Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

First Blown Save

All streaks end.  For first-year closer, Jeanmar Gomez, his 9-for-9 saves streak is gone as the Cardinals scored twice in the last of the ninth for a 5-4 win.  The Phillies had been 12-2 when leading after seven innings with the two losses coming in the first two games of the season.

00 Howard HR

After five straight solo home runs, Ryan Howard delivered a 421-foot blast over the centerfield wall with two mates on base in the fourth. Five of his seven homers have given the Phillies the lead this season.  Odubel Herrera’s line driver homer into the Cardinals bullpen made it 4-0 the next inning. The Phillies offense could muster only four other hits and in five innings, they went down 1-2-3.

The Cardinals got back in the game scoring three in their fifth on a walk, four hits and two favorable replay reviews.

Once again a Phillies outfielder turned in a brilliant catch.  This time 6-foot-4 Tyler Goeddel used every inch in robbing Jedd Gyorko of a game-tying home run in the eighth inning.

Phil Ins
Herrera has reached base in 24 of his lasts 25 games. That’s the blue print of a lead-off hitter . . . Starting this afternoon the Phillies face a lefty starter in three of the next four games.  Does Ryan sit? . . . Phillies are 4-1 vs. LH starters.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (13-12), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Leading 2-0 after 7, the IronPigs saw Pawtucket score two in the eighth to tie and then five in ninth for a 7-2 win.  Bobby LaFromboise and James Russell were tagged with the five runs. 2B Darnell Sweeney had 2 of LV’s 3 hits. CF Cameron Perkins’ 15-game hitting streak ended.  Zach Eflin was scheduled to start but didn’t following a 1-hour, 20-minute rain delay at the start of the game . . . Mark Appel (3-0) 7:05 tonight vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (16-10), 2nd place, Eastern League East Division.
3B Angelo Mora drove in all 4 runs in Reading’s 4-3 win in New Hampshire.  He had a 1B, 2B and bases-clearing 3B.  WP: Ben Lively (4-0), 5-3-3-3-3-2. SV: Edubray Ramos (7) . . . Nick Pivetta (1-2) 11:35 this morning in New Hampshire and back home Friday vs. Portland.

Clearwater Threshers (17-9), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Rained out at home against Tampa . . . 10:30 this morning in Tampa.

Lakewood BlueClaws (7-18), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Were blanked, 2-0, in Asheville.  3B Jan Hernandez had 3 of Lakewood’s 6 hits.  LP: Tyler Gilbert (0-3), 7-7-2-2-0-3 . . . Shane Watson (1-1) 7:05 tonight in Asheville.

This Date
May 5, 1938
RHP Hal Kelleher allows a major league record 12 runs (10 hits, 3 walks) in the eighth inning of a 21-2 loss at Wrigley Field.  Loser was Wayne LaMaster, who left the game with an injury and a 3-1 count on the Cubs’ leadoff hitter. The Cubs scored four times in the first inning, pinning the loss on LaMaster.  It was the last game in the majors for Kelleher, a Philadelphia native.

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The kid & the vet

The kid and the vet.

00 Nola StL

22-year-old Aaron Nolan pitched brilliantly, blanking the Cardinals on two hits in seven innings, stretching his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 20.  For the second straight start, he allowed only two hits, a lead-off double and a replay infield single. He retired 21 of the last 23 St. Louis hitters.

Finishing off the shutout were Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez, one base runner (single) out of seven hitters.  Neris struck out the side in the eighth giving him 27 punch outs in 16.1 innings.  Gomez tied for the NL lead with his ninth save.

00 Howard

36-year-old Ryan Howard delivered the lone run with a long home run over the St. Louis bullpen.  Over his previous four games, he was 0-12 with nine strikeouts.  But, the St. Louis native loves home cooking.  It was his 12th homer in 36 games at Busch Stadium.

Elias Sports Bureau
This is the third time in Howard’s major-league career that he homered in a 1-0 game. He also did that in April 2006 at Coors Field and earlier this season on April 9 against the Mets at Citi Field. Howard is the first player in Phillies history to homer in multiple 1-0 games within a single season.

Phil Ins
Peter Bourjos made another web gem defensive play in right field.  He’s not hitting but saving a lot of runs with his glove . . . Series ends at 1:45 (CDT) Thursday afternoon . . . Cardinals come to Philly in mid-August . . . Weekend in Miami where the weather will be more baseball-like but the games are played indoor.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (12-11), 2nd place, International League North Division.
LF Nick Williams hit a 2-run, walk-off HR as LV beat Pawtucket, 6-4, in 10 innings. 1B Tommy Joseph HR (5).  CF Cameron Perkins, 2-5, extending hitting streak to 15 games.
ND: Jake Thompson, 7-2-1-1-2-4; 10 ground-ball outs. WP: Gregory Infante (2-0) . . . Zach Eflin (3-0), 10:35 this morning vs. Pawtucket.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (15-10), 2nd place, Eastern League East Division
4-3, 10-inning, walk-off loss in New Hampshire.  ND: John Richy, 4.1-6-3-3-2-4. SS J.P. Crawford, 2nd HR. CF Ramon Quinn, 12-27 in last 6 games; SB (10).  1B Rhys Hoskins’ 19-game hitting streak ends with an 0-5 . . . Ben Lively (3-0), 6:35 tonight in NH.

