Paul Owens Award

The annual Paul Owens Award, given to the best player and pitcher in the Phillies minor league system, will be presented pre-game on October 1. The Award is named in honor of Owens who spent 48 years in the organization as a player, manager, scout, farm director, general manager, major league manager and senior advisor.


Owens had the vision of a training complex for the Phillies minor leaguers.  In 1967, Carpenter Field was opened in Clearwater.  The clubhouse is named in honor of Owens.  A bronze bust of the Pope is located at the clubhouse entrance.

The first winners of his award in 1986 were OF Ron Jones and RHP Marvin Freeman.  Current players who were so honored include Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf, Maikel Franco and Luis Garcia.

While there is no official list of candidates, the following are my observations, in alphabetical order:

Astudillo, Willans . . . C, 1B, DH . . . 23 . . . B-R . . . Spent entire season at Clearwater, led league with .314 average; 18 doubles, 3 home runs, 49 RBI, 10 walks, 10 strikeouts in 107 games . . . Signed as an international free agent December 2008 . . . .318 career hitter.

Hoskins, Rhys . . . 1B . . . 22 . . . B-R . . . Began season at Lakewood, played 68 games before moving up to Clearwater, 67 games . . . Combined hit .319, 36 doubles, 6 triples, 17 home runs, 90 RBI . . . Fifth round selection in 2014.

Knapp, Andrew . . . C . . . 23 . . . Switch-hitter . . . Began season at Clearwater, played 63 games before moving up to Reading where he hit .360 in 55 games . . . Combined hit .308 in 118 games, 35 doubles, 5 triples, 13 home runs, 84 RBI . . . Second round selection in 2013.

Stassi, Brock . . . 1B . . . 26 . . . B-L . . . Played entire season at Reading, hit .300, 32 doubles, 1 triple, 15 home runs, league-leading 90 RBI . . . 33rd round selection in 2011.

Dygestile-Therrien, Jesen . . . RHR . . . 22 . . . Began season at Lakewood (9 games) and finished at Clearwater (30) . . . Used mostly as a set-up man . . . Combined: 5-0, 1.43 ERA, 5 saves, 63 innings, 50 hits, 17 walks, 54 strikeouts; .218 opponents’ average . . .
Selected in the 17th round in 2011.
Gueller, Mitch . . . RHS . . . 21 . . . Led NYP League in wins, 10-1; 2.23 ERA, 12 GS, 68.2 innings, 57 hits, 23 walks, 44 strikeouts; .229 opponents’ average . . . Compensation round selection in 2012.

Pinto, Ricardo . . . RHS . . . 21 . . . Began season at Lakewood (11 starts) and finished in Clearwater (13 starts) . . . Combined, led organization in wins, 15-4; 2.77 ERA,  145.1 innings, 129 hits, 37 walks, 105 strikeouts; .244 opponents’ average . . . Signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela, 12/28/11.

Ramos, Edubray . . . RHR . . . 22 . . . Began season at Clearwater (29 games) and finished at Reading (18 games) . . . Combined, 4-6, 2.07 ERA, 47 G, 69.2 IP, 48 H, 16 BB, 65 S0; .196 opponents’ average . . . Signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela, 3/25/10.

Rivero, Alexis . . . RHR . . . 20 . . . Began season at Lakewood (25 games) and finished at Clearwater (16 games) . . . Combined, 4-2, 2.64 ERA, 41 games, 11 saves, 71.2 innings, 48 hits, 18 walks, 67 strikeouts; .188 opponents’ average . . . Signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela, 11/7/12.

This Date In Phillies History
September 22, 2008
Greg Dobbs sets Phillies record for most pinch hits in a season when he gets his 22nd at
Citizens Bank Park in eighth inning against Atlanta as Phillies beat Braves, 6-2.

September 23, 1916
RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander pitches 7-3 and 4-0 complete-game wins over Cincinnati in a double-header at Baker Bowl and ties a major league record by walking only one batter. Almost a year later (September 3) he does it again, 5-0 and 9-3, at Brooklyn, allowing one walk.

Alumni News
Al Monchak, the oldest living Phillies Alumnus, died on September 12, 2015. Mr. Monchak was 98 and third oldest major league player.

