Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2003 UD Superstars City All-Stars #KP/BA-C Keith Primeau & Bobby Abreu

Mets 6, Phillies 1
Game 26 - Tuesday Night, April 29th in Philadelphia
Record - 13-13, 4th Place, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  On a rainy and cold night, Cole Hamels and the Phillies were easily defeated by the Mets, 6-1.

What It Means:  It's back to .500 for the Phils.  Given the monsoon-like rains in the area today, it's unlikely that game two of this series will be played tonight.

What Happened:  Hamels had a bad night.  Making his 2014 home debut, Hamels didn't make it out of the fifth inning and he was unusually wild.  By the time it was all over, he had allowed six runs on eight hits and five walks.  The low point came when he walked Mets pitcher Jon Niese with the bases loaded in the fourth.

Featured Card:  Most Philadelphia sports fans were focused on Game 6 of the Flyers/Rangers play-off game last night and not the lopsided drubbing the Phillies were taking from the Mets.  The Flyers won their game to force a Game 7 tonight, and I imagine we'll be watching that once they call the Phillies game because of rain.

I have two Flyers related cards in my Phillies collection.  The first is a postcard from the 2012 Phillies Fan Appreciation Day set featuring a shot of Citizens Bank Park during that year's Winter Classic.  The second is the card featured here, which contains the unusual combination of relics from both a Phillies player and a Flyers player.

UD Superstars was an ambitious set undertaken by Upper Deck featuring professional athletes from baseball, football, hockey, basketball, golf and NASCAR.  I don't remember actively seeking out these cards, so I'm guessing the Phillies cards I have from this set entered my collection via a COMC or Beckett Marketplace purchase some years ago.  I've never been a fan of multi-sport sets, and it appears as if I'm in the majority as otherwise there would probably be more of these types of sets around today.

2014 Chachi #14 Wil Nieves

Wilbert Nieves

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  190
Born:  September 25, 1977, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Home:  San Juan, Puerto Rico
Signed:  Signed by the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent, May 24, 1996
Teams:  San Diego Padres 2002, New York Yankees 2005-2007, Washington Nationals 2008-2010, Milwaukee Brewers 2011, Colorado Rockies 2012, Arizona Diamondbacks 2012-2013, Phillies 2014
Acquired:  Signed as a free agent formerly with the Arizona Diamondbacks, December 5, 2013

Phillies Cards in My Collection:
#1 - 2014 Phillies Team Issue #21

First Chachi Card:  2014 Chachi #14

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mets at Phillies: April 29th to April 30th

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

Mets 14-11, 2nd Place in the N.L. East, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves
Phillies 13-12, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

Mets Probables:  Jon Niese (1-2, 2.45), Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50)
Phillies Probables:  Cole Hamels (0-1, 3.00), Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.52)

At the Ballpark:  It's another Dollar Dog night at the ballpark tonight.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Chase Utley - .360
Runs:  Carlos Ruiz - 18
Home Runs:  Ryan Howard - 5
RBIs:  Marlon Byrd - 16
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 9

Wins:  Antonio Bastardo and Cliff Lee - 3
ERA:  A.J. Burnett - 2.15
Strikeouts:  Cliff Lee - 40
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 8

1988 Topps #355, #655 and #705
1988 Topps Appreciation:  If you've been a Phillies or a Mets fan for the past 25 years or so, you should probably realize how these guys fit together.  On June 18, 1989, the Phillies traded Juan Samuel to the Mets for Lenny Dykstra, Roger McDowell and a player to be named later (Tom Edens).  Samuel, who is now the Phillies first base coach, lasted only half a season with the Mets before being traded to the Dodgers that December.  Playing exclusively in center field for the Mets, Samuel hit just .228 in 86 games but still managed to steal 31 bases.

McDowell immediately settled into the closer's role for the Phillies, and he'd go on to save 44 games over 2 1/2 seasons with the club.  He and Samuel would actually be teammates for two seasons with the Dodgers in 1991 and 1992.

