Author Archive

Cole Solid, But Gets L

Cole looked in mid-season form in his return from the DL but the Phillies couldn’t solve Greinke last night, a 5-2 defeat. He threw just 86 pitches and left the game, down 2-1, after 6 innings. The night before, the bullpen did the job and the Phillies won. Last night, the pen gave up 3 runs 2 innings.

Cole was making his first appearance on the Dodger Stadium mound since the NLCS on October 14, 2009. His bid for his 100th big league win fell short for the third time. Only six pitchers in Phillies history reached the century mark. Schilling is #6, 101 wins.

Series finale tonight and then three games in Phoenix over the weekend.

Zo Zone Note
Interesting note from Todd Zolecki’s Zo Zone blog:
“I’m not sure if this is an interesting fact or a case of digging too deep, but yesterday I discovered that today will be just the sixth day since the final month of the 2011 season that the Phillies will not have at least one everyday position player or member of their five-man rotation on the disabled list.”

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley won its 4th in a row, 5-4, over Norfolk on Troy Hanzawa’s SF in the 9th inning . . . 3 hits each for CF Tyson Gillies and RF Steve Susdorf . . . WP: Luis Garcia (2-0).

Reading won, 1-0, behind Jesse Biddle (2-2), Kyle Simon and Ken Giles (6th save). Biddle has 21 strikeouts in last 14.2 innings . . . Giles has 19 strikeouts in 10 innings . . . 1B Cam Perkins, 2-4; hitting .406 . . . C Tommy Joseph’s 4th-inning single drove in the lone run.

Clearwater ended a 5-game losing streak, 6-3, over Daytona. WP: Jeb Stefan (1-1) . . . SV: Dan Childs (1) . . . C Jesus Posso, 1st HR.

Lakewood lost, 9-3, to Charleston . . . CF Carlos Tocci, 2-3; hitting .385 in last 10 games . . . 2B Andrew Pullin, 1st HR.

This Date
1961, RHP Art Mahaffey struck out 17 Cubs at Connie Mack Stadium, a record a Phillies pitcher that still stands. Mahaffey, 23, threw 146 pitches, of which only 48 were called balls.

He fanned Don Zimmer, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks and Frank Thomas three times each in matching the Major League record for most strikeouts in a day game, set by Dizzy Dean of the St. Louis Cardinals against the Cubs, July 30, 1933.

For more flashback moments, visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Book Blurb
If These Walls Could Talk” is the title of my new book which will be available starting May 1 in book stores and on-line. Triumph Books (triumphbooks.com) is the publisher. Stories from the locker room, dugout and press box from my 5 decades with the Phillies.

Chapter 10: The offseason, spring training and opening day. Included are spring training and opening day memories by numerous Phillies Alumni.

Phillies Reach .500

AndersonMarlon1

Former second baseman Marlon Anderson is now with MLB.com. What’s his role? Check out Paul Hagen’s “Where Are They Now” feature on Marlon at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Back At .500
For the second straight night in Dodger Stadium, the Phillies got stellar starting pitching which resulted in a second straight win. For the first time since April 13, the Phillies are at .500, 10-10.

A.J. still hasn’t won on that mound (0-4) but he was outstanding, giving up just 2 runs in 6.2 innings. When a starter can get to the seventh inning, it sets up the bullpen to do its thing and Jake, Mike, Antonio and Pap shut the door.

Ruiz, who earlier had his first triple since 2010, began the 10th with a pop fly to short left. Instead of just jogging assuming the ball would be caught, he busted it. The ball wasn’t caught and he was on second base from where he scored on Domonic’s single. The error was the 22nd for the Dodgers in 21 games.

Phillies had 11 hits, 3 from A.J. (career-high) in the 9 hole and 4 from Ben in the lead-off spot.

Cole makes his first start tonight, meaning the Phillies have their rotation in order for the first time this season. He’s bidding to become the seventh pitcher in Phillies history to win 100 games.

