Sunday, April 30, 2017

2016 Topps Now #273 Zach Eflin

Dodgers 6, Phillies 5
Game 22 - Late Saturday Night, April 29th in Los Angeles
Record - 11-11, 2nd place, 4 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies suffered a nightmarish loss as the Dodgers used back-to-back-to-back home runs to help overcome a three-run deficit in the ninth and eventually win the ballgame.

What It Means:  Manager Pete Mackanin summarized the loss saying, “It's one of the worst losses I've ever been associated with.”

What Happened:  Hector Neris was handed a 5-2 lead to work with, and he allowed home runs to Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner to start the ninth.  Joely Rodriguez relieved Neris and the winning run scored on a ball that couldn't be handled by Maikel Franco.  Brutal.

Lost in the pain is the fact that Zach Eflin pitched extremely well, allowing just two runs on four hits in his seven innings of work.  Brock Stassi (2) hit a three-run home run in the fourth.  Andrew Knapp also hit a home run - his first in the majors.

Featured Card:  This Eflin card should have been posted in celebration of his first win of the 2017 season.  Eflin's strong pitching last season earned him two different Topps Now cards, including this card from July 22nd when he threw a complete game shutout against the Pirates.

2017 Chachi #11 Andres Blanco

#4
Andres Eloy Blanco
Infielder

Bats:  Switch  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'10"  Weight:  196
Born:  April 11, 1984, Urama, Carabobo, VZ
Home:  Tampa, FL
Signed:  Signed by the Kansas City Royals as an amateur free agent, August 2, 2000
Teams:  Kansas City Royals 2004-2006; Chicago Cubs 2009; Texas Rangers 2010-2011; Phillies 2014-
Acquired:  Signed as a free agent formerly with the Washington Nationals organization, March 31, 2012

2004 Topps Traded #T114
 
2012 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #2
2014 Chachi #56
 
2015 Phillies Team Issue #4
 
14 Blanco Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2012 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #2
First Phillies Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #4
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #4
Latest Card:  2017 Topps Phillies #PHI-13

First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2004 Topps Traded #T114

Click to enlarge
Complete Chachi Checklist
2014 Chachi #56
2015 Chachi #11
2016 Chachi #12
2016 Chachi Archives #2
2016 Chachi Photo Day #36
2017 Chachi #11

Card statistics through 4/29/17.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

2016 Choice Reading Fightin Phils Playoff #2 Mark Leiter, Jr.

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3
Game 21 - Late Friday Night, April 28th in Los Angeles
Record - 11-10, 2nd place, 4 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Kenta Meada held the Phils to five hits over seven innings and Justin Turner had a two-run double in the sixth in this 5-3 loss to the Dodgers.

What It Means:  The six-game winning streak is over.

What Happened:  Jerad Eickhoff lasted 5 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on nine hits and he's still looking for his first win of 2017.  Freddy Galvis had another multi-hit game including a two-run double in the third.

Featured Card:  Mark Leiter, Jr. made his Phillies debut (see below) and he and his father join Ruben Amaro and Ruben Amaro, Jr. as the only father-son combinations in Phillies history.

Phillies Debuts:  Ty Kelly made his debut in the top of the seventh and Leiter, Jr. entered the game in the bottom of the seventh.  Leiter, Jr. became the tenth player to make his Phillies debut this season and the third (along with Brock Stassi and Andrew Knapp) to make his major league debut.

  • Ty Kelly (ph) - Kelly pinch-hit for Luis Garcia in the seventh, striking out against Maeda.
  • Mark Leiter, Jr. (rhp) - Leiter, Jr. relieved Garcia and pitched a perfect seventh.  The second batter he faceed, Chase Utley, flied out to left.

