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This Week in Phillies’ History- May 11-18

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Sun, May 11, 2014 08:00 PM Comments: 1

There has been an awful lot of Phillies baseball that has been played since 1883- close to 20,000 games in fact. A lot can happen in 20,000 games, including broken records, quirky plays, once-in-a-lifetime performances and a tons of other historical gems that often go forgotten. In order to remember those days that shaped the history of the organization, here is the first of our new weekly post called This Week in Phillies’ History.

May 11

1923- Phils top Cards 20-14, combine for 10 home runs

The Phillies hit six of those home runs, including three bombs by Cy Williams, his 10th, 11th and 12th of the young season. He went on to lead the National League with 41 homers in 1923. Leadoff hitter Johnny Mokan hot two round trippers, while second baseman Frank Parkinson blasted one himself. Williams (7 RBI), Mokan (7 RBI) and Parkinson (5 RBI) were responsible for driving in all but one of the 2o runs scored.  Phillies pitcher Petie Behan drove in the other, and won his first game of the season despite allowing eight runs on ten hits in five innings.

May 13

1960- Phils shut out 1-0 for third straight game

The first two losses came on May 11 and 12 at the hand of the New York Giants, with great performances by Jim Owens and Robin Roberts going to waste. The third game was the first of a four game set against Cincinnati. In the fifth inning, Vada Pinson tripled to center, driving in Billy Martin for the only run of the game. Jim O’Toole tossed a complete game for the Reds, scattering seven hits en route to the shutout. The Phillies made up for the lack of offense in the next two games, scoring 18 times and winning both contests against Cincinnati before eventually splitting the series.

May 14

1942 and 1977- Happy Birthday to Tony and Doc

Tony Perez, remembered for playing on the 1983 Phillies’ pennant winning team, was born on May 14 in 1942. In that 1983 season, a 41-year old Perez hit .241 with six homers and 43 RBI. It was his one and only season with the Phillies, as he returned to the Reds to finish his Hall of Fame, 23-year career.

Doc Halladay was also born on May 14, in 1977. His first two seasons with the Phillies (2010 and 2011) were among the best of his career. In 2010, of course, he won the N.L. Cy Young Award after posting a 21-10 record, 2.44 ERA, throwing a perfect game, as well as completing the second ever postseason no-hitter. In 2011, he won 19 games and lowered his ERA to 2.35, and was narrowly edged by Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young Award. As a Phillies pitcher, despite two less-than-stellar years before retiring, Halladay was 55-29 with a 3.25 ERA.

May 16

1953- Leadoff single ends up being only baserunner against Curt Simmons

When Brewers’ center fielder Bill Bruton led off the game with a single, then one better late advanced on a passed ball, it didn’t look like the night was going to go the Phillies’ way. But pitcher Curt Simmons, who had already won five games in the young season, rebounded in the biggest way possible. Simmons mowed down the next 27 hitters he faced, 10 of them via strikeout, as he came as close to a perfect game as one can get. The performance lowered his season ERA to 1.42, and put him on the unfortunate list of near perfectos, right along with Ernie Shore in 1917, who retired all 27 batters he faced after Babe Ruth walked the leadoff batter and was ejected for arguing.

1984- Lefty hits slam off Valenzuela

Fernando Valenzuela was not all that easy to hit off of, but nobody told Steve Carlton that on May 16, 1984. Carlton, who was known for being able to swing the bat well, lifted off against Valenzuela for a grand slam in the fourth inning—his 10th career home run. Carlton also was the winning pitcher, as he allowed just one run and struck out six in seven innings.  Since Lefty’s slam, only two Phillies’ pitchers—Jeff Juden in 1995 and Robert Person in 2002—have accomplished the feat.





Jays Shut Out Phils 10-0 behind Buehrle, Nine-Run Inning

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, May 07, 2014 09:44 PM Comments: 31

The Phillies were shut out for the second time in three games Wednesday, as they managed just three hits against a Toronto team that stole the show with a nine-run seventh en-route to a 10-0 victory. The Phillies have lost all three games against Toronto in this home-home four-game set.

Jays’ Bats Come Alive in Seventh

Cliff Lee surrendered just two hits through the first six innings, but in the seventh, it was like a switch was flipped. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a long triple to center field, and Erik Kratz homered on the next pitch Lee threw, to extend the Jays’ lead to 3-0. Dioner Navarro singled, then Lee gave up another bomb, this time to Juan Francisco. In ten pitches, the Blue Jays scored four runs.

The bleeding did not stop there, in fact the wound was opened further. Lee came out of the game after allowing a one-out double to Steve Tolleson, and the bullpen didn’t fare any better. Mario Hollands came into the game, only to throw two wild pitches and allow a walk, which let another run across the plate. Then it was Shawn Camp’s turn. Camp, who only had two outings this season coming into the night, promptly allowed a single to Jose Bautista before surrendering the third home run of the inning, this one to Encarnacion.

Nine runs before getting two outs in the seventh. Is there anything more to say?

Offense Continues to be Nonexistent

Take away the five-run inning in Tuesday’s game, and you are looking at a team that has otherwise scored just one total run in their last 37 innings, dating back to the late innings of the middle game of the Washington series. One run. Aside from that inning, Tuesday, the last time the Phillies scored was in the first inning of their 1-0 win in the finale against the Nats.

Wednesday against Toronto was perhaps the worst performance of all in those four games. They managed only three hits—a double in the second, single in the third, and single in the seventh—off Mark Buehrle, who was attacking them with Jamie Moyer-esque low 80s fastball, and a terrible Blue Jays’ bullpen. Players not named Marlon Byrd combined for just one hit in the game. They were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Up Next

A.J. Burnett will be tasked with salvaging the final game of this four-game, home-and-home set with Toronto. Otherwise, the Phillies will fall to three games under the break-even point. He will be opposed by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who has handled the Phillies well in his career, posting a 2.90 ERA in nine career starts. Game time is 7:05 p.m.


Happ, Jays’ Bullpen Shut Out Phillies

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Mon, May 05, 2014 10:25 PM Comments: 6

The Phillies squandered several key scoring chances, and ended up on the wrong end of a 3-0 score Monday in their first of four straight games against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies continue to struggle to reach two games above .500, which they have not achieved since the end of the 2012 season.

Offense lacked timely hitting

Despite facing a pitcher who had not started a game this year, and a bullpen ranked among the worst in the majors, the Phillies failed to score a run in their series opener with the Blue Jays. They were not bereft of chances, but could not come through with runners in scoring position.

In the sixth inning Marlon Byrd got on with a leadoff triple, but was thrown out home trying to score after Ryan Howard lined out to right. One inning later, the Phillies had runners on first and second with one out, but consecutive strikeouts from Freddy Galvis and Chase Utley ended any chance of scoring. They finished 0-for-6 with RISP, and left 11 men on base. Both Galvis, who was hitting in the two-hole, and Howard left four men on base apiece.

Kendrick not sharp, but battled hard

Things got off to a rocky start for Kyle Kendrick after he allowed a leadoff homer to Jose Reyes, and allowed two more runs before getting out of the second inning. But, to his credit, he left the game after seven having allowed just those three runs. It could have been much worse. In that seventh inning, Kendrick allowed a walk, single and hit by pitch, bringing Edwin Encarnacion to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. But to Kendrick’s credit, he induced a double play to get out of the inning. Kendrick finished with seven hits, three walks and a hit by pitch in those seven innings. It is one of the positive signs in Kendrick’s game of late that although he might not have had his best stuff, he still managed to keep the team in the game.

Diekman throwing fire

Jake Diekman came on in the eighth and went six up, six down for the Phillies through the eighth and ninth, while stirking out three. He routinely hit 97 on his fastball, and even had a couple of pitches at 98. He threw 18 strikes and 11 balls, but many of those balls were sliders or high fastballs to get the batters to try to chase. He was a bright spot in an otherwise unimpressive day from the Phillies.

Up Next

Cole Hamels, who was pushed back because of the flu, will start tomorrow for the Phillies. Opposite Hamels will be the right-hander Drew Hutchison, who is 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.



Gameday 30: Phillies vs. Blue Jays

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Mon, May 05, 2014 05:00 PM Comments: 23



Philadelphia Phillies (15-14) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (14-17)

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Kyle Kendrick
TOR: J.A. Happ

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 67
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

Remember when J.A. Happ finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2009 with a 12-4 record and 2.93 ERA? It’s been a long road since then for the former Phillies’ left-hander, who in the past three seasons has never sported an ERA less than 4.56, has been drilled in the head with a line drive, and most recently had been relegated to the bullpen. Tonight’s start against the Phillies will be his first since Sept. 28 of last season. Happ has had some success against the Phillies in his two career starts against them, tossing 12 1/3 total innings and allowing just three runs. No Phillie really has a large enough sample size against him to mean much (nobody has more than seven at bats), but Marlon Byrd is 2-for-3 off Happ in his career with three RBI.

On the hill for the Phillies will be Kyle Kendrick, who remained in his rotation spot while the starters before and after him were switched. Kendrick has thrown the ball well of late, allowing three earned runs or fewer in each of his last three outings. He has also shown the ability to work out of dangerous situations with runners on base. However, he has had no success against the Jays in his career, pitching to an 0-1 record and 6.91 ERA in three starts against them. He especially needs to watch out for Jose Reyes, who is a .394 lifetime hitter against Kendrick in 38 at bats, with two doubles, a triple, two homers and four RBI.


Revere CF / Galvis SS / Utley 2B / Byrd RF / Howard 1B / Ruiz C / Mayberry LF / Nix 3B / Kendrick P


Bullpen Blows Another Lead as Nats Take Opener

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Fri, May 02, 2014 10:25 PM Comments: 12

The Phillies’ bullpen blew a 3-2 lead in the eighth, and the offense was unable to mount a comeback as they dropped the opener of a three-game set with the Nationals by a final of 5-3. It was yet another example of the biggest weakness that has plagued the team in the early part of the season.

‘Pen Can’t Hold Lead

It took just two batters after Lee departed for the Nationals to tie the game at three. Mike Adams allowed a leadoff double to Denard Span in the eighth, and Span promptly stole third before bring driven in by Anthony Rendon. Adams then yielded a single to Jayson Werth and was lifted in favor of Jake Diekman. Diekman was no better, giving up two straight hits as the Nationals took a 5-3 lead before Diekman struck out the side .

Byrd Bringing the Power

Marlon Byrd took Stephen Strasburg deep to right field for a three-run bomb in the first inning, giving the Phillies an early 3-0 lead. With those three RBI, Byrd now has 20 0n the season. That not only leads the team, but also puts Byrd in a two-way tie for sixth place in the National League in runs batted in. His average now sits at .286, which is good for fourth best on the team.

Lee Goes Seven Strong

Cliff Lee rebounded nicely from his less-than-stellar start last week against Arizona, allowing just two runs through seven solid innings while striking out five. He threw 106 pitches, 70 of which were strikes. Only one of the Nationals’ runs against Lee was earned- a solo home run off the bat of Tyler Moore in the third inning. It is the fourth time in seven starts this season that Lee has gone seven or more innings and allowed one earned run or fewer.

The unearned run was scored on an RBI groundout from Span in the fifth, after a Chase Utley error allowed Jose Lobaton to reach base. But the run was overshadowed by an emptying (albeit a casual emptying) of the benches and bullpens. During Span’s at bat, he motioned for time to the umpire, but it was not granted. Span still stepped out of the box as Lee’s pitch came buzzing in high and tight. Span took exception and had some words for Lee, which Lee gave right back and continued to dish out as Span walked back to the dugout. Span then turned around and walked towards Lee, at which point the benches and bullpens slowly emptied onto the field, with Lee laughing the whole time.

Up Next 

A.J. Burnett, who was stellar in his last outing, will take the ball on Saturday against Washington’s Tanner Roark. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.


Gameday 27: Phillies vs. Nationals

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Fri, May 02, 2014 05:00 PM Comments: 58


Philadelphia Phillies (13-13) at Washington Nationals (16-12)Nationals

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Cliff Lee
TEX: Stephen Strasburg

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly sunny, 66
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

Friday’s opener with the Nationals is the first game the Phillies have played since Tuesday, and their altered rotation has created what shapes up on paper to be a terrific pitcher’s duel. Cliff Lee will take the mound for the Phillies, coming off a less than stellar start against the Diamondbacks in which he allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings. Lee has pitched well against the Nationals in his career, going 6-4 in 11 starts with a 2.87 ERA, and he averages a strikeout per inning against Washington.

Lee’s counterpart will be power right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who has scuffled at times this year but is coming off a seven inning shutout performance against San Diego in which he punched out 11 batters. Strasburg has had some success against the Phillies, pitching to a 2.65 ERA in six career starts against them. Against current Phillies players, however, he has yielded only two homers and five RBI in 53 at bats.


Revere CF/ Rollins SS/ Utley 2B/ Howard 1B/ Byrd RF/ Brown LF/ Ruiz C/ Asche 3B/ Lee P


Tonight’s Phillies Game vs Mets Postponed Due to Rain

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, April 30, 2014 03:10 PM Comments: 9

Tonight’s finale of the Phillies’ short two-game set with the Mets has been postponed due to the rainy conditions in the region. The make up date for the game will be June 2 at 7:05 p.m., at which time all tickets that were originally for tonight’s game will be honored. Tickets may also be exchanged for a future 2014 regular season game. This is the Phillies’ second rainout this season, with the other being Tuesday Apr. 15 against Atlanta.


Phillies Ride Lee, Homers to 7-0 Victory over Dodgers

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Tue, April 22, 2014 01:18 AM Comments: 11

The Phillies opened up their series with the Dodgers Monday night with a 7-0 win behind the strong left arm of Cliff Lee, and some much needed run support in the form of a couple of longballs from the heart of the order.


So much for Carlos Ruiz not having a home run or an RBI this year. Ryne Sandberg moved him up to the cleanup spot Monday night, despite his .204 average and lack of run production, and did he ever clean up. Ruiz took care of both of those 0-fers, smacking a two-RBI double in the first, and crushing a two-run homer to left-center in the ninth. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer, a walk, and two runs for eight total bases in the game.

Lee dealing again

Make it 10. That’s how many times Cliff Lee has has double-digit strikeouts and no walks in a start while wearing a Phillies uniform, which is now the most in team history. Lee was utterly dominant Monday night, earning his third win of the season after tossing eight shutout innings, and allowing just four base runners (all hits) while punching out 10 on 113 pitches (83 strikes!). At one point he retired 20 straight Dodgers hitters. He also added a base hit at the dish, because, you know, he is Cliff Lee.

Lee, who is just four starts removed from allowing his Opening Day implosion, has somehow pitched well enough in less than four weeks to be able to lower his ERA to 3.09 for the season. He now has 23 strikeouts and has allowed jut one run in his last two starts combined, and three of his last four starts have yielded one run or fewer. He also continues to handle the Dodgers extremely well, as he entered the game with a 1.70 ERA against them in his career and lowered that number to sub-1.50 with his brilliant start tonight.

The Big Piece with another bomb

Ryan Howard opened up the game in the fifth with a two-run blast to dead center field off Dodgers’ starter Paul Maholm to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. Howard aggressively swung at a first pitch slider after taking a meatball right down the middle of the plate to strike out in his first at bat.

It was Howard’s fifth home run of the season, in what is traditionally a bad month for The Big Piece in his career. He has only hit five homers or more in April three other times in his career, and he still has eight days left this month to tie or pass his career high of six in April. Last year it took him 31 games to hit his fifth, this year he has done it in 19. He now has homers in back-to-back games on this road trip, and has raised his average from .217 to .271 in two days’ time.

Up Next

A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.74 ERA) will take the hill Tuesday night against tough Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 1.93 ERA). First pitch is at 10:10 ET.


Gameday 19: Phillies at Dodgers

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Mon, April 21, 2014 08:15 PM Comments: 14


dodgers_logoPhiladelphia Phillies (8-10) at Los Angeles Dodgers (12-7)

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Cliff Lee
LAD: Paul Maholm

Time: 10:05, Dodger Stadium
Weather: Sunny, 73
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

Ryne Sandberg is giving three Phillies starters the night off Monday as they open up a four-game set against the Dodgers out west. John Mayberry Jr. gets the nod in right in favor of Marlon Byrd, while Tony Gwynn Jr. will man center field and Freddy Galvis the hot corner, with Ben Revere and Cody Asche getting a day off. It makes sense, as Byrd, Asche and Revere are just a combined 6-for-34 (.176) off Dodgers’ starter Paul Maholm lifetime.

Carlos Ruiz, who has yet to drive in a run this season, will bat cleanup tonight, with Ryan Howard moving down to fifth. The move may prove to be a spark for Ruiz, as he will get  chance to hit behind a red-hot Utley, who is a career .333 hitter against Maholm in 27 at bats.

Maholm has started 12 games against the Phillies in his career with mixed results, as he comes in with a 5-3 record and 4.63 ERA against the Phils in 70 innings of work. Cliff Lee, who is coming off a 13-strikeout, complete game performance against Atlanta will look to continue his masterful pitching against LA, who he has handled very well in his career. Lee is 2-2 with a 1.70 ERA against the Dodgers lifetime, with 55 strikeouts in 53 innings.


Gwynn Jr. CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Ruiz C / Howard 1B / Mayberry RF / Brown LF / Galvis 3B / Lee P


Lee Tough Luck Loser as Teheran Shuts Out Phillies

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, April 16, 2014 10:08 PM Comments: 20

Cliff Lee scattered 11 hits, and allowed just one run to the Braves on Wednesday night, but was the victim of no run support as Julio Teheran and the Braves shut out the Phillies in the second game of their three-game set.

Cliff Lee pitched a complete game with 13 Ks, but the Phillies were shut out by the young right-hander Julio Teheran on Wednesday. PHOTO: AP

Cliff Lee pitched a complete game with 13 Ks, but the Phillies were shut out by the young right-hander Julio Teheran on Wednesday. PHOTO: AP

“Historic-Lee” Incredible, Strange Outing

-Lee pitched all nine innings Wednesday, yielding just a solo homer to Evan Gattis that barely cleared the left-field wall. He scattered 11 hits, walked just one, and struck out 13. It was the ninth time since 2011 Lee has had a dozen or more strikeouts in a game, which is the most in the majors over that span, and it is the third straight game against Atlanta that he has recorded at least 10 strikeouts.

He now has 21 double-digit strikeout games as a Phillie, which in just 108 games already puts him at fifth on the Phillies’ all time list in that category, behind Steve Carlton, Curt Schilling, Jim Bunning, Cole Hamels. Nine of those games have yielded a dozen or more strikeouts, and in those nine games his K/BB ratio is 23/1.

But, despite the valiant performance, Lee lost suffered the loss- his fourth complete game loss of his career. He is the first pitcher to lose a game with at least 128 pitches (new career high for Lee, previously 126 ) and 13 Ks since Pedro Martinez accomplished that on May 6, 2000. According to our own Corey Seidman, Lee is also the only pitcher in MLB history to lose 2 games in which he’s allowed 1 run and struck out 13+ batters.

Hitless Against Julio

-Well, nearly hitless. Teheran allowed just three hits in the game to the Phillies, all of them singles. They did not get their first hit until the fifth, when Ryan Howard beat out an infield dribbler to second (yes, you read correctly). Carlos Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins also singled in the game. Rollins’ hit brought the winning run to the plate with two outs in the ninth in the form of Chase Utley, but he grounded out hard to second to end the game.

Teheran is now an owner of a 1.93 ERA and two wins, as he continues to impress in the early part of his sophomore campaign. Wednesday’s shutout was the first of his career.

Up Next

-The Phillies will try to salvage a game against the Braves Thursday afternoon, when they send A.J. Burnett (0-1, 3.94 ERA) to the hill against the southpaw Alex Wood (2-1, 1.89 ERA). Game time is at 1:05.

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