Clearwater Threshers (17-9), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Lost, 6-5, to Tampa in 10 innings. DH Zach Green, HR (4) started a 3-run 9th that tied the game.  ND: Tom Eshelman, 5.2-8-4-3-2-4 . . . Matt Imhof (2-1), 10:30 this morning vs. Tampa.

Lakewood BlueClaws (7-17), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Not scheduled on Tuesday. 7-game road trip begins tonight in Asheville, 7:05, Tyler Gilbert (0-2).

Transactions
Lehigh Valley: RHR Reiner Roibal from Reading.

Clearwater: RF Herlis Roriguez on DL (right wrist sprain); OF Samuel Hiciano from Lakewood.

Lakewood: activated 1B Brendon Hayden from DL.

This Date
May 4, 1973–PH Jose Pagan’s sacrifice fly gives the Phillies a 5-4, 20-inning win over Atlanta at Veterans Stadium, the Phillies’ longest game since April 30, 1919.  Game lasted 5:16.

May 4, 1975—In a very unpopular trade, Phillies sent OF-1B Willie Montanez to San Francisco for CF Garry Maddox. (broadandpattison.com).

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Homers Snap Streak

Riding five home runs, the Cardinals ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Phillies for the fourth straight time at Busch Stadium, 9-3. Jeremy Hellickson served up the first three; Brett Oberholtzer the other two. Going into the game, Hellickson was 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA for three starts on the road.

Biggest blow was a three-run homer by winner Adam Wainwright. He went into the game having allowed 22 runs in 27.2 innings and three innings later the Phillies scored three.  Wainwright evened the score two innings later with an upper deck bomb, his seventh career homer.  In his previous game, he had a three-run triple. He has three hits on the season, double, triple, HR.

Wainwright settled down on the mound keeping the Phillies off the scoreboard through six innings.  So, their six-game winning streak ended.

The Phillies are 7-6 on the road, St. Louis 6-7 at home.

Minor League Report
Players of the Week (April 22-May 1)

00 Martin
1B Kyle Martin, Clearwater…Martin, 23, batted .375 (9-24) with a pair of doubles, a home run, five RBI and three multi-hit games. He is leading the Florida State League with 21 RBI, is second in total bases (49) and is tied for second in extra-base hits (11). Martin is batting .301 with a .527 slugging percentage this season. The left-handed-hitting first baseman was selected by the Phillies in the fourth round of the June 2015 draft out of South Carolina University.

00 Asher

RHP Alec Asher, Lehigh Valley…The 24-year-old Asher was promoted to Triple-A, and promptly tossed a career-high 8.2 innings while allowing two unearned runs on just two hits in his start on April 30. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. In his last two starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley, Asher has not allowed an earned run and has posted a 0.43 WHIP (6 H, BB) in 16.1 innings pitched. Asher was acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade July 31, 2015. He was originally selected by the Rangers in the fourth round of the June 2012 draft.

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (12-11), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Lost, 8-3, to Pawtucket. LP: David Buchanan (0-2), 6-10-6-4-0-3. DH Cedric Hunter, 1B, 2B, 1st HR, 3 RBI; hitting .367. CF Cameron Perkins, 14-game hitting streak . . . Jake Thompson (1-3), 7:05 tonight vs. Pawtucket.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (15-9), 3rd place, Eastern League East Division.
Edged host New Hampshire, 2-1, behind Anthony Vasquez (5-0), 7.1-2-2-0-2-9; leads all AA pitchers in wins.  SV: Edubray Ramos (6). CF Ramon Quinn, 2-4; 10-22 in last 5 games. 1B Rhys Hoskins, 19-game hit streak . . . John Richy makes first AA start, 5:35 tonight in New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (17-8), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Won, 6-2, in Tampa.  WP: Will Morris (2-1), 5.2-7-2-2-2-3. 3B Mitch Walding, 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI. DH Zach Green, 2B, 3 RBI . . . Tom Eshelman (1-1), 7 tonight vs. Tampa.

Lakewood BlueClaws (7-17), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Split a pair vs. Greenville, 5-3 L, 2-1 W. WP: Zach Morris (1-1). SV: Robert Tasin (3) . . . Not scheduled today as they travel to Asheville.

This Date
May 3, 1947–OF Ron Northey, along with $50,000, is traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for CF Harry Walker and RHP Fred Schmidt.  Walker winds up leading the league in hitting (.363) for the Phillies.

May 3, 1992–2B Mariano Duncan ties club record by scoring five runs in 12-3 win at San Francisco.  Duncan is a perfect 5-for-5, three singles, a triple and home run. Where is Duncan these days: coach with the Cubs’ Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Class A Carolina League.

