In Grapefruit League play, the Phillies would end up losing a close one to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday afternoon, 3-2.
Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching his typical kind of game, as he would go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk while making some of the Rays batters look silly. J.A. Happ, who is still impressing in the race for the final spot in the starting rotation, would pitch the final three innings, giving up what would turn out to be the game winner, a solo home run to Gabe Kapler in the sixth, on four hits and a walk while striking out a batter. His excellent performances are presently putting him in the driver seat for the fifth starter spot in the rotation. Moyer would take the lost, with his Spring Training record falling to 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA.
Batting-wise, Rays’ pitching would silence the Phillies’ bat, giving up only three hits while striking out seven batters. Miguel Cairo would get two of the Phillies’ three hits, going 2 for 3 in the game and scoring a run. Andy Tracy would get the other hit, a two-out solo home run in the ninth inning. Ryan Howard would knock in the Phils other run, as he hits a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the seventh.
The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play with a home game in Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida with the Pittsburgh Pirates, that is presently in progress.
The Phillies came close, but end up losing to the Braves at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, 12-10. The Phils’ starter, Kyle Kendrick, had his second straight bad start as he gets rough up by the Braves in two of his three innings plus four batters worth of work, as he gives up eight runs on ten hits, with two of them being a pair of two-run home runs to Clint Sammons, a walk and a balk as he strikes out two batters. Gary Majewski, who is fighting for a spot in the bullpen, follows, pitching one inning where he gives up two runs, only one of which was earned, thanks to a Ryan Howard error, on three hits. Scott Eyre then follows with a scorless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while stricking out one batter. Ryan Madson then works an inning, giving up a run on three hits as he strikes out two batters. Jake Woods then pitches one inning, also giving up a run on two hit while striking out a batter. Dave Borkowski and Joe Bisenius then pitches an