Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Chachi #70 Victory Leaders - Kendrick, Hamels & Burnett

Braves 2, Phillies 1
Game 162 - Sunday Afternoon, September 28th in Philadelphia
Record - 73-89, 5th Place, 23 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The 2014 Phillies shuffled off into the history books with a 2-1 loss to the Braves.

What It Means:  It means the Phillies finished with an identical record as 2013.  No forward momentum, no big set back, just the status quo for the 2014 Philadelphia Phillies.  In 2015, they'll try to avoid a third straight losing season for the first time since the dark ages of 1994 through 2000.

What Happened:  Cole Hamels turned in another great performance . . . and suffered his ninth loss of the year.  Hamels allowed two runs on three hits in his eight innings of work while striking out seven.  The sole Phillies run came when Ben Revere grounded into a double play in the eighth and Freddy Galvis scored from third.

Featured Card:  I had to come up with a team leader template for this year's Chachi set, since there were no leaders cards within the original 1988 Topps set.  I decided to use the Team Leaders cards that I mocked back in this post, and I've tried to mimic the faded border of the photos in the originals.  I'll feature the other Phillies Team Leaders, as depressing as they may be, throughout the coming weeks.

Memory Lane - Game 162
This is the sixth season in a row I've summarized the daily happenings of the Phillies, and I'll be back for a seventh season in 2015.  Again, I know you're going to get better analysis and more frequent updates elsewhere, but I do this because it's fun for me.  I sincerely enjoy the interaction with all my readers, and thank you for sticking around during this long season.

October 4, 2009 - Catcher Paul Hoover singled in the winning run in the 10th in a 7-6 win over the Marlins.
October 3, 2010 - The Phillies lost 8-7 to the Braves in their final tune-up before facing the Reds in the N.L.D.S.
September 28, 2011 - The Phillies closed out the 2011 regular season with a 13-inning victory against the Braves, setting a franchise record with their 102nd regular season win.
October 3, 2012 - The Phillies closed out their 2012 season with a lethargic 5-1 loss to the N.L. East Champion Nationals.
September 29, 2013 - Zach Miner got the ball for the Phillies and lasted 2 1/3 innings in a 12-5 loss to the Braves.

Let's go Angels!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Baseball Card Show Report - Valley Forge 3

Dutch and Doug
Doug and I attended the Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show, affectionately known as The Philly Show, this past Saturday in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  We prepared our check lists, discussed our plan of attack, and had a fantastic day!

The tide is definitely turning, as it should, since we spent more time looking for cards for Doug's collection than we spent looking for cards for my collection.  Doug gravitated towards the newer stuff, and he was drawn to the various bargain bins to be found scattered throughout the convention room floor.

1994 Phillies Team Issue #10
By far, the highlight of the day was getting to meet Phillies great Darren Daulton.  There were a number of current Phillies signing earlier in the day, but Doug's mid-morning soccer game meant that we didn't arrive until most of the current Phillies had already left.  We scanned the list of upcoming autograph signers, and decided we'd like to meet Daulton.

Dutch could not have been any nicer to us.  He took his time to talk to Doug and he graciously posed for several pictures.  As we were walking away, Daulton called Doug back over and said, "Now listen, here's the deal.  When you make the big leagues, you have to remember that you owe me an autograph."  Doug smiled from ear to ear, and shortly thereafter he announced that Daulton had joined the ranks of his favorite all-time players along with Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Mike Trout.

I'd show off some of Doug's spoils, but he's already sorted them in with his growing collection.  Here's a summary of his purchases:
  • Doug completed his 2014 Topps Opening Day set, and the last two cards he needed were Cole Hamels and Andrew McCutchen.
  • He picked up the rest of the 2014 Topps Opening Day Mascots set, save for The Oriole Bird.
  • He added cards of Trout, Mike Schmidt, Ken Giles and Maikel Franco.
  • We also bought his first factory set, as one of the dealers had the 2012 Topps set on sale for $18.
One of the other cool things that happened is that all of the dealers we interacted with were more than willing to give him cards.  At one table, Doug had easily accumulated $20 worth of Trout and Phillies cards and the dealer charged us just $3.  The dealer's comment to me was, "It's not every day you get to make a kid's day."  Another dealer handed Doug a pack of random cards as we walked by.  Yet another saw that Doug was going through the quarter bin looking for Trout cards, and he produced two or three Trout cards from behind his table and handed them to Doug.

