After unloading 19 hits over the first two games of the season against the Phillies, Cliff and Pap silenced the Braves bats, allowing two hits in winning, 2-0, on Wednesday night.
While the Braves have handled Cole and Doc recently, it is a different story with Cliff. In his last 23 innings against the Braves, covering three starts, he’s allowed one run.
A year ago, Cliff’s first win came in his 13th start, which was on July 4. Guess he’s ahead of that pace.
The Royals are one of six American League clubs on the Phillies schedule, created by the new 15-teams in each league. This means the Phillies will play 20 different teams, the most ever.
The Phillies have played the fewest interleague games against the Royals and Angels, six games each. Phillies and Royals are 3-3, 1-2 in KC.
Modell’s Sports Goods home opener is 4:05 on Friday afternoon. Following the weekend set with the Royals, the Mets come to town for three night games starting on Monday.
J-Roll played in his 1,795th game, moving ahead of Richie Ashburn into second place on the Phillies all-time list. He’s 609 games behind the leader, Mike Schmidt . . . Phillies took a Delta charter back home . . . Royals played an afternoon game in Chicago and were in bed before the Phillies charter left Atlanta . . . Bruce Chen is the lone Phillies Alumnus on the Royals . . . Kids Opening Night on Saturday, with a Turkey Hill Replica Gold Glove Trophy for all children 14 and under. J-Roll will receive his Gold Glove pre-game Saturday . . . Sunday afternoon is Ryan Howard IBEW Whiffle Bat and Ball Set for kids, again 14 and under . . . Tickets are available for all six home games, standing room only for Friday’s opener.
Minor League Report
**Lehigh Valley was thumped by Syracuse, 11-2. Tyler Cloyd started, 7 runs (6 earned) in 3 innings. He allowed 5 runs once out of 22 AAA starts a year ago. IronPigs had 6 hits, 3 coming in the 9th . . . Jonathan Pettibone starts Friday night.
**Reading was held to 3 hits in losing, 9-0, at New Hampshire. Dave Buchanan gave up 6 runs in 4.2 innings . . . Jesse Biddle starts Friday night.
**Clearwater lost, 4-2, at Dunedin, getting 5 hits. Hoby Milner was charged with 3 runs in 4.1 innings . . . Perci Garner in Clearwater’s home opener Friday vs. Dunedin.
**Lakewood was defeated by Kannapolis, 9-2. Jordan Guth, 6 runs (3 earned) in 3 innings. Attendance was 6,585 . . . Joshua Warner starts game 2 Friday.
April 5, 1957
Phillies trade five players and $75,000 to acquire SS Chico Fernandez from Brooklyn Dodgers.
April 5, 2012
Phillies beat the Pirates, 1-0, in Pittsburgh. Roy Halladay is first Phillies pitcher to win back-to-back season openers since Art Mahaffey (1962-63). It was the third 1-0 opening day win in franchise history.
More daily historic moments can be found on http://www.phillies.com/alumni. Check ‘em out.
Well, we’ve seen this before.
Phillies pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts against the Braves on Wednesday night but Atlanta won, 9-2. On May 6, 2011, they had 18 strikeouts, a club record, but lost to the Braves, 5-0.
In 2007, the Phillies began the season, 0-3, vs. the Braves; 2008, 0-2 (Nationals) and 2009, 0-2, again, the Braves. All three years ended in making the postseason, including back-to-back World Series.
In losing the first two this season, the Phillies and Braves each compiled 19 hits but the Braves scored more runs, 16-7, thanks to a 6-1 home run edge.
Doc failed to pick up his 200th win and was saddled with his 101st loss. He recorded nine of the 16 strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Since joining the Phillies in 2010, he’s had four outings of fewer than five innings in which he allowed four or more runs. Three have come at the hands of Atlanta.
Weather permitting; game 3 will be Thursday night. Cliff is going for the Phillies. He had 16 of the 18 strikeouts two years ago and was the loser.
OK, who has worn the Phillies uniform the most years?
The answer can be found in the newly-posted Alumni News & Notes at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Did You Know?
100 years ago on April 4, the Phillies and Philadelphia Athletics played a 2-2 City Series spring training game that was called because darkness after 18 innings. The A’s scored their runs in the first inning. The Phillies tied it with two in the last of the ninth.
Carroll (Boardwalk) Brown pitched all 18 innings for the A’s.
This historical tidbit is courtesy of baseball historian extraordinaire, Bob Warrington.
Modell’s Sporting Goods Opening Day on Friday (4:05 p.m.) will be historic in a way. The Kansas City Royals of the American League are opening the Citizens Bank Park schedule. Yep, an interleague game.
If you haven’t heard, the Houston Astros, after 51 years in the National League, have moved to the AL to balance each league, 15 teams apiece. Thus, there will be an interleague game every day of the season.
To commemorate the Phillies-Royals 1980 World Series, two Hall of Fame third baseman, Mike Schmidt and George Brett, will toss ceremonial first pitches. Without a doubt, Schmidt and Brett are the greatest players in the history of the Phillies and Royals, respectively.
Ezequiel Carrara, claimed on waivers yesterday from the Indians, brings some versatility in that he can play all three outfield positions. Originally signed by the Mets as an 18-year-old, he was part of a three-team, 11-player trade at the winter meetings in 2008, winding up in Seattle.
The Mariners sent him to Cleveland in June, 2010, in a three-player deal. Any chance of the left-handed hitter making the big league Tribe this year sort of went out the window when Cleveland signed Michael Bourne. In parts of two seasons in the majors, he has 24 steals in 30 attempts.
PHL17’s ratings of the Phillies season opener on Monday, an 11.5 household rating, is the highest for the first game in the last 17 years. It was the number one program in the Philadelphia market . . . Doc tonight and Cliff Thursday night as the Phillies wrap up their first road trip.
“You know, if Lou Gehrig said, ‘I’m the luckiest man in the world.’ Well, if he’s the luckiest man in the world, I’m the second luckiest,” Don Zimmer, Tampa Bay Rays senior advisor who is entering his 65the season in baseball. The Rays saluted Zim and his family prior to their season opener on Tuesday.
Minor League Report
The top four Phillies minor league clubs begin their seasons on Thursday………
**Lehigh Valley hosts Syracuse, 7:05 p.m.
**Reading starts with a seven-game, New England trip, 6:35 p.m. Thursday at New Hampshire.
**Clearwater has a 3-mile road trip to Dunedin, 6:30 p.m.
**Lakewood opens at home vs. Kannapolis, 6:35 p.m.
April 3, 2004—Cleveland Indians defeat Phillies, 3-1, in On-Deck Series game, the first at Citizens Bank Park. As Whitey used to say, “Hard to believe, Harry.”
Don’t forget to visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Not the way Cole or the Phillies had hoped to begin the season. For the fourth time in the last 12 seasons, the Braves pinned an Opening Day loss on the Phillies last night.
Atlanta got to Cole for three homers in five innings. Once last season, Cole gave up that many home runs in a game, July 21 vs. the Giants at Citizens Bank Park. In 26 innings against the Braves last year, he allowed three homers. Turner Field is not friendly to Cole. In 15 starts, he’s 5-5, losing his last five. ERA going into last night was 4.18.
Making his first Opening Day start since 2010, Chase had a big game, falling a double shy of a cycle. His homer was #200, making him the ninth player in Phillies history to reach that plateau. Dick Allen is eighth with 204. A year ago, Chase homered in his first at-bat when he returned from the DL. This time, he homered in his second AB.
Everyone knows what a healthy Chase can mean for the ballclub.
Day off Tuesday is followed by another night game on Wednesday.
J-Roll started his 13th consecutive opener, breaking Bowa’s club record. The 13 straight starts matches the most for a NL shortstop since 1900; Cincinnati’s Davey Concepcion also made 13 consecutive starts . . . Braves led all NL clubs with 49 spring training home runs . . . Aumont, Brown, Horst, Kratz, Inicarte and Valez are on the Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers . . . 13 of the Phillies 25 players were not on the roster when last season started . . . Happy birthday to Pete Incaviglia, 49.
April 2, 1992
Phillies acquire RHP Curt Schilling from Astros for RHP Jason Grimsley.
For more historical moments, visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
How about batting Ryan Howard in the leadoff spot?* Over the course of the season, he’d get a lot more at-bats.
The 131st season opener is on tap tonight for the Phillies in Atlanta (ESPN TV). Team left Philly on a 6:30 p.m. Delta charter flight on Sunday.
Playing the Braves on opening day has happened often, 37 times of which 20 came when they were based in Boston. Since moving to Atlanta, seven times (you probably figured that out). Braves are 5-2, winning last three (2002, 2007, 2009). In Atlanta, 2-2.
Cole is the Phillies first LHP to open the season since 2001 when Omar Daal got the call in Larry Bowa’s first game as manager. Phillies won, 6-5, in Florida in 13 innings. Others who pitched for the Phillies, Padilla, Bottalico, Oropesa, Gomes, Mesa and Telemaco, the winner.
Phillies go into today with a three-game winning streak in openers, longest since winning six starting in 1962.
Opening Day Facts#
Most home runs
Mike Schmidt, 5
Chuck Klein and Scott Rolen, 3
Home Runs, First At-Bat
George Wood (1886)
Emmett Mueller (1938), lead-off
Mike Goliat (1951)
Clay Dalrymple (1962)
Tony Longmire, 1995 (pinch hit)
Roy Sievers (1964)
Garry Maddox (1979)
Greg Luzinski (1980)
Mike Schmidt (1984)
Tony Longmire (1995) pinch
Hitting Two Homers
Sherry Magee (1914)
Lefty O’Doul (1929)
Chuck Klein (1931)
Don Money (1969)
Placido Polanco, 2010, a seventh-inning grand slam
Robin Roberts 5
Grover Alexander 4
#This Date in Philadelphia Phillies History by Skip Clayton and Don Bostrom, Camino Books, April 2013 publishing.
Start of new month means the start of new Phillies phlashbacks. You check out the daily historical notes on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Back on February 5 we looked ahead to spring training and what you could expect. Now it is time to look back…..the annual spring training review. Drum roll please……………
**Chase Utley showed more mobility at second base and on the bases and picked it up with the bat the last week.
**Weather summary: wore more socks than shorts. March was 6 degrees colder than January.
**Experts are overlooking the Phillies but that’s OK. We were on the other end a year ago and ended out of the playoffs. Games are played on grass and dirt and not paper and iPads.
**Domonic Brown was the most improved hitter with a slimmer Ryan Howard a close second.
**Catcher Tommy Joseph and third baseman Cody Asche were the most impressive young position players; left-handed pitcher Adam Morgan, best looking young pitcher.
**Extreme week: Phillies pitchers allowed one hit at the Pirates on March 4 and 28 the next day (vs. Dominican Republic). On March 9, they allowed 16 hits against the Rays and one the next day at the Astros.
**Worst advertisement goes to a motorcycle business that opened in Tampa with a special deal, buy a motorcycle and receive a free gun.
**Strawberry shortcake won my favorite Bright House Field food award for the third straight spring. Sorry, hot dogs.
**Best looking pitcher: hands down, Hamels.
**Best restaurant award: Heilman’s Beachcomber on Clearwater Beach for the 50th straight year.
**For first time ever, Bright House Field topped 11,000 for a game, doing it three times.
**Goosebumps replaced sun tans.
**Dallas writer Gerry Fraley: “Michael Young is in same class as Dale Murphy as outstanding human beings.”
**Best sign: “If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen,” Village Inn restaurant.
**Annual traffic headache: Clearwater Beach during spring break.
**Most impressive newcomer: Ben Revere. He may turn into the most popular Ben in Philadelphia since Franklin.
**Most impressive bullpen arms: Michael Adams and Phillippe Aumont.
One Final Spring Training Memory
Larry Andersen (RHP, 1983-86; 1993-94)
“Let’s see, that was 1972 which means it was 41 years ago. And you want me to remember what? Heck, I can’t remember where I left my shoes when I get up every morning.
“Well, it was in Tucson, Arizona and I was one of many minor leaguers with the Indians. We stayed at the Flamingo Hotel. At least I think so. I don’t remember my roommate. But I do remember my number, 112…I think.
“I was nervous and scared and, after one day, fighting blisters from the Kangaroo spikes. What did I like? Absolutely nothing. I grew up in Washington (State) so the warm weather was nice. But I couldn’t handle the Arizona heat. I really struggled, especially all that running. I hated mornings. Getting up early and riding a bus for a few hours, that wasn’t fun. I slept through most of the bus rides; matter of fact, I slept through most of my spring trainings which was rather apparent if you saw me pitch.
“I do remember being in the Mariners big league camp in 1981. Maury Wills was the manager. There was another pitcher in camp who looked like me, or so they say. Brian Allard. He was five years younger so I don’t know how we looked alike. I guess it was because we both had hair. Anyway, Maury got us mixed up. He’d call me Brian, and him, Larry. I was having a great spring, which was unusual. Brian was having a terrible spring. I was stressed out that Maury would pick him because he called him Larry. Happy ending, though, I made the club.”
The MLB.com blog counting machine proclaims today’s blog is #1,350. So, in honor or in mourning of this meaningful/meaningless milestone, here’s the very first blog that was posted on March 20, 2006.
The Grapefruit League calendar says it is Sunday, March 19. The Phillies have a 56-mile trip south to play the Reds in Sarasota.The offices at Bright House Networks Field are quiet. Folks back in the Philly office won’t be calling because it is Sunday. Emails even seem to take a holiday on Sundays.
Carpenter Field is a different story. Phillies minor leaguers are spread on four different fields this afternoon. There’s a triple-A game on the Richie Ashburn Field, a Double-A game on the Mike Schmidt Field, a game against a college team on the Robin Roberts Field and a group of young minor leaguers working on fundamentals on the Steve Carlton Field.
The weather for the day is typical of the entire spring: sunshine, blue skies and a rare cloud or two.
The Triple-A game has a different flavor today because lefty Cole Hamels is going to throw three innings. He’s been slowed by back problems and the program of getting him back on the field in a regular rotation is a methodical process.
GM Pat Gillick chose a walk to Carpenter Field rather than a car ride with Dallas Green to Sarasota. Nothing personal, Dallas. Pat wanted to see Hamels pitch. He was perched behind home plate on the rooftop level. In three innings, Hamels allowed 3 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 0 walks and 2 strikeouts.
After a 1-2-3 second inning, Dickie Noles walked by: “You can see why this guy is special. He stands out.” Someone responded, “Just like you when you were younger?” “I wasn’t even close,” laughed Dickie.
Assistant GM Mike Arbuckle was also on the roof standing at the top of stairway that is midway between two fields. On his right, Hamels was pitching and on his left, Geo Gonzalez, the prospect acquired in the Jim Thome deal with the White Sox, was hurling in a Double-A game. Hamels’ performance: “Most impressive was his command. For someone who hasn’t pitched in a while, he was around the plate and worked his pitches to spots,” said Arbuckle.
Also playing in the same game for five innings was Alex Gonzalez. The free agent infielder signed by Gillick this offseason was spending his third minor league game in left field. The Phillies are in need of a fifth outfielder and the brass wants to see if Gonzalez can play out there. He had a run-scoring double in two at-bats and caught the only fly ball hit his way.
“It is a different feel out there,” said Gonzalez. “Getting a read on the balls is the biggest adjustment from playing the infield.” Gonzalez will continue to shag fly balls during batting practice. More minor league games or the outfield in a Grapefruit League game or two will be pondered.
Meanwhile next door at Bright House Networks Field, one Major Leaguer was still at work following a short morning workout. Veteran Mike Lieberthal took extra batting practice in the enclosed left field batting cage hitting off a tee under the watchful eyes of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre coach Sal Rende. Later, “Lieby” donned catching gear and spent time catching bullets from a pitching machine. The guy’s caught 1,079 games and he’s still polishing his skills.
Fan voting has ended for the Toyota Wall of Fame 2013. Five consensus finalists as selected by the fans have been submitted to a special Wall of Fame Selection Committee who will select the inductee. The 15-person committee exists of writers, broadcasters and club executives.
In alphabetical order, the five finalists are Larry Christenson, Von Hayes, Jim Konstanty, Danny Ozark and Curt Schilling.
The winner will be inducted prior to the Friday night, August 2, game against the Atlanta Braves, an event that is part of a four-day Alumni weekend.
Final Florida road game today in Lakeland against the Tigers (ESPN TV) . . . Spring training ends tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Jays. Both teams will fly to Philadelphia after that game, separately, of course . . . Both teams will take extra players for the two-game On-Deck Series Friday and Saturday at Citizens Bank Park . . . Bicycles, suite cases, duffle bags and golf clubs were loaded on a large Allied Van Lines trailer this morning for a trip north . . . Phillies must submit their 25-man opening day roster by 3 p.m. March 31.
Annual spring training awards were announced on Tuesday: Bill Giles Award to LHP Jesse Biddle; Larry Rojas, SS Edgar Duran and John Vukovich, Manny Amador, Dominican Academy Camp Coordinator and Summer League manager in that country
. . . Four minor league teams break camp on Saturday. Clearwater has the shortest trip, the complex to Bright House Field.
Former head Athletic Trainer, Jeff Cooper, will be inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame on May 15.
SI’s Extra Mustard.com has a unique story relating to the 68 schools in the NCAA basketball tournament. They recognized a cool person who attended one of the 68 schools. FGCU, the Cinderella team, has Don Carmon among its famous Alumni. Von Hayes was listed for St. Mary’s College.
Sarge on the move? No, but during his playing career this time of spring training resulted in two trades. In 1981, the Phillies acquired him from Atlanta for Bob Walk on March 25. Three years later on March 26, the Phillies traded him to the Cubs in a five-player deal.
Newest feature on http://www.phillies.com/alumni is a listing of memorable Opening Day moments starting with the very first one in 1883. Included is a vintage photo of the 1938 opener, the last one at Baker Bowl. Check it out.
While it snowed in Philadelphia, the sun shined brightly in Clearwater today, although chilly (61 degrees) for this time of spring training. Then, again, snow in Philly at this time of the year also isn’t normal.
Does this mean we are in global chilling?
Batting practice at Bright House Field and then a couple of busses left for nearby Dunedin as the final days of spring training wind down. Two more Clearwater games, tomorrow and Thursday and then the team takes a Delta charter flight home.
Another sign that spring training is winding down was seeing four automobile carriers lined up outside Carpenter Complex. Those who had their personal cars in Florida had them loaded for a journey north.
Yesterday’s 11,076 crowd was second largest in the history of Bright House Field. Game on March 17 against Baltimore is the record, 1,100 . . . After today’s game, Ben Rivere is having a photo shoot for ESPN The Magazine . . . WPHT’s Dom Giordano is doing his show live today and tomorrow; 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Yankees AAA and AA clubs are playing at the complex today . . . Kendrick is pitching in one of those games . . . Tomorrow, Class A teams from the Yankees and Phillies will be playing at the complex . . . Releases over the weekend include Ryan Bass, Brendan Lafferty, Jorge Lorenzo, Marek Minarik and Troy Marks.
Alumni NoteBelated 95th birthday wishes to Lou Lucier (March 23). A 5-foot-8 right-hander, Lou pitched for the Phillies in 1944-45. He’s the second oldest Phillies alumnus to 96-year-old Al Monchak.
Spring Training Memories
John Kruk (1b, 1989-94)
“My first big league spring training was with the San Diego Padres in beautiful Yuma, Arizona in 1986. I was given No. 44. What I liked about spring training was getting together with the boys and having a great time on and off the field! What I disliked was everything else. Meaningless games, it was way too long and boredom!!! My most memorable moment in my first spring was sitting in the clubhouse, but manager Dick Williams didn’t show up. He decided to retire and forgot to tell the Padres.”
Because of Thursday’s night game in Ft. Myers, three hours away, today’s schedule was adjusted.
Stretching began at 11:15 a.m. with hitters taking batting practice in the cages starting 15 minutes later. Pitchers did their warm-ups on the half field and infielders worked out there following the pitchers.
Tomorrow is a game in Sarasota against the Orioles. Busses leave at 9 a.m.
Adam Morgan was brought over from the minor league camp today and started against the Orioles. With the Phillies opening the season in Atlanta on April 1, Phillies didn’t want any of their current starters to face the Braves . . . Mitch Williams is in camp today as part of the MLB Network’s 30 Camps in 30 Days. The show will air tonight on the network . . . Phillies are home on Sunday (Red Sox) and in Dunedin on Monday (Blue Jays). Phillies will hit at Bright House Field and bus to Dunedin at 11:30 a.m.
oc will pitch in one of the minor league games tomorrow. Phillies AAA and AA clubs are hosting the Blue Jays. Game times are 11 a.m. . . . Later in the day, a roster meeting will take place. Minor league clubs break camp on March 30 . . . Other minor leagues assigned to this afternoon’s game against the Orioles include four pitchers, Ryan O’Sullivan, Colby Shreve and Steve Inch.
Paint The Town Red
Annual week-long activities get underway tomorrow with a Phillies Charities 5K run that starts and ends on Phillies drive at Citizens Bank Park. Tommy Greene, broadcaster Jim Jackson, the Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls will be there . . . Sunday, Phillies “Pup Rally”, 1-3 p.m. at the Schuylkill River Park. Fans are asked to dress their dogs in their Phillies finest. Special apkimpearances include the Red Phanatic and Ballgirls. The event is hosted in conjunction with Comcast SportsNet. CNS’s Amy Fadool will be there . . . Monday, Phillies College Trolley Tour will visit area campuses.
Paul Hagen’s Where Are They Now featuring Mickey Morandini is now available on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Also on the site is a list of Phillies who have had the most consecutive opening day assignments. Some surprising names are on the position-by-position list. Check it out.
Quote of the Week
When Mary and Jim Bunning left Bright House Field following a Thursday noon ESPN interview, they exited through the Diamond Outfitters Store. Mary paused, “Look Jim. Aren’t these Phanatic dolls cute?” Jim responded, “Careful Mary. You’ll have to buy 44.” Jim was referencing their 35 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.