Minor League Report

Players of the Week (April 14-20)
Pitcher: Jesse Biddle, Reading . . . 1-0, 1 G, 1.29 REA, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO . . . Won POTW for the fifth time in his career . . . Selected in 1st round, 2010, out of Germantown Friends School; signed by Eric Valent.

Player: OF Carlos Tocci, Lakewood . . . 5 G, .500 (11-22), 5 R, 4 RBI . . . 18-year-old is one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League . . . Signed as an amateur free agent, 8/23/11, by Jesus Mendez.

Lehigh Valley won 3rd in a row, 6-3, over Norfolk. DH Leandro Castro, 3-run HR (1st) . . . C Koyie Hill, 2-run HR, 1st . . . WP: Greg Smith (2-0) . . . SV: Justin DeFratus (1).

Reading lost, 11-5, as Richmond scored 6 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th. 6 Reading pitchers walked 9. C Tommy Joseph, 3-run HR, 3rd. All 3 HR have come in last 10 games.

Clearwater lost 5th in a row, 18-5, to Daytona. Cubs pounded out 17 hits, 12 for extra-bases.

Lakewood ended a 4-game losing streak, 7-5, over Charleston. RF Dylan Cozens, 3B, HR (2nd), 2 RBI . . . SS J. P. Crawford, 2-4, 2 R . . . 1B Willians Astudillo stretched hitting streak to 9 games, .485 . . . WP: Cody Forsythe (1-0)

Special Birthday
OF-1B-3B Chuck Harmon becomes the eighth Phillies Alumnus 90 years of age today. He closed out a four-year big league career with the Phillies in 1957, .256 in 57 games. Harmon also played for the Reds and Cardinals.

Other former Phillies in the Nonagenarian Club include SS Alex Monchak (97), P Lou Lucier (96), OF Wally Westlake (93), INF Alvin Dark (92), INF Solly Hemus (91), P Bob Kuzava (90) and P Don Grate (90).

Harmon was sent a Phillies jersey with his name and number (50) on the back as a special birthday gift, a club tradition for Alumni who reach 90.

New Book
Coming May 1, If These Walls Could Talk, my new book. Larry Bowa wrote the foreword. Chapter 9: A Rough Rookie Season. Yep, my first year with the Phillies was 1964, a season to forget.

Masterful Cliff

Following Sunday’s crazy game in Coors Field, the Phillies returned to normal baseball last night in Dodger Stadium.

Cliff ended a personal 2-game losing streak as the Phillies won, 7-0. In his previous 3 starts, they scored a total of 4 runs. Cliff was masterful, retiring 20 straight at one point. His ability to throw strikes is amazing. So far this season, 38 strikeouts, 2 walks. Cliff is 3-0 on the road this year, 74-42 lifetime.

Ryan hit his 5th homer in 19 games. A year ago, he didn’t reach 5 until his 31st game. He has homered in nine straight seasons at Dodgers Stadium, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Only other players to match that are Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy.

Chooch doubled in the first two runs, his first RBI in his 50th at-bat. A year ago, his first RBI came in his 51st plate appearance.

Mike Lieberthal and his family were spectators, front row seats.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley was a 4-2 winner at Scranton . . . WP: David Buchanan (2-0) . . . SV: Luis Garcia (2) . . . LV had 5 of its 9 singles in the first inning, scoring all 4 runs.

Reading defeated Richmond, 7-4 . . . WP: Luis Paulino (3-0) . . . LF Cam Perkins, double, 2nd HR, 3 RBI . . . C Tommy Joseph, 1st HR.

Clearwater lost its 4th in a row, 6-5, to Daytona in 11 innings. Last 3 losses were all extra inning games . . . HR by SS Angel Mora (1), CF Peter Lavin (2), 3B Harold Martinez (1).