Shortstop History 101
Jimmy Rollins and Larry Bowa are 1-2 in the most games played in Phillies shortstop history.  That’s easy. So, who are 3-4-5?  Check out the story at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

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Another Sweep

Solid pitching from the starters, a brilliant bullpen, timely hitting and air tight defense produced a weekend sweep of the Indians, who finished a 4-5 road trip losing all five games by one run.  Three of the losses were walk-offs.

00 Howard WO HR

One of those walk-off losses was delivered by Ryan Howard in the 10th inning on Friday.  His sixth WO HR left him tied with Cy Williams behind Mike Schmidt’s 10 for the most in team history.  Five of Ryan’s heroic blasts have come in extra innings, a club record.

Freddy Galvis delivered a two-run blast and RBI bloop on Saturday, a game that featured web gems from LF Darin Ruf, 2B Cesar Hernandez and a game-ending catch by RF Peter Bourjos that saved the win.

Ruf and his defensive replacement David Lough turned in two more web gems in left field on Sunday, a game in which the decisive run was balked home. Vincent Velasquez struggled with his command early, settled in an tossed six, two-hit shutout innings for the win.

00 Neris

Hector Neris earned his first big league save on Sunday despite giving up a home run. It snapped the bullpen’s scoreless streak at 20.0 innings. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time Phillies relievers had a scoreless streak of 20.0 or more innings was September 1-11, 2004 (28.0 innings).  Hector had one save in AAA a year ago and two there two years ago.

Phil-Ins
Odubel Herrera’s on-base streak (21) and hitting streak (11) ended Sunday . . . Galvis has 11 RBI, second on the club to Maikel Franco’s 14 and his 10 runs scored are second to Herrera’s 15 . . . Phillies are 8-8 in games when they score three or fewer runs, a real tribute to the pitching staff . . . 14-10 was Phillies best April since 18-8 in 2011 . . . Phillies pitchers continue to lead the majors in strikeouts, 245.

St. Louis Next
The Phillies swept three from the Nationals who went to St. Louis and swept a three-game series there . . . Cardinals lead the NL in runs scored, 143, but have the most errors, 24. Their ERA is 4.03 . . . Phillies are 21-20 at Busch Stadium that opened in 2006 . . . Howard is hitting .341 in 34 games there, 11 homers and 39 RBI.  Overall against his home town team, .342, 64 games, 21 homers, 65 RBI.

Minor League Weekend Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (12-10), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Rain out on Sunday followed loss and win vs. visiting Buffalo.  3-2 win was Saturday, a brilliant LV debut by Alec Asher, 8.2-2-2-0-0-5; last batter he faced hit a 2-run homer. Edward Mujica recorded his 7th save by retiring Dominic Brown to end the game. ND in 2-1 Friday loss for Mark Appel, 5.1, 4-1-1-4-3. LF Cameron Perkins has been on-base in 13 of 15 games and leads the club with a .396 average.  1B Tommy Joseph had an 8-game hitting streak end on Saturday; hitting .406 in his last 10 games. LF-RF Nick Williams is hitting .366 in last 10 games . . . David Buchanan (0-1), 7:055 tonight vs. Pawtucket.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (14-9), 3rd place, Eastern League East Division.
Dropped 2 of 3 in Portland. Win was 14-3 Friday night, Ben Lively (3-0), 5-4-1-1-4-3. 1B Rhys Hoskins, 5-14, 2 HR, 6 RBI weekend; riding an 18-game hitting streak. RF Dylan Cozens, 6-15 in last 4 games, HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB; hitting .333 in last 10. CF Roman Quinn, last 4 games, 8-18, 3 SB . . . Anthony Vasquez (4-0), 5:35 tonight in New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (16-8), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Win Sunday ended 2-game losing streak to Lakeland.  WP: Tyler Viza (4-0), 6.1-4-1-1-2-11 (career-high); lowered ERA to 1.14. SV: Alexis Rivero (#2), allowed 1st run 11.2 innings; has 15 strikeouts.  1B Kyle Martin had an on-base streak end at 15 games on Saturday . . . Will Morris (1-1), 7 tonight in Tampa.

Lakewood BlueClaws (6-16), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Two wins and a Sunday rain out vs. Greenville. Friday WP: Luke Lefwich (1-1), 6-3-1-1-3-11 (career-high). 2B Josh Tobias, 3-8; hitting .351 in last 10. C-1B Wilson Garcia, 5-10, 4 RBI . . . Jose Taveras (0-1) and Franklyn Kilome (0-3), 4:35 DH this evening vs. Greenville.

Roster Additions
Lehigh Valley: RHR Luis Garcia (from Philly), RHR Severino Gonzalez (Reading), RHS Alec Asher (Reading).

Reading: LHR Hoby Milner (LV), RHR Reiner Roibal (LV), RHS John Richy (Clearwater).

Clearwater: LHP Joely Rodriquez (Reading).

Lakewood: RHP Anthony Sequiera (extended).

