Monday, May 21, 2018

Game 44 - 1982 Donruss #294 Mike Schmidt

Cardinals 5, Phillies 1
Game 44 - Sunday Afternoon, May 20th in St. Louis
Record - 26-18, 2nd place, 1 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Odubel Herrera's on-base streak ended at 45 games and the Phillies dropped the series finale to the Cardinals, 5-1.

What It Means:  Can a series be crucial in May?  The Phillies open a crucial series against the first place Braves at home on Monday night.

What Happened:  The only offense managed by the Phillies against Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty was a solo home run (6) from Rhys Hoskins in the fourth.  Flaherty struck out 13 batters on the way to his first career win and the Phillies had only one other hit - an eighth inning single from Aaron Altherr.

Aaron Nola took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings of work.

Featured Card:  Herrera owns the fourth longest on-base streak in Phillies history, behind Bobby Abreu (48), Chuck Klein (49) and Mike Schmidt (56).  Schmidt accomplished his feat over the 1981 and 1982 seasons.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Game 43 - 2018 Bowman #Bowman Trending #-SK Scott Kingery

Phillies 7, Cardinals 6
Game 43 - Saturday Afternoon, May 19th in St. Louis
Record - 26-17, 2nd place, 1/2 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Odubel Herrera continued to swing a hot bat and the Phils collected clutch hits from Scott Kingery and Jorge Alfaro in this 7-6 win over the Cardinals.

What It Means:  Manager Gabe Kapler said after the game that this felt like "the biggest game of the year."  The Phillies are hanging right with some of the better teams in the league, and they'll have a chance for a series win against the Cardinals this afternoon.  The three-game series that starts with the Braves on Monday night should be exciting.

What Happened:  Zach Eflin battled through 4 2/3 innings before a rain delay cut his day short.  Herrera hit a two-run bomb (7) in the third and drove in another run on a fielder's choice in the fifth.  Luis Garcia allowed the Cardinals to tie it up in the sixth and then Tommy Hunter gave up the lead in the seventh.

Down 6-5 in the eighth with two outs and a runner on first, Kingery lined a two-strike triple to right to plate the tying run.  Alfaro then brought him home with the eventual winning run with an infield hit to deep short.

Seranthony Dominguez dominated in the final two frames, picking up his first career save.  He's been perfect in his first 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven.

Featured Card:  If Dominguez had any more baseball cards, I'd likely go with him for this post.  Instead, here's one of Kingery's newest cards from the just released Bowman set.

Transaction:  Yacksel Rios was optioned to the IronPigs following the late Friday night game and Victor Arano returned to the club after a brief disabled list stint.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Game 42 - 1970 Topps Posters #8 Rick Wise

Cardinals 12, Phillies 4
Game 42 - Friday Night, May 18th in St. Louis
Record - 25-17, 2nd place, 1/2 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  This game quickly got out of hand for the Phillies and Jake Arrieta, as the Cardinals won a laugher, 12-4.

What It Means:  The game started after a 95 minute delay and Arrieta clearly didn't have his best stuff.  He was pulled after three innings having allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits.

What Happened:  Drew Hutchison (3 innings, 5 runs) and Yacksel Rios (1 inning, 3 runs) didn't fare much better against the Cardinals offense and Pedro Florimon found himself on the pitching mound for the second time this season.  Florimon pitched a perfect eighth inning, lowering his season ERA to 9.00.

Featured Card:  Florimon (technically as a relief pitcher) hit a solo home run in the ninth, becoming the first relief pitcher to hit a home run for the Phillies since Rick Wise did it in 1970.  This is from Matt Breen, who also points out that Omar Olivares hit a home run for the Phillies in 1995 but as a pinch-hitter and not technically as a relief pitcher.

Game 41 - Rooting for the Cubs in the Rain

2018 Topps Gypsy Queen #144
Phillies 6, Cardinals 2
Game 41 - Thursday Night, May 17th in St. Louis
Record - 25-16, 2nd place, 1/2 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Vince Velasquez handled the Cardinals offense while Odubel Herrera continued to swing a hot bat in this 6-2 win.