Lakewood lost its 4th in a row, 4-1, to Charleston . . . 1B Williams Astudillo, 3-4, boosting average to .476.

Extended Spring Training: Steveinphilly posted a comment on 4/15, seeking information about this phase of player development. Will work on that. Stay tuned.

Book Talk
Will be talking about my book at 1:35 this afternoon on NBC Sports Radio’s “Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs” out of Dallas, TX.

If These Walls Could Talk will be available starting on May 1 in book stores and on-line. Chapter 8: Becoming a Baseball Man. How I landed my dream job with the Phillies, a strange journey that included three rejections by the ball club.

Triumph Books is working on some public book signings. Will keep everyone informed with the schedule.

Finally, Some Runs

“Move watches back 2 hours to Mountain Daylight Time.”

That reminder was included in the itinerary when the Phillies left Philly Thursday for Denver. Well, it took 2 days for the offense to kick in. Going into yesterday’s series finale against the Rockies, the Phillies had 1 win in their last 4 games and no (as in zero) extra-base hits, a franchise first since 1968.

Sometimes this game can drive you crazy. Yesterday, the Phillies pounded out 15 hits and a 10-9 win in Coors Field, banging out 7 extra-base hits. Leading the way were the Big Three, J-Roll, Chase and Ryan. Combined, 8-13, 6 R, 7 RBI, 5 extra-base hits.

Ryan had 4 of the hits and should have had a cycle. Official scorer ruled a single and an error on the righfielder who tried to make a diving catch of a liner. It should have been a double which would have completed a cycle. Phillies are hoping it will be reviewed.

The Phillies also had a 2-1 edge in replay reviews, including a game-ending play on a great scoop at first base by John Jr. Game over. Oops, Rockies want a review. Umpires got on the head sets and shortly signaled, “OUT.” Now, the game was over. Imagine if that had been the last out of game 7 of the World Series and the celebration had to be delayed until the umps checked with replay central. Being a purist, I’m not sure I like all these reviews and the home plate collision rule change.

Team left for LA after the game. Itinerary: “move watched back 1 hour to Pacific Daylight Time.” Four days in Dodger Stadium and the Phillies head for Phoenix. Then back home and another time change.

Minor League Review (Weekend Edition)
Lehigh Valley took 2 of 3 in Scranton, Luis Garcia and Cesar Jimenez getting the wins. Maikel Franco, mired in a 7-game spin in which had a total of 2 hits, was 3-5, 2 RBI.
OF Clete Thomas, 5-13 in the series.

Reading spilt a pair against Harrisburg. Jesse Biddle fanned 11 in 7 innings of 2-hit, 1-run ball, winning on Friday night. 3B Cesar Hernandez, 5-9, and saw his average drop to .500.

Clearwater dropped a pair of games vs. Lakeland, 13 and 11 innings respectively.

Lakewood lost 10-8 and 11-6 at Hagerstown.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: INF Greg Legg (54), C Mack Burk (78) . . . Tuesday: 2B Mickey Morandini (48), OF Terry Francona (55) . . . Wednesday: RHP Carlos Silva (35), LHP Rheal Cormier (47), SS Chico Hernandez (75), OF Chuck Harmon (90). . . Thursday: RHP Todd Jones (46), RHP Pat Zachry (62), RHP Joe Verbanic (71) . . . Sunday: 3B Pedro Feliz (39), RHP Bob Ayrault.

Tweet Time
From Mark Victoria: Eating 4 cans of alphabet soup will give you a giant vowel movement.

Book Talk
If These Walls Could Talk, my new book published by Triumph Books, will be available soon, as in May 1, book stores and on-line. Sneak preview: Chapter 7: Scouts, the unsung members of the Phillies. Included are scouting reports of Rollins, Utley and Howard.

Will be on radio tonight, 7:05, on Blog TalkRadio, iTunes, RadioRSQ, Sarasota, FL. Don Henderson and Doug Miles are the hosts.

