Monday, May 14, 2012

Astros at Phillies: May 14th to May 15th

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

Astros 15-19, Tied for 4th in the N.L. Central, 5 games behind the Cardinals
Phillies 16-19, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 6 games behind the Braves

Astros Probables:  Aneury Rodriguez (0-0, 3.00), Lucas Harrell (2-2, 4.58)
Phillies Probables:  Joe Blanton (3-3, 3.24), Cliff Lee (0-1, 2.17)

ESPN has Rodriguez pitching tonight and Harrell pitching tomorrow, while has Harrell pitching tonight and TBA listed for tomorrow's game.

At the Ballpark:  Tonight, all fans receive a nice looking Phillies Liberty Bell cap, courtesy of Teva.  Following tomorrow afternoon's game, senior citizens will be invited down to the field to stroll the bases.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Juan Pierre - .351
Runs:  Hunter Pence - 20
Home Runs:  Hunter Pence - 7 
RBIs:  Hunter Pence - 23
Stolen Bases:  Shane Victorino - 11

Wins:  Cole Hamels - 5
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 2.28
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 49
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 10

1979 Topps #49 and 1979 Burger King Phillies #22
1979 Topps Flashback:  The two players featured here were never teammates with the Astros, but they both coached with the Phillies under manager Larry Bowa in 2001 and 2002.  Vern Ruhle served as the team's pitching coach for two years before being replaced in 2003 by Joe Kerrigan.  Greg Gross served as Bowa's original bench coach in 2001 and he then assumed the hitting coach duties in 2002 following the dismissal of Richie Hebner.  Gross served as the team's hitting coach through the 2004 season when he, along with Bowa and several other coaches, were fired.  He came back for a second term as the team's hitting coach following Milt Thompson's dismissal part way through the 2010 season.

Ruhle spent over half of his 13-year career with the Astros, compiling a record of 39-46 while wearing the rainbow uniforms between 1978 and 1983.  He started Game 4 of the 1980 N.L.C.S. against the Phillies.  He was cruising with a 2-0 lead heading into the eighth inning when Gross led off the inning with a single.  Gross, Lonnie Smith and Pete Rose would eventually score that inning, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead and chasing Ruhle from the game.  The Phillies would win the game in the 10th and go on to defeat the Astros in one of the most thrilling Championship Series ever.

Gross bookended his 17-year career by playing in parts of four seasons with the Astros from 1973 through 1976, and then a final season in 1989.  This is his first official Phillies card, included within the Burger King Phillies set, following the big trade with the Cubs in February 1979 that first brought Gross to Philly.

1 comment:

Steve F. said...

Vern Ruhle has a standard-sized Phillies card in the 2001 or 2002 Acme set, also known as the Nabisco set. I believe it was a stadium giveaway. I wish I had gotten it signed. He passed away a couple years ago at too young an age.

How has the Phillies hitting done since Gross came back?