Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

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
games.

This Date
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.

New Commissioner?

Bud Selig has announced he is stepping down as the Commissioner of Baseball in 2015. Who will succeed him? Well, I’m gonna throw my hat in the ring. Here’s my platform…..

**Major League Baseball’s offices will move from New York to Clearwater, FL.

**Halloween will be an official holiday for Major League Baseball.

**To speed up the games, relief pitchers will get four warm-up tosses instead of eight.

**To speed up the game, managers seeking a replay review will signal from the dugout, rather than stroll to the umpire in question while looking over his shoulder waiting for a signal from the dugout.

**Intentional walks won’t require four pitches. As soon as the manager signals intentional walk, the batter immediately goes to first base.

**Pete Rose will be reinstated and serve as the Director of Good Will, visiting every major league city.

**Tommy Lasorda will be the Director of Public Relations.

**Weekend World Series games will be played during the day. For all of you fans living west of the Mississippi, this is your opportunity to watch baseball in the morning.

**World Series night games during the week will be replayed the following afternoon for those that live east of the Mississippi.

**All press dining rooms will rotate pork/sauerkraut, turkey, Italian food and lobster tails. Chocolate peanut butter ice cream every night. No asparagus or avocados.

**Replay reviews will stay. Technology will not totally replace umpires.

**But, umpires will be sent to the minors if they don’t perform well.

**Each ballpark will have a female PA announcer on Sundays. Giants excluded as they are already there.

**All games in April, May and September will begin at 6:30 o’clock (in the evening).

**Getaway games will always be day games.

**All hot dogs at all ballparks must be charcoal grilled, not boiled.

**Mascots will make road trips.

**Every team must put player names on jerseys.

**All managers and coaches must wear uniform jerseys during games.

**Home plate collisions will be allowed again. Bang-bang plays at home plate are exciting.

**Despite a dislike for the DH, it will be used in BOTH leagues. After all, both leagues should abide by the same rules.

**The wave will be welcomed at every game. We’ll figure out a sponsor and a contest for the biggest, best and quickest wave.

**Pitchers must tip their cap when leaving the game to an ovation from the fans.

**Time of game will no longer be part of box scores. Baseball isn’t played by a clock so why should it be clocked. Length of games isn’t an issue in the NBA, NFL, NHL or Senior Citizens Bingo games.

**To help clubs meet payrolls, players will have corporate sponsors on their uniforms as they do in auto racing. Just think, during Larry Andersen’s playing days, his sponsor could have been Silly Putty.

For some reason, I doubt I’ll be considered to replace Bud.

Kudos to Chase

Kudos to Chase on his All-Star Game performance, RBI double and hit by a pitch in two at-bats.

Through some research on baseball-reference.com was able to come up with the following notes:

**In his first All-Star start (2006), Chase batted seventh, same as last night.

**Last Phillies position player to start, Chase in 2009. (Ryan was the DH in 2010 but didn’t play in the field).

**Last Phillies player to get a hit, Shane Victorino (2009).

**Last double by a Phillies player, Dave Hollins (1993).

**Last RBI by a Phillies player, Von Hayes (1989).

The world saw Chase’s first-inning RBI double. It wasn’t the same for Von who talked about the scenario in his All-Star memory: “Getting a base hit and driving in a run in my only at-bat. Afterwards, getting calls from all my friends telling me they were interviewing a pitcher on the American League team during the game and they didn’t show my hit. Oh, well, I still have a 1.000 average as an All-Star.”

Pet Calendar
Next month, Chase and his teammates will be featured in an 18-month pet calendar. Orders are now being taken on phillies.com.
Chase pet

Jen and Chase are committed to educate the community in the proper treatment of animals and raise funds for the fight against animal neglect. They continue their longtime support of the Pennsylvania SPCA. Net proceeds from the calendar will benefit that organization.

