Friday, May 22, 2015

Phillies at Nationals: May 22nd to May 24th

Friday 7:05, Saturday 4:05 and Sunday 1:35
Nationals Park - Washington, DC

Phillies 18-25, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 7 games behind the Nationals
Nationals 24-17, 1st Place in the N.L. East, 1/2 game ahead of the Mets

Phillies Probables:  Sean O'Sullivan (1-2, 3.68), Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.24), Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82)
Nationals Probables:  Max Scherzer (4-3, 1.75), Stephen Strasburg (3-4, 5.98), Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.94)

At the Ballpark:  The first 10,000 fans will receive a 10th Anniversary poster on Sunday afternoon.  It's hard for me to believe there's been baseball back in Washington for 10 years now . . . and the Montreal Expos have been gone for 11 years.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Freddy Galvis - .319
Runs:  Freddy Galvis - 18
Home Runs:  Ryan Howard - 9
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 21
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 9

Wins:  Cole Hamels and Aaron Harang - 4
ERA:  Aaron Harang - 1.82
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 62
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 11

1985 Topps #143
1985 Topps #134
1985 Topps Appreciation:  Father's Day is a month away, but I wanted to be able to fit in these two cards given the Expos/Phillies connection with the Tito and Terry Francona card.  Before the younger Francona managed the Phillies through four grueling seasons (1997-2000), the elder Francona already had a Phillies connection.

Tito played 15 years in the majors, squeezing in 27 games with the Phillies in 1967.  Tito was purchased from the Cardinals by the Phils on April 10, 1967 and then sold again (hopefully at a profit) to the Braves by the Phils on June 12, 1967.  His short stint earned him a late series Phillies baseball card in the 1967 Topps set.

The elder Ozzie Virgil had no Phillies connection that I could find during his playing days.  The younger Virgil was an All-Star with the Phillies in 1985 and spent parts of six seasons behind the plate in maroon pinstripes.

Top 10 Things that Went Through Cole Hamels' Mind After Winning the World Series

2009 Topps Heritage New
Age Performers #NAP11
Rockies 7, Phillies 3
Thursday Afternoon, May 21st in Denver
Record - 18-25, 4th Place, 7 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Phillies pitchers Jerome Williams and Elvis Araujo got knocked around and the Phillies couldn't mount a comeback as the Rockies won, 7-3.

What It Means:  Williams has struggled in May and after this game, his ERA for the month is an ugly 7.03.  He allowed five runs on eight hits in his five innings of work.  Araujo allowed two more runs in his two innings of work.

What Happened:  Ryan Howard hit his ninth home run of the year and Chase Utley had two more hits to raise his average to .169.  In his last 12 games, Utley is hitting .333 (13 for 39) with five doubles and a triple.

Featured Card:  I liked that the Phillies tipped their cap to the retiring David Letterman in this article on their website.  In honor of Letterman's final television show, which aired Wednesday night, here's Cole Hamels reading Top 10 Things that Went Through Cole Hamels' Mind After Winning the World Series.

2014 Stadium Club #170 Ryan Howard

Phillies 4, Rockies 2
Late Wednesday Night, May 20th in Denver
Record - 18-24, 4th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Ryan Howard's monster solo home run helped secure Severino Gonzalez's second big league win as the Phillies defeated the Rockies, 4-2.

What It Means:  The Phillies have won seven of their last nine games.

What Happened:  It was chilly in Denver, but Howard enjoyed a 3 for 5 night with a double, home run and two runs scored.  Jeff Francoeur and Odubel Herrera added RBI singles.  Gonzalez pitched five innings, allowing just a run on five hits and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth to secure his 11th save of the season.

Featured Card:  I'm more than happy to start showing more Howard baseball cards in these game summary posts.  This is his card from last year's Stadium Club set.  I love it when Topps actually uses photos we haven't seen before and for this reason I think last year's Stadium Club set is one of the most underrated and overlooked sets from 2014.

1984 Fleer Stickers #123 Paul Owens MG

Rockies 6, Phillies 5
Late Tuesday Night, May 19th in Denver
Record - 17-24, 4th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Mets and Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The six-game winning streak came to an end as Nick Hundley hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth off Justin De Fratus leading to the 6-5 Phillies loss.

What It Means:  The once reliable bullpen has been shaky in 2015.  The Philllies tied the game at five in the top of the eighth on a two-run single from Maikel Franco, but it was all for naught.

What Happened:  Aaron Harang had his roughest start of the year, allowing three first inning runs although they were all unearned as a result of a costly error by Franco.  Making up for his earlier miscue, Franco's big hit in the eighth capped a three hit, three RBI night.

Featured Card:  I'm a little behind in posting this week so I haven't had a chance to comment on the Marlins naming their former GM Dan Jennings as their new manager.  I was actually surprised that such a big deal was made of this hiring since the Phillies had already done this twice before in the past forty-plus years.