He began his major league career as a shortstop with the Phillies (1940) playing 19 games.  Like many players during that time, his career was interrupted when he was drafted.  As a member of the Army’s 11th Armored Division, Mr. Monchack fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.  His baseball career resumed in 1949, a career in which he was a minor league player-manager, scout, major league coach (1971-1985) for four different teams under Chuck Tanner, and a scout again.

94-year-old outfielder, Wally Westlake, succeeds Mr. Monchak as the oldest Phillies Alumnus. An outfielder, Westlake ended a 10-year career in the majors with five games with the Phillies in 1956.

Around MLB
The Braves Shelby Miller last won a game on May 17, 23 straight starts.  Since then, 17 different Braves pitchers won a game.

The Mets magic number is 7.

The Reds’ Joey Votto walked for the 136th time last night, breaking his own club record set in 2013. Phillies club mark is 129, Lenny Dykstra, 1993.

No Offense, Phillies & Eagles

Missing Franco, Hernandez and Howard from the starting lineup has certainly had an effect on the Phillies offensive production.  Six straight losses including a series sweep of three weekend games in Atlanta in which they dropped three straight 2-1 decisions.

Phillies got three straight strong performances from their starting pitchers but three bullpen losses.  Morgan, Eickhoff and Nola were the starters, allowing a total of three runs.  Because of his shoulder surgery of Jan. 8, 2014, Morgan didn’t pitch at all last season.  This season he has 152 between AAA and the majors. He’s being shut down for the rest of the season.

Offensively, the Phillies produced three total runs on 16 total hits that included one double and one home run.  Loss #100 is just six away with 12 to play.

Well, things could be worse!  E-A-G-L-E-S.

Pitching Talks
How important is pitching? The top five teams in the majors in ERA are all headed for postseason play: St. Louis, Pittsburgh, LA Dodgers, NY Mets, Chicago Cubs. The bottom five: Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Phillies, Rockies.

Top five in saves: St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Mets.  Bottom five:
Detroit, Phillies, Miami, Toronto, Oakland.

Top five in batting average: Detroit, Kansas City, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto. Bottom five: Houston, Mets, Cubs, San Diego, LA Angels.

Top five in home runs: Toronto, Houston, NY Yankees, Baltimore, Seattle.  Bottom five:
St. Louis, San Francisco, Phillies, Miami, Atlanta.

Top five in fielding percentage: Baltimore, Dodgers, Miami, Houston, Arizona.  Bottom five: Phillies, Pittsburgh, Texas, Milwaukee, Oakland.

Alumni Notes

Check for the latest notes about Phillies Alumni.

This Date In Phillies History
September 21, 1911
RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander hurls his fourth straight shutout at Chicago.  Others were September 7 (at Braves), 13 (Dodgers) and 17 (at Reds).

September 21, 1964
Holding a 6 1/2-game lead with 12 games left in the season, the Phillies lose, 1-0, to Cincinnati as Chico Ruiz steals home with Frank Robinson at bat. The defeat launches a disastrous 10-game losing streak during which the Phillies fall out of first place.  Phillies drew 1,425,891, their largest attendance ever.

September 21, 1981
LHP Steve Carlton passes RHP Bob Gibson as the NL’s all-time strikeout leader when he fans Montreal CF Andre Dawson in the third inning for his 3,118th strikeout.  Expos win, 1-0, in 17 innings at Montreal.

September 21, 2010
Phillies beat Atlanta, 5-3, as Roy Halladay becomes first Phillies right hander to win 20 games in a year since Robin Roberts in 1955. Halladay sets club record for most wins in a season at Citizens Bank Park with 12.

Around MLB

Kendrys Morales of the Royals had a single, triple, three home runs and five runs scored in four at-bats but only drove in three runs.

Felix Hernandez of the Mariners finished the season 5-0, 1.83 ERA vs. the Rangers.

Jimmy Rollins pinch-hit on Saturday, his first at-bat since September 6. He was sidelined with an injured right index finger knuckle.

In walk-off decisions, the Rays are 2-11 after winning on Sunday.

