Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2006 Upper Deck #740 Arthur Rhodes

Reds 4, Phillies 3
Game 76 - Wednesday Afternoon, June 30th in Cincinnati

June went out with a whimper and a series loss in Cincinnati.  If not for Jay Bruce's 2-run home run in the 8th inning this afternoon, you'd be looking at a splendid 2010 Chachi card of back-up catcher Dane Sardinha right now.  Sardinha provided the Phillies' only offense today, hitting a 3-run home run in the 4th.  Busy at work, I turned my attention away from the game at the end of the 6th inning with the Phils holding a 3-1 lead.  By the time I had a chance to check the score again, it was 4-3 Reds and the game was all but over.

Roy Halladay pitched another complete game (why?) but he was the victim of low run support and two home runs to Bruce in the 8th and Joey Votto in the 6th.  He struck out 10 and threw an amazing 89 strikes out of 119 pitches.  But you can't win ballgames when Wilson Valdez (2 more hits) and Dane Sardinha are your offensive stars.  The middle of the line-up was AWOL again, going 2 for 16 with 7 strikeouts.  Former Phillie Arthur Rhodes picked up the win in relief for the Reds.

2010 Chachi Set:  Speaking of Chachi cards . . . the 2010 Chachi set now stands at 41 cards with the addition of Brian Bocock to the roster yesterday.  I have fronts and backs finished for all but 2 of the cards in the set.  (I need to wrap up the backs of the team card and Charlie Manuel's card.)  I had been holding these cards back just in case Nelson Figueroa or David Herndon or Paul Hoover did something astounding to earn star of the game status and thus have their Chachi card featured in a game summary post.  I've come to realize the chance of that happening is slim (sorry guys), so look for these cards to start popping up between now and the All-Star break.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 Topps Phillies #PHI14 Raul Ibañez

Phillies 9, Reds 6 (10 Innings)
Game 75 - Tuesday Night, June 29th in Cincinnati

The bad news? The Phillies placed the left side of their infield on the DL this afternoon, losing both Placido Polanco (elbow) and Chase Utley (sprained thumb) to injuries. The good news? For one, Greg Dobbs is back. The other bit of good news? Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez each hit 3-run home runs tonight to lead the team over the Reds. Joe Blanton managed to lower his ERA to 6.19, pitching into the 8th inning and allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and a couple of walks.

Schneider enjoyed a 3-hit game, his second 3-hit game this season. Valdez hit his 3rd home run of the season right after I finished complaining to Jenna that, "All this guy does is hit weak ground outs." Brad Lidge shut down the Reds in the 9th for his 6th save in 7 opportunities. Even with 7 players on the DL (Utley, Polanco, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Madson, J.A. Happ, Chad Durbin and Antonio Bastardo), the Phils still found a way to win.

Oh bugger it all. Lidge blew another one. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, Joey Votto hit his own 3-run home run and tied up the ballgame. Immediately after Charlie Manuel blew his fuse and got tossed in the 10th for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout, Raul Ibañez hit a clutch double to right-center to score Howard. The hit came off the formerly unhittable Arthur Rhodes, who entered the game with a 0.28 ERA.  The Phils scored a few more runs in the 10th, J.C. Romero came in to save the game (his 3rd), and the Phils still found a way to win.

Phillies Scouting Yankees-Mariners Series: I usually don't copy and paste things verbatim from other sources, but I believe this little blurb merits copy and paste status (from Todd Zolecki's Phillies Beat):

The Phillies are in the market for starting pitching, and they had a scout at Tuesday's game between the Yankees and Mariners at Yankee Stadium in New York, where Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee was pitching.

The Phillies traded Lee to the Mariners in December following the Roy Halladay trade because they said they needed prospects to replenish the farm system. It is believed the Phillies do not have enough Minor League talent to re-acquire Lee, but they could be covering their bases if they feel they can make a move.

Great googly moogly.

Monday, June 28, 2010

1998 Pinnacle Performers Launching Pad #11 Scott Rolen

Reds 7, Phillies 3
Game 74 - Monday Night, June 28th in Cincinnati

It seems as if Kyle Kendrick has established a pattern of following up a decent pitching performance with a lousy one. It was time for a lousy one tonight, as he allowed 6 runs (5 earned) on 8 hits through 6+ innings. The offense didn't fare much better, pushing across a lone run in the 7th on a Raul Ibañez RBI-infield single, and adding a few meaningless runs on Ibañez' 2-run home run in the 9th. They managed 6 hits off Reds' starter Johnny Cueto in his 8 innings of work.

In the 4th, Scott Rolen connected for his 300th career home run off Kendrick. It was his 17th home run of the year - the most he's had since hitting 22 with the Cardinals in 2006. Rolen's first career home run came back on August 21, 1996. On that day, he hit two against the Dodgers as the Phils won behind a Curt Schilling shutout, 6-0. His first came off Dodgers' pitcher Hideo Nomo in the 2nd, and he followed with his 2nd against Darren Driefort in the 8th. Almost 14 years later, he's still a bum.

Sal's Pals: I'm not sure who Anthony Castrovince is, or how accurate his source is, but he "hears" Phillies Room favorite Sal Fasano is an early candidate to replace Cito Gaston as the Blue Jays' manager in 2011. Fasano is currently managing the Jays' Class A Lansing Lugnuts team.

Phillies at Reds: June 28th through June 30th

Monday & Tuesday 7:10, Wednesday 12:35

Records: Phillies 40-33, 3rd Place in NL East (2½ games behind the Braves), Reds 42-34, 1st Place in NL Central (½ game ahead of the Cardinals)

Former Reds with the Phillies: Current back-up catcher Dane Sardinha came up through the Reds' system, appearing in 1 game each in 2003 and 2005, going 0 for 5. Juan Castro had two different stints with the Reds, from 2000 until 2004, and again from 2007 until 2008. Sam Perlozzo served as the team's 3rd base coach from 1990 to 1992. Bench coach Pete Mackanin was the Reds' interim manager from July 2007 through the remainder of the season, compiling a record of 41-39.