What It Means:  I really wanted to be able to cheer on the Cubs against the Braves on Thursday night, but rain foiled my plans . . . see below.

What Happened:  Velasquez pitched into the seventh inning, shutting out the Cardinals on just five hits.  Carlos Santana (8) and Pedro Florimon (1) homered.

Featured Card:  Herrera just keeps on hitting.  He had a pair of hits, reached on a walk and drove in a pair of runs.

Transaction:  Mark Leiter, Jr. was on the active roster for a day, didn't appear in a game, and was optioned down to the IronPigs following the one-game Orioles series.  Adam Morgan was activated from the disabled list to take his place on the roster.

Field Report:  I visited Atlanta for a few days for a work-related training session and found myself with a free night on Thursday.  I purchased a ticket to the Braves-Cubs game (Section 32, Row 13, Seat 1), anxious to see the new SunTrust Park and cross another ballpark off my list.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn't cooperating and heavy rain started falling right before the scheduled 7:35 first pitch.

The game was called after a 2 1/2 hour delay, and the rain delay gave me a chance to explore the areas of the ballpark that were under cover.  It's a nice ballpark, and I'd compare it to (also relatively new) Nationals Park.  There's a shopping/restaurant/bar village vibe to "The Battery Atlanta" area surrounding the ballpark but the rain precluded me from exploring that area.

I really enjoyed the indoor Monument Garden, home to the Braves Hall of Fame plaques, a Hank Aaron statue, a history of the Braves jerseys, various game-used memorabilia and a timeline of the Braves history.  During my exploration, I ran into the Braves' mascot Blooper and it (?) was kind enough to pose for a picture with me.  Hopefully we'll return one day for a visit that's not so soggy so that we can actually enjoy rooting against the Braves.

Game 40 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue #43 Nick Pivetta

Phillies 4, Orioles 1
Game 40 - Wednesday Afternoon, May 16th in Baltimore
Record - 24-16, 2nd place, 1 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Nick Pivetta struck out 11 Orioles in this 4-1 win.

What It Means:  The rain is wreaking havoc on the baseball schedule and the Phillies had their two-game series with the Orioles cut short to just a game.  The start of this game was moved up to noon in an effort to get the game in before more wet weather hit.  The Tuesday night game was postponed and will be made up on July 12th.

What Happened:  Pivetta was awesome, allowing just a run on two hits in his seven innings of work.  Edubray Ramos retired the first two batters in the ninth easily, but manager Gabe Kapler opted to bring in beleaguered reliever Hector Neris to record the final out.

Cesar Hernandez hit a triple and a solo home run (5) in the Phillies three-run sixth inning.  Odubel Herrera extended his on-base streak to 42 games with a first inning single.

Featured Card:  Pivetta should start to get some more baseball card attention if he keeps pitching like this.  His two 2018 baseball cards to date can be found in the Topps flagship release and in the Phillies team-issued photo card set.

Friday, May 18, 2018

2018 Chachi #11 Pedro Florimon

Pedro Alexander Florimon, Jr.

Bats:  Switch  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  185
Opening Day Age:  31
Born:  December 10, 1986, La Romana, DR
Signed:  Signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amateur free agent, June 18, 2004
Teams:  Baltimore Orioles 2011; Minnesota Twins 2012-2014; Pittsburgh Piratees 2015-2016; Phillies 2017-
Acquired:  Signed by the Phillies as a minor league free agent formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates, December 9, 2016

2013 Topps #451
2017 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #12
2017 Chachi #54
2017 Topps Now MLB
Players Weekend #PW-105
3 Florimon Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2013 Topps #451
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2017 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #12
First Phillies Card:  2017 Topps Now MLB Players Weekend #PW-105*
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2018 Phillies Team Issue #18
Latest Card:  2018 Phillies Team Issue #18

2018 Phillies Team Issue #18
*Florimon pulled a Louie Meadows on the Nick Williams card issued by Topps as part of their limited Topps Now MLB Players Weekend set.  That's clearly Florimon pictured on the Williams card.

