Monday, September 25, 2017

Series Preview - Nationals at Phillies: September 25th to September 27th

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

Nationals 94-61, 1st Place in the N.L. East, 21 games ahead of the Marlins
Phillies 62-94, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 32 1/2 games behind the Nationals

Nationals Probables:  A.J. Cole (2-5, 4.43), Gio Gonzalez (15-7, 2.68), Tanner Roark (13-10, 4.41)
Phillies Probables:  Aaron Nola (12-10, 3.56), Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.14), Mark Leiter, Jr. (3-6, 4.69)

At the Ballpark:  The Phillies have theme nights scheduled for each of these games against the Nationals.  Tonight is their second annual Beatles night, tomorrow is a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Wednesday night is the annual Oktoberfest.

Nationals Leaders
Average:  Daniel Murphy - .315
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 92
Home Runs:  Ryan Zimmerman - 34
RBIs:  Ryan Zimmerman - 103
Stolen Bases:  Trea Turner - 42

Wins:  Max Scherzer - 16
ERA:  Max Scherzer - 2.55
Strikeouts:  Max Scherzer - 263
Saves:  Sean Doolittle - 20

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .296
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 82
Home Runs:  Tommy Joseph - 22
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 70
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 14

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 12
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.56
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 175
Saves:  Hector Neris - 24

3 More Allen & Ginter Cards Needed! (Valley Forge Report)

1933 Goudey #115
1934-36 Diamond Stars #15
1936 S and S Game
1940 Play Ball #216

My son Doug and I had a free Sunday afternoon, so we decided to head to Valley Forge for the September "Philly Show".  Doug's fall baseball schedule meant we couldn't get to the show on Saturday to meet Roy Halladay, and we only had a few hours on Sunday, but once again we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We met up this time with Doug's friends Jacob and Josh and their Dad Chris, Doug's baseball coach.

The three younger collectors had a blast exploring the show floor and adding to their collections. Doug needs just three more cards to complete his 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter set (see below) thanks to All-Star Sports Cards (@Allstarsports09).  He spent the rest of his allowance money tracking down cool Phillies cards and adding to his growing Mike Trout collection.  We were there as the dealers were packing up, and one dealer unloaded three binders of complete Topps sets on the three boys. Doug came away with a 1988 Topps set and he hasn't stopped smiling about it yet.  It's the oldest complete set in his collection, and he'll be forever grateful to the dealer who gave it to him for free! (I believe Jacob and Josh came away with 1990 and 1992 Topps sets, respectively.)

As for me, I chipped away at my 1971 Topps set, adding the Robero Clemente and Don Baylor/Dusty Baker rookie card to my collection.  I also picked up a number of semi-stars and high numbers, getting the number of cards I need to complete the set down to 59.

1957 Topps #158
1970 Topps #403
1971 Topps #511
1975 Topps #399
I also made a small dent in my 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Phillies team set needs, creeping closer to my goal of owning a complete run of Topps Phillies cards.  Finally, I added a quartet of Phillies cards from the 1930s and 1940s, meaning I probably need to break down and change my 1930s Phillies have list post to an actual want list post.

We didn't get there in time to meet any of the autograph signers, but I overheard that Rhys Hoskins is expected to be one of the signers at the next Valley Forge show in December. We'll be there!

* * *

Here are the three 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter cards Doug needs to complete his set.  Please let me know if you can help out!

165 - Jayson Stark
301 - Trey Mancini
336 - Kenley Jansen

Memory Lane
Valley Forge 1 - September 2010 - Thinking of my Dad
Valley Forge 2 - October 2012 - Doug's first baseball card show
Valley Forge 3 - September 2014 - Meeting Darren Daulton
Valley Forge 4 - September 2016 - Phillies acquisitions and 4 Phillies Legends
Valley Forge 5 - December 2016 - Meeting Don Money
Valley Forge 6 - September 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

2017 Phillies Team Issue Update #43 Nick Pivetta

Phillies 2Braves 0
Game 156 - Sunday Afternoon, September 24th in Atlanta
Record - 62-94, 5th place, 32 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Nick Pivetta and three relievers combined for an eight-hit shutout win over the Braves.