1989 Topps Traded #116T Kent Tekulve

Teke the Red: Phillies Room favorite Kent Tekulve finished up his 16-year career pitching in 37 games for the 1989 Reds. He struggled, going 0-3 with a 5.02 ERA and 2 blown saves in 3 opportunities. He retired in July, but Topps included him in their annual Traded set as a Red.

Phillies Probables: Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton, Roy Halladay
Reds Probables: Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Aaron Harang

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2008 Topps #173 Jamie Moyer

Phillies 11, Blue Jays 2
Game 73 - Sunday Afternoon, June 27th in Philadelphia

On a steamy afternoon in Philadelphia, the Phillies pounded the Blue Jays to win the series and end Interleague play for the year. Jamie Moyer won his 267th career game while becoming the 40th pitcher in Major League to log 4,000 innings pitched. His only blemish on the day was a 3rd inning home run allowed to Vernon Wells, giving him sole possession of first place on the all-time home runs allowed list with 506. He allowed 6 hits while striking out 7. His ERA so far this season is 4.30, but it drops to 3.49 if you throw out his disastrous start against the Red Sox. It was also his 9th win of the season, tying him for the team lead with Roy Halladay.

Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Ben Francisco each had 3 hits on the day. The Phils scored all 11 of their runs without the benefit of a home run, and their biggest hit was a 2-run double in the 2nd by Dane Sardinha. They added 4 unearned runs in the 7th when the Blue Jays decided to start throwing the ball around the field, committing 3 errors in the process.

Here's hoping they save a few hits and runs for Cincinnati!

Scrapbook Sunday: April 29 to May 1, 1992

1992 Topps #669 Jim Fregosi MG

Unfortunately, the sanctuary of the baseball world is not immune to disruption from events occurring in the real world. Be it natural disaster (1989 World Series) or terrorist attack (9/11), the baseball schedule is interrupted from time to time. Expected protests and possible civil unrest due to the G-20 summit in Toronto caused the Phillies-Blue Jays series to be moved from Toronto to Philadelphia this weekend. Some of the protesting has turned violent recently, so it appears as if the city and Major League Baseball definitely made the right choice in relocating the games.

The Phils aren't immune to being caught in the crossfire of violence, as they were in Los Angeles back in April 1992 when a jury acquitted four police officers in the beating of Rodney King, sparking a week-long riot in the city. The team only played the first game of their planned 3-game series against the Dodgers, before the escalating violence caused the postponement of the next two games. The article featured here recounts the team's escape from L.A. as the city burned.

So while it's interesting and cool for us as Phillies fans to see an away game in our own ballpark, it's important to remember the reason for the relocation is due to the ever-present problems of the real world.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

2004 Bowman Heritage #171 Robin Roberts

Blue Jays 5, Phillies 1
Game 72 - Saturday Afternoon, June 26th in Philadelphia

It seems as if the story today was that Cole Hamels didn't pitch all that poorly, but the poor pitches he did throw were hit for home runs by the Blue Jays. Hamels lasted only 4 innings, allowing 5 runs on 3 home runs. The Phils managed just 5 hits, including a solo home run from Ryan Howard, as they just could never get anything going against the Jays' pitching.

Hamels has allowed 18 home runs this season, 1 behind NL leader Dan Haren. For his career, he's now allowed 114 home runs, which is well behind the top spot held jointly by Robin Roberts and Jamie Moyer with 505. Hopefully, Moyer continues to share the top spot with Roberts after the conclusion of tomorrow afternoon's ballgame.

Roy Praises Chase: In a pre-game press conference, Roy Halladay addressed the media and answered several questions about his tenure so far with the Phillies and the difficulty of leaving behind the only other organization he's ever known. I'm paraphrasing, and some of the better quotes from the press conference are on the team's website, but when asked about the biggest difference between the Blue Jays the winning style of the Phillies, Halladay didn't hesitate to answer: Chase Utley. His direct quote: "Chase is obviously the driving force behind this team. He'll never admit it, but his preparation and desire is second to none. You combine that with other guys who have it and a lot of that starts rubbing off."

2010 Phillies Team Issue #3 Ross Gload

Phillies 9, Blue Jays 0
Game 71 - Friday Night, June 25th in Philadelphia

Wearing their road grays and serving as the "away" team, the Phillies and Roy Halladay easily handled the "home" Blue Jays, winning 9-0. Halladay, facing his former team for the first time, pitched 7 strong innings, allowing 6 hits while striking out 4. Getting the start at first while Ryan Howard DH'd, Ross Gload paced the offense with 3 hits and 4 RBIs, including a bases-clearing double in the 5th.

Chase Utley and Shane Victorino (Doug's favorite) each knocked in a pair of runs and Jimmy Rollins walked a career-high 4 times. Jayson Werth tripled and scored 3 runs.

I could have gone with a Halladay baseball card to represent this win, but how many chances will Ross Gload get this year to shine? I haven't seen the print edition of today's Philadelphia Daily News, but I'm hoping they used either "Fully Gloaded" or "Lock and Gload" to tout Gload's role in last night's victory.

Away Game:
We were there last night, taking in the game from the right field stands. Once we got over the initial weirdness of seeing the Phils in their road grays, and other than a few reminders, it seemed like any other home Phillies game. As the Blue Jays took the field in the top of the 1st, public address announcer Dan Baker half-heartedly declared, "Ladies and Gentleman, the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays!" There were a few boos, but for the most part the crowd didn't even really seem to take notice. Each Blue Jays player approached the plate to their home "walk-up" music, and a few Blue Jays' promo spots played on the big scoreboard between innings.

The Phils use giant 2009 Topps cards to represent that game's starting line-up on a wall inside the left-field entrance gate. As this was their first "home" regular season game to ever feature a DH, the Phillies were not prepared with a "Designated Hitter" label for Howard's card. They opted to leave the space blank rather than do a quick mock-up of a DH label.

