Fun Weekend

Needless to say there haven’t been many fun moments this season for the Phillies.  Winning the last road series this weekend in Nationals Park may rank as the most fun weekend.  Not only did the Phillies help knock the Nationals out of the playoff race but they beat Papelbon with an eight-run ninth inning on Sunday.  Before he took the mound in that inning, Pap and Harper got into a fight in the dugout.  Yes, there’s still a Natitude in DC thanks to Pap.

It was the first game in which the Phillies scored as many as eight runs in an inning in the ninth inning or later since September 17, 2005, when they scored ten runs in the ninth inning of a 10-2 come-from-behind victory in Miami. Source: Elias Sports Bureau.

On the 3-6 trip, Phillies starters were awesome, posting a 1.74 ERA over the nine games.  A little more offense could have turned the trip around as the Phillies lost four 2-1 games and a 1-0 decision.  Yet, it’s hard to point the finger at the offense that is missing Franco, Hernandez, Howard and Brown.

Phillies finished the season only 26-55 on the road, their worst record since the 1942 team went 19-58 during the era when they played 77 games on the road.

Sunday morning, the Phillies announced that Nolan will not throw another pitch this season.  After last year’s June draft, he worked 55.1 innings in 12 pro games. Nola was Reading’s starting pitcher in the season opener this year, April 11, in Portland.  He lost, 4-2, allowing four runs in 4.2 innings. He ended the season with five scoreless innings on Saturday night, giving him 187 total innings.  Guess you could say he came a long way this season.

One player who sparkled over the weekend was Altherr, playing center field.  His
two home-run game on Friday night which included an inside-the-park grand slam became a very notable performance: first inside-the-park GS in the majors since 1999, Randy Winn, Tampa Bay Rays against the Yankees . . . first for a Phillies player since 1956, Ted Kazanski at the Polo Grounds against the New York Giants . . . became the third Phillies rookie with two homers, including a grand slam in a game, joining Mike Schmidt (1973) and Pat Burrell (twice in 2000). Sunday Aaron made the greatest catch of the season for the Phillies.

GPS and the Pope
Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia caused the Phillies to change their Amtrak travel plans following Sunday’s game. Because of street closings, potential traffic volume, tourist buses parking in the sports complex and uncertainty that buses could meet the traveling party of 60 at the 30th Street Station, the Phillies returned home from Washington, DC, today.  The charter train took them to Wilmington from where buses took them to Citizens Bank Park.

Many of the rookies on the team are staying in a center city hotel. Getting there Sunday night could have been problem. “Some of our guys haven’t been here that long and they only know one way home,” Frank Coppenbarger, Director, Team Travel, said. “The GPS doesn’t factor in the Pope.”

This Date In Phillies History
September 28, 1919
In the fastest game ever played in the major leagues, it takes the New York Giants 51 minutes to beat the Phillies, 6-1, at the Polo Grounds.  Most batters swung at the first pitch and ran the bases at will in the final game of the season.

September 28, 1958

Ashburnbattitle - Copy
CF Richie Ashburn goes 3-for-4 in the final game of the season, a 6-4 win at Pittsburgh, to edge Willie Mays, .350 to .347, for the NL batting title.  The Phillies haven’t had a batting champion since.

September 28, 1983
C Bo Diaz has five hits, including two homers, and 2B Joe Morgan, four hits and three RBI, as the Phillies clinch the NL East, 13-6, at Chicago, their 14th win in the last 16 games.

September 28, 2003
Before a sellout crowd of 58,554, the final game in Vet history is won by the Atlanta Braves, 5-2.  Following the last out, emotional and memorable closing ceremonies are held featuring the 2003 Phillies and nearly 100 alumni, including Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt and Tug McGraw.

September 28, 2011
Phillies set club record for most wins in a season with 102 as they beat Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in 13 innings. Charlie Manuel sets club record for most wins by a manager with 646, passing Gene Mauch.

Special Birthday
To Bobby Shantz, the left-handed pitcher who won the 1952 American League MVP with the Philadelphia A’s, who turned 90 on Saturday.   Bobby’s career ended in 1964 with the Phillies, who sent him a Phillies jersey with “Shantz 35” on the back, the number he wore with the Phils.  Bobby, his wife, Shirley and daughter will celebrated with their weekly round of golf on Tuesday, weather-permitting.

Around MLB
Marlins’ Jose Fernandez on Friday became the first pitcher ever to start off his career 17-0 at home. On Sunday, Dallas Keuchel finished unbeaten in Houston, 15-0, this season,

Pirates’ Gerrit Cole has 18 wins. Closer Mark Melancon saved 15 of them.