Yadier Molina left the game on Sunday with a thumb injury.  When he is playing, the Cardinals are 88-58.  When he’s out of the lineup, 5-8.

Cole Hamels is 4-1, 3.73 ERA for nine starts with the Rangers who have taken over first place in the AL West.  Jake Diekman, 0-0, 2.37 for 21 appearances.

Reading’s Season Ends

The Reading Fightin’ Phils magical season came to an end as the Bowie Baysox won the Eastern League championship with a 7-2 decision at home on Saturday night.  Trailing, 2-1, in the best-of-five, Bowie won two in a row.

Last time Reading was the outright champion of the league was 1995.  In 2001, they reached the championship round which was canceled following the 911 terrorist attacks. Reading was ruled as co-champions with New Hampshire.

LF Cam Perkins homered in the fourth inning to give Reading a 1-0 lead that as erased by two Baysox runs in their at-bat.  Loser was Reinier Roibal who allowed two runs in 4.1 innings.  Three of the next four Reading relievers gave up runs.  SS J. P. Crawford led Reading with a .379 postseason average, hitting in all seven games. CF Nick Williams topped the team with three postseason homers.

Reading’s season began with a 4-2 loss in the first game of an April 11 double-header in Portland following two cancellations because of snow.  Reading’s pitchers that day were Aaron Nola, the loser, and Elvis Araujo.  Both eventually made it to the majors.

Dusty Wathan, the Eastern League manager-of-the year, had a revolving roster during the season, something this is pretty typical in the minor leagues.

He shook hands coming and going: in addition to Araujo and Nola, OF Aaron Altherr and LHP Adam Loewen began with him and eventually wound up in the majors . . . LHP Jesse Biddle, OF Kelly Dugan, C Gabriel Lino and OF Brian Pointer advanced to AAA . . . LHP Joely Rodriquez, the lone player on the Phillies 40-man roster, took the opposite route . . . KC Serna went AA-AAA-AA; he began as the shortstop and ended at second base . . . Carlos Alonzo, the incumbent second baseman, played 12 games and missed the rest of the season because of a knee injury . . . CF Roman Quinn, the switch-hitting speedster, was injured on June 12 and never returned. He was replaced by Destin Hood, a minor league acquisition . . . RHP Zach Eflin spent two weeks with Team USA in the Pan Am Games . . . SS J. P. Crawford, C Andrew Knapp, 2B Brodie Greene, Roibal, RHP Edubray Ramos, INF Angelo Mora and OF Dylan Cozens began the season in Clearwater . . .  Starting pitcher Tom Windle moved to the bullpen on June 30 . . . RHP Ethan Martin came out of the organization’s rehab program, pitched once at Clearwater before moving up to Reading on July 20 . . . RHP Jake Thompson, RHP Nick Pivetta, RHP Jimmy Cordero and CF Nick Williams came over to the Phillies organization in July trades . . . 1B Brock Stassi and LF Perkins were the only players who were at the same positions on opening day and the last game.

Phillies fans became familiar with the names at Reading.  Several of the Fightin’ Phils are considered building blocks for the major league club. Pipeline rated the Phillies minor league system the seventh best.  A year ago they were in the bottom 10.  There’s hope for the future.


Reading-Bowie Title Game Tonight


Bowie forced Game 5 of the best-of-five Eastern League championship by trouncing Reading, 9-1, on Friday night at Prince George’s Stadium.  The Baysox scored three in the first inning and iced the game with three more in the seventh and a pair in the next inning.

David Hess and two relievers held the Fightin’ Phils to four singles and one walk while striking out 12.  RF Dylan Cozens had half of Reading’s hits.  Reading was 0-8 with runners in scoring position.  The Fightin’ Phils run came on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.

Ben Lively was charged with seven runs on seven hits in six innings in taking the loss.

The championship game will begin at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday in Prince George’s Stadium.

Reading Nears Title

RH Jake Thompson turned in his second consecutive impressive playoff start and a balanced 12-hit attack carried the Reading Fightin’ Phils to within one game of the Eastern League championship, 9-3, Thursday night in Bowie.  Reading leads, 2-1, in the best-of-five championship round.

