Tuesday, July 22, 2014

1989 Fleer Update #U-107 Tommy Herr

Giants 7, Phillies 4
Game 99 - Monday Night, July 21st in Philadelphia
Record - 43-56

One Sentence Summary:  The home losses keep piling up as the Phillies dropped the series opener to the Giants, 7-4.

What It Means:  I'm actually looking forward to the trade deadline.  Something's got to give.

What Happened:  At least the Phillies offense tried to battle back into this game, but they just couldn't overcome the rough start from Cliff Lee.  Lee made his return from the disabled list and tied a career high with 12 hits allowed while surrendering six runs.

Featured Card:  The Phillies had 14 singles in the game, representing the first time they had 14 or more hits without an extra base hit in a game they lost since April 22, 1989.  (From Bob Vetrone Jr.'s Tweet.)  Tommy Herr led the way with three singles and Phillies Room favorite Bob Dernier added two singles as well.

This season is definitely taking on a 1989-ish type vibe.

Transactions:  In a flurry of roster moves before the game, Lee, Wil Nieves and Reid Brignac were all activated from the disabled list.  Koyie Hill and Cesar Hernandez were sent back to Lehigh Valley while Tony Gwynn, Jr. was designated for assignment.  By all accounts, Gwynn was a class act (like his father) and I hope he ends up on a winning team somewhere.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Giants at Phillies: July 21st to July 24th

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7:05, Thursday 1:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Giants 54-44, Tied for 1st Place in the N.L. West, 11 games ahead of the Padres
Phillies 43-55, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 11 games behind the Braves and Nationals

Giants Probables:  Ryan Vogelsong (5-7, 3.86), Matt Cain (2-7, 4.18), Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 3.38), Tim Hudson (8-6, 2.78)
Phillies Probables:  Cliff Lee (4-4, 3.18), Roberto Hernandez (4-8, 4.22), A.J. Burnett (6-9, 4.08), Cole Hamels (4-5, 2.83)

At the Ballpark:  Tonight is Italian Heritage night at the ballpark and kids get to run the bases following Thursday afternoon's game.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .293
Runs:  Chase Utley - 52
Home Runs:  Marlon Byrd - 19
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 58
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 26

Wins:  A.J. Burnett - 6
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 2.83
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 115
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 23

1988 Topps #52 and #494
1988 Topps Appreciation:  If you're trying to figure out the connection between Don Robinson and Wally Ritchie, I'd be extremely impressed if you realized that both pitchers were teammates on the 1992 Phillies squad.  There's that and I needed somewhere to feature Ritchie's card since we're now more than half way through the season and I'm running out of series preview posts quickly.

Robinson ended his 15-year career pitching eight forgettable game with the 1992 Phillies.  He went 1-4 with a 6.18 ERA before earning his release in mid-July.  For Phillies fans, Robinson is probably best remembered as the pitcher who allowed Mike Schmidt's memorable 500th career home run back on April 18, 1987.

Ritchie spent parts of four seasons with the Phillies, first appearing with the club in 1987.  He'd appear in just 19 games with the 1988 club before being exiled to Triple-A for the entire 1989 and 1990 seasons.  He was one of the team's more reliable relievers in 1991 and 1992, appearing in 79 games and pitching to a 2.72 ERA.  The Phillies and Ritchie parted ways following the 1992 season and he bounced around with the Tigers and Reds organizations as well as a few independent league teams before hanging up his spikes in 1998.

1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs Mike Williams

Braves 8, Phillies 2
Game 98 - Sunday Afternoon, July 20th in Atlanta
Record - 43-55, 5th Place, 11 games behind the Braves and Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Kyle Kendrick's woes continued as the pitcher was roughed up yet again, and the Phillies couldn't dig out of an early hole.

What It Means:  Just brutal.  There was a lengthy rain delay in the sixth with the Phillies down 6-1, and I was honestly hoping they'd just call the game.