Less importantly, here are some of the highlights of my acquisitions:
1983 Tastykake Phillies
  • For the sets I'm trying to finish off, I added several cards from the 1971 Topps set (mostly some high numbers) and the 2014 Topps Heritage set (again, all high numbers).
  • I spent a lot of time with one dealer's vintage Topps binders, picking out Phillies I needed from the 1965, 1966 and 1967 Topps sets.
  • I added vintage Phillies cards from 1940 Play Ball ("Hans" Lobert), 1952 Bowman (Connie Ryan) and 1952 Topps (Howie Fox), along with a few Exhibits cards of Jim Konstanty and Dick Sisler.
  • I added several more 1983 Tasktykake Phillies to my collection, and now I only need four more cards to complete that set.
  • My biggest thrill was finding a complete 1990 Phillies Team Issue set, which I had never seen before.  The dealer explained that this set was only available at the ballpark in packs of four or five cards per series in 1990.  It was never actually sold in complete set form.
Memory Lane
Valley Forge 1 - September 2010
Valley Forge 2 - October 2012

Sunday, September 28, 2014

1991 Upper Deck #486 Jose DeJesus

Braves 4, Phillies 2
Game 161 - Saturday Night, September 27th in Philadelphia
Record - 73-88, 5th Place, 22 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  A.J. Burnett pitched a little better in his final start of the season, but the Phils couldn't rally late and lost to the Braves, 4-2.

What It Means:  Burnett finished the season with an 8-18 record and a 4.59 ERA.  He has the option to come back to the Phillies in 2015 for a guaranteed contract worth $12.75 million.

What Happened:  Ryan Howard hit his 23rd home run and had three hits, raising his average to .223.  Ben Revere lined out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

Featured Card:  As Matt Gelb points out in this Tweet, Burnett walked 96 batters this season which is the most by a Phillies pitcher since Jose DeJesus walked 128 in 1991.

I'd like to nominate this post for the most depressing game recap post of the season.

Coming soon . . . complete baseball card show report from this weekend's Valley Forge Philly show!

See You in 2015, Phanatic!

2014 Topps Opening Day
Between Innings #BI-5
Phillies 5, Braves 4
Game 160 - Friday Night, September 26th in Philadelphia
Record - 73-87, 5th Place, 21 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Braves 5-4 in the final 2014 game we attended.

What It Means:  Inexplicably, my personal record when attending Phillies games this season ended up at 7-6.  I only started tracking this on the blog a few years ago, and this marks my first personal winning season in three years.  The Phils went 5-9 in games I attended in 2013, and 4-8 in games I attended in 2012.

Citizens Bank Park about a half hour before game time
What Happened:  Cody Asche started the three-run sixth inning rally with a double driving home Marlon Byrd.  The Phils took the lead for good when Carlos Ruiz scored on a Byrd ground out in the seventh.  Jonathan Papelbon was greeted with a chorus of boos from the home crowd, but he survived the ninth to record his 39th save.

Featured Card/Field Report:  Doug and I arrived early, and made our way to the second floor of the Majestic Clubhouse Store so that we could say hello to the Phanatic.  With only Doug and two other kids there, the Phanatic made an appearance at around 6 pm.  The Phanatic did a little skit and then invited the kids to dance with him.  The other two kids were pretty shy, so Doug took the opportunity to have the Phanatic to himself for a dance routine.

Anything that happened after that would have been hard to top!  We told the Phanatic to have a great offseason and then we settled in to watch the game.  The game was mostly an afterthought as Doug and I spent the majority of the time discussing what offseason moves the team needs to make.  I especially liked Doug's suggestion that the Phillies trade Papelbon for Mike Trout and Domonic Brown for Andrew McCutchen.

Still no giant card for Jerome Williams
Dancing with the Phanatic
See you in 2015!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Braves at Phillies: September 26th to September 28th

Friday and Saturday 7:05, Sunday 1:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Braves 77-82, Tied for 2nd Place in the N.L. East, 16 1/2 games behind the Nationals
Phillies 72-87, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 21 1/2 games behind the Nationals

Braves Probables:  Ervin Santana (14-10, 3.88), Aaron Harang (11-12, 3.60), Alex Wood (11-11, 2.78)
Phillies Probables:  Jerome Williams (4-2, 2.45), A.J. Burnett (8-17, 4.57), Cole Hamels (9-8, 2.47)

At the Ballpark:  Sunday is fan appreciation day at the ballpark with all fans receiving a Citizens Bank Park Fathead which includes a 2015 schedule.  Recently added to the promotional schedule is that all fans 14 and under attending Sunday's game will also receive the Ryan Howard bobble head, previously given away in August.  I guess they're trying to unload the extras?

It looks as if this also marks the end of the line for the Fan Appreciation Day postcard set, which made their debut in 2008.  Since that magical season, the Phillies have given all fans attending the final home game of the season a small postcard set commemorating the past year's highlights.  I suspect the powers that be deemed there weren't enough 2014 highlights to actually merit a set, which is sad on several levels.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .308
Runs:  Jimmy Rollins - 78
Home Runs:  Marlon Byrd - 25
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 93
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 48

1988 Topps #188
Wins:  Kyle Kendrick - 10
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 2.47
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 191
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 38

1988 Topps Appreciation:  John Russell, current bench coach for the play-off bound Orioles, is the final 1988 Topps Phillies card to be featured in these series preview posts this year.  Russell spent the first five seasons of his big league career catching for the Phillies before he was sold to the Braves in March 1989.  In his one season with the Braves, Russell hit just .182 in 74 games.

Following the regular season, I'll take a look at the Phillies-related cards from the 1988 Topps set that weren't featured throughout the season.

2000 Pacific #322 Alex Arias

Marlins 6, Phillies 4
Game 159 - Thursday Afternoon, September 25th in Miami
Record - 72-87, 5th Place, 21 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jake Diekman's rough seventh inning, aided by a crucial error from Cody Asche, led to a 6-4 loss to the Marlins.

What It Means:  The Phillies finish the season with a 36-45 road record.  They'll open up a three-game series against the Braves tonight and then it's time to fire up the hot stove.

What Happened:  Diekman didn't retire a batter in the seventh while allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits.  The Phils had been up 4-2 heading into the seventh thanks to a pair of RBIs from Chase Utley and Domonic Brown.

Featured Card:  The loss clinched the Phillies first last place finish since 2000, when they went 65-97 in Terry Francona's final season at the helm.  I selected this strangely cropped Alex Arias card to relfect the essence of that woeful 2000 season in the same way I would display a Kyle Kendrick or A.J. Burnett card when looking back years from now on the woeful 2014 season.

2008 Chachi #18 Kyle Kendrick

Phillies 2, Marlins 1
Game 158 - Wednesday Night, September 24th in Miami
Record - 72-86, 5th Place, 21 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Kyle Kendrick, pitching perhaps his final game with the Phillies, turned in a memorable appearance on the mound and at the plate as the Phils won, 2-1.

What It Means:  Kendrick's 10 victories now leads the team and he lowered his ERA to 4.61.

What Happened:  Kendrick pitched seven strong innings, allowing a run on six hits.  He also went 3 for 3 at the plate, including an RBI double in the seventh.  Jonathan Papelbon, fresh off his crotch-grabbing induced suspension, shut down the Marlins in the ninth to record his 38th save.

Featured Card:  There are still a number of 2006-2008 Chachi cards that were created pre-blog that have never been seen outside the friendly confines of the real Phillies Room.  This is Kendrick's card from the 2008 Chachi set, from a year in which he went 11-9 with a 5.49 ERA in 30 starts for the eventual World Champs.

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's Full-Size Relics #FSR-CH Cole Hamels

Marlins 2, Phillies 0
Game 157 - Tuesday Night, September 23rd in Miami
Record - 71-86, 5th Place, 21 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Led by Henderson Alvarez, the Marlins completed a 2-0 shutout win over the Phillies.

What It Means:  I'm behind with these game summary posts.  When choosing between staying up and watching the end of these games and writing a game summary post, or going to bed . . . I chose bed.  I sincerely miss the sleep deprived Octobers of 2007 through 2011.

What Happened:  Cole Hamels turned in another great performance, only to get saddled with his eighth loss of the season.  Hamels went seven, allowing two runs on seven hits.

Featured Card:  This is the Hamels relic card inserted in packs of this year's Allen & Ginter's offering.  It's a small pet peeve of mine when the jersey relic on the card doesn't match up with the player's uniform in the photo.  But such is life.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Phillies at Marlins: September 23rd to September 25th

Tuesday and Wednesday 7:10, Thursday 4:10
Marlins Park - Miami, FL

Phillies 71-85, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 20 1/2 games behind the Nationals
Marlins 74-81, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 17 games behind the Nationals

Phillies Probables:  Cole Hamels (9-7, 2.47), Kyle Kendrick (9-13, 4.73), David Buchanan (6-8, 3.77)
Marlins Probables:  Henderson Alvarez (11-6, 2.82), Brad Hand (3-8, 4.59), Tom Koehler (9-10, 3.76)

At the Ballpark:  Thursday afternoon is the final 2014 home game for the Marlins, and all fans will receive a 2015 schedule magnet.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .308
Runs:  Jimmy Rollins - 78
Home Runs:  Marlon Byrd - 25
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 93
1988 Topps #126 and #66
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 47

Wins:  Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick - 9
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 2.47
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 187
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 37

1988 Topps Appreciation:  We're nearing the end of the road for the 1988 Topps Appreciation segments that have been featured throughout the season in these series preview posts.  Both Shane Rawley and Steve Jeltz had no other logical fit throughout the season, so here they are, tacked on like a cruel afterthought to this Marlins series preview post.  They both deserved better than this.  (Well Rawley definitely did.  Maybe not Jeltz so much.)

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 Panini Prizm Blue Mojo Prizms #17 Ryan Howard

Athletics 8, Phillies 6 (10 Innings)
Game 156 - Sunday Afternoon, September 21st in Oakland
Record - 71-85, 5th Place, 20 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The A's won a long, sloppy game in the 10th when Josh Donaldson hit a walk-off home run against Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.

What It Means:  Will this infernal season ever end?

What Happened:  To their credit, the Phillies offense battled back in this one, tying it up at three in the third and again at six in the sixth.  Marlon Byrd led the way with two doubles and three RBIs.  Byrd and Ryan Howard obtained an ignominious achievement in this game, becoming the first pair of teammates in baseball history to each strike out 180 times.  (Hat tip to Matt Gelb via Twitter.)

A.J. Burnett had a horrible outing, getting yanked in the fifth after allowing six runs on three hits, six walks and two hit batters.  The bullpen walked the tightrope until the tenth, holding the A's scoreless.  Gonzalez retired the first batter he saw in the 10th, but then allowed a single and Donaldson's dramatic game-winning home run.

Featured Card:  I'm at a complete loss here.  Flipping through my 2014 Phillies binder, this is easily the shiniest card in there and Howard did go 2 for 4 in this game to raise his average to .223 on the season . . . so I guess I'll go with this card.  Lord knows the Phils could use a little mojo as they approach the final six games of the season.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jerome Williams - 3 Wins, 3 Different Teams

Phillies 3, Athletics 0
Game 155 - Saturday Afternoon, September 20th in Oakland
Record - 71-84

One Sentence Summary:  Jerome Williams pitched another great game and Ken Giles notched his first career save as the Phillies shut out the A's, 3-0.

What It Means:  Williams set a record by defeating the A's for the third time this season, with each of his three wins coming as a member of a different team.  As a member of the Astros, Williams won against the A's on April 26th.  He won again as a member of the Rangers on July 25th.  And he completed the hat trick with a win yesterday.

What Happened:  Williams pitched seven innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three.  Giles, filling in for the suspended Jonathan Papelbon, closed out the game to earn his first career save on his 24th birthday.
2014 Bowman Prospects #BP99

Freddy Galvis provided all the offense the Phillies would need with a two-run home run (his 4th) in the seventh inning.