First Mention on The Phillies Room:  December 13, 2016 - I get irrationally excited every offseason at the first announcement of the Phillies non-roster invitees to spring training . . .

Here are the first four of what will probably be a few dozen non-roster invitees to Clearwater beginning in February.

Player (position) - 2016 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Sean Burnett (lhp) - Nationals/Dodgers/Braves/Twins/Nationals - 2014 Topps #68 (Angels)
2.  Pedro Florimon (inf) - Pirates - 2014 Topps #568 (Twins)
3.  Hector Gomez (inf) - Korea - 2015 Topps Update #US229 (Brewers)
4.  Daniel Nava (of) - Angels/Royals - 2016 Topps Now #293 (Angels)

Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi #54
2017 Chachi In Action #8
2018 Chachi #11

Card statistics through 5/12/18.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Series Preview - Phillies at Cardinals: May 17th to May 20th

1978 Topps #340
1978 Topps #531
Thursday 7:15, Friday 8:15, Saturday and Sunday 2:15
Busch Stadium - St. Louis, MO

Phillies 24-16, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 1 game behind the Braves
Cardinals 23-17, 2nd place in the N.L. Central, 1 game behind the Brewers and Pirates

Phillies Probables:  Vince Velasquez (3-4, 5.05), Jake Arrieta (3-1, 2.59), Zach Eflin (1-0, 0.71), Aaron Nola (6-1, 1.99)
Cardinals Probables:  Luke Weaver (3-2, 4.91), Michael Wacha (4-1, 3.09), John Gant (1-1, 4.15), Jack Flaherty (0-1, 2.87)

At the Ballpark:  The Cardinals traditionally do a fantastic job with their giveaways and promotions, and this series is no exception.  There are various theme nights requiring special ticket vouchers where fans will receive special jerseys.  Thursday is soccer night and Friday night is "Braggin' Rights Night" with fans choosing between an Illini or Mizzou jersey.

Also on Friday, the first 30,000 fans will receive a Bob Gibson pitching rubber as part of the team's 1968 National League Championship anniversary weekend.  The giveaway on Saturday is a replica 1968 N.L. Championship ring and all kids will receive a Cardinals glove on Sunday.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Odubel Herrera - .357
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 29
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco and Carlos Santana - 7
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 29
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 7

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 6
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 1.99
Strikeouts:  Nick Pivetta - 53
Saves:  Hector Neris - 8

Cardinals Leaders
Average:  Tommy Pham - .312
Runs:  Tommy Pham - 30
Home Runs:  Paul DeJong and Tommy Pham - 8
RBIs:  Jose Martinez - 23
Stolen Bases:  Tommy Pham - 7

Wins:  Miles Mikolas - 5
ERA:  Carlos Martinez - 1.62
Strikeouts:  Carlos Martinez - 47
Saves:  Bud Norris - 9

1978 Topps Appreciation:  On June 15, 1977, the Phillies acquired Bake McBride and Steve Waterbury from the Cardinals for Rick Bosetti, Dane Iorg and Tom Underwood.  Topps had enough time to get an actual photo of McBride in a Phillies uniform for its 1978 set, but had to resort to airbrushing Underwood into his new Cardinals uniform.  You can see Phillies players in their baby blue uniforms lingering in the background behind Underwood.