This Date
May 2, 1970–In a real rarity, both Phillies catchers, Tim McCarver and Mike Ryan, suffer broken bones in their hands in the sixth inning of a 7-1 loss at San Francisco.  Utility player Jim Hutto finishes the game behind the plate.

May 2, 1989
Mike Schmidt hits his 548th, and final, home run vs. Houston’s Jim Deshaies, but the Phillies lose, 12-4. (broadandpattison.com)

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Weekend at Home

There are fun numbers, crooked numbers, questionable numbers and disturbing numbers.

Thursday’s 3-0 shutout in Washington’s Nationals Park left the Phillies with a lot of fun numbers: 5-1 road trip; first sweep in DC since 2009; first time two over .500 since 81-79, October 1, 2012 and series-ending 22 consecutive scoreless innings by their pitching staff.

00 NolaDC

The formula once again was outstanding starting pitching and an air-tight bullpen.  Aaron Nolan tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk while fanning seven. Of his 77 pitches, 54 were strikes.

Bullpen this time around included Dalier Hinojosa, Elvis Araujo and Jeanmar Gomez.  Three innings, two hits, two walks and two strikeouts. For the series, seven scoreless innings, four hits, four walks and eight strikeouts.

Phil-Ins
Back home for three weekend interleague games against Cleveland. In interleague history, Phillies are 7-6 over the Tribe, including 4-1 at Citizens Bank Park.  Last time they met, Cleveland won, 10-4, at CBP, May 15, 2013, behind Cory Kluber who opens the series tonight.

Notables
Three ex-Phillies are with Cleveland, manager Terry Francona, bench coach Brad Mills and outfielder Marlon Byrd.  Terry began is major league managerial career with the Phillies 19 years ago . . . Jim Thome hit the most home runs in interleague play, 64 . . .
Gomez, the Phillies closer, was originally signed by the Indians in 2005.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (11-9), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Idle Thursday . . . Mark Appel (3-0, 1.62), 7:05 Friday night vs. Buffalo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (13-7), 2nd place, Eastern League East Division.
Following a 6-3 homestand, Reading begins a 7-game road trip tonight in Portland, 6:00; Alec Asher (2-1).

Clearwater Threshers (15-6), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Won 12th game in their last 14, 5-2, at Daytona behind John Richy, Victor Arano and Alexis Rivero. Richy was making his first appearance following a hand injury late in spring training, 5-4-1-1-1-3. LF Cord Sandberg, 2 R, 1st HR, RBI, BB.  3B Mitch Walding, RBI triple, his19th RBI, tops in the league . . . Ranfi Caimiro (3-0), 6:15 tonight vs. Lakeland.

Lakewood BlueClaws (4-16), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Rained out at home . . . Luke Leftwich, 6:35 tonight vs. Greenville.

This Date
April 29, 1954–RHP Robin Roberts pitches one-hitter, 4-0, in Milwaukee, a third-inning double by C Del Crandall.

Carlton_1981_089

April 29, 1981–Needing three strikeouts to reach 3,000, LHP Steve Carlton strikes out the side in the first inning against the Expos in FOUR minutes at Veterans Stadium.  3B Tim Wallach as #3,000.

Book Signing
I’ll be signing my new book, The Fightin’ Phillies, tomorrow, Saturday, April 30, Main Point Books, 1041 West Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010; 1-2 p.m.

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

Hellickson Masterpiece

 

The Phillies and Nationals have played five times.  Washington has out-scored the Phillies, 22-12.  The Phillies have beaten them three straight times to take a 3-2 series lead.

00 Hellickson (2)

Jeremy Hellickson was masterful in allowing only two hits to a tough Washington lineup.  Seven innings is his longest outing of the season and eight strike outs are a season high. He threw 92 pitches, 50 for strikes.

In three road starts, Hellickson has a sparkling 0.96 ERA and .127 opponent’s batting average allowed. Since the National League started recording earned runs in 1912, only one other Phillies pitcher has had an ERA and opponent’s batting average as low over his first three road starts of a season: Dick Ruthven (0.76 ERA, .127 BA) in 1979. (Elias Sports Bureau).

Hecter Neris and Jeanmar Gomez retired all six Nationals to complete the 3-0 shutout, the Phillies fourth, matching the Cubs for the most in the NL.

A sacrifice fly, throwing error by the third baseman and home run accounted for the Phillies three runs.

00 Ruiz

Carlos Ruiz hit the homer, his third this season which is one more than he hit all last year.  It was his seventh at Nationals Park, tying Turner Field for his favorite enemy park. At 37 years of age, Chooch is the oldest Phillies catcher to hit a home run since Tim McCarver in 1979.  Tim was also 37.