Phillie Phanatic got calendar fever, too.
Phanatic8678

Minor League Report
Players of the Week (July 7-13)
Player –  INF/OF Tyler Henson, Lehigh Valley … 7 G … Batted .433 (13-30), .485 OBP, .633 SLG, 6 R, 3 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, SB … Since joining LV in 2013, he has appeared in 115 games and is batting .296 (117-395) over that stretch … Currently riding a 7-game hitting streak, he’s hit safely in each game this week … The 26-year-old was originally selected by Baltimore in the 5th round of the 2006 draft out of Tuttle High School (OK).
Pitcher – LHP Matt Imhof, Williamsport … 2 GS, 1-0, 0.00 ERA (9.0 IP), 1 CG, 1 SHO, 2 BB, 8 SO, 0.78 WHIP, .167 OPP AVG (5-30) … 1st professional win came in the form of a rain shortened, 5.0-inning complete game shutout on 7/13 vs Tri-City … Selected in the 2nd round (47th overall) of last month’s draft out of Cal Poly, Imhof was signed by Shane Bowers.

Lakewood: won, 7-0, at Hickory. RF Dylan Cozens, 4-5, 3 RBI, including 12th-13th homers. 3B Mitch Walding, 3 doubles, 2 RBI. WP: Yoel Mecias (1-0), 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 SO.

Gulf Coast League Phillies: rained out.

This Date
July 16, 1952: RHP Robin Roberts wins in Pittsburgh, 8-7. It is his only win of 28 that year in which he did not go distance. RHP Andy Hansen came on to get final two outs.

Favorite Ballpark Name
Goes to the home of the Normal (IL) CornBelters, The Corn Crib. The CornBelters play in the Frontier League, indepdent-league level.

It gets better, their mascot is named Corny.

All-Star Game Memories

Bowa.Cash1976.jpg

Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is here.

Since the first game was held in 1933, numerous Phillies have played in the game.Yet, only one was ever named the game’s MVP, Johnny Callison 50 years ago. Chase #2? That would be terrific.

Dave Cash and Larry Bowa played in three All-Star Games, 1974-75-76. Their memories are included in a special All-Star Game feature at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Check out the memories.

Halfway Point

Well, we’re at the All-Star Game break and the first half of the season hasn’t been pretty. Actually, it is more than half of a season as Sunday’s game was #96.

Here’s a look at three phases of the game:

Defensively, the Phillies have been steady, committing the third fewest errors in the league.

Pitching, the number that stands out the most is 10. That’s how many no decisions for Cole Hamels (3-5). His 2.93 ERA is 12th best in the league. Overall, pitching hasn’t been the main culprit.

Offensively, it has been a consistent struggle to put up consistent numbers. Winning 15 of their last 16 when scoring four or more runs, they are 34-12 for the half-season. When scoring three or fewer runs, 8-41, including 2-29 in their last 31 games. So, as the offense goes, so go the Phillies.

Number of the Day
11: Seasons in which J-Roll has hit 10 or more home runs. Only four other shortstops have double-digit home run seasons: Derek Jeter (16), Cal Ripken Jr. (15), Miguel Tejada (12), Jose Valentin (11). Source: Elias Sports Bureau.
Rollins1769

Minor League Report (weekend edition)
Lehigh Valley won, 5-2, yesterday after losing first two games at Louisville. WP: Hector Neris (3-2); SV: Luis Garcia (16). INF Tyler Henson, 7-12 for the weekend; CF Leandro Castro, consecutive 3-hit games on Saturday and Sunday; batting .349 in last 10.

Reading took 2 of 3 in New Britain. WP: Severino Gonzalez (6-9) and Ryan O’Sullivan (3-5); 2 saves for Miguel Gonzalez. RF Kelly Dugan, 5-14; INF Carlos Alonso, 6-11. HR Sunday: C Logan Moore (2), DH Jake Fox (8), 1B Brock Stassi (7), CF Aaron Altherr (7).

Clearwater lost all 3 to Palm Beach. 3B Harold Martinez homered in each of the first two games (#4-5). LP yesterday, Aaron Nola (1-2), 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 SO. Cliff Lee tonight vs. Palm Beach.

Lakewood swept by Delmarva, out-scored 28-14 in 3 games. CF Carlos Tocci, 8-14.

Williamsport won yesterday, 5-0, in 5-inning, rain-shortened game; WP Matt Imhoff (1-0), 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 SO. CF Aaron Brown, homered in back-to-back games, #2-3, Saturday and Sunday. 2B Drew Stankiewicz hit first pro homer Sunday.

