Results tagged ‘ Rookie ’

Victorino’s patient with the bases loaded leads to a walk-off win in extra-innings for the Phils over the Mets, 6-5.

Shane Victorino’s patient at home plate with the bases loaded leads to a walk-off win for the Phillies over their main rival in the East, the Mets, in extra-innings, 6-5, leaving them just a game behind the 1st place Marlins.

The Phillies took a quick lead in the first inning, as, with a runner on third, and no one out, Raul Ibanez hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with two men on base, and one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and had gone to third on Ryan Howard’s single, making it 2-0 Phillies, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to second base. In the second, the Mets cut the lead to 2-1 Phils, as, with runners on the corners, and one man out, Daniel Murphy hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Gary Sheffield, who had earlier walked, had moved up to second on David Wright’s walk, and had gone over to third on Fernando Tatis grounder to Rollins, who threw over to second, forcing out Wright, 6-4. The Phils got the run back in their half of the second, making it 3-1 Phillies, as with a runner on second, and two men out, Werth hits an RBI double, knocking in Victorino, who had earlier doubled. The Mets cut the lead once again, this time making it 3-2 Phils, as, with two men on and one man out, Wright hits a sacrifice fly to Howard in foul territory, scoring Luis Castillo, who had earlier walked, and had moved over to third on Sheffield’s double. The Phillies got that run back in the bottom of the third, making it 4-2 Phillies, as, with the bases loaded via walks to Rollins, Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz, who had been reactivated by the Phils, and one man out, Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer received an RBI walk, scoring Rollins, while Bruntlett and Ruiz would both move up a base. That would be the game for Mets’ starter Oliver Perez, who was replaced by reliever rookie Ken Takahashi. Takahashi ended the inning by getting Victorino to hit into a very wierd double play, as the ball stopped in front of the mound, which Takahashi picked up and threw home. Catcher Ramon Castro touched home plate in front of Bruntlett for the inning’s second out, then threw the ball to second base upon seeing that Moyer hasn’t yet reached second. The throw would beat Moyer to the bag, as shortstop Jose Reyes touched second for the inning’s final out for a 1-2-6 double play. The score would stay 4-2 Phils until the sixth, when, with two men out, Murphy hits a solo home run to right, his third home run of the season, making it 4-3 Phils. The next batter, Castro, tied the game up at four-all as he hits a solo home run to center, his second home run of the year. After Moyer gives up a triple to pinch hitter Alex Cora, Moyer is replaced by Scott Eyre. Two batters later, with runners on the corners, as Eyre gave up a walk to Reyes, Castillo gave the Mets the lead, 5-4, with an RBI single, scoring Cora, and sending Reyes over to third. Eyre then loaded up the bases by hitting Carlos Beltran. Eyre was then replaced with Clay Condrey, who ended the inning by getting Sheffield to ground out, 4-3. The Phils would tie the game up at five-all, as, with one out, Ibanez hits a solo home run, his eighth home run of the season. The score would remain 5-5 for the next three innings, although the Mets threathen to score in the eighth. With runners on first and second, with pinch runner Omir Santos on second, after replacing Castro, who had gotten to first base with a walk, while Santos had moved on to second on a Cora sacrifice bunt, and pinch hitter Carlos Delgado walk, who in turn was replaced on first by pinch runner John Maine, and two men out, Santos tried to score on a single to right by Beltran. Right fielder Werth made a good throw to the plate, which was caught by Ruiz, who then tagged out a sliding Santos for the inning’s final out. In the tenth, the Phils loaded up the bases, with two outs, via a single by Pedro Feliz, Matt Stairs being hit by the pitch, and a walk to pinch hitter Chris Coste. Victorino took the count up to 3-2 before taking a sinker low for ball four, scoring Feliz and giving the Phils a walk-off 6-5 win in extra-innings.

Jamie Moyer received a no-decision as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks, while he struck out two. Scott Eyre faced three batters, getting none out, as he gave up a hit a walk and hit a batter. Clay Codrey pitched one and one-third scoreless innings. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out one. Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two walks. Jack Taschner got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA. Oliver Perez also got a no-decision as he pitched only two and one-third innings, giving up four runs on five hits and six walks, striking out only two. Ken Takahashi followed, pitching two and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out one. Pedro Feliciano blew the save as he gave up one run on one hit, while he struck out a batter. Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. J.J. Putz pitched two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, while he struck out two. Sean Green took the lost, as he only pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, two walks and a hit batter. His record is now 0-2 with a 8.76 ERA.