What It Means:  The Phillies have six more games remaining, and they'll need to win just one of them to avoid a 100-loss season.

What Happened:  Pivetta pitched six innings, scattering five hits.  Edubray Ramos, Adam Morgan and Hector Neris followed him to complete the shutout.  The Phillies got their runs on a Maikel Franco solo home run (21) in the fifth and an Aaron Altherr double in the eighth.

Featured Card:  This is Pivetta's team-issued card from the abbreviated update set currently for sale at the ballpark.

2017 Phillies Team Issue #57 Luis Garcia

Braves 4Phillies 2
Game 155 - Saturday Night, September 23rd in Atlanta
Record - 61-94, 5th place, 32 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The bullpen wasted a strong start from Henderson Alvarez as the Braves came back late to win this game, 4-2.

What It Means:  Following this loss, the Tigers, Giants and Phillies all had 94 losses and the White Sox are close behind with 92 losses.  One of these four teams will have the first overall draft pick in the June 2018 amateur player draft, and it seems as if the Phillies can't do any "worse" than having the 4th overall pick.

What Happened:  Alvarez departed after five innings with the Phillies holding a slim 2-0 lead. Kevin Siegrist allowed a solo home run to Rio Ruiz in the fourth and Luis Garcia coughed up the lead with a three-run eighth inning.

Featured Card:  Garcia is one of the team's longest tenured players at this point, having made his Phillies debut in 2013.  He's been maddeningly inconsistent again this year, and if he returns in 2018 I would hope it's in a middle relief role, as opposed to a late inning role.

2016 Grandstand Clearwater Threshers #23 Yacksel Rios

Braves 7Phillies 2
Game 154 - Friday Night, September 22nd in Atlanta
Record - 61-93, 5th place, 31 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies couldn't recover from Ben Lively's rough start as the Braves won, 7-2.

What It Means:  I've officially begun daydreaming and planning out the Phillies 25-man roster to start the 2018 season.

What Happened:  Lively allowed the first six batters to reach and it was 5-0 Braves after the first inning.  Lively stuck around for five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits.  Nick Williams had a two-hit night and a pair of RBIs.

Featured Card:  Yacksel Rios pitched the final two innings of this game, allowing Kurt Suzuki's second home run in the seventh.  Matt Gelb recently wrote an article about Rios' concern for his family and his neighbors in the hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

If you have a few minutes and a few dollars to spare, please consider helping out with a donation to the charity of your choice or the Hispanic Federation.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Series Preview - Phillies at Braves: September 22nd to September 24th

Friday 7:35, Saturday 7:10 and Sunday 1:35
SunTrust Park - Atlanta, GA

Phillies 61-92, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 31 1/2 games behind the Nationals
Braves 68-83, 3rd Place in the N.L. East, 23 1/2 games behind the Nationals

Phillies Probables:  Ben Lively (3-6, 3.94), Henderson Alvarez (0-1, 7.20), Nick Pivetta (6-10, 6.57)
Braves Probables:  Sean Newcomb (3-8, 4.32), Julio Teheran (11-12, 4.52), Luiz Gohara (1-2, 6.06)

At the Ballpark:  Tonight, the first 20,000 fans will receive a Bobby Cox replica statue and there are fireworks following the game.  Fitz and the Tantrums will play a postgame concert on Saturday night and Sunday is Alumni Sunday with Steve Avery, Charlie Liebrandt and former Phillies Paul Byrd signing pre-game autographs.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .291
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 80
Home Runs:  Tommy Joseph - 22
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 69
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 14

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 12
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.56
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 175
Saves:  Hector Neris - 23

Braves Leaders
Average:  Freddie Freeman - .314
Runs:  Ender Inciarte - 90
Home Runs:  Freddie Freeman - 28
RBIs:  Freddie Freeman - 71
Stolen Bases:  Ender Inciarte - 22

Wins:  Julio Teheran - 11
ERA:  R.A. Dickey - 4.32
Strikeouts:  Mike Foltynewicz and Julio Teheran - 143
Saves:  Jim Johnson - 22

1982 Topps #100
1982 Topps #668
1982 Topps Appreciation:  Two of the best sluggers of the early 1980s received two of the most boring baseball cards in the 1982 Topps set.  Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy would never be teammates as Schmidt retired in May 1989 and the Phillies didn't acquire Murphy from the Braves until August 1990.

