Thursday, June 17, 2021

Game 66 - 2021 Topps Now #282 Zack Wheeler

Phillies 2
, Dodgers 0
Game 66 - Late Wednesday Night, June 16th in Los Angeles
Record - 33-33, 2nd Place, 5 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Zack Wheeler and two relievers combined for the shutout, despite the Phillies offense going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

What It Means:  The win avoided a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers and following an off-day Thursday, the Phillies will open a weekend series in San Francisco on Friday night.  They'll try to contain Gabe Kapler and his first place Giants.

What Happened:  Wheeler overcame early struggles to throw six shutout innings.  Jose Alvarado and Hector Neris pitched the final three scoreless frames.  Rhys Hoskins broke an 0 for 33 slump with a solo home run off Dodgers' starter Clayton Kershaw in the first.  J.T. Realmuto doubled home Odubel Herrera (from first base) for the Phillies' second and final run.

Luke Williams went 3 for 4 in his fourth big league start.  He's started at a different position in each of those games - center field, third base, shortstop and at second base in this game.

Featured Card:  Wheeler has been on quite the run, and for a while he was receiving a Topps Now card for each one of his impressive starts.  This card is from his May 29th outing in which he struck out a career high 14 Rays, but the Phillies still managed to lose the game.

Transaction:  Jean Segura (2b) landed on the injured list with a left groin strain, and it's estimated he'll miss at least three weeks.  Nick Maton (ss) was recalled from Lehigh Valley.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 65 - 2018 Topps Now #490 Chase Utley

Dodgers 5
, Phillies 3
Game 65 - Late Tuesday Night, June 15th in Los Angeles
Record - 32-33, 2nd Place, 5 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies battled back to tie the game, but once again the bullpen couldn't hold the lead in this 5-3 loss to the Dodgers.

What It Means:  Having lost the first two games of the series, the Phillies will attempt to avoid the sweep on Wednesday night.  (Spoiler alert - they did.)

What Happened:  Zach Eflin only went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.  Andrew McCutchen homered in the second to tie the score at 1-1, and then Odubel Herrera hit a two-run single in the fifth to tie the score at 3-3.  Mookie Betts did the late-inning damage for the Dodgers, hitting a go-ahead home run off Ranger Suarez in the seventh and driving in an insurance run with an RBI-single off Archie Bradley in the eighth.  The Phillies offense went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.  Both Bryce Harper (back) and Jean Segura (groin) exited this game early, adding horrible news to what was already a bad night for the Phillies.

Featured Card:  I don't think he was in attendance for this game, but Chase Utley was in the stands on Tuesday night to watch his two former teams battle it out.  I'll look for any excuse I can find to post an Utley card whenever I can, even if he's wearing a Dodgers uniform.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Game 64 - 2021 Topps Heritage #148 Spencer Howard

Dodgers 3
, Phillies 1
Game 64 - Late Monday Night, June 14th in Los Angeles
Record - 32-32, 2nd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Spencer Howard allowed two Dodgers home runs and the Phillies offense went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position in this 3-1 loss.

What It Means:  After a 6-2 homestead and recent offensive outbursts, the Phillies showed some signs of jet lag in Los Angeles.

What Happened:  Howard allowed only two hits - a two-run home run to Will Smith in the fourth and a solo home run to Chris Taylor in the fifth.  Connor Brogdon and Bailey Falter shut down the Dodgers after that with four solid innings of relief.  The Phillies plated a run in the first on a Bryce Harper RBI-single, but then they couldn't find a clutch hit the rest of the night.

Featured Card:  Given his top prospect status, I have a ton of Howard's cards in my collection just waiting for a good excuse to be posted.  With nothing much going on in this game, and Howard pitching relatively well, here's his Boyhood Photos of the Stars card from this year's Heritage release, showing him pitching for his home town Dodgers in his local Little League.  Howard grew up in Southern California, rooting for the Dodgers.

Transaction:  Enyel De Los Santos (rhp) was optioned to Lehigh Valley with Falter (lhp) getting recalled.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Monday, June 14, 2021

Series Preview - Phillies at Dodgers: June 14th to June 16th

1986 Topps #158
1986 Topps #109

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:10

Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles, CA

At the Ballpark:  On Tuesday night, the first 25,000 fans will receive a Justin Turner bobble head, and on Wednesday night the Dodgers are giving away a Mookie Betts jersey.

Phillies 32-31
2nd Place in the N.L. East, 3 games behind the Mets

Phillies Probables
Spencer Howard (0-1, 4.61)
Zach Eflin (2-5, 3.89)
Zack Wheeler (4-3, 2.29)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Rhys Hoskins - .242
Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 34
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 12
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 35
Stolen Bases:  Jean Segura - 6

Wins:  Jose Alvarado and Aaron Nola - 5
ERA:  Zack Wheeler - 2.29
Strikeouts:  Zack Wheeler - 112
Saves:  Hector Neris - 9
Dodgers 39-26
2nd Place in the N.L. West, 1 game behind the Giants

Dodgers Probables
Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 5.40)
Julio Urias (9-2, 3.56)
Clayton Kershaw (8-5, 3.39)

Dodgers Leaders
Average:  Justin Turner - .281
Runs:  Chris Taylor - 47
Home Runs:  Max Muncy - 14
RBIs:  Chris Taylor and Justin Turner - 34
Stolen Bases:  Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor - 6

Wins:  Julio Urias - 9
ERA:  Walker Buehler - 2.38
Strikeouts:  Trevor Bauer - 111
Saves:  Kenley Jansen - 15
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 63 - 2021 Topps Heritage #275 Aaron Nola

Phillies 7
, Yankees 0
Game 63 - Sunday Afternoon, June 13th in Philadelphia
Record - 32-31, 2nd Place, 3 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies offense remained hot and Aaron Nola found his form in this enjoyable 7-0 win over the Yankees.

