored twice in the 11th after two out, single, single, balk, single, walk-off walk. Lakewood banged out 17 hits but was only 4-25 with runners in scoring position.
Following information is courtesy of Bob Warrington, a Phillies fan/historian/memorabilia guru:
“The first legal Sunday baseball game ever played in Philadelphia happened on this date in 1934. The previous November, Philadelphians voted overwhelmingly, 370,858 to 57,740, to approve a referendum permitting Sunday professional sports within the city.
“In the April 8th game, the Phillies played the Athletics at Shibe Park as part of the annual City Series, which was the culmination of Spring Training for both teams back in those days. The Phillies took the contest witnessed by 15,000 fans, 8-1.”
For those of you that can attend games at Citizens Bank Park, Bob annually contributes artifacts for display in the Cooperstown Gallery of the Hall of Fame Club.
Coming May 1
“If These Walls Could Talk,”, my new book covering 50 years with the Phillies, will be available starting May 1. Stories from the lockerooom, dugout and press box are featured in the Triumph Books publication.
Chapter 4: Ballparks, from Connie Mack Stadium to Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park.
He went 6-11 with 5 RBI, including a pair of home runs. In his first 21 games at Wrigley, he had one homer. Chase also reached 300 doubles, joining Mike Schmidt and J-Roll as the only Phillies with that many doubles, 200 home runs, 800 RBI and 100 stolen bases. He’s in 7th place on the club’s all-time doubles list with 301 doubles; Del Ennis sits in 6th, 310. J-Roll leads.
Chase is the doubles leader among Phillies second basemen, 300. Juan Samuel is next, 176, followed by Mickey Morandini, 169.
Phillies called this afternoon’s Modell’s Sporting Goods Opening Day at 1:46 yesterday afternoon. Heavy rain is predicted for today.
So, now the opener is tomorrow at 4 p.m. Tomorrow was an open date, scheduled specifically should the first game get postponed. Standing room tickets will go on sale at 12 noon.
Not sure the last time the Phillies first home game was postponed. I do recall the 1982 home opener (April 6) at the Vet being called because of snow. The next day was also called, snow and cold weather. First home game that year was April 8, a 7-2 loss to the Mets before 15,345 shivering fans.
Minor League Weekend Report
Lehigh Valley dropped 2 of 3 in Pawtucket. C Cameron Rupp’s 2-run HR was game-winner on Sunday. He’s homered in his first three games, 6 RBI. 3rd HR a year ago at Reading came on May 9.
Reading won 2 of 3 over Portland. 2B Carlos Alonso’s 3-run HR was Sunday’s game winner. RHP Ken Giles recorded Saturday and Sunday saves, 1 H, 6 strikeouts, 2 innings. Last pitch Sunday was clocked at 101 mph. LF Cam Perkins was 5-12, 4 doubles.
Clearwater won 1 of 3 vs. Dunedin. LHP J.A. Happ (rehab) was Saturday winner vs. Threshers. Cole (rehab) was Sunday’s loser, allowing 2 solo HR in 4 innings, throwing 50 pitches. CF Peter Lavan was 6-10; hitting .571 after 4 games.
Lakewood split a pair in Savannah and was rained out Sunday.
On The Job: Charlie Manuel has begun his duties as Senior Advisor to the General Manager. He’s currently in Clearwater checking out Hamels, Adams and Galvis.
Today—OF Bobby Del Greco (81) . . . Tuesday—LHP Mac Scarce (65) . . . Thursday— RHP Marvin Freeman (51) . . . Friday—RHP Zack Segovia (31), INF Steve Scarsone (48), LHP Sid Monge (63) . . . Saturday—RHP Cliff Brantley (46), INF Terry Harmon (70) . . . Sunday—OF Wes Chamberlain (48), RHP Mark Leiter Sr. (51), RHP Jeff Bittiger (52).
From bradindc: “Whatever happened to minor league RHP Kevin Brady?”
Not, good news as he was released last August 7.
CBP Fun Fact
Phanatic Dangle Hats were the number 1 souvenir item in 2013 for the second straight season. Up until then the foam finger #1 had been the top seller.
My book, If These Walls Could Talk, will be available starting May 1, book stores and online (www.triumphbooks.com) and Citizens Bank Park’s Majestic Clubhouse Store. Thanks to Larry Bowa for writing the foreword.
Chapter 3: Homegrown Legends, including J-Roll, Chase and Ryan.
Weekend in Chicago and then the 11th Citizens Bank Park opener on Monday afternoon (3:05) against the Milwaukee Brewers. Standing room tickets for the Modell’s Sporting Goods Opening Day go on sale at 12 noon on Monday at the Ticket Office.