What Happened:  Kendrick's first inning ERA this season decreased to 11.37 after a scoreless first, but then he allowed six total runs in the second and third.  The four Braves runs in the third came on one hit, two walks, two hit batters and an error.  The Phils outhit the Braves 9-8, but had only two runs to show for it.  Both runs came on solo home runs from John Mayberry, Jr. (his 6th) and Marlon Byrd (his team leading 19th).

Featured Card:  As Matt Gelb pointed out in this Tweet, the modern record for the worst first inning ERA by a Phillies pitcher is Mike Williams' 9.93 ERA in 1996.  Kendrick is aiming to shatter that record, and no I will not make a Chachi Record Breaker card to commemorate the event.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter #105 Cole Hamels

Phillies 2, Braves 1
Game 97 - Saturday Night, July 19th in Atlanta
Record - 43-54, 5th Place, 10 games behind the Braves and Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Cole Hamels pitched a gem and Jimmy Rollins provided a two-run home run as the Phillies downed the Braves, 2-1.

What It Means:  It was fun to watch Hamels pitch this ballgame.  If was even funner once Rollins hit his two-run home run.

What Happened:  Hamels no-hit the Braves through 4 2/3 innings and he'd finish after seven innings having allowed only one run on four hits.  Hamels struck out nine.  Ken Giles continued his solid work out of the bullpen with a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out with a five-pitch save.

Featured Card:  I've opened my first packs of this year's Allen & Ginter cards, and I've already ordered and received the complete Phillies team set.  It's another nice offering from Topps, but I get the feeling I've already seen all the photos used for the Phillies cards multiple times.  The sole exception is the Hamels card, which features a photo I don't think I've seen before on cardboard.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Help Doug Complete His 2014 Topps Opening Day Set!

My seven-year-old son Doug recently dove head first into the world of set collecting.  The first set he decided to tackle was this year's Topps Opening Day set.  We started out with a few packs purchased from Target, and then graduated to a few blaster boxes.  The list you see below (both sides) are the cards he needs to complete the entire 220-card set.  I'm proud to say this is his first official checklist.

2014 Topps Opening Day #41
How can you help, you may be asking yourself.  It's easy!  If you have any of these cards just sitting around, please e-mail me and I'll pass along Doug's address.  (He still lives at home.)  Doug may not be able to send you back anything in return, but I might be able to help you out with a nice assortment of cards from the team or player of your choice.

I'm hoping this is the first step in Doug's long baseball card collecting journey, so I sincerely appreciate anything you can do to help him out.  Even if you only have one of these cards and you're willing to part with it, it would make his day to receive a plain white envelope with one of the needs for his quest.

His original lists are below, and I've also typed out the cards he needs.  He's also interested in the Topps Opening Day Mascots insert set, and he's currently working on putting together his want list for that set.  (Update 7/21/14 - Insert set want lists not below.)

Thank you for your help!

1 Mike Trout
7 Jacoby Ellsbury
15 Martin Perez
17 Aaron Hicks
21 Stephen Strasburg
29 C.J. Wilson
33 Ben Revere
36 Wilin Rosario
38 Michael Cuddyer
41 Roy Halladay
44 Wade Miley
51 David Ortiz
55 Nelson Cruz
60 Alex Rios
64 Tyler Skaggs
65 Brett Gardner
68 Patrick Corbin
70 Craig Kimbrel
76 Hisashi Iwakuma
83 Cole Hamels
85 Mike Leake
88 Yoenis Cespedes
92 Coco Crisp
93 Elvis Andrus
107 Joe Nathan
111 Aroldis Chapman
112 Billy Butler
113 Jon Lester
137 Austin Jackson
138 Enny Romero
140 Brian McCann
141 Kolten Wong
147 Bobby Parnell
156 Kris Medlen
159 Adam Wainwright
162 Edwin Encarnacion
174 Matt Davidson
188 Andrew Lambo
189 Matt Holliday
190 Andrew McCutchen
195 Robinson Cano
198 Evan Longoria
204 Shelby Miller
210 Eric Hosmer
211 Mat Latos
215 Cliff Lee
217 Robbie Erlin