2015 Thompson

The 21-year-old Thompson, acquired in the Cole Hamels trade, gave up one run (5th inning) in seven innings.  He allowed four hits, three walks and struck out five. He threw 97 pitches, 65 for strikes. In his other playoff start (Sept. 11 vs. Binghamton) he threw a three-hit, 9-inning shutout.

DH Angelo Mora was the lone Reading player to go hitless.  The other eight starters plus a pinch-hitter had at least one hit.  Six different players scored a run and six drove in runs, including Mora with a sacrifice fly.  In addition to 12 hits, Reading drew six walks.

Leading, 4-0, Reading put the game out of reach with a five-run sixth inning that included three singles, two walks, a two-run, ground-rule double by C Andrew Knapp, fielder’s choice RBI and Mora’s SF

Nick Williams, 22, led off the fourth with his third home run of the playoffs. He had two hits, the fourth time in six playoff games. SS J. P. Crawford, 20, and 3B Harold Martinez, 25, had two hits each. Crawford leads Reading with a .476 average in the playoffs, hitting in all six games.

Game 4, Tonight, 7:05, Reading (RH Ben Lively) at Bowie (RH David Hess)
Game 5, Saturday, 6:05, Reading at Bowie*
*If necessary
(Will post over the weekend regarding Reading’s playoffs)

Last Suitcase
Two Phillies’ buses left Citizens Bank Park at 4:30 Thursday afternoon for the Philadelphia Airport and a United Charter flight to Atlanta where the final road trip begins Friday night: three games each with the Braves, Marlins and Nationals.

This Date In Phillies History
Check in all weekend for flashback moments in Phillies history at Chick Fraser, Robin Roberts, Chris Short, Rick Wise, Mike Schmidt, Mariano Duncan, Richie Ashburn and Mickey Morandini are all involved.



Pitchers Struggle

Phillies pitching wasn’t very good last night……in Philadelphia or Reading.

For the 12th time, the Phillies were swept in a series this season, the Nationals’ first at Citizens Bank Park since 2011.  Phillies hitters struck out 42 times, most ever for a three-game series.  Old mark was 38, 1995, vs. the Reds at Veterans Stadium.

Each of the five Phillies pitchers gave up runs in the 16-hit, 12-run attack that included three more home runs. After tying the game at 2-all in the fourth inning, the Phillies didn’t score again while Washington scored 10 times over the next five innings.

After a 16-5 start in second half of the season, the Phillies are now 11-24 in their last 35 games. Coincidently, Franco was hit by a pitch breaking a bone in his left wrist 34 games ago.  He’s hopeful of returning Tuesday.

Minor League Playoffs
At Reading’s FirstEnergy Park, Bowie evened the best-of-five Eastern League championship series at 1-1 by pounding three Fightin’ Phils pitchers for 11 hits in a 10-2 romp.  Starter and loser Ethan Martin and relievers Joely Rodriguez and Ryan O’Sullivan were the victims.  Hoby Milner (3.1) and Tom Windle (1) pitched hitless, scoreless baseball.  Reading pitchers also walked nine and struck out just four.

Four Bowie hurlers held the Phillies to six hits, two by SS J. P. Crawford.  C Andrew Knapp had a solo home run and drove in the other run.

Game 3, tonight, 6:35, Reading (Jake Thompson) at Bowie (Chris Lee)
Game 4, Friday, 7:05, Reading (Ben Lively) at Bowie*
Game 5, Saturday, 6:05, Reading at Bowie*
*If necessary

LF Cornelius Randolph, the Phillies #1 draft selection this summer, was named to the Gulf Coast League All-Star team along with RHP Felix Paulino.

This Date In Phillies History
September 17, 1900
Cincinnati SS Tommy Corcoran, coaching at third in a game at Philadelphia, uncovers a wire in the coaching box that leads across the outfield to the Phillies clubhouse, where reserve catcher Morgan Murphy reads the opposing catcher’s signs and relays them to the Phillies coach by using a buzzer hidden in the dirt.

September 17, 2001
Baseball returns after the September 11 terrorist attacks. 3B Scott Rolen rips two home runs to lead the Phillies past Atlanta, 5-2.  Rolen becomes just the fifth player to hit two home runs in a game off RHP Greg Maddux.

