Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Phillies at Indians: April 30th to May 1st

Tuesday and Wednesday 7:05
Progressive Field - Cleveland, OH

Phillies 12-14, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves
Indians 10-13, 4th Place in the A.L. Central, 3 1/2 games behind the Tigers

Phillies Probables:  Roy Halladay (2-2, 5.08), Cliff Lee (2-1, 3.03)
Indians Probables:  Zach McAllister (1-3, 3.52), Scott Kazmir (0-1, 8.64)

At the Ballpark:  There's not one darn promotion or giveaway for either of these games at the ballpark formerly known as Jacobs Field.  It's just two good, old-fashioned baseball games with those long-time rivals, the Phillies and the Indians.  (I still haven't accepted interleague play.)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Michael Young - .352
Runs:  Chase Utley - 14
Home Runs:  Chase Utley - 4
RBIs:  Chase Utley - 18
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 5

Wins:  3 tied with - 2
ERA:  Kyle Kendrick - 2.41
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 34
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 4

1973 Topps #372
1973 Topps Flashback:  On November 30, 1972, the Phillies traded outfielders Roger Freed and Oscar Gamble to the Indians for outfielder Del Unser and minor leaguer Terry Wedgewood.  One of the more notable things about the 1973 Topps set is that it was the last set of the vintage era released in series form.  Unser's card, found in series two, still features him as a member of the Indians.  Gamble's card, found in series three, is also an Indians card, but in name only.

1973 Topps #247
Gamble is clearly sliding into second base at Veterans Stadium as the Reds shortstop, Davey Concepcion, looks on.  This is one of the most iconic cards of the 1973 Topps set, and the fine 1973 Topps set blog 1973 Topps Photograpy from the late, great Chris Stufflestreet paid tribute to the card here.  Gamble spent three seasons in Cleveland before being traded in November 1975 to the Yankees, which of course spawned this card.

The 1973-1974 seasons were Unser's first stint in Philly, and he was the team's regular center fielder.  In those two seasons, he hit .276 with 22 home runs and 113 RBIs.  He'd depart for five seasons with the Mets and Expos before coming back to the Phillies via free agency prior to the 1979 season.  I've featured Unser's cards and written about the highlights of his Phillies career here and here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2005 Chachi #20 Aaron Fultz

A very cool thing happened to me on Sunday, related to this blog and the custom baseball cards I've been creating since 2005.

I don't get control of the TV much these days, as our boys tend to dictate our viewing habits.  Our TV is usually tuned to Disney Junior or there's a Winnie the Pooh DVD running on a continuous loop.  On Sunday, as both boys were otherwise occupied, I found the remote and tuned into The Charlie Manuel Show on the local WPHL station, channel 17.

The Charlie Manuel Show is the weekly pre-pre-game show that features cutesy segments with the Phillies manager talking baseball, or hanging out around town, or spending time with his family.  It airs on Sunday before the actual pre-game show – Behind the Pinstripes.  Having switched over to the show, I noticed they were doing a segment on former Phillies relief pitcher Aaron Fultz.  Fultz is now in his second season as a pitching coach for a Phillies minor league team, this year serving on Mickey Morandini's staff for the Lakewood Blueclaws.  The segment was talking about Fultz's time with the Phillies when they flashed up some pictures and a baseball card showing Fultz during his playing days.

And it was a Chachi card.  It was one of my Chachi cards.

"That's my card!" I shouted at the TV.  My oldest son Doug was immediately concerned because he thought the TV people had somehow broken into our house and stolen my card.  I quickly explained that I had made the card that was now up on our TV screen, and the TV people must have found it on the internet.  His concern lifted, Doug shrugged and went back to playing Legos.

The official television debut of the 2005 Chachi set
But how cool is that?  My guess is that one of the people working on the show was tasked with finding an Aaron Fultz baseball card to use as a graphic during the segment.  As there aren't an abundance of Fultz Phillies cards in the world, a quick Google search promptly turned up my card.  This is the first time I've published the actual card on The Phillies Room, so they must have stumbled across the card in the Picassa photo album which contains the entire 2005 Chachi set.

So if you were one of the dozens of people in the Delaware Valley who noticed the cool 1975 Topps-style Aaron Fultz card on last week's Charlie Manuel show – That's my card!

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Mini Relic #GQMR-RHO Ryan Howard

Phillies 5, Mets 1
Game 26 - Sunday Afternoon, April 28th in New York
Record - 12-14, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Ryan Howard's two-run, pinch-hit double in the seventh broke a one-all tie and helped secure Cole Hamels' first win of the season as the Phillies completed the sweep of the Mets.