What It Means:  The game's easy, Harry.  After taking the two-game series from the Yankees, the Phillies next head to the West Coast for three games against the Dodgers followed by three games against the Giants.

What Happened:  Jean Segura was one of the offensive stars, collecting three hits, including a triple and driving in a pair of runs.  Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and two RBIs, and J.T. Realmuto drove in a pair as well.  All told, the Phillies offense had 12 hits, with nary a home run, going 6 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

Featured Card:  After struggling through most of May and his first two starts in June, Nola turned it around with 7 2/3 scoreless innings.  He allowed only three hits and a walk while striking out nine.  Connor Brogdon and Enyel De Los Santos recorded the final four outs for the combined shutout.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Game 62 - Phils Win With Third Straight Walk-Off

2021 Topps Now
Road to Opening Day #OD-277
Phillies 8
, Yankees 7 (10 Innings)
Game 61 - Saturday Afternoon, June 12th in Philadelphia
Record - 31-31, 2nd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Once again, the Phillies walked-off with a win despite the bullpen's best efforts to blow a late lead.

What It Means:  This is the first time the Phillies have had three consecutive walk-off wins since August 2013 when the winning RBIs were delivered by Michael Young, Domonic Brown and a bases-loaded walk from Chase Utley.

What Happened:  The Phillies plated four runs in the first inning on six hits, started by a two-run single from Bryce Harper.  They held a 7-2 lead after five innings, but then the Yankees started chipping away.  Runs were allowed by relievers Sam Coonrod and Ranger Suarez (his first earned run of the season), and Hector Neris entered in the ninth with a somewhat comfortable 7-4 lead.  Two walks and a line-drive home run from DJ LeMahieu later, and the score was tied.  Fortunately, Archie Bradley was able to shut down the Yankees in the top of the 10th.  With Ronald Torreyes as the ghost runner at second to start the bottom of the 10th, Travis Jankowski laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt and reached safely on a throwing error by Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman.  With Torreyes now at third base, Segura hit a hard grounder to third, allowing Torreyes to scamper home with the winning run.

Featured Card:  It's Segura again, and this is his third walk-off hit this season.  His first came back on opening day and his second came Thursday afternoon against the Braves.  This one was perhaps the most electric of the three as there were over 38,000 fans in the stands.

Transactions:  On Thursday, the Phillies outrighted Brady Lail (rhp) to Lehigh Valley, clearing up a 40-man roster spot.  That allowed the Phillies on Friday to activate Adam Haseley (of) from the restricted list and option him to Lehigh Valley.  Additionally, Enyel De Los Santos (rhp) was recalled with Rafael Marchan (c) sent back down.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Series Preview - Yankees at Phillies: June 12th to June 13th

1986 Topps #723
1986 Topps #361

Saturday 4:05 and Sunday 1:05

Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

At the Ballpark:  For the annual Father's Day celebration, all men 15 and over will receive a 1920s-style Phillies hat on Sunday afternoon.

Yankees 33-30
3rd Place in the A.L. East, 6 1/2 games behind the Rays

Yankees Probables
Jameson Taillon (1-4, 5.09)
Domingo German (4-3, 3.12)

Yankees Leaders
Average:  Aaron Judge - .291
Runs:  Aaron Judge - 35
Home Runs:  Aaron Judge - 15
RBIs:  Aaron Judge - 35
Stolen Bases:  Gleyber Torres - 4

Wins:  Gerrit Cole - 7
ERA:  Gerrit Cole - 2.31
Strikeouts:  Gerrit Cole - 113
Saves:  Aroldis Chapman - 12
Phillies 30-31
2nd Place in the N.L. East, 4 games behind the Mets

Phillies Probables
Vince Velasquez (2-1, 4.33)
Aaron Nola (4-4, 4.06)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Rhys Hoskins - .248
Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 33
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 12
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 35
Stolen Bases:  Jean Segura - 6

Wins:  Jose Alvarado - 5
ERA:  Zack Wheeler - 2.29
Strikeouts:  Zack Wheeler - 112
Saves:  Hector Neris - 9
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

2021 Chachi #50 Luke Williams


#30
Lucas Daniel Williams
Infield-Outfield

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  186
Opening Day Age:  24
Born:  August 9, 1996, Park Ridge, IL
How Obtained:  Selected by Phillies in 3rd round of June 2015 amateur player draft
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2021
First Phillies Card:  2015 Bowman Draft #56
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2016 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #32
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A

Newest Card Added:  2021 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #28

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (0):  N/A

9 - Williams baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 6/11/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2021 Chachi #50
2021 Chachi #51 - Walk-Off HR HL

Not knowing much about Luke Williams, I was immediately impressed by him when he bunted (on his own) down the third base line on the very first pitch he saw in the big leagues because he noticed the third baseman playing back.  In his first start on June 9th, he hit the game-winning home run to give the Phillies a dramatic 2-1 win, becoming the first Phillies player to hit a walk-off home run in his first start.