September 17, 2011
Phillies beat St. Louis Cardinals, 9-2, at Citizens Bank Park and wrap up Eastern
Division championship for fifth straight year, their 11th Eastern Division championship overall.

Around the Majors
Rangers have gained the top spot in the AL West over the Astros.  Texas has won six in a row over Houston for an 11-4 season record.

Toronto is 33-11 since July 28.

Mike Olt became the first player ever to homer for both the Cubs and White Sox in the same season.

Jake Peavy became the seventh Giants pitcher to hit a home run, tying a record last reached by the 2002 Dodgers.

The Mets lead the Nationals by 7.5 games with 16 games left.  In 2007, they led the Phillies by 7 with 16 games remaining.  The went on to win the first of five straight division titles as the Mets took a nose-dive.

37 players ad 24 pitchers were used in Tuesday night’s 16-inning Rockies-Dodgers game. Both numbers are major league records. All because rosters can expand from 25 players on September 1.

Eflin Shines in Reading Win

Two homers and six shutout innings by Zach Eflin led the Reading Fightin’ Phils to a 3-1 win over the Bowie Baysox last night. In winning their fourth straight postseason game, the Fightin’ Phils took a 1-0 lead in the Eastern League’s best-of-5 championship series.

1B Brock Stassi, the league’s MVP, homered in the fourth inning, his second of the postseason, and DH Art Charles went deep to start the seventh. C Andrew Knapp’s sacrifice fly produced a second run that inning.

2015 Eflin

Eflin left in the top of the seventh after taking a batted ball of his shin. He allowed four other hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out five.  The 21-year-old Eflin threw 93 pitches, 63 for strikes.  It was his second playoff victory.  In 13 postseason innings the right-hander has allowed two runs.  During the regular season he was 8-6, missing a couple of weeks by playing in the Pan Am Games.

Edubray Ramos relieved in the seventh and picked up two strikeouts in his one inning. Bowie’s run came on a two-out, bases-loaded wild pitch by Jimmy Cordero in the ninth inning.  With runners on second and third, Cordero struck out the last hitter to pick up a save.  In two innings, he allowed two hits, one run, walked two and struck out four giving the Reading pitchers 11 punch outs.

Center fielder Nick Williams made a diving catch with two out and a runner on second base in the fifth inning, the key defensive play of the win.

Game 2, tonight, 7:05, Bowie at Reading (Ethan Martin)
Game 3, Thursday, 6:35, Reading at Bowie (Jake Thompson)
Game 4, Friday, 7:05, Reading (Ben Lively) at Bowie*
Game 5, Saturday, 6:05, Reading at Bowie*
*If necessary

Nats Dominate
Harper and Strasburg, two former No. 1 draft selections, handed the Phillies a second straight loss.  Harper drove in all four runs with three hits, including a pair of home runs. It was his 10th multi-home run game of his career, the fifth this season. Of his 39 season homers, seven have come off Phillies pitchers.

Asche’s fifth-inning single was the Phillies lone hit in Strasburg’s eight innings.  Strasburg fanned 14, 12 swinging. He had a season-high 30 swings and misses. He’s the fourth pitcher since 1900 to hold the Phillies to one hit while striking out 14 or more, joining by Tom Seaver (1970), Nolan Ryan (1970) and Warren Spahn (1960).

Buchanan took the defeat, allowing two runs in his seven innings, his best outing in the majors since July 31.  He threw 74 pitches; Strasburg threw 77 strikes.

With Howard day-to-day with a left knee injury, Blanco batted fourth, the eighth Phillie to hit in the clean-up spot.  Ten different players have been in the three-hole and 14 in the five-spot, indicative of the Phillies struggling season.

This Date In Phillies History
September 16, 1967
In the bottom of the 11th inning, Rick Joseph hits a one-out, walk-off grand slam to give the Phillies a 8-4 win over Los Angeles. It’s the only pinch-hit, extra-inning grand slam in team history.

September 16, 1997
RHP Curt Schilling fans nine in beating the Mets to become the first Phillies pitcher with 300 strikeouts in season and the 13th in baseball history.