The Phillies had nine hits in the game. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz lead the team with two hits each. Victorino’s hits were a double and a triple, Ibanez’s hits were a home run and a double, while Feliz had two singles. Jayson Werth, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins had the other three hits, with Werth’s hit being a double. Ibanez had two RBIs in the game, while Victorino, Werth, Rollins and Jamie Moyer had the other four RBIs.

The Phillies’ (12-10, 2nd) game with the Mets (10-13, 4th), scheduled for this afternoon, has just been postponed because of rain. The Phillies’ next game will be against the Cardinals in St. Louis tomorrow night.

The Phillies win in extra-innings as they once again come from behind to sink the 1st place Marlins, 6-4.

The Phillies won their eighth game of the year, as they performed their eighth come from behind victory, as they for the second straight game defeated the first place Marlins, this time in extra-innings, 6-4.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the third as their starter, Chan Ho Park, hits an one-out, opposite field home run, his first home run of the year. Ryan Howard would make it 2-0 Phils in the fourth as he hits an one-out home run of his own to center field, his third home run of the season. The Marlins then took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as, with two men on base, and no one out, Jorge Cantu hits a three-run home run, his third home run of the year, as he knocked in John Baker, who had earlier singled and had moved over to second base on Hanley Ramirez’s walk, and Ramirez, who had earlier walked, making it 3-2 Marlins. Dan Uggla then followed by hitting a solo home run of his own, his fourth home run of the year, making it 4-2 Marlins. The Phillies then slowly came back. In the sixth, with the bases loaded via a Jimmy Rollins’ single, an Uggla’s fielding error of a Shane Victorino ground ball and then Chase Utley being hit by the pitch, and no one out, Ryan Howard would make it 4-3 Marlins, as he hits into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Utley at second, and sending Victorino to third, as Rollins scored easily. Then, in the ninth, with runners on the corners and one man out, pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, tying the game at four-all, as he knocked in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled and had moved over to third on a Raul Ibanez single. In the tenth, the Phillies retook the lead, 5-4, as, with a runner on second, and one man out, Utley hits an RBI single, knocking in Victorino, who had earlier singled and then stole second base. Two batters later, with runners on the corners, and still one man out, Werth would make it 6-4 Phils, scoring Utley, who had moved up to third on a Howard single. In the ninth, Brad Lidge was on the mound for the Phils, going for the save. He started the inning off by striking out both Baker and Ramirez. Cantu then got on base with a double to left. Uggla then followed with a walk. Brett Carroll then followed with a walk, sending Cantu to third and Uggla to second, loading the bases. Lidge then proceeded to record his fourth save of the year as he got Cody Ross literally swinging his bat on a 3-2 slider, striking out the side.

Chan Ho Park received a no-decision as he pitched a good seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out two. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out one. Scott Eyre pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would pick up the win as he pitched a scorless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out two. His record is now 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA. Brad Lidge picked up his fourth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and two walks, as he struck out the side. Chris Volstad also received a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits and a walk, as he struck out six. Dan Meyer pitched a scoreless inning, as he held off the Phils, giving up only a walk. Leo Nunez pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk, as he struck out one. Renyel Pinto blew the save, as he allowed in the run credited to Nunez, as he pitched a third of an inning. Kiko Calero pitched a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Logan Kensing took the lost as he gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out one. His record is now 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA.

The Phillies had nine hits in the game, with Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino leading the team with two hits each, with one of Howard’s hits being a solo home run, while one of Victorino’s hits was a triple. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Chan Ho Park getting the other five hits, with four singles and Park’s solo home run. Victorino also stole a base while Utley was hit by the pitch. The Phils also got three walks. Utley, Howard, Werth, Park and Eric Bruntlett each picked up an RBI.

The Phillies (8-8, 3rd) will conclude there three-games series with the Marlins (11-6), as the Phillies go for the series’ sweep. The game is presently in progress at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. The Phillies’ starter is Jamie Moyer (2-1, 6.35), who is coming off his second straight win against the Brewers on April 21, as he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 11-4 win. Moyer has an 11-1 record with a 2.95  ERA in twelve starts against the fish. He will be going for his third win of the year. The Marlins will counter with Rookie Graham Taylor, who is making his major league debut. The game is presently in progress, with the Phils leading after five innings.

Phillies’ eight-run seventh inning help lead to first victory of the season, 12-11, as Brad Lidge remains perfect in relief.

After trailing the Braves for the third straight game, the Phillies’ eight-run rally in the seventh inning lead to their first win of the 2009 season, as they defeat the Atlanta Braves, 12-11, ending the three-game series on a high note.