Williams' first baseball card appearance came in the 2015 Bowman Draft set.  He's appeared in seven minor league team sets since then, including the recently released 2021 IronPigs team set.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Friday, June 11, 2021

Game 61 - 2021 Topps Now #5 Jean Segura

Phillies 4
, Braves 3 (10 Innings)
Game 61 - Thursday Afternoon, June 10th in Philadelphia
Record - 30-31, 2nd Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  For the second game in a row, the Phillies were victors in a walk-off win, this time due to the heroics of Jean Segura.

What It Means:  Despite Zack Wheeler's best efforts, the Phillies had no business winning this game given the crappy relieving from Jose Alvarado and almost a complete lack of offense through regulation.  Segura drove in the first run of the game on a double to left in the eighth inning.

What Happened:  Wheeler was once again fantastic, pitching eight innings and allowing four hits and no runs.  He struck out 12.  Hector Neris attempted to lock down the 1-0 save, but Freddie Freeman hit a game-tying home run to center with one out.  It appeared as if Freeman's ball should have been caught by Odubel Herrera, but the ball landed in the bushes to take the W away from Wheeler.  With the score tied, Alvarado allowed two 10th inning runs on three walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball.  The Braves didn't have a hit in the inning.

Featured Card:  Now trailing 3-1, Alec Bohm led off the bottom of the 10th with a single to score ghost-runner Rafael Marchan.  Herrera doubled, sending Bohm to third and Segura drove a ball to the top of the center field wall to score Bohm and Herrera and give the team another improbable win.  Segura received his first Topps Now card of the season after delivering a walk-off win on opening day.

Transaction:  Chase Anderson (rhp) was placed back on the Covid injured list and Marchan (c) was recalled from Lehigh Valley.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Game 60 - Williams Walks It Off with First Big League Home Run!

2021 Chachi #51

Phillies 2
, Braves 1
Game 60 - Wednesday Night, June 9th in Philadelphia
Record - 29-31, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Rookie Luke Williams delivered his first major league home run in the form of a dramatic, walk-off shot to left to give the Phillies a 2-1 win.

What It Means:  Having gone to bed early in the middle of Tuesday night's game, I debated doing the same last night.  But my oldest son Doug and I stayed up, and we were treated to Williams' big hit and the jubilant celebration that followed.  It's easily one of the most memorable Phillies moments I've watched live in recent memory.

What Happened:  Zach Eflin (6 innings, 8 hits, 1 run) and Ranger Suarez (3 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs) combined to keep the Braves to a single run.  The Phillies defense used three double plays and a few stunning plays from shortstop Ronald Torreyes to keep the Braves from scoring more.  Before the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies had managed four hits, including an earlier double from Williams.  After a lead-off walk to Andrew McCutchen, Williams connected for his game-winning home run off Braves closer Will Smith.

Williams became the fourth Phillies player ever to hit a walk-off home run for his first career home run, joining John Peters (1921), Rick Joseph (1967) and David Foster (1996).  He's also the first Phillies player ever to hit a walk-off home run in his first big league start.

Featured Card:  This is already the fifth custom Highlight card for the 2021 season, which surpasses the complete Highlight card totals of most recent seasons.  Hopefully the number of memorable moments this season translates into a postseason berth and not just a more interesting video yearbook.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Game 59 - 2019 Grandstand Reading Fightin Phils #11 Luke Williams

Braves 9
, Phillies 5
Game 59 - Tuesday Night, June 8th in Philadelphia
Record - 28-31, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies battled back to take a brief lead only to see the Braves score five times in a nightmare eighth inning in this 9-5 loss.

What It Means:  Maybe the Phillies remade bullpen isn't that great?

What Happened:  Aaron Nola labored again, giving up four runs on seven hits in another short (five innings) outing.  The bullpen was called on to pitch the final four innings, and they hit a stumbling block when Connor Brogdon entered the game in the eighth.  Between Brogdon and then Sam Coonrod, the Braves collected four hits and a walk, including a game-tying home run from Austin Riley.  Coonrod made matters much worse when he threw a double play ball into center field, prolonging the inning and allowing the Braves to score three more runs.

The offense had battled back with a solo home run from Bryce Harper in the fourth, an RBI double from Jean Segura in the fifth and a solo home run from J.T. Realmuto in the sixth.  Brad Miller delivered an RBI-single later in the sixth to give the Phillies a brief 5-4 lead.

Featured Card:  Luke Williams made his major league debut, pinch-hitting for Nola to start the bottom of the fifth.  On the very first pitch he saw, he executed a perfect bunt towards third base which was fielded by Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly and promptly thrown by Smyly into right field.  Williams advanced to third and came in to score on Segura's double.  Williams first appeared in the Bowman Draft set back in 2015, and he's had cards in Phillies minor league team sets dating back to 2016.