2016 Topps Now #362 Chase Utley

Dodgers 5, Phillies 4
Game 153 - Thursday Afternoon, September 21st in Philadelphia
Record - 61-92, 5th place

One Sentence Summary:  The Dodgers came from behind to win the ballgame 5-4 and avoid the four-game sweep by the Phillies.

What It Means:  The Phils will head to Atlanta for one final road trip before coming home to wrap up the 2017 season.

What Happened:  Mark Leiter, Jr. was effective, allowing three runs (one earned) in his six innings of work.  Ricardo Pinto allowed a solo home run to Andre Ethier that tied the game and he was responsible for the winning run that eventually scored when Hoby Milner was on the mound.

Nick Williams hit a two-run home run (11) in the third and Rhys Hoskins doubled two runs home in the fifth.

Featured Card:  Could this have been Chase Utley's final appearance in Philadelphia?  It seems as if Utley wants to continue to play next season, but he's recently admitted that he doesn't have much time remaining as an active player.  This is his Topps Now card from last season commemorating his first return trip to Philadelphia.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

2017 Chachi In Action #10 Aaron Altherr

Phillies 7Dodgers 5
Game 152 - Wednesday Night, September 20th in Philadelphia
Record - 61-91, 5th place, 31 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Aaron Altherr was clutch with a game-tying two-run home run (19) in the seventh and a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth as the Phillies again stunned the reeling Dodgers, 7-5.

What It Means:  The Phils go for the improbable four-game sweep Thursday afternoon.

What Happened:  Tommy Joseph contributed an RBI-double in the second and a solo home run (22) in the seventh.  The recently dependable bullpen was shaky, but Hector Neris pitched a perfect ninth to record his 23rd save.  Odubel Herrera made an impressive leaping catch at the wall to end the game.

Featured Card:  The lack of Altherr baseball cards is incredible to me, so I'm taking matters into my own hands.  Altherr joins the Chachi In Action insert set with this card.

Field Report:  I was at this game for work reasons, but I'm still counting it in my official season tally. With a little more than a week remaining in the season, I've attended 16 games and my personal record is an even 8-8.  I'll need to get to at least one more game to tip the balance to the win column.

2017 Topps Now #517 Rhys Hoskins

Phillies 6Dodgers 2
Game 151 - Tuesday Night, September 19th in Philadelphia
Record - 60-91, 5th place, 31 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Rhys Hoskins had a clutch, three-run double in the seventh to give the Phillies the lead and ultimately a 6-2 win over the Dodgers.

What It Means:  The Phils are playing like they don't realize they're supposed to lose.  If they win three more games in their final 11 they'll avoid a 100-loss season which at one point seemed like their inevitable destiny.

What Happened:  Hoskins singled home the Phillies' first run in the sixth.  Odubel Herrera worked a bases loaded walk to tie the game at two before Hoskins cleared the bases to give the Phils a 5-2 lead. Aaron Altherr padded the lead with a solo home run (18) in the eighth.

Aaron Nola allowed two runs on five hits in his seven innings of work on the way to his 12th win. Herrera collected his 40th double of the season, the most since Jayson Werth had 46 in 2010.

Featured Card:  Get ready for Hoskins to appear in every Topps release and every conceivable insert set in 2018!  Here's another of his cards from the Topps Now release.

Finally, I thought this pre-game photo was really cool, featuring the past winners of the organization's annual Paul Owens Award, honoring the best position player and pitcher within the minor league system.  Current year winners Scott Kingery and Tom Eshelman are flanked by prior winners, including Chase Utley.