Gulf Coast League Phillies won two games over the Pirates. RF Jose Pujols, first pro homer, 5 RBI in Saturday’s 11-2 romp. WP: Brandon Leibrandt (1-2); picked off 2 runners at first. Pujols has 11 runs scored, 12 hits and 12 RBI in 16 games.

This Date
July 14, 1896: OF Ed Delahanty, with two doubles and a triple in a win over Cubs in Chicago, sets major league record for most extra base hits in two consecutive games with seven after hitting four home runs on July 13.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: SS Jose Hernandez (45), OF Derrick May (46) . . . Tuesday: RHP Ron Diorio (68) . . . Wednesday: CH-MGR Lee Elia (77) . . . Thursday: RHP Bobby Thigpen (51).

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.
CanceledBecause of illness, will be unable to appear on the Greg Luzinski/Dan Baker radio show this evening at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Audubon, PA. Hope to reschedule the appearance.

Rare Inning, Rare Sweep

A potentially disastrous trip turned into a 5-5 journey, thanks to the first ever sweep of a four-game series in Milwaukee.

Yesterday’s game was one of those crazy ones that pops up. No-hit for six innings and losing 1-0, the game had the makings of another shutout by the Phillies offense.

Then came a strange eighth inning in which the Phillies scored seven times with two out….three singles, three doubles and three walks. Two of the doubles were rare back-to-back ground-rule doubles. Not to be overlooked in the strange frame, the Phillies lost two replay reviews.

In the ninth, Ryan hit a two-run homer with two out. So, all nine RBI came with two out. Earlier in the trip, they failed often with runners in scoring position and two out.

Now, back to friendly Citizens Bank Park which has been friendlier to the enemy. Need to turn that around in this weekend series against the Nationals. At home Phillies are 18-27; vs. NL East, 16-22.

Number of the Day
3.44: Runs per game at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies, compared to 4.25 on the road.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley stretched winning streak to 4 games, 8-4, at Louisville. 3B Maikel Franco, 2 RBI, giving him 11 in last 7 games. Leads club with 42 RBI. WP: Sean O’Sullivan (4-6).

Reading lost, 5-1, to Trenton. 1B Jake Fox, 3 hits. All-Stars: INF Carlos Alonso, INF Albert Cartwright and LHP Hoby Milner.

Clearwater’s 4-game winning streak ended, 11-2, to Tampa. 2 hits: RF Brian Pointer, 3B Harold Martinez.

Lakewood won, 6-5, over Delmarva. C Willians Astudillo, single and 21st double. 1B Zach Green, third straight multi-hit game. WP: Jon Prosinski (3-2). SV: Matt Hockenberry (2).

Williamsport won its fifth in a row, 5-2, over Vermont. HR: CF Jiandido Tromp (7), 3B Jan Hernandez (4). WP: Mitch Gueller (3-1). SV: Clayton Rayburn (4).

Gulf Coast League Phillies split a pair of 3-2 decisions against the Yankees. 2B Olvy Marte’s 2-out, RBI single in the 12th inning was the game-winner in the completion of a suspended game from the day before. C Tommy Joseph played first game since a wrist injury, 1-3.

This Date
July 11, 1910: 1B William “Kitty” Bransfield becomes the first Phillie to drive in eight runs in a game during an 18-0 win at Pittsburgh.

July 11, 1931, 1st game: RHP Charles (Dutch) Schesler gives 22 hits while pitching eight innings of relief during the Phillies 23-5 loss to the Giants at Baker Bowl. LHP Jumbo Jim Elliott started for the Phillies, couldn’t get an out in the second inning and was charged with the loss. Schesler finished the game allowing 16 runs (14 earned) with no walks and one strikeout.

July 11, 1944: LHP Ken Raffensberger becomes the first Phillies hurler to win an All-Star Game when he gets the decision in the NL’s 7-1 victory at Pittsburgh.

July 11, 1950: RHP Robin Roberts is the first Phillies pitcher to start an All-Star Game as the NL takes on the AL at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Roberts went on to start five of the decade’s first six All-Star Games.