Between Innings - 1 Racing Presidents, 2 Pierogie Race, 3 Hot Dog Race, 4 Cincinnati Mascot Races, 6 Famous Racing Sausages, 7 Prank the Opponent, 8 Hug a Mascot, 10 Start a Cheer

Mascots - 3 Baltimore Orioles, 4 Bernie Brewer, 5 Oakland Athletics, 8 TC Bear, 10 Dinger, 11 Gapper, 12 Wally the Green Monster, 13 Phillie Phanatic, 15 Screech, 17 Paws, 19 Slider, 20 Toronto Blue Jays, 21 Pirate Parrot, 22 Swinging Friar, 23 Mariner Moose

Opening Day Stars - 1 Trout, 2 Cabrera, 5 Braun, 6 Kershaw, 7 Gonzalez, 8 Davis, 9 Tulowitzki, 10 Maurer, 13 Hernandez, 14 Ortiz, 15 Puig, 16 Kemp, 17 Pedroia, 19 Darvish, 20 Wright, 21 Votto, 22 Upton, 25 Jeter

1983 Donruss #181 Larry Andersen (cc: @FranzkeLA)

Braves 6, Phillies 4
Game 96 - Friday Night, July 18th in Atlanta
Record - 42-54, 5th Place, 11 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  A.J. Burnett struggled in Atlanta as the Braves defeated the Phillies 6-4 to start the second half of the 2014 season.

What It Means:  And we're back!  I wonder how many days until pitchers and catchers report in Clearwater?

What Happened:  Burnett lasted five innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits.  Ryan Howard contributed a two-run single in the loss.

Featured Card:  I spend more time these days wading through trade rumors than I do actually focused on that day's game or how the current players are performing.  The latest round of rumors has the Phillies close to dealing Marlon Byrd to the Mariners for a few prospects.  Thanks to the wonder of interleague play, the Mariners visit Philadelphia in mid-August.  So if Byrd does end up in Seattle, we'll be able to watch him play again, albeit for the visiting team.

I didn't take the time to check the official records, but I believe this clunker of a deal was the last time the Phillies and Mariners hooked up to make a trade.  Before that, the Phils reached out to the Mariners in August 2006 to acquire Jamie Moyer.

All of this has nothing to do with Larry Andersen of course, but I still enjoy his commentary throughout the team's radio broadcasts and I thought this card would be fitting for this post.  I imagine the look on Andersen's face on this card is pretty much the same look on just about every Phillies fan's face at this point.  (This card is in my Phillies collection as Andersen played with the Phils in 1983.)

2014 Chachi #50 Ken Giles

Kenneth Robert Giles
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  205
Born:  September 20, 1990, Albuquerque, NM
Home:  Phoenix, AZ
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 7th round of the June 2011 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2014
Acquired:  Via draft

Phillies Cards in My Collection:
#1 - 2014 Bomman Prospects #BP99
#2 - 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP99

In addition to the two cards above, I have three minor league cards of Giles in my collection.

First Chachi Card:  2014 Chachi #50

Friday, July 18, 2014

Phillies at Braves: July 18th to July 20th

Friday 7:35, Saturday 7:10 and Sunday 1:35
Turner Field - Atlanta, GA

Phillies 42-53, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 10 games behind the Braves and Nationals
Braves 52-43, Tied for 1st Place in the N.L. East, 7 games ahead of the Mets

Phillies Probables:  A.J. Burnett (6-8, 3.83), Cole Hamels (3-5, 2.93), Kyle Kendrick (4-9, 4.62)
Braves Probables:  Ervin Santana (7-6, 4.01), TBD, TBD

At the Ballpark:  There will be fireworks following tonight's game.  Sunday is Alumni Sunday and former Braves Tony Brizzolara, Todd Pratt and Dwight Smith will be signing autographs prior to the game.  I had to look it up and I barely remember Pratt finishing out his career with the 2006 Braves.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .295
Runs:  Chase Utley - 51
Home Runs:  Marlon Byrd - 18
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 56
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 26