2018 Chachi #10 Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Mario Alfaro

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  240
Opening Day Age:  24
Born:  June 11, 1993, Sincelejo, Colombia
Signed:  Signed by the Texas Rangers as an amateur free agent, January 19, 2010
Teams:  Phillies 2016-
Acquired:  Acquired with Matt Harrison, Nick Williams, Jerad Eickhoff, Jake Thompson and Alec Asher from the Texas Rangers for Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and cash considerations, July 31, 2015

2015 Topps Pro Debut #172
2015 Bowman Draft Scouts
Fantasy Impact #BSI-JA
2016 Grandstand Reading
Fightin Phils #1
2016 Chachi #58
2017 Topps #569
50 Alfaro Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2015 Topps Pro Debut #172
First Phillies Card:  2015 Bowman Draft Bowman Scouts Fantasy Impact #BSI-JA
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2016 Grandstand Reading Fightin Phils #1
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2017 Topps #569
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2017 Phillies Team Issue Update #38
Latest Card:  2018 Topps Now Road to Opening Day #OD-285

2017 Phillies Team Issue Update #38
First Mention on The Phillies Room:  July 31, 2015 - Cole Hamels (and Jake Diekman) are now officially members of the Texas Rangers and the Phillies have six new players in their organization that I've honestly never heard of before.  No offense meant here, but if Matt Harrison, who was an A.L. All-Star in 2012, bumped into me on the streets of Philadelphia I'd have no idea he was the newest Phillies starting pitcher.

The best way for me to get acclimated with these new guys is to summarize their baseball card careers to date.  I won't attempt to provide scouting reports on these players as I'm just purely interested in getting to know them through their baseball cards for now.  If you want something a little more in-depth, I thought this article was a good read . . .

Jorge Alfaro (C - AA) - Alfaro was ranked the third best prospect in the Rangers system in Baseball America's pre-season rankings.  He's going to miss the rest of the 2015 season as he's been out of action since mid-June with a left ankle injury.  It seems as if Alfaro has more baseball cards available than any other player acquired in this deal (with the exception of Harrison) and he's had cards in Topps Heritage Minors, Bowman Chrome and Topps Pro Debut sets since 2012.  Alfaro also has a card in the 2015 Topps Pro Debut set.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi #58
2017 Chachi #52
2018 Chachi #10

Card statistics through 5/12/18.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Series Preview - Phillies at Orioles: May 15th to May 16th

2018 Chachi Fan Favorites #24
2018 Chachi Fan Favorites #25
Tuesday 7:05 and Wednesday 12:35
Oriole Park at Camden Yards - Baltimore, MD

Phillies 23-16, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 1 1/2 games behind the Braves
Orioles 13-28, 5th place in the A.L. East, 15 1/2 games behind the Yankees

Phillies Probables:  Nick Pivetta (2-2, 4.15), Vince Velasquez (3-4, 5.05)
Orioles Probables:  Andrew Cashner (1-4, 4.84), TBD

At the Ballpark:  There are no giveaways scheduled for this brief two-game series.  It's a shame this series takes place in the middle of the week.  Had it been a weekend series, we would have tried to make it to at least one of the games.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Odubel Herrera - .360
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 27
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco and Carlos Santana - 7
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 28
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 7

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 6
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 1.99
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 51
Saves:  Hector Neris - 8

Orioles Leaders
Average:  Manny Machado - .350
Runs:  Manny Machado and Trey Mancini - 25
Home Runs:  Manny Machado - 13
RBIs:  Manny Machado - 38
Stolen Bases:  Craig Gentry and Jace Peterson - 5

Wins:  Richard Bleier and Kevin Gausman - 3
ERA:  Kevin Gausman - 3.18
Strikeouts:  Dylan Bundy - 55
Saves:  Brad Brach - 5

Monday, May 14, 2018

Game 39 - 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen #196 Nick Williams

Phillies 4, Mets 2
Game 39 - Sunday Afternoon, May 13th in Philadelphia
Record - 23-16, 2nd place, 1 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Nick Williams hit a three-run, pinch-hit home run in the sixth to give the Phillies the lead in what ended up being a 4-2 Mother's Day win.

What It Means:  With the rain-out last night and the Braves continuing to win, the Phillies lost a half game in the standings.  Following an off-day Monday, they'll open a quick, two-game set in Baltimore on Tuesday night.

What Happened:  The Phillies had been struggling with runners in scoring position, but Williams provided all the offense needed.  Carlos Santana homered (7) in the seventh for an insurance run.

