Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 Topps Heritage #453 Roy Halladay

Phillies 2, Mets 1
Game 26 - Saturday Afternoon, April 30th in Philadelphia

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies came from behind for a 2-1 victory over the Mets supporting another dazzling performance from Roy Halladay.

What It Means:  The Phils wrapped up the month with their best record in April ever, going 18-8, and besting the 17 wins from April 1993.  They'll go for the sweep tomorrow night with Cliff Lee on the mound.  And curse you in advance ESPN, for making me sleepy on Monday morning.

What Went Right:  Halladay was awesome again, allowing just one run on seven hits while striking out eight.  80 of his 107 pitches were strikes, and he started the game with 18 straight strikes.

The Phils scored their two runs in the seventh.  John Mayberry, Jr. led off the inning with a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1.  After the team loaded the bases, Placido Polanco's sac fly brought home Wilson Valdez with the go-ahead run.  Valdez added a few defensive gems in the field.

Featured Card:  Halladay's card in the 2011 Topps Heritage set is one of the dreaded short prints, meaning it was more difficult for me to track down.  This same photo is used three other times on the "floating heads" league leader cards found in the set.

2011 Topps Heritage #56, #58 and #60

2010 Chachi #55 RBI Leaders - Ryan Howard & Jayson Werth

Phillies 10, Mets 3
Game 25 - Friday Night, April 29th in Philadelphia

One Sentence Summary:  Ryan Howard's two home runs, including a grand slam, led the Phillies over the hapless Mets, 10-3.

What It Means:  The Phils improved their record to 17-8 with the win, but the Marlins also won, staying a half game behind the division leaders.

What Went Right:  Howard's 6-RBI night helped starter Vance Worley notch his first win of the season.  Worley pitched six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, but walking four.  Placido Polanco remains red hot, improving his average to .390 with two more hits.  Jimmy Rollins also appears to be returning to form, as the shortstop added two hits, walked twice and stole a base.

Howard's big night tied him with Del Ennis for second on the Phillies all-time home run list with 259.  Mike Schmidt holds the top spot on the list with 548 career home runs.

What Went Wrong:  If not for David Herndon's ninth inning, the Mets would have been shut out.  Herndon allowed two homers in the ninth, surrendering all three Mets runs and bumping his ERA up to 9.28.

Featured Card:  I'm almost caught up with the posting of the final 2010 Chachi cards.  Howard's 27 RBIs in 2011 currently leads the National League.  In 2010, his RBI total was actually down as he only drove in 108.  Jayson Werth, now exiled in Washington, was second with 85.

Rounding out the top five in 2010 were Raul Ibanez (83), Shane Victorino (69) and Chase Utley (65).

Transactions:  On Thursday, the Phils placed Joe Blanton on the disabled list with elbow problems and recalled Worley from Lehigh Valley to take his place in the rotation.  Before the game on Friday, due to Carlos Ruiz' lingering back problems, Mike Zagurski was shipped back to Lehigh, and catcher Dane Sardinha was recalled.

Disney Report:  We returned to reality on Friday afternoon, exhausted, exhilarated and already ready for our next trip!

2011 Topps Heritage #284 Jimmy Rollins

Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 4
Game 24 - Wednesday Afternoon, April 27th in Phoenix

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies avoided a sweep in Phoenix behind three home runs, Placido Polanco's 4 for 5 at the plate and Cole Hamels' fine pitching performance.

What It Means:  Hopefully, the offense is returning.  With the win, the Phils returned to first place after a one day absence.

What Went Right:  The Phils hit three home runs in a game for the first time this season, courtesy of Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins (his first) and Ryan Howard.  Rollins started the scoring with an RBI-double in the first and had three RBIs on the day.

Hamels pitched seven solid innings, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out eight.

What Went Wrong:  The slumping Raul Ibanez wasn't in the starting line-up, but he struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, making him 0 for his last 26.  Carlos Ruiz, also mired in a slump, left after the first inning with lower back pain.