Transactions:  Williams (inf-of) had his contract selected from Lehigh Valley.  David Hale (rhp) and Chase Anderson (rhp) were activated off the Covid injured list.  Brandon Kintzler (rhp) landed on the injured list with a neck strain, while Nick Maton (ss) and Cristopher Sanchez (lhp) were both optioned to Lehigh Valley.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Series Preview - Braves at Phillies: June 8th to June 10th

1986 Topps #517
1986 Topps Traded #112T

Tuesday and Wednesday 7:05, Thursday 1:05

Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

At the Ballpark:  For this entire series, and from the Phillies website - Phillies COVID-19 Vaccination Awareness Day & Clinic - Free one-shot COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as vaccine information, will be offered at the Suite Patio by Penn Medicine for fans attending the game. Features perks for those who get a vaccination, including free tickets to a select Phillies game, a concession credit and giveaway. 

Braves 28-29
2nd Place in the N.L. East, 3 1/2 games behind the Mets

Braves Probables
Drew Smyly (2-3, 5.98)
Tucker Davidson (0-0, 2.31)
Ian Anderson (4-3, 3.64)

Braves Leaders
Average:  Austin Riley - .305
Runs:  Ronald Acuna, Jr. - 46
Home Runs:  Ronald Acuna, Jr. - 17
RBIs:  Ozzie Albies - 37
Stolen Bases:  Ronald Acuna, Jr. - 11

Wins:  Charlie Morton - 5
ERA:  Ian Anderson - 3.64
Strikeouts:  Charlie Morton - 72
Saves:  Will Smith - 11
Phillies 28-30
3rd Place in the N.L. East, 4 games behind the Mets

Phillies Probables
Aaron Nola (4-4, 3.84)
Zach Eflin (2-5, 4.10)
Zack Wheeler (4-3, 2.51)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Rhys Hoskins - .263
Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 33
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 12
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 35
Stolen Bases:  Jean Segura - 6

Wins:  Four tied with - 4
ERA:  Zack Wheeler - 2.51
Strikeouts:  Zack Wheeler - 100
Saves:  Hector Neris - 9
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

2021 Chachi #47 Travis Jankowski


#9
Travis Paul Jankowski
Outfield

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  190
Opening Day Age:  29
Born:  June 15, 1991, Ephrata, PA
How Obtained:  Signed by the Phillies as a minor league free agent formerly with the Cincinnati Reds, February 11, 2021
Contract Status:  Signed through 2021
Major League Teams:  San Diego Padres 2015-2019; Cincinnati Reds 2020; Philadelphia Phillies 2021
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Minor League Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A

Newest Card Added:  N/A

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (4):  2016-2019

0 - Jankowski baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 6/6/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2021 Chachi #47

Travis Jankowski grew up rooting for the Phillies, and he got his chance to actually play for the club when he was recalled on May 30th after Roman Quinn suffered an injured Achilles.  He's appeared in four Topps flagship sets to date, and he's in the recently released 2021 Lehigh Valley IronPigs team set, which I'll soon add to my collection.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Monday, June 7, 2021

Game 58 - One of the Weirdest Phillies Games I've Ever Seen

2021 Chachi #49

Phillies 12
, Nationals 6
Game 58 - Sunday Afternoon, June 6th in Philadelphia
Record - 28-30, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  In a long, hot and weird game, the Phillies ultimately prevailed, 12-6, in a nearly five-hour contest that had a little bit of everything.

What It Means:  Monday is the second of seven scheduled off days in June, and then the Braves come to town for a mid-week series.  (One of those off days is already gone as the Phillies will play a make-up game against the Reds on June 28th.)

What Happened:  What didn't happen?  I don't often use bulleted lists for these game summaries, but this game merits it:
  • Home plate umpire Brian O'Nora departed in the first inning after becoming ill and the umpiring crew went with a three-man squad for the game.  This was the first of many delays in this game.
  • Nationals pitcher Austin Voth was hit in the eye with a Vince Velasquez pitch and was escorted from the field, bloodied by the beaning.
  • The Phillies plated seven runs in the fourth inning, including the 1,000th run of Andrew McCutchen's career, making him only the fifth active player to have reached that plateau.
  • Brad Miller homered in the fifth inning and debuted the new Phillies straw home run hat, apparently to be worn by a player upon returning to the dugout to celebrate his home run.
  • In the sixth inning, J.T. Realmuto hit his 100th career home run, a three-run shot, giving the Phillies a 12-6 lead.  Realmuto joyfully donned the new home run hat after rounding the bases.
  • Cristopher Sanchez made his big league debut in the eighth inning and after recording two outs, the netting behind home plate collapsed.  What followed was a 20-minute, incredible display of ingenuity as the grounds' crew rigged the net back into position with some rope and impressive knot-work.  This all transpired while the ballpark's speakers blared the William Tell Overture.
Featured Card:  All this transpired while at my Mom's house for some pool time and burgers and I felt it appropriate to create a special highlight card to mark the weirdness of the game.  This has some precedence in Chachi sets, as I created a highlight card back in 2007 to mark the time the entire Phillies roster helped the Rockies' ground crew secure their tarp during a fierce rain storm.