2017 Chachi #10 Andrew Knapp

#34
Andrew Michael Knapp
Catcher

Bats:  Switch  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  195
Born:  November 9, 1991, Roseville, CA
Home:  Clearwater, FL
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the June 2013 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2017
Acquired:  Via draft

2013 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #11
2013 Bowman Draft
Prospects #BDPP17
16 Knapp Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2013 Choice Williamport Crosscutters #11
First Phillies Card:  2013 Bowman Draft Prospects #BDPP17
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2017 Phillies Team Issue #64
Latest Card:  2017 Choice Phillies Minor League Top 30 Prospects #15

Click to enlarge
Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi #10

Card statistics through 4/28/17.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Series Preview - Phillies at Dodgers: April 28th to April 30th


Friday 10:10, Saturday 9:10 and Sunday 4:10
Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles, CA

Phillies 11-9, 2nd Place in the N.L. East, 4 games behind the Nationals
Dodgers 11-12, 3rd Place in the N.L. West, 3 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks

Phillies Probables:  Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.55), Zach Eflin (0-0, 2.25), Nick Pivetta (0-0, 0.00)
Dodgers Probables:  Kenta Maeda (1-2, 8.05), Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-4, 4.64), Clayton Kershaw (4-1, 2.29)

At the Ballpark:  It's a good weekend for giveaways at Dodger Stadium as all fans will receive a Corey Seager bobble head tomorrow night and all kids will receive a Dodgers batting helmet on Sunday afternoon.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .321
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 18
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez - 4
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 20
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera - 3

Wins:  Jeremy Hellickson - 4
ERA:  Jeremy Hellickson - 1.80
Strikeouts:  Jerad Eickhoff - 25
Saves:  Hector Neris - 3

Dodgers Leaders
Average:  Justin Turner - .363
Runs:  Corey Seager - 14
Home Runs:  Corey Seager - 5
RBIs:  Corey Seager - 17
Stolen Bases:  Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager - 2

Wins:  Clayton Kershaw - 4
ERA:  Brandon McCarthy - 2.25
Strikeouts:  Clayton Kershaw - 39
Saves:  Kenley Jansen - 5
1982 Topps #6
1982 Topps #166
1982 Topps #345
1982 Topps #510
1982 Topps Appreciation:  When opening packs of 1982 Topps, I would always get excited when a Phillies card would appear but I remember also enjoying adding cards of Fernando Valenzuela to my collection.  Fernandomania took over the baseball world in 1981 and Topps capitalized on this by including four cards for Valenzuela in its 1982 Topps set.  In 1982, Valenzuela would go 19-13 with a 2.87 ERA, tying for third in the Cy Young voting (with Bruce Sutter) behind Steve Carlton and Steve Rogers.

Fast forward 12 years to the 1994 season, and there wasn't a lot to be excited about as a Phillies fan. Starting pitchers Curt Schilling, Tommy Greene and Ben Rivera were all injured and the starting pitching rotation was in shambles.  When I read news that June that the Phils had signed Valenzuela, who had been pitching in Mexico, I thought back to the days of Fernandomania.  Those days were long gone of course, and Valenzuela lasted eight games with the Phillies, before the player's strike prematurely ended the season.

2017 Chachi #9 Jeremy Hellickson

#58
Jeremy Robert Hellickson
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  203
Born:  April 8, 1987, Des Moines, IA
Home:  Des Moines, IA
Drafted:  Selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 4th round of the June 2005 draft
Teams:  Tampa Bay Rays 2010-2014; Arizona Diamondbacks 2015; Phillies 2016-
Acquired:  Traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Sam McWilliams, November 14, 2015

2011 Topps #165
2016 Topps #104
2016 Topps Heritage #4
2016 Chachi #9
13 Hellickson Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2016 Topps #104
First Phillies Card:  2016 Topps Heritage #4
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2016 Phillies Team Issue #58
Latest Card:  2017 Topps Phillies #PHI-14

First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2011 Topps #165

Click to enlarge
Complete Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi New Additions #2
2016 Chachi #9
2016 Chachi #68 ERA Leaders
2016 Chachi #69 Pitching Leaders
2016 Chachi #70 Strikeout Leaders
2016 Chachi Photo Day #27
2017 Chachi #9

Card statistics through 4/27/17.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Topps #348 Jeremy Hellickson

Phillies 3, Marlins 2
Game 20 - Thursday Afternoon, April 27th in Philadelphia
Record - 11-9, 2nd place, 4 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jeremy Hellickson had another solid outing and Brock Stassi contributed a key RBI triple as the Phillies sunk the Marlins, 3-2.