The Phillies began the afternoon by receiving their world series ring. After the ring ceremony, Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils, and right from the start was in for a long day as he gave up a two-out two-run home run to Brian McCann, his second home run of the young season, knocking in Yunel Escobar, who had earlier reached second base with a double, giving the Braves an early 2-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up in their half of the second as Raul Ibanez hit a two-run home run, his first homer as a Phil, and the team’s first home run of the season, scoring Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled. The Braves retook the lead in the top of the third as they torched Blanton for five runs. After loading the bases via a single to Omar Infante, a walk to Kelly Johnson and another single to Escobar, with nobody out, McCann made the score 3-2 Braves by knocking in Infante with an RBI single, while moving Johnson and Escobar up to third and second respectively, leaving the bases loaded. After Casey Kotchman strikes out for the inning’ first out, Jeff Francoeur made it 5-2 Atlanta with a two-run single to center, knocking in both Johnson and Escobar, while McCann would move safely to third on Shane Victorino’s throw to home plate. Matt Diaz followed with a two-run double, scoring both Francoeur and McCann, giving the Braves a 7-2 lead. The Phils would get one of the runs back in the bottom half of the third, as Victorino, who had started the inning off with a triple, scored on an Infante throwing error of a Chase Utley ground ball to third base, making it 7-3 Atlanta. The Braves increased their lead to 9-3 in the fifth as rookie Jordan Schafer hit his second home run of his young career, a two-run shot to right, scoring Diaz, who had gotten on base earlier with a walk. Both runs came off of J.A. Happ, pitching in relief of Blanton, thus ending with one swing of the bat both the bullpen’s hitless and scoreless streak. The Braves added to their lead in the seventh, making it 10-3 Braves, as Chad Durbin gives up a bases loaded walk to Infante, forcing in Kotchman, who had earlier doubled and had moved over to third on Greg Norton’s walk, while moving Schafer to third, who had also walked, and moving Norton over to second base. Clay Condrey then came into the game in place of Durbin and got out of the inning by striking out Johnson. Now trailing 10-3, the offense decided to come to life. Victorino started off the Phils’ half of the seventh by grounding out, 5-3, for the inning’s first out. Utley followed with a single to center. Howard was then hit by the pitch, putting runners on first and second, as Utley moved up to second. The next batter, Jayson Werth, is then walked by Peter Moylan, who was pitching in relief of Eric O’Flaherty, loading the bases with still only one man out. Ibanez followed Werth with a single, knocking in Utley, as he collected his third RBI of the afternoon, making the score 10-4 Atlanta, while sending Howard over to third base, and Werth to second, leaving the bases loaded. Pedro Feliz then singled in Howard, making it 10-5 Braves, while Werth and Ibanez both moved up a base, leaving the bases loaded with Phils. Matt Stairs, pinch hitting for Carlos Ruiz, is given a four pitch walk, forcing in Werth with the third Phils’ run in the inning, reducing the Braves lead to 10-6, as the bases remained loaded. The next batter, pinch hitter Chris Coste, batting for Condrey, also walks, bringing home Ibanez, as the Phils now trailed 10-7, while the bases remained loaded for Jimmy Rollins, who became the ninth batter of the inning. Rollins received a four-pitch free pass, the third straight walk to a Phil batter, and the fourth walk of the inning, forcing in Feliz, as the bases stay loaded, making the score 10-8 Braves. The next batter, Victorino, followed with a single, scoring Stairs, making the score now 10-9 Atlanta, moving Coste and Rollins over to third and second base, respectively, as the bases remained loaded. The eleventh batter of the inning, Utley, walks, the fifth Phil to walk in the inning, tying the ballgame up at 10 all, as Coste crosses the plate, while Rollins and Victorino both moved up a base. Howard comes up to the plate, and with the count 1-1, hit the ball on a bounce towards Braves’ first baseman, Kotchman. Kotchman, having only one play, threw the ball over to relief pitcher Jorge Campillo, the fourth Braves reliever to pitch in the inning, who tagged the bag in front of Howard for the second out of the inning, as Rollins scored the go ahead run, giving the Phils their first lead of 2009, 11-10. Victorino and Utley both moved up a base on the play. Werth ended the inning by flying out to right. The Phils sent thirteen men to the plate, as they scored eight runs in the inning on four hits, five walks and a hit batter. Ryan Madson took over in the top of the eighth, pitching a strong 1-2-3 inning, throwing only seven pitches. The Phils added an insurance run in their half of the eighth, as Eric Bruntlett, pinch hitting for Madson, hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier walked and had gone to third on Feliz’s double, with nobody out, making it a 12-10 Phillies’ lead. In the ninth, Brad Lidge took the mound. Although he gave up a one-out solo home run to Diaz, his first home run of the season, Lidge recorded his first save of the 2009 season, as he struck out pinch hitter Garret Anderson for the final out, for the moment staying perfect in save opportunities as a Phil.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he got pummeled by the Braves, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out six in four innings of work. J.A. Happ pitched two innings, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk, while he struck out two Braves. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and three walks. Clay Condrey received the win as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the one man he would face. His record for 2009 is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. Ryan Madson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, as he held the lead. Brad Lidge recorded his first save of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, as he struck out one. Javier Vazquez also received a no-decision, as he pitched six innings for the Braves, giving up just three runs on five hits and four walks, as he struck out five batters. Eric O’Flaherty followed him, pitching only a third of an inning, as he gave up two runs on one hit. Peter Moylan pitched to four batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up four runs on two hits and two walks. Blaine Boyer took the lost as he faced only two batters, with both of them scoring, as he gave up two runs on no hits and two walks. Jorge Campillo blew the save, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, in two-thirds of an inning. Jeff Bennett pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit while striking out a batter.