L to R - Mickey Morandini, Chase Utley, Rhys Hoskins, Freddy Galvis, Scott Kingery, Tom Eshelman, Luis Garcia,
Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford, Andrew Knapp, Ricardo Pinto and Ben Lively

2017 Topps Phillies #PHI-17 Aaron Altherr

Phillies 4Dodgers 3
Game 150 - Monday Night, September 18th in Philadelphia
Record - 59-91, 5th place, 31 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Aaron Altherr hit the first career grand slam allowed by Clayton Kershaw and Nick Pivetta settled in after a rough first inning as the Phillies stunned the first place Dodgers in this 4-3 win.

What It Means:  The Phillies are doing whatever they can to prevent the Dodgers from clinching the division while in Philadelphia.  This loss was Kershaw's first at Citizens Bank Park since May 12, 2009.

What Happened:  Altherr's slam came in the sixth inning with the Phillies trailing 2-0.  Pivetta had allowed back-to-back home runs to start the game - an inside-the-park home run to Chris Taylor and a solo shot to Justin Turner.  He calmed down to pitch five scoreless innings after that.

Chase Utley returned to Philadelphia for the second time since his trade to the Dodgers and received a standing ovation before his at-bat in the second.

Featured Card:  I've lamented the excess Roman Quinn and Jorge Alfaro cards found within 2017 Topps products before, and I now I realize those extra cards were at the expense of cards for Altherr. Altherr's sole mainstream baseball card so far this year can be found in the Topps flagship set.  This is his card from the Phillies retail team set which mirrors his flagship card with the exception of the non-glossy Topps logo.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 Chachi #63 Henderson Alvarez

Henderson Javier Alvarez
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'0"  Weight:  205
Born:  April 18, 1990, Valencia, Valenzuela
Signed:  Signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as an amateur free agent, October 17, 2006.
Teams:  Toronto Blue Jays 2011-2012; Miami Marlins 2013-2015; Phillies 2017
Acquired:  Signed as a free agent formerly with the Long Island Ducks (Independent), August 25, 2017.

2012 Topps #562
0 Alvarez Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  N/A
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  N/A

First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2012 Topps #562

Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi #63

Card statistics through 9/18/17.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Series Preview - Dodgers at Phillies: September 18th to September 21st

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

Dodgers 96-53, 1st Place in the N.L. West, 9 1/2 games ahead of the Diamondbacks
Phillies 58-91, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 32 games behind the Nationals

Dodgers Probables:  Clayton Kershaw (17-3, 2.12), Yu Darvish (3-3, 4.34), Alex Wood (15-3, 2.69), Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.21)
Phillies Probables:  Nick Pivetta (5-10, 6.75), Aaron Nola (11-10, 3.60), Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.46), Mark Leiter, Jr. (3-6, 4.93)

At the Ballpark:  Other than some theme nights and Chase Utley's second return to Citizens Bank Park since being traded to the Dodgers in 2015, there aren't any other scheduled giveaways or promotions.

Dodgers Leaders
Average:  Justin Turner - .323
Runs:  Cody Bellinger - 83
Home Runs:  Cody Bellinger - 38
RBIs:  Cody Bellinger - 88
Stolen Bases:  Chris Taylor - 16

Wins:  Clayton Kershaw - 17
ERA:  Clayton Kershaw - 2.12
Strikeouts:  Clayton Kershaw - 188
Saves:  Kenley Jansen - 38

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .290
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 75
Home Runs:  Tommy Joseph - 21
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 69
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 14

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 11
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.60
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 167
Saves:  Hector Neris - 21

1982 Topps #213
1982 Topps #348
1982 Topps #774
1982 Topps Appreciation:  For the final two weeks of the 1985 season, former Dodger teammates Dave Stewart and Derrel Thomas were reunited on the Phillies when the Phillies acquired Stewart from the Rangers for Rich Surhoff on September 13th.

Jay Johnstone played in parts of five seasons for the Phillies between 1974 and 1978, appearing in 462 games primarily in right field.

1980 Baseball Immortals #9 Connie Mack

Athletics 6Phillies 3
Game 149 - Sunday Afternoon, September 17th in Philadelphia
Record - 58-91, 5th place

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies were sunk by a grand slam from Joey Wendle, a local product, as the A's won the game 6-3 and the overall "City Series."