Dykstra played the last eight seasons of his 12-year career with the Phillies, providing the spark the team needed in 1993 to reach the World Series.  He was a two-time All-Star with the Phils, but a bad back shortened his career and he played in his last game in May 1996.  Dude has had his share of troubles over the past decade or so, but he's recently resurfaced on local sports talk radio stations.  No disrespect but . . . I won't be listening.

2014 Chachi #13 Roberto Hernandez

Roberto Heredia Hernandez
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'4"  Weight:  230
Born:  August 30, 1980, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Home:  Yamasa, Dominican Republic
Signed:  Signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent, December 28, 2000
Teams:  Cleveland Indians 2006-2012, Tampa Bay Rays 2013, Phillies 2014
Acquired:  Signed as a free agent formerly with the Tampa Bay Rays, December 18, 2013

Phillies Cards in My Collection:
#1 - 2014 Phillies Team Issue #27

First Chachi Card:  2014 Chachi #13

Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 Chachi #12 Kyle Kendrick

Kyle Rodney Kendrick
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  210
Born:  August 26, 1984, Houston, TX
Home:  Tampa, FL
Drafted: Selected by the Phillies in the 7th round of the June 2003 draft
Teams: Phillies 2007-
Acquired: Via draft

Phillies Cards in My Collection:
#1 - 2006 Bowman Prospects #B100
#49 - 2014 Topps Phillies #PHI-7

First Chachi Card:  2007 Chachi #37

2014 Topps Heritage #34 A.J. Burnett

Phillies 2, Diamondbacks 0
Game 25 - Sunday Afternoon, April 27th in Phoenix
Record - 13-12, 4th Place, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  A.J. Burnett and Jonathan Papelbon combined for the 2-0 shutout of the Diamondbacks, as the Phillies won the series finale 2-0.

What It Means:  It means the Phillies won the series and they end their west coast trip with a respectable 6-4 record.  They'll open up a series at home against the Mets on Tuesday night.

What Happened:  Burnett surrendered just five hits and struck out eight in his gem, while Papelbon recorded his eighth save.  Chase Utley was involved in both Phillies runs, knocking in Ben Revere in the first with an RBI single and scoring an insurance run in the sixth.

Featured Card:  Burnett definitely earned the featured card for this post, but I've already run out his only actual Phillies card to date.  So until the good people at the Shlabotnik Report world HQ get around to coming up with a custom Phillies card for Burnett (or at least until Topps Series 2 is released), I'll have to make due with other Burnett cards.

This is his Pirates card from the not so recently released Topps Heritage set.  Speaking of which . . . I still need to sort through my Topps Heritage cards and come up with a want list.  One of these days I will get around to doing this.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

2014 Topps Phillies #PHI-10 Cody Asche

Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 5
Game 24 - Saturday Night, April 26th in Phoenix
Record - 12-12, 4th Place, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Pinch-hitter Cody Asche bailed out Cliff Lee with a clutch two-run double in the eighth inning, as the Phillies held on to win 6-5.

What It Means:  The Phils mounted an impressive comeback in the game, as they were down and seemingly out of it early by a 5-0 score.  They'll try for the series win today.

What Happened:  Lee was uncharacteristically off in the first three innings of the game, allowing the Diamondbacks to get off to their 5-0 lead.  He left after six innings having allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits.  The two unearned runs came as a result of a crucial Jimmy Rollins error.

The Diamondbacks reciprocated with a crucial error of their own when Martin Prado dropped Ryan Howard's pop up to start the eighth.  That set the stage for a Carlos Ruiz RBI single and then Asche's big hit to tie up the game.  Ben Revere blooped in a single to center to score Ruiz and give the Phils the lead.  Ruiz finished the night with three hits and Jonathan Papelbon closed out the ninth for his seventh save.

Featured Card:  Asche has struggled so far this season, so it was nice to see him come through with the big hit.  I picked his card from the retail team set over the identical card from the flagship Topps set, only because I think the card looks better without silver foil.