Lots of festivities planned for the home opener. Arrive early and enjoy the excitement. A surprise Alumnus it throwing out the first ball.
Do you know who was the first batter in the CBP opener 10 years ago? I’ll give you a clue: Cincinnati Reds. For the answer and many other CBP firsts, check out http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
All PA Start
Cubs began the season with 3 games in Pittsburgh, now have 3 vs. the Phillies and then face the Pirates again in another 3-game set starting Tuesday at Wrigley.
Well-traveled Emilio Bonifacio is off to a torrid start, hitting .668. He’s had 4 hits, 5 and 2 hits.
Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley shut out Pawtucket, 4-0, a combined 2-hitter by 4 IronPigs pitchers. WP: Dave Buchanan, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 SO, 6 IP (89 pitches, 52 strikes); LH Jeremy Horst, struck out the side in the 8th. 1B Jim Murphy, 1B, 2B, 3B, RBI. CF Clete Thomas, 2 2B. C Cameron Rupp hit the first homer among Phillies minor leaguers, a solo shot in the top of the 4th.
Reading was hitless in a 5-0 loss called after 6 ½ innings by rain. Portland beat Jesse Biddle, 3.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 SO.
Clearwater was blanked on 7 singles in Dunedin, 7-0. LP Colin Kleven, 6 R, 4 IP.
Lakewood began season with a 6-3 win in Savannah behind RHP Mark Leiter Jr., 0 R, 5 IP. LF Larry Greene, 3B, 4 RBI. 2B Andrew Pullin, 3 hits.
Released: OF Dave Sappelt
Raised question yesterday when was the last time the Phillies had a catcher hit in the 2nd position. Bob answered it: Chooch, 3 times last year, the last being 8/20. Thanks, Bob.
If These Walls Could Talk is my book which will be available starting May 1. Triumph Books is the publisher. Book will be available in paperback and kindle.
Chapter 2: Cooperstown Parade, featuring Roberts, Carlton, Schmidt, Ashburn, Bunning, Kalas and Gillick.
Back to a Monday through Friday format.
Check http://www.phillies.com/alumni for Mike’s career numbers in Wrigley and some of the wild and crazy games the Phillies have played there. While not with the Phillies any longer, Richie Ashburn’s career ended there, playing a strange position and finishing his career in an unusual way.
Second straight ninth-inning loss last night, a stinging defeat . . . KK was outstanding, allowing 1 run in 7 innings. In his first starts the last two seasons he allowed 12 earned runs . . . Howard’s HR went over the 407 foot sign in center field, hitting a hand-made sign “Welcome Prince”. The Big Piece has two extra base hits off lefties in 3 games; last season, 6 the entire year . . . Ryno showed confidence in Mario and brought the rookie in to pitch a scoreless 8th after losing in his debut on Tuesday night.
Ryno has used 3 different lineups in 3 games. 162 for 162 is still possible . . . When’s the last time a Phillies catcher batted second? Have no idea. Perhaps someone does . . . As Todd Zolecki reported, Adams and Cole are going to start their rehab clock with the Clearwater Threshers. Adams is on the active roster for the Threshers’ season opener tonight at Dunedin. Cole will start 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon at Bright House Field against Dunedin.
Minor League Report
Starting pitchers in season openers tonight:
Lehigh Valley at Pawtucket, RHP David Buchanan
Reading vs. Portland, LHP Jesse Biddle
Clearwater at Dunedin, RHP Colin Kleven
Lakewood at Savannah, RHP Mark Leiter, Jr.
10 Years Ago
April 3, 2004—Cleveland Indians defeat Phillies, 3-1, in On-Deck Series game, the first at Citizens Bank Park.
http://www.phillies.com/alumni has all the great moments in Phillies history, weekly for the month of April.
From John: “Why isn’t Schmidt’s 16 (opening day starts) the NL (and MLB) record?”
Elias Sports Bureau response: 18 players started on opening day for the same team for 16 or more seasons. The MLB record (since 1900) is 21 by Al Kaline for Detroit (1954-1974). The only players to start 16+ consecutive seasons on opening day for the same team at 3B was Brooks Robinson, 20 consecutive seasons for the Orioles.
Looking for a Mother’s Day gift or one for Father’s Day?
My new book, If These Walls Could Talk, will be available May 1 in book stores and on-line. Paper back by Triumph Books. Foreword is written by Larry Bowa.
Chapter 1: Men In Pinstripes, from Dick Allen to Bobby Wine.