Featured Card:  This may be my favorite Phillies card in the 2011 Topps Heritage set.  I love that Rollins appears to actually enjoy the fact he's going to be on a baseball card in this photo, and the picture works well with the vintage design.

Disney Report:  After breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and his friends, we spent the (very hot) day at Epcot.  Due to height restrictions, Ben decided to skip Test Track while Doug enjoyed the ride twice.

1979 Topps #177 Ron Reed

Diamondbacks 7, Phillies 5
Game 23 - Late Tuesday Night, April 26th in Phoenix

One Sentence Summary:  The offense showed signs of life, but it couldn't overcome Roy Oswalt's rough outing as he lost for the first time this year.

What It Means:  The loss dashed any hopes of the team being in first place from wire to wire as they fell a half game behind the Marlins.

What Went Right:  Shane Victorino (single, triple), Jimmy Rollins (2 singles), Ryan Howard (double and 2 singles) and Ben Francisco (single, home run) all enjoyed multi-hit games as the Phils banged out 12 hits.  Kyle Kendrick pitched two scoreless innings of relief following Oswalt's early exit.

What Went Wrong:  Oswalt lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on six hits.

After the game, speculation with regards to Oswalt's back problems swirled as it was revealed he had left the team for personal reasons.  It turned out he had left to tend to his family and friends in his home town in Mississippi in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that had recently swept through the area.

Featured Card:  The mood was gloomy in Phoenix, so let's head back to San Diego and relive the four-game sweep one last time!  The last time it happened, back on May 10, 1979, Ron Reed sealed the fourth win with a scoreless 1 2/3 innings.  He saved his second game of the season and lowered his ERA to 0.55.

Disney Report:  We spent Tuesday back at the Magic Kingdom where Doug took his first plunge down Splash Mountain and Ben met Buzz Lightyear for the first time.

1979 Topps #419 Dick Ruthven

Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0
Game 22 - Late Monday Night, April 25th in Phoenix

One Sentence Summary:  Nothing went right in a forgettable game in Phoenix.

What It Means:  The five-game winning streak is over and the Marlins are just a half game behind.

What Went Right:  This crappy game was only 2 hours and 4 minutes long.  Michael Stutes made his Major League debut, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

What Went Wrong:  Cliff Lee struck out twelve, but allowed four runs on five hits.  The Phillies managed just three hits off the Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy, who struck out ten in a complete game shutout.

Featured Card:  Forget this game - let's go back to the four-game sweep in San Diego completed on Sunday.  The last time the Phillies did that, the winning pitchers were Steve Carlton, Jim Kaat, Dick Ruthven and Nino Espinosa.  Ruthven pitched a gem in his game, one-hitting the Padres in a 2-0 complete game shutout.  The win improved Ruthven's record at the time to 6-0 and he owned an impressive 1.65 ERA.

Disney Report:  It was Animal Kingdom day at Disney, as both Doug and Ben both enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari.

2011 Topps Heritage New Age Performers #NAP-4 Roy Halladay

Phillies 3, Padres 1
Game 21 - Sunday Afternoon, April 24th in San Diego

One Sentence Summary:  Roy Halladay dominated the Padres on Easter Sunday, as the Phillies completed the four-game sweep of the Padres.

What It Means:  This was the first time the Phils had swept the Padres in four games since 1979, and it was the team's fifth straight win overall.  The Marlins also won, so the Phillies, now 15-6, are still a game and a half ahead of the Fish.

What Went Right:  Halladay tied a career mark with 14 strikeouts in his 8 2/3 innings of work, allowing just five hits and one walk.  With a run across and runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth, Halladay yielded to Antonio Bastardo who recorded a one-pitch save.  The offense was adequate enough to secure the win for Halladay, although the team went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.  Shane Victorino provided the only real offensive excitement with an inside-the-park home run in the seventh.