What It Means:  The Phillies have a six-game win streak going and they'll open a three-game series late Friday night in Los Angeles.

What Happened:  Hellickson has now won four games.  He scattered seven hits in his six innings of work, working out of jams in both the fourth and fifth innings.  Stassi's first career triple scored Michael Saunders who masterfully avoided a home plate tag to score a crucial inusurance run. Hector Neris worked a quick ninth for his third save.

Featured Card:  Hellickson has been fantastic so far this season and his four wins ties him for the top spot in the league in that category with Wily Peralta and Clayton Kershaw.  This is his card from the Topps series one release.

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen #220 Maikel Franco

Phillies 7, Marlins 4
Game 19 - Wednesday Night, April 26th in Philadelphia
Record - 10-9, Tied for 2nd place, 4 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Maikel Franco hit his second grand slam of the season and Vince Velasquez had an effective outing as the Phillies defeated the Marlins, 7-4.

What It Means:  The Phillies have a five-game win streak and they're a game over .500.

What Happened:  Franco's slam came in the third.  Freddy Galvis (3) added a solo home run in the sixth and Michael Saunders provided more insurance with his first home run of the season - a two-run shot in the eighth.  Velasquez earned the win, allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings and striking out three.

Featured Card:  Franco has 20 RBIs so far in April, which is the most in the first month of the season for a Phillies player since Ryan Howard had 27 in April 2011.  (Source - Meghan Montemurro via Twitter.)  This is his newest card in my collection from the Topps Gypsy Queen set.

Transaction:  On Tuesday, Aaron Nola was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain and infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly was added to the active roster.  Nick Pivetta is slated to take Nola's spot in the starting pitching rotation.  Here's hoping Nola's latest injury setback is only temporary.

The Phillies Room is actively seeking a decent photo of Kelly in a Phillies uniform for his Chachi card.

2017 Chachi #8 Freddy Galvis

#13
Freddy Jose Galvis
Shortstop

Bats:  Switch  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'10"  Weight:  188
Born:  November 14, 1989, Punto Fijo, Falcon, Venezuela
Home:  Punto Fijo, Falcon, Venezuela
Signed:  Signed as an amateur free agent, July 2, 2006
Teams:  Phillies 2012-
Acquired:  Via free agency

2007 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #8
2009 Bowman Chrome
Prospects #BCP149
2012 Chachi #8
 
2014 Topps #637
 
44 Galvis Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2007 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #8
First Phillies Card:  2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP149
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2012 Phillies Team Issue First Edition #13
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2014 Topps #637
Latest Card:  2017 Topps Phillies #PHI-12

Click to enlarge
Complete Chachi Checklist
2011 Chachi Almost #4
2012 Chachi #8
2013 Chachi #11
2013 Chachi #39 HL - Walk-Off HR
2014 Chachi #35
2015 Chachi #8
2016 Chachi Preview #5
2016 Chachi #8
2016 Chachi #66 RBI Leaders
2016 Chachi Archives #13
2016 Chachi Photo Day #15
2017 Chachi Preview #5
2017 Chachi #8
2017 Chachi #34 HL - 1st Inning Explosion

Card statistics through 4/26/17.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

2017 Chachi #7 Cameron Rupp



#29
Cameron Arthur Rupp
Catcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  260
Born:  September 28, 1988, Dallas, TX
Home:  Plano, TX
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 3rd round of the June 2010 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2013-
Acquired: Via draft

2010 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #17
2010 Bowman Draft
Prospects #BDPP41
2013 Chachi #63
 
2016 Topps #432
 
33 Rupp Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2010 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #17
First Phillies Card:  2010 Bowman Draft Prospects #BDPP41
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #29
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2016 Topps #432
Latest Card:  2016 Topps Gypsy Queen #72

Click to enlarge
Complete Chachi Checklist
2013 Chachi #63
2014 Chachi #53
2015 Chachi #10
2016 Chachi #10
2016 Chachi #43 HL - Rupp Hangs On
2016 Chachi Archives #7
2016 Chachi Photo Day #34
2017 Chachi #7