Transactions:  Chase Anderson (rhp) and David Hale (rhp) were placed on the Covid injured list.  Sanchez (lhp) was recalled from Lehigh Valley and Hector Neris (rhp) was activated from the paternity list.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Sunday, June 6, 2021

2021 Chachi #45 Ranger Suarez


#55
Ranger Jose Suarez
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  217
Opening Day Age:  25
Born:  August 26, 1995, Pie de Cuesta, VZ
How Obtained:  Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent, April 1, 2012
Contract Status:  Arbitration eligible 2023, free agency eligible 2026
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2018-
First Phillies Card:  2018 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #CPA-RS
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2016 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #31
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A

Newest Card Added:  2020 Topps Total #489

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (1):  2019

15 - Suarez baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 8/31/20.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2018 Chachi #46
2019 Chachi #47
2019 Chachi Phillies Phestival #12
2019 Chachi Photo Night #11
2020 Chachi #45
2021 Chachi #45

The Phillies bullpen was generally awful in 2019, but one of the surprising highlights was the emergence of Ranger Suarez as an effective left-handed reliever.  In 37 games that season, Suarez was 6-1 with a 3.14 ERA over 48 2/3 innings pitched.  Suarez missed a significant chunk of time on the Covid injured list in 2020 and he was finally activated last August 31st.  He was recalled on May 6th this season and he's again proven to be an effective reliever.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 57 - 2020 Topps Total #489 Ranger Suarez

Phillies 5
, Nationals 2
Game 57 - Saturday Afternoon, June 5th in Philadelphia
Record - 27-30, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Ranger Suarez pitched three scoreless innings in relief and Andrew McCutchen contributed a huge three-run home run in this 5-2 win over the Nationals.

What It Means:  The Phillies will go for the the series win this afternoon with Vince Velasquez getting the start.

What Happened:  Spencer Howard started for the Phillies but again faltered after the first two innings.  Suarez entered in the third and shut down the Nationals, allowing nary a hit over his three innings of work.  With Hector Neris on the paternity list, Connor Brogdon got the ninth inning and recorded his first career save.  McCutchen's big homer came in the fourth inning after Rhys Hoskins had tied the score with an RBI-single.  Bryce Harper added an insurance run with an RBI-single in the eighth.

Featured Card:  Suarez's baseball card output was limited last year to this Topps Total card and a card in the Topps Heritage set.  It will be interesting to see if manager Joe Girardi sticks with his piggy-back practice of having Howard start and Suarez relieve, or if he ultimately just gives Suarez a spot in the rotation.  In 10 games this season, Suarez has pitched 17 1/3 scorelesss innings.

Transaction:  Harper (of) was activated (finally) from the injured list with Neris going on the paternity list.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Saturday, June 5, 2021

2021 Chachi #44 Enyel De Los Santos


#51
Enyel De Los Santos
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  235
Opening Day Age:  25
Born:  December 25, 1995, San Pedro de Macoris, DR
How Obtained:  Acquired from the San Diego Padres for Freddy Galvis, December 15, 2017
Contract Status:  Arbitration eligible 2023, free agency eligible 2026
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2018-2019, 2021
First Phillies Card:  2018 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCPA-EL
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2018 Choice Phillies Minor League Top 30 Prospects #13
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2019 Phillies Team Issue 2 #51

Newest Card Added:  2020 Topps Total #895

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (1):  2019

20 - De Los Santos baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 6/5/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2018 Chachi #42
2019 Chachi #38
2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #11
2019 Chachi Photo Cards #51
2020 Chachi #36
2021 Chachi #44

In 2020, Enyel De Los Santos was on the Phillies' active roster for three games in early August, but then was sent back to Lehigh Valley without an appearance.  He was then designated for assignment on August 9th to make room on the 40-man roster for Spencer Howard.  De Los Santos cleared waivers and headed back to Lehigh Valley.  To this point in 2021, De Los Santos has appeared in three Phillies games, pitching two innings, and allowing three earned runs for a 13.50 ERA.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 56 - 2019 Topps #581 Travis Jankowski

Nationals 2
, Phillies 1
Game 56 - Friday Night, June 4th in Philadelphia
Record - 26-30, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  The Nationals ultimately prevailed, 2-1, in this pitcher's duel between Max Scherzer and Zack Wheeler.

What It Means:  This was an otherwise enjoyable game to watch up until the final inning.

What Happened:  Scherzer went 7 2/3 innings, allowing a fourth inning RBI single to J.T. Realmuto that scored Jean Segura who had singled to lead off the inning, and then stole second.  Wheeler allowed a fourth inning RBI-double to Josh Bell that dropped in between left fielder Andrew McCutchen and shortstop Ronald Torreyes.  Juan Soto hit a long solo home run in the sixth to give the Nationals the lead, and with the score at 2-1, the game entered the ninth inning.

Featured Card:  Rhys Hoskins doubled off Nationals' reliever Daniel Hudson to start the inning and was replaced at second base by pinch-runner Travis Jankowski.  With Realmuto at the plate as the potential winning run, Jankowski wondered too far off second and was inexplicably caught stealing when the Nationals' catcher, Alex Avila, simply ran towards him and tagged him out.  It was awful to watch and it's something that simply can't happen.  Realmuto struck out on the next pitch and suddenly the Phillies had no runners on and two outs.  Brad Hand relieved Hudson and Hand got Brad Miller to fly to center to end the game.

Look, no one feels worse about this than Jankowski, and hopefully the former Phillies fan gets a chance to redeem himself at some point.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Series Preview - Nationals at Phillies: June 4th to June 6th

1986 Topps #324
2021 Chachi 1986 Topps Missing Links #15

Friday 7:05, Saturday 4:05, Sunday 1:05

Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

At the Ballpark:  Most of Major League Baseball recognized the first annual Lou Gehrig day on June 2nd, but the Phillies will hold their celebration when they return home tonight.  Events before and throughout Friday night's game will help raise awareness and funds for the The ALS Association of Greater Philadelphia.