Each of the Rockies outfielders, Charlie Blackman, Carlos Gonzalez and Corey Dickerson homered in the fourth inning vs. the Dodgers on Friday night in Denver.  Only one other team in the last 12 years to match that, Blue Jays’ Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Matt Stairs, May 20, 2007, at Citizens Bank Park off Geoff Geary. Phillies won, 5-3. Rollins and Utley played in that game as they did on Friday night.

The Orioles reached a franchise first by being shut out three straight games by the same team.  For Boston, three consecutive shutouts was the first for the Red Sox since 1958.


Last Road Weekend

Nothing would be more rewarding than winning some games in Washington, DC, this weekend and eliminating the Nationals.  If that happens, the Mets couldn’t clinch at Citizens Bank Park next Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights.  Seeing the Mets celebrate in Philly is a stomach turner for Phillies fans. Ugh!

To win in Nationals Park, the Phillies will need to score some runs, a revelation I realize. Zimmermann, Strasburg and Gonzalez will face the Phils, the same starters during Washington’s three-game sweep at Citizens Bank Park three series ago. In six games on this trip, the Phillies scored 12 total runs, six coming in one game, their lone win. Ugh!

Asher turned in his most impressive outing last night, allowing one hit through six shutout innings.  The streak ended with an infield hit and a triple.  He left after seven innings with two of his team’s five hits, including the only extra base hit.  For his efforts, his record fell to 0-5.  13th time the Phillies have been blanked, fourth by 1-0 score and second time the winning team used six pitchers.

One For The Books
A walk and two singles in one inning but no runner reaches second base.  Can that happen?  Well, it did last night to the Phillies. Altherr walked to start the third inning and was caught stealing. Asher got his first big league hit.  Galvis’ grounder hit Asher who was out. Freddy was credited with a single.

And, The Winners

00 Owens winners
RHP Ricardo Pinto and C Andrew Knapp are the 2015 winners of the Paul Owens Award presented annually since 1986 to the best pitcher and player in the Phillies system. They’ll receive the awards pre-game Thursday, October 1.

Pinto, 21, split his season between single-A Lakewood and Clearwater, combining to go 15-4 in 24 starts with a 2.97 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 145.1 innings pitched.  He allowed two earned runs or fewer in 17 of those starts, including five scoreless outings of 6.0 innings or more.  He was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela in December 2011.

Knapp, a 23-year-old switch-hitter, just completed his third minor league season: .308 with 35 doubles, 13 home runs, 84 RBI, 77 runs scored and 51 walks between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading, setting professional highs in all of those categories. The Roseville, Calif., native was selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2013 draft out of the University of California at Berkeley.

International Scouting Director Sal Agostinelli has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Dallas Green Award, given annually to an amateur or professional scout who best exemplifies the Phillies standard for scouting while demonstrating the same loyalty, work ethic, dedication and passion as the award’s namesake.  It is also recognition of the scout’s ability to judge not only a player’s talent, but also his character and heart.
Sal will receive the award pre-game next Wednesday.

Agostinelli, who was named to his current position in 2012 after spending 15 years as the international scouting supervisor, has been a member of the Phillies scouting staff since 1993.  Since joining the department, he has had a hand in signing several prominent international players, including Carlos Ruiz, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco.

This Date In Phillies History
September 25, 1955
CF Richie Ashburn is hitless in seven at-bats in a season-ending doubleheader in the Polo Grounds but easily wins his first batting title (.338).

Book Time
The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits
is the title of my new book which will be available starting next May in book stores and on-line. Larry Andersen penned the foreword. Publisher again is Triumph Books (

Around MLB
Hunter Pence’s season is over because of a concussion.

Joe Blanton is 5-0 in 18 appearances for the Royals/Pirates this season after being the winning pitcher the last two games, prompting Larry Andersen, “I’m coming out of retirement.”

Cole Hamels went six innings last night and got his fifth straight win; record now 5-1 with Texas.

Royals clinch division for first time since 1985.

The Mets’ Daniel Murphy has 69 RBI, 30 coming after the seventh inning, including the tie-breaking triple in a 3-run seventh inning.  Win reduced Mets magic number to 3.

A baby was born last night during Giants-Padres game at Petco Park.

Who Am I?

Text book baseball? Not exactly.

The Marlins evened the series with a 4-3 win in 11 innings last night.  Two of their runs were unearned.  One of those came in the 10th, the first blown save for Giles or any Phillies closer for that matter this season.

Of the three Phillies runs, the first came on a double play grounder with the bases loaded and no out, the second on a wild pitch which needed a review to overturn the call that the runner was out and the third on a two-out single by Galvis.  That hit was the Phillies third in the last 37 at-bats with runners in scoring positions.

Buchanan turned in the fourth straight strong outing by a Phillies starter but the offense was silent, six hits, including two doubles. So, the rubber game in the series is Thursday night.  Thursdays haven’t been too kind to the Phillies, 3-11. Maybe it will rain.  Oops, Marlins Park has a dome.