Phillies GM Paul Owens took over for Frank Lucchesi in July 1972 and assumed the manager's duties again in 1983 when he fired Pat Corrales (while the Phillies were in first place!) and stuck around throughout the 1984 season.  Owens led the Wheeze Kids to the 1983 World Series and only time will tell if Jennings will have the same success.

Transaction:  Reliever Hector Neris was optioned back to Lehigh Valley following this game to make room for Wednesday's starting pitcher Severino Gonzalez, who was recalled.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 Chachi #37 Elvis Araujo


#59
Elvis Alejandro Araujo
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'6"  Weight:  215
Born:  July 15, 1991, Maracaibo, Venezuela
Home:  Maracaibo, Venezuela
Signed:  Signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent, July 16, 2007
Teams:  Phillies 2015
Acquired:  Signed as a free agent formerly with the Cleveland Indians, November 13, 2014

2014 Bowman Chrome
Prospects #BCP83
1 Araujo Baseball Card in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP83
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  N/A

First Chachi Base Card:  2015 Chachi #37

Araujo Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport


Cards and game statistics through 5/20/15.

2015 Chachi #36 Severino Gonzalez

#52
Severino Yunier Gonzalez
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  155
Born:  September 28, 1992, Santiago de Veregua, Panama
Home:  Santiago de Veregua, Panama
Signed:  Signed as an amateur free agent, April 27, 2011
Teams:  Phillies 2015
Acquired:  Via free agency

2013 Grandstand Clearwater
Threshers #13
2014 Bowman Chrome
Prospect Autographs #BCAP-SG
3 Gonzalez Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2013 Grandstand Clearwater Threshers #13
First Phillies Card:  2014 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCAP-SG
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  2014 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCAP-SG

First Chachi Base Card:  2015 Chachi #36

Gonzalez Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport

N/A

Cards and game statistics through 5/20/15.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 Chachi #35 Hector Neris

#50
Hector Neris
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  214
Born:  June 14, 1989, Villa Altagracia, DR
Home:  Villa Altagracia, DR
Signed:  Signed as an amateur free agent, April 29, 2010
Teams:  Phillies 2014-
Acquired:  Via free agency

2011 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #10
2014 Chachi #59
 
2015 Topps Heritage #401
 
5 Neris Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2011 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #10
First Phillies Card:  2015 Topps Heritage #401
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  2015 Topps Heritage #401 (with Chris Heston)

First Chachi Base Card:  2014 Chachi #59

Neris Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport



Cards and game statistics through 5/19/15.

2015 Chachi #34 Sean O'Sullivan

#47
Sean Daniel O'Sullivan
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  253
Born:  September 1, 1987, San Diego, CA
Home:  Spring Valley, CA
Drafted:  Selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 3rd round of the June 2005 draft
Teams:  Los Angeles Angels 2009-2010, Kansas City Royals 2010-2011, San Diego Padres 2013, Phillies 2014-
Acquired:  Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the San Diego Padres, December 17, 2013

2009 Topps Update #UH23
 
2014 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #18
2014 Chachi #55
 
1 O'Sullivan Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2014 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #18
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  2014 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #18

First Topps Base Card:  2009 Topps Update #UH23
First Chachi Base Card:  2014 Chachi #55

O'Sullivan Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport



Cards and game statistics through 5/19/15.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Six in a Row and the Final 2014 Chachi Cards

2014 Chachi #71
Phillies 4, Rockies 3
Game 40 - Late Monday Night, May 18th in Denver
Record - 17-23, 4th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Cole Hamels pitched a gem while Odubel Herrera and Carlos Ruiz provided clutch hits in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie as the Phillies eventually defeated the Rockies, 4-3.

What It Means:  The Phils have won six in a row and they've passed the Marlins in the standings for sole possession of fourth place.  They're now 2 1/2 games behind the third place Braves.

What Happened:  Hamels pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing a run on six hits while striking out seven.  Luis Garcia and Jonathan Papelbon (10th save) held the Rockies scoreless over the final five outs.  With the score tied at one, and with two outs in the sixth, Herrera's double plated two runs to give the Phils the lead.

Featured Cards:  I thought this would be a good place to feature the final two cards from the 2014 Chachi set.  Honestly, these team leaders cards probably didn't get the attention they deserved on this blog since I was so anxious to put the 2014 season behind me.

The Leading Firemen card below features a great photo from the combined no-hitter thrown by four different Phillies pitchers on Labor Day.  I tried hard to use this photo for the eventual no-hitter Highlight card, but the four individual pictures I ended up using worked better with the 1988 Topps Highlights card design.  And I really wish the dude walking by with the large gray trash can hadn't photo bombed the shot.

2014 Chachi #72

2015 Chachi #33 John Mizerock CO

#12
John Joseph Mizerock
Catching/Assistant Hitting Coach

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  190
Born:  December 8, 1960, Punxsutawney, PA
Home:  Punxsutawney, PA
Teams - As Player:  Houston Astros 1983, 1985-1986, Atlanta Braves 1989
Teams - As Coach:  Kansas City Royals 2002-2004, 2008-2009, Phillies 2014-
Teams - As Manager:  Kansas City Royals 2002

1987 Topps #408
 
2011 Grandstand Clearwater
Threshers #19
2014 Chachi #33
 
2014 Phillies Team Issue #12
 
6 Mizerock Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2011 Grandstand Clearwater Threshers #19
First Phillies Card:  2014 Phillies Team Issue #12
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2014 Phillies Team Issue #12
Latest Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #12

First Topps Base Card:  1987 Topps #408
First Chachi Base Card:  2014 Chachi #33

Mizerock Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport

N/A

Cards and game statistics through 5/18/15.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Phillies at Rockies: May 18th to May 21st


Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 8:40, Thursday 3:10
Coors Field - Denver, CO

Phillies 16-23, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 6 1/2 games behind the Mets
Rockies 13-21, 5th Place in the N.L. West, 9 1/2 games behind the Dodgers

Phillies Probables:  Cole Hamels (3-3, 3.53), Aaron Harang (4-3, 2.03), Chad Billingsley (0-2, 6.75), Jerome Williams (3-3, 5.02)
Rockies Probables:  Jordan Lyles (2-3, 4.30), Chad Bettis (0-0, 7.20), Eddie Butler (2-4, 4.24), Jorge De La Rosa (1-2, 6.56)

Sadly, the Phillies won't see Kyle Kendrick in this series, as the former Phillie pitched Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers.

At the Ballpark:  The first 5,000 fans at the ballpark tonight will receive a Rockies fedora hat.  Tomorrow night is $1 Hot Dog night at Coors Field.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Freddy Galvis - .347
Runs:  Freddy Galvis and Ben Revere - 16
Home Runs:  Ryan Howard - 7
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 18
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 7

Wins:  Aaron Harang - 4
ERA:  Aaron Harang - 2.03
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 55
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 9

1985 Topps #454
1985 Topps Appreciation:  There are going to be a few of these posts throughout the season featuring 1985 Topps cards of players with no real connection to the Phillies opponent.  This is the first of these posts as I didn't otherwise have a natural spot to fit in Glenn Wilson's 1985 Topps card.

Phillies Room favorite Wilson had his best season in 1985, making his sole All-Star team and finishing the season with 102 RBIs.  His numbers would gradually dip over the next five seasons and his last year as an everyday player came in 1990 with the Astros.  Wilson would play briefly in the Braves system in 1991 and it appears as if he was completely out of baseball in 1992.  In 1993, he made a temporary comeback appearing in 10 games with the Pirates before hanging up his spikes.

2015 Donruss Rated Rookies Silver Die Cut #5 Maikel Franco

Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 0
Game 39 - Sunday Afternoon, May 17th in Philadelphia
Record - 16-23, 5th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Led by Sean O'Sullivan, four Phillies pitchers combined for the shutout as Maikel Franco and Darin Ruf homered in the 6-0 win.

What It Means:  The Phillies have themselves a five game winning streak as they head out to Denver for a four game series with the Rockies.  They're a half game behind the Marlins, who fired manager Mike Redmond on Sunday.

What Happened:  O'Sullivan won his first big league game in exactly four years by allowing just five hits in his six innings of work.  Luis Garcia, Ken Giles and Jeanmer Gomez shut down the Diamondbacks in the final three frames.  Franco, Ruf, Ben Revere and Cesar Hernandez all had multiple hits in the win.

Featured Card:  Franco hit an RBI triple in the sixth and launched his first home run to center in eighth.  This is his die cut card from the logo-less Rated Rookies insert set found within packs of 2015 Donruss.

Transaction:  Following the game, pitcher Chad Billingsley went back on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain and reliever Hector Neris was recalled from Lehigh Valley.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015 Topps #163 Chase Utley

Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 5
Game 38 - Saturday Night, May 16th in Philadelphia
Record - 15-23, 5th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies rode a rare offensive outburst to a 7-5 win over the Diamondbacks.

What It Means:  The Phils have won four in a row and they'll go for the series sweep this afternoon.  After this series wraps, the team heads out on a ten-day road trip against the Rockies, Nationals and Mets.

What Happened:  Jeff Francoeur homered to start the scoring in the second.  RBI doubles from Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz and Andres Blanco would follow in the later innings.  Grady Sizemore had a four hit night and scored a run.

Jerome Williams earned the win pitching through five innings, despite the 77 minute rain delay that started in the bottom of the third.

Featured Card:  Utley had two more hits in this game and he's hitting a respectable .280 in his last eight games.  His average is still well north of the Mendoza line at .138 but I'm hoping his recent performance is a sign that he's finally breaking out of his career worst slump.

2015 Chachi #32 Rod Nichols CO

#54
Rodney Lee Nichols
Bullpen Coach

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  240
Born:  December 29, 1964, Burlington, IA
Home:  Helena, MT
Teams - As Player:  Cleveland Indians 1988-1992, Los Angeles Dodgers 1993, Atlanta Braves 1995
Teams - As Coach:  Phillies 2013-

1989 Topps #443
 
2000 Multi-Ad Piedmont
Boll Weevils #27
2013 Chachi #26
 
2013 Phillies Team Issue #54
 
21 Nichols Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2000 Multi-Ad Piedmont Boll Weevils #27
First Phillies Card:  2013 Phillies Team Issue #54
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2013 Phillies Team Issue #54
Latest Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #54

First Topps Base Card:  1989 Topps #443
First Chachi Base Card:  2013 Chachi #26

Nichols Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport

N/A

Cards and game statistics through 5/16/15.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

2015 Chachi #31 Pete Mackanin CO

#45
Peter Mackanin, Jr.
Third Base Coach

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  200
Born:  August 1, 1951, Chicago, IL
Home:  Scottsdale, AZ
Teams - As Player:  Texas Rangers 1973-1974, Montreal Expos 1975-1977, Phillies 1978-1979, Minnesota Twins 1980-1981
Teams - As Coach:  Montreal Expos 1997-2000, Pittsburgh Pirates 2003-2005, Phillies 2009-2012, 2014-
Teams - As Manager:  Pittsburgh Pirates 2005, Cincinnati Reds 2007

1974 Topps #597
1978 Topps #399
1979 Burger King Phillies #17
2009 Chachi #28
13 Mackanin Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  1978 Topps #399
First Phillies Card:  1979 Burger King Phillies #17
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2009 Phillies Team Issue #45*
Latest Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #45

First Topps Base Card:  1974 Topps #597 (with Dave Chalk, John Gamble and Manny Trillo)
First Chachi Base Card:  2009 Chachi #28

*Mackanin is in the 1979 Phillies Photocards set, but I don't have that card in my collection yet.

Mackanin Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport

N/A

Cards and game statistics through 5/15/15.

2014 Topps #451 Luis Garcia

Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 3
Game 37 - Friday Night, May 15th in Philadelphia
Record - 14-23, 5th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies mounted a rare late-inning come from behind victory thanks to timely hitting from Freddy Galvis and Jeff Francouer, defeating the Diamondbacks, 4-3.

What It Means:  The Phillies are only 2 1/2 games behind the fourth place Marlins and they won their third game in a row for the first time since last August.

What Happened:  Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Freddy Galvis singled home Carlos Ruiz and Cesar Hernandez on a bloop that landed in front of center fielder A.J. Pollack.  Galvis ended up on third due to an errant throw home from Pollack.  A batter later, Francoeur singled home Galvis and the Phillies had a 4-3 lead.

Chad Billingsley pitched six strong innings (two runs on seven hits) but earned a no-decision.

Featured Card:  Again, I could have gone with cards for either Galvis or Francoeur, but I'm almost out of Galvis cards and I'm completely out of Francoeur Phillies cards.  With Jonathan Papelbon resting his arm, Luis Garcia pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first Major League save.

Transaction:  Top prospect Maikel Franco was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley prior to this game and he started at third base, batting fifth.  To make room for Franco, pitcher Dustin McGowan was outrighted to Lehigh Valley after clearing waivers.

2015 Chachi #30 Juan Samuel CO

#8
Juan Milton Samuel
First Base Coach

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  190
Born:  December 9, 1960, San Pedro de Macoris, DR
Home:  Ft. Myers, FL
Teams - As Player:  Phillies 1983-1989, New York Mets 1989, Los Angeles Dodgers 1990-1992, Kansas City Royals 1992, Cincinnati Reds 1993, Detroit Tigers 1994-1995, Kansas City Royals 1995, Toronto Blue Jays 1996-1998
Teams - As Coach:  Detroit Tigers 1999-2005, Baltimore Orioles 2007-2010, Phillies 2011-
Teams - As Manager:  Baltimore Orioles 2010

1983 TCMA Portland Beavers #2
1984 Fleer #47
1984 Topps Traded #105T
2011 Chachi #28
119 Samuel Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  1983 TCMA Portland Beavers #2
First Phillies Card:  1984 Fleer #47
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  1984 Topps Traded #105T
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  1984 Tastykake Phillies #32
Latest Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #8

First Chachi Base Card:  2011 Chachi #28

Samuel Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport



Cards and game statistics through 5/15/15.