What It Means:  For the first time this season, I feel good about the Phillies.  The win also jumped the Phils over the Mets into third place in the N.L. East.  They're now a game and a half behind the second place Nationals.

This game was the first of the season for catcher Carlos Ruiz, who served out his 25-game suspension for the use of a banned substance.  Back-up catcher Humberto Quintero was designated for assignment to make room for Ruiz on the roster.

What Went Right:  Hamels allowed just two hits and a run in his six innings of work while striking out eight and uncharacteristically walking six.  The bullpen trio of Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon did their jobs and pitched three shutout innings.

Freddy Galvis, playing left field again, started the scoring with a home run to left to begin the fifth.  After Howard's clutch double in the seventh, Chase Utley singled him home.  John Mayberry, Jr. doubled home Domonic Brown in the eighth for a nice (but thankfully unneeded) insurance run.

Featured Card:  This is the newest Howard card to my collection - a cool, framed mini card featuring a swatch of a game-used Howard jersey.  These cards always remind me of my son Ben's "touch and feel" board books because there's a small opening surrounding the jersey swatch, allowing the owner to touch and feel a genuine big leaguer's uniform.  And yes, I took advantage of the opening and I can report back that the jersey is indeed soft and it is pleasant to the touch.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013 Chachi #11 Freddy Galvis

Freddy Jose Galvis

Bats: Switch  Throws: Right  Height: 5'10"  Weight: 170
Born: November 14, 1989, Punto Fijo, Falcon, Venezuela
Home: Punto Fijo, Falcon, Venezuela
Signed: Signed as an amateur free agent, July 2, 2006
Teams: Phillies 2012-
Acquired: Via free agency
Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible

2013 Phillies Team Issue #9 Domonic Brown

Phillies 9, Mets 4
Game 25 - Saturday Afternoon, April 27th in New York
Record - 11-14, 4th Place, 5 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Jonathan Pettibone earned his first career win with help from the back-to-back home runs Domonic Brown and John Mayberry, Jr. hit in the fifth.

What It Means:  The frustratingly inconsistent offense came to life against Mets pitching and the Phils has a chance for a three game sweep.  After the final game of the series this afternoon, the Phillies enjoy an off-day tomorrow and then open a quick two-game series in Cleveland on Tuesday.

What Went Right:  The big blow was Brown's blast to center with two on, making it a 7-2 ballgame at the time.  Mayberry followed on the very next pitch with a home run of his own.  Michael Young had another three-hit game, raising his average to .353.  Young and Jimmy Rollins both scored a pair of runs.

Pettibone pitched a decent ballgame, allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings of work.

Featured Card:  Sure, Brown has struggled to shake his "suspect" tag over the past few seasons, but I still find it amusing that to date, he has as many 2013 Phillies baseball cards as Delmon Young.  Brown has appeared in the Phillies team issued set, Topps Heritage and the Topps Phillies retail set.  Young, who has yet to play for the Phillies, has also appeared in the Phillies team issued set, the Topps Phillies retail set and he has a base card in the Toppy Gypsy Queen release.

Featured here is Brown's card from the Phillies team issΩ ued set.  On a side note, I may need to buy another set the next time I'm at Citizens Bank Park just to see if they've pulled the Yuniesky Betancourt and Ender Inciarte cards and replaced them with cards of Ezequiel Carrera and Pettibone.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2013 Chachi #10 Humberto Quintero

Humberto Jose Quintero

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 5'9"  Weight: 214
Born: August 2, 1979, Maracaibo, Venezuela
Home: Pearland, TX
Signed: Signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent, January 16, 1997
Teams: San Diego Padres 2003-2004, Houston Astros 2005-2011, Kansas City Royals 2012, Phillies 2013
Acquired: Signed as a minor league free agent, formerly with the Milwaukee Brewers' organization, December 3, 2012
Contract Status: Signed through the 2012 season

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary #341 Kyle Kendrick

Phillies 4, Mets 0
Game 24 - Friday Night, April 26th in New York
Record - 10-14, 4th Place, 6 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Kyle Kendrick dominated the Mets with a complete game, three-hit shutout as the Phillies won, 4-0.

What It Means:  Don't look now, but Kendrick is currently the team's ERA leader (2.41) and he's tied for the team lead in victories (2) with Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.  I have to believe that no one saw this coming.

What Went Right:  Kendrick secured his second career shutout with 107 pitches - 73 of which were strikes.  He struck out five.

Ryan Howard contributed a three-run home run in the sixth, his third of the season.  Michael Young enjoyed a 3 for 4 night, and he drove in the first run of the game right before Howard's homer.

Featured Card:  Of course it had to be Kendrick.  As is the fate of any team's fourth or fifth starter/occasional long-man, Kendrick hasn't had a lot of cardboard appreciation in his career.  For the past three years, he's earned a spot in the Topps flagship set and the postcard-sized team issued sets.  Before that, he had a smattering of cards in various Upper Deck issued sets and he found his way into the 2008 and 2009 Topps Heritage sets.  His baseball card appearances peaked in 2007, his "rookie card" year.

I wanted something a little flashy for Kendrick's outstanding effort, so I went with his Diamond Anniversary parallel card from the 2011 Topps set here.  Hopefully Topps is taking notice of his strong performance so far this year and we see Kendrick with a few more 2013 cards.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Phillies at Mets: April 26th to April 28th

Friday 7:10, Saturday 1:05, Sunday 1:10
Citi Field - Flushing, NY

Phillies 9-14, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 7 games behind the Braves
Mets 10-10, Tied for 2nd Place in the N.L. East, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

Phillies Probables:  Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.28), Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 3.38), Cole Hamels (0-3, 5.40)
Mets Probables:  Dillon Gee (1-3, 5.95), Shaun Marcum (0-0, 0.00), Jonathon Niese (2-1, 3.81)

At the Ballpark:  On Sunday afternoon, the first 15,000 fans at the ballpark will receive an Iron Man 3 Water Bottle.  I'm glad the Phillies don't do movie/TV show/entertainment give-away tie-ins.  If I get a free water bottle at a Phillies ballgame, I want it to be a Phillies water bottle.  (Man, that sounded less crotchety in my head than when I read it back to myself.)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Michael Young - .312
Runs:  Chase Utley - 12
Home Runs:  Chase Utley - 4
RBIs:  Chase Utley - 16
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 5

With 4 stolen bases and a .309 average, Utley is very close to leading the Phillies in each of these categories.

Wins:  Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee - 2
ERA:  Cliff Lee - 3.03
Strikeouts:  Cliff Lee - 30
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 4

No 1973 Topps Flashback today.  The Phils and Mets face off quite a few times throughout the season, and I need to pace myself.

1989 Tastykake Phillies #16 Nick Leyva MG

Pirates 6, Phillies 4
Game 23 - Thursday Afternoon, April 25th in Philadelphia
Record - 9-14, 4th Place, 7 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  For the second game in a row, the bullpen couldn't contain the Pirates, and the Phillies lost, 6-4.

What It Means:  The Pirates took three out of four from the punchless Phillies and the homestand ended with a disappointing 3-5 record.  The team now heads to Flushing for three games with the Mets.

What Went Wrong:  The bullpen just couldn't get the job done again and the offense continues to plop along.  Cliff Lee cruised through the first five innings before allowing the first Pirates run in the sixth, and two more runs in the seventh.  In total, he scattered 10 hits over seven innings while striking out seven.

Phillippe Aumont came on in the eighth, and departed after allowing three hits and a hit batter in a third of an inning.  The big blow was Garrett Jones' double to right that scored two and gave the Pirates the lead.

Featured Card:  Even though they just took three out of four from the Phils, I still think it's a shame that the Pirates only visit town once a year.  Back in the day, the Phillies-Pirates rivalry was huge and The Vet would be packed for each of their several visits throughout the spring and summer.  Unless these two teams meet up in postseason play, we won't see the Buccos and their third base coach Nick Leyva again until 2014.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2003 Fleer Focus Jersey Edition #164 Chase Utley

Pirates 5, Phillies 3
Game 22 - Wednesday Night, April 24th in Philadelphia
Record - 9-13, 4th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  For the first time this season, the Phillies lost a game when leading after the sixth inning, as the bullpen handed a 5-3 win to the Pirates.

What It Means:  After winning two in a row, the Phils had lost two in a row at this point.  (It got worse earlier this afternoon.)

What Went Wrong:  Reliever Mike Adams had been extremely dependable so far this season, but he couldn't record an out in the eighth inning of this game.  Adams allowed two hits and two walks as the Pirates took a 4-3 lead.  The Pirates scored an insurance run in the ninth when Chase Utley couldn't corral a Starling Marte pop-up that fell in for a triple.

The Phillies went 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base.  On the bright side, Roy Halladay has hopefully found the cure to his early season woes.  He threw 95 pitches in his six innings of work, allowing a run on one hit while striking out eight.

Featured Card:  Hard to believe Harry, but yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Utley's first Major League home run – a grand slam off the Rockies' Aaron Cook.  My wife Jenna likes to point out that she was there the afternoon Utley hit his blast, while I was diligently working at my former employer. 

Utley has shown no lingering effects from his bad knees so far this season.  He added two more hits, including a solo home run, in this game to raise his season average to .308.  He has shown good range at second and he's back to running the bases with aggressive abandon.  The card featured here is one of the few 2003 Utley baseball cards in my collection, and it's from one of the more ridiculously named sets of that year.

2013 Chachi #9 Cole Hamels

Colbert Michael Hamels
Starting Pitcher

Bats: Left  Throws: Left  Height: 6'3"  Weight: 195
Born: December 27, 1983, San Diego, CA
Home: Philadelphia, PA
Drafted: Selected by Phillies in 1st round of June 2002 draft
Teams: Phillies 2006-
Acquired: Via draft
Contract Status: Signed through the 2018 season with a club/vesting option for 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

2013 Chachi #8 Erik Kratz

Erik Floyd Kratz

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 6'4"  Weight: 255
Born: June 15, 1980, Telford, PA
Home: Harrisonburg, VA
Drafted: Selected by Toronto Blue Jays in 29th round of June 2002 draft
Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates 2010, Phillies 2011-
Acquired: Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates, December 1, 2010
Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible

2008 SPx #71 Cole Hamels

Pirates 2, Phillies 0
Game 21 - Tuesday Night, April 23rd in Philadelphia
Record - 9-12, 4th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Cole Hamels pitched a fantastic ballgame, but the offense took another night off as the Pirates shut out the Phillies, 2-0.

What It Means:  It looks as if Hamels is this season's version of last year's Cliff Lee.  Hamels is 0-3 this season and he has a 2.57 ERA in his last three starts.  In those last three starts, the offense has provided him with just four runs.  Lee didn't earn his first win last year until July 4th.

What Went Wrong:  Nothing against Pirates starter Jeff Locke, but he's not exactly Cy Young.  Locke allowed two hits in his six innings of work while striking out six.  The team's best chance to score came in the fourth when John Mayberry, Jr. led off with a triple.  A few batters later, he was out by fifty feet at home as he tried to score on a hard hit ground ball to third.  It was all downhill from there.

Featured Card:  I can tie this Hamels card from 2008 into this game summary post in a few ways.

1.  Rest assured, my Topps Phillies project hasn't gone dormant again.  I left off with a post on the 2007 Topps Phillies cards earlier this month and the only headway I've made with a 2008 Topps Phillies post is to flip through my 2008 Phillies binder.  I'll get there eventually.

2.  The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb tweeted last night that the paid attendance of 31,002 was the smallest crowd since April 3, 2008.  It was cold and drizzly last night and I'd put the actual attendance at about 60 to 70% of that number.  I'm not ready to call this the end of the team's golden era (glass half full), but it sure makes me long for the happier times from 2008 to 2011 when the game seemed easier.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2012 Multi-Ad Reading Phillies #19 Jonathan Pettibone

Phillies 3, Pirates 2
Game 20 – Monday Night, April 22nd in Philadelphia
Record – 9-11, 4th Place, 5 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Jonathan Pettibone was impressive in his Major League debut and an RBI single from Jimmy Rollins delivered a 3-2 Phillies victory.

What It Means:  The Phillies won a close ballgame and they'll go for their third win in a row tonight. 

What Went Right:  Pettibone's start was necessitated by John Lannan's knee injury.  He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs and six hits overall.  The bullpen did a nice job with 3 2/3 shutout innings and Jonathan Papelbon secured his fourth save of the season.

The Phillies scored their third and eventual winning run in the sixth.  With two outs, Erik Kratz walked and pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera barely beat out an infield single.  Rollins then singled to right, scoring Kratz.

Featured Card:  To date, Pettibone's only widely available baseball cards are his 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects card (featured in this post when he was added to the team's 40-man roster) and a 2011 Topps Heritage Minors Real One Autographs card.  This is one of his minor league cards from last year, when he was a member of the team formerly known as the Reading Phillies.

Pettibone has the distinction of being the first player born in the 1990s to play with the Phillies and his six strikeouts were the most for a Phillies pitcher making his debut since Cole Hamels struck out seven in his debut on May 12, 2006.

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen #269 Ben Revere

Phillies 7, Cardinals 3
Game 19 – Sunday Night, April 21st in Philadelphia
Record – 8-11, 4th Place, 5 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Highlighted by Ben Revere's go-ahead RBI single and a three-run home run from Erik Kratz, the Phillies rode a four-run eighth inning to victory, winning late against the Cardinals, 7-3.

What It Means:  It means the Phillies won an exciting ballgame, but I was sound asleep when it happened.  I lasted through seven innings, but my eyelids just got too heavy around 11 P.M.  Hosting a birthday party for your three-year-old son tends to do that kind of thing.  The Phils split the series with the Cardinals and they opened another four-game set last night, this time with the Pirates.

What Went Right:  First things first – Kyle Kendrick pitched a great ballgame. In six innings, Kendrick allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out six.  Trailing 3-2, Laynce Nix hit a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the seventh to score Kratz with the tying run.  That set up the heroics from Revere and Kratz in the bottom of the eighth.

Featured Card:  I recently received my Phillies master team set from this year's Topps Gypsy Queen release, which includes the Revere card seen here.  A post over at 14,000 Phillies has already pointed out the numerology problem with Revere's card.  Earlier yesterday, I read a post from Wrigley Wax that nicely sums up my feelings towards the Gypsy Queen release, now in its third year:

"But honestly, as long as there is Allen and Ginter, why is Gypsy Queen necessary?"

True, these are nice cards, but the entire set seems kind of redundant when you consider that Topps already puts out a very successful baseball card set – Allen and Ginter's – with a turn of the 20th century feel to it.  Other than his card in the Phillies team issued set, Revere has yet to appear on a baseball card wearing an actual Phillies uniform.

Some sort of cold/horrible allergy fit has overtaken me, meaning there will be a one game lag in the game summary posts until I'm able to stay awake past 9:30 at night.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pirates at Phillies: April 22nd to April 25th

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

Pirates 10-8, 2nd Place in the N.L. Central, 1/2 game behind the Cardinals and Reds
Phillies 8-11, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 5 1/2 games behind the Braves

Pirates Probables:  A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63), Jeff Locke (1-1, 5.17), Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 0.56), James McDonald (2-2, 4.12)
Phillies Probables:  Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 0.00), Cole Hamels (0-2, 6.46), Roy Halladay (2-2, 6.04), Cliff Lee (2-1, 2.83)

At the Ballpark:  It's a Hatfield Dollar Dog Night at the ballpark tonight and tomorrow night is the team's annual Asian Pacific Celebration.  On Wednesday, all fans will receive an MLB Network sling bag.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Michael Young - .333
Runs:  Chase Utley - 10
Home Runs:  Chase Utley - 3
RBIs:  Chase Utley - 15
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 5

Wins:  Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee - 2
ERA:  Cliff Lee - 2.83
Strikeouts:  Cliff Lee - 23
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 3

1973 Topps #397 and #444
1973 Topps Flashback:  For the second flashback in a row, the two players featured were once traded for each other - straight up.  In October 1973, looking to upgrade at second base, the Phillies traded left-handed pitcher Ken Brett to the Pirates for Dave Cash.  Cash came up with Pittsburgh in 1969 and had played in parts of the past five seasons with the club.
He'd make an immediate impact on the Phillies, playing in all 162 games in both 1974 and 1975 and making the National League All-Star team three years in a row.  In 484 games with the Phils, Cash hit .296 and his positive attitude was a huge contributing factor to the team's pennant winning 1976 season.  Following the 1976 season, Cash left via free agency, signing with the Expos.

Brett (George's older brother) came to the Phillies in a massive seven-player deal with the Brewers in October 1972.  He pitched just one season for the Phils, going 13-9 with a 3.44 ERA in 31 games.  This 1973 Topps card was Brett's only major cardboard appearance as a member of the Phillies.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1987 M&M's Star Lineup #3 Mike Schmidt

Cardinals 5, Phillies 0
Game 18 - Saturday Night, April 20th in Philadelphia
Record - 7-11, 4th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Cliff Lee and the offense struggled in another frustrating loss to the Cardinals.

What It Means:  The Phils have a chance for a series split if they win tonight's game.  After the offensive outburst on Friday night, my brother-in-law Bill accurately predicted that the Phils probably wouldn't score any runs the rest of the series.  He's half-way to having his prediction come true.

What Went Wrong:  The Cardinals plated four runs in the third and never looked back.  Lee was uncharacteristically wild, walking the bases loaded and then giving up three straight singles.  The offense managed three hits off Cardinals starter Lance Lynn and two relievers.

Featured Card:  I'm at a loss.  It's so easy to find a good card for these posts following a Phillies victory.  I just determine the star of the game, find one of the player's cool recent cards I haven't already featured on the blog, scan it, post it and I'm done.

When the Phillies lose, and particularly when they lose in a boring fashion, this task becomes more difficult.  So here's how I arrived at the particular card featured here:

- Today is Ben's (my youngest son's) birthday.
- Ben likes M&Ms.
- My 1987 Phillies binder was still out because I recently posted this card.
- Wait, wasn't there an oddball Mike Schmidt M&Ms card from the late 1980s?
- Yes, and here it is, right here in front of me in my 1987 Phillies binder.
- Ben's birthday, M&Ms, and a smiling Schmidt all make me happy.
- Scan, add photo, publish.  Done.

Happy 3rd Birthday Ben!

It's hard to believe that my youngest son Ben turns three today!

Ben still has the travel sized Pooh, as seen in his special edition card from last year, but this is him with "Big Pooh" who was a Christmas present from his big brother Doug.

Happy birthday Ben!  Your Dad loves you and I can't wait to celebrate your big day today!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

1971 Fleer Laughlin World Series #13 1915 World Series

Phillies 8, Cardinals 2 (6 1/2 Innings)
Game 17 - Friday Night, April 19th in Philadelphia
Record - 7-10, 4th Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The offense plated five first inning runs as Roy Halladay enjoyed his second straight effective outing in a rain-shortened 8-2 win over the Cardinals.

What It Means:  It means the four game losing streak is over and hopefully the Phils can turn things around at home.

What Went Right:  Halladay gets credited with a complete game victory in which he allowed just two runs on two hits.  He struck out six on the way to his 201st career win.

The big first inning hits were delivered by John Mayberry, Jr. (double), Ben Revere (triple) and Humberto Quintero (double).

Featured Card:  Sure, I could have gone with a Halladay card for this post, but like most of America we were much more focused on Watertown last night.  Once the Phillies game went into a rain delay, we left the news on and followed along as law enforcement officials finally captured the lone surviving terrorist who was behind the horrific Boston bombing last Monday.

As a small tribute to the people of Boston, I wanted to feature a Phillies card that had some connection to the Red Sox.  I thought this one, which commemorates Boston's third World Series title in 1915, was appropriate.

Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 Chachi #7 John Mayberry, Jr.

John Claiborn Mayberry, Jr.
Right Field

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 6'6"  Weight: 225
Born: December 21, 1983, Kansas City, MO
Home: Overland Park, KS
Drafted: Selected by Texas Rangers in 1st round of June 2005 draft
Teams: Phillies 2009-
Acquired: Acquired from the Texas Rangers for Greg Golson, November 20, 2008
Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible

1987 Drake's #23 Mike Schmidt

Cardinals 4, Phillies 3
Game 16 - Thursday Night, April 18th in Philadelphia
Record - 6-10, 4th Place, 7 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies couldn't come up with a clutch hit in the ninth (or even a sacrifice fly) as the Cardinals took the series opener, 4-3.

What It Means:  This is the fourth Phillies loss in a row.  The Phillies are closer in the standings to the last place Marlins, who are 10 1/2 back, than the first place Braves.

What Went Wrong:  With the Cardinals up by a run, the Phillies opened the bottom of the ninth with runners at first and third and nobody out.  Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded out to short.  Jimmy Rollins whiffed and Freddy Galvis grounded to second and the game was over.

Both teams traded runs until the Cards went ahead for good when Carlos Beltran homered to left off Phillies reliever Mike Adams.  Starting pitcher Cole Hamels lowered his ERA to 6.46 by allowing three runs in his seven innings of work.

Featured Card:  It was 26 years ago yesterday, on April 18, 1987, that Mike Schmidt hit his 500th home run off the Pirates Don Robinson.  I could have gone with a more commonly known Fleer, Donruss or Topps card from 1987 for this post, but I was feeling a bit oddballish.  This is Schmidt's very skillfully hand-cut card from the 1987 Drake's set, which began its life as part of a box holding a delicious collection of Yodels.

Why do I have a feeling I'll be featuring more vintage cards this year in these game summary posts than cards of current Phillies players?