Phil-Ins
With Charlie Morton finished for the season, Hellickson, at age 29, is the oldest starter in the Phillies rotation . . . Herrera had five walks last April and 21 this April.  Most he’s had in pro ball is 39, 2009 in the Dominican Summer League for the Rangers . . . Raul Ibanez has joined ESPN TV . . . Phillies return home on an AMTRAK charter train after today’s game. Interleague play begins with a three-game weekend series against the Cleveland Indians tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (11-9), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Blanked Scranton, 2-0, behind Zach Eflin, Colton Murray and Edward Mujica. WP: Eflin (2-0), 6.1-4-0-0-1-6; lowered ERA to 2.05. SV: Mujica (6). DH Tommy Joseph, 4th HR. Hitting streaks: SS Taylor Featherson (15 games); LF Cam Perkins (12) . . . Not scheduled today . . . Mark Appel (3-0, 1.62), 7:05 Friday night vs. Buffalo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (13-7), 2nd place, Eastern League East Division.
Coasted over Akron, 11-2. WP Anthony Vasquez (4-0), 7-6-2-2-1-4. RF Dylan Cozens, 2 R, 2B (6), HR (5), 3 RBI, 3 BB, SB. Other HR: 3B Harold Martinez (2); C Logan Moore (1). SS J.P. Crawford, 1B, 2 R, 2 BB . . . Not scheduled today.

Clearwater Threshers (14-6), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Blasted Daytona, 14-2, scoring 12 runs on 11 hits in the 6th inning. WP: Matt Imhoff (2-1), 6-4-1-1-5-7.  DH Scott Kingery, HR (1), 3 R, RBI, BB. 3B Mitch Walding, 2b, HR (6), 3 RBI; tied for the FSL lead in HR. 2B Drew Stankiewicz, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI. 1B Kyle Martin, 3 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; has reached base in 13 straight games . . . John Richy makes his season debut, 7:05 tonight in Daytona.

Lakewood BlueClaws (4-16), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Lost, 3-2, to Charleston. ND: Steve Watson, 7-3-1-1-1-5. PH Sam Hiciano, HR (2) . . . Luke Leftwich, 6:35 tonight vs. Charleston.

This Date
April 28, 1991– Tony Gwynn hits into the first triple play at the Vet. With runners on first and second, Gwynn lined out to Randy Ready at second. Ready stepped on the bag for the second out, but instead of tagging the runner coming from first, he threw to Ricky Jordan who recorded the last out at the bag. (broadandpattison.com)

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my new book, The Fightin’ Phillies, on the following dates:

**This Saturday, April 30, Main Point Books, 1041 West Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010; 1-2 p.m.
**Sunday, May 22, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA; 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
**May 26, Maris Grove Theatre, 200 Maris Grove Way, Glen Mills, PA, 19342; 2-3 p.m.
**August 14, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA; 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

Scoreless Bullpen

After a rough start to the season, the bullpen is settling in.  Starter Vince Velasquez allowed three runs in his six innings and then the pen closed the door.  David Hernandez, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez combined for three scoreless innings, two hits, two walks and five strikeouts.   Bryce Harper, who homered against Gomez nine days ago, ended the game with a weak grounder to Maikel Franco.

Gomez is now five-for-five in save opportunities.  He also has two wins so he’s been involved in seven of the Phillies 10 victories.

00 Blanco

Andres Blanco, starting at shortstop, had a single, double, homer, two runs scored and two RBI.  There isn’t a better extra player in the league.  He’s also a mentor to the young Latino players on the club.  He’s a plus is so many ways.

Phil-Ins
Maikel Franco has driven in a run in four straight games . . . Odubel Herrera has reached base in 17 consecutive games. He has 19 walks and 19 hits . . . Cesar Hernandez is 6-12 on the trip . . . Phillies are 4-1 since they moved the pitcher into the eighth spot in the batting order . . . Max Scherzer’s last loss to the Phillies was in 2008.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (10-9), tie 2nd place, International League North Division.
Lost, 4-3, to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on a passed ball in the 10th inning by C Andrew Knapp, who hit his 3rd HR earlier in the game. SS Taylor Featherston extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his 1st HR.  It tied the game in the top of the 9th. DH Cameron Perkins extended his hitting streak to 11 games . . . Zach Eflin (2-0), 6:35 tonight in Scranton.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (12-7), 2nd place, Eastern League East Division.
Lost, 5-2, to Akron.  2B Jesmuel Valentin, 3-4, RBI; 8-15 in last 4 games. ND: Ricardo Pinto, 6-6-2-2-0-1 . . . Anthony Vasquez (3-0), 6:35 tonight vs. Akron.

Clearwater Threshers (13-6), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
6-game winning streak ended, 6-3, in Daytona. 2B Scott Kingery, 1B, 6th 2B, R, BB. RF Herlis Rodriquez, 1B, 2B, 2 RBI.  ND: Tom Eshelman, 6-8-3-3-3-5 . . . Matt Imhoff (1-1) starts in the 10:35 a.m. today at Daytona.

Lakewood BlueClaws (4-14), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Lost to Charleston, 7-4, in 11 innings.  ND: Tyler Gilbert, 5-6-1-1-2-6. SS Emmanuel Marrero is 7-12 in last 2 games. 1B Wilson Garcia had his 3rd straight 2-hit game . . .
Shane Watson (1-1), 11:05 this morning vs. Charleston

Transactions
Clearwater: RHR Jario Munoz on DL with right elbow strain . . . RHR Miguel Nunez promoted to Reading . . . RHR Ulises Joaquin, assigned from Reading . . . INF Derek Campbell and RHS John Richy assigned from extended spring training.