The Phillies had eleven hits in the game, with Victorino, Utley, Ibanez and Feliz each getting two hits. Howard, Ruiz and Coste had the other three hits. Ibanez knocked in three runs, Utley brought home two, while Feliz, Stairs, Coste, Rollins, Victorino, Howard and Bruntlett each knocked in a run, with Bruntlett’s coming in on a sacrifice fly. The Phillies collected five extra-base hits in the game, three doubles (Howard, Utley and Feliz), a triple (Victorino) and a home run (Ibanez). After three games, Utley leads the team in hitting with a .364 batting average, followed by Ruiz with a pleasently surprising .333 average.

The Phils (1-2) are off today. Their next game will be on the road against the Colorado Rockies (2-1) in Denver, Colorado, at Coors Field. The game will start at 2:10 pm Mountain Time tomorrow afternoon. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace, Cole Hamels, who ended 2008 with a record of 14-10 in 33 starts with an ERA of 3.09 in the regular season. His record for this season is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Rockies will oppose him with Jason Marquis, who last season had a record of 11-9 for the Chicago Cubs, with an ERA of 4.53 in 29 games (28 of which were starts). His record for this season is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Phillies will be trying to even their season record tomorrow.

And the answer to this week’s trivia question is…

Okay, once again, we’ll first start off with the question: Name the Phillies’ pitcher who holds the major league record for the most losses in a season? And the answer is: John Coleman is the Phils pitcher with the most losses in a season, losing 48 of the 81 games that the Phillies, then known as the Quakers, would lose in its first season as a member of the National League. In fact, Coleman is also the major league record holder for the most hits allowed (772), the most runs allowed (510) and the most earned runs allowed (291) in a season, all done in 1883, which was his rookie season in the majors.

Only one person attempted to answer the question and she got it right. So, congratulation to Sue of Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts for getting the question right once again.

The next trivia question will be asked next week.

And the answer to this week’s trivia question is…

Okay, once again, we’ll first start off with the question: Name the Phillies’ pitcher who holds the major league record for the most losses in a season? And the answer is: John Coleman is the Phils pitcher with the most losses in a season, losing 48 of the 81 games that the Phillies, then known as the Quakers, would lose in its first season as a member of the National League. In fact, Coleman is also the major league record holder for the most hits allowed (772), the most runs allowed (510) and the most earned runs allowed (291) in a season, all done in 1883, which was his rookie season in the majors.

Only one person attempted to answer the question and she got it right. So, congratulation to Sue of Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts for getting the question right once again.

The next trivia question will be asked next week.

Philadelphia Phillies – The Players: Charlie Ferguson, the Phillies’ unknown first star.

I’m sure that most Phillies fans have probably never even heard of Charlie Ferguson, or if they have, know very little about him. Well, to be rather frank, I was among those who have never even heard of him, until I’d started doing my year-by-year look at our loveable losers and discovered him for the very first time, while also discovering that before his untimely death in 1888, at a very young age, from typhoid fever, he was developing into the team’s first true pitching star, way before the more well known Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Ferguson was born on April 17, 1863, in Charlotteville, Virigina, the home of American Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, and located near the strategic Shenandoah Valley, an area that during his youth would be constantly fought over by Northern and Southern troops during the country’s Civil War, while the city would itself be spared. Going to the University of Pennsylvania for his college education, where he would learn to play baseball, Ferguson would come back home after graduation and proceed to play for the Virginia member of the Eastern (now International) League in 1883. His team would win the Eastern League pennant that year, while his pitching would catch the eyes of the Philadelphia Quakers (now Phillies), who were preparing for their second year as a member of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or the NL. After signing a contract, he would make his Major League debut on May 1, 1884, pitching against the Detroit Wolverine in Philadelphia at Recreation Park. He would be the game’s winning pitcher, as the Phillies would trounce the Wolverines 13-2. During his rookie season, he would pitch in 50 games, starting in 47 of them, and completing all but one of his starts, while finishing up three more. His record would be 21-25, thus becoming the franchise’s first twenty-game winner, as well as saving one other game, and throwing two shut outs, as he ended the season with an ERA of 3.54. Ferguson would pitch in 416.7 innings that year, giving up 297 runs, 164 of which would be earned, on 443 hits, as he struck out 194 batters while walking only 93 and giving up 13 home runs. In his rookie season he would be among the NL leaders in games (6), games started (6), complete games (6), games finished (3), wins (7), loses (2), saves (2), shut outs (10), innings pitched (6), strikeouts (7), hits allowed (6), walks (7), earned runs allowed (1), home runs allowed (7) and walks (7).

