Law of Averages, Please

Eight straight losses to the Mets this season after last night with one more game to go in this four-game series tonight. Thursday is the Phillies poorest day of the week, 3-10. So, if there is such a thing as the law of averages, the Phillies should win tonight.

Eickhoff was touched for three first-inning runs after Herrera started the game by dropping a fly ball.  Eickhoff then retired 16 in a row until allowing a sixth-inning run. Three relievers allowed five runs over the last two Mets innings putting the game out of reach after the Phillies scored four in the eighth to make it 6-4 going into the ninth.
Araujo allowed his first hit since July 11 in the ninth inning after not allowing a hit to 38 consecutive batters.

The Mets have set a franchise record with 40 home runs this month.  Wondering what’s the Phillies record for August?  43 in 2009.  Phillies greatest month ever is 44 in June of 2004.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (59-72), 4th place, North Division)
Lost, 4-2, to Buffalo ending a 4-game winning streak. LP: Anthony Vasquez (7-7), 6.2-5-3-2-4-2. 2 hits each for SS Chase d’Arnaud, LF Jordan Danks and 3B Russ Canzler.
Next: Jesse Biddle and TBD 5:30 tonight in DH in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (74-55), 1st place, Eastern Division)
Won, 8-6 in 10 innings in Altoona. SS KC Serna, 4-5, 2 R. RF Destin Hood, triple, 9th HR, 5 RBI (seventh-inning grand slam). C Andrew 2-6; saw average fall to .378.  ND: Jake Thompson, 6-6-1-1-1-7. WP: Edubray Ramos (1-1). SV: Reinier Roibal (1).
Next: Ethan Martin (2-0) 7:05 tonight vs. Bowie.

Clearwater Threshers (36-23), 2nd place, North Division)
Day off.  C Willians Astudillo, leads FSL with .329 average, 10 strikeouts in 362 at-bats. LF Andrew Pullin leads FSL with 14 home runs.
Next: Ricardo Pinto (7-2) 6:35 tonight in Brevard County.

Lakewood BlueClaws (32-26, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
Won, 7-6, over Hagerstown on 1B Damek Tomscha’s go-ahead HR (5) in the eighth inning. DH Kyle Martin, triple, 3 RBI. WP: Jason Zgardowski (3-1). SV: Joey DeNato (10). Ended the game by picking a runner off first base, his 16th of the season.
Next: Shane Watson (1-4) 7:05 tonight vs. Hagerstown.

Williamsport Crosscutters (42-22) 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Won seventh in a row, 8-4, pounding out 14 hits against State College. 3 hits each for DH Zach Cappola and CF Carlos Duran. RF Jose Pujols, HR (4). WP: Jose Taveras (7-2), 6-5-3-3-2-5.
Next: Franklyn Kilome (3-2) 7:05 tonight at Batavia.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (34-23), 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Won, 1-0, over Pirates in a 9-inning game that took only 1 hour, 57 minutes. 1B Luis Encarnacian and 3B Lucas Williams each had 2 hits out of 5 for the team. ND:  Bailey Falters, 5-3-0-0-0-3. WP: Zach Morris (5-1). Phillies missed the playoffs.  Four division winners qualify and Phillies are in second place. Season ends on Saturday.
Next: 12 noon at Pirates.

Mets Continue to Dominate

The Mets continued their dominance of the Phillies Tuesday night winning their seventh straight and 10th in 11 games this year. They were 13-6 a year ago, the most wins they ever had in a season against the Phillies. Over the last four seasons, 42-24.  Two more games this series and then three in Citi Field starting on Monday night.

A pair of two-run homers (Galvis & Howard) gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead after three innings.  Galvis’ homer was their lone hit with RISP in eight at-bats.  Offensively the Phillies struck out a season high 16 times.  The Mets won scoring three in the sixth on three walks and two singles.

Howard’s homer was his 183rd at Citizens Bank Park and #44 in 156 games against the Mets.  NL RBI leaders since July 25: Carlos Gonzalez (43), Ryan and Matt Kemp (35).

Game #3 in the series tonight, Colon, 42, vs. Eickhoff, 25.  Colon won his first major league game on June 7, 1997. Eickhoff was six years old.

Who Is He?
When Eickhoff won his first game last week he became the second Phillies pitcher since 1920 (the first season that RBI were officially tracked) to record at least two RBI in his MLB debut. Tom Sullivan was the first.

So, who is or was Tom Sullivan?

The 26-year-old left-hander relieved in the second inning of a 19-7 loss in St. Louis with the Cardinals winning, 8-0, on May 15, 1922.  He finished the game, allowing 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits.  He batted four times and hit a two-run homer.  His career ended 15 days after his debut, 0-0, 11.25 ERA for eight total innings in three games and that one hit as a hitter.  93 years after that hit, his name resurfaced for the first time. Chance are it is the last time.  Sorry, Sully.

Minor Leagues
Players of the Week (Aug. 17-23)

2015 Aaron Brown
OF Aaron Brown, Clearwater…The 23-year-old in his second professional season, hit .455 (10-22) with a home run, six runs scored, two doubles, two RBI and a walk in six games. He began the week with four straight multi-hit games, including his fourth three-hit game of the season. Brown was selected by the Phillies in the third round of the 2014 draft out of Pepperdine University and was signed by Shane Bowers.

2015 Pinto

RHP Ricardo Pinto, Clearwater…The 21-year-old Pinto made one start for the Threshers, tossing 6.0 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and just three hits. He has allowed just one run in his last 19.2 innings (0.92 ERA), and over that span has surrendered just 11 hits and three walks (0.71 WHIP) while striking out 16 batters. He also was the Pitcher of the Week, June 22-28. Combined with Lakewood, he’s 13-4, 2.79 ERA, leading the organization in wins. Pinto was signed by the Phillies and Jesus Mendez as an amateur free agent in December of 2011.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (59-71), 4th place, North Division)
Won fourth in a row riding a 16-hit attack to a 9-3 decision vs. Buffalo. 1B Tommy Joseph, 4-5, 2 RBI. 5 other LV batters had 2 hits each. WP: Sean O’Sullivan (3-2), 7-8-3-3-0-4.
Next: Anthony Vasquez (7-6) 7:05 tonight vs. Buffalo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (73-55), 1st place, Eastern Division)
After a 17-hit attack on Monday, Reading was held to 7 hits (6 singles) in 3-2 loss at Altoona. LP: Ryann O’Sullivan (1-2), younger brother of Sean O’Sullivan, who was tagged for 2 eighth-inning runs. ND: Zach Elfin, 7-6-1-0-0-5.
Next: Jake Thompson (3-1) 7:00 tonight in Altoona.

Clearwater Threshers (36-23), 2nd place, North Division)
Scoring single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, Dayton blanked Clearwater, 2-0. Threshers had just 3 singles. ND for 23-year-old John Richy, making his debut following the Utley trade, 7-4-0-0-1-3.
Next: Day off today. Seven-game road trip begins tomorrow in Brevard County and ends in Daytona.

Lakewood BlueClaws (31-26, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
Defeated Hagerstown, 6-3. LF Cord Sandberg, 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI.  CF Jiandido Tromp, 2-4, 2 R, RBI. WP: Austin Davis (4-5). SV: Matt Hockenberry (15).
Next: Elniery Garcia (8-9) 7:05 tonight vs. Hagerstown.

Williamsport Crosscutters (41-22) 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Won sixth in a row, 2-1, over State College.  All runs were scored in the first inning.  RF Jose Pujols hit a 2-run HR (3). WP: Tyler Gilbert (4-3), 6-4-1-1-1-6. SV: Robert Tasin (15). Williamsport leads second-place State College by 7.5 games.  Magic number to clinch the division title is 7. Williamsport was last in the playoffs in 2001.
Next: Jose Taveras (6-2) 7:05 tonight vs. State College.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (33-23), 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Dropped 2 games to Yankees1, 3-2 and 5-1, getting only 4 total hits. RF Greg Pickett his first pro HR in the second game. Phillies trail first-place Blue Jays by 4 games and 4 games remaining.  Season ends Saturday.
Next: 12 noon vs. Pirates.

Reading: OF Cameron Perkins placed on DL (lower back strain).
GCL Phillies: Released RHP Lewis Alezones.

Alumni Birthday
Special wishes to former coach Billy DeMars who turns 90 today.  The Clearwater, FL, resident coached for the Phillies from 1969-1981. A middle infielder, Billy played part of three seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia A’s and St. Louis Browns, 1948; 1950-51.  During his 14-year minor league career he was a teammate with Pat Gillick in Stockton, CA, in 1959-60.


Home Run Derby

There’s something about Citizens Bank Park that brings out the best in the Mets.  Cheese steaks, crab fries, super pretzels, water ice, pizza, south Jersey tomatoes?

Trailing, 7-2 after three innings, the Mets powered their way to a 16-7 win as the first seven hitters in their lineup went deep. Hard to believe they came into the game with the worst batting average in the league (.240). Since the start of the 2012 season, the Mets are 24-8 at CBP.

Wright, playing his first game since April 14, hit the third pitch he saw for a home run, his 20th at CBP, most for any enemy player. It started a home run derby in which the Mets set club records by clubbing eight homers and 15 extra-base hits. The Phillies hit three homers.  Combined total is a new record for Citizens Bank Park. The 11 tied the National League record, only the second time in a nine-inning game.

All seven Phillies runs and three homers came off deGrom, who entered the game with a 1.98 ERA. It is the most runs he’s allowed in any big league game and his earliest exit, 2.2 innings.  Gilmartin relieved and held the Phillies scoreless for 3.1 innings.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (58-71), 4th place, North Division)
Won third in a row, 7-4, vs. Buffalo. DH Eric Kratz, 2 H, 3 RBI. RF Tyler Henson, 2 H, 2 RBI. WP: David Buchanan (4-1), 5-4-1-1-5-1. SV: Dustin McGowan (13).
Next: Sean O’Sullivan (2-2) 7:05 tonight vs. Buffalo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (73-54), 1st place, Eastern Division)
Ended a 4-game losing streak with a 17-hit attack, 11-5, at Altoona. CF Nick Williams led off the game with a home run.  He finished with 4 H, 4 R, RBI, boosting average to .357. SS J. P. Crawford, 3 H, 2 R, 2 RBI. C Andres Knapp, HR (10), 5 RBI; hitting .381.
WP: Nick Pivetta (2-3), 7-7-4-3-3-5; allowed a 3-run HR in the first inning.
Next: Zach Eflin (7-6) 7:00 tonight in Altoona.

Clearwater Threshers (36-22, 1st place, North Division)
Blanked Daytona, 2-0, on 4 hits.  FSL player of the week, 1B Rhys Hoskins, 2B, 2 RBI. Combined with Lakewood: 34 doubles, 16 HR, 83 RBI, .314. LF Andrew Pullin, 2-4. C Willians Astudillo, 2-4; league-leading average at .332. WP: Mark Leiter (6-1), 6-4-0-0-1-3.  SV: Ulises Joaquin (16). Clearwater’s overall record of 73-55 is the best in the FSL.
Next: John Richy, who came from the Dodgers in the Utley trade, makes his Phillies debut 7:00 tonight vs. Daytona.

Lakewood BlueClaws (30-26, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
Back in action tonight, Austin Davis (3-5) 7:05 vs. Hagerstown.

Williamsport Crosscutters (40-22) 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Won fifth in a row, 4-1 over State College despite getting only 4 hits. DH Jose Pujols, HR (2), 2 RBI. 2B Josh Tobias, single, 2 R, RBI. WP: Luke Leftwich (2-1), 6-5-1-1-0-6. SV: Robert Tasin (14); only blown save came on 7/21. Win improved home record to 23-10.
Next: Tyler Gilbert (3-3) 7:05 tonight vs. State College.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (33-21), 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Split a pair of 7-inning games at Yankees1, 5-0 W and 11-1 L. WP: Luis Morales (2-0), 6-3-0-0-1-2. LF Cornelius Randolph, 2-2 in second game; hitting .306.
Next: 11 a.m. DH today vs. Yankees1.  It is their third straight DH.

Gulf Coast League Phillies: released P Tanner Kiest.

Updated Prospects List has updated the top 30 Phillies prospects following the Utley trade.  Check it out at,

This Date In Phillies History
August 25, 1955
Before a double header with St. Louis, the Phillies honor Del Ennis for driving in more runs than any player in team history. Ennis is presented with gifts including a Cadillac, TV, air conditioner, freezer, diamond ring, and fishing outfit. The Phils win both games, with Ennis adding 4 RBI to his record total.

August 25, 1995
LF Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle, the first Phillie since Johnny Callison did it on June 27, 1963, 5,107 games ago. Phillies bury visiting Los Angeles, 17-4.


Pay-back Time

Well, Phillies folks, it is pay-back time.  The red-hot New York Mets begin a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park tonight.  They are fresh from a three-game sweep in Colorado and lead the pre-season favorites, Washington Nationals, by five games in the NL East.

Why the big lead? Because the Mets are 8-1 vs. the Phillies, winning the last five. Seven of the Phillies next 10 games are against the Mets who will have David Wright back.  He last played on April 14.

Since the All-Star Game, the Phillies are 21-12; New York Mets, 20-12. Both teams are a lot different from their last meeting, May 25-26-27 in Citi Field.  The Mets’ 3.31 ERA is third stingiest in the NL yet they have no complete games. They are poison at home, 42-21, but not so poison on the road, 25-35. Exception: Citizens Bank Park, where they have won five straight series.  Pay-back time.

Weekend Firsts
In winning three of our in Miami, the Phillies won their first series there in two years . . . Eickhoff won his first game for the Phillies before Hamels won his first in Texas . . . Eickhoff was the first Phillies starter not to allow a run in his first start since Cole . . . Eickhoff was the first Phillies pitcher to drive in a pair of runs while winning his MLB debut since 1922 . . . Sweeney’s first hit for the Phillies was a pinch-hit home run . . . Back-to-back home runs by Altherr and Ruf were the first for the Phillies since Byrd and Asche did the same in the same park in July of a year ago.

Rookie Row
Morgan starts tonight.  The last five Phillies wins have come from rookies: Nola, Araujo, Eickhoff, Morgan and Nola.

Minor Leagues
Prospect Spotlight

2015 Gueller
RHP Mitch Gueller, Williamsport. After 9-18 record over first three pro seasons, the 21-year-old has turned it around this season.  Win on Sunday was his sixth in a row, boosting record to 8-1. He leads the New York-Penn League in wins and ERA (2.15). He was 5-5 last summer at Williamsport and has made the NYP All-Star team in 2014 and this year.  He was selected as a compensation selection between the first and second rounds in 2012, the 54th player chosen overall.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (57-71), 5th place, North Division)
Won 2 of 3 in Pawtucket.  WP in 2-0 Saturday game, Alec Asher (2-0), 7-6-0-0-0-3; Dustin McGowan had 2 saves, 11-12.
Next: David Buchanan (3-1) 7:05 tonight vs. Buffalo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (72-54), 1st place, Eastern Division)
For the first time since July 25-26-27, Reading has lost 3 in a row, getting swept at home vs. New Britain. 1B Brock Stassi, 12th HR, 83 total RBI. SS J. P. Crawford, 6-13 in last 3 games, including sixth triple and 3 R.
Next: Nick Pivetta (1-3) 7:00 tonight in Altoona.

Clearwater Threshers (35-22, 2nd place, North Division)
Lost 2 to Brevard County before a 10-6 win over Daytona on Sunday. Sunday star: LF Andrew Pullin, 4-4, 4 RBI, including 13th-14th HR, matching his 3-year total before this season; hitting .351 in last 10 games. 1B Rhys Hoskins, 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI. WP: Harold Guerrero (2-2). SV: Alexis Rivero (2).
Next: Mark Leiter (5-1) 7:00 tonight vs. Daytona.

Lakewood BlueClaws (30-26, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
Were swept in a 3-game series in West Virginia, getting just 8 total hits in last 2 losses.
Tyler Viza (4-9) pitched a complete game in losing 4-2 on Saturday, 8-6-4-1-0-4. He has lost last 7 games with Lakewood scoring a total of 17 runs.
Next: Day off on Monday.

Williamsport Crosscutters (39-22) 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Swept 3 games from Auburn, stretching winning streak to 4 games. CF Carlos Duran and C Austin Bossart each had 3 of Williamsport’s 18 hits on Sunday.  SV: Robert Tasin (12-13). Franklyn Kilome (3-2) won on Friday, 3-2, 6-8-1-1-1-3.
Next: TBD 7:05 tonight vs. State College.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (32-20, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Split 2 games vs. Blue Jays. WP Adonis Medina (3-1), 5-3-0-0-2-3.
Next: 11 a.m. DH today at Yankees1.



Rallies Fall Short

When the enemy bats around in each of the first two innings, it’s going to be a long night.  The Marlins did that, plating four in each of their first two at-bats against Williams.  In his two previous starts, Williams gave up three runs over 13 innings with no walks. Thursday night, he walked four.  The Phillies battled back with three late-inning rallies but fell short, 9-7.

The loss dropped the Phillies Thursday record to 3-10, worst day of the week. Phillies should ask MLB not to schedule games on Thursday next year.

Facing the Marlins tonight, Eickhoff will be the fourth rookie to start this season for the Phillies and their 13th overall.

Scouting Chase
Phillies scout Paul Scott saw Utley play three games and filed the following on May 31 just before the 2000 draft: “Live, athletic body.  Long arms, small waist.  Quiet, but aggressive.  Quick bat.  Sneaky power.  Good, soft hands.  Good instincts and good baserunner.  Active, moves around a lot.  Can drive the ball the other way.  Hitch in swing, but hands and bat are in good position at trigger.  He will be a starting second baseman on a pennant winner.  Top of the order hitter.  Should move through the system quickly.”

Kudos to Paul for hitting the nail on the head.

Alumni Notes
Randy Wolf had his contract purchased by the Tigers from Buffalo (Toronto) where he was 9-2, 2.58 ERA.  He’ll start Saturday on his 39th birthday . . . Marlon Byrd was traded to the Giants to replace Hunter Pence who went on the DL.

Minor Leagues
Prospect Spotlight

2015 H Rodriguez
Lakewood RF Herlis Rodriguez has hit in 20 of last 21 games started, .300 on the season with 17 doubles, club-high 10 homers in 103 games.  A left-handed hitter, he’s hitting .319 vs. LHP. Batting .325 this month. South Atlantic League Player of the month for June when he hit .373. The 21-year-old was signed in 1/29/2011 out of Venezuela.  Twin brother, Helmis, is a pitcher in the same league.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (55-70), tie 4th place, North Division)
Rained out in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Next: Jesse Biddle (2-3) 7:05 tonight in Pawtucket.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (72-51), 1st place, Eastern Division)
Rained out at home vs. New Hampshire.
Next: Jake Thompson (3-0) 7:05 tonight vs. New Britain.

Clearwater Threshers (34-20, 2nd place, North Division)
Scoring 7 in the seventh, Clearwater downed Brevard County, 11-1. C Chace Numata led the 16-hit attack, 3-4, 2 R, 4 RBI. 3B Mitch Walding, 3-4. CF Aaron Brown, 2 doubles, 2 R. 1B Rhys Hoskins, double, triple, 3 R, RBI. WP: Yacksel Rios (6-3), 6-3-0-0-0-5.  Threshers have won 4 in a row.
Next: David Whitehead (7-10), 6:30 tonight vs. Brevard County.

Lakewood BlueClaws (30-23, 2nd place, Northern Division)
11-hit attack carried Lakewood to a 6-4 win in West Virginia. RF Herlis Rodriguez, 2-5, 16th-17th doubles, 2 R. 2B Scott Kingery, double, 2 RBI. 3B Damek Tomscha, 2-4, RBI, R. LF Cord Sandberg, 2-4. CF Jiandido Tromp, 2-4, R, SB. C Deivi Grullon, HR (5), 3 RBI. WP: Manny Martinez (3-1). 4-out save for Matt Hockenberry (14).
Next: Will Morris (5-0) 7:05 tonight in West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (36-22) 1st place, Pinckney Division)
14-hit attack sank State College, 9-4. 2B Josh Tobias, 3-5, 2 R, RBI. 3B Jan Hernandez, HR (10, 4 RBI. DH Mark Laird, 2-4.  WP: Jose Taveras (6-2), 6.2-4-3-2-1-7.
Next: Franklyn Kilome (2-2) 7:05 tonight vs. Auburn.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (31-19, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
7-2 win on 10 hits vs. Braves.  SS Arquimedes Gamboa, 2-5, 2 RBI, R. 1B Scott Tomassetti, 2-4, RBI. CF Juan Luis, 2-3, R.
Next: 12 noon today vs. Braves.

This Date In Phillies History
August 21, 1949, 2nd game
Fans litter the Shibe Park field after umpire George Barr rules a line drive to CF Richie Ashburn was trapped and not caught.  Umpires forfeit the game to the New York Giants.

August 21, 1972
Steve Carlton’s club-record 15-game winning streak ends by the Atlanta Braves, 2-1, in 11 innings at Veterans Stadium.

August 21, 1990
Phillies tie club record with nine runs in the top of the ninth for a 1211
comefrombehind (trailed 111 at one point) win in Los Angeles.  Carmelo Martinez’
double is the gamewinner.

August 21, 1991
1B John Kruk is hit by pitch for first time in his career, 2,681 plate appearances. Phillies
win, 43, in 11 innings vs. Pittsburgh.


Rookies Shine

Morgan tossed a career-high seven innings, the Phillies took a page from the Blue Jays by hitting three home runs and Giles got his eighth straight save in winning, 7-4.  The rookie lefty allowed two runs in seven innings in beating Toronto for the second time this season. In his other win, he gave up two runs in six innings.

Frency, Altherr and Blanco provided the long balls that staked Morgan to a 7-2 lead. Five of Frenchy’s last nine home runs have come at home. Altherr got his first major league hit with an RBI double in the first inning and homered in the fifth.  He’s the first Phillies player to have his first career hit, home run, RBI, run, double and walk in the same game since Denny Southern on September 10, 1926 versus the Chicago Cubs.

Blanco, who had four major league home runs in 638 at-bats before this season, lined a homer into the right field seats in the fifth.  It is the first time he has hit homers in back-to-back games.

In a season in which the Phillies are looking for building blocks, Morgan and Altherr show more hope for the future.  Granted, one game by Altherr doesn’t equate to a successful career but it is a start.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (55-70), 5th place, North Division)
Lost, 2-1, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LP: Anthony Vasquez (7-6), 6.2-5-2-1-3-0. LF Brian Bogusevic, 2-4, 11th HR. SS Chase d’Arnaud, 3-5. C Erik Kratz, 2-3.
Next: Jesse Biddle (2-3) 7:05 tonight in SWB.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (72-51), 1st place, Eastern Division)
The beat goes on.  Reading pounded 17 hits in winning its 15th in the last 16 games, 12-6, over New Hampshire who hit 4 homers among its 8 hits. CF Nick Williams,, 3-5, 3 R. 3B Angelo Mora, 3-5, 2 R. SS J.P. Crawford, 3-5, RBI, SB. RF Destin Hood, 3-5, 3 R, 7th-8th HRs, 6 RBI. C Rene Garcia, 3-5, 2 RBI. Andrew Knapp did not play. WP: Zach Elfin (7-6), 6-6-4-4-1-3-3 HR.
Next: Jake Thomplearwater Threshers son (3-0) 7:05 tonight vs. New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (33-20, 2nd place, North Division)
Won third in a row, 6-2, in Dunedin. 2 hits each: RF Dylan Cozens, LF Andrew Pullin, C Chace Numata, CF Aaron Brown, 3B Mitch Walding. WP: Mark Leiter (5-1), 6-6-2-2-2-5. SV: Alexis Rivero (2), 3-0-0-0-1-5.
Next: Yacksel Rios (5-3) 7:00 tonight vs. Brevard County.

Lakewood BlueClaws (29-23, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
Ended a 3-game losing streak with a 6-1 win over Delmarva. CF Jiandido Tromp, 3-3. 3B Damek Tomscha, 1-3, 3 RBI. 1B Kyle Martin, 2-4. SS Drew Stankiewicz, 2-3, SB. WP: Elniery Garcia (8-9), 6-5-1-1-2-3. SV: Joey DeNato (9), 3-1-0-0-0-4.
Next: Jario Munoz (1-0) 7:05 tonight in West Virginia.

Williamsport Crosscutters (35-22) 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Lost, 5-0, at State College. CF Carlos Duran had 2 of Williamsport’s 4 singles.
Next: Jose Taveras (5-2) 7:05 tonight in State College.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (30-19, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Dopped 3-2 decision at Braves. LF Cornelius Randolph, 2-3, boosting average to .308; hitting .364 in last 10 games.
Next: 12 noon today vs. Braves.

Comment Corner
Jim posted the following question the other day: “Two of the Phillies’ 2015 draft signees, Ben Pelletier and Reggie Wilson, are in Clearwater but are not on the GCL or any roster. Why? Are they eligible this season? Have they signed a different type of contract?”

Jim, OF Ben Pelletier, selected in the 34th round and OF Reggie Wilson two rounds earlier, were signed to 2016 contracts, a common practice for late-round selections.

This Date In Phillies History
August 20, 1961
Scoring four times in the top of the eighth inning, the Phillies end an NL-record 23-game losing streak behind RHP John Buzhardt, 7-4, at the Milwaukee Braves.  The streak began with a 4-3 loss to San Francisco on July 29.  Seventeen of the losses came on the road.

August 20, 1986
LHP Don Carman loses bid for perfect game when San Francisco’s Bob Brenly doubles
to start last of the ninth.  Phillies win 10, on 2B Juan Samuel’s homer in 10th, the
second time in club history they win a 1-0 extra-inning game on a home run, Ron
Northey in 1944.

August 20, 1991
SS Dickie Thon hits twoout, tworun homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat
Pittsburgh, 6-5. It is the first time since June 28, 1987, that the Phillies come from
behind in the ninth inning to win, a stretch of 346 games.


Chase Going Home


The demolition ball struck again.  This time Chase is the one to go.  He’s reuniting with his longtime shortstop partner, J-Roll, with the Dodgers. We now have a Los Angeles Chapter of the Phillies Alumni as Shane is also playing in LA with the Angels

Chase had 1,623 hits in 1,551 games wearing a Phillies uniform.  J-Roll, 2,306 hits in 2,090 games.  Each played 46 games in 10 postseason series.  Jimmy had more hits, 47-43. They are the greatest double play combination ever for the Phillies. J-Roll had 2,058 games at short and Chase 1,453 on the other side of the infield. Each played in two World Series and now have a chance for another.

Of course, Chase had that historic World Series in 2009, hitting five home runs, including two, two-homer games.  His first World Series at-bat in 2008? A home run.
His first hit in the major leagues? A grand slam. Last walk-off hit in history of Veterans Stadium: Chase. Last batter at the Vet? Chase.

A six-time All-Star, his career was hampered by knee and ankle injuries the last five years. But, it never deterred from his preparation or busting it at all times on the field.  He is the ultimate example of how to play the game.

Chase Utley was born and raised in the Los Angeles.  He went to high school there and college at UCLA.  Once a Dodgers fan as a kid, he was drafted by them in the second round in 1967 following high school.  He chose UCLA and was selected by the Phillies in the first round three years later.  He now returns home where he has a .320 lifetime average at Dodger Stadium.

Chase is one of the most popular athletes to play in this city. Some day he will return to Citizens Bank Park to be inducted into the Wall of Fame.  That’ll be goosebump city.

As Harry Kalas once proclaimed, “Chase Utley….you ARE the man!”

Coming East
INF-OF Darnell Sweeney is a 24-year-old switch-hitter who is ranked as the Dodgers’ 13th top prospect by the MiLB Pipeline.  Playing at AAA Oklahoma City, he’s hitting .271 and leading the Pacific Coast League with 32 steals. He leads OC with 69 runs, 30 doubles, 4 triples, 42 walks and 116 strikeouts. AA All-Star last year and same honor in AAA this season. Led the Southern League in runs (88) and walks (77) a year ago. Originally a shortstop, he moved to second base last year and centerfield this year.  A lead-off hitter at OC, he played center field on Tuesday and third base on Monday. He was scratched from the lineup Wednesday night. He was LA’s 13th round draft pick in 2012 out of the University of Central Florida. He will take Chase’s place on the roster and join the Phillies in Miami in time for Thursday’s night game.

RHP John Richy, 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA at Hi-A Rancho Cucamonga.  He’s tied for the California League lead in wins. The 6-4, 215-pounder leads the staff with 124.1 innings and 105 strikeouts. He was the pitcher of the week in May when he threw a 9-inning shutout. The 23-year-old was LA’s third-round selection in 2014 out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Homers Power Blue Jays


Toronto’s high-powered offense did in the Phillies on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.  Leading, 4-3, the Phillies lost a chance to break the game wide open when they hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded and no out in the fifth. One run padded the lead but the Jays put up five runs in the sixth, hitting two homers off Gomez, who had given up one all season in 96.1 innings.

Nola uncharacteristically struggled with his control but battled and left the game with a 5-3 lead after five innings. In his brief big league career he had walked six out of the first 124 hitters he faced.  Last night he faced 24 batters and walked four.

The five Phillies runs in four innings against Dickey snapped a franchise record in which the Toronto starting pitchers had gone 20 consecutive games without allowing more than three runs.  The Jays’ pen which has been the A.L’s best since the All-Star Game gave up two hits and no runs in five innings.

Toronto is 21-8 since the All-Star Game; Phillies, 17-11, losing six of last seven.

After tonight’s game, the Phillies head for a short road trip to Miami that is twice as long as this homestand. Phillies are back home starting Monday, a four-game series with the division-leading Mets.

de ja vu
For the second time, the Phillies have had a rookie third baseman sustain a fracture when hit by a pitch.  Franco’s season may be over after being hit on his left wrist last week in Arizona.

Scott Rolen had his season cut short in 1996 with a fractured right forearm after being hit by a pitch thrown by the Cubs’ Steve Trachsel on September 6 at Veterans Stadium.  It was Rolen’s 37th game, meaning he retained his rookie status for the following season.  Franco has played 97 games and is longer considered a rookie.

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (55-69), tie 4th place, North Division)
Won, 3-1, in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre behind Sean O’Sullivan (2-2), 8.1-3-1-0-1-9; SV: Dustin McGowan (10). CF Brian Bogusevic, 2-4. LF Tyler Henson, 2-run double.
Next: Anthony Vasquez (7-5) 7:05 tonight in SWB.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (71-51), 1st place, Eastern Division)
Won 14th in last 15 games and improved to 8-0 at home this month with a 6-5 win over New Hampshire. C Andrew Knapp, 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, extending hitting streak to 16 games. Won game in the eighth inning when Knapp doubled (33rd) and scored the league run when the third baseman committed an error on a bunt by 2B Angelo Mora.
NH scored three in the first inning off Nick Pivetta who gave up two more before leaving the game after 3.2 innings. Relievers Edubray Ramos, Reiniier Roibal and Ryan O’Sullivan combined for 5.1 hitless, scoreless innings.  WP: Roibal (5-1). SV: O’Sullivan (3).
Next: Zach Eflin (6-6) 7:05 tonight vs. New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (32-20, 1st place, North Division)
Won, 9-4, vs. Dunedin. 2-3-4-5-6 hitters in the lineup: 11-21, 7 Rm 7 RBI. 1B Rhys Hoskins, HR (7), 15 including Lakewood. CF Aaron Brown, HR (10). WP: Matt Imhoff (7-4), 5-5-2-2-2-6.
Next: Mark Leiter (4-1) 6:30 tonight in Dunedin.

Lakewood BlueClaws (28-23, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
Lost 13th in 17 games at the hands of Delmarva, 8-2, getting 8 singles. RF Herlis Rodriguez hit in his 19th consecutive game.
Next: Elniery Garcia (7-9) 7:05 tonight vs. Delmarva.

Williamsport Crosscutters (35-21, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Next: Tyler Gilbert (3-2) 7:05 tonight in State College; first game back after the All-Star Game.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (30-18, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Scoring twice in the eighth inning, the Phillies nipped the host Astros, 2-1. C Greg Brodzinski, 2-3, RBI. Miguel Gonzalez started, 2-1-0-0-1-3. WP: Luis Morales (1-0), 4-1-0-0-0-6.
Next: 12 noon today at Braves.

This Date In Phillies History
August 19, 1903
Phillies have 10 consecutive postponements, August 10-19. Guess they didn’t have tarps back then.

August 19, 1978
54,288 are on hand when Phillies blank San Francisco, 3-0, at Veterans Stadium. Happy Days softball team, featuring Henry Winkler, plays before the Saturday night game.


Kids vs. Veterans


Phillies returned home on Sunday night, spent Monday unpacking and getting ready for another road trip after Wednesday night’s game.  That game is the second of a two-game series against the American League East second-place Blue Jays.  Toronto is trying to reach the postseason for the first time since 1993 when they won the World Series, a painful memory for Phillies fans.

The Blue Jays have won 15 of their last 18 games, including going 1-1 against the Phillies in Toronto.  They lead the A.L. with 622 runs scored and 225 doubles while second in homers with 158.  40-23 at home, the Blue Jays are 25-31 on the road but carry a six-game winning streak at Citizens Bank Park going into the series that starts tonight.

Veterans will be starting for Toronto, 40-year-old Dickey tonight and 36-year-old Buehrle on Wednesday. Combined they have started 715 games in the majors. Dickey owns the one win Toronto had over the Phillies on July 29, 8-2.

The Phillies, 7-8 in interleague play, will counter with two rookies, 22-year-old Nola tonight and 25-year-old Morgan in the next game.  Combined they have 14 big league starts. During the Phillies 17-10 record since the All-Star Game, Nola has three of the wins and Morgan, two, including a 3-2 decision over the Jays on July 28.

Minor Leagues
Players of the Week (Aug. 10-16)
1B Luis Encarnacion, Gulf Coast League Phillies…The 18-year-old hit .478 (11-23) with a pair of doubles, three RBI, three runs scored, and a stolen base. He reached base at a .520 mark and posted a 1.085 OPS in his six games played. On August 10, Encarnacion had a career-high five hits, going 5-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI against the GCL Tigers. He is currently riding a 10-game hit streak, during which he has raised his average from .259 to an even .300. His 30 RBI lead the GCL. Encarnacion, a right-handed hitter, was signed by the Phillies and Koby Perez as an amateur free agent in August of 2013.

RHP Stephen Shackleford, Reading…The 26-year-old converted four saves in four chances for the Fightins, combining to pitch 4.0 scoreless innings with just two walks and one hit allowed. On August 11, he recorded his 25th save of the season, breaking the team record for most saves in a single season.  He has converted 28 saves in 30 chances, holding opponents to a .196 average over 48.2 innings of work. The 6-foot-2 right-hander leads the league in saves.  Shackleford was signed by the Phillies as a minor league free agent in December of 2014, and was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 30th round of the 2010 draft.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (54-69), 4th place, North Division)
Were not scheduled on Monday.  Season resumes at 7:05 tonight in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (70-51), 1st place, Eastern Division)
Improved to 13-2 this month with an 8-1 win over New Hampshire. WP: Joely Rodriguez (5-2), 7-4-1-1-1-5. Middle of batting order (Brock Stassi-Andrew Knapp-Destin Hood) were 6-10 with 3 RBI.  Bottom three (Angelo Mora-Harold Martinez-KC Serna) were 3-10 with 4 RBI. Knapp had 2 hits, extending his hitting streak to 15 games and boosting average to .406. Including Clearwater, Knapp is hitting .316, 31 doubles, 70 RBI.
Next: Nick Pivetta (1-3) 7:05 tonight vs. New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (31-20, 2nd place, North Division)
Won, 6-3, in Dunedin before a crowd of 615.  WP: 20-year-old Ricardo Pinto (7-2), 6.2-3-0-0-2-6. Including Lakewood, he’s 12-4. SV: 22-year-old Miguel Nunez (6); last 10 games: 2-0, 4 SV, 0 R, 13.2 IP. 1B Rhys Hoskins, HR (6); 14 including Lakewood. 4-5-6-7-8 in the batting order went 10-19, 6 R, 4 RBI.
Next: Matt Imhoff (6-4) 6:30 tonight in Dunedin.

Lakewood BlueClaws (28-22, tie 2nd place, Northern Division)
After playing 3 games in Delmarva, the two teams shifted to Lakewood for another 3-game series. Delmarva won the opener, 6-2.  2B Scott Kingery, 2-4, R. CF Jiandido Tromp, 2-4, RBI.
Next: Austin Davis (3-4) 7:05 tonight vs. Delmarva.

Williamsport Crosscutters (35-21, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Season resumes Wednesday following a two-day break for the All-Star Game.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (29-18, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Split a pair vs. the Astros, 5-3 win in a suspended game and 5-2 loss in a 7-inning game. 18-year-old LF Cornelius, 5-7 in the DH, lifting average to .309. 1B Luis Encarnacion had his hitting streak snapped at 10 games.
Next: 12 noon today at Astros.

This Date In Phillies History
August 18, 1997:
LF Billy McMillon and C Mike Lieberthal hit grand slams as Phillies sink San
Francisco, 12-4, at the Vet, the second time in club history they have two slams in
one game.  SS Ralph Miller and P Lee Meadows did it 76 years ago, April 28, 1921.

August 18, 2006

Mike Lieberthal catches his 1,125th game to break Red Dooin’s club record for most
games caught.  Dooin’s played for the Phillies from 1902-14, including the dual role of
player-manager, 1910-14. His managerial record is 392-370.


Trip Ends on Sour Note

A nine-game road trip that began with a three-game sweep in San Diego ended this weekend with the Phillies getting swept in three games in Milwaukee.  For the Brewers, it is the first time they have swept a season series from the Phillies since they returned to the National League. They won all seven games this season.

Except for two blow outs in Arizona and Sunday, the Phillies had a 3.11 ERA in six games.  Except for Utley’s hot bat (13-26, .500), the offense struggled.  In losing five of their last six games, the hitters were 7-55 (.127) with RISP. At least four of the hits didn’t produce a run so the average is misleading. Franco’s absence (last four games) after getting drilled on this left wrist certainly had an affect offensively.

One note from the weekend sweep, Brewers’ second baseman Scooter Gennett had four hits Saturday night on six pitches.  That hadn’t been done in the majors this season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The Phillies post-All-Star Game record has dwindled to 17-10.  It doesn’t get any easier as the red-hot and powerful Blue Jays are next on the schedule, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Citizens Bank Park.

Interesting Sunday Tweet
From Mark Bowman, Braves beat writer for
“Dating back to the Papelbon trade (July 28): Phillies 9-9, 3.22 bullpen ERA, 7/7 save ops; Nationals 6-14, 5.03 bullpen ERA, 2/4 save ops.”

Minor Leagues
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (54-69), tie 4th place, North Division)
Lost 3 of 4 to Pawtucket. Win came in second game of Saturday DH, 6-5; WP: Severino Gonzalez (2-5), 5-4-1-1-0-3. SV: Dustin McGowan (9). CF Aaron Altherr, 6-16, weekend. LF-DH Jordan Danks, 6-game hitting streak, driving in 5 runs. CF-RF Brian Bogusevic has hit in 9 of last 10 games, .333. 1B Tommy Joseph returned to AAA, 3 hits in 4 games, including HR.
Next: Day off today.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (69-51), 1st place, Eastern Division)
Had 10-game winning streak stopped, 2-1, in Trenton on Friday night.  Reading won next 2. WPs: Jake Thompson (3-0), 6-2-2-2-5-5 and Ethan Martin (2-0), 5-2-0-0-1-3.  It was Martin’s first win as a starter since 8/19/13 when he started for the Phillies against the Rockies. SV: Stephen Shackleford (27-28). C Andrew Knapp had one hit in each game, extending hitting streak to 14 games; his average dropped from .411 to .401 in the three games. CF Nick Williams and SS J.P. Crawford had back-to-back triples in Sunday’s 2-0 win against Michael Pineda on rehab assignment from the Yankees. Zach Eflin had a ND on Friday, 7-6-0-0-2-3; 86 pitches, 61 for strikes.
Next: Joely Rodriguez (4-2) 7:05 tonight vs. New Hampshire.

Clearwater Threshers (30-20, 2nd place, North Division)
Lost 2 games and had a third game rained out. Threshers scored just 3 runs on 10 hits in the two losses. LF Andrew Pullin, HR (12), on Friday night.
Next: Ricardo Pinto (6-2) 6:30 tonight in Dunedin.

Lakewood BlueClaws (28-21, 2nd place, Northern Division)
Lost 2 of 3 in Delmarva. WP: Will Morris (5-0), 7-7-0-0-1-2 on Saturday night.  LF Cord Sandberg drove in half of Lakewood’s 8 runs. Tyler Viza (4-8) lost the 4-2 game on Sunday, 5-7-4-2-1-9. SS-2B Drew Stankiewicz, 6-13 weekend. RF Herlis Rodriguez has hit in 9 of last 10 games, .351.
Next: Ranfi Casimiro (7-6) 7:05 tonight vs. Delmarva.

Williamsport Crosscutters (35-21, 1st place, Pinckney Division)
Won fifth in a row, 7-6, Friday at Staten Island on a three-run homer by 2B Josh Tobias (#3) and a 2-run homer by 1B Jesus Posso (#6) in the eighth inning. WP: Skylar Hunter (3-2); SV: Robert Tasin (11). Crosscutters lost next two games at home to Mahoning Valley. Tobias 4-13 weekend; hitting .356 in last 10 games. C Austin Bossart had an 18-game hitting streak end on Saturday but went 2-4 on Sunday.
Next: Two-day break for the All-Star Game.

Gulf Coast League Phillies (28-17, 2nd place, Northwest Division)
Lost twice to the Tigers, extending their losing streak to 3 games. Miguel Gonzalez started on Friday, his first game action in 6 months. 1B Luis Encarnacion has 8 RBI in a 9-game hitting streak (16-34, .471).
Next: 12 noon today vs. Astros.

Lehigh Valley: 1B Chris McGuiness, released; 1B Tommy Joseph, 3B Russ Canzler and RHS Severino Gonzalez, activated from DL. INF Cord Phelps, on T.I.

Reading: INF Devin Lohman, released; INF Casey Serna, from Lehigh Valley.

This Date in Phillies History
August 17, 1972:
LHP Steve Carlton wins his 20th game of the season and 15th consecutive, longest streak in Phillies history, 9-4 over Cincinnati before 42,635 at the Vet.  The streak began June 7 and ended August 21. ERA for the 15 wins was 1.33.  Five of the wins were shutouts.  He also had three no-decisions during that time frame, including a game against Houston in which he didn’t allow a run in 10 innings.  Lefty finished with 27 wins, a club-record 310 strikeouts and won his first Cy Young Award.

August 17, 1957
CF Richie Ashburn, known for his ability to foul pitches off, hits spectator Alice Roth twice in the same at-bat.  The first one breaks her nose; the second hits her while she is being removed on a stretcher. Ironically, she is the wife of Earl Roth, sports editor of the Philadelphia Bulletin.

August 17, 1985
Phillies match club record by hitting six homers (four in the seventh inning) in 104
win over Cubs in Wrigley Field. C Darren Daulton hits two; one each for 2B Juan
Samuel, RF Glenn Wilson, 1b Mike Schmidt and 3b Rick Schu.

Remembering Mo’s Gem


Terry Mulholland embraces Darren Daulton after pitching a 60 no-hitter against
San Francisco on August 15, 1990, the first ever at Veterans Stadium. It is the first by a
Phillies pitcher at home this century and eighth of the major league season. Only one
SF batter reached base, an error by third baseman Charlie Hayes.  Gary Carter was the
last out, a line drive caught by Hayes.



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