Reading: C Greg Brodzinski assigned from extended spring training.

Lakewood: OF Damek Tomscha assigned from Clearwater . . . RHR Luis Morales and RHR Kenny Koplove assigned from extended . . . OF Cornelius Randolph on DL with left shoulder strain.

This Date

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kevin Millwood, center, reacts as he is congratulated by teammates after pitching a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants Sunday, April 27, 2003 in Philadelphia. The Philles won 1-0. (AP Photo)

April 27, 2003–RHP Kevin Millwood pitches ninth no-hitter in Phillies history, 1-0, over the Giants at Veterans Stadium.  CF Ricky Ledee homers in the first inning and catches the final out.

April 27, 2014–SS Jimmy Rollins and 2B Chase Utley play in their 1,090th game, the most for any SS-2B combo in major league history.

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

Did You Know?

The Phillies have had the starting pitcher bat eighth in the order for the last four games and the offense scored 25 runs.

The Phillies are 9-10, the same record the 2008 team had after 19 games.

Maikel Franco was 15 years of age when the Phillies won the World Championship in 2008.

Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez were both signed out of Venezuela by Sal Agostinelli and Jesus Mendez on July 2, 2006.

Freddy and Cesar became parents of a baby girl in 2014.

Ryan Howard played the trombone in his high school band.

Odubel Herrera was a standout volleyball player as a prep student.

Vincent Velasquez missed his second pro season (2011) recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Cameron Rupp’s dad, Kevin, pitched in the Montreal Expos organization, 1977-79.

Peter Bourjos’ father, Chris, is a scout for the San Diego Padres covering professional teams.

Aaron Nola’s brother, Austin, is an infielder with Miami’s AAA team, New Orleans.

Tyler Goeddel’s brother, Erik, is a pitcher with the Mets’ AAA team, Las Vegas.

Reading catcher Jorge Alfaro’s younger brother, Jhoandro, is catcher with the White Sox AZL rookie team.

Minor League Honors (April 18-24). 

00 Lively
Pitcher – RHP Ben Lively, Reading…Lively, 24, was named the Pitcher of the Week in the Phillies Minor Leagues, Eastern League and MiLB.com combining for 13.0 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts in his 2 starts. He held Richmond to just 2 hits over 7.0 innings on April 18, and then struck out 6 over 6.0 scoreless frames in his next start against New Hampshire. Lively allowed only 6 total hits and did not walk a batter in either outing. He has struck out 27 batters and walked 2 in his 24.0 innings this season. Lively was acquired from Cincinnati in exchange for outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash considerations on December 31, 2014, and was originally selected by the Reds in the fourth round of the June 2013 Draft.

00 Joseph

Player: 1B Tommy Joseph, Lehigh Valley…The 24-year-old Joseph batted .450 (9-20) for the IronPigs with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBI and a .900 slugging percentage over 6 games. He is now batting .385 (15-39) this season with 8 extra-base hits (5 2B, 3 HR), which is tied for third-most in the International League. Joseph was acquired from San Francisco along with 2 other players in the July 31, 2012 trade that sent outfielder Hunter Pence to the Giants. He was originally selected by the Giants in the second round of the June 2009 draft.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (10-8), 2nd place, International League North Division.
Dropped 5-2 decision at Scranton. LP: Jake Thompson (1-3), 5-8-5-5-0-6. DH Tommy Joseph, 2-3, RBI, lifting average to .405. CF Nick Williams extended his hitting streak to 5 games with 1st AAA home run; batting .476 with 5 runs and 6 RBI in the streak . . . Adam Morgan (0-1), 6:35 tonight in Scranton.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (12-6), 2nd place, Eastern League East Division.
Defeated Akron, 7-4. ND: Nick Pivetta, 5-2-2-2-4-4; WP: Severino Gonzalez (2-0); SV: Edubray Ramos (5). DH Jake Fox, 5th HR, 3 RBI. 2B Jesmuel Valentin, 1B, 2B, R, RBI, SB. RF Aaron Brown, 1B, 3B, RBI . . . Ricardo Pinto (0-1), 6:35 tonight vs. Akron.

Clearwater Threshers (13-5), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Return to action at 7:05 tonight in Daytona; Tom Eshelman (1-1) to start.

More honors: Eshelman was named the MiLB.com Pitcher of the Week in the Florida State League. In 1 start, 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts.  His season WHIP of 0.53 is the lowest for any Hi Class A pitchers. Teammate Elniery Garcia is fourth, 0.98.

Lakewood BlueClaws (4-14), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Back home at 6:35 tonight to take on Charleston, Tyler Gilbert (0-2) to start.

Transaction
OF Cedric Hunter has been outrighted off the 40-man roster.

This Date
April 26, 1980–LHP Steve Carlton sets modern NL record with sixth one-hitter, 7-0, over St. Louis. C Ted Simmons, a lead-off single in the second inning.

Book Excerpt
The following is taken from the foreword written by Larry Andersen for my book, The  Fightin’ Phillies:
“Although I’m not exactly an astute historian, I do have a memory and cannot figure out why I’m not at least mentioned in the chapter of Unbreakable Records. Consider this, 699 major league games and only one start. Or, my five career hits giving me a lifetime .364 career average, better than even Tony Gwynn. I just make the numbers work for me, for example 11 years in the National League and hits in four of those years. 4 for 11, do the math. And all that with bruised knees from shaking against each other every time I stepped in the box. Or how about the most seasons with one at bat or less? Ineptitude at its best. I often used philosophy to help me get over my nervousness which leads me to one final question… Why are they singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” when they’re already there?”

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

3 Weekend Stars

Having lost seven in a row to the Brewers, the Phillies put an end of that nonsense taking two of three in Miller Park over the weekend.

The three stars:

Aaron Nola won his first game of the season on Friday. He allowed a first inning run and fanned seven in seven innings, increasing his season total to 30 strikeouts which matches Clayton Kershaw for third highest in the NL. Phillies staff continues to lead in strikeouts, 185. Mets’ 157 are second.

00 Franco

Maikel Franco broke out with seven hits and eight RBI.  Three of the hits were long home runs, two on Friday night.  He also had two spectacular fielding gems in the game.

Odubel Herrera went 5-12 in the series with six runs scored and three RBI.  On Saturday, he became the first Phillie since 1900 to score at least four runs, hit a home run and steal two bases in a game. He extended his on-base streak to 16 games on Sunday.

Phil-Ins
After starting the season 0-4 on the road, the Phillies are 4-1 . . . Three-game series in Washington, DC, begins Tuesday night . . . Phillies are 36-38 at Nationals Park since it opened in 2008 . . . Ryan Howard has 13 dingers there, same for Dodger Stadium and second only to Turner Field (21) . . . Bryce Harper has 14 homers against the Phillies, 11 at Citizens Bank Park.

Minor League Weekend Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (10-7), 1st place, International League North Division; first time they’ve been in 1st place since July 9, 2012, 1,375 days ago.
Swept 3 games in Pawtucket. Edward Mujica saved each win. Lone starter to win, Mark Appel (3-0) on Saturday, 5-5-2-2-1-3. ND on Friday for Zach Elfin, 6-6-5-5-0-8.  All 5 runs came in the first inning. After that he allowed one base runner (error) through 6.  Retired last 14 batters. INF Taylor Featherston was hitless in the season’s first game and has hit in next 13 games.  .412 average leads IL. 1B-DH Tommy Joseph, 2 HR, 6 RBI weekend; hitting .438 in last 10 games with 14 hits. OF Nick Williams, 9-17 in last 4 games, boosting average from .184 to .291 . . . Jake Thompson (1-2), 6:35 tonight in Scranton.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (11-6), 2nd place in Eastern League East Division.
Took 2 of 3 from New Hampshire. 6-5 loss came on Sunday when NH scored 5 in the top of the 9th.  Anthony Vasquez (3-0) won on Friday, 6.1-7-2-1-1-2. Edubray Ramos, 4th save. 4-3, 11-inning win Saturday on 1B Rhys Hoskins’ walk-off HR (#3).  ND Alec Asher, 7.2-4-1-0-1-4. ND on Sunday, Ben Lively, 6-4-0-0-0-6 . . . Nick Pivetta (1-1), 6:35 tonight vs. Akron.

Clearwater Threshers (13-5), 1st place in Florida State League North Division.
Swept 3 from Brevard County, stretching winning streak to 6 games and 10 in last 11 games.  Scored 13 runs in the series, 11 with two out.  ND on Friday, Elniery Garcia, 7-3-1-1-0-7, lowered ERA to 0.47, best in the FSL.  WPs: Tyler Viza (3-0), 6-7-0-0-0-5 and Will Morris (1-1), 5-6-2-2-1-1. 1B Kyle Martin, hitting .351 in last 10 games; 16 RBI lead Phillies minor leagues.  Team ERA (1.90) is lowest in the FSL . . . Not scheduled today.

Lakewood BlueClaws (4-14), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
1-2 for the weekend, winning 11-7 in 11 innings on Sunday in Greensboro. C Austin Bossart singled in one run and Samuel Hiciano added a 3-run HR (#1).  SS Emmanuel Marrero tied a club record with 5 hits . . . Not scheduled today.

Transactions
Lakewood: OF Zach Coppola placed on DL with a left hamstring strain. OF Venn Biter activated from Williamsport roster in extended spring training.

This Date
April 25, 1972–LHP Steve Carlton ties the club record for a LHP with 14 strikeouts in pitching a one-hit, 3-0, shutout in San Francisco.  SS Chris Speier, the Giants’ first batter, singled.