Williams' blast ensured Aaron Nola could get the W, his sixth of the season.  Nola went six innings, allowing a run on nine hits and his sole mistake was allowing a solo home run to Yoenis Cespedes in the sixth.  With Hector Neris struggling, Edubray Ramos was called on in the ninth and he recorded his first save.

Featured Card:  Williams has been the odd man out in the outfield so far this season, and he hasn't had many opportunities to shine.  Here's his card from the Topps Gypsy Queen release.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

6th Annual Lakewood @BlueClaws Outing #BluePaws

At some point during the offseason, I received an e-mail from the Lakewood BlueClaws asking fans to submit pictures of their dogs in connection with the team's 2018 Bark in the Park promotion.  The pictures would be featured on a special jersey to be worn by the players and coaches for the game, and I immediately e-mailed the team a picture of our dog Chewbacca.

Fast forward to last night, and we made the 90 minute trek to Lakewood to watch the BlueClaws play with a collage of dogs, including our very own Chewbacca, on their uniforms.  Chewbacca officially becomes the first member of our family to appear on a jersey in a professional baseball game.  He has promised not to let this go to his head.

The BlueClaws lost the game, 4-2 to the West Virginia Power, but we once again had a blast.  Doug went to work before the game scoring autographs while Ben was happy to just get his picture taken with some of the players.  Both boys came away with baseballs with Doug getting tossed a ball from catcher Rodolfo Duran and Ben getting a ball of his own from coach Milver Reyes.

The BlueClaws auctioned off the special dog jerseys during an in-game silent auction, and we bid on and won three of the jerseys.  (As an aside, I probably got a little over ambitious and paranoid with my bidding as we wanted to make sure we brought home at least one of the jerseys and of course we ended up with three.  My initial paranoia aside, I was happy that proceeds from the auctions went towards BlueClaws Charities.)  We won the jerseys of outfielder Josh Stephen (#8), infielder Daniel Brito (#21) and coach Tyler Henson (#9).

Following the game, we were invited to the indoor batting cage area to pick up the jerseys, meet the players and get even more autographs.  The entire team was seated at tables circling the room, ready and willing to sign anything handed to them.  When all was said and done, both boys came away with baseballs autographed by the entire BlueClaws team and Doug also managed to get the players to sign a BlueClaws mini bat.  What an amazing experience and the ride home in a torrential thunderstorm gave all of us plenty of time to reflect on the cool night we had just shared.

For posterity's sake, I've created several limited edition Chachi insert cards and I also wanted to list the full roster below to help the boys identify the autographs they gathered on their team balls (and bat).  Thanks again to the BlueClaws and Bark in the Park!

  • 2 - Marty Malloy MG
  • 3 - Randy Alcantara
  • 4 - Luis Ramirez
  • 5 - Dalton Guthrie
  • 7 - Danny Mayer
  • 8 - Josh Stephen
  • 9 - Tyler Henson CO
  • 10 - Quincy Nieporte
  • 11 - Brad Bergesen CO
  • 13 - Yahir Gurrola
  • 14 - Jake Scheiner
  • 15 - Addison Russ
  • 16 - Luis Carrasco
  • 17 - Rodolfo Duran
  • 18 - Jonathan Hennigan
  • 20 - David Parkinson
  • 21 - Daniel Brito
  • 22 - Spencer Howard
  • 23 - Gregori Rivero
  • 24 - Julian Garcia
  • 25 - Colby Fitch
  • 26 - Kevin Markham
  • 27 - Will Stewart
  • 28 - Milver Reyes CO
  • 31 - Kyle Dohy
  • 33 - Zach Warren
  • 44 - Connor Brogdon
  • 54 - Ramos Rosso
  • 55 - Damon Jones

Memory Lane 
2013 BlueClaws Game
2014 BlueClaws Game
2015 BlueClaws Game
2016 BlueClaws Game
2017 BlueClaws Game

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Game 38 - 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter #302 Brad Lidge

Mets 3, Phillies 1
Game 38 - Friday Night, May 11th in Philadelphia
Record - 22-16, 2nd place, 1/2 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Hector Neris blew it.

