2nd Half Begins
Who has the broom?
As the “second half” of the season starts in Atlanta this weekend, the broom is out of the closet. A month ago the Phillies were in Atlanta and swept a three-game series from the Braves. The two teams ended June in Citizens Bank Park and the Braves swept that four-game series.
Somehow, a broom will be broken.
We know where the Phillies stand in the standings, not pretty. We know they are 13th in team average, .238 and 12th in team ERA, 3.90. Opponents are hitting .250, 11th in the NL.
Offensively, the Phillies rank the same in several categories. They are 11th in runs (367), hits (785), doubles (146), triples (17), pinch-hitters average (1.73).
Want a category in which the Phillies lead the league? Okay. There is one. Fewest grounded into double plays (45). That’s half of the club record set in 2009. The most? Try the 1950 Whiz Kids, 144.
Seven-game homestand begins Monday night, four-game series with the Giants and then three next weekend with the struggling Diamondbacks.
Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley began the second half on the short end of a 13-0 pasting by Syracuse. IronPigs were out-hit, 18 to 4 (singles).
Reading defeated New Britain, 4-1. HR: DH Peter Lavin (5), 1B Brock Stassi (8). WP: Chris Bootcheck (1-2); SV: Miguel Gonzalez (3), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 SO.
Clearwater split a pair at Bradenton, losing 7-2 and then coming back, 7-4. CF Roman Quinn, 3 hits, 5 RBI. WP: Jed Stefan (6-8); SV: Ulises Joaquin (1).
Lakewood won, 4-3, at Hickory. C Willians Astudillo, 4th HR; 1B Zack Green, 2 H, 2 RBI.
WP: Joey Denato (1-0). SV: Aaron Baker (2).
Williamsport lost, 5-4, at Staten Island. SS Emmanuel Marrero, 3-3, 2 RBI; hitting .310.
Gulf Coast League Phillies split a pair against the Astros, 4-1 win, 3-2 loss. WP: Jared Fisher (1-0); SV: Austin Davis (2). Chooch was 0-3, catching 7 innings in first rehab game. RF Jose Pujols, 2nd-3rd HR in 3-2 loss. SS Grenny Cumana, 2-2; hitting .413 in 14
July 18, 1966: Gene Mauch becomes the first Phillies first manager this century to win 500 games, a 4-0 win over Los Angeles at Connie Mack Stadium.
July 18, 1983: For the second time since becoming GM, Paul Owens goes from the front office to manage the Phillies. This time he replaces Pat Corrales with the Phillies (43-43) ½- game behind division-leading St. Louis.
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.