Featured Cards:  I took a family vote as to whether or not Williams' feat deserved a Chachi Record Breakers card.  My wife and oldest son voted that it did in fact deserve a card, while my youngest son abstained from the vote due to indifference.  I cast the deciding vote, figuring that the feat was cool enough to merit its own card.

I also wanted to include a Giles card, to celebrate his first of hopefully many saves in a Phillies uniform.  This is his first mainstream baseball card, from this year's Bowman set.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2003 Fleer Tradition Update #U164 Nick Punto

Athletics 3, Phillies 1
Game 154 - Late Friday Night, September 19th in Oakland
Record - 70-84, 5th Place, 19 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jon Lester shut down the Phillies offense and the A's won, 3-1.

What It Means:  This game was way more important for the A's than the Phillies, and the win allowed the A's to regain the lead in the A.L. Wild Card standings.  If the season ended today, here's who I would be rooting for to win it all, in descending order:

Angels, Orioles, Pirates, Royals, A's, Dodgers, Tigers, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals

Like the rest of Millville, I'll be pulling for Mike Trout and the Angels throughout the postseason.  That being said, I'd love to see an Orioles-Pirates World Series, and I'd be rooting for the Orioles to avenge their losses in the 1971 and 1979 World Series.  I'm also rooting for the Nationals to be swept out of the division series.  The management and staff of The Phillies Room are not fans of the Nationals.

What Happened:  Ryan Howard's 22nd home run, coming in the fourth inning against Lester, was the only offense mustered by the Phillies in this game.

Featured Card:  There was a Nick Punto sighting!  Phillies Room favorite Punto entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement at second base.  Since being traded to the Twins on December 3, 2003 in the Eric Milton deal, Punto has appeared in the postseason with the 2006 and 2009 Twins, the 2011 Cardinals (winning a ring) and the 2013 Dodgers.

1985 Fleer Star Stickers #107 Al Holland

Padres 7, Phillies 3
Game 153 - Late Thursday Night, September 18th in San Diego
Record - 70-83, 5th Place, 18 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Padres easily defeated the Phillies, 7-3, taking advantage of another shaky outing from Kyle Kendrick and the punchless Phillies bats.

What It Means:  To avoid the 89 loss season accomplished in 2013, the Phillies need to go 4-5 the rest of the way.  Having missed the .500 mark, this now seems like a reasonable goal.

What Happened:  Kendrick allowed three runs on six hits and five walks in his five innings of work.  The offense added two meaningless runs in the ninth, and overall went 4 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Featured Card:  I've been spending a lot of time with my 1985 Phillies binder, as I'm in the planning stages for the 2015 Chachi set.  Because the team has been playing craptastically lately, and because no one from the current roster really merits a featured card for this post, here's a sticker of Mr. T himself, Al Holland.

He's seemingly looking right at you, the Phillies fan, and saying, "Hang in there champ.  Nine more games of this nonsense and then it's time to shuffle the deck in the offseason."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Phillies at Athletics: September 19th to September 21st

Friday 9:35, Saturday and Sunday 4:05
O.co Coliseum - Oakland, CA

Phillies 70-83, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 18 1/2 games behind the Nationals
Athletics 83-69, 2nd Place in the A.L. West, 11 1/2 games behind the Angels

Phillies Probables:  David Buchanan (6-7, 3.75), Jerome Williams (3-2, 2.84), A.J. Burnett (8-17, 4.40)
Athletics Probables:  Jon Lester (5-3, 2.30), Drew Pomeranz (5-4, 2.53), Scott Kazmir (14-9, 3.44)

At the Ballpark:  First of all, the A's stadium is called O.co Coliseum?  When did that happen?

Moving right along, following tonight's game there will be a Star Wars themed fireworks show.  On Saturday, the first 10,000 fans will receive an A's Oktoberfest Stein and on Sunday, the first 10,000 fans will receive a team photo.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .309
Runs:  Jimmy Rollins - 78
Home Runs:  Marlon Byrd - 25
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 92
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 47

Wins:  Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick - 9
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 2.47
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 187
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 37

1988 Topps #476, #272, #424 and #527
1988 Topps Appreciation:  It's a whole mess of A's for this installment of 1988 Topps Appreciation.  At the time these cards were released, only Dave Stewart was already an ex-Phillie, having pitched for the Phillies for parts of the 1985 and 1986 seasons, only to be released in May 1986.  Stewart would go on to finish in the top four of the A.L. Cy Young voting for the next four seasons, and he'd help lead the A's to the 1989 World Championship.  (And we think the current management team makes bad decisions!)

The next three guys - Steve Henderson, Steve Ontiveros and Dwayne Murphy - had all left Oakland by the time they became an A.L. powerhouse in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Ontiveros appeared in 11 games for the Phillies in injury-plagued 1989 and 1990 seasons.  He'd bounce back somewhat and actually make the All-Star team in 1995 during his second stint with the A's.  Murphy wrapped up his 12-season career with 98 games for the 1989 Phillies, hitting .218.

Henderson is the Phillies current hitting coach, a position he's held since last season.  It will be interesting to see if there's any shake-up with the team's current coaching staff following the season.  It's never the hitting coach's fault that a team just can't hit, but there's no doubt the Phillies offense might benefit from a different voice.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2013 Topps Chrome Autographs #16 Darin Ruf

Phillies 5, Padres 2
Game 152 - Late Wednesday Night, September 17th in San Diego
Record - 70-82, 5th Place, 17 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Darin Ruf and Cole Hamels halted the team's three-game losing streak, as the Phillies finally overcame the Padres, 5-2.

What It Means:  Hamels now joins Kyle Kendrick for the team lead in victories with nine.

What Happened:  Ruf had two hits and scored twice in what was only his 15th start in the last 49 games.  Freddy Galvis and Ben Revere both drove in a pair of runs in the four run fifth inning.

Hamels pitched seven innings, allowing a run on seven hits while striking out nine.  He's 10 1/3 innings away from reaching the 200 innings pitched plateau for the fifth year in a row.

Featured Card:  Ruf's hand had to have been sore after signing who knows how many stickers and cards for inclusion within various Topps and Pinnacle products over the past few years.  I know I don't have all of his certified autograph cards, but it seems as if every autograph card in my 2013 and 2014 Phillies binder belongs to either Ruf or Ethan Martin.

This is his autographed card from last year's Topps Chrome set, and it features a photograph also found on his 2013 Bowman Platinum and 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen cards.  Ruf had about a half dozen Topps base cards released in 2013, all featuring the same three photos from the same batting sequence.

2014 Donruss Jersey Kings #14 A.J. Burnett

Padres 5, Phillies 4
Game 151 - Late Tuesday Night, September 16th in San Diego
Record - 69-82, 5th Place, 18 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  A.J. Burnett lost his 17th game of the year as the Phillies fell to the Padres, 5-4.

What It Means:  This loss clinched the team's second straight losing season.  Just when you thought the Phillies couldn't be less appealing to watch, they head out to the West Coast to play a week's worth of meaningless, late night baseball games.

And I'm actually staying up to watch most of these games.  What's wrong with me?

What Happened:  Burnett was chased in the sixth inning after a two-run home run from Alexi Amarista gave the Padres the lead.  Freddy Galvis had hit a two-run home run in the fifth to give the Phils a brief 3-2 lead.

Tony Gwynn, Jr. returned to San Diego and led off for the Phillies.  Unfortunately, he went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

Featured Card:  A Pirates card in all but name only, this is the sole game-used relic card issued this year for Burnett.  And maybe it will be his only "Phillies" relic card ever.  Burnett has hinted strongly at retiring at the end of the season, but he'd be walking away from the $12.75 million he's guaranteed from the team in 2015.  If I had to guess, he'll be back.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014 Chachi Cloth Patches

As the season winds down, I wanted to feature the "cloth patches" I created to headline each of my series preview posts.  I originally used these during the 2013 season, and I brought them back for the 2014 season.*  I'll be moving on with a new design in 2015 . . . although I haven't quite decided what that new design is going to be.  Presented below are all 30 teams, by division.

*Two of the teams changed their primary logos for 2014.  Using last year as a reference point, can you spot the different logos?