What It Means:  With the Braves also losing, the Phillies could have claimed first place for themselves, but Neris was unable to shut down the Mets in the ninth.

What Happened:  Jake Arrieta allowed five hits in his 7 1/3 innings, and Tommy Hunter recorded the final two outs of the eighth.  For the second time this week, Neris couldn't close the door, allowing back-to-back home runs to Michael Conforto and Devin Mesoraco.  The sole Phillies run came on an Odubel Herrera solo home run (6) in the first.

Featured Card:  Sending some 2008 Brad Lidge vibes towards Neris' general direction.

Game 37 - 2018 Topps Phillies #PP-14 Vince Velasquez

Phillies 6, Giants 3
Game 37 - Thursday Afternoon, May 10th in Philadelphia
Record - 22-15, 2nd place, 1/2 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies completed the four-game sweep of the Giants behind the still-hot Odubel Herrera and a solid performance from starting pitcher Vince Velasquez.

What It Means:  For a brief few hours following this win and the Braves game on Thursday night, the Phillies were tied for first place in the division.

What Happened:  Velasquez recovered after a shaky first few innings to pitch through the sixth, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out 12.  Seranthony Dominguez, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris were perfect in the final three frames.

Odubel Herrera raised his league leading average to .353 with three more hits and a pair of RBIs.  Carlos Santana knocked in three more runs on a fourth inning, three-run home run (6).

Featured Card:  Available from the Topps Phillies retail set, this is a preview of what Velasquez's card will most likely look like in the second series of the Topps flagship set.

Transaction:  Zac Curtis was optioned back to the IronPigs and Jake Thompson was recalled.  Ben Lively was also activated from the disabled list and sent to Lehigh Valley.

Game 36 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue #41 Carlos Santana

Phillies 11, Giants 3
Game 36 - Wednesday Night, May 9th in Philadelphia
Record - 21-15, 2nd place, 1/2 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies banged out 10 hits in this 11-3 win over the Giants.

What It Means:  The Phillies and Braves continue to play their games in lockstep as both teams seem to either win or lose together.  The Phils remain a half game behind the Braves in the division and inexplicably they're atop the N.L. Wild Card standings.

What Happened:  Carlos Santana had a career high five RBIs with three hits while Maikel Franco contributed three hits of his own including a solo home run (7) in the fourth.  Nick Pivetta battled through five innings of shutout ball.

Featured Card:  Skipping ahead to include Thursday afternoon's game, Santana drove in 13 runs in the Giants series tying a franchise record for most RBI in a series of any length per this Phillies Tweet via the Elias Sports Bureau.  This is one of the four Phillies baseball cards (to date) available for Santana, from the team-issued photo card set.

Field Report:  Jenna and I attended this game, and we managed to not actually sit in our seats the entire time.  After picking up our free Phillies hats (courtesy of Teva respiratory awareness night), we enjoyed loaded pork nachos from a railing behind third base and then we enjoyed a few adult beverages overlooking the Giants bullpen in Ashburn Alley.  I did my best to send bad vibes the way of their bullpen just in case any of them had any aspirations of shutting down the Phillies line-up.

We spent our final few innings on the newly installed bar stools located in the right field corner overlooking the entire field.

Game 35 - 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen #96 Aaron Nola

Phillies 4, Giants 2
Game 35 - Tuesday Night, May 8th in Philadelphia
Record - 20-15, 2nd place, 1/2 game behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Aaron Nola shined in this 4-2 win over the Giants, striking out a career-high 12 batters.

What It Means:  I'm a little behind with these game summary posts given a busy work schedule and the fact that I attended two of these Giants games.

What Happened:  Nola allowed a run on five hits in his seven innings of work, on the way to his fifth win of the season.  Hector Neris recorded the final two outs for his seventh save.

Aaron Altherr (4), Jorge Alfaro (4) and Carlos Santana (5) all hit solo home runs to support Nola's outing and Odubel Herrera stayed red hot with an RBI-single in the third.