On the Menu: While Doug enjoyed a slice of pizza from Seasons Pizza, Jenna and I opted for Bull's BBQ. She went with the pulled pork sandwich platter while I went with the highly recommended sampler platter, consisting of a pulled pork slider, a grilled turkey slider and a mini Bull Dog. Chickie & Pete's crab fries were enjoyed by all (mostly me) and Jenna and Doug capped off the night by splitting a vanilla soft serve ice cream in a helmet with rainbow sprinkles. It was by far the best Blue Jays home game I've ever attended.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Phillies at Blue Jays: June 25th through June 27th

Friday 7:05, Saturday 4:05, Sunday 1:35

Records: Phillies 38-32, 3rd Place in NL East (2½ games behind the Braves); Blue Jays 38-34, 4th Place in AL East (6½ games behind the Yankees)

Former Blue Jays with the Phillies: Well the big one here is Roy Halladay, who pitched with the Jays from 1998 through last season. His 148 wins with the team is 2nd on their all-time list behind Dave Stieb with 175. He was a 6-time AL All-Star and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2003. Perhaps second in magnitude behind Halladay is current Senior Advisor Pat Gillick, who was with the Blue Jays from 1978 until 1994, putting together back-to-back World Series Champions in 1992 and 1993. Sarge Matthews was the team's hitting coach in 1998 and 1999. Finally, Jayson Werth made his Major League debut with the Blue Jays in 2002, appearing in 41 games with the team over 2 years, but hitting just .234 with 2 home runs.

2010 Topps #200 Roy Halladay

G-20 Summit: The G-20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy is currently going on in Toronto. Fear of police activity due to demonstrators and unruly protesters caused the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball to decide to move the 3-game series to Philadelphia. The Phils will wear their road grays, bat first and use the DH. This should be interesting!

What is the G-20? From Wikipedia, so it must be right: The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (known as the G-20 and also the G20 or Group of Twenty) is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 economies: 19 countries plus the European Union. And now you know.

Phillies Probables: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer
Blue Jays Probables: Jesse Litsch, Shaun Marcum, Brett Cecil

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 Topps Heritage #3 Joe Blanton

Phillies 12, Indians 3
Game 70 - Thursday Afternoon, June 24th in Philadelphia

It was 102 degrees according to the little outside temperature gauge in my car this afternoon. In meteorological terms, that means it was hotter than Jabba the Hutt's armpit. The Phillies and Indians went ahead with their matinee game anyway, and the Phils came away with a win and the series sweep. Big sweaty Joe Blanton pitched into the 8th, before a monsoon swept into the area and delayed the game for 97 minutes. He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 8, getting through the first 7 innings with just 80 pitches.

The offense came to life again, putting up 5-spots in both the 2nd and 6th innings and banging out 15 hits. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth combined to go 10 for 12 with 5 runs scored and 5 RBIs. 4th string catcher Dane Sardinha made his Phillies debut and collected his first Major League home run. Manager Charlie Manuel enjoyed the game from the comfort of the clubhouse, as he was ejected from the game for the second time this series.

Quote of the Day: With regards to the violent summer thunderstorm that interrupted the game, Ryan Howard said he "was waiting for the cow to fly through."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 Topps Heritage #478 Jimmy Rollins MVP

Phillies 7, Indians 6
Game 69 - Wednesday Night, June 23rd in Philadelphia

It still seems weird to type out a score for a Phillies-Indians game. The 9-year-old me would have been amazed by such an event. These teams faced each other a ton in Spring Training, but a regular season game with the National League Phillies against the American League Indians? That's crazy talk! In any event, due to the continuing spectacle that is Interleague Play, we get to witness a regular season series between the Phillies and Indians.

I could recap the back and forth scoring from this game, but the only thing that really matters was the last hit: Jimmy Rollins' walk-off, 2-run home run off Indians' closer Kerry Wood to win the ballgame. I'll admit I had given up on this game a few times, as it just didn't seem like the Phils' night. But Rollins launched a 96-mph fastball into the right field stands to seal the victory.

Kyle Kendrick was off his game (again), but the bullpen did a great job of keeping the Indians off the scoreboard following Kendrick's early departure in the 5th. The most impressive performance from a relief pitcher may have been the brush back pitch thrown by Mike Zagurski to Shin-Soo Choo, following Choo's two home runs. It was a gutsy pitch by someone who hadn't pitched in the Majors since 2007. Jayson Werth and Brian Schneider added home runs to the winning effort, and Ryan Howard raised his average to .297 with a 2-hit night.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2007 Upper Deck Phillies Team Set #9 Jamie Moyer

Phillies 2, Indians 1
Game 68 - Tuesday Night, June 22nd in Philadelphia

Jamie Moyer continues to amaze as he went 8 strong innings tonight on his way to his 8th win of the season and the 266th win of his career, tying him for 36th place all-time with Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Eppa Rixey. He also tied Robin Roberts on the all-time home runs allowed list with 505 when Russell Branyan homered off him in the 2nd inning. He allowed just 2 hits while striking out 5. Brad Lidge struck out the final two batters of the game to record his 5th save.

The Phils manufactured their 2 runs in the 1st inning. Ryan Howard singled home Placido Polanco with the first run and a Jayson Werth sac fly brought home Chase Utley for the second run.

Charlie Manuel got himself tossed in the 5th inning when Raul Ibañez was called out for leaving the basepath. Manuel disagreed with the ump, even though it appeared Ibañez was a good 3 feet away from where he should be.

The Dobbs Era: It's over . . . for now. In a flurry of roster moves this afternoon, the Phils activated Jimmy Rollins and recalled lefty reliever Mike Zagurski from AAA Lehigh Valley. They placed Carlos Ruiz on the DL with a concussion and designated Greg Dobbs for assignment. Dobbs has long been a favorite in our household and although his departure makes sense for the team, it's still sad to see him go. The team hopes he clears waivers and decides to accept an assignment to Lehigh Valley to get some at-bats and hopefully recapture his 2008 swing.

Dutch: Darren Daulton will be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame on August 6th, as part of the Alumni Weekend festivities. I'm guessing Dutch will be the first of several players from the '93 team to eventually gain induction. (I'm predicting John Kruk in 2011.) The Jamie Moyer card featured here was part of a 25-card team set given away to fans during their 2007 Alumni Weekend. Each team set also contained 1 of 10 cards of famous Phillies alumni.