Nationals 23-30
5th Place in the N.L. East, 6 games behind the Mets

Nationals Probables
Max Scherzer (4-4, 2.34)
Joe Ross (2-5, 5.40)
TBD

Nationals Leaders
Average:  Trea Turner - .312
Runs:  Juan Soto and Trea Turner - 28
Home Runs:  Trea Turner - 10
RBIs:  Trea Turner - 28
Stolen Bases:  Trea Turner - 13

Wins:  Daniel Hudson and Max Scherzer - 4
ERA:  Max Scherzer - 2.34
Strikeouts:  Max Scherzer - 95
Saves:  Brad Hand - 9
Phillies 26-29
3rd Place in the N.L. East, 4 games behind the Mets

Phillies Probables
Zack Wheeler (4-2, 2.52)
Zach Eflin (2-5, 4.10)
Vince Velasquez (2-1, 4.08)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Rhys Hoskins - .270
Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 31
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 12
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 34
Stolen Bases:  Jean Segura - 5

Wins:  Three tied with - 4
ERA:  Zack Wheeler - 2.52
Strikeouts:  Zack Wheeler - 92
Saves:  Hector Neris - 9
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

2021 Chachi #43 Rafael Marchan


#12
Rafael Alejandro Marchan
Catcher

Bats:  Switch  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'9"  Weight:  170
Opening Day Age:  22
Born:  February 25, 1999, San Cristobal, VZ
How Obtained:  Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent, July 2, 2015
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2020-
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2018 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #17
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A

Newest Card Added:  2019 Choice Medusas de Lakewood #14

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (0):  N/A

4 - Marchan baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 6/3/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2019 Chachi BlueClaws Signing Autographs #10
2020 Chachi #51
2021 Chachi #43

Rafael Marchan's meteoric rise through the Phillies system saw him playing with the Low-A BlueClaws in 2019, appearing with the Phillies in spring training in 2020, getting added to their Player Pool last July and then making his big league debut last season on September 14th.  Marchan wore #13 when he was called up last season, but with Brad Miller now wearing that number in 2021, he's switched to #12.

I have four Marchan baseball cards in my collection so far, all from recent minor league team sets.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Game 55 - Nola Reaches 1,000 Strikeout Mark; Phils Blast 7 Homers

2021 Chachi #48

Phillies 17
, Reds 3
Game 55 - Tuesday Night, June 1st in Cincinnati
Record - 26-29, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Aaron Nola recorded his 1,000th career strikeout and the offense exploded with seven home runs and 17 runs overall in this much-needed blow-out victory over the Reds.

What It Means:  This game would conclude the Reds series for now as Wednesday afternoon's game was rained out and rescheduled for June 28th.

What Happened:  Once again, Nola didn't have his best stuff, but he lasted five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits.  Facing his final batter of the day, Nola struck out Jesse Winker to end the fifth, securing his 1,000th career strikeout.

The Phillies offense went bananas.  The seven home runs from Ronald Torreyes, Odubel Herrera (2), Andrew McCutchen (2), Rhys Hoskins and Matt Joyce tied a franchise record set on both September 8, 1998 and July 26, 2018.  Joyce's was a grand slam hit in the ninth inning off infielder Alex Blandino.  Alec Bohm also busted out of his lengthy slump with three hits.

Featured Card:  Nola joined a fairly elite club of Phillies pitchers with his milestone strikeout, and he reached the plateau quicker than any of these other pitchers by 133 innings.  The eight other Phillies pitchers in the 1,000 strikeout club are Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Cole Hamels, Chris Short, Curt Schilling, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Jim Bunning and Curt Simmons.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

2021 Chachi #42 Odubel Herrera


#37
Odubel David Herrera
Center Field

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  220
Opening Day Age:  29
Born:  December 29, 1991, San Jose, Venezuela
How Obtained:  Selected from the Texas Rangers in the rule 5 draft, December 11, 2014
Contract Status:  Signed through 2022 with club options for 2022 and 2023
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2015-2019, 2021


First Phillies Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #37
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2018 Reading Phillies Rehab Series #17
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2015 Phillies Team Issue #37

Newest Card Added:  2019 Topps Chrome #103

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (5):  2015-2019

88 - Herrera baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 5/31/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2015 Chachi New Additions #3
2015 Chachi #2
2015 Chachi #53 - Hamels No-Hitter HL
2016 Chachi Preview #3
2016 Chachi #2
2016 Chachi #49 AS
2016 Chachi #65 - Batting Leaders with Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco
2016 Chachi Archives #1
2016 Chachi Photo Day #14
2016 Chachi Photo Day #37
2017 Chachi #3
2017 Chachi #34 - 1st Inning Explosion HL
2017 Chachi Archives #10
2017 Chachi Photo Night #22
2018 Chachi Preview #3
2018 Chachi #13
2018 Chachi #32 - Amazing Catch HL
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #13 - with Yacksel Rios
2019 Chachi #6
2021 Chachi #42
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Game 54 - Phils Limp Out of May, 4 Games Under .500

2006 SP Legendary Cuts
When It Was a Game #WG-JK
Reds 11
, Phillies 1
Game 54 - Monday Afternoon, May 31st in Cincinnati
Record - 25-29, Tied for 3rd Place, 5 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  For a Phillies fan, this game was miserable, as the team couldn't do anything right in an 11-1 loss to the Reds.