Walks by the pen and a replay reversal costing the Phillies a run gave Texas a win last night. Good luck snowman is outta’ here. Just a puddle now.
Mario had a rough debut, issuing a pair of walks that led to the winning run in the last of the ninth. Phillies pen was among the worst at issuing walks a year ago. Ben got picked off second base, ruled safe until the Rangers asked for a replay. Call was reversed. Byrd followed with a hit that would have produced another run.
Ryan was out of the 4-hole for the first time since 2008, a game that was also against the Rangers. He had batted cleanup in 665 straight games.
Rubber game tonight, flight to Chicago for a day off tomorrow and three day games against the Cubs in Wrigley Field which first opened 100 years ago.
J-Roll’s 200th home run on Monday made him the 18th player to reach 400 doubles, 100 triples, 200 home runs. Babe Ruth was the first; Johnny Damon the most recent (career ended in 2012). 15 of the 18 are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Currently J-Roll has 457 doubles and 107 triples to go along with the 200 dingers.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark: Fun note from ESPNStatsinfo on 14-10 game (Phillies/Rangers). Eagles & Cowboys have played 110 times and never had a 14-10 game.
10 Years Ago
Ten years ago the Phillies opened two new ballparks, Bright House Field (March 4) and Citizens Bank Park (April 12). That was a baseball first.
Where were the current Phillies 10 years ago?
Sandberg: guest instructor with Cubs in spring training and then out of baseball
Bowa: Phillies manager
Henderson: Rays minor league hitting coordinator
Mackanin: Pirates bench coach
McClure: Rockies minor league pitching coach
Mizerock: Royals third base coach
Nichols: Reading Phillies pitching coach
Samuel: Tigers third base coach
Asche: 8th grader
Bastardo: in high school
Brown: 10th grader
Burnett: rehab assignment in Jupiter, FL
Byrd: Phillies opening day CF
DeFratus: 11th grader
Diekman: 9th grader
Gwynn: Huntsville (AA)
Hamels: Clearwater Threshers (A)
CHernandez: 14 years old
RHernandez: Kinston Indians (A)
Hollands: 10th grader
Howard: Reading Phillies (AA)
Kendrick: Lakewood BlueClaws (A)
Lee: Cleveland Indians
Lincoln: University of Houston
Manship: University of Notre Dame
Mayberry: Stanford University
Nieves: Salt Lake City (AAA)
Nix: Tulsa (AA)
Papelbon: Sarasota (A)
Revere: 9th grader
Rollins: Phillies opening day SS
Rosenberg: University of Louisville
Ruiz: Reading Phillies (AA)
Utley: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
Minor League Report
Phillies four minor league teams swing into action tomorrow:
Lehigh Valley at Pawtucket
Reading hosts Pawtucket
Clearwater at Dunedin
Lakewood in Savannah
So much for spring training stats.
Phillies were shut out in their last 3 spring games, getting 6 total hits. J-Roll struggled all spring and Cliff was lights out, 26 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.
In his second AB in yesterday’s season opener, J-Roll hit a grand slam, his 200th home run. Cliff saw a 6-0 lead evaporate but being an AL game with the DH in play, he stayed in the game and picked up a win despite allowing 8 runs. Shocking? Even more shocking: 1 strikeoout.
Phillies bats exploded with their biggest opening day run total since 1900 when they beat the Boston Beaneaters, 19-10, a major league record that still stands. A year ago, Phillies didn’t reach double figures in runs until their 81st game.
J-Roll, who is awaiting the birth of his second child, started his 14th straight game, matching the major league record for one team by Cal Ripken. NL record was 13 by Cincinnati’s Davey Concepcion. Phillies record is 16 years by Michael Jack.
Phillies are 3-0 in season openers in Texas, 1965 and 1993 the previous in Houston.
Last Phillies pitcher to give up 8 runs in a win? Dick Ruthven, 1981.
Only other grand slam on opening day for the Phillies? Placido Polanco, four years ago.
Phillies and Rangers scored more runs (24) than total points in the first game last season between the Eagles and Cowboys (20).
Yesterday marked the first time since 1962 that the voice of Richie Ashburn, Harry Kalas or Chris Wheeler was not heard on a Phillies broadcast.
Jake Diekman: First time for an opening day. So excited to have this opportunity! Baseball is back!! It really should be a National Holiday!
Philadelphia Eagles: Hey neighbor, feel free to hit home runs into our backyard any time. Good luck this year.
Coming May 1, my book filled with notes, quotes and anecdotes from 50 years with the Phillies. Title: If These Walls Could Talk. Publisher: Triumph Books. Foreword: Larry Bowa. Number of pages: 212.