Indians at Phillies: June 22nd through June 24th

Tuesday & Wednesday 7:05, Thursday 1:05

Records: Indians 26-42, 5th Place in AL Central (13½ games behind the Twins); Phillies 35-32, 3rd Place in NL East (5½ games behind the Braves)

Former Indians with the Phillies: Reliever Danys Baez was signed by the Indians in November 1999 after he had defected from Cuba. He pitched for the Tribe from 2001 until 2003, going 17-23 in 155 games. Fellow reliever Chad Durbin made a brief stop in Cleveland, appearing in 20 games in 2003 and 2004. Outfielder Ben Francisco came over from the Indians in the blockbuster Cliff Lee deal last year. He had made his Major League debut with the Indians back in 2007.

Broadcaster Larry Andersen (1975, 1977-1979) came up with the Indians where he was managed by Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. spent two seasons with the Indians (1994-1995) before finishing his career with the Phils. And manager Charlie Manuel managed the Indians from 2000 until 2002, guiding the team to 220-190 record, winning the AL Central in 2001. He had previously served as the team's hitting coach from 1988-1989 and again from 1994-1999.

1987 Topps Traded #19T Steve Carlton

After his time with the Cardinals, Phillies, Giants and White Sox, and before his time with the Twins, Steve Carlton pitched in 23 games for the '87 Indians. He went 5-9 with a 5.37 ERA and 3 complete games. On April 14, 1987, he and Phil Niekro became the first teammates with 300 wins to pitch in the same game. Lefty was traded by the Indians to the Twins in July 1987, where he'd rattle around until eventually retiring in April 1988.

Indians Probables: Mitch Talbot, Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona
Phillies Probables: Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton

Sunday, June 20, 2010

1985 Topps #143 Ossie Virgil/Ozzie Virgil (Father-Son)

Twins 4, Phillies 1
Game 67 - Sunday Afternoon, June 20th in Philadelphia

Father's Day 2010 will be remembered for good times spent with my wife, my sons, my Dad and our family. It will not be remembered for the lifeless Phillies game played against the Twins, especially since I dozed off between the 2nd and 5th innings. Wilson Valdez' solo home run accounted for the team's only run, as they managed just 4 hits against Twins' starter Carl Pavano. Roy Halladay allowed 11 hits and 4 runs over 8 innings, en route to his 6th loss of the season.

Father & Son: Night Owl paid tribute today to the Topps' Father & Son cards appearing in their 1976 and 1985 Topps sets. Two Phillies appear within these subsets - Bob Boone in 1976 with his father Ray, and Ozzie Virgil in 1985 with his father Ozzie, Sr. (Topps lists him here as "Ossie," even though I'm fairly certain he's always gone by "Ozzie".)

Happy Father's Day!

Scrapbook Sunday: August 12, 1991

1991 Topps #413 Terry Mulholland

My Dad and I have seen a lot of ballgames together, but perhaps one of our favorite games came during an otherwise forgettable 1991 season. On a whim, we decided to go see the Phillies play the Expos on a Monday night in August. What made the game special, other than the spontaneity of our attendance, was the fact the Phils were going for their 13th win in a row. This was a mediocre Phillies club, so a lot of luck had gone into the team's first 12 wins in the streak.

We drove to the Vet, stood in line and got two seats in left-center field in Section 360. This was probably the first ballgame I can clearly remember hanging on every pitch, every out, every play. My Dad and I still talk about how great a ballgame it was. Terry Mulholland out dueled Dennis Martinez and the Phils won, 2-1. Dickie Thon scored the winning run, scoring in the 6th on a Lenny Dykstra single.

The streak was over the next night as the Phils lost to the Pirates, but the memory of that thrilling game #13 in the streak of '91 will forever stick in my mind. Thanks again, Dad.

And last year's Father's Day post bears repeating.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2004 Finest #75 Jim Thome

Twins 13, Phillies 10 (11 Innings)
Game 66 - Saturday Afternoon, June 19th in Philadelphia

With a 5-run lead going into the 9th inning, recording the final three outs of the game should be just a formality. Unfortunately for the Phillies, the bullpen duo of Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge allowed 5 Twins runs before recording three outs, sending the game to the bottom of the 9th. The Phils failed to capitalize on a first and second with one out situation in the bottom of the 9th, compounding an already frustrating situation. The Twins scored a go-ahead run in the 10th which was quickly matched by a Ross Gload pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the 10th. In the top of the 11th, reliever Danys Baez allowed 3 more Twins runs to score and that was it. Barf.

Completely negated by the Contreras/Lidge implosion - Chase Utley's 3 for 5 performance and 4 home runs other than Gload's dramatic 10th inning blast. Cole Hamels allowed 3 first inning runs but then pulled it together, shutting out the Twins for the next 6 innings.

Jim Thome received a nice ovation from a grateful Phillies crowd when he came in to pinch-hit in the top of the 9th. And some Phillies fans actually stood and clapped when he hit a 2-run home run off Contreras to bring the score to 9-6. Little did those fans know it was the beginning of the end for the Phils' chances for a win.

Friday, June 18, 2010

2010 Topps #590 Ryan Howard

Phillies 9, Twins 5
Game 65 - Friday Night, June 18th in Philadelphia

A few weeks back, in the midst of the Phillies' offensive draught, radio broadcaster Larry Andersen dryly commented, "Somebody is eventually going to pay for this." What he meant was that at some point the Phillies' bats were going to wake up and whoever happened to be on the mound would be the unfortunate recipient of a whoopin'. Well, the bats woke up and Twins' starting pitcher Nick Blackburn took his whoopin'.

For the first time all season, the Phils have scored 6 runs or more in three consecutive games. When it was all over, the boxscore displayed evidence of the explosion. Crooked numbers appear in the line score as the Phils scored 3 times in the 1st and 5 times in the 2nd. Ryan Howard went 4 for 4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs, falling a single short of the cycle. Chase Utley, who doesn't appear to be bothered by a bum knee, went 2 for 5 with a home run and 4 RBIs.

Utley also contributed several fine defensive plays throughout the game, including a great relay throw to home in order to thwart an inside-the-park home run attempt. In the 5th, Jason Kubel tried to stretch his triple in an attempt to get the Twins on the scoreboard. However, the relay from Shane Victorino to Utley to a waiting Carlos Ruiz nabbed him at the plate.