Featured Card:  This is yet another insert from the 2011 Topps Heritage set, although I'm not exactly certain what a New Age Performer is.
Transactions:  Following the game, the Phillies announced that Jose Contreras was flying to Philadelphia for an MRI on his right arm.  He was placed on the disabled list and righty Mike Stutes was recalled to take his place on the roster.

Disney Report:  We spent the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and I signed up my four-year-old son, Doug, for the Jedi Training Academy.  At approximately 10:15 on Easter Sunday morning, I watched my son defeat Darth Vader in a light-saber battle.  He then happily sped off on his speeder bike.  After that moment, the rest of the trip was just icing.

2011 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-RH Ryan Howard

Phillies 4, Padres 2 (11 Innings)
Game 20 - Saturday Night, April 23rd in San Diego

One Sentence Summary:  Ryan Howard, who had struck out in each of his previous four at-bats, doubled home the decisive runs in the 11th inning to deliver the victory for the Phillies.

What It Means:  The offense is sagging for the Phillies, but fortunately the Padres' offense is sagging further.  The win raises the team's record to 14-6 with a game and a half lead over the Marlins.

What Went Right:  Joe Blanton pitched well, scattering eight hits and two runs over his seven innings of work.  (Unfortunately, he'd end up on the disabled list a few days later with elbow issues.)  Antonio Bastardo struck out the side in the ninth to send the game into extras, and Ryan Madson recorded his second save in as many days.

What Went Wrong:  Raul Ibanez is struggling.  After this game, he's now 0 for his last 18 and his average has dipped down to .187.

Featured Card:  I'm trying to put together a Topps Heritage master Phillies team set this year, and this card, featuring a piece of a Ryan Howard game-used bat, got me a little closer.  (My 2011 Phillies Wantlist can be found here.)

Disney Report:  We arrived safe and sound at Disney World this afternoon, and we decided to jump right on into the Magic Kingdom.  It was Ben's first airplane ride and Disney visit, so big brother Doug helped to show the new guy the ropes.

2011 Topps Heritage #46 Cole Hamels

Early last Saturday morning, we left for a week-long vacation to Walt Disney World.  I'm going to post these game summaries rapid fire over the next few hours, just to catch up and clear out my draft post folder.

Phillies 2, Padres 0
Game 19 - Late Friday Night, April 22nd in San Diego

One Sentence Summary:  The goatee'd Cole Hamels shut down the Padres and Ryan Howard provided all the offense required with a two-run, two-out triple in the third.

What It Means:  The win raised the Phillies record to 13-6, as the team maintained a half game lead over the Marlins.

What Went Right:  Hamels pitched eight shutout innings, giving up just four hits while striking out eight.  He also added two hits, accounting for a third of the Phillies total for the night.  Howard accounted for another third, with his big triple and a single.  Ryan Madson worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the year.

What Went Wrong:  The offense continues to sputter, and we'd find out in a few days that Jose Contreras was unavailable in the ninth because of an elbow injury.

Featured Card:  This is Hamels' 1962-style card from this year's Topps Heritage set.  If I had the time and energy, I'd love to add a little goatee to the card, just to bring it up to date.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mets at Phillies: April 29th through May 1st

Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA
Friday 7:05, Saturday 1:10, Sunday 8:00

Records:  Mets 11-14, 5th Place in N.L. East, 5 1/2 games behind the Phillies; Phillies 16-8, 1st Place in N.L. East, 1/2 game ahead of the Marlins

When They Last Met:  The Phils took two out of three from the Mets when the two teams first got together in Philly in early April. 

Meet the Mess (Again): Manager - Terry Collins
Starters - Josh Thole (c), Ike Davis (1b), Daniel Murphy (2b), David Wright (3b), Jose Reyes (ss), Jason Bay (lf), Jason Pridie (cf), Carlos Beltran (rf)
Rotation - Mike Pelfrey (rhp), Jon Niese (lhp), Chris Young (rhp), R.A. Dickey (rhp), Chris Capuano (lhp)
Bench - Scott Hairston (of), Willie Harris (of), Chin-lung Hu (inf), Mike Nickeas (c), Justin Turner (inf)
Closer - Francisco Rodriguez (rhp)
Bullpen - Pedro Beato (rhp), Taylor Buchholz (rhp), Tim Byrdak (lhp), Dillon Gee (rhp), Ryota Igarashi (rhp), Jason Isringhausen (rhp)
Disabled List - Bobby Parnell (rhp), Angel Pagan (of), Ronny Paulino (c), Johan Santana (lhp)

At the Ballpark: Tonight is Asian Pacific Night at the ballpark.

Mets Probables:  Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, Chris Young
Phillies Probables:  Vance Worley, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 Chachi #28 Coaches - Sam Perlozzo, Juan Samuel, Mick Billmeyer

Samuel Benedict Perlozzo
First Base Coach

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 5'9"  Weight: 175
Born: March 5, 1951, Cumberland, MD
Home: Tampa, FL
Teams - As Player: Minnesota Twins 1977, San Diego Padres 1979
Teams - As Coach:  New York Mets 1987-1989, Cincinnati Reds 1990-1992, Seattle Mariners 1993-1995, Baltimore Orioles 1996-2005, Seattle Mariners 2008, Phillies 2009-
Teams - As Manager:  Baltimore Orioles 2005-2007

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
1978 Topps #704 - Twins - Rookie 2nd Basemen (with Garth Iorg, Dave Oliver and Lou Whitaker)
1979 Topps #709 - Twins - Twins Prospects (with Rick Sofield and Kevin Stanfield)
2006 Topps #593 - Orioles - Manager
2007 Topps #608 - Orioles - Manager

Juan Milton Samuel
Third Base Coach

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 5'11"  Weight: 190
Born: December 9, 1960, San Pedro de Macoris, DR
Home: Estero, 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

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
1984 Topps Traded #105T - Phillies
1985 Topps #8 - Phillies - Record Breaker
1985 Topps #265 - Phillies
1986 Topps #475 - Phillies
1987 Topps #255 - Phillies
1987 Topps #481 - Phillies - Phillies Leaders (with Glenn Wilson and Von Hayes)
1988 Topps #398 - Phillies - All-Star
1988 Topps #705 - Phillies
1989 Topps #575 - Phillies
1989 Topps Traded #108T - Mets
1990 Topps #85 - Mets
1990 Topps Traded #109T - Dodgers
1991 Topps #645 - Dodgers
1992 Topps #315 - Dodgers

Michael Frederick Billmeyer
Bullpen Coach

Bats: Left  Throws: Right  Height: 6'2"  Weight: 275
Born: April 24, 1964, Funkstown, MD
Home: Hagerstown, MD
Teams - As Coach:  Phillies 2009-

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
Billmeyer has yet to appear in a base Topps set.

2011 Chachi #27 Coaches - Pete Mackanin, Rich Dubee, Greg Gross

Peter Mackanin, Jr.
Bench Coach

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 6'2"  Weight: 200
Born: August 1, 1951, Chicago, IL
Home: Bradenton, FL
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-
Teams - As Manager:  Pittsburgh Pirates 2005, Cincinnati Reds 2007

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
1974 Topps #597 - Rangers - '74 Rookie Shortstops (with Dave Chalk, John Gamble and Manny Trillo)
1976 Topps #287 - Expos
1977 Topps #156 - Expos
1978 Topps #399 - Expos
1981 Topps #509 - Twins
1982 Topps #438 - Twins
2006 Topps #287 - Pirates - Manager

Richard Peter Dubee, Jr.
Pitching Coach

Bats: Switch  Throws: Right  Height: 6'2"  Weight: 200
Born: October 19, 1957, Brockton, MA
Home: Sarasota, FL
Teams - As Coach:  Florida Marlins 1998-2001, Phillies 2005-

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
Dubee has yet to appear in a base Topps set.

Gregory Eugene Gross
Hitting Coach

Bats: Left  Throws: Left  Height: 5'11"  Weight: 175
Born: August 1, 1952, York, PA
Home: West Chester, PA
Teams - As Player: Houston Astros 1973-1976, Chicago Cubs 1977-1978, Phillies 1979-1988, Houston Astros 1989
Teams - As Coach:  Phillies 2001-2004 and 2010-

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
1976 Topps #171 - Astros
1977 Topps #614 - Astros
1978 Topps #397 - Cubs
1979 Topps #579 - Cubs
1980 Topps #718 - Phillies
1981 Topps #459 - Phillies
1982 Topps #53 - Phillies
1983 Topps #279 - Phillies
1984 Topps #613 - Phillies
1985 Topps #117 - Phillies
1986 Topps #302 - Phillies
1987 Topps #702 - Phillies
1988 Topps #518 - Phillies
1989 Topps #438 - Phillies

2011 Chachi #26 Charlie Manuel MG

Charles Fuqua Manuel

Bats: Left  Throws: Right  Height: 6'4"  Weight: 230
Born: January 4, 1944, Northfork, WV
Home: Winter Haven, FL
Teams - As Player: Minnesota Twins 1969-1972, Los Angeles Dodgers 1974-1975
Teams - As Coach:  Cleveland Indians 1988-1989 and 1994-1999
Teams - As Manager:  Cleveland Indians 2000-2002, Phillies 2005-
Contract Status: Signed through the 2013 season

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
1971 Topps #744 - Twins
2001 Topps #329 - Indians - Manager
2002 Topps #301 - Indians - Manager
2005 Topps Update #87 - Phillies - Manager
2006 Topps #286 - Phillies - Manager
2007 Topps #251 - Phillies - Manager
2008 Topps #632 - Phillies - Manager
2009 Topps #496 - Phillies - Manager

2011 Chachi #25 Jose Contreras

Jose Ariel Contreras
Relief Pitcher

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 6'4"  Weight: 255
Born: December 6, 1971, La Martinas, Cuba
Home: Tampa, FL
Signed: Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent, February 26, 2003
Teams: New York Yankees 2004, Chicago White Sox 2004-2009, Colorado Rockies 2009, Phillies 2010-
Acquired: Signed as a free agent formerly with the Colorado Rockies, January 28, 2010
Contract Status: Signed through the 2012 season

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
2003 Topps #612 - Yankees
2004 Topps #116 - Yankees
2004 Topps Traded #T57 - White Sox
2005 Topps #439 - White Sox
2005 Topps Update #125 - White Sox - Postseason Highlights (with Freddy Garcia)
2006 Topps #480 - White Sox
2006 Topps Update #241 - White Sox - All-Star
2007 Topps #482 - White Sox
2008 Topps #248 - White Sox
2009 Topps #577 - White Sox
2011 Topps #267 - Phillies

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 Chachi #24 Ryan Madson

Ryan Michael Madson
Relief Pitcher

Bats: Left  Throws: Right  Height: 6'6"  Weight: 202
Born: August 28, 1980, Long Beach, CA
Home: Moreno Valley, CA
Drafted: Selected by Phillies in 9th round of June 1998 draft
Teams: Phillies 2003-
Acquired: Via draft
Contract Status: Signed through the 2011 season

Complete Topps Base Set Checklist:
2001 Topps Traded #T229 - Phillies
2004 Topps #328 - Phillies - Future Stars (with Elizardo Ramirez)
2005 Topps #430 - Phillies
2006 Topps #364 - Phillies
2007 Topps #406 - Phillies
2009 Topps #186 - Phillies
2010 Topps #655 - Phillies