July 11, 1995: For the second straight year, a Phillies pitcher gets the win in the All-Star Game as RHP Heathcliff Slocumb gains the decision in the NL’s 3-2 victory at Arlington, TX.

July 12, 1900: LHP Frank “Noodles” Hahn pitches the first no-hitter against the Phillies this century, winning 4-0 in Cincinnati.

July 12, 1994: RHP Doug Jones becomes the first Phillies pitcher in 50 years to win an All-Star Game when he gets the verdict in the NL’s 8-7, 10-inning win at Pittsburgh.

July 13, 1896: OF Ed Delahanty hits four home runs and a single in five at-bats but Phillies lose, 9-8, at Chicago.

July 13, 1900: 3B Harry Wolverton triples three times in a 23-8 win at Pittsburgh, a record which still stands for the Phillies and Major League Baseball.

July 13, 1915: The Phillies beat Cardinals in St. Louis, 8-0, to take over National League lead, which they hold for remainder of season. Grover Alexander wins his ninth game in a row, his second longest winning streak with Phillies.

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
This Saturday Night Live, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive, 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.

Talking Baseball
Will be making a live appearance on the Greg Luzinski/Dan Baker radio show on WBCB AM. Date: Monday. Location: Chickie’s & Pete’s in Audubon, PA. Time: 6 p.m. Will also be selling books. Tune in or stop in.

Offense Comes Alive

Lot of firsts in last night’s win in Miller Park.

KK gave up 5 runs in his least favorite inning, first (23 for the season). Yet he hung in there and picked up a wild win. Perhaps the Phillies should put a note in his locker with a wrong starting time so he misses the start of the game.

Ben drove in his first run since June 14. Domonic hit his first homer since the same date. Phillies have won back-to-back games for the first time since June 16-17, which was the start of their 5-game winning streak. Hill got his first RBI as a Phillie.

Now, the real challenge….winning 3 in a row today, their least favorite day of the week…..woeful Wednesday (3-10).

Elias Sports Bureau
Kendrick s credited with a victory despite allowing seven runs in less than six innings.
He became the fourth pitcher – and second Phillies pitcher – to record a win despite allowing at least seven runs in a game this season, joining Cliff Lee (March 31), Baltimore’s Chris Tillman (April 23) and Milwaukee’s Marco Estrada (June 20). The last time two Phillies’ pitchers had wins of that type in the same season was in 1985 when Charles Hudson and Shane Rawley each did it.

Number of the Day
12: Wins in last 13 games when Phillies have scored 4 or more runs.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley lost, 4-2, at Indianapolis. 2 hits: Grady Sizemore, Maikel Franco. Franco hitting .500 in last 6 games. No decision, Jason Marquis, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 SO.

Reading lost, 6-5, to Trenton. 3 hits: DH Jake Fox, CF Aaron Altherr.

Clearwater won, 3-2, over Tampa on Chris Serritella’s RBI single in the 8th. WP: Cody Forsythe (1-0); SV: Lee Ridenhour (7). Cliff makes second rehab start tonight at Tampa with Nieves being his catcher. Wonder how many scouts will be there.

Lakewood lost, 10-1, at Hagerstown before a crowd of 439. 2 hits: C Andrew Knapp, 1B Zach Green.

Williamsport won, 8-3, at Mahoning Valley. WP: Felibrta Sanchez (1-4). 3B Derek Campbell extended hitting streak to 8 games, 11th-12th doubles, 2nd HR, 4 RBI. 5th multi-hit game this month.

Gulf Coast League Phillies lost, 10-3, to the Blue Jays. 2 hits: CF Carlos Duran, DH Luis Encarnacion, SS William Cuicas.

This Date
July 9, 1953: RHP Robin Roberts’ streak of 28 consecutive games ends when RHP Bob Miller relieves him in two-run eighth inning of a 6-5 victory over Brooklyn Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium. Streak began August 28, 1952.

July 9, 1957: LHP Curt Simmons is the starting hurler in the All-Star Game at St. Louis, the seventh straight year in which a Phillies pitcher has started the game (Robin Roberts 5, Simmons 2).