What It Means:  The Dodgers come to town next for a four-game series.  The Phillies need to go 5-8 the rest of the way to avoid a 100 loss season.

What Happened:  Henderson Alvarez made his Phillies debut and his first start since 2015, giving up a pair of home runs in the fourth inning.  He was also responsible for two of the runs scoring on the grand slam from Wendle allowed by Edubray Ramos.  Maikel Franco had a pair of RBI singles.

Featured Card:  The Phillies and A's celebrated their shared city origins, throwing back to retro logos on their Twitter accounts.  There was also a cool Philadelphia A's memorabilia display outside the Mitchell & Ness Alley store for the series.  Since the A's took this "City Series," I'll feature a card of their long-time manager, Connie Mack.

Phillies Debut:  In what should most likely be the end of this list, Alvarez became the 27th new Phillies player this season when he started the game.  He also became the 31st pitcher used by the Phillies, setting an all-time club record.  Finally, he's the third player to wear #58 for the Phillies this season, following Jeremy Hellickson and Juan Nicasio.

27. Henderson Alvarez (rhp) - Pitched five innings, allowing four runs on four hits while striking out four.  Two of the four hits were back-to-back home runs to Chad Pinder and Matt Olson in the fourth.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

2017 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs #CRA-JA Jorge Alfaro

Phillies 5Athletics 3
Game 148 - Saturday Night, September 16th in Philadelphia
Record - 58-90, 5th place, 31 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  After a lengthy rain delay, Jorge Alfaro homered in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie and ultimately send the Phillies to victory.

What It Means:  The prospects continue to perform, and the Phillies are fun to watch again.

What Happened:  The rain delay ended Ben Lively's night early, but the Phillies bullpen combined to throw six scoreless innings.  Victor Arano threw two of those scoreless innings, picking up his first big league win.  J.P. Crawford tied the game in the fourth with an RBI single and he added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Featured Card:  It seems as if I have more cards of Alfaro in my 2017 Phillies binder than any other player.  Here's the one autographed card I have of his in that binder, from the Bowman release.

Field Report:  We were there!  We enjoyed the pre-rain delay portion of the game from Section 123 before the steady rain forced us to seek shelter under cover in Section 122.  We didn't see much action while we were still there, but our sons surprisingly seemed to enjoy themselves during the one hour and 46-minute rain delay.

2017 Chachi #61 Zac Curtis

Zachary Aaron Curtis
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  5'9"  Weight:  190
Born:  July 4, 1992, Panama City Beach, FL
Drafted:  Selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 6th round of the June 2014 draft
Teams:  Arizona Diamondbacks 2016; Seattle Mariners 2017; Phillies 2017
Acquired:  Selected off waivers from the Seattle Mariners, September 11, 2017.

0 Curtis Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  N/A
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  N/A

Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi #61

Card statistics through 9/16/17.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017 Phillies Team Issue Update

Number of Cards:  14
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  Given the heavy roster turnover experienced by the 2017 Phillies, the team wisely decided to issue a late season update set featuring players and prospects who had recently joined the club.  The set has a completely different design than the main team issued photo card set, featuring gray borders with the player's name, number and position at the bottom.  The horizontal card backs feature biographical information and complete career statistics.

How Distributed:  The set first went on sale on September 12th, with just 16 home games remaining in the season.  Sets can be purchased for $5, and they're bundled with a complete set of the (seemingly over produced and under sold) regular team issued set.  Red hot prospect Rhys Hoskins is featured at the front of the 14-card set.

Complete Standard Checklist:  The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.

  • 5 - Nick Williams
  • 15 - Ty Kelly
  • 17 - Rhys Hoskins
  • 30 - Cameron Perkins
  • 31 - Hyun Soo Kim
  • 38 - Jorge Alfaro
  • 43 - Nick Pivetta
  • 44 - Jake Thompson
  • 46 - Jesen Therrien
  • 49 - Ben Lively
  • 51 - Ricardo Pinto
  • 55 - Hoby Milner
  • 56 - Zach Eflin
  • 59 - Mark Leiter, Jr.
One and Done (0 for now)
First Appearances (11):  Alfaro, Hoskins, Kelly, Kim, Lively, Milner, Perkins, Pinto, Therrien, Thompson, Williams
Returning Players (3):  Eflin, Leiter, Pivetta

As of now, there's no one in the One and Done category as everyone in the set is still currently with the Phillies but this could change as soon as the season ends.  This marks the first Phillies baseball card appearance for Kim, Milner, Pinto and Therrien.  (Kelly was featured on a Topps Now card earlier in the season.)

My one small quibble with the checklist is the omission of Pedro Florimon, who was lost for the season with an ankle injury on September 2nd.  J.P. Crawford, Yacksel Rios and Kevin Siegrist all must have missed the cut-off date for inclusion in the set as well.  While Rios and Siegrist would have been long-shots for the set, including Crawford would have made sense.  Victor Arano, Zac Curtis and Henderson Alvarez all joined the club after the release of the set.

The First Appearance designation is for players who have never before appeared within a Phillies team issued set. These players may have already appeared on other Phillies baseball cards.  Eflin, Leiter and Pivetta had cards issued in the style of the main 2017 team issued photo card set for the Phillies Phestival held in May.

2017 Topps Pro Debut #200 J.P. Crawford

Athletics 4Phillies 0
Game 147 - Friday Night, September 15th in Philadelphia
Record - 57-90, 5th place, 32 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Daniel Mengdon, complete with a legitimate handle-bar mustache, limited the Phillies to just two singles from J.P. Crawford and the A's scored early against Mark Leiter, Jr. in this 4-0 loss.

What It Means:  The modest three-game win streak is over.  The Phillies need to go 6-9 in the final 15 games to avoid a 100 loss season.

What Happened:  Leiter settled in after allowing all four runs in the first two innings.  He pitched six innings, striking out nine and allowing seven hits.  Rhys Hoskins went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Featured Card:  Playing shortstop, Crawford provided the only offense against Mengdon.  Crawford may have been recalled too late in the season to be included within the Topps Update set, so this Topps Pro Debut card could be the closest he gets to be featured on a card using the Topps flagship design this year.

Phillies Debut:  Lefty Zac Curtis joined the massive ranks of Phillies making their debuts this season.

26. Zac Curtis (lhp) - Pitched the top of the 9th, relieving Kevin Siegrist, giving up a walk and striking out two.

2017 Phillies Team Issue Update #30 Cameron Perkins

Phillies 10Marlins 0
Game 146 - Thursday Night, September 14th in Philadelphia
Record - 57-89, 5th place, 32 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jorge Alfaro, Freddy Galvis and Rhys Hoskins all homered in a seven-run second inning on the way to this 10-0 Phillies victory.

What It Means:  The Phillies completed the three-game sweep of the Marlins and the A's come to town next for a weekend series.

What Happened:  Hoskins is unreal.  He hit his 18th home run in his 34th game, continuing to add to his record breaking achievement.  Cesar Hernandez had a four-hit night and Cameron Perkins hit his first career home run.

Featured Card:  I could easily just post Hoskins cards for each of these recent game summary posts, but I'll show some appreciation for Perkins' first career homer.  The Phillies took the somewhat unusual step of issuing a 14-card photo card update set, released on Tuesday night, and this is Perkins' card from that set.  I'll have a separate post up on the set shortly.

Field Report:  And we were there!  Doug and I had the honor of joining an on-field, pregame ceremony as my company is a corporate sponsor of the annual ALS Phillies Phestival.  It was a fun night and I'm happy to help with this wonderful cause.  Doug had a brief visit with the Phanatic as we were leaving the field, and it was very cool to stand behind home plate for the singing of the National Anthem.  We also met fellow collector Rick in the Hall of Fame club, and it was nice to put a face to the name of the collector who has provided so much input over the past few years to my project of checklisting the Phillies team-issued photo card sets.

Friday, September 15, 2017

2017 Topps Bunt #74 Aaron Nola

Phillies 8Marlins 1
Game 145 - Wednesday Night, September 13th in Philadelphia
Record - 56-89, 5th place, 32 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Rhys Hoskins homered for the 17th time in 33 games and Aaron Nola struck out a career-high 11 in this 8-1 win over the Marlins.

What It Means:  The Phillies are a respectable 7-6 so far in September, and most of that has to do with the power of Hoskins and the energy provided by the newer Phillies.

What Happened:  I've considered adding a new category to these game summary posts called "What Hoskins Did."  Hoskins hit a sacrifice fly in the first, walked and scored in the third, hit a two-run home run in the fifth, and singled in the sixth.  Freddy Galvis had a three-hit night and Odubel Herrera drove in a pair of runs.

2015 Topps #577
Nola allowed just a run on four hits while setting his career-high mark in strikeouts on the way to his 11th win.

Featured Cards:  This is Nola's card from the physical release of Topps Bunt.

Transaction:  Henderson Alvarez was officially added to the active roster and Daniel Nava was placed on the 60-day disabled list.  Alvarez is expected to start for the Phillies on Sunday.  The former Blue Jays and Marlins pitcher hasn't appeared in the big leagues since May 2015, and he was an All-Star in 2014.  His most recent baseball card appearances came in a number of 2015 Topps releases.

Series Preview - Athletics at Phillies: September 15th to September 17th

Friday and Saturday 7:05, Sunday 1:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Athletics 64-82, 5th Place in the A.L. West, 24 games behind the Astros
Phillies 57-89, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 32 games behind the Nationals

Athletics Probables:  Daniel Mengden (0-1, 7.07), Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.48), Sean Manaea (10-10, 4.65)
Phillies Probables:  Mark Leiter, Jr. (3-5, 4.84), Ben Lively (3-6, 3.86), Henderson Alvarez (0-0, 0.00)

At the Ballpark:  It's The Goldbergs Night tonight, which will pay tribute to the TV show of the same name.  All fans will receive a Phillies retro slap bracelet.  On Sunday, all kids will receive a Phillies winter aviator hat.

Athletics Leaders
Average:  Jed Lowrie - .276
Runs:  Khris Davis - 83
Home Runs:  Khris Davis - 39
RBIs:  Khris Davis - 102
Stolen Bases:  Rajai Davis - 26*

Wins:  Sean Manaea - 10
ERA:  Sean Manaea - 4.65
Strikeouts:  Sean Manaea - 130
Saves:  Santiago Casilla - 16

*Now with the Red Sox

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .293
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 74
Home Runs:  Tommy Joseph - 21
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 67
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 14

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 11
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.60
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 167
Saves:  Hector Neris - 20

1982 Topps #29
1982 Topps #392
1982 Topps #757
1982 Topps Appreciation:  The rare series against the A's gives me the chance to feature three cards from the 1982 Topps set of players who suited up for the Phillies and the A's during their careers.

Dwayne Murphy finished up his 12-year career playing in 98 games for the 1989 Phillies.  He had spent a decade in Oakland, winning six Gold Gloves.  Rick Bosetti and Tom Underwood were first teammates on the 1976 Phillies club.  Bosetti appeared in 13 games for the Phillies that year before both he and Underwood were sent to the Cardinals in June 1977 (with Dane Iorg) in the Bake McBride deal.  In 89 games for the Phillies between 1974 and 1977, Underwood went 28-20 with a 4.02 ERA.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

2017 Chachi #62 Victor Arano

Victor Teodoro Arano
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  196
Born:  February 7, 1995, Veracruz, Mexico
Home:  Mexico City, Mexico
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the June 2011 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2017
Acquired:  Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers with Jesmuel Valentin for Roberto Hernandez, August 28, 2014

2015 Grandstand
Clearwater Threshers #1
2015 Bowman Chrome Prospect
Autographs #BCAP-VA
7 Arano Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2015 Grandstand Clearwater Threshers #1
First Phillies Card:  2015 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCAP-VA
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  2017 Grandstand Reading Fightin Phils Update #31

Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi #62

Card statistics through 9/13/17.