Again, tomorrow afternoon, 1:35, on NBC Sports Radio’s “Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs” out of Dallas, TX.

Hope you can tune in.

Home Run Derby Night

The pendulum of emotions swung back and forth late in the game. 12 runs were scored off two bullpens in the last two innings.

Three consecutive homers in the eighth put Atlanta on top, 5-1. Domonic’s three-run homer capped a five-run Phillies eighth putting them on top, 6-5. But, Atlanta came back on Uggla’s grand slam to pull out a wild win, 9-6. With Papelbon and Bastardo unavailable, Jake got a chance for his first major league save. Instead, he was tagged with the loss. Phillies pitchers walked 9, 3 scored. They lost by 3.

Seven home runs were hit in the game that was 2-1 after 7 innings. Out in Cincinnati the Pirates and Red combined for 10 homers in a game suspended in the 6th inning by rain. In 9 major league games last night, there were 25 homers. Must have been Home Run Derby Night.

Four enemy players have had multiple home run games in this homestand, Braun, Stanton, Gattis and Uggla.

Chase extended his season-starting hitting streak to 11 games, longest on the club since Don Demeter began 1963 by hitting in 12 games in a row.

Minor League Report
Players of the Week (April 3-13)
Pitcher: RH Ken Giles, Reading. 4 games, 4-4 in saves, 5 IP, 11 SO, 2 BB, 1 H. Has struck out 11 of the 18 total batters he’s faced. Selected in 7th round in 2011 out of Yavapai College (AZ); signed by Brad Holland.
Player: LF Cam Perkins, Reading . . . Batted .432 in 10 games, 7 R, 7 2B, 4 RBI. Had 7 multi-hit games, including his last 4. Selected in 6th round in 2012 out of Purdue University; signed by Nate Dion.

Lehigh Valley was rained out in Syracuse.

Reading won, 7-4, in Richmond. 2 hits each: CF Zach Collier, LF Cam Perkins, 1B Brock Stassi, 2B Albert Cartwright. WP: Severino Gonzalez (2-0). SV: Ken Giles (5), fanned the side in the 9th for the fourth time this season.

Clearwater lost its 9th in arrow, 6-5, on a run in the last of the 9th in Tampa. Threshers out-hit Tampa, 15-12, but were 3-11 RISP. 3 hits: CF Peter Lavan, 1B Art Charles.

Lakewood was a 7-5 winner of Greensboro. CF Carlos Tocci, 4 hits, SB. SS J.P. Crawford, 2 H, 3 R, SB. WP: Mark Leiter (2-1). SV: Cody Forsythe (1).

Extended Spring Training program continues in week 2. Carpenter Complex games at 1 p.m. today (Yankees), Thursday (Pirates) and Saturday (Blue Jays).

Alumni Note
RHP Joe Blanton, the only Phillies pitcher to hit a World Series home run, has retired from baseball. A member of the 2008 World Champion Phillies, Joe won the NLCS clinching game in Milwaukee and was the winner in WS Game 5, a game in which he hit the home run during a 10-2 romp.

This Date
1985, Mike Schmidt breaks Richie Ashburn’s record for most games in Phillies history.

10 years ago, Mike Lieberthal’s 3-run homer in the 8th inning lifts the Phillies to their first win at Citizens Bank Park, 6-4, over Cincinnati.

For more historic moments, visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Coming May 1
My new book, with a forward written by Larry Bowa, will be making an appearance in book stores and online. Triumph Books is the publisher; paper back and kindle.

Oh, the title, If These Walls Could Talk.

Spring Break
Heading back north the next couple of days so Phillies Insider will take a break until Friday. Is the snow gone?

Weekend Replay

Tweet of the Day
Yesterday, from Todd Kalas: “Can’t believe it’s been 5 years since we lost one of the greatest people I’ve known. I was so lucky to call him dad!”