Wins:  A.J. Burnett - 6
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 2.93
Strikeouts:  A.J. Burnett - 108
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 22

1988 Topps #440, #298 and #755
1988 Topps Appreciation:  We're starting off the second half with a trio of players involved in the same trade back on December 10, 1985.  To make run for Darren Daulton and John Russell, the Phillies traded All-Star catcher Ozzie Virgil (and minor leaguer Pete Smith) to the Braves for reliever Steve Bedrosian and outfielder Milt Thompson.  It turned out to be a pretty good deal for the Phils.

Virgil didn't hit for average, but he was coming off two of his better seasons in 1984 and 1985 when he hit 18 and 19 home runs respectively.  He'd hit a career high 27 home runs with the 1987 Braves while driving in 72 runs and making his second All-Star squad.

On the other end of the deal, Bedrosian assumed the closer's role from Kent Tekulve in 1986 and he'd win the Cy Young Award in 1987.  His finest season, Bedrock saved 40 games that year while pitching to a 2.83 ERA over 65 games.  Thompson also had a memorable 1987 season, earning some MVP votes for hitting .302 with 46 stolen bases.  He's probably best remembered (as a player at least) for his second stint with the club, when he platooned in left field with Pete Incaviglia during the memorable 1993 season.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014 Chachi #58 Chase Utley AS

American League 5, National League 3
All-Star Game - Tuesday Night, July 15th in Minneapolis

One Sentence Summary:  Mike Trout's RBI double in the fifth broke a 3-3 tie and eventually led to the American League triumphing over the National League, 5-3.

Snarky One Sentence Summary:  Jeter Jeter'd all the way to the Jeter Jeter and the Jeter's Jetered to the Jeter, Jeter-Jeter.

What It Means:  The American League won their second All-Star Game in a row, giving the eventual A.L. Champs (A's?) home field advantage in the World Series.  Derek Jeter was playing in his 14th and final mid-summer classic, and Fox tried hard to make the viewers forget that anyone other than Jeter was involved in this game.  I'm all for classy send-offs, but I found myself talking back to the broadcasters more than usual - "Just show the game!" and "Enough already with Jeter!" were common refrains.  That being said, I still love the All-Star Game and I hope I always will.

For the record, I only complained once to my wife about the two-toned special hats being worn during the game.

What Happened:  The A.L. jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first following Jeter's lead-off double, Trout's RBI triple and Miguel Cabrera's two-run home run.  Chase Utley doubled home the first N.L. run in the second, scoring Aramis Ramirez.  Utley would come around to score on Jonathan Lucroy's double.
In Utley's second at-bat, he was hit with a Chris Sale fastball, and pinch-run for at first base by Dee Gordon.  Gordon scored the N.L.'s third run on Lucroy's second double of the game.  Trout's second RBI came in the fifth, and following a Jose Altuve sacrifice fly that scored Alexei Ramirez, the A.L. had their 5-3 lead.

And then I promptly fell asleep.  My seven-year-old son Doug gallantly tried to stay up and watch the entire game with me, but he too drifted off somewhere around the seventh inning.  Turns out we didn't miss much.

Featured Card:  This was Utley's sixth trip to the All-Star Game, and therefore this is his sixth Chachi All-Star card.  I wish I had a reason to make a few more of these cards for the 2014 Chachi set, but Utley was the team's sole All-Star representative for the first time since 2003 when Randy Wolf was the lone Phillies All-Star.

Memory Lane
2013 All-Star Game - A.L. 3, N.L. 0 in Flushing
2012 All-Star Game - N.L. 8, A.L. 0 in Kansas City
2011 All-Star Game - N.L. 5, A.L. 1 in Phoenix
2010 All-Star Game - N.L. 3, A.L. 1 in Anaheim
From 2009 - All-Star Game memories
From 1996 - Attending the All-Star Game at The Vet