What It Means:  We entered the long holiday weekend looking forward to our son's first travel baseball tournament of the year.  When those games were all rained out, we pivoted to looking forward to a relaxing weekend with three Phillies afternoon games on the schedule.  The Phillies and the weather didn't cooperate, but at least there was plenty of relaxing which is somewhat unusual for us for a Memorial Day weekend.  When this game got out of hand early, our youngest son Ben and I retreated to the nearby park's tennis courts to spend a little time in the sun.

What Happened:  Vince Velasquez pitched like pre-2021 Vince Velasquez, getting knocked out after allowing six runs over three innings.  Phillies relievers Chase Anderson (3 innings, 2 runs) and David Hale (1 2/3 innings, 3 runs) couldn't stop the bleeding.  The offense went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.  In postgame press conferences the common theme from manager Joe Girardi's and first baseman Rhys Hoskins' comments was that the team just needed to weather the storm.  A few trades at this point probably wouldn't hurt either.

Featured Card:  Riding back from the tennis courts towards the end of this game, radio announcer Scott Franzke hoped the Phillies weekend play hadn't ruined too many fan's weekends.  In talking about this game and the weekend, television analyst John Kruk said, "I'm just trying not to swear."

2021 Chachi #41 Scott Kingery


#4
Scott M. Kingery
Infield-Outfield

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'10"  Weight:  180
Opening Day Age:  26
Born:  April 29, 1994, Phoenix, AZ
How Obtained:  Selected by Phillies in 2nd round of June 2015 amateur player draft
Contract Status:  Signed through 2023 with a club options for 2024, 2025 and 2026
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2018-
First Phillies Card:  2015 Bowman Draft #138
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2016 Choice Reading Fightin Phils Top Prospects #12
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2018 Phillies Team Issue #4

Newest Card Added:  2021 Topps Now Road to Opening Day #OD-282

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (3):  2018-2020

89 - Kingery baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 5/30/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi Almost #17
2018 Chachi #12
2018 Chachi Friendly Encounters #4
2019 Chachi #11
2019 Chachi Phillies Phestival #20
2020 Chachi Preview #2
2020 Chachi #8
2021 Chachi #41

Kingery was in his first opening day line-up to start the 2020 season, as the team's new regular second baseman.  In 2018, he appeared in 119 games at shortstop and in 2019 he played 65 games in center field with 41 games at third base.  The Phillies (and Kingery) were hoping that having a steady position in 2020 would increase his offensive production, but Kingery's offensive output has steadily declined.  He didn't make the club's opening day roster in 2021, and  when he was recalled for the first time on April 22nd, his slump only continued.  In 15 games this season, he was hitting .053 (1 for 19) before a concussion sent him to the injured list.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 Chachi #40 Ramon Rosso


#60
Ramon Antonio Rosso
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'4"  Weight:  255
Opening Day Age:  24
Born:  June 9, 1996, Santo Domingo Centro, DR
How Obtained:  Signed as a minor league free agent, February 14, 2017
Contract Status:  Pre-arbitration eligible
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2020-
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2018 Choice Lakewood BlueClaws #23
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A

Newest Card Added:  2019 Choice Reading Fightin Phils #19

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (0):  N/A

4 - Rosso baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 5/29/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2020 Chachi #30
2021 Chachi #40

Rosso was a somewhat surprising addition to the Phillies' Opening Day roster in 2020 but he impressed manager Joe Girardi enough that he made the team over veteran non-roster righty relievers such as Blake Parker, Robert Stock, Bud Norris or Anthony Swarzak.  Rosso made his big league debut on opening day last July and had a shaky performance, throwing a pair of wild pitches.  He's appeared in one game so far this season and was designated for assignment on May 23rd.  Rosso cleared waivers a few days later and reported to the IronPigs.

His only baseball cards to date can be found in the 2018 BlueClaws team set and in all three team sets issued in 2019 by the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Series Preview - Phillies at Reds: May 31st to June 2nd

1986 Topps #556
1986 Topps #342

Monday 2:10, Tuesday 7:10 and Wednesday 12:35

Great American Ball Park - Cincinnati, OH

At the Ballpark:  Pregame ceremonies this afternoon will honor military groups as part of the Reds' Military Appreciation Day.  On Wednesday, as part of Major League Baseball's new Lou Gehrig Day celebration, the Reds website lists the giveaway as a "Lou Gehrig Baseball Card."