1977 TCMA Spartanburg Phillies #10 Nick Popovich

Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 4
Game 23 - Friday Night, April 25th in Phoenix
Record - 11-12, 4th Place, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

Part 8 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  A late rally from the Phillies wasn't enough to overcome a shaky start from Roberto Hernandez, and the Diamondbacks won the series opener, 5-4.

What It Means:  It means our vacation is over and I'll get back to watching the Phillies on a regular basis instead of binge posting a week's worth of game summaries over the course of several hours.  If you've followed along today - thanks for reading!

What Happened:  The Phillies just couldn't mount a big rally and manager Ryne Sandberg was particularly critical of John Mayberry, Jr.'s baserunning and hitting after the game.  One has to wonder how much longer Mayberry, who is now hitting .190, will remain with the club.

Featured Card:  Right before we left for our trip, a package containing the 1977 TCMA Spartanburg Phillies team set arrived.  I had been watching this set for a while on eBay, and I finally made a fair offer to the seller a few weeks back.  The seller accepted, and I'll have more on this set in a future post.

2014 Topps Phillies #PHI-2 Marlon Byrd

Phillies 7, Dodgers 3
Game 22 - Late Thursday Night, April 24th in Los Angeles
Record - 11-11, 4th Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves

Part 7 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies scored four times in the ninth to win 7-3, and take the series from the Dodgers.

What It Means:  I'll take it.  It would have been nice if the Dodgers hadn't tied up the game in the seventh necessitating the additional Phillies offense in the ninth, but it's nice to escape L.A. with a series win.

What Happened:  Carlos Ruiz drove in the eventual winning runs with a two-run double in the ninth off reliever Brian Wilson.  Marlon Byrd capped the inning with a two-run single, finishing the game 3 for 5 with four RBIs.

Kyle Kendrick (6 2/3 innings, two runs) was in line for the win, but Mike Adams surrendered a solo home run to Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh.

Featured Card:  The fine folks over at 14,000 Phillies already pointed this out, but I think it's interesting that Topps decided to use an old picture of Byrd from his first stint with the club for the Phillies retail team set.  I actually prefer this over a picture of Byrd in a Mets or Pirates uniform poorly Photoshopped into a Phillies uniform.

2014 Topps #196 Cole Hamels

Dodgers 5, Phillies 2
Game 21 - Late Wednesday Night, April 23rd in Los Angeles
Record - 10-11, 4th Place, 4 games behind the Braves

Part 6 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  The Dodgers ruined Cole Hamels' 2014 debut with a 5-2 win.

What It Means:  Hamels looked great, but the offense sputtered again against Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

What Happened:  Hamels threw only 86 pitches in his season debut, lasting six innings and allowing two runs on six hits.  The bullpen duo of Jeff Manship and Mario Hollands, both non-roster invitees to spring training, combined to allow three runs in their 1 1/3 innings of work.

Featured Card:  I hadn't featured a solo Hamels card in a game summary post since his gem against the Braves back on September 8th so I thought he was due.  This is his base card from series one of the Topps flagship set.

Transaction:  When Hamels was activated from the disabled list, reliever B.J. Rosenberg was sent down to the IronPigs to make room on the roster.  Rosenberg had a 7.11 ERA in eight relief appearances in April.

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen #204 Carlos Ruiz

Phillies 3, Dodgers 2 (10 Innings)
Game 20 - Late Tuesday Night, April 22nd in Los Angeles
Record - 10-10, Tied for 3rd Place, 3 games behind the Braves

Part 5 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies prevailed in the 10th when Carlos Ruiz scored the go-ahead run on Domonic Brown's RBI double.

What It Means:  The win pulled the Phillies back to .500 for the first time since April 13th.