00 Phanatic

April 25, 1978—Without great fanfare, Phillie Phanatic made his debut before 17,227 fans at Veterans Stadium.

Book Review
“What he’s produced in his second compilation — “If These Walls Could Talk” came out in 2014 — is another relaxed stroll down memory lane, a smorgasbord of all things Phillies from an author who has had an inside look at so much of the franchise’s history.”

That’s part of Paul Hagen’s review of my book.  Check it out at http://www.books.mlbogs.com/.

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

16-Game Review

Going into the season, the Phillies offense didn’t appear to pack much power and runs were expected to be hard to come by.  Well, that’s happened.  Their .214 batting average is 14th in the NL.  .271 on-base percentage is 15th.  13 home runs rank ninth. Hey, that’s 10 more than Atlanta.

Starting pitching was believed to be better than a year ago.  That’s been true for the most part.  Their ERA is 3.30 which will take all season long.

Bullpen was expected to be questionable. However, the relievers are finding their roles and the pen has been much better. Remember the pen gave up 11 runs in 7.2 innings in the first three games.

Outfield defense is vastly improved which helps the pitching staff.  Outfield offense is another story.

Fundamentals and base running were emphasized in spring training. Each must have been left in Clearwater.  Twice a runner advanced and was out on an infield fly rule and twice Wednesday night sacrifice bunt attempts failed.

00 Franco dugout

Maikel Franco, 23, was expected to challenge for the home run crown and lead the offense. Well, he’s hit two homers, the last coming April 13.  Since then, 3-29, .103 with nine strikeouts. The other night he was robbed of a three-run homer. Lest we forget Mike Schmidt’s first full season in the majors: .196, 18 homers, 52 RBI.

00 Nola

Aaron Nola, 22, was expected to lead the starters.  He’s 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA after three starts.  He’s only walked three while striking out 23 but he’s given up 12 runs in 19 innings.  The offense has averaged 2 runs per his starts.  Greg Maddux’s first full season in the majors: 6-14, 5.67 ERA.

Slow starts don’t mean Franco and Nola are no longer a big part of the future.  Major League Baseball is tough place to play.  Adjustments are being made by enemy pitchers and hitters.  Franco and Nola are young talents who are learning.  They will have a lot of fun before the season is over.

Phil-Ins
Three games in Milwaukee this weekend are the start of 16 road games in the next 19 for the Phillies . . . Lone three home games are next weekend against the Cleveland Indians . . . Phillies were swept in seven games by the Brewers a year ago . . . Since Miller Park opened in 2001, Phillies are 25-24 there . . . Ryan Howard is a .282 hitter in 31 games at Miller Park, six homers, 27 RBI . . . Franco has never played there and Nola has never faced the Brewers . . . Ryan Braun is a Phillies killer, .381, 18 homers, 49 RBI in 55 games . . .Happy birthday today to Mickey Morandini who turns 50.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (8-6) won 6th in last 7 games, blasting 17 hits in a 10-2 romp in Syracuse.  Everyone in the LV lineup had a hit with six different players having multiple hit games. 2B Taylor Featherston extended his hitting streak to 11 games.  RF Cedric Hunter, 3 H. SS Ryan Jackson, 2 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI. 1B Tommy Joseph, 2B, HR (2), RBI. WP: Adam Morgan (1-1), 7-6-2-2-1-6; as a hitter, 1B, 2B, RBI. LH Hoby Milner made AAA debut, 5 SO in 2 scoreless innings . . . Zach Elfin (2-0, 0.64), 6:15 tonight in Pawtucket.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (9-5) open a 6-game homestand, 7:05 tonight. Anthony Vasquez (2-0) opposes New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (10-5) won 7th in last 8 games, 1-0, over Daytona. WP: Ranfi Casimiro (3-0), 6-3-0-0-2-6. SV: Victor Arano (1). LF Cord Sandberg, 2 of Clearwater’s 4 singles; 9-14 in last 4 games, raising average to .348 . . . Elniery Garcia (2-0, 0.00), 6:15 tonight vs. Brevard County.

Lakewood BlueClaws (3-12) started road trip with 10-3 win in Greensboro. WP: Shane Watson (1-1), 7-5-1-1-1-8. SS Emmanuel Marrero, 4-4, HR (1), 3 RBI. 3B Jan Hernandez, 2-4, HR (1), RBI, 2 R. 2B Josh Tobias, 2-5, 3 RBI. DH Jose Pujols, 3-5, RBI. CF Zachary Coppola, 12-27 in a 7-game hitting streak . . . Luke Leftwich (0-1), 7 tonight in Greensboro.

Book Signings
I’ll be signing my new book, The Fightin’ Phillies, on the following dates:

**Tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, AB Sports, Concord Mall, 4737 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803; 1-3 p.m. (www.absports.com).
**Saturday, April 30, Main Point Books, 1041 West Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010; 1-2 p.m.
**Sunday, May 22, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA; 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
**May 26, Maris Grove Theatre, 200 Maris Grove Way, Glen Mills, PA, 19342; 2-3 p.m.
**August 14, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA; 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

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