Scott Rolen, inducted into the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame in May, is being enshrined into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night.

Around the Majors
Ken Giles currently leads all NL relievers with a 1.43 ERA and is second in MLB behind KC’s Wade Davis (0.93).

Pirates are 32-6 in 1-run decisions including 21-6 at home.

Chase Utley has hit in 10 of his last 11 games.

Jimmy Rollins hasn’t batted since September 6 because of an injured right index finger knuckle.  He has been used as a pinch runner three times since then.

The Braves snapped a 12-home game losing streak last night. Strangely, each of their last 16 wins at home have been by one run.

The Rangers moved into first place in the AL West for the first time this season—game #144.



Walk Leads to Loss

A walk leading off an inning turned into another Phillies loss.  A broken record for this season.

Coming from behind four times wasn’t good enough for the Phillies as they dropped an 8-7 decision to the Nationals.  Garcia walked the first batter he faced in the 11th inning, a fatal fate.

Two former Phillies had opposite production for Washington. Werth hit a grand slam and later, a solo homer in the 10th to pace the Nationals offense. He has 13 RBI in his last six games at Citizens Bank Park.

Papelbon blew his first save since last September 14 when Galvis led off the Phillies’ 10th with a homer. Prior to the game, Papelbon said a lot of things (again), including the fact he was one of the few who wanted to win when he wore the Phillies uniform.  For the record, Washington was two games ahead when they traded for Pap.  Now, the Nationals are 9.5 games out of first place. “I didn’t come here for this,” Pap once complained in Philly.  When will he say that again?

Howard (contusion left knee) and Altherr (contusion right elbow) left the game with injuries. Half of the Phillies infield of the future is on the disabled list, Hernandez (2B) and Franco (3b). Hernandez is done for the season while Franco may be back.  Each is a building block.

Minor League Playoffs
Eastern League finals (best-of-5)
Season: Reading won season series over Bowie (BAL), 6-2.

Tonight, Tuesday, 7:05: Bowie at Reading (Zach Elfin)
Wednesday, 7:05, Bowie at Reading (Ethan Martin)
Thursday, 6:35, Reading at Bowie (Jake Thompson)
Friday, 7:05, Reading at Bowie
Saturday, 6:05, Reading at Bowie*
*If necessary

This Date In Phillies History
September 15, 1950
Closer Jim Konstanty pitches 10 innings of relief in a 19-inning, 8-7 victory over Cincinnati, second game of a Friday DH. The game is the longest in Shibe Park history. Konstanty’s line: 10 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 6 BB, 5 SO. Del Ennis, who sets a record with 10 at-bats, most by a Phillie in an extra-inning game, has the walk-off single. Phillies had 23 hits and left 23 on base.

September 15, 1984
2B Juan Samuel breaks the club record with his 18th triple in a 4-3 loss to Montreal at the Vet.  RF Elmer Flick set the record in 1901.  Samuel finishes the season with 19 triples, a club rookie record.

September 15, 1989
Von Hayes becomes the first player to hit two homers into the upper deck in right field at the Vet in a single game.

Around the Majors
Giants’ pitchers have hit more home runs than their center fielders, 8-3.

The Dodgers’ Kershaw is 9-0, 0.98 ERA in his last 13 starts. Yikes.

Nola and Carrasco (Cleveland) each gave up a home run on the first pitch they threw last night.  Nola wound up with a no decision, Carrasco won, the fourth pitcher this season to win after giving up such a homer.

Each of the last five times that the Mets have found themselves trailing in the sixth inning or later, they’ve come back to win the game, which is the longest streak of that kind in team history.

Nats Next

Hype and predictions don’t always turned out as anticipated.  The Nationals were pegged as a team that would be in the World Series this year.  Their 3.03 ERA was stingiest in the majors a year ago.  In January they signed Scherzer to a seven-year contract giving them the best five starters in baseball.  Well, their ERA this year is 3.77, tied for 10th best, but the postseason has virtually vanished as they trail the Mets by 9.5 games.

Phillies had a similar experience after adding Halladay in 2010. Doc joined Lee, Hamels, Oswalt and Blanton. The Phillies won their division but a third straight World Series trip never happened.

Three-game series begins tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Washington is 8-5 over the Phillies this season.  Overall, the Nats are struggling on the road, 31-41, lowest road win total in five seasons.

J-Roll got a lot of love when he returned for the first time in August.  Papelbon’s reception will be different.

Weekend Split
Asche celebrated the one-year anniversary of his previous walk-off homer on September 12, 2014 by hitting another walk-off shot on Saturday night. According to Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the fifth player in the last 40 seasons to hit walk-off home runs on the same date in back-to-back seasons, joining Jack Clark (September 4, 1981/1982), Cory Snyder (May 19, 1987/1988), Adrian Beltre (August 20, 2003/2004), and Nick Swisher (September 8, 2009/2010).

Howard drove in three runs, two on homer and Altherr scored the winning run on a wild pitch in Sunday’s win that gave the Phillies a split in the four-game series but the season series vs. the Cubs, 5-2.

The homer was Howard’s 184th at Citizens Bank Park, obviously the all-time leader.  In case you are wondering about home run leaders by other Phillies in their home parks: Baker Bowl, Chuck Klein (145), Connie Mack Stadium, Del Ennis (133) and Veterans Stadium, Mike Schmidt (265).

It was Howard’s 644th extra base hit, fourth on the Phillies all-time list behind Mike Schmidt (1,105), Jimmy Rollins (806) and Ed Delahanty (670)

Minor League Playoffs
Riding long balls from SS J. P. Crawford and CF Nick Williams, solid starting pitching by Ben Lively and four shutout innings by the bullpen, Reading advanced to the championship round on Saturday night.  Last time they were in this position was 2001.
The Fightin’ Phils polished off the Mets, 3-0, in the best-of-3 semi-final playoff round.

Reading now faces the Bowie Baysox (BAL) who eliminated the Altoona Curve. The two teams met seven times during the season.  Reading won two of three in Bowie in late July and three of four at home in late September.  The Baysox won the Western Division title by five games over Altoona.  Reading captured the Eastern Division by three games over Binghamton.

Eastern League finals (best-of-5)
Tuesday, 7:05: Bowie at Reading (Zach Elfin)
Wednesday, 7:05, Bowie at Reading (Ethan Martin)
Thursday, 6:35, Reading at Bowie (Jake Thompson)
Friday, 7:05, Reading at Bowie
Saturday, 6:05, Reading at Bowie*
*If necessary

New York-Penn League semi-finals
Williamsport’s season ended Sunday, a 4-0, loss to West Virginia (PIT), which won the series, 2-1. Twice Williamsport had a runner on third with one out but couldn’t score.  The offense produced just three hits.  Mitch Gueller retired the first nine WV batters, was tagged with a run in the sixth and the loss.

This Date In Phillies History

September 14, 1984
LHP Steve Carlton wins his 235th game, 9-5 over Montreal at the Vet, to break the club record held by Robin Roberts.

Around the Majors
Elias Sports Bureau:
The Mets tried to acquire Carlos Gomez from the Brewers at the trade deadline but backed off with a concern of his hip.  Gomez, hitting .234, returned to Houston on Sunday to have his back examined. After passing on Gomez, the Mets obtained Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers.  In his first 40 games with the Mets: 16 homers, 41 RBI, .308 average.

Jose Fernandez of the Marlins is 16-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his 25 starts at home during his short career.

The Royals’ Mike Moustakas set a club record by driving in nine runs on Saturday.  All came from the sixth inning on.

How hot are the Mets? Trailing 7-4 after eight innings in Atlanta, the Mets had two out and nobody on base but a double, walk and a David Murphy home run tied the game.  They won the game scoring three unearned run in the 10th. It was the first win in franchise history in which the Mets trailed by three or more runs with two outs and no runners on base in the ninth inning or later.

There were 120 relief pitchers used in 16 major league games on Sunday.

Rumor Mill Underway

New president Andy MacPhail has begun the search for a new general manager after yesterday’s news that Ruben Amaro would not continue in that role.  Within minutes of the announcement the rumor mill began to post candidates.