Florida Instructional League Roster
RHP: Randy Alcantara, Gustavo Armas, Ismael Cabrera, Luis Carrasco, Jimmy Cordero, Seranthony Dominguez, Edgar Garcia, Luis Gonzalez, Skylar Hunter, Franklyn Kilome, Kenny Koplove, Luke Leftwich, Mauricio Llovera, Sam McWilliams, Adonis Medina, Jairo Munoz, Feliz Paulino, Alexis Rivero, Robert Tasisn, Jake Thompson, Albert Tirado, Shane Watson.

LHP: Bailey Falter, Nick Fanti, Tyler Gilbert, Matt Imhoff, Manuel Silva, Will Stewart, Ranger Suarez.

C: Jorge Alfaro, Edgar Cabral, Rodolfo Duran, Deivy Grullon, Rafael Marchan, Nerluis Martinez.

INF: Jose Antequero, Jonathan Arauz, Daniel Brito, Luis Encarnacion, Arquismedez,
Gamboa, Brendon Hayden, Jan Hernandez, Scott Kingery, Kyle Martin, Josh Tobias, Mitch Walding, Lucas Williams.

OF: Zach Coppola, Mark Laird, Juan Luis, Bryan Martelo, Jhailyn Ortiz, Greg Pickett, Jose Pujols, Cornelius Randolph, Jiandido Tromp, Nick Williams, Reginald Wilson.

This Date In Phillies History
September 24, 1911
St. Louis scores in the sixth inning to break rookie RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander’s 41 consecutive scoreless innings streak, a Phillies record that hasn’t been broken.

Who Am I?

The answer can be found at where Paul Hagen’s written another “Where are they now? feature.

Coming Attraction
The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits
is the title of my new book which will be available starting next May in book stores and on-line. Larry Andersen penned the foreword. Publisher again is Triumph Books (

Around MLB
R.I.P, Yogi Berra. Died Tuesday night, the 69th anniversary of his major league debut. A great catcher, great character, a national treasure.

Kevin Fransden is back with the Giants.

Chase Utley hit his first career lead-off home run last night. Jimmy Rollins started at shortstop for first time since September 6. The Dodgers had only four hits and struck out 13 times but won, 3-1.

Since OF Eric Young joined the Mets, he’s hitless in five at-bats but has scored nine runs.



Pete Provides Stability

In a season of change and with more changes coming, the Phillies have some stability in the dugout with Mackanin named manager. As the rebuilding continues, Mackanin is the perfect one to run the team.

00 mackanin

His 47th season in pro ball next spring will be different. Mackanin scheduled the daily spring training workouts this year but will really be in charge come February. He’s managed before in the minors and three times as an interim in the major leagues.  His minor league managerial stints included rookie league, A, AA, AAA.  Plus, he managed in Latin America in the offseason.

The Phillies will hold an organizational meeting in Clearwater on October 26-29. Andy MacPhail is expected to be the president by then and run the meetings.  Whether a new GM will be hired by then is to be seen.  But at least they have a manager as they begin making plans for next season.

Reading manager Dusty Wathan has joined the Phillies for the rest of the season.  Dave Brundage, the Lehigh Valley manager, was added following the end of the IronPigs season.

Game Info
Asche delivered his first two-home run game of his career to back Harang’s first win since July 30 as the offense recovered from a weekend vacation in Atlanta, 6-2, in Miami last night.

Harang was also backed by four infield double plays.  In case you are wondering, the club record is six done three times, the last being against the Mets in 1962.

This Date In Phillies History
September 23, 1965, 1st game
RHP Jim Bunning’s fifth-inning strikeout is his 242nd of the season, breaking the club record held by RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander (241, 1915).  Bunning wins, 11-5, at Wrigley Field.

September 23, 1983
A 6-2, 12-strikeout victory at St. Louis gives LHP Steve Carlton his 300th career win, the 16th pitcher in baseball history to reach that milestone.

Around MLB
Chase Utley started at third base for the Dodgers on Monday.

Blue Jays are 12-5 vs. the Yankees this season, best in franchise history.

David Price is 8-1, 1.95 ERA since being traded to Toronto. A free agent this winter, Price has certainly driven up his price.

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt hit his seventh homer against the Dodgers last night, the most by any player vs. LA since 2004.

St. Louis’ 3-1 win was their 31s when scoring three or fewer runs.  The Cardinals lead the majors with a 2.89 ERA.  Pittsburgh is second, 3.20.

Another Book
The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits
is the title of my new book which will be available starting next May in book stores and on-line. Larry Andersen penned the foreword. Publisher again is Triumph Books (


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.


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