Featured Card:  It has to be Nola, and now that he's finally arrived as an ace, Topps has curtailed the number of cards the company is issuing for him.  Here's his card from the Gypsy Queen set released in late March.

Field Report:  I invited my Mom and her fiancee Denny to this game and we upgraded to the Diamond Club to get a closer view of the action.  Before the game, a yet to be identified Phillies employee/coach (?) tossed Doug a baseball from the Phillies dugout.  Doug then had a very successful pre-game autograph seeking experience, adding autographs from Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, catcher Andrew Knapp, coach Dusty Wathan and four (!) autographs from outfielder Nick Williams.  Roaming TV field reporter Gregg Murphy was walking through the concourse during the game and Doug added his autograph for good measure.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Series Preview - Mets at Phillies: May 11th to May 13th

1978 Topps #197
1978 Topps #317
Friday and Saturday 7:05, Sunday 1:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Mets 18-17, 4th place in the N.L. West, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves
Phillies 22-15, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 1/2 game behind the Braves

Mets Probables:  Steven Matz (1-3, 4.23), Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 3.09), Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.87)
Phillies Probables:  Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.15), Zach Eflin (1-0, 0.71), Aaron Nola (5-1, 2.05)

At the Ballpark:  On Saturday, all kids will receive the Phanatic's latest book which tells of the Phanatic's exploits at the All-Star Game.  For Mother's Day on Sunday, women 15 and over will receive a Phillies pullover.

Mets Leaders
Average:  Asdrubal Cabrera - .319
Runs:  Asdrubal Cabrera - 23
Home Runs:  Yoenis Cespedes - 7
RBIs:  Yoenis Cespedes - 27
Stolen Bases:  Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier - 3

Wins:  Robert Gsellman - 4
ERA:  Jacob deGrom - 1.87
Strikeouts:  Jacbo deGrom and Noah Syndergaard - 54
Saves:  Jeurys Familia - 10

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Odubel Herrera - .353
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 27
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco - 7
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 28
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 6

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 5
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.05
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 50
Saves:  Hector Neris - 8

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2018 Chachi #9 Aaron Nola

Aaron Michael Nola
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  200
Opening Day Age:  24
Born:  June 4, 1993, Baton Rouge, LA
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 1st round of the June 2014 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2015-
Acquired:  Via draft

2014 Grandstand Clearwater
Threshers #49
2014 Bowman Draft Picks &
Prospects Draft Picks #DP4
2015 Chachi #51
2016 Topps #133
111 Nola Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2014 Grandstand Clearwater Threshers #49
First Phillies Card:  2014 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Draft Picks #DP4
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #27 (SP)
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2016 Topps #133
Latest Card:  2018 Topps Now Road to Opening Day #OD-280

2015 Phillies Team Issue 2 #27
First Mention on The Phillies Room:  June 6, 2014 - Phillies Select Nola with First Pick - I haven't created any draft pick cards in the past, but for some reason I felt the need to make a card for the Phillies #1 draft pick this year, pitcher Aaron Nola. Nola was selected seventh overall last night and was a junior last season with LSU.  Overall, Nola went 30-6 with a 2.09 ERA in his college career, winning SEC player of the year honors in 2013 and 2014.  He becomes the first college pitcher drafted by the Phillies since they took Joe Savery in 2007.

What intrigues me about Nola is that scouts predict he could be the first starting pitcher selected in this year's draft to make the Majors.  Given the current state of free-fall the team is experiencing right now, it's nice to have something positive to think about.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2014 Chachi Almost #4 FS
2015 Chachi #51
2016 Chachi #15
2016 Chachi Archives #14
2016 Chachi Photo Day #26
2016 Chachi Special Edition #6
2017 Chachi #16
2017 Chachi #64 - Team Leaders (with Cesar Hernandez)
2017 Chachi Phillies Phestival #20
2017 Chachi Archives #16
2017 Chachi Photo Night #24
2018 Chachi #9

Card statistics through 5/8/18.