Weekend Notes & Numbers
**Jose Fernandez had been lights out against the Phillies, 1 run in 18 innings a year ago. Friday night, Phillies scored 2 in the first inning; a bit later, he struck out 6 in a row. In the fifth, Phillies got 5 straight hits, pinning a noteworthy loss on him.

**J-Roll delivered a walk-off homer Saturday. His other WO HR came June 23, 2010, a 2-run job off Cleveland’s Kerry Wood. So, now he has one from each side of the plate, a Phillies first. In case you are wondering, the club record for most WO HR is held by that Michael Jack Schmidt, 10.

J-Roll’s teammates from that June 23, 2010 game, who are no longer teammates: Polanco, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Schneider, Valdez, Herndon, Zagurski, Baez, Gload, Durbin, Romano, Francisco.

**Phillies catchers were without an RBI until Nieves’ 2-run double in the 5th inning on Sunday. Chooch is 0-9 with RISP. That’ll change.

**LA said it best on radio Sunday, “Chase is on fire” after Chase’s 8th-inning homer gave the Phillies a sweep. Chase is riding a 10-game hitting streak (.500) with 10 RBI, leads the NL in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And, he missed 2 games with the flu. If he isn’t the NL Player of the Week, they need instant replay.

A week that started out glumly ended with glee. That’s Baseball.

Minor League Weekend Report
Lehigh Valley won on Sunday after losing the previous 2 games. RH David Buchanan pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) on Sunday and was lifted. RH Brad Lincoln (1-0) picked up the W, 4 IP, 3 H, 4 SO. CF Clete Thomas, 4-9 weekend, 2 RBI.

Reading’s 7-game winning streak ended on Sunday, 9-3 loss at Harrisburg. RH Ken Giles picked up 4th save on Friday. He’s fanned the last batter in each of the 4 saves. Cesar Hernandez played 3B for the weekend, 7-13, .538. LF Cam Perkins, 9-12, 3 doubles, 4 RBI; hitting .432.

Clearwater was swept in Lakeland, stretching the losing streak to 8 games. Lost Saturday night, 5-4, on a 2-out, 3-run homer in the last of the ninth. Cole started that game, 1 R, 6 IP, 6 SO, 67 pitches, 48 for strikes. Offense: 2 total runs in the 3 losses, 17 hits.

Lakewood was swept (3 games) at home by Hagerstown, scoring 4 total runs on 15 hits. 1B-DH Williams Astudillo, 4-10; hitting .391.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: C Paul Hoover (38), 1B Pete Rose (73) . . . Tuesday: OF Ricky Otero (42), 2B Ted Sizemore (69) . . . Wednesday: RHP Antonio Alfonseca (42), RHP Jim Lonborg (72) . . . Thursday: C Gary Bennett (42), INF Solly Hemus (91) . . . Friday: 1B Rico Brogna (44), RHP Alex Madrid (51), Jim Eisenreich (55) . . . Sunday: 1B Tommy Hutton (68).

Number of the Day
15
Phillies Insider ranking in March. Up from 20th the previous month among MLB Pro blogs. Thanks go to you.

Marlins Weekend

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.

Today’s Number
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).

Behavior Change
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.

Defensive Slump

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.

This Date
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
Lakeland.

Lakewood lost, 2-1, in Greensboro. 3B Zack Green, 2-4, 2 doubles. LP: Mark Leiter (0-1).

My Book
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.

1-Man Spoiler

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.

CBP Phun Phacts

RollinsUtley18531
Phillies are 3-7 in Citizens Bank Park openers. Wins came in 2005 (Lieber, Nationals), 2010 (Hamels, Nationals) and 2011 (Baez, Astros).

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:
Byrd, cf
Polanco, 2b
Abreu, rf
Thome, 1b
Burrell, lf
Lieberthal, c
Rollins, ss
Bell, 3b
Wolf, p

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.

Anniversary Date
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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers