Monday, August 29, 2016

Series Preview - Nationals at Phillies: August 29th to August 31st

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Nationals 75-55, 1st place in the N.L. East, 8 games ahead of the Marlins
Phillies 60-70, 4th place in the N.L. East, 15 games behind the Nationals

Nationals Probables:  Tanner Roark (13-7, 2.99), Max Scherzer (14-7, 2.92), Gio Gonzalez (9-9, 4.25)
Phillies Probables:  Jake Thompson (1-3, 9.78), Jared Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87), Adam Morgan (1-8, 6.50)

At the Ballpark:  The only give-aways for this series are available via special tickets for various theme nights.  The most intriguing item up for grabs is the Franco-Stein available on Wednesday as part of a Zombie Night promotion.

Nationals Leaders
Average:  Daniel Murphy - .343
Runs:  Daniel Murphy - 80
Home Runs:  Daniel Murphy - 25
RBIs:  Daniel Murphy - 98
Stolen Bases:  Bryce Harper - 18

Wins:  Stephen Strasburg - 15
ERA:  Max Scherzer - 2.92
Strikeouts:  Max Scherzer - 227
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 19

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .294
Runs:  Odubel Herrera - 67
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco - 22
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 72
Stolen Bases:  Odubel Herrera - 19

Wins:  Jeremy Hellickson - 10
ERA:  Jeremy Hellickson - 3.80
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 144
Saves:  Jeanmar Gomez - 34

1970 Topps #666
1970 Topps #677
1970 Topps Appreciation:  Today's featured cards are for two players who both spent parts of their careers with the Expos and Phillies.

Adolfo Phillips played in parts of three seasons with the Phillies between 1964 and 1966, before leaving to serve as the Cubs' regular center fielder between 1966 and 1968.  With the Phillies, Phillips appeared in 56 games, hitting .223 before being included in the ill-fated (for the Phillies) Fergie Jenkins trade with the Cubs.  The Phillies outfield at the time was already occupied by Johnny Callison, Tony Gonzalez and Johnny Briggs.  Phillips was an original Expo in 1969, splitting center field duties with Ty Cline.  His sole Phillies baseball card can be found in the 1966 Topps set.

Woodie Fryman pitched in parts of 18 seasons in the Majors, spending the bulk of his career with the Phillies (1968-1972) and Expos (1975-1976, 1978-1983).  The Phillies originally acquired him from the Pirates in December 1967 as part of the deal that sent Jim Bunning to Pittsburgh.  He appeared on a number of Phillies baseball cards between 1968 and 1972, although he'd have to wait for his 1970 Topps card to actually show him wearing a Phillies uniform.  Both his 1968 and 1969 Topps cards use the same photo of Fryman in a Pirates jersey.

2015 Topps #429 A.J. Ellis

Phillies 5Mets 1
Game 130 - Sunday Afternoon, August 28th in Flushing
Record - 60-70, 4th place, 15 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  A.J. Ellis made his Phillies debut and delivered a clutch, two-run, tie-breaking double in the seventh inning of a 5-1 win.

What It Means:  For comparison purposes, the 2015 Phillies had a record of 52-78 through 130 games last season and they'd finish the season with 63 wins.  The 2016 Phillies need to win three more games to avoid a 100-loss season.  I certainly hope that's within reach.

What Happened:  The Phillies plated four runs in the seventh, breaking what had been a 1-1 tie. The other two runs came when Peter Bourjos was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Cesar Hernandez followed with a sacrifice fly.  Jimmy Paredes got the Phillies on the board with a fourth inning RBI double.

Vince Velasquez allowed just one run on five hits in his five innings of work, but he was done in once again by a high pitch count (103).

Featured Card:  The first virtual Phillies card for Ellis will most likely be his 2016 Chachi card, which I'll post at some point this week.  Only time will tell if he'll end up with an actual Phillies baseball card.

As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

1994 Pinnacle #460 Kevin Stocker

Mets 12Phillies 1
Game 129 - Saturday Night, August 27th in Flushing
Record - 59-70, 4th place, 16 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Manager Pete Mackanin summed up this game perfectly with the post-game statement, "Tonight was embarrassing."

What It Means:  The Phillies have lost seven of their last ten by a combined score of 65-16.  It's not going well.

What Happened:  The Mets hit four more home runs and Noah Syndergaard held the Phillies offense to just two hits over his seven innings of work.  Jeremy Hellickson was knocked out after four innings having allowed five runs on seven hits.  Michael Mariot allowed six runs in just 2/3 of an inning and watched his ERA go from 3.24 to 9.00.

Featured Card:  Radio analyst Larry Andersen had the weekend off, so Kevin Stocker joined Scott Franzke in the booth.  We listened to Stocker's work during most of this game, and I was impressed. Not impressed enough to suggest breaking up the fantastic team of Franzke and L.A., but I enjoyed Stocker's analysis and he seemed to be a natural in the booth.  I wonder if this weekend stint was an audition for a larger role with the team next season?

Transaction:  A.J. Ellis officially joined the team and as expected Jorge Alfaro was optioned back to Double-A Reading for the time being.

As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

2016 Choice Reading Fightin Phils Top Prospects #1 Jorge Alfaro

Mets 9Phillies 4
Game 128 - Friday Night, August 26th in Flushing
Record - 59-69, 4th place, 16 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Four home runs and Bartolo Colon downed Adam Morgan and the Phillies, 9-4.

What It Means:  This was the team's first game in the post-Carlos Ruiz era.  Chooch started on Friday night for the Dodgers, batting sixth and going 1 for 3 in a 6-4 loss to the Cubs.  Chase Utley batted eighth for the Dodgers and had one hit in five at-bats.

What Happened:  Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back home runs off Morgan.  Wilmer Flores put the game out of reach with a grand slam off Frank Herrmann in the sixth.  Colon pitched seven innings, holding the Phillies to six hits and striking out six.

Featured Card/Transaction:  While waiting for the arrival of new back-up catcher A.J. Ellis, the Phillies recalled catcher Jorge Alfaro from Double-A Reading.  Alfaro did not make it into the game, and he's expected to re-join the Phillies on a more permanent basis once Reading's postseason schedule wraps up.

As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Limited Edition Chachi #RacingPresidents Set!

Phillies 5White Sox 3
Game 127 - Wednesday Night, August 24th in Chicago
Record - 59-68, 4th place, 15 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jared Eickhoff had another solid start as the Phillies defeated the White Sox, 5-3.

What It Means:  The Phillies split the two-game series with the White Sox and after a day off on Thursday they'll open a weekend series at Citi Field with the Mets.

What Happened:  Eickhoff needed just 71 pitches to get through six innings, allowing four runs on two hits.  Cesar Hernandez (5) and Tommy Joseph (17) both homered for the Phillies.

Featured Cards/Field Report:  In our final trip of the summer, we took a two-day vacation to Washington D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday, visiting the historic sites and watching two Nationals-Orioles games.  Along with meeting each of the Racing Presidents, as commemorated on yet another very limited edition Chachi insert set, here were some of the other highlights from our trip.

  • On Wednesday, we arrived mid-morning and walked to the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the FDR Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.  If that wasn't enough, we then walked to the White House.
  • After a quick rest in our hotel, we watched the Orioles barely defeat the Nationals, 10-8.  It was HOT.  Watching Olympic gold medalist swimmer Katie Ledecky throw out the first pitch, while Bryce Harper held her five medals, was a highlight.  Our youngest son Ben was thrilled when his favorite player, Ben Revere, hit a pinch-double and scored in the seventh inning.  It was HOT.
  • On Thursday, we enjoyed a morning at Mount Vernon and then paid our respects at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • We watched Max Scherzer dominate the Orioles on Thursday night, allowing just two hits in his eight innings of work.  Jayson Werth hit his 17th home run in the fourth inning.  It was HOT.
Ben in front of the Ben Revere billboard
Jayson Werth at bat
As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

2004 Bazooka #259 Ryan Madson

White Sox 9Phillies 1
Game 126 - Tuesday Night, August 23rd in Chicago
Record - 58-68, 4th place, 15 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jake Thompson and the Phillies were pummeled by the White Sox, losing soundly by a score of 9-1.

What It Means:  Thompson owns a 9.78 ERA over his first four Major League starts.

What Happened:  The young pitcher lasted five innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits.  Carlos Ruiz served as the DH for this game, going 0 for 3 with a strikeout.

Featured Card:  This was the team's first trip to Chicago to play the White Sox since the 2004 season.  In the first game of that series on June 8th, the White Sox won 14-11 but the Phillies came back to win the second game 13-10.  A rain-out forced the delay of the third game until August 30th, and the Phils dropped that game 9-8.

Playing the Thompson role in that first game back in 2004 was Ryan Madson, who allowed six runs on six hits in 2/3 of an inning.  Amaury Telemaco relieved Madson, and he allowed four more runs in 2 1/3 innings.

As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

Carlos Ruiz Topps Gallery - #ThanksChooch

As has become a Phillies Room tradition when a franchise player departs, here's my final tribute to Carlos Ruiz and his Phillies career featuring a gallery of his Topps flagship base cards.

2007 Topps Update #UH-99
2008 Topps #281
2009 Topps #397
2010 Topps #122
2011 Topps #219
2012 Topps #117
2013 Topps #367
2014 Topps #182
2015 Topps #233
2016 Topps #237
Topps Phillies Gallery Tributes
Jimmy Rollins 2001-2014
Cole Hamels 2003-2015
Chase Utley 2003-2015
Carlos Ruiz 2007-2016
Ryan Howard 2005-

Friday, August 26, 2016

Chooch Traded to Dodgers

2012 Phillies Fan Appreciation Day #9
We took a quick, two-day trip to Washington, D.C. this past week where we toured the city and took in two Nationals games.  While at Nationals Park on Thursday night, sitting at the rooftop deck prior to the ballgame, I checked my Twitter feed and was stunned to see the Tweets coming through that the Phillies long-time catcher and a fan favorite, Carlos Ruiz, had been traded to the Dodgers.

I'm slightly numb to this type of thing by now, having endured the Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels and Chase Utley trades, but it still caught me off guard and I still managed to get nostalgic for the wonder years as I thought about Chooch moving on.  I completely get the move (from the Phillies standpoint) and I hope the trade affords Ruiz the chance for one more shot at the postseason.

2014 Topps Heritage #22
Coming to the Phillies from the Dodgers is catcher A.J. Ellis, who has spent his entire 13-year professional career within the Dodgers organization.  One of Clayton Kershaw's closest friends, Ellis has served as the ace's personal catcher.  The trade of Ellis has seemingly brought nothing but negative comments from the Dodgers players and their fan base.  I totally get this too, and the move is beyond bizarre from the Dodgers standpoint.  Statistically speaking, Ruiz is a slight upgrade to Ellis but trading your unofficial clubhouse leader in the middle of a pennant race is baffling.

From a cardboard perspective, I'll feature a final tribute post to Chooch featuring a gallery of his Topps flagship cards.  Ellis has appeared on mainstream Topps products since 2012 and his sole 2016 baseball card to date can be found within the Topps Now set, limited to 261 copies.  The other known player coming to the Phillies is pitcher Tommy Bergjans, who has only appeared within Dodgers minor league team sets to date.

With Chooch's departure, only Ryan Howard remains from the 2008 World Championship team.

Here's an updated look at the Phillies in-season comings and goings so far, with potentially more moves on the way before the 2016 season is in the books.

Departed During the 2016 Season
  • Daniel Stumpf - lhp (7/25/16) - Returned to the Kansas City Royals.
  • Andrew Bailey - rhp (8/6/16) - Released and signed by the Los Angeles Angels to a minor league contract, 8/13/16.
  • Brett Oberholtzer - lhp (8/6/16) - Designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels, 8/9/16.
  • David Lough - of (8/22/16) - Released.
  • Carlos Ruiz - c (8/25/16) - Traded with cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for A.J. Ellis, Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later.
Arrived During the 2016 Season
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (6/1/16) - Purchased from the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Phil Klein - rhp (6/19/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (8/25/16) - Acquired with Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Carlos Ruiz and cash.

Series Preview - Phillies at Mets: August 26th to August 28th

Friday and Saturday 7:10, Sunday 1:10
Citi  Field - Flushing, NY

Phillies 59-68, 4th place in the N.L. East, 15 games behind the Nationals
Mets 64-63, 3rd place in the N.L. East, 10 games behind the Nationals

Phillies Probables:  Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.21), Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60), Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31)
Mets Probables:  Bartolo Colon (11-7, 3.36), Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61), Robert Gsellman (1-0, 0.00)

At the Ballpark:  It's a good weekend for giveaways at Citi Field.  Tonight, all fans will receive a Yoenis Cespedes "Yo" t-shirt as part of the Mets' Free Shirt Friday promotion.  Tomorrow night is Matt Harvey bobblehead night and on Sunday afternoon fans will receive a Steven Matz lunch bag.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .296
Runs:  Odubel Herrera - 66
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco - 22
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 72
Stolen Bases:  Odubel Herrera - 19

Wins:  Jeremy Hellickson - 10
ERA:  Jeremy Hellickson - 3.60
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 137
Saves:  Jeanmar Gomez - 34

Mets Leaders
Average:  Yoenis Cespedes - .291
Runs:  Curtis Granderson - 58
Home Runs:  Yoenis Cespedes - 25
RBIs:  Yoenis Cespedes - 64
1970 Topps #610
Stolen Bases:  Jose Reyes - 6

Wins:  Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard - 11
ERA:  Noah Syndergaard - 2.61
Strikeouts:  Noah Syndergaard - 177
Saves:  Jeurys Familia - 42

1970 Topps Appreciation:  I first wrote about Jerry Koosman four years ago this week in a series
preview post featuring his 1979 Topps card:
Koosman started his 19-year career playing in parts of 12 seasons with the Mets and he ended his career with two uneventful seasons with the Phillies.  Between 1967 and 1978, Koosman was a two-time All-Star and compiled a 140-137 record with the Mets.  In four World Series games, in 1969 and 1973, Koosman went 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA.  His time with the 1984-1985 Phillies was less impressive, although he did manage a 20-19 record in 55 games with a 3.67 ERA.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Series Preview - Phillies at White Sox: August 23rd to August 24th

Tuesday and Wednesday 8:10
U.S. Cellular Field - Chicago, IL

Phillies 58-67, 4th place in the N.L. East, 15 1/2 games behind the Nationals
White Sox 59-64, 4th place in the A.L. Central, 13 games behind the Indians

Phillies Probables:  Jake Thompson (1-2, 8.79), Jared Eickhoff (8-12, 3.91)
White Sox Probables:  Carlos Rodon (3-8, 4.26), James Shields (3-8, 7.62)

At the Ballpark:  The White Sox are celebrating Halfway to Mardi Gras tonight complete with jazz music and masquerade masks.  There will also be stilt walkers, face painters and a strolling juggling jester walking around.  Fans will be able to purchase "beads, masks and other party wear" at the ballpark.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .295
Runs:  Odubel Herrera - 66
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco - 22
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 72
Stolen Bases:  Odubel Herrera - 19

Wins:  Jeremy Hellickson - 10
ERA:  Jeremy Hellickson - 3.60
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 137
Saves:  Jeanmar Gomez - 33

White Sox Leaders
Average:  Melky Cabrera - .295
Runs:  Todd Frazier - 66
Home Runs:  Todd Frazier - 31
RBIs:  Todd Frazier - 76
Stolen Bases:  Adam Eaton - 12

Wins:  Chris Sale - 15
ERA:  Jose Quintana - 2.84
Strikeouts:  Chris Sale - 165
Saves:  David Robertson - 32

Monday, August 22, 2016

2015 Topps Phillies #PHP-14 Jerome Williams

Cardinals 9Phillies 0
Game 125 - Sunday Afternoon, August 21st in Philadelphia
Record - 58-67, 4th place, 16 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Vince Velasquez suffered through his latest poor outing as the Cardinals demolished the Phillies by a score of 9-0.

What It Means:  It's not going well.  As Jayson Stark pointed out here, the Phillies have now trailed by a combined score of 19-5 at the time Velasquez has exited his last three starts.  That's not good.

What Happened:  Mike Leake, Matt Bowman and Jerome Williams combined for the shutout.    The Cardinals hit four home runs - two off Velasquez and two off Frank Herrmann, whose Phillies ERA is now 15.00.

Featured Card:  Yes, that Jerome Williams.

As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

2016 Phillies Team Issue #16 Cesar Hernandez

Phillies 4Cardinals 2
Game 124 - Saturday Night, August 20th in Philadelphia
Record - 58-66, 4th place, 16 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Cesar Hernandez paced the offense with three hits and Jeremy Hellickson delivered another impressive start as the Phillies defeated the Cardinals, 4-2.

What It Means:  Hellickson was the first Phillies pitcher in 22 games to pitch seven full innings.

What Happened:  Hernandez set the tone with a lead-off home run (4) in the first.  Maikel Franco, Cameron Rupp and Aaron Altherr also drove in runs, with Altherr's solo home run (4) in the sixth off Jonathan Broxton being the first home run Broxton had allowed to the Phillies since Matt Stairs in Game 4 of the 2008 N.L.C.S.  Hellickson allowed two runs and struck out eight in his fine performance.

Hector Neris struck out the side in the eighth and Jeamar Gomez bounced back to record his 33rd save.

Featured Card:  Hernandez fell a triple short of the cycle, which is ironic considering he's currently leading the league in triples with nine.  Also of note is the fact that the last man to hit for the cycle for the Phillies, David Bell, is currently coaching third base for the Cardinals.

As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bullpen Blows Late Lead; Ben Meets Bull

Cardinals 4Phillies 3 (11)
Game 123 - Friday Night, August 19th in Philadelphia
Record - 57-66, 4th place, 16 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jeanmar Gomez blew the save and then the Cardinals took the lead for good in the 11th, as the Phillies dropped a tough one, 4-3.

What It Means:  This would have been a really nice win.  Adam Morgan pitched very well (6 innings, 1 run on 5 hits) and was in line for his first win since May 10th.

What Happened:  With the score tied at one, Odubel Herrera (13) and Freddy Galvis (12) hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning.  The Cardinals tied it up in the bottom of the ninth when Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run home run off Gomez.  Randal Grichuk doubled home the eventual winning run off Frank Herrmann in the 11th.

Featured Card/Field Report:  I took in this game with my favorite six-year-old in the world, my youngest son Ben. Ben is still learning the game and he was full of questions the entire ride to the ballpark, the walk into the ballpark, the walk to our seats, waiting for the game to begin, watching the game, leaving the game and during a part of the ride home until he fell asleep.

He was very interested in the player's birthdays as they appeared on the scoreboard, and he was amazed that the game continued to be played in the middle innings despite the absolute downpour we were experiencing.  His favorite part of the game was the back-to-back home runs from Herrera and Galvis, although his favorite Phillies player is still Maikel Franco.  (His favorite non-Phillies player is still Ben Revere.)

As we were leaving, I spied a very lonely Greg Luzinski sitting in the corner of an empty Bull's BBQ and the Bull obliged us with a photo, hoisting Ben up on his lap.

Pre-game popcorn - where is everybody?
Ben confirming rainfall
Transaction:  In a somewhat surprising and seemingly unnecessary move, Emmanuel Burriss was recalled from Lehigh Valley prior to this game and Taylor Featherston was sent back down.

As discussed in this post, I'm taking a poll on how collectors track baseball card collections. 

Please vote in the poll on the sidebar if you haven't already.  Thanks!

2016 Chachi #57 Frank Herrmann

Frank Joseph Herrmann
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'4"  Weight:  220
Born:  May 30, 1984, East Rutherford, NJ
Home:  Goodyear, AZ
Signed:  Signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent, August 14, 2005
Teams:  Cleveland Indians 2010-2012; Phillies 2016
Acquired:  Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates organizaion, November 18, 2015

2010 Topps Update #US-89
2016 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #12
1 Herrmann Baseball Card in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2016 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #12
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  N/A

First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2010 Topps Update #US89

Complete Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi #57

Card statistics through 8/19/16.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Series Preview - Cardinals at Phillies: August 19th to August 21st

Friday and Saturday 7:05, Sunday 1:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Cardinals 64-56, 2nd place in the N.L. Central, 13 games behind the Cubs
Phillies 57-65, 4th place in the N.L. East, 15 games behind the Nationals

Cardinals Probables:  Adam Wainwright (9-7, 4.72), Luke Weaver (0-0, 4.50, Mike Leake (8-9, 4.78)
Phillies Probables:  Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.62), Jeremy Hellickson (9-7, 3.65), Vince Velasquez (8-5, 4.14)

At the Ballpark:  On Saturday night, all fans will receive a nice looking mini Harry Kalas replica statute.  On Sunday afternoon, all kids will receive a ShopRite back-to-school set, including two Phillies folders, a spiral notebook, spiral memo pad, eraser, pencil pouch and four pencils.  Nicely done, Phillies.

Cardinals Leaders
Average:  Aledmys Diaz - .312
Runs:  Stephen Piscotty - 67
Home Runs:  Brandon Moss - 22
RBIs:  Stephen Piscotty - 67
Stolen Bases:  Jeremy Hazelbaker and Kolten Wong - 5

Wins:  Carlos Martinez - 11
ERA:  Carlos Martinez - 3.24
Strikeouts:  Carlos Martinez - 119
Saves:  Trevor Rosenthal - 14

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .294
Runs:  Odubel Herrera - 64
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco - 22
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 71
Stolen Bases:  Odubel Herrera - 19

Wins:  Jeremy Hellickson - 9
ERA:  Jeremy Hellickson - 3.65
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 130
Saves:  Jeanmar Gomez - 32

1970 Topps #220
1970 Topps #605
1970 Topps Appreciation:  Matching up the cards of Rick Wise and Steve Carlton is always a natural fit when looking for cards to feature before a Cardinals-Phillies series.  Back in 2013, I featured their 1973 cards and I had this to say:
Rick Wise and Steve Carlton were traded for each other in a straight-up pitcher for pitcher deal in February 1972.  Both pitchers received "Traded" cards within the 1972 Topps high series, but the 1973 Topps set contained their first proper base cards with their new teams.  Over the short-term and eventually over the long-term, it's safe to say the Phillies got the better end of the deal. 
Wise lasted two seasons in St. Louis, going a combined 32-28 in 70 games and making the All-Star team in 1973.  He enjoyed one of his best seasons as a member of the 1975 Red Sox when he went 19-12 and helped the Sox reach the World Series.  Lefty's first season in Philly marks perhaps one of the best single-season pitching performances in the game's history.  Pitching for a horrendous 1972 Phillies squad, Carlton went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 346 1/3 innings.  His 27 wins represented almost half of the team's 59 wins for the entire season.

2016 Topps Chrome Future Stars #FS-15 Maikel Franco

Phillies 5Dodgers 4
Game 122 - Thursday Night, August 18th in Philadelphia
Record - 57-65, 4th place, 15 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Trailing 4-3 in the seventh inning, Maikel Franco delivered a two-run home run (22) off Grant Dayton and the Phillies ultimately won the ballgame, 5-4.

What It Means:  I haven't been following the Nationals that closely, but it would appear as if the Phillies are at least keeping pace with them.  The Phillies have shifted around from between 14 to 15 1/2 games behind the Nationals since July 27th.

What Happened:  Ryan Howard (who has been hot of late) also hit a home run (19) while Aaron Altherr and Taylor Featherston drove in runs.  Jared Eickhoff made it through the sixth inning, breaking the streak of eight straight games in which the Phillies starting pitcher has lasted less than six innings.  Jeanmar Gomez pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.

Featured Card:  This is the newest Franco card in my collection, and yet another card I've been unable to add to my collection in the Zistle database.  The card does appear over in the The Trading Card Database.

Have you voted in the poll on the sidebar yet?  How do you track your baseball card collection?

2009 Topps Black #207 Joe Blanton

Dodgers 7Phillies 2
Game 121 - Wednesday Night, August 17th in Philadelphia
Record - 56-65, 4th place, 15 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Adrian Gonzalez homered twice and the Phillies were once again easily handled by the Dodgers, losing 7-2.

What It Means:  Phillies starters have lasted less than six innings in eight straight games, tying a dubious mark set by an awful 1999 Phillies pitching staff.  The rotation's ERA is 7.06 over the last 19 games.  (H/T Todd Zolecki.)

What Happened:  Jake Thompson labored in this outing, ultimately allowing five runs on five hits in five innings of work.  Tommy Joseph hit his 16th home run of the season in the sixth inning.

Featured Card:  The new and improved Joe Blanton made an appearance in this game, recording the last two outs of the seventh inning, but he didn't receive quite the welcome that Chase Utley did. Blanton is probably one of the most underrated members of the 2008 World Championship team, and he's reinvented himself as an effective (and skinny!) late inning reliever.

Transaction:  Elvis Araujo was mercifully optioned back down to Lehigh Valley and Frank Herrmann was recalled to take his spot in the bullpen.  Herrmann, who hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2012, was having a nice season for the IronPigs.  In 27 games, he was 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA and he had struck out 31 while walking just six in 31 1/3 innings.

Have you voted in the poll on the sidebar yet?  How do you track your baseball card collection?