July 9, 1967: 3B Dick Allen becomes the first player to hit a home run over the center field fence between stands and flag pole at Connie Mack Stadium since the fence was raised to 32 feet in 1934. Blow comes off RHP Nelson Briles in the eighth inning of a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
Today, Hockessin (DE) Athletic Club, 100 Fitness Way, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
This Saturday (July 12), Wilmington Blue Rocks, Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive, 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.

Just Enough Runs

The 3-run rut that has plagued the Phillies all season was enough for Cole to get his first win since June 6 last night in Milwaukee.

Scoring three or fewer runs, the Phillies had lost their last 14 such games and were 7-38 for the season. They had also lost six in a row to the Brewers. Chase’s two-run homer in the first and Ryan’s RBI single in the third was the offense for the night. But, Cole, Ken and Pap made it stand up.

From Elias Sports Bureau: Hamels is the first Phillies pitcher since the National League began recording earned runs in 1912 to win no more than three of his first 15 starts of a season despite an ERA under 3.00.

Number of the Day
9: Phillies wins vs. the NL Central against 14 losses. All 3 of Cole’s wins have come against this division.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley lost, 1-0, at Indianapolis. 3B Maikel Franco, 2 of LV’s 5 hits.

Reading lost, 10-3, to Trenton. HRs: 3B Carlos Alonso (8), OF Zach Collier (2).

Clearwater won a pair at Brevard County . . . Gm. 1: 3-0, completion of suspended game from Sunday. WP: Aaron Nola (1-1), 5 IP, 1 H, 5 SO. SS J.P. Crawford, 3rd HR . . . Gm. 2: 7-3. RF Brian Pointer 3-run HR (7); LF Everett Williams, 3 H, 3 RBI. WP: Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0).

Lakewood lost, 8-4, at Hagerstown. 3 hits: DH Dylan Cozens, LF Larry Greene.

Williamsport won, 8-1, at Mahoning Valley. 3B Derek Campbell, 4 hits, including 2 doubles; hitting .352. 1B Rhys Hoskin, 4 hits, including 2 doubles. 2B Drew Stankiewicz 3 H, 3 RBI. WP: Joey Denato (2-0).

Gulf Coast League Phillies lost, 4-0, to Blue Jays, getting 3 singles.

This Date
July 8, 1898: RHP Red Donahue, Villanova University product, pitches 5-0 no-hitter against visiting Boston.

July 8, 1992: Jeff Grotewold ties a club record with his third consecutive pinch-hit home run during a 4-3 loss at San Francisco. All three homers come in Candlestick Park over a four-game, three-day series.

July 8, 2011: LHP Juan Perez strikes out the side on 9 pitches in the 10th inning of the Phils’ 3-2 victory over Atlanta, picking up the win. He was the first pitcher to record a 9-pitch, 3-K inning in extra innings since 1923.

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
Tomorrow, Hockessin (DE) Athletic Club, 100 Fitness Way, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
This Saturday (July 12), Wilmington Blue Rocks, Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive, 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.

Face For Radio
Will be talking baseball and books with Greg Luzinski and Dan Baker, Monday, July 14, 6-7 p.m. on WBCB, 1490 AM. Show takes place at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Audubon, PA.
Tune in or stop by. Will be able to sell books between bites of crab fries.

Historic All-Star Home Run

Callison1964ASG
July 7, 1964: A two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning by RF Johnny Callison gives the NL a dramatic 7-4 victory in the All-Star Game at Shea Stadium. Callison’s blast to the right field seats comes off the Boston Red Sox’ fireballing RHP Dick Radatz. He’s the only Phillie to win the ASG MVP Award.

All-Star Chase
Congratulations to Chase for being elected a starter for the sixth time. Only Mike Schmidt’s nine is greater for the Phillies. Chase was previously elected in 2006-7-8-9-10.

There have been four other Phillies second baseman chosen as starters by the fans:
Emil Verban (1947
Granny Hamner (1954)
Manny Trillo (1982)
Mariano Duncan (1984)

Unsightly
When teams are clicking, scoring runs, getting good pitching from starters and the pen, good defense and smart baseball, numbers turn gaudy. When the opposite happens, numbers turn unsightly.

