Results tagged ‘ Larry Bowa ’

2014 Philadelphia Phillies (for the moment)

Philadelphia_PhilliesRyne Sandberg – Manager

Larry Bowa – Bench Coach

Steve Henderson – Hitting Coach

John Mizerock – Assistant Hitting Coach

Bob McClure – Pitching Coach

Juan Samuel – First Base Coach

Pete Mackanin – Third Base Coach

Rod Nichols – Bullpen Coach

Jesus Tiamo – Bullpen Catcher

Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez (Cole Hamels (late April)) – Starters

Justin De Fratus, B.J. Rosenberg, Jake Diekman, Mario Hollands, Brad Lincoln, Jeff Manship, Antonio Bastardo, Jonathan Papelbon (Closer) – Bullpen

Carlos Ruiz, Wil Nieves (Backup) – Catchers

Ryan Howard (1st), Chase Utley (2nd), Cody Asche (3rd), Jimmy Rollins (Shortstop), Cesar Hernandez (Utility), Jayson Nix (Utility) – Infielders

Dom Brown (Left Field), Ben Revere (Center Field), Marlon Byrd (Right Field), John Mayberry, Jr. (Utility), Tony Gwynn, Jr. (Utility) – Outfielders

Moves the Phils have made during the past off-season…

Philadelphia_PhilliesAs the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.

The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.

Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.

The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.

Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.

The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altheer and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.

On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.

Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.

On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.

Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.

In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.

With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.

Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. :-)

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: At-Bat Champions.

During the team’s previous 127-year history, twelve Phillies players have led the National League in at-bats a total of 20 times, with four of them winning it more than once.

The first Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win it in 1893 with 600 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL would be Duff Cooley, who in 1897 ended up in a four-way tie with Gene DeMontreville of the Washington Senators, Fred Tenney of the Boston Beaneaters and George Van Haltren of the New York Giants, who all finished that year with 566 at-bats. The third Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Eddie Grant, who would do it in two straight seasons, with 598 at-bats in 1908, and leading again in 1909 with 631 at-bats. The fourth Phil to lead the league in at-bats would do so twenty-four years later, as Chick Fullis would have the most at-bats in 1933 with 647 of them. Phils nos. five and six would be tied for the lead in 1949 as Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Granny Hamner would both end the season in a tie for first with 662 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL was Larry Bowa, who ended the 1971 season with 650 at-bats. Phil no. eight would be Dave Cash, who would lead the league in three straight years, 1974 (687), 1975 (699) and 1976 (666), helping to lead the team to the first of three NL Eastern Division pennants that year. The ninth Phil to lead the league in official at-bats would be Juan Samuel, who, like Cash, would lead the NL in three seasons, 1984 (701), 1985 (663) and 1987 (655). The next Phil to lead the league in at-bats was Lenny Dykstra, who did so in 1993, the year that the Phils won the NL pennant, with 637 at bats. The eleventh Phil to lead the league would be Doug Glanville, who would have 678 at-bats in 1998. The twelfth, and presently last, Phil to lead the NL in at-bats is Jimmy Rollins, who would lead the lead in at-bats in four different seasons, 2001 (656), 2002 (637), 2007 (716), the year that he won the MVP as he help lead the Phils to their first NL Eastern Division title since 1993 and 2009 (672), the season that the Phils would win their first back-to-back NL pennants.

During the twenty times that a Phil had led the league in officials at-bats, three had done so while tied with another player, in 1897 (4-way tie) and 1949 (2-way tie between two Phils). Phils would lead the NL twice in the 19th Century, fifteen times in the 20th Century and four times, so far, in the 21st Century. Two of the Phils to lead the league were Hall of Famers (Sam Thompson in 1893 and Richie Ashburn in 1949). Jimmy Rollins had done it the most times with four, followed by both Juan Samuel and Dave Cash, who have each done it three times, then Eddie Grant, who did it twice. The rest have done it only once. Jimmy Rollins would have the highest total of at-bats with his 716 in 2007 and Duff Cooley would have the least with his 566 official at-bats in 1897.

Who would most likely be the next Phil to lead the NL in at-bats? Most likely Jimmy Rollins, if he can keep from getting injured.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Manager of the Year Award.

With Manager of the Year, there are two different versions of the Award, one that is given by the newspaper size publication, The Sporting News, which has been awarding the prize since 1936 (to one manager in both leagues, before giving an award to a manager in each league, since 1986) and the award given by the Baseball Writers Association of America to a manager in each league since 1983. Phillie managers have won only three awards, two from the Sporting News and one from the BBWAA. They were won by two Phil managers.

The first Phillie manager to win a Manager of the Year Award was Danny Ozark, who won The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 1976, as he led the Phils to their first National League Eastern Division crown, and their first championship since the 1950 Whiz Kids, as the Phil won the NL East with a record of 101-61 (which is still a team record) with a .623 winning percentage. The second and, so far, only other Phil manager to win a Manager of the Year Award was Larry Bowa, who, in 2001, won both The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award and the BBWAA Manager of the Year Award, as he led the Phil to a second place finish in the NL East, the Phil’s best finish since they had finished in third place in 1999, with a record of  86-76, and a winning percentage of .531.

Phil managers have won one Manager of the Year in the 20th Century and two (both to Larry Bowa) in the 21st Century. Neither manager is in the Hall of Fame, either as a player or as a manager.

Who would be the next Phil manager to win either version of the award? I have no idea, although Charlie Manuel could win it this year, because of how the Phils won the Eastern Division pennant this past season.

Phils leave St. Louis with an extra-inning win as they defeat the Cards, 2-0.

The Phils leave St. Louis salvaging an extra-inning win as they defeat the Cards in a pitchers’ duel, 2-0.

The game from the start was a classic pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who pitched eight scoreless inning, giving up only a lead-off single to Matt Holliday in the fifth, before he is wiped out by an 8-3 fly out-double play to center by Allen Craig and a two out walk to Yadier Molina in the eighth, while striking out seven, and Cards’ starter Adam Wainwright, who pitched six shut out innings, giving up six scattered hits, while he struck out six. The bullpens then took over, with the Cards’ pen keeping the Phils off the scoreboard for four more innings, as they give up just three hits, while striking out three, and the Phils’ pen, which threw two more shut out innings, giving up no hits, while striking out two. The Phils then took the lead in the eleventh as Placido Polanco hits a lead-off home run, his sixth home run of the year, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Four batters later, with two men on, and with one out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI double, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had just singled, on to third. That would end up being the final score as Brad Lidge came in to nail down his eighth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning.

Cole Hamels receives a no-decision as he pitches eight shut out innings, as he gives up just one hit and one walk, while striking out seven. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero combine for one and one-third scoreless innings, striking out a batter (Madson). Chad Durbin picks up the win as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits, while striking out a batter. His record is now 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA. Brad Lidge receives his eighth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk. Adam Wainwright also receives a no-decision, as he pitches six scoreless innings, giving up six hits, while striking out six. Mitchell Boggs, Dennys Reyes and Jason Motte combine for four scoreless inning (with Reyes facing only one batter), giving up three hits (Boggs (2), Reyes (1)), while striking out three (Boggs (1), Motte (2)) between them. Kyle McClellan took the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. His record is now 1-3 with a 2.06 ERA. Trever Miller pitch to two batter, getting neither one out, as he gives up a run on a hit and a walk. Fernando Salas pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard both leading the team with three hits each. Polanco’s hits were two singles and a solo home run, while Howard’s three hits were all singles. Brian Schneider follows with two hits, a single and a double. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Jimmy Rollins had the other four Phils’ hits, with Ibanez and Rollins’ hits being singles, and Victorino and Werth’s hits being doubles, with Werth knocking in a run. The Phils are still unable to put together some decent rallies, since they are continuing to press themselves while batting, instead of trying to relax. This has resulted in the firing of hitting coach Milt Thompson, who had held that position since 2004. He is being replaced by Greg Gross, who held that same position from 2002 to 2004, when Larry Bowa was the manager. Sorry to see you go Milt. Good luck. And, Greg, hope you have some ideas that’ll get this offense moving in the right direction, as you are so going to need them.

The Phils (49-46, 2nd NL East) come home to start a four-game series with the Rockies (51-44, 3rd NL West) with a night game tonight. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (10-8, 2.40), who is coming off a lost against the Cubs on July 18, as he went six innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 11-6 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he had pitched twenty-four innings, giving up seven runs, six of which were earned, on seventeen hits and two walks, while striking out nineteen. He will be once again gunning for his eleventh win of the season, while hoping that the offense will actually give him some runs support. The Rockies will counter with Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.56), who is coming off a win against the Reds on July 18, as he went seven shut out innings, giving up just six hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Rockies’ 1-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he pitched eighteen and one-third innings, giving up eight runs on twenty-three hits and three walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying to even his record at the Phils’ expense. The Phils will hope to get their offense started once again, after the firing of Milt Thompson because of their present inability to do anything right, batting wise.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Singles Champions.

In 126-years as a member of the National League, the Phillies have won twenty singles titles. Eleven Phils have won the title, with five of them doing it multiple times.

The first Phil to win the singles title was Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who, in 1890, ended up in a tie for first place with Cliff Carroll of the Chicago Colts (now the Cubs), with each men hitting 137 singles. Hamilton then won the title outright in 1891-92 and 1894 with 147 (1891), 152 (1892) and 176 (1894) singles each. The second Phillie player to win the title, the fifth to be won by a Phil, was Eddie Grant, who won it with 147 singles in 1909. In 1910, Grant won his second straight singles title by hitting 134 of them that season. The next Phil to win the singles title was Beals Becker, who hit 128 singles in 1914. The fourth Phillies player to win the tile was Lefty O’Doul, winning it in 1929, in a tie with Hall of Famer Lloyd ‘Little Poison’ Waner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, with each man getting 181 singles, presently the Phillies’ record for the most singles hit in a season. The fifth Phil to become the singles champ was Chick Fullis, doing it in 1933 with 161 singles. Eddie Waitkus became the sixth Phil to win the singles title, helping to lead the Phils to their second National League title in 1950, by hitting 143 of them. The following year, 1951, Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn won the first of his four singles championships, as he hit 181 singles, in the process tying Lefty O’Doul’s record. He won his second singles title, hitting 169 singles in 1953, then won his third title in 1957 with 152 and then his fourth and final title the following season, 1958, with 176. The next Phil to win the title was Dave Cash, who won it with 167 singles in 1974, then won it for the second straight year with 166 singles in 1975. Three years later, Larry Bowa became the ninth Phil to win the title as he hit 153 singles in 1978, the year the Phils won their third straight National League Eastern Division title. Pete Rose, the following season, became the tenth Phils to win the title, as he hit 159 singles in 1979. Rose won his second singles title as a Phillie player by hitting 117 singles in the strike-shortened season of 1981. The eleventh and final Phil to win the singles title was Doug Glanville, doing it in 1999 with 149 singles. No Phillie player has won the title since then.

Of the twenty singles titles won by the Phils, almost half of them, eight, has been won by two Hall of Famers, Billy Hamilton (4) and Richie Ashburn (also 4). Three other Phils have won two titles each, Eddie Grant, Dave Cash and Pete Rose. Two Phils have won the title tied with another player, Hamilton in 1890 and Lefty O’Doul in 1929. The Phils to have hit the most singles to win the title were O’Doul (1929) and Ashburn (1951) with 181, which is still the Phillies’ record for most singles in a season. The Phil to have won the title with the least number of singles was Pete Rose with only 117 in the strike-shortened season of 1981. The Phillies have won four singles titles in the 19th Century, sixteen in the 20th, and, so far, none in the 21st Century.

Who will be the next Phils to win the single titles? At this time, I really have no clue who might win it. 

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Triples Champions.

In the Phillies’ 126-years existance as a member of the National League, the team has won only sixteen triples championships. Ten Phils have won those sixteen titles, with four of them winning multiple titles, while one player would win it while playing for two teams and five players won the title while tied with one or more players.