What Happened:  Ruiz had reached on a two-base error, hustling out what should have probably been a routine pop up.  His hustle set the stage for Brown's RBI double.  A.J. Burnett pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on six hits while adding a career-high three hits of his own.  Ben Revere had a four-hit game to raise his season average to .300.

Featured Card:  Brown had the winning hit, but if not for Ruiz running hard all the way the Phillies probably don't score in the 10th.  This is Chooch's card from this year's Topps Gypsy Queen set, which gets bonus points for featuring the retro uniforms the Phillies wore back on August 23rd last season.

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen #323 Cliff Lee

Phillies 7, Dodgers 0
Game 19 - Late Monday Night, April 21st in Los Angeles
Record - 9-10, 4th Place, 4 games behind the Braves

Part 4 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  Cliff Lee dominated the Dodgers, pitching eight shutout innings and at one point retiring 20 Dodgers in a row on the way to a 7-0 Phillies win.

What It Means:  It means Lee is awesome.

What Happened:  Lee struck out 10 in his gem, allowing just four singles.  Carlos Ruiz had a nice night at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a home run and four total RBIs.  Ryan Howard also homered in the second time in as many games.

Featured Card:  I've already featured Lee's Dealing Aces insert card from this year's Topps Gypsy Queen set, and this is his short-printed base card.

2014 Topps Opening Day #203 Ryan Howard

Phillies 10, Rockies 9
Game 18 - Sunday Afternoon, April 20th in Denver
Record - 8-10, 5th Place, 4 games behind the Braves

Part 3 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and the rest of the offense came to life as the bullpen held on to give the Phillies a wild 10-9 win over the Rockies.

What It Means:  Rollins' solo home run in the first broke the streak of four consecutive games without an extra base hit.  The win also meant avoiding getting swept by the Rockies.

What Happened:  Howard fell a double short of the cycle, going 4 for 5 with three RBIs.  Rollins added three hits and a pair of RBIs.  Starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez didn't make it out of the fifth inning, allowing six runs on nine hits.  The bullpen held it together long enough for Jonathan Papelbon to pitch a scoreless ninth and record his fifth save.

Featured Card:  As evidence of how far Howard's stock has fallen in the collecting world, he was completely omitted from this year's Topps Gypsy Queen checklist.  This is his Topps Opening Day card, which uses the same picture as his cards in the flagship set and this year's retail team set.

1968 Topps #245 Tony Gonzalez

Rockies 3, Phillies 1
Game 17 - Saturday Night, April 19th in Denver
Record - 7-10, 5th Place, 5 games behind the Braves

Part 2 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  With the offense continuing to be AWOL, the Phillies dropped another game in Colorado, 3-1.

What It Means:  This loss dropped the Phils into sole possession of last place in the N.L. East.

What Happened:  Kyle Kendrick kept the team in the game, allowing three runs in his seven innings of work, but the offense managed just five singles and went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.

Featured Card:  This was the team's fourth consecutive game without an extra base hit, matching a streak set in May 1968.  Left fielder Tony Gonzalez broke that streak on May 17, 1968 with an eighth inning double off the Cardinals' Bob Gibson.

2014 Topps Phillies #PHI-9 Jonathan Pettibone

Rockies 12, Phillies 1
Game 16 - Friday Night, April 18th in Denver
Record - 7-9, 4th Place, 4 games behind the Braves

Part 1 of 8 - Another Post-Vacation, Rapid Fire Game Summary Round-Up!

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies were completely blown away by the Rockies in a 12-1 romp.

What It Means:  This was not a good way to start a tough 10-game west coast road trip.  Jonathan Pettibone's second start of the season will be his last start for a while, as he was demoted back to Triple-A following the game.

What Happened:  Pettibone allowed eight runs in his four innings of work.  The offense managed two singles against Rockies pitching.

Featured Card:  I hope I get to feature more of Pettibone's cards this year, but for now here's his card from the Topps retail set now available at the ballpark and fine retail outlets everywhere.  This is perhaps a preview of what his Topps Series 2 card will look like, sans foil.