For the Phillies right now, unsightly is the description. A sweep in Pittsburgh once again showed the unsightly offense. 11 total hits in the three losses. 6 total runs while the Pirates plated 8 first-inning runs alone. Don’t remember the last time that happened.

Looking for an easy, quick answer? There is no such animal. It is a matter of grinding it out, battling every day, every at-bat. Baseball can be a cruel game at times. It won’t be easy, especially since the Phillies begin a four-game series in Milwaukee, home of the NL Central, first-place Brewers. Phillies are 21-21 in Miller Park, regular season.

Number of the Day
328: Runs Phillies have scored, 11th in the NL. Don’t worry, the Phillies won’t touch their club record for fewest runs in a season: 394 in 151 games in 1942.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley won 1 of 3 games, a 9-8, 16-inning win on Saturday night in Rochester. Boarded a bus at 2 a.m. for Indianapolis where they were shut out, 4-0, yesterday, getting 5 hits. 3B Maikel Franco, 0-4 yesterday after hot streak of 9-17 in previous 3 games, 3 HR, 6 RBI. Darin Ruf was activated from the DL and optioned to LV, 0-3 as a LF yesterday.

Reading 1-3 for the weekend, getting 24 singles in the 4 games, 11 in a 6-2 win yesterday. Severino Gonzalez (5-9) picked up the win, his first since May 17. RF Peter Lavin, .342 in last 10 games.

Clearwater lost, 5-1, getting 6 hits, all singles on Friday. Rained out Saturday and second game on Sunday. First game on Sunday, leading, 2-0, after 2.5 innings when suspended after a 1:05 rain delay. Cliff Lee, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO in first rehab start. Next tentative start, Wednesday at Tampa.

Lakewood 1-2 at Delmarva, winning, 6-2 yesterday. 1B Zach Green, .349 in last 10 games, 3 HR, 10 RBI.

Williamsport split 4 games against Auburn. 3B Derek Campbell, 2 doubles, HR yesterday; hitting .425 in last 10 games. CF Jiandido Tromp, 2 HR, 4 RBI in last 4 games.

Gulf Coast League Phillies split a pair of 1-run decisions against the Yankees, 11-10 win, 2-1 loss.

More This Date
July 7, 1979: 3B Mike Schmidt homers in four consecutive at-bats for the second time in his career. Schmidt homers in his final at-bat on July 6 and connects in his first three at-bats on this date against San Francisco. Giants win, 8-6.

July 7, 1993: SS Kevin Stocker makes his major league debut in one of the Vet’s longest games. Los Angeles scored twice in the ninth to send the game into extra innings. It all ends with CF Lenny Dykstra’s two-run double in the bottom of the 20th inning, a 7-6 win. It matches the longest game in Vet history, May 4, 1973 vs. Atlanta.

July 7, 2009: Sold out Citizens Bank Park begins a streak of 257 games in which the Phillies had a sellout at home, longest streak ever in the National League.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: LHP R.J. Swindle (31) . . . Tuesday: OF John Bowker (31), RHP Chuck Malone (49), RHP Lerrin LaGrow (66), RHP George Culver (71), RHP Gary Kroll (73), Darrell Brandon (74), RHP Ed Keegan (75) . . . Wednesday: CH Ray Rippelmeyer (81),
Friday: RHP Andy Ashby (47) . . . Saturday: LHP Wally Ritchie (49).

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
This Wednesday (July 9), Hockessin (DE) Athletic Club, 100 Fitness Way, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
This Saturday (July 12), Wilmington Blue Rocks, Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive, 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.

Holiday Weekend

Phillies will spend the holiday weekend in Pittsburgh after starting this 10-game journey by losing a series in Miami.

No secret that the offense needs to pick up the pace.

The Pirates are one of the hottest teams in the NL. They are 26-19 at PNC Park. Their home hasn’t been the most hospitable to the Phillies. Since PNC Park opened in 2001, the Phillies are 16-25.

Number of the Weekend
Unknown: Number of hot dogs that will be consumed this holiday weekend across the country.