After the five greatest seasons in Phillies history, things began to go the other way which happens.  Utley and Howard got hurt, Halladay’s career came to an end as did Lee’s. Core players got older.  Ruben got blamed. The dismantling began after last season with the trading of Bastardo, Byrd and Rollins.  It continued this season, Papelbon, Hamels, Revere, Utley. A bus load of young prospects have been added to the organization. Ruben should get credit.  Andy said someday the Phillies will bear fruit from those moves.

But, Andy felt a change was needed which is understandable. Losses generally dictate change in any sport. Witness, the Phillies are one of five teams looking for a GM:  Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, California Angels. All but the Phillies were expected to contend, not pretend.

Ruben is young, intelligent, experienced and bilingual.  He knows the game.  Heck, it’s been his whole life  He’ll land on his feet somewhere.

Chicago Weekend
An old-fashioned double-header….two games for one price….is in store tonight following Thursday’s wash out.  First pitch is 5:05 p.m.  With expanded rosters, get ready to see a lot of players, especially pitchers. The weekend includes Saturday and Sunday games and iffy weather on Saturday.  Could be a long weekend at the park.

**Citizens Bank Park DH was a separate admission version, June 28, 2014.  Atlanta won both.

**DH (two games, one admission) was September 3, 2006, a split vs. Atlanta. First game was an 8-7 walk-off win on a single by Shane Victorino.

**DH vs. Cubs, April 18, 2001, in Wrigley Field; Cubs won both.

**Cubs-Phillies DH in Philly: Friday, June 15, 1990. Phillies won both–6-5, 10-inning walk-off single by RF Jim Vatcher and a 7-0, 3-hit shutout by LH Bruce Ruffin (4-6) at Veterans Stadium; attendance was 26,098. Adam Morgan was barely four months old. Alec Asher wasn’t even born.

Minor League Playoffs
Eastern League semi-finals
Game #2 in Binghamton was rained out Wednesday night and will be played tonight.
Jake Thompson will start for the Fightin’ Phils in the 6:35 p.m. game.
Game 3—now Saturday: Binghamton at Reading (Ben Lively), 7:05 p.m.
Game 4–Sunday: Binghamton at Reading (Ethan Martin), 6:35 p.m.*
Game 5–Monday: Binghamton at Reading, 6:05 p.m.*
*If necessary
(Winner advances to the best-of-5 championship series)

New York-Penn League semi-finals
Williamsport dropped a 2-1 decision in West Virginia at Monongalia County Ballpark on Wednesday night.  The Black Bears scored a single run in the second inning on a home run by DH Daniel Arribas and added an unearned run in the fifth inning on two singles, an error by 2B Josh Tobias and sacrifice fly-double play, RF Zack Coppola to 1B Brendon Heydon to 3B Jan Hernandez.

The Crosscutters scored their run in the seventh when LF Venn Biter began the inning with a triple.  He scored on a sacrifice fly by PH William Cuicas.  Tobias singled to start the eighth but the next three hitters struck out.  Two more strike outs and an infield pop-up in the next inning ended the game.

Tobias and Biter each had two hits in a losing cause.  Williamsport was 0-6 with RISP and left eight on base.

Alejandro Arteaga took the loss, five innings, six hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and six strikeouts.  Three relievers tossed three scoreless innings, allowing two hits.

West Virginia’s third baseman is Ke’Bryan Hayes, son of Charlie Hayes, former Phillies third baseman.

Game 2–Friday: West Virginia (PIT) at Williamsport (Franklyn Kilome), 7:05 p.m.
Game 3–Saturday: West Virginia at Williamsport (Mitch Gueller), 7:05 p.m.*
*If necessary
(Winner advances to the best-of-3 championship series)

This Date In Phillies History
September 11, 1942
Phillies CF Edwin Freed ties the NL record for most hits in first MLB game: four (single, two doubles, triple).  Cincinnati wins, 8-5, at Shibe Park.

September 12, 1972
Mike Schmidt makes his big league debut, taking over for Don Money in the third inning during a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets at the Vet.  Schmidt singles in the ninth inning for his first hit. Four days later, he hits his first home run against Montreal LHP Balor Moore.




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