The first Phil to win the triples title was Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty who won his only triples title of his fine career in 1892 with twenty-one triples. No Phil would win the triples title for the next fifty-five years. The next Phillie player to win the triples title was Harry ‘the Hat’ Walker, winning it in 1947 playing for both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Phillies, as he hit sixteen triples. Three years later, the third Phil to win the title was Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn who had fourteen triples in 1950, the year that the Phils won their second National League title. Ashburn won his second triples title in 1958 with thirteen triples. Johnny Callison became the fourth Phillie player to win the title, as he was tied with Willie Davis and Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Bill Virdon of the Pittsburgh Pirates, as all four men hit ten triples in 1962. Two years later, in 1964, Rookie of the Year winner Dick Allen became the fifth Phil to win the title, as he was tied with Ron Santo of the Chicago Cubs, with each man getting thirteen triples. The next year, 1965, Callison won his second triples title, this time by himself, as he hit sixteen three-baggers. In 1972, Larry Bowa won the eighth triples title won by a Phil player, the sixth Phil to do so, by hitting thirteen triples. Dave Cash became the seventh Phil to capture the triples title by getting twelve triples in 1976, the year that the Phillies won the first of their three straight National League Eastern Division titles. In 1984, Juan Samuel won the title, the eighth Phillie player to win it, as he tied with Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg of the Cubs, with each man hitting nineteen triples. Samuel won the title outright four years later in 1987, as he hit fifteen triples. In 1999, Bobby Abreu won the twelfth triples title won by a Phillie player, the ninth Phil to do so, as he tied with Neifi Perez of the Colorado Rockies, with each man hitting eleven three-baggers. The tenth and last Phil to win the triples title, Jimmy Rollins, won the first of his, so far, four triples titles by hitting twelve triples in 2001. He won his second title the following year, 2002, with ten three-baggers. Rollins won his third triples title in 2004, as he was tied with Jack Wilson of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Juan Pierre of the Florida Marlins, with all three men hitting twelve triples. Rollins won his fourth and most recent title, the sixteenth won by a Phil, in 2007, as he hit twenty triples.

Of the sixteen titles wins, only three of them were won by a Hall of Famer (Ed Delahanty (1), Richie Ashburn (2)). Jimmy Rollins has so far won the most triples titles as a Phil with four title victories, followed by Ashburn, Juan Samuel and Johnny Callison with two titles wins each. Delahanty is the Phillie player to hit the most triples while winning the title with twenty-one triples, while Johnny Callison (in 1962) and Jimmy Rollins (in 2002) both won the title with the least triples with ten of them. Callison, Dick Allen, Samuel, Bobby Abreu and Rollins each won the triples title while tied with another NL player, with Callison being involved in a four way tie in 1962 and Rollins in a three-men tie in 2004. The Phillies had one triples title win in the 19th Century, eleven in the 20th Century and so far, four triples title wins in the 21st Century.

Who will win the next triples title as a Phillie? Please, that’s a no-brainer. J-Roll, who else.

The weekend series with the Braves continues as they look to avoid falling into third place.

The weekend series continues this afternoon as the Phillies (54-49) hosts the Braves (49-53) at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, being shown nationally on Fox Sports Saturday Baseball. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on July 20, where he went eight innings, unleasing his nasty new curveball which helped to keep the young Marlins off-balanced all day, giving up only two earned runs on four hits. Hamels has faced the Braves two times already this year, having a 2-0 record against them, going a combined total of seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on nine hits. Hamels will for the fourth straight week try to notch his tenth win of the year while pondering if the Phillies’ batters will finally give him some runs support, after having already pitched three straight quality starts with little to no run support. The Braves will be sending to the mound Mike Hampton (0-0, _.__), who will be making his first start at the major league level since 2005. He will be looking for his first win of the year, while hoping to continue the Phillies present offensive woes.

It was reported that the team had a meeting behind closed doors yesterday afternoon for 15 minutes to try and address the problems that they are presently having. You know, to try and clear the air. Oh, I hate to tell you, Charlie, but I think these guys needs more than 15 mins. to correct this mess. They need a good old fashion Dallas Green/Larry Bowa-style kick in the pants tirade, telling them what they should be doing, and not what they’re doing, and I do believe that target number 1 of the tirade should be Jimmy Rollins. Sorry Jimmy, but that laid back attitude of yours need to be thrown out the window, along with the swinging at the first pitch(s) thrown at you that you are presently doing too much of. Honestly, dude, you are suppose to be the leader of this team. As long as you keep doing your imitation of Alfred E. Neuman’s “What, Me. Worry?”, this team is not going anywhere. You want to regain the pennent and get into the World Series, start acting like you want it bad!!!! Of course, this goes all the way to the top, with the idiots owners who own this club, who keep wanting to do things on the cheap, and it keeps showing with the kind of people who they keep giving contracts to, who end up being busts. Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Phillies’ fan, we need to revolt against these cheapskates who runs the team, and get our boys out of their cheapo hands and into the hands of a George Steinbrenner-type who will be willing to put out the money for the necessary talents for both the farm system and the main team that will be in the pennant race year after year as a constant threat. Until that happens, what we are seeing now is just going to be constantly repeated again and again until they are finally removed from the helm.

The Phillies are presently tied for second place with the Marlins, both trailing the Mets by two games. The fourth place Braves are trailing the Phillies and Marlins by four and a half games, and poised to get back into the race. The Phillies need to step it up, get out of their present funk and show to the rest of the league that they are not dead yet!!!!

Charlie Manuel is not a happy camper. What, it took you this long to notice, Charles?

Manuel seethes after Phils’ loss to Marlins

But Charlie Manuel is frustrated with his team’s offense, and he let it be known after the Phillies wasted a golden effort from ace Cole Hamels in losing, 3-2, in 11 innings to the Florida Marlins yesterday.

“We get pitching like that, we’ve got to win,” an exasperated Manuel said after Hamels allowed just four hits, two of which were home runs, over eight innings.

Sitting behind a desk in the visiting manager’s office at Dolphin Stadium, Manuel flicked a few jabs at his team’s offense, then delivered a haymaker.

“Our situational hitting is absolutely terrible,” he said. “Absolutely off the chart, really.”

A double absolute. That’s how bad these last two days in Florida were. The Phils went 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine in Saturday’s 9-5 loss. Yesterday, they went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.

“It’s going to be hard for us to win” if situational hitting does not improve, Manuel said. “[On Saturday], we hit all those balls down to third base in one inning – absolutely bad hitting. I’m not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings, but if I do, if I’m talking about you, that’s good. I mean to be talking about you.

“We hit enough. We talk enough [about situational hitting]. We’ve got to get it done. A lot of it is me. It’s up to me to make us try to get it done.

“Accountability is fine, but if you don’t execute, something’s wrong.”

The Phillies are widely hailed as an excellent offensive team; they entered yesterday’s game ranked second in the National League with 490 runs. The Phils have scored 20 runs in a game twice, most recently on June 13 at St. Louis. In the 30 games since then, however, they have scored four or fewer runs 20 times and two or fewer 11 times. They are 12-18 in those 30 games, but have managed to hang on to a share of first place.

“I hear everybody [praise] our lineup, but evidently they don’t really evaluate our lineup right,” he said. “It’s not like I’m throwing anybody under the bus, because I’m not. It’s about our team. I’m included in that.”

In one breath, Manuel said the team had several elite hitters. In another, he indicated that those hitters were underachieving. He also made a point to say that this year’s lineup is different than last year’s.

Last season, the Phillies had Aaron Rowand, who hit .309 with 27 homers and 89 RBIs. He has ostensibly been replaced by Jayson Werth (.268, 12 homers, 36 RBIs) and Geoff Jenkins (.238, 8 homers, 26 RBIs).

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who has struggled to match last year’s MVP season, was unfazed by Manuel’s criticism.

“He’s pretty much right, but we’ll get out of it,” Rollins said. “We don’t get concerned until late. Coaches do that now. We go play.” (H/T Philly.com)

What, Charlie is sick of how his offense is playing? Hey, Charlie, join the club, I’m just surprise it took you this long to explode. Ah for the days of Larry Bowa and his rants. Okay, Charles, now that you’d pinpointed the problem, what are you going to do about it? I’m waiting…..

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