Minor League Report
Players of the Week (June 23-29)
Player – 2B, Andrew Pullin, Lakewood … 7 G … Batted .444 (12-27), .500 OBP, .444 SLG %, 4 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB … Pullin ended the week riding a 12-game hitting in which he was batting .378 (17-45) … Selected by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2012 draft out of Centralia High School (WA); signed by Rick Jacques.
Pitcher – RHP, Jesen Therrien, Lakewood … 3 G, 1-0, 0.99 ERA (1 ER, 9.1 IP), 3 BB, 12 H, 7 SO … The 6-foot-2 right hander made 3 relief appearances and picked up his 2nd win of the season (other: 6/8 at DEL) … The 21-year-old native of Montreal, CA, was selected by the Phillies in the 17th round of the June 2011 draft and signed by Alex Agostino.

Lehigh Valley won its third in a row, 2-1, over Syracuse in 10 innings. LF Leandro Castro, walk-off single. CF Grady Sizemore, lead-off HR, his 1st. 3B Maikel Franco, 4-4. No decision, Jason Marquis, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 SO . . . Closer Luis Garcia selected to the AAA All-Star Game . . . IronPigs will spend the weekend with two games in Rochester and the start of a four-game series in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Reading lost, 7-1, to New Hampshire. RHP Miguel Gonzalez made his AA debut, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO. Fightin Phils are in Richmond for the weekend.

Clearwater won, 11-5, at Dunedin. DH Brandon Short, 3 hits, 4 RBI. Homers: CF Ramon Quinn (2), RF Brian Pointer (6), 1B Art Charles (8). WP: Colin Kleven 3-7 . . . Cliff Lee will make a rehab start for the Threshers Sunday at Brevard County . . . Threshers are at Dunedin on July 4 and then Brevard County.

Lakewood lost, 8-1, to Hagerstown. RF Dylan Cozens, 11th homer, tops for Phillies minor leaguer. 2B Andrew Pullin’s 14-game hitting streak ended . . . BlueClaws are in Delmarva this weekend.

Williamsport was a 6-4 winner at Jamestown. 3B Derek Campbell, 2-4, 3 RBI. LHP Matt Imhof, second-round selection, no decision in first A ball start, 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO . . . Crosscutters host Auburn over the holiday weekend.

Gulf Coast League Phillies lost, 6-5, in 10 innings to the Braves. CF Gustavo Martinez, 4-5. LF Darin Ruf, 1-3 . . . Phillies play the Yankees at home July 4 and are at Tampa the next day.

This Date
July 3, 1917: RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander pitches 5-0 and 9-3 complete-game wins in a doubleheader at Brooklyn, walking only one batter.

July 3, 1983: LHP Willie Hernandez ties club record for relief pitchers by striking out the first six batters that he faces as Phillies beat New York Mets, 6-4, at Veterans Stadium.

July 4, 1908: LHP George (Hooks) Wiltse throws a no-hitter against the Phillies, 1-0, in 10 innings at New York. Losing RHP George McQuillan was hit by a pitch with two out in the ninth to spoil a perfect game.

July 4, 1938: The Phillies move permanently from Baker Bowl to Shibe Park and lose to Boston Braves, 10-5, in first game of doubleheader. Phillies win second game, 10-2.

July 4, 1976: Tim McCarver hits a grand slam home run but passes Garry Maddox at first base and is credited with a three-run single as Phillies beat Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-5, in first game of a doubleheader at Pittsburgh.

July 4, 1979: LHP Steve Carlton ties a modern NL record with his fifth career one-hitter, 1-0, over New York. RF Elliott Maddox’ one-out double in the seventh snaps Carlton’s bid for a perfect game. Prior to the game the Phillies disabled three starting pitchers, Ruthven (elbow bone chips), Larry Christenson (collarbone bone spur) and Randy Lerch (broken right wrist).

Alumni Web Page
Memorable flashbacks, features and photos are featured on http://www.phillies.com/alumni. Check it out.

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my book (If These Walls Could Talk):
Wednesday, July 9, Hockessin (DE) Athletic Club, 100 Fitness Way, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, July 12, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive, 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 14, Lakewood BlueClaws, FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 28, Community Library, Myerstown, PA; 5-7:30 p.m.

Next Blog
Will be back Monday. Enjoy the long holiday weekend. Can’t believe it is July 4 already.

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