Other Stuff: Joe Blanton pitched 6 effective innings for his 2nd win of the season. Kubel's triple in the 5th was the first hit allowed by Blanton. Ruiz was struck in the head with a flying piece of Kubel's broken bat in the 8th and had to leave the game. Scott Mathieson got knocked around in the 9th in his first big league appearance since 2006. He faced 5 batters, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs.

Twins at Phillies: June 18th through June 20th

Friday 7:05, Saturday 4:10, Sunday 1:35

Records: Twins 38-28, 1st Place in AL Central (1½ games ahead of the Tigers), Phillies 34-30, 3rd Place in NL East (3½ games behind the Braves)

Former Twins with the Phillies: Reliever J.C. Romero was drafted by the Twins in 1997 and pitched in parts of 7 seasons in Minnesota (1999-2005) primarily as a middle reliever. Juan Castro served as a back-up utility guy for the Twins in 2005 and 2006. 3rd base coach Sam Perlozzo played 10 games with the '77 Twins and bench coach Pete Mackanin finished up his big league career with 2 years with the Twins in 1980 and 1981.

1970 Topps #194 Chuck Manuel

Chuck (now known as Charlie) Manuel was signed by the Twins as an amateur free agent in 1963. He worked his way up through the Twins' minor league system from 1963 through 1968, eventually making his big league debut on Opening Day 1969. (He pinch-hit for pitcher Ron Perranoski in the 12th inning of a game the Twins would eventually lose, grounding to second off Royals' pitcher Moe Drabowsky.) Billy Martin led the Twins to the AL West pennant in 1969, but the team was swept in the ALCS by the Orioles.

Manuel stuck with the Twins for the entire '69 season and he's featured here on his 1970 Topps rookie card. The back of the card mentions that Manuel "hits with power" despite his low home run totals throughout his professional career. The cartoon is interesting in that it features a blindfolded Manuel happily displaying his bunting prowess. I never would have pegged Manuel as an expert bunter, but there you have it.

He'd play in parts of the next 3 seasons with the Twins, appearing in 223 games and compiling a .199 batting average with 4 home runs. In October 1973, which was a very good month, Manuel was traded to the Dodgers with Glenn Ezell for Mike Floyd and Jim Fairey, ending his Twins career.

Twins Probables: Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Carl Pavano
Phillies Probables: Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay

Thursday, June 17, 2010

2007 Topps Turkey Red #177 Kyle Kendrick

Phillies 7, Yankees 1
Game 64 - Thursday Night, June 17th in New York

For our 5th wedding anniversary, Kyle Kendrick gave us the gift of a well-pitched ballgame and a Phillies' win in the Bronx. For a road trip that started out just flat awful, the Phils head home having gone 3-3 on the trip, winning the Yankees series. Kendrick's success tonight was based on his ability to get ahead of hitters early and 70 of his 110 pitches were thrown for strikes. He lasted 7 innings, allowing 4 hits and 1 lone Yankee run.

The Phillies scored first again tonight, pushing across a 4th inning run when Ryan Howard singled home Shane Victorino. Victorino provided more offense in the 5th with a 2-run home run off Yankees' starter Andy Pettitte. The Phillies batted around in the 9th, padding their lead with 4 additional runs.

The defense also showed up tonight as Placido Polanco made an amazing catch, landing on the tarp in foul territory, to end the 6th and help Kendrick escape a 1st and 3rd jam. And reliever Jose Contreras made a nifty behind his back snag of a sharp Curtis Granderson grounder in the 8th. Don't look now . . . but the Phils look good again.

Welcome Back: Scott Mathieson completed his long and winding road back to the Majors when he was recalled this afternoon from AAA Lehigh Valley to take the place of the disabled Antonio Bastardo. Mathieson last pitched in the Majors on September 2, 2006, before arm troubles derailed his next few seasons.

Newest Red Baron/Yankee: The Yankees signed former Phillie Eric Bruntlett to a minor league deal today. Bruntlett started tonight at 3rd base for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, going 0 for 3 against the Phillies' AAA IronPigs team.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2009 Topps 206 #133 Shane Victorino

Phillies 6, Yankees 3
Game 63 - Wednesday Night, June 16th in New York

Jamie Moyer rebounded nicely after the worst start of his career - pitching 8 strong innings - and the Phillies took the second game of the Interleague series, 6-3. Moyer was able to hit his locations against the Yankees tonight, something he was unable to do in Boston. He allowed just 3 hits, 2 of them home runs, and struck out 5 on the way to his 7th win of 2010.

I debated between featuring a Moyer card or a Shane Victorino card, finally deciding to go with a card of the Flyin' Hawaiian. His 2nd inning triple cleared the bases and gave the Phillies an early 4-0 lead. Greg Dobbs had singled home Raul Ibanez for the team's first run. Victorino's hit was key in that big, bases loaded hits have been extremely rare for the Phillies recently. It also broke his 0 for 16 slump. In the 3rd, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back home runs, the first time any Phillies had gone back-to-back all season.

Brad Lidge made it interesting before finally recording the 3rd out in the 9th inning and preserving the much-needed win for the good guys.

Time Flies: Moyer made his Major League debut 24 years ago today against the Phillies, winning the 1st of his now 265 career wins.

Whatever Works: Todd Zolecki reports that a magical talisman of bats and fruit found its way to the floor in front of Chase Utley's locker. After the win tonight, they better not touch this thing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2009 Topps Update & Highlights #UH248 Chan Ho Park

Yankees 8, Phillies 3
Game 62 - Tuesday Night, June 15th in New York

Returning to the scene of the crime (2009 World Series Game 6), the Phillies managed to continue their craptastic ways, losing tonight, 8-3.

Roy Halladay lasted just 6 innings against the Yankees, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits. The Yankees started their scoring in the 2nd on a 2-run triple by Brett Gardner. 3 home runs followed - a solo shot by Curtis Granderson to lead off the 3rd, followed by a 2-run homer from Nick Swisher a few batters later and capped by a solo home run in the 5th from Mark Texiera that just cleared the right field wall. Two more Yankee runs came home in the 7th when Juan Castro allowed a Francisco Cervelli ground ball to scoot under his glove. (It was ruled a hit.)

The Phillies managed just three 4th inning runs off CC Sabathia. Chase Utley singled up the middle (off Sabathia's hand), followed by a Placido Polanco single. After Ryan Howard was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Jayson Werth singled home Utley. Raul Ibañez singled to score Polanco and DH Ben Francisco grounded into a force out, scoring Howard. And that was it.

Outside of the 4th inning, the Phils managed just one other hit on the night - a 5th inning single from Utley. In summary: 5 singles, 3 runs, a shaky Halladay and one very frustrated Phillies fan. Chan Ho Park, who received his NL Championship ring before the game, came on in the 9th to record the final three outs of the game. And I still despise the Yankees.

Phillies at Yankees: June 15th through June 17th

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 7:05

Records: Phillies 32-29, 3rd Place in the NL East (3½ games behind the Braves); Yankees 40-23, Tied for 1st Place in AL East with the Rays (4 games ahead of the Red Sox)

1989 Topps #104 Dallas Green MG

Former Yankees with the Phillies: Jose Contreras (2003-2004) started his U.S. baseball career in the Yankees' organization. He pitched in 36 games, going 15-7 with a 4.64 ERA before a July 2004 trade sent him to the White Sox for Esteban Loaiza. Dallas Green, now a senior advisor to the GM, managed the Yankees for 121 games in 1989, compiling a record of 56-65. He was fired by George Steinbrenner in August with his team in 6th Place, 7½ games behind the 1st Place Orioles. While researching the reason for his firing, I found an interesting article from early August 1989 which quotes Green's opinion of Steinbrenner's baseball knowledge: "I've known a lot of owners who can talk the lingo (of baseball)," he said. "Once in a while, you have to sit down and talk logical baseball sense, common sense. That doesn't happen much here." He was fired 11 days after that quote appeared in the papers, and replaced by Bucky Dent.

Previously . . . On Lost: The last time the Phillies played in Yankee Stadium, we were in Disney World as Doug and I battled mild cases of swine flu. We recovered nicely, but the Phillies lost the World Series to the bad guys. I'm hoping the Phils' visit to the Bronx is less eventful for us than their last visit. And a few wins would be nice, too.

Phillies Probables: Roy Halladay, Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer
Yankees Probables: CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte

Sunday, June 13, 2010

2010 Topps History of the World Series #HWS23 Cole Hamels

Phillies 5, Red Sox 3
Game 61 - Sunday Afternoon, June 13th in Boston

The Phils escaped from Boston this afternoon, salvaging one win out of the 3-game weekend series. Cole Hamels turned in his second straight strong start, striking out 8 in his 7 innings of work, while allowing just one run. Brad Lidge came on to get the final 2 outs of the game, earning his 4th save of the season and clinching Hamels' 6th win. I read several official game summaries this evening, all noting Hamels looked like the 2008 version of himself and his fastball touched 96 on a few occasions. This is very good news.

It looked to be the same old story for the offense to start the game, as the Phils loaded the bases in the 1st, with no one out, and still managed not to score. However, they were able to string together five straight hits in the 4th inning, scoring 4 runs in the process - Ryan Howard doubled; Jayson Werth singled, scoring Howard; Raul Ibañez homered, scoring Werth; Ben Francisco doubled; Juan Castro singled, scoring Francisco. They added a run in the 9th when Werth walked, stole 2nd, stole 3rd and came home on a Francisco sac fly.

The team limps out of Boston to enjoy an off-day in New York tomorrow. On Tuesday night, Roy Halladay faces off against CC Sabathia.

6 Years Later: This was the first time the Phillies had won a game at Fenway Park since June 26, 2004, when they defeated the Red Sox, 9-2. Jim Thome hit a 2-run home run in the 4th, Jason Michaels enjoyed a 3-hit game and Ryan Madson secured the win in relief. Phillies Room favorite Rheal Cormier pitched 1.2 innings, allowing a run.

Scrapbook Sunday: June 12, 1992

1992 Leaf #443 Wally Ritchie

I'm writing this on Saturday morning as the Phillies find themselves in third place in the NL East, looking up at the Braves and the Mets. It hasn't been enjoyable for the team or their fan base for just about a month now. Following a dominating performance against the Pirates back on May 17th in which they won, 12-2, things have completely fallen apart. On May 17th, the Phillies were 5 games up in the NL East, 11 games above .500. On the morning of June 12th, the Phillies are 2½ games behind the NL East leading Braves, 3 games above .500. ESPN's Phillies page points out the team is now 19th (out of 30) in the league in hitting and RBIs, and they're 23rd in the league in hits.

Going into the season, the major concerns were the bullpen (which has been fine) and the starting pitching after Roy Halladay (which has also been fine). No one could have predicted the team's mid-May to mid-June downfall would be a result of a horribly struggling offense. To paraphrase the old saying, "I guess that's why they play the games."

So how does this all relate to 1992? Back on June 12, 1992, the Phillies were 27-30, 4 games behind the NL East leading Pirates. The biggest difference between the '92 Phillies and the '10 Phillies is the expectations that came with both teams. The '92 Phillies were expected to be bad. You'd often hear the phrase, "We just want to be competitive," when club leaders spoke of that team. Conversely, the '10 Phillies were all but expected to walk away with their fourth NL East pennant and waltz into the World Series this year. For that reason, watching the last month of Phillies baseball is much, much more difficult than what we had to endure back in 1992.

At least in 1992 we knew what we were getting ourselves into.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

1985 Topps #39 Johnny Wockenfuss

Red Sox 10, Phillies 2
Game 60 - Saturday Afternoon, June 12th in Boston

Maybe it was the smoke from the grill as I cooked our dinner. Maybe I was dehydrated from the 3+ hour lawn mowing marathon from earlier in the day. Whatever the reason, I had a vision while listening to the Phillies absolutely embarrass themselves in Boston this afternoon. My vision flash forwarded to the end of September, and the Phils had just wrapped up their fourth straight division title. What follows below is my blog post for September 26, 2010. And inexplicably, in the future, I've been issued a press pass and I'm interviewing Phillie personnel as part of my game summary posts. I know. I couldn't believe it either.

September 26 - The Phillies did it again! Shutting out the Mets in front of a sold-out Sunday crowd, the team clinched their fourth straight pennant. Most of the talk following a low-key on-field celebration centered around how the team had managed to turn things around after a rough stretch in May and June. "We just got tired of losing, you know?" commented Jayson Werth. "I don't remember when it all clicked, but I think it was after that awful series in Boston back in June. Jamie and Joe got lit up, nobody was hitting and I couldn't figure out if shaving my beard again would somehow reverse our fortune."

Ryan Howard echoed that sentiment. "Look, I'm making like $40 gazillion this year and I realized after the Boston series I had to start picking it up. We just came together as a team after a few horrible losses and we started playing again like we knew we could."

Manager Charlie Manuel, who kept his cool throughout the June swoon couldn't be happier with how his team responded to adversity. "I mean, what the hell?" the manager sagely opined. "That's baseball. Look, these guys can hit and I knew they were too good a team to be in a mix-up for too much longer. I mean, these guys can hit. That's baseball."

"I think what really flipped the switch was the day you featured that Johnny Wockenfuss baseball card in your blog." After I had spoken to most of the team, an emotional Chase Utley sought me out in the champagne drenched clubhouse. "We were collectively ashamed the only baseball card you could bring yourself to post after our second loss in Boston was a '85 Topps Wock card," Utley continued. "That's when we knew we needed to pull it together and get back to winning."

And the vision ended. It's a little eerie, isn't it?

Friday, June 11, 2010

1982 Cracker Jack #14 Robin Roberts

Red Sox 12, Phillies 2
Game 59 - Friday Night, June 11th in Boston

I have a bad feeling about this. For the Phillies and their fans, tonight's game was ugly. In what was most likely the worst start of Jamie Moyer's career, the Phils were out of it before we even had a chance to settle in for the night. Moyer lasted 1+ inning, allowing 9 runs on 9 hits. Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were all pulled from the game early in order to give them a few innings off. Jayson Werth finished the night 3 for 4, so that's something positive.

Section 36: I recently had the pleasure of answering several questions posed to me by Ron over in Section 36. His Red Sox blog offers insight into his team, features prior score cards from games he scored and occasionally features a Q&A with a blogger from an opposing team, among other cool features. Please head over to Section 36 to read my Visitor's Views and please disregard my prediction for this series.

Cracker Jack: I've always liked this oddball card of the Phillies' #36, Robin Roberts. The script team name is reminiscent of the '78 Topps set, which is fitting as the 16-card set was produced by Topps. This card has been carefully cut from the sheet containing the 8 Hall of Fame National League players in the set. The other 8 cards featured Hall of Fame American League players.

Phillies at Red Sox: June 11th through June 13th

Friday 7:10, Saturday 4:10, Sunday 1:35

Records: Phillies 31-27, Tied for 2nd Place in NL East (2½ games behind the Braves); Red Sox 35-27, 3rd Place in AL East (5 games behind the Rays). How is it the Red Sox have played 4 more games than the Phillies? I think the Phils have only had two rain outs so far, so I'm guessing it's just a scheduling quirk?

1997 Phillies Team Issue #7 Terry Francona MG

Interleague, Sminterleague: Yes, I am nervous. In 2009, the Phillies went 6-12 in Interleague Play, which included a record of 1-8 at home. In 2008, they went 4-11. A respectable 8-7 record in 2007 was preceded by a horrible 5-13 record in 2006. I could go on, but the gist is this - the Phillies, for the most part, stink against the American League. Their next 15 games are against American League teams and only 3 of those games are against a team with a sub-.500 record. (The Indians are last in the AL Central with a 23-36 record.)

It all starts tonight against the Red Sox, a team that was struggling to stay above .500 when the Phils played them in May. But Terry Francona's team has gone 11-6 since taking 2 out of 3 from the Phillies, and the Phillies have gone 5-10 in that same span, scoring 1 run or less in 7 of those 10 losses. It does no good to whine, but why couldn't we have played a series against the Orioles instead of getting 6 games against the Red Sox?

Phillies Probables: Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick
Red Sox Probables: John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2010 Chachi #29 Milt Thompson

Marlins 2, Phillies 0
Game 58 - Thursday Night, June 10th in Philadelphia

Another game, another shutout. For the seventh time this season, the Phils were shut out as the Marlins won behind Josh Johnson's stellar pitching performance, 2-0. I'm going to choose to view this loss in a positive slant, chalking it up more to Johnson's dominant pitching than the Phillies' inability to hit the baseball. They managed just 3 hits tonight off Johnson, and including the game in which he was outdueled by a perfect Roy Halladay, the Phils have managed just 1 unearned run in 15 innings against him.

Halladay was the hard luck loser, allowing just a first inning run on a Jorge Cantu sacrifice fly. He struck out 8 and scattered 6 hits in his 8 innings of work.

Uncle Miltie: It's hard to pick on the Phillies hitting coach, Milt Thompson, following a shutout loss to one of the league's most dominant pitchers, but one has to wonder if Thompson will finish the season with the Phillies if the team continues its offensive woes. Don't get me wrong - I'm a big Milt Thompson fan, and it would be flat wrong to blame the team's collective slump on him. But maybe bringing in a new hitting coach, with a new approach and new ideas, is what the team needs right now.

Thompson is card #29 in this year's Chachi set. I could only fit 4 "floating heads" of the Phillies coaches on Charlie Manuel's card (coming soon), so Thompson and Davey Lopes (also coming soon) ended up on their own baseball cards this year.

Watch Out Dobbs: The Phillies introduced newly-signed first round draft pick Jesse Biddle at a press conference this afternoon, and Biddle tried on his first Phillies jersey. The jersey featured the number 19, currently worn by the .138-hitting Greg Dobbs.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

1951 Berk Ross #1-10 Del Ennis

The Phillies were rained out tonight, which is strange given that it hasn't really rained in our area since around 6:30. In any event, the rare night off gives me an opportunity to reach back into the vintage pile and feature a baseball card from yesteryear.

I recently added this Del Ennis card to my collection for a reasonable Buy It Now price on eBay. I was drawn to the card as Ennis was one of my Dad's favorite players, and because I wasn't familiar with the 1951 Berk Ross baseball card set before stumbling upon it on eBay. According to the handy-dandy Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the 1951 Berk Ross set, or the "Hit Parade of Champions" set, featured 72 athletes from various sports. (40 of the athletes featured are baseball players.) The cards were issued in two-card panels, and there's a perforation along the right side of this Ennis card where some young lad (or lass) carefully tore off the card's partner close to 60 years ago.

I found a little more information on the set here, which reveals the set was released in 4 series of 18 cards each, with the first 10 cards of each series featuring baseball players. This Ennis card is the 10th card from the 1st series, thus its number designation of "1-10".

Of the 40 baseball players featured, 14 of them are Phillies. The reason for the high number of Phillies in the set is most likely due to their recent NL Championship in 1950. Berk Ross released just one more set in 1952 before exiting the trading card business.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Topps Gold #630 Ben Francisco

Phillies 10, Marlins 8
Game 57 - Tuesday Night, June 8th in Philadelphia

The Phillies scored 10 runs on 13 hits to defeat the Marlins tonight as they finally remembered how to use their bats. It was the most runs the team had scored in a game since their May 17th victory against the Pirates. Ben Francisco, starting in place of Jayson Werth, hit a key 2-run single in the 8th to give the Phils the lead and Raul Ibañez went 4 for 5 while knocking in a pair. Up until the 8th inning, Francisco had had a rough night, grounding into two double plays and misplaying a few balls in right. But he redeemed himself with his big go-ahead hit.

Ryan Howard hit a 2-run home run in the 3rd (his 10th) and Shane Victorino hit a solo shot in the 4th (also his 10th). Chase Utley enjoyed his first multi-hit game in what seems like weeks.

Starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick got knocked around, giving up 6 runs in his 5 innings of work. Brad Lidge loaded the bases in the 9th before closing out the game and earning his 3rd save of the year.

The Next Generation: Per the Phillies' Twitter feed, three former Phillies' sons have been drafted so far in the First Year Players' Draft - Dickie Thon, Jr., Cam Bedrosian and Chance Ruffin. In related news, I'm getting old.

Marlins at Phillies: June 8th through June 10th

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 7:05

Records: Marlins 28-30, 4th Place in the NL East (5 games behind the Braves); Phillies 30-26, 2nd Place in NL East (2 games behind the Braves)

1973 Topps #66 Victory Leaders

In Roy We Trust: With 8 wins so far this season, Roy Halladay is on pace to become the Phillies' first 20-game winner since Steve Carlton went 23-11 in 1982. Of course, he'd have to go absolutely nuts for the rest of the season to match the 27-win mark set by Lefty in 1972, arguably one of the best pitched seasons in baseball history. I'd say something negative about the Phillies offense at this point, but I'm trying to focus on the positive here.

Marlins Probables: Chris Volstad, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez
Phillies Probables: Kyle Kendrick, Roy Halladay, Jamie Moyer

Monday, June 7, 2010

1989 Bowman #398 Pat Combs

Padres 3, Phillies 1
Game 56 - Monday Night, June 7th in Philadelphia

I'm just not feeling it tonight. It was another lackluster loss for the Phillies, as they were shut out through 8 innings by two pitchers I've never heard of before tonight - Wade LeBlanc and Luke Gregerson. Cole Hamels took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, but allowed back-to-back home runs to Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Hairston to end the no-hitter, the shutout and essentially, the game. Jayson Werth grounded into a double play in the 1st with the bases loaded and struck out in the 9th to end the game. Blech.

Drafty: With the 27th pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft, the Phillies selected local product Jesse Biddle. Biddle is a left-handed pitcher from nearby Germantown Friends High School. He's the fourth left-handed pitcher selected by the Phillies with their 1st round pick since 1988. The others were Pat Combs (1988), Hamels (2002) and Joe Savery (2007).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

2010 Chachi Ex-Phillies #X7 Matt Stairs

Padres 6, Phillies 5 (10 Innings)
Game 55 - Sunday Afternoon, June 6th in Philadelphia

The Phils let one get away from them this afternoon, as the Padres scored 3 unanswered runs to eventually win in 10 innings. The game started on an ominous note as starter Joe Blanton surrendered 3 first inning runs to the Padres. The Phillies responded with a run of their own in the 1st, followed by 4 runs in the 2nd, chasing Padres' starter Kevin Correia. The mini-explosion in the 2nd came courtesy of a 2-out, 2-run single by Placido Polanco, followed by a 2-run sort of single by Ryan Howard. (Padres' 2nd baseman Lance Zawadzki misplayed the ball, but the home town scorer ruled it a hit for Howard.)

Those 5 runs would be it for the Phils, as the Padres bullpen shut them down between the 3rd and 10th innings. The Padres tied things up at 5 a piece in the 5th, and took the lead in the 10th when they scored a run off reliever Danys Baez. The Phils tried to get something going in the bottom of the 10th, but Polanco was thrown out at 3rd for the 2nd out of the inning and Jayson Werth later struck out to end the game with runners on 1st and 3rd.

Old friend Matt Stairs started in left for the Padres, going 1 for 4 and knocking in the 3rd of the Padres' 1st inning runs.

Scrapbook Sunday: June 16, 1986

1986 Donruss #183 Steve Carlton

Exhaustion. That what's I'm feeling on Saturday night as I'm writing this post to be published on Sunday afternoon. It was a long week at work followed by a full Saturday, which included a 90-minute presentation of Nick Jr. Storytime Live! in a theater with a broken air conditioner and hundreds of hot, screaming kids. (Doug loved the show, so that's all that really matters.)

On Saturday night, in stifling heat, the 47-year-old Jamie Moyer pitched a complete game victory against the Padres, and he made it look easy. I'm 11 years younger than Moyer, yet I barely have the energy right now to scan in a page from one of my old scrapbooks for Scrapbook Sunday.

So in honor of Moyer, and his limitless energy, I'm featuring the box score from his Major League debut, 24 years ago next week. Who would have thought that 24 years after this game, in which he defeated Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, Jamie Moyer would still be pitching in the big leagues? It boggles the mind.