After helping lead the team to a 6th place finish in 1884, he would lead them to a third place finish in 1885, as he would have his second straight twenty-win season, as he would go 26-20 that year, with an ERA of 2.22. Ferguson would this time pitch in only 48 games, starting and completing 45 of them, of which five were shut outs, while finishing three other games. He would pitch in 405 innings, giving up just 197 runs, only 100 of which would be earned, on just 345 hits, as he would rung up 197 strike outs while walking just 81 batters and giving up only 5 home runs. On August 29, 1885, in Philadelphia, he would pitch the first Phillies’ No-Hitter, as he would blank the Providence Grays, 1-0. In his second season as a Phil, he would be among the league leaders in games (8), games started (9), complete games (8), games finished (1), wins (5), win/lost percentage (8), ERA (7), shut outs (6), innings pitched (7), strikeouts (6), hits allowed (10) and walks (10). He would also hit .306 for that year, in which he would play 15 games in the outfield for a grand total of 61 games.

1886 would be his breakout season, as he would become the Phillies’ first thirty-game winner as he would go 30-9, with a 1.98 ERA, in 48 games pitched, of which 45 would be starts,  completing 43. He would also pitch four shut outs that year, while he would finish two other games, and collect two saves. In 395.7 innings of work, he would give up just 145 runs, of which 87 would be earned, on only 317 hits, while striking out 212 batters and walking only 69, while giving up 11 home runs. In his junior year as a Phil, he would be among the leaders in games (7), games started (9), complete games (7), games finished (7), wins (6), win/lost percentage (2), saves (1), ERA (2), shut outs (2), innings pitched (7), strikeouts (8), and home runs allowed (6). Although his efforts would help to improve the team’s overall record, the Phillies would end the year in fourth place in the National League.

In 1887, his pitching record would drop as he would end the season going only 22-10 with an ERA of 3.00, in just 37 games, of which 33 would be starts, he would complete 31 of them, with 2 of them being shut outs, while he would finish four out other games, collecting a save. In only 297.3 innings of work, he would give up 154 runs, of which 99 would be earned, on 297 hits, while he would strike out 125 batters, while walking only 47 and giving up 13 home runs. In his fourth season as a Phil, he would be among the league leaders in only games finished (2), wins (8), win/lost percentage (3), saves (1), ERA (3), shut outs (5) and strikeouts (5).

The main reason for his pitching drop was because the Phillies’ manager, future Hall of Famer Harry Wright, an early strategist of the game, had decided to place Ferguson’s strong bat into the Phils’ regular lineup for the pennant run, as Ferguson would end up playing six games in the outfield, five games at third base, and twenty-seven ballgames at second base, playing that position for the final eight weeks of the season, as he would replace the bats of a couple of second baseman who were hitting a combine total of only .214. In 72 games, Ferguson would hit .337, going to the plate 264 times, knocking in 85 runs on 89 hits, while scoring 67 runs, Ferguson would hit 14 doubles, 6 triples and 3 home runs, while stealing 13 bases. He would walk 34 times while striking out only 19. He would miss out being the team’s leading batter for that year, because he would not have enough plate appearances. He would, though, end up leading the team in RBIs. Ferguson’s strong bat would help the Phillies end up a strong second to the Detroit Wolverines.

The Phillies’ strong finish at the end of the 1887 season, going 16-0-1 in their last seventeen games, would make the team confident of being able to challenge for their first NL pennant when the team entered spring training in 1888. Sadly, it was not to be as they would be struck an early blow in camp as Charlie Ferguson would be struck down by typhoid fever, dying to the dreaded disease on April 29, at the young age of 25. Ferguson would be sent back home to Charlotteville, Virginia, where he would be buried in Maplewood Cementery. During the 1888 season, in which the Phillies would drop to third place in the standings, the Phillies, the Giants, the Beaneaters and the Washington Nationals would all commemorate his passing by wearing a black crepe on their left shoulders of their team uniforms.

During his four years as a Phil, Charlie Ferguson would pitch in 183 games, starting in 170 and completing 165, while finishing 12 others. He would have a winning record of 99-64, with a winning percentage of .607, having 13 shut outs and four saves. In 1514.2 innings pitched, he would give up only 793 runs, 450 of which would be earned, on 1402 hits. He would strike out 728 batters while only walking 290, while giving up only 42 home runs. His career ERA would be 2.67. His career batting average would be .288 in 257 total games played, getting 191 hits in 963 at-bats, knocking in 157 runs while scoring 191. He would have a career total of 37 doubles, 13 triples and 6 home runs, while stealing 22 bases. Ferguson would walk 113 times while striking out 119. His 99 wins would land him in 8th place on the all-time Phillies’ win lists, trailing the likes of Hall of Famers Steve Carlton, Robert Roberts and Alexander, as well as Chris Short and possible future Hall of Famer Curt Schilling, while his 64 losses would have him tied for 24th place on that list. His ERA would place him 6th. Ferguson would also be 17th in games started, 4th in complete games, 11th in innings pitched and strikeouts and tied for 14th in shut outs, as well as be among the top 50 in several other pitching categories. 

With Ferguson’s death, the Phillies would lose a chance to win a NL pennant before the turn of the century. Although the team would remain a member of the first division, except during the period 1895-97, they would not reach second place again until 1901. His early death would also deny Ferguson a place among baseball immortals at the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., as it would be more than likely he would have won enough games, based on his winning 99 games in just four years with a then good Phillies team, to get the nod via the Veterans Committee, if not for his being stricken down by typhoid.

Main sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Ferguson_%281880s_pitcher%29 – Wikipedia page

http://www.19cbaseball.com/players-charlie-ferguson.html – Biography at Baseball History: 19th Century Baseball.com

http://www.baseball-reference.com//f/ferguch01.shtml – Stats at Baseball-reference.com

http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Obits_F/Ferguson.Charles01.Obit.html – Charlie Ferguson’s Philadelphia Inquirer obit – TheDeadballEra.com

Other sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-reference.com, Phillies.com: Team History, Baseball History: 19th Century Baseball.com  

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 11: Happ-ily staying in first place as the Phils defeat Atlanta behind Happ’s six innings of shut out pitching.

Phillies’ starter rookie J.A. Happ records his first major league victory as he shuts down Atlanta for six innings as the Phillies defeated the Braves, 6-1. The victory keeps them in first place in the East as the Mets finally defeated the Nationals. The Phillies’ bat would take the pressure off of Happ by batting around in the first inning. After Jimmy Rollins would ground out, 3-1, for the first out of the inning, Chase Utley would get on base with a walk. Jayson Werth would follow with a walk, moving Utley to second. Ryan Howard would then hit a RBI single, scoring Utley and sending Werth to second for a quick 1-0 lead. It would become 2-0 as Werth would steal third and then go home on Braves’ catcher’s Brian McCann’s throwing error, while Howard would move up to second on the error. After Pat Burrell flies out to right for the inning’s second out, Shane Victorino would get on base with a single, sending Howard to third, putting runners on the corners. After Victornio steals second, putting two men in scoring position, Pedro Feliz would get on base with a walk, loading the bases. Carlos Ruiz would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Howard and Victorino, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead, and sending Feliz to second. Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens would finally end the inning by striking out Happ. With the four run cushion, Happ would go to work against the Braves, giving them very few base runners in the early innings. The Braves would put up a threat in the fifth, as Casey Kotchman would lead off the inning with a double, the Braves’ first extra-base hit, and the first Brave to get into scoring position. But Happ would then get out the next two batters via fly outs, Jeff Francoeur to left and Josh Anderson to center. The next batter, pinch hitter Yunel Escobar would then get on base with a walk, putting two men on. After Escobar is replaced by pinch runner Brandon Jones, Happ would end the inning by getting Martin Prado to ground out, 6-3. Happ would stay in for one more inning, putting the Braves down easily in the sixth, before handing the ball over to the bullpen. The Phillies would finally add a run in the eighth, as, with runners on first and third and one out, Feliz would hit a ground ball to Braves’ second baseman Kelly Johnson. Instead of throwing to second to start an inning ending double play, Johnson would throw to first to get out Feliz for the second out of the inning, allowing Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Burrell, who has earlier reached base with a single, and then would move to third on Victorino’s single, to score, making it 5-0 Phillies, while sending Victorino to second. The Phils would tack on one more run in the ninth as pinch hitter Matt Stairs would hit a pinch hit home run, his twelfth home run of the year and his first as a Phil, to give the Phils a 6-0 lead. In the bottom half of the ninth, the Braves would finally score a run as, with a runner on second and two out, Greg Norton would get a RBI single, scoring Francoeur, who has earlier singled and has moved to second on defensive indifference, making it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead. But Clay Condrey would end the game by getting Gregor Blanco to fly out for the game’s final out.

J.A. Happ would get the win, the first in his major league career, as he pitches six shut out innings, giving up only three hits and one walk, while striking out two. His record is now 1-0 with an ERA of 4.24. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning and two-thirds of relief, giving up two hits and a walk. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Jair Jurrjens would get the lost, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs, all in the first, on five hits and five walks. His record is now 13-10 with an ERA of 3.72. Vladimir Nunez would pitch two and a third innings, giving up an earned run on three hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up an earned run on two hits.

The Phillies’ offense, although it got ten hits, would not deliver the knock out blow to Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens after he has escaped the first inning, wtihin which he threw over 40 pitches and gave up all four runs that he would give up that night, as he walked three batters along with three singles. Jurrjens would then calm down enough to get through five innings. But, it wouldn’t matter as the four run cushion would help to relax J.A. Happ enough to allow him to go six innings, with the fifth being the only inning that the Braves would actually make a threat and come away with nothing for their efforts, as he went after the Braves’ hitters. The offense would later add two insurance runs in the late innings to guarantee the win. The victory put the Phillies eighteen games over .500 as the team rides a six games winning streak, their highest this season, while they won their eighth straight game at Turner Field.

The Phillies (85-67) will play the last game of their three game road trip with the Braves (67-85) tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (13-9, 3.11), who is coming off a good start against the Brewers on September 13, where he’d pitched six and a third innings of good ball, giving up only two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. In his last start against the Braves on July 26, Hamels would receive a no-decision as he went only three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, only four of which were earned, on six hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic 10-9 come from behind win. In three starts this year, including the disaster of July 26, Hamels’ record against the Braves is 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA. He will be going for his fourteenth win of the year while trying to complete the third sweep of the Braves at their own home park. The Braves will counter with Mike Hampton (2-2, 5.34), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on September 13, as he would go six innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, in the Braves’ 3-2 win. His last start against the Phillies was on July 26, where he would also receive a no-decision as he pitched only four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 10-9 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to stop the suddenly revised Phillies’ offensive juggernault.

The Phillies are still a half game ahead of the Mets as they defeated the Nationals last night. They are still five and a half games in front of the Marlins, as they defeated the Astros once again. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets still have a half game lead over the Brewers as they defeated the Cubs, for the moment putting on hold the Cubs’ clinching party. The Astros now trail the Mets by three and a half game after their lost to the Marlins. The Phillies will be looking to extend their winning streak to seven games as they plan to do something that is always hard to do: Sweep their opponent in their home ball park, for the third time this season. If this happens, if would serve notice that the Braves’ reign as a divisional leader is over. GO PHILLIES!!!!

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 12: Going to Atlanta, looking at both the East and the Wild Card.

The Phillies (83-67) go to Atlanta for the start of their last road trip to the South as they face the fourth place Braves (67-83), who are now in a role they have not been in since the late ’80s, that of spolier. The Phillies, thank to the Nationals’ defeat of the Mets last night, are now just a half game out of first in the East as well as tied for the Wild Card lead with the Brewers, who yesterday have fired their manager Ned Yost and have replaced him with third base coach Dale Sveum. The three games series will be played at Turner Field and the first game of the series will start there tonight at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will start this important series with their ageless veteran Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.68) on the mound, who is coming off a win against Milwaukee on September 11, where he would pitch five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on four scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. Moyer has won four of his last six starts, with the Phils going 1-1 in his two no-decisions. He has given up three runs or less in seventeen of his last eighteen starts. He will be going for his team leading fifteenth victory while trying to put the Phillies on the winning track for the last leg of the pennant race. The Braves will counter with the rookie James Parr (1-0, 0.00), who is coming off a no-decision in his second career start against the Rockies on September 10, going six innings, giving up no earned runs on five hits, in the Braves’ 9-5 win. He will be trying for his second career win in three starts and hoping that the Phillies’ bat will be unable to score on him, since this will be the first time that he will face them.

The Phillies’ offense seems to have come alive this past weekend, with Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard seeming to have returned to their September 2007 forms to lead the offensive attack. Pat Burrell also appears to finally be breaking out of his slump. If the offense can stay hot during the next twelve games and the starters can continue to pitch the way they have pitched for the last several weeks, the Phillies should have no problem grabbing either the Eastern Division or the Wild Card at the end of the month. Everything just now depends on the Phillies taking care of business.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a half game in the East as they continue their four games series with the Nationals. The Phillies are now ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish prepare for their three games series with the Astros. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are tied with the slumping Brewers for the lead in the wild card as the Brewers prepare for an important three games series with the Central Division leading Cubs. Both the Phillies and the Brewers are now two and a half games ahead of the Astros as they prepare to visit the Marlins, and are now four and a half games ahead of the Cardinals, who are preparing to play a three games series with the Reds. The Phillies are right now in the driver seat, determing whether they will be the winner in the Eastern Division or the winner of the Wild Card. Either way, Go PHILLIES!!!!

Still in San Diego, trying to win a series on the left coast.

The Phillies (65-57) continue their three games series with the Padres (47-75, 5th National League West) with a night game. The game will be played at PETCO Park and will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-6, 4.74), who is coming off a recent disastrous start against the Dodgers on August 11, where he would only go three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. In his only career start against the Padres, he would give up only one run in six innings of work. He will be trying once again for his eleventh win, while hoping to both bounce back from his previous start and for the Phillies’ bat to wake up. The Padres’ starter will be rookie Chad Reineke (0-0, -.–), making his major league debut, as he comes in to pitch in place of the original starter, Chris Young, who has just been placed on the disabled list. He is coming up from Triple-A Portland, where he has gone 5-10 with a 4.37 ERA in 22 games (21 starts), but, in his last three starts, he is 0-1 with a 4.41 ERA. He will be gunning for his first major league win, while trying to see what mischief he can cause the Phils.

The Phillies will be trying to make it two wins in a row while trying to stay close to the Mets after the disaster in Los Angeles. The Phillies have just gotten back Rudy Seanez, Greg Dobbs and Shane Victorino from injuries while Brad Lidge has claimed to have done some work on his mechanics during his enforced rest, and they wait for Pedro Feliz to return from his back injuries. Even with the good news, the Phillies are still waiting for their offense to finally wake up and show itself to be the monster of its pre-season press releases. Of course, that may only happen if the players start to take care of the little things instead of just thinking about hitting home runs and only home runs. But hey, I’m becoming that broken record again. I better stop before I start to stratch the record.

The Phillies are trailing the Mets by a game while they are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games. They will be trying to see if they can win the series with the Padres with a victory tonight, before trying for a sweep, and end the road trip with a better record than they would’ve expected after getting out of L.A.

The Phillies are shut out by Lester, tying the series between the Phils and the BoSox.

Jamie Moyer was only able to go five innings as he threw a lot of pitches tonight, 106 in fact, as the Phillies fall to the Red Sox, 3-0. The Red Sox would score the first runs of the game when Moyer threw a two-run home run to Coco Crisp, his sixth home run of the season, scoring Jason Varitek, who has earlier walked, to make it 2-0 BoSox. In the sixth, the Red Sox would increase their lead as Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Moyer, would give up a RBI double to Julio Lugo, scoring Crisp, who has earlier singled, giving the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. That would be how the game would end, as Jon Lester, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon would combine to seven hit the Phils, with Papelbon pitching a 1-2-3 ninth to record his twentieth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would take the lost as he struggles to pitch five innings, giving up only two runs on four hits, and walking five, one of whom would later score. His record is now 7-4 with a 4.09 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Rudy Seanez would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while Clay Condrey would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Jon Lester would get the win, going seven shut out innings as he six hit the Phillies. Hideki Okajima would pitch an inning in relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Jonathan Papelbon would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, as he records his twentieth save of the year.

The Phillies (42-31) will conclude their three games series with the World Champion Red Sox (45-29, 1st American League East) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park for a Business Person’s Special. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (6-2, 3.43), who is coming off a victory against the Cardinals on June 13, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 20-2 rout. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to help the Phillies win their first series since their sweep of the Braves. The Red Sox will counter with rookie Justin Masterson (3-1, 2.90), who is coming off his first major league lost as he was defeated by the Reds on June 13, where he would go six and two-thirds inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits, in the BoSox’s 3-1 lost. He will be trying to avoid getting his second major league lost while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies’ batters off-balanced.

The Phillies are presently leading the Marlins by two and a half games, although they are presently losing their game with the Mariners. The presently third place Mets are now trailing the Phils by six games, although they are presently trailing the Angels. The Braves, thanks to their lost to the Rangers, are still six and half games behind and in fourth place, The Phillies are presently hoping that the Marlins and the Mets will both lose their games so that the standings will remain the same before they get ready for tomorrow afternoon’s game.

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