Phillies 25-28
3rd Place in the N.L. East, 4 games behind the Mets

Phillies Probables
Vince Velasquez (2-0, 2.95)
Aaron Nola (3-4, 3.72)
Spencer Howard (0-1, 5.56)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Rhys Hoskins - .265
Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 30
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 11
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 31
Stolen Bases:  Four tied with - 4

Wins:  Three tied with - 4
ERA:  Zack Wheeler - 2.52
Strikeouts:  Zack Wheeler - 92
Saves:  Hector Neris - 9
Reds 23-28
5th Place in the N.L. Central, 6 games behind the Cardinals

Reds Probables
Wade Miley (4-4, 3.50)
Sonny Gray (1-3, 3.40)
Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1, 1.80)

Reds Leaders
Average:  Nick Castellanos - .359
Runs:  Jesse Winker - 37
Home Runs:  Jesse Winker - 13
RBIs:  Tyler Naquin - 33
Stolen Bases:  Tyler Naquin - 4

Wins:  Tyler Mahle and Wade Miley - 4
ERA:  Tyler Mahle - 3.42
Strikeouts:  Tyler Mahle - 64
Saves:  Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims - 3
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 53 - 1974 Topps #632 George Culver

Rays 6
, Phillies 2
Game 53 - Sunday Afternoon, May 30th in St. Petersburg
Record - 25-28, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Defensive miscues, lack of clutch hitting again doomed the Phillies in this 6-2 loss to the Rays.

What It Means:  Whether it was Alec Bohm at third completely missing a catchable foul pop up or Brad Miller in right field airmailing a throw way over the head of the cut-off man, the Phillies continued to play poor defense in their latest loss.  They're 4-10 in their last 14 games.  The team stinks.

What Happened:  Zach Eflin lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits.  The Phillies crept closer with two runs in the sixth to make it 4-2, on a J.T. Realmuto sacrifice fly and a ground-rule double from Miller.  But the two Rays runs that scored in the seventh after Miller's throwing error sealed this loss.

Featured Card:  For most of the Memorial Day weekend it rained where we live, washing out our oldest son's baseball tournament and confining us to the house during the heavier downpours.  I was grateful the Phillies were playing day games both Saturday and Sunday . . . until the actual games began and I was again reminded the Phillies just aren't that good right now.  I muted the latter innings of both Saturday and Sunday's games and during the debacle of this game I crafted several posts for my 1965 Topps blog.  It was a welcome distraction.  I compose these posts in advance and then schedule their publishing for a date in the future.  One of the cards I wrote about today, for a post scheduled for early July, was the Indians Rookie Stars card featuring George Culver and Tommie Agee, card #166 in the set.

And because the current day Phillies gave me little to no reason to use any of their current roster for this post's featured card, here's the final Topps flagship card appearance for Culver from the 1974 Topps set. Culver briefly pitched with the Phillies in 1973 and 1974.  He'd rejoin the team in 1981, serving as a roving minor league instructor and for the next decade-plus spending time as a coach or manager for the team's Double-A team in Reading or their Triple-A teams in Portland, Maine and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Transaction:  Roman Quinn (of) was placed on the 60-day injured list with his Achilles injury, effectively ending his season.  Travis Jankowski (of) had his contract purchased from Lehigh Valley.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Sunday, May 30, 2021

2021 Chachi #39 Bailey Falter


#70
Bailey Falter
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  205
Opening Day Age:  23
Born:  April 24, 1997, Chino Hills, CA
How Obtained:  Selected by Phillies in 5th round of June 2015 amateur player draft
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2021
First Phillies Card:  2015 Bowman Draft #3
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2016 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #9
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A

Newest Card Added:  2019 Choice Reading Fightin Phils #4

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (0):  N/A

8 - Falter baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 5/29/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi BlueClaws Signing Autographs #2
2021 Chachi #39

The Covid-related bullpen shuffle saw the Phillies promote Bailey Falter and Ramon Rosso on April 20th, with Damon Jones and Cristopher Sanchez getting sent back down.  Falter stuck around for five games, pitching two innings in his Major League debut on April 25th.  He allowed four hits and a home run to C.J. Cron in a blow-out loss to the Rockies.  He returned to Lehigh Valley on April 26th and he's currently pitching for the IronPigs.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 52 - 2021 Topps Now Road to Opening Day #OD-273 Roman Quinn

Rays 5
, Phillies 3
Game 52 - Saturday Afternoon, May 29th in St. Petersburg
Record - 25-27, Tied for 2nd Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Zack Wheeler struck out a career-high 14 batters, but the bullpen couldn't keep the Rays from scoring late in the game and the Phillies lost, 5-3.

What It Means:  I was grateful the Phillies were playing on the road, in a domed stadium no less, as we continued to have our Memorial Day weekend completely washed out by steady rain.

What Happened:  I'm not sure why manager Joe Girardi didn't let Wheeler go back out for the eighth inning.  He was absolutely cruising, although his pitch count was up to 101.  No balls left the infield in the eighth against relievers Sam Coonrod and Jose Alvarado, but the Rays scored twice.  Between the two relievers, the Rays tallied two infield hits, a hit batter, an intentional walk and a bases-loaded walk to bring home an insurance run.  The Phillies scored their first two runs in the fifth on a double to right from Ronald Torreyes.  Matt Joyce temporarily tied the game with a home run, his first of the year, in the seventh.  The home run also broke an 0 for 28 slump for Joyce.

Featured Card:  When Torreyes doubled in the fifth, Odubel Herrera scored easily and the trail runner, Roman Quinn, appeared to stumble after rounding third.  Quinn had in fact injured his left Achilles and had to be carried off the field.  It's the latest in a long line of incredibly unfortunate injuries for the speedy outfielder and all indications are this could cost him the rest of the season.  I can't help but feel horribly for Quinn, who has consistently worked hard to come back from each injury.

Transaction:  J.T. Realmuto (c) was activated from the injured list and Rafael Marchan (c) was sent to Lehigh Valley.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist