Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Game 149 - 1941 Double Play (R330) #123 & #124 Nick Etten & John Rizzo

Mets 9, Phillies 4
Game 149 - Monday Night, September 17th in Philadelphia
Record - 76-73, 2nd place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Jake Arrieta struggled again and Michael Conforto drove in six runs for the Mets in this 9-4 loss.

What It Means:  The Braves lost too and the Phillies remained 6 1/2 back in the division.

What Happened:  Arrieta lasted five innings, giving up four runs on nine hits.  Conforto hit a three-run home run off Hector Neris in the 9th, putting the game out of reach.  J.P. Crawford contributed a bases clearing triple in the 5th.

Featured Card:  As Matt Breen Tweeted, the Phillies are on pace for their worst finish to a season since the 1942 Phillies went 6-21 in September.  That 1942 Phillies team was missing several players due their service in World War II and they finished with a record of 42-109.  Nick Etten was one of the few bright spots on that team as the first baseman hit .264 with 8 home runs and 41 RBIs.  Etten's partner on this 1941 card, Johnny Rizzo, had moved on to the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1942 season.

Game 148 - 1989 Score Hottest 100 Rising Stars #62 Keith Miller

Marlins 6, Phillies 4
Game 148 - Sunday Afternoon, September 16th in Philadelphia
Record - 76-72, 2nd place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies couldn't regain an early lead, falling to the Marlins, 6-4.

What It Means:  The Braves keep losing too, prolonging this agonizing September.

What Happened:  Cesar Hernandez homered (13) off the first pitch he saw from the Marlins' Jose Urena.  Luis Garcia gave up three Marlins runs in the 6th to seal the win.  The Phillies made it interesting, scoring twice in the 9th but Rhys Hoskins struck out with a runner on second to end the game.

Roman Quinn drove in a pair of runs.  Aaron Altherr didn't enter the game until the 7th but still had two hits.

Featured Card:  This piece of information as Tweeted by Doug Kern caught my eye, pertaining to Saturday's game against the Marlins.  With his home run in the 2nd inning on Saturday, Justin Bour became the first Phillies player to hit a pinch-hit home run since Keith Miller did it against the Pirates on June 10, 1988.  Miller was pinch-hitting for Danny Clay who had relieved Shane Rawley after Rawley surrendered five runs while recording one out in the first.

Field Report:  I had to fly out of Philadelphia for a brief work trip, and I took this picture from the plane just as the game was ending.  From this height, you can't tell the Phillies are having an awful September.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Series Preview - Mets at Phillies: September 17th to September 19th

1978 Topps #171
2018 Chachi 1978 Topps Missing Links #4
Monday and Tuesday 7:05, Wednesday 6:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Mets 69-80, 4th place in the N.L. East, 14 games behind the Braves
Phillies 76-72, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

Mets Probables:  Zack Wheeler (11-7, 3.23), Jason Vargas (6-9, 6.47), Steven Matz (5-11, 4.18)
Phillies Probables:  Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.66), Aaron Nola (16-5, 2.42), Zach Eflin (10-7, 4.26)

At the Ballpark:  There are some themed tickets available for this series, but otherwise no special promotions or giveaways.

Mets Leaders
Average:  Brandon Nimmo - .266
Runs:  Brandon Nimmo - 74
Home Runs:  Michael Conforto - 25
RBIs:  Michael Conforto - 69
Stolen Bases:  Amed Rosario - 18

Wins:  Noah Syndergaard - 12
ERA:  Jacob deGrom - 1.78
Strikeouts:  Jacbo deGrom - 251
Saves:  Jeurys Familia - 17

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .257
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 86
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 31
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 91
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 18

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 16
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.42
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 201
Saves:  Seranthony Dominguez - 14

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Game 147 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue Update #54 Austin Davis

Phillies 5, Marlins 4
Game 147 - Saturday Night, September 15th in Philadelphia
Record - 76-71, 2nd place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies rode two big hits and seven relievers to this 5-4 win over the Marlins.

What It Means:  The Braves lost and their magic number to clinch the division stayed at 9 with 15 games to play.

What Happened:  Vince Velasquez gave up four runs in the 2nd and was lifted for pinch-hitter Justin Bour in the bottom of the inning.  Bour delivered, lining a single to left scoring two runs.  The other big hit came from Cesar Hernandez who contributed a three-run home run (12) in the 5th to give the Phillies the lead for good.  Those were two of the team's total of four hits on the night.

Featured Card:  The bullpen pitched seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and walking none.  Pat Neshek closed it out to add his 5th save of the season.  Austin Davis had the longest outing, going 1 1/3 innings and lowering his season ERA to 3.48.  I was happy to see Davis had received one of the eight update cards inserted into the team's photo card set, as this is his first official Phillies baseball card.  Davis' only other baseball cards can be found within Phillies minor league team sets over the past several seasons.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Game 146 - Sign for Doug, Hit a Homer

2018 Topps Living Set #4
2018 Topps Now #340
2018 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #24
2018 Topps Living Set #40
Phillies 14, Marlins 2
Game 146 - Friday Night, September 14th in Philadelphia
Record - 75-71, 2nd place, 7 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  It all came together for one night as the offense exploded and Zach Eflin delivered a quality start in this 14-2 whomping of the Marlins.

What It Means:  With the postseason all but out of reach, perhaps the team has relaxed a little.  I'm still a little bitter and frustrated, but Doug and I spent a few innings of this game going through our proposed 2019 line-up, which includes both Manny Machado AND Bryce Harper.

What Happened:  Aaron Altherr had a big night, hitting two home runs (8), driving in five runs and executing a great slide at home to score from second on a fielder's choice ground-out that Roman Quinn beat out in the 4th.  Rhys Hoskins (31), Quinn (2) and Mitch Walding (1) also homered with Walding's being the first hit of his career.  Carlos Santana went 3 for 3 and scored three runs while Jose Bautista added two doubles.  Hoskins started his third game of the season back at first base, which could be a preview of things to come next season.

Eflin improved to 10-7 by allowing just a run in his 6 1/3 innings.  Drew Anderson threw the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run on four hits.

Featured Cards/Field Report:  Doug and I attended this game with a few simple goals - obtain an autograph or two for Doug's collection and enjoy some ballpark food.  We accomplished those two goals and also witnessed one of the more enjoyable Phillies games in recent memory.

Doug stationed himself at the corner of the Phillies dugout and had the most successful autograph gathering night of the season.  Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Quinn, Altherr, manager Gabe Kapler and coach Rick Kranitz all signed for him, some of them signing multiple items for his collection.  Doug was happy to help a few of the younger autograph seekers call over players.  I found him this morning admiring his new treasures and he allowed me to photograph and scan them for this post.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Series Preview - Marlins at Phillies: September 14th to September 16th

2018 Chachi Fan Favorites #40
2018 Chachi Fan Favorites #41
Friday and Saturday 7:05, Sunday 1:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Marlins 57-89, 5th place in the N.L. East, 25 games behind the Braves
Phillies 74-71, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 7 1/2 games behind the Braves

Marlins Probables:  Wei-Yin Chen (6-10, 4.72), Elieser Hernandez (2-7, 5.25), Jose Urena (6-12, 4.29)
Phillies Probables:  Zach Eflin (9-7, 4.42), Vince Velasquez (9-11, 4.30), Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.66)

At the Ballpark:  There are some themed tickets available for this series, but otherwise no special promotions or giveaways.

Marlins Leaders
Average:  Starlin Castro and J.T. Realmuto - .284
Runs:  Brian Anderson - 80
Home Runs:  J.T. Realmuto - 20
RBIs:  J.T. Realmuto - 70
Stolen Bases:  Cameron Maybin - 8

Wins:  Wei-Yin Chen and Jose Urena - 6
ERA:  Jose Urena - 4.29
Strikeouts:  Jose Urena - 122
Saves:  Kyle Barraclough and Brad Ziegler - 10

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Maikel Franco - .268
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 83
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 30
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 89
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 18

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 16
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.42
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 201
Saves:  Seranthony Dominguez - 14

Game 145 - 2018 Topps Archives #56 Aaron Nola

Nationals 5, Phillies 1
Game 145 - Wednesday Night, September 12th in Philadelphia
Record - 74-71, 2nd place, 7 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Aaron Nola allowed a pair of home runs in his five-inning outing and Stephen Strasburg struck out 9 Phillies in this 5-1 loss.

What It Means:  Driving home from baseball practice on Wednesday night, Doug didn't even want to listen to the game.  "It's too frustrating," he said.  Doug is 11, and unfortunately this is the first of many times during his life that the Phillies will just be "too frustrating."

This was most likely Bryce Harper's last game at Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Nationals.

What Happened:  J.P. Crawford received a rare start at shortstop and he enjoyed a 3 for 4 night with a solo home run (3) in the 5th inning.

Featured Card:  Aaron Nola recorded his 200th strikeout in this game, becoming the first Phillies pitcher to reach that mark in a season since Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels did it in 2013.

Game 144 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue Update #19 Jose Bautista

Nationals 7, Phillies 6 (Game 2 - 10 Innings)
Game 144 - Tuesday Night, September 11th in Philadelphia
Record - 74-70, 2nd place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The 2018 Phillies season unofficially ended for me when the Nationals came from behind to win in extra innings, 7-6.

What It Means:  This loss marked the moment I crossed the threshold from "They still have a chance," to "I can't believe they completely fell apart and blew it."  Granted, the Phillies weren't supposed to compete for a playoff spot this year and the so-called experts, along with the team's own front office, projected them to truly be ready for contention beginning with the 2019 season.

So it was a bit of a pleasant shock when the Phillies took over first place very briefly on May 26th only to lose it the next day.  They kept playing sloppy baseball, they kept getting suspect relief performance and they kept coming up empty when a big hit was needed, but somehow they were back in first place on July 6th.  They were 15 games over .500 on August 7th having held onto the top spot in the division for a month when the bottom dropped out.

The little mistakes became big mistakes.  The offense all but evaporated and the occasional bright spots came from either a pitching performance from Aaron Nola or another home run from Rhys Hoskins.  Since August 5th, the Phillies have gone 11-23 and they're 0-10-1 in their 11 series played since then.  (Meghan Montemurro Tweet.)  The July ascent was unexpected and all too short.  The August/September collapse was quick and has gone on way too long.

What Happened:  The Phillies exploded for five runs in the 5th thanks to four doubles and three singles.  It was the kind of rare outburst the Phillies had been striving towards and hoping for all season.  But in the end, it meant nothing.  The Nationals scored three in the 9th to tie the score, with the tying run coming on a bases-loaded walk from Luis Garcia.  Juan Soto homered off Yacksel Rios in the 10th to send the Nationals to the double header sweep.

Featured Card:  I got an e-mail from fellow collector Rick during the first game alerting me to the presence of new photo cards to be found in the team-issued set.  I've updated the set's listing here with the 8 new cards.

This is Jose Bautista's first (and to date only) Phillies baseball card, found within these updated sets.  Bautista homered in the 8th inning, making him the first player in baseball history to hit a home run with three different teams in the same division in the same season.  (Jayson Stark Tweet.)

Field Report:  It was empty and at one point my wife texted me that I should start screaming to see if she could hear me on TV.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Game 143 - Doug's Blast at The Yard Not Enough for Offense

Nationals 3, Phillies 1 (Game 1)
Game 143 - Tuesday Afternoon, September 11th in Philadelphia
Record - 74-69, 2nd place, 5 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  In a mostly empty ballpark, the Phillies crept closer to their offseason with a lifeless 3-1 loss to the Nationals.

What It Means:  The ground's crew didn't put the tarp on the field over the rainy weekend, and the field was deemed unplayable on Monday night necessitating a rare Tuesday afternoon game.

What Happened:  The offense was shut down by the Nationals' Erick Fedde who struck out 9 over 5 2/3 scoreless innings.  The Phillies managed five hits, including doubles from J.P. Crawford and Justin Bour.  Nick Pivetta lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits, including a home run to Spencer Kieboom.

Transaction:  The Phillies set a franchise record when they recalled pitchers Drew Anderson, Enyel De Los Santos and Ranger Suarez from the IronPigs, giving them 39 active players on their roster.  The disabled Aaron Loup is the sole member of the 40-man roster not currently active.

Featured Cards/Field Report:  Doug and I were two of about 500 people at this game.  We didn't arrive until the 5th inning, but we took advantage of the empty park with Doug's first trip to the wiffle ball field at The Yard.  He promptly sent a ball over the center field batter's eye, which was probably one of the hardest hit balls for the home team on Tuesday afternoon.

Between games, Doug and I took the field for a pre-game ceremony as part of the ALS Phillies Phestival sponsor's night.  While Doug was holding a sign for my employer, he was attacked by the Phillie Phanatic and I quickly took this picture from behind while an on-field photographer took the pair's picture from the front.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Series Preview - Nationals at Phillies: September 10th to September 12th

1978 Topps #449
1978 Topps #513
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Nationals 71-72, 3rd place in the N.L. East, 8 games behind the Braves
Phillies 74-68, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

Nationals Probables:  Tanner Roark (8-15, 4.23), Stephen Strasburg (7-7, 4.04), Joe Ross (0-0, 0.00)
Phillies Probables:  Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.61), Nick Pivetta (7-11, 4.66), Aaron Nola (16-4, 2.29)

At the Ballpark:  It's odd to have a three-game series this late in the season without any promotions or giveaways, but here we are.

Nationals Leaders
Average:  Anthony Rendon - .298
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 92
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 32
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 91
Stolen Bases:  Trea Turner - 37

Wins:  Max Scherzer - 17
ERA:  Max Scherzer - 2.31
Strikeouts:  Max Scherzer - 271
Saves:  Sean Doolittle - 22

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Maikel Franco - .266
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 82
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 30
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 88
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 18

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 16
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.29
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 196
Saves:  Seranthony Dominguez - 14

Game 142 - 1992 ALS Phillies Phestival #45 Tug McGraw

Mets 6, Phillies 4
Game 142 - Sunday Afternoon, September 9th in Flushing
Record - 74-68, 2nd place, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Failing to take advantage of Jacob deGrom being scratched from his start due to the rainy weather, the Phillies dropped this game 6-4 to the Mets.

What It Means:  The Phillies have not won a series since sweeping the Marlins at the beginning of August.  They've dropped nine consecutive series of three games or more.  As Larry Shenk Tweeted, the Phillies are now 15-17 against the (bad) Marlins and Mets this season while the Braves are 26-9 against those two teams.  That's going to end up being the difference between a postseason appearance and no October baseball.

What Happened:  Rhys Hoskins gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run (30) in the 1st.  The Phillies led until Michael Conforto hit a 3-run home run in the 5th off Vince Velasquez.  The offense couldn't recover.

Featured Card:  I'm cranky and it's still raining as I'm writing this.  Here's a card signed by Tug McGraw featuring a smiley face drawn by Tugger.

Ya gotta believe.  (Right?)

Game 141 - 2018 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #18 Joey Meneses

Mets 10, Phillies 5
Game 141 - Saturday Night, September 8th in Flushing
Record - 74-67, 2nd place, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Zach Eflin was hit hard and the offense left 12 runners on base in this 10-5 loss to the Mets.

What It Means:  I sound like a broken record, but this team does not look like a team that should be or will be playing in the postseason.

What Happened:  Eflin exited after three innings, having allowed six runs on four hits and three walks.  The Phillies couldn't capitalize when they had runners on base.  They banged out 14 hits, but had just five runs to show for it.  Cesar Hernandez went 4 for 4 and Rhys Hoskins hit his 29th home run.

Carlos Santana started at third base, as he had done on Wednesday night, as manager Gabe Kapler is trying to inject some life into the line-up by having both Santana and Justin Bour start.  Prior to his Wednesday night start, Santana had not started at third since May 22, 2014. 

Featured Card:  The Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs had their season end on Saturday night when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders eliminated them from the next round of postseason play.  Outfielder/first baseman Joey Meneses was the International League MVP this season, hitting .311 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs.  This was Meneses' first year in the Phillies organization after playing the first seven seasons of his professional career in the Braves organization.  It's puzzling to me why the Phillies won't clear a 40-man roster spot and bring up Meneses to perhaps jumpstart a fizzling offense.

Transaction:  Continuing the trend of adding on a player per day, the Phillies recalled Mitch Walding from the IronPigs.  There are now 36 players on their active roster.  Of the available players on their 40-man roster, only pitchers Drew Anderson, Enyel De Los Santos and Ranger Suarez aren't active with pitcher Aaron Loup on the disabled list.

Game 140 - 2018 Topps Archives #217 Rhys Hoskins

Phillies 4, Mets 3
Game 140 - Friday Night, September 7th in Flushing
Record - 74-66, 2nd place, 2 1/2 games behind the Mets

One Sentence Summary:  Rhys Hoskins hit a clutch home run in the 8th to send the Phillies to a 4-3 victory and give Aaron Nola his 16th win.

What It Means:  The Phillies needed a big hit and Hoskins delivered.

What Happened:  Nola gave up all three Mets runs in his seven innings of work, including two home runs, while striking out eight.  Seranthony Dominguez and Tommy Hunter kept the Mets off the board in the final two innings and Hunter recorded his 4th save.

Carlos Santana hit a two-run home run (22) in the 3rd and Asdrubal Cabrera punished his former team with an RBI-single in the 6th.

Featured Card:  Here's the slugger's recently released card from the Topps Archives set, featuring a tribute to the original 1981 Topps release (or the 2006 Chachi set, depending on your point of view).  Had Topps consulted with me on the original design for the 1981 Topps cards, I would have gently nudged them to change "Outfielder" to "Outfield" on the card to mimic the original.  Missing little details like this drives me batty.

Transaction:  Andrew Knapp joined the team, brining the number of active players on the roster to 35.

Game 139 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #19 Ben Lively

Marlins 2, Phillies 1
Game 139 - Wednesday Night, September 5th in Miami
Record - 73-66, 2nd place, 3 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  In his second start for the Marlins, rookie Sandy Alcantara completely confused the Phillies offense and the Marlins won this game, 2-1.

What It Means:  I know the Phillies are way ahead of their rebuild schedule, but up until a few weeks ago I had high hopes that this team might actually see some postseason play.  It's seeming less and less likely with every passing loss.  They sure haven't looked like a playoff team the past few months.

What Happened:  Rookie Austin Dean drove in both Marlins runs off Phillies starter Nick Pivetta, who went just four innings.  Three of the Phillies' six hits came from Jorge Alfaro, and overall the offense went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

Featured Card/Transaction:  Ben Lively, who had been designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Jerad Eickhoff, was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals.  In his 20 games for the Phillies (all starts) in 2017 and 2018, Lively compiled a record of 4-9 with a 4.81 ERA.  He leaves behind a handful of Phillies cards, including two appearances in both of this year's team issued photo card sets.

Lively Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi #38
2017 Chachi In Action #3
2018 Chachi #16

Arrived During the 2018 Season
Trevor Plouffe (4/23/18) - Signed as a minor league free agent, formerly with the Texas Rangers organization.
Asdrubal Cabrera (7/27/18) - Acquired from the New York Mets for Franklyn Kilome.
Wilson Ramos (7/31/18) - Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later or cash.
Aaron Loup (7/31/18) - Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for Jacob Waguespack.
Justin Bour (8/10/18) - Acquired with cash from the Miami Marlins for McKenzie Mills.
Luis Avilan (8/22/18) - Acquired from the Chicago White Sox for Felix Paulino.
Jose Bautista (8/28/18) - Acquired from the New York Mets for a player to be named later or cash.

Departed During the 2018 Season
Drew Hutchison (6/5/18) - Designated for assignment and elected free agency.
Hoby Milner (7/15/18) - Sold to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Zac Curtis (7/31/18) - Designated for assingnment and claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers, 8/7/18.
Jake Thompson (8/14/18) - Traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations.
Mark Leiter, Jr. (9/1/18) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ben Lively (9/5/18) - Claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals.

Game 138 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #16 Cesar Hernandez

Phillies 9, Marlins 4
Game 138 - Tuesday Night, September 4th in Miami
Record - 73-65, 2nd place, 3 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Carlos Santana hit a lead-off home run and the offense plated six runs in the first two innings as the Phillies defeated the Marlins, 9-4.

What It Means:  Work travel has made me miss most of the Phillies games this past week, although it seems like I'm better off having missed the majority of these games. 

What Happened:  Jake Arrieta struck out a season high 11 in 7 1/3 strong innings of work.  Santana's home run was his 21st of the season and Asdrubal Cabrera (23) also homered in the 4th.

Featured Card:  Santana's lead-off home run was nice, but the bigger hit that inning came from Cesar Hernandez who cleared the bases with a two-out triple.  Hernandez has been inconsistent in the second half at the plate, and he's lost his lead-off spot in the line-up, so it was nice to see him come through with the big hit.

Transaction:  J.P. Crawford was recalled from Lehigh Valley, brining the number of active players on the roster to 34.  Also, Jesmuel Valentin cleared waivers and was outrighted to the IronPigs.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

2018 Chachi #55 Jerad Eickhoff

Jerad Joseph Eickhoff
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'4"  Weight:  244
Opening Day Age:  27
Born:  July 2, 1990, Evansville, IL
Drafted:  Selected by the Texas Rangers in the 15th round of the June 2011 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2015-
Acquired:  Acquired with Matt Harrison, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson and Alec Asher from the Texas Rangers for Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and cash considerations, July 31, 2015

2015 Chachi #60
2016 Topps #2
22 Eickhoff Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Phillies Card:  2016 Topps #2
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2016 Topps #2
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2016 Phillies Team Issue #48
Newest Card:  2018 Topps #621

2016 Phillies Team Issue #48
First Mention on The Phillies Room:  July 31, 2015 - Cole Hamels (and Jake Diekman) are now officially members of the Texas Rangers and the Phillies have six new players in their organization that I've honestly never heard of before.  No offense meant here, but if Matt Harrison, who was an A.L. All-Star in 2012, bumped into me on the streets of Philadelphia I'd have no idea he was the newest Phillies starting pitcher.

The best way for me to get acclimated with these new guys is to summarize their baseball card careers to date.  I won't attempt to provide scouting reports on these players as I'm just purely interested in getting to know them through their baseball cards for now.  If you want something a little more in-depth, I thought this article was a good read . . .

Jerad Eickhoff (RHP - AAA) - Eickhoff has been in the Rangers organization since 2011 and he's appeared in 18 games this season (17 starts) for the AAA Round Rock Express.  It doesn't appear as if Eickhoff has any mainstream baseball cards to date, although he has appeared in a number of Rangers minor league team sets.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2015 Chachi #60
2016 Chachi Preview #2
2016 Chachi #17
2016 Chachi #68 ERA Leaders (with Jeremy Hellickson)
2016 Chachi #69 Pitching Leaders (with Jeremy Hellickson and Vince Velasquez)
2016 Chachi #70 Strikeout Leaders (with Jeremy Hellickson and Vince Velasquez)
2017 Chachi Preview #3
2017 Chachi #15
2017 Chachi Phillies Phestival #19 (with Andres Blanco)
2017 Chachi Archives #6
2017 Chachi Photo Night #8
2018 Chachi #55
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #11 (with Jesmuel Valentin and Pedro Guerrero)

Card statistics through 9/3/18.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Series Preview - Phillies at Mets: September 7th to September 9th

2018 Chachi 1978 Topps Missing Links #7
2018 Chachi #403
Friday and Saturday 7:10, Sunday 1:10
Citi Field - Flushing, NY

Phillies 73-66, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves
Mets 63-76, 4th place in the N.L. East, 13 1/2 games behind the Braves

Phillies Probables:  Aaron Nola (15-4, 2.23), Zach Eflin (9-6, 4.05), Vince Velasquez (9-10, 4.10)
Mets Probables:  Steven Matz (5-11, 4.20), Noah Syndergaard (10-3, 3.33), Jacob deGrom (8-8, 1.68)

At the Ballpark:  All fans receive a free Mets t-shirt on Friday.  The first 15,000 fans will receive a Mets cool weather winter hat on Saturday night and a Mets chip bowl on Sunday afternoon.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Maikel Franco - .267
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 82
Home Runs:  Rhys Hoskins - 27
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins - 84
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 17

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 15
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.23
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 188
Saves:  Seranthony Dominguez - 14

Mets Leaders
Average:  Brandon Nimmo - .272
Runs:  Brandon Nimmo - 68
Home Runs:  Michael Conforto - 21
RBIs:  Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Conforto - 58
Stolen Bases:  Amed Rosario - 18

Wins:  Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler - 10
ERA:  Jacob deGrom - 1.68
Strikeouts:  Jacbo deGrom - 230
Saves:  Jeurys Familia - 17

Just One Card & Missing Links - 1970s Phillies Edition

1975 Topps #405
1977 Topps #394
1979 Topps #169
1980 Topps #277
1981 Fleer #585
Having tackled the Phillies Missing Links from 1980 through 2008 at this point, I wanted to see what a Phillies Missing Links set from the 1970s would look like.  As far as I can tell, and please offer revisions in the comments if needed, listed below are the players who suited up with the Phillies between 1970 and 1979 and never received a Phillies baseball card.

Below this list, I've presented what I believe to be those Phillies players who received just one Phillies card, with most of these occurring in the team-issued photo card sets from the '70s.  I don't know if creating cards for these players is a project I'll tackle in the near-term, but with the checklist in place the next step would be hunting and gathering pictures of these players in red pinstripes (or baby blue road uniforms).

Phillies Missing Links of the 1970s - Initial Checklist
1 Del Bates (1970)
2 Mike Jackson (1970)
3 Manny Muniz (1971)
4 Dave Downs (1972)
5 Bob Terlecki (1972)
6 Dave Wallace (1973-1974)
7 John Stearns (1974)
8 Larry Fritz (1975)
9 Ron Clark (1975)
10 John Montague (1975)
11 Rick Bosetti (1976)
12 Bill Nahorodny (1976)
13 Mike Buskey (1977)
14 Manny Seoane (1977)
15 Dan Warthen (1977)
16 Orlando Gonzalez (1978)
17 Kerry Dineen (1978)
18 Todd Cruz (1978)
19 Horacio Pina (1978)
20 Dan Boitano (1978)
21 John Poff (1979)
22 Jack Kucek (1979)

Just One Card
Doc Edwards - 1970 Phillies Photocards*
Bill Laxton - 1970 Phillies Photocards

Bobby Pfeil - 1971 Phillies Photocards

John Bateman - 1972 Phillies Photocards
Gary Neibauer - 1972 Phillies Photocards

Allan Bannister - 1975 Phillies Photocards
Jesus Hernaiz - 1974 Phillies Photocards
Frank Linzy - 1974 Phillies Photocards
Pete Richert - 1974 Phillies Photocards
Erskine Thomason - 1976 SSPC #600^

Cy Acosta - 1975 Phillies Photocards
Don Hahn - 1975 Phillies Photocards
Wayne Simpson - 1976 SSPC #599^

Fred Andrews - 1977 Phillies Photocards
Tim Blackwell - 1977 Phillies Photocards

Dane Iorg - 1977 Phillies Photocards

Dan Larson - 1980 Phillies Photocards

Rudy Meoli - 1979 Phillies Photocards

*As a coach, with two variations so he might not technically belong on this list.
^Wearing a Toledo Mud Hens uniform.

Just One Card Links
1970 to 1979
1980 to 1989
1990 to 1995
1996 to 1999
2000 to 2004
2005 to 2009

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Just One Card - 1980s Phillies Edition

1984 Tastykake Phillies Update
1989 Tastykake Phillies Update #35
I'm not sure why this post has been sitting in my draft folder since last July, but I felt the need to do some late summer cleaning and let his post out into the wild.

Back when I was putting together my original series of posts on the Phillies Missing Links, I neglected to take into account the team-issued photo cards which at the time I knew very little about.  So now equipped with better knowledge of the team-issued photo card sets, here's a more complete listing of those Phillies players who appeared on one (and only one) Phillies baseball card to mark their time in red pinstripes.

As of this writing, I'm still searching for the 3 cards noted below from the 1980 Phillies Postcards set as well as the elusive Steve Fireovid card from the 1984 Tastykake Update set.

Lerrin LaGrow - 1980 Phillies Postcards #14
Dan Larson - 1980 Phillies Postcards #15
Jay Loviglio - 1981 Topps #526
Scott Munninghoff - 1980 Phillies Postcards #21

Julio Franco - 1983 Donruss #525

Steve Fireovid - 1984 Tastykake Phillies Update
Dave Wehrmeister - 1984 Tastykake Phillies Update

Alan Knicely - 1986 Topps #418
Rich Surhoff - 1985 Tastykake Phillies
Pat Zachry - 1985 Tastykake Phillies

Greg Legg - 1987 Tastykake Phillies #11

Doug Bair - 1987 Tastykake Phillies #58
Joe Cowley - 1987 Tastykake Phillies #39
Greg Jelks - 1987 Tastykake Phillies #45

Bill Almon - 1988 Tastykake Phillies #15
Danny Clay - 1988 Fleer Update #U-108

Jim Adduci - 1989 Tastykake Phillies Update #37
Eric Bullock - 1989 Tastykake Phillies Update #35
Randy O'Neal - 1989 Tastykake Phillies #27
Tom Nieto - 1989 Tastykake Phillies #24
Mark Ryal - 1989 Tastykake Phillies #31

Just One Card Links
1980 to 1989
1990 to 1995
1996 to 1999
2000 to 2004
2005 to 2009

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Phillies Missing Links of the 2000s - #30 Andy Tracy

Andrew Michael Tracy
First Base

When the Phillies invited Andy Tracy to spring training in 2008 as a non-roster invitee, he had 12 professional seasons under his belt including stints with the Expos (2000-2001) and Rockies (2004).  He spent most of the 2008 season with the IronPigs before getting the call from the Phillies on August 23rd when Geoff Jenkins landed on the disabled list.  A week later he was back with the IronPigs when manager Charlie Manuel decided to use his roster spot for an extra bullpen arm.  When rosters expanded on September 1st, he returned to the Phillies again and in his 4 appearances that season he was used exclusively as a pinch-hitter, going 0 for 2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.

His story followed the same script in 2009 - non-roster invitee to spring training, full season with the IronPigs, September call-up.  His sole start came on the final day of the 2009 season when he entered the playing field for the first time as the Phillies starting first baseman.  In the other 11 games in which he appeared during 2009 he was again used as a pinch-hitter, going 4 for 8 with an RBI.  Tracy returned to the IronPigs for the entire 2010 season, but he wouldn't get the call that September.  In his 3 full seasons with the IronPigs, Tracy hit .272 with 69 home runs and 261 RBIs, averaging 23 home runs and 87 RBIs per season.  His home run and RBI career totals are the franchise records for the IronPigs.

Tracy has been with the Phillies organization since 2012 serving in some capacity as a minor league manager, coach or roving instructor.  He's the team's minor league hitting/assistant field coordinator this season.

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  220
Born:  December 11, 1973, Bowling Green, OH
Drafted:  Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 16th round of the 1996 amateur draft, June 4, 1996.
Major League Teams:  Montreal Expos 2000-2001; Colorado Rockies 2004; Phillies 2008-2009
Professional Affiliations:  Montreal Expos 1996-2001; New York Mets 2002; Colorado Rockies 2003-2005; Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (Japan) 2005; Baltimore Orioles 2006; New York Mets 2007; Phillies 2008-2010; Arizona Diamondbacks 2011

Phillies Career
13 games, 5 for 14 (.357), triple, 1 RBI
Acquired:  November 20, 2007 - Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the New York Mets organization.
Debut:  August 24, 2008 - In a game against the Dodgers that the Phillies would eventually win on a Pedro Feliz walk-off home run in the 11th, Tracy pinch-hit for Carlos Ruiz in the 9th, drawing a walk.  Kyle Kendrick then pinch-ran for Tracy.
Final Game:  October 4, 2009 - Started at first base, going 1 for 4 with a triple off the Marlins' Josh Johnson.
Departed:  November 6, 2010 - Granted free agency and signed as a minor league free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks, December 15, 2010.

5 Tracy Baseball Card in My Collection
2008 Multi-Ad Lehigh Valley IronPigs #23
2009 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #23
2010 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #19
2010 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs Update #21
2012 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #30

Complete Chachi Checklist
2008 Chachi #47
2009 Chachi #57

2000 Topps Traded #T2
2008 Chachi #47
2009 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #23
2010 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs Update #21
2012 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #30
Other Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  2000 Bowman #396
First Topps Base Card:  2000 Topps Traded #T2
Last Mainstream Card:  2001 Fleer Triple Crown #287
Other Notable Cards:  1996 Best Vermont Expos #28, 2000 Fleer Tradition Update #U14, 2001 Pacific #261

Sources:  Baseball Reference and The Trading Card Database

Phillies Missing Links of the 2000s
1 Kirk Bullinger
2 Chris Pritchett
3 Bryan Ward
4 Mark Holzemer
5 Turner Ward
6 P.J. Forbes
7 Matt Walbeck
8 Kelly Stinnett
9 Valerio de los Santos
10 Josh Hancock
11 Brian Powell
12 Paul Abbott
13 Todd Jones
14 A.J. Hinch
15 Ramon Martinez
16 Matt Kata
17 Aquilino Lopez
18 Adam Bernero
19 Jose Hernandez
20 Randall Simon
21 Anderson Garcia
22 Russell Branyan
23 John Ennis
24 Kane Davis
25 Pete LaForest
26 T.J. Bohn
27 R.J. Swindle
28 Mike Cervenak
29 Les Walrond
30 Andy Tracy

This is a continuing series looking at those players who spent time with the Phillies but possess no baseball card proof of their time in Philadelphia.  In some cases, the First and Last Mainstream cards listed above have been subjectively chosen if multiple cards were released in that year.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Game 137 - 2018 Donruss #131 Justin Bour

Marlins 3, Phillies 1
Game 137 - Monday Afternoon, September 3rd in Miami
Record - 72-65, 2nd place, 4 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Yet another game where this One Sentence Summary bit can start with "As the offense continued to struggle," and end with "the Phillies lost again."

What It Means:  At least the Red Sox beat the Braves so the Phillies didn't lose any more ground in the division due to this loss.  Still, the Phillies can't back into a playoff spot by hoping the Braves lose games.

What Happened:  The offense was shut down by Jose Urena who allowed a solo home run to Asdrubal Cabrera and not much more.  Vince Velasquez went five innings and gave up three runs in the 2nd on singles from Lewis Brinson and Rafael Ortega.

Featured Card:  Justin Bour returned to Miami but was not used in this game as manager Gabe Kapler opted to use Pedro Florimon as his first bat off the bench in the 6th.  Florimon struck out looking.  #BeBold

Transaction:  Jerad Eickhoff was activated from the 60-day disabled list as he hopes to salvage his 2018 season with at least a few long relief appearances down the stretch run.  To make room on the 40-man roster for Eickhoff, Ben Lively was designated for assignment.  Lively began the season in the starting rotation, making 5 starts and running up an ERA of 6.85 and an 0-2 record.