Transaction:  Taking Pettibone's place on the roster is reliever Shawn Camp, who will wear #50 and be card #39 in this year's Chachi set.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 Chachi #11 A.J. Burnett

Allan James Burnett
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'4"  Weight:  227
Born:  January 3, 1977, Little Rock, AR
Home:  Monkton, MD
Drafted:  Selected by the New York Mets in the 8th round of the June 1995 draft
Teams:  Florida Marlins 1999-2005, Toronto Blue Jays 2006-2008, New York Yankees 2009-2011, Pittsburgh Pirates 2012-2013, Phillies 2014
Acquired:  Signed as a free agent formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates, February 16, 2014

Phillies Cards in My Collection:

First Chachi Card:  2014 Chachi #11

2014 Chachi #10 Cliff Lee

Clifton Phifer Lee
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  205
Born:  August 30, 1978, Benton, AR
Home:  Benton, AR
Drafted:  Selected by Montreal Expos in 4th round of June 2000 draft
Teams:  Cleveland Indians 2002-2009, Phillies 2009, Seattle Mariners 2010, Texas Rangers 2010, Phillies 2011-
Acquired:  Signed as a free agent formerly with the Texas Rangers, December 15, 2010

Phillies Cards in My Collection:

First Chachi Card:  2009 Chachi #52

Friday, April 25, 2014

Phillies at Diamondbacks: April 25th to April 27th

Friday 9:40, Saturday 8:10 and Sunday 4:10 
Chase Field – Phoenix, AZ

At the Ballpark:  Now this is intriguing.  Tonight is "Zombie Night" at the ballpark.  I can't really do this justice with my own summary, so here's the entire description of Zombie Night from the Diamondbacks' website:

On Saturday night, the first 20,000 fans will receive a bobble head of Diamondbacks starting pitcher and 2013 All-Star Patrick Corbin.

Programming Note:  The Phillies Room staff and series preview production department is currently away on spring break.  As such, these crucial game preview posts are lacking any current won-loss records, pitching probables and Phillies team leaders.  We will return to business as usual next week.

1988 Topps #518
1988 Topps Appreciation:  Greg Gross is the definition of a baseball lifer.  Drafted by the Astros in 1970, he's spent most (if not all) of the past 43 seasons in baseball.  From his Baseball Reference page, and a Phillies Media Guide from a few years ago, here's his baseball path since being drafted:

Houston Astros, 1970-1976
Chicago Cubs, 1977-1978
Phillies, 1979-1988
Houston Astros, 1989
Out of baseball, 1990-1991
High school coach at Malvern Prepartory School, 1992-1994
Colorado Rockies minor league hitting coach, 1997-2000
Phillies bench and hitting coach, 2001-2004
Phillies minor league hitting coach, 2005-2010
Phillies hitting coach, 2010-2012
Arizona Diamondbacks minor league hitting coach, 2013-2014

2014 Chachi #9 Tony Gwynn, Jr.

Anthony Keith Gwynn, Jr.

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'0"  Weight:  190
Born:  October 4, 1982, Long Beach, CA
Home:  San Diego, CA
Drafted:  Selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2nd round of the June 2003 draft
Teams:  Milwaukee Brewers 2006-2008, San Diego Padres 2009-2010, Los Angeles Dodgers 2011-2012, Phillies 2014
Acquired:  Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, December 22, 2013

Phillies Cards in My Collection:  
#1 - 2014 Phillies Team Issue #19

First Chachi Card:  2014 Chachi #9

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 Chachi #8 Cody Asche

Cody James Asche
Third Base

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  198
Born:  June 30, 1990, St. Charles, MO
Home:  O'Fallon, MO
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 4th round of the June 2011 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2013-
Acquired:  Via draft

Phillies Cards in My Collection:  
#1 - 2011 Bowman Draft Prospects #BDPP2
#16 - 2014 Topps Phillies #PHI-10

First Chachi Card:  2013 Chachi #53