Card statistics through 4/24/17.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Series Preview - Marlins at Phillies: April 25th to April 27th


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

Marlins 10-8, 2nd Place in the N.L. East, 2 1/2 games behind the Nationals
Phillies 9-9, 3rd Place in the N.L. East, 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals

Marlins Probables:  Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 3.94), Edinson Volquez (0-2, 4.82), Adam Conley (1-1, 3.00)
Phillies Probables:  Vince Velasquez (0-2, 7.20), Nick Pivetta (0-0, 0.00), Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 1.88)

At the Ballpark:  The Phillies are giving away texting gloves tonight to fans 15 and over, and these same fans can presumably use their new gloves to try to keep their hands dry.  It's another dollar dog night tomorrow night.

Marlins Leaders
Average:  J.T. Realmuto - .344
Runs:  Christian Yelich - 19
Home Runs:  Giancarlo Stanton - 7
RBIs:  Marcell Ozuna - 21
Stolen Bases:  Dee Gordon - 4

Wins:  Wei-Yin Chen and David Phelps - 2
ERA:  Adam Conley - 3.00
Strikeouts:  Dan Straily - 24
Saves:  A.J. Ramos - 3

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .338
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 18
Home Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 4
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 16
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 3

Wins:  Jeremy Hellickson - 3
ERA:  Jeremy Hellickson - 1.88
Strikeouts:  Jerad Eickhoff - 25
Saves:  Hector Neris - 2

2017 Phillies Team Issue


Number of Cards:  40
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  The Phillies introduced a bold new design for their first team issued photo card set of 2017.  Player names appear at the top right in a red script font against a blue border.  The Phillies script logo, the player's position and uniform number also appear at the top.  The horizontal card backs feature biographical information and complete career statistics.

How Distributed:  The set has been available for sale at Citizens Bank Park since their home opener on April 7th.  Sets can be found at Phillies Newstands and at souvenir locations throughout the ballpark for $5.

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

  • 4 - Andres Blanco
  • 5 - Michael Saunders
  • 7 - Maikel Franco
  • 8 - Juan Samuel CO
  • 9 - John McLaren CO
  • 10 - Larry Bowa CO
  • 12 - Mickey Morandini CO
  • 13 - Freddy Galvis
  • 16 - Cesar Hernandez
  • 17 - Pat Neshek
  • 19 - Tommy Joseph
  • 21 - Clay Buchholz
  • 22 - Bob McClure CO
  • 23 - Aaron Altherr
  • 24 - Roman Quinn
  • 25 - Daniel Nava
  • 27 - Aaron Nola
  • 28 - Vince Velasquez
  • 29 - Cameron Rupp
  • 31 - Michael Mariot
  • 33 - Rick Kranitz CO
  • 37 - Odubel Herrera
  • 39 - Adam Morgan
  • 40 - Matt Stairs CO
  • 41 - Brock Stassi
  • 45 - Pete Mackanin MG
  • 46 - Jeanmar Gomez
  • 47 - Howie Kendrick
  • 48 - Jerad Eickhoff
  • 50 - Hector Neris
  • 52 - Pat Venditte
  • 53 - Joaquin Benoit
  • 57 - Luis Garcia
  • 58 - Jeremy Hellickson
  • 61 - Edubray Ramos
  • 63 - Joely Rodriguez
  • 64 - Andrew Knapp
  • 76 - Jesmuel Valentin
  • Phillie Phanatic
  • Broadcasters
One and Done (0 for now)
First Appearances (13):  Benoit, Buchholz, Kendrick, Knapp, Mariot, Nava, Neshek, Quinn, Rodriguez, Saunders, Stassi, Valentin, Venditte
Returning Players (17):  Altherr, Blanco, Eickhoff, Franco, Galvis, Garcia, Gomez, Hellickson, Hernandez, Herrera, Joseph, Morgan, Neris, Nola, Ramos, Rupp, Velasquez

As of now, there's no one in the One and Done category as everyone in the set is still currently within the Phillies system.  This could change of course as the season progresses.  As of this writing, the following players in the set have yet to suit up for the Phillies in 2017:  Mariot, Quinn, Valentin and Venditte.  Venditte's position is listed as "SHP" for switch-handed pitcher, which is something I've never seen before on a baseball card.

The checklist creators did a fantastic job as the set includes ever player on the team's opening day roster.  Strangely enough, both Stassi and Knapp were assigned lower numbers a few days before the season started (#78 to #41 and #64 to #34, respectively) and Stassi's card reflects his new number while Knapp's does not.

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.

Manager (1):  Mackanin
Coaches (7):  Bowa, Kranitz, McClure, McLaren, Morandini, Samuel, Stairs
Phillie Phanatic (1)
Broadcasters (1):  Featuring Andersen, Davis, Franzke, Jackson, Kruk, McCarthy, Murphy, Schmidt
Other Cards (0)

New broadcaster Kruk makes his first appearance in a team-issued photo card set since he appeared on a broadcaster card within the 2003 set.  Stairs appeared on the broadcaster cards in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 sets and this is his first card as a coach.

Phillies Phestival Rarities:  The Phillies Phestival was held on May 11th and the Phillies created three new photo cards for the event in the style of this set. Zach Eflin's card is an actual action shot while cards of Mark Leiter, Jr. and Nick Pivetta are portraits.  All three cards are blank backed.
  • 43 Nick Pivetta (portrait)
  • 56 Zach Eflin (pitching)
  • 59 Mark Leiter, Jr. (portrait)
Resources:  Thanks again to fellow collectors Rick and Steve for information on these three most likely rare cards.

Monday, April 24, 2017

2017 Topps Now #28 Cesar Hernandez

Phillies 5, Braves 2
Game 18 - Sunday Afternoon, April 23rd in Philadelphia
Record - 9-9, 3rd place, 4 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Capped by back-to-back-to-back home runs from Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera in the eighth inning, the Phillies downed the Braves, 5-2.

What It Means:  The win completed the three-game sweep of the Braves and the Marlins come to town beginning Tuesday night.

What Happened:  The trio of home runs marked the first time for the three-in-a-row feat since Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell did it on June 13, 2008.  Another highlight of this game was the fine pitching performance of Zach Eflin.  Making his second start of the season, Eflin pitched seven strong innings, allowing a run on three hits.

Featured Card:  The Phillies have already had their share of Topps Now cards so far this season, marking memorable game events and highlights.  The three home runs hit by Hernandez, Altherr, and Herrera merited a Topps Now card but I don't have that in hand yet.  The card featured here is the first Topps Now card to arrive in the mail so far this season, beating the 12-run first inning Topps Now card from the game prior.

This card celebrates Hernandez's walk-off single from April 9th, and it's the second of four (so far) Topps Now card issued for the Phillies this season.  The card finish for this year's Topps Now cards is glossier and the back almost seems refractor-ish.

2017 Chachi #6 Tommy Joseph

#19
Thomas Richard Joseph
First Base

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  225
Born:  July 16, 1991, Phoenix, AZ
Home:  Destin, FL
Drafted:  Selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 2nd round of the June 2009 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2016-
Acquired:  Acquired with Seth Rosin and Nate Schierholtz from the San Francisco Giants for Hunter Pence, July 31, 2012

2012 Grandstand Reading
Phillies #15
2013 Bowman Chrome Cream
of the Crop #CC-PP2
2016 Phillies Team Issue 2
Update #19
25 Joseph Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Card:  2012 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #24
First Phillies Card:  2013 Bowman Prospects #BP95
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2016 Phillies Team Issue 2 Update #19
Latest Card:  2017 Topps Gypsy Queen #284

Click to enlarge
Joseph appears on card #174 within 2017 Topps series one along with four of his teammates, but he still hasn't received his own solo card within a Topps flagship release.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi #42
2016 Chachi #67 Home Run Leaders
2016 Chachi Archives #4
2016 Chachi Photo Day #12
2017 Chachi Preview #1
2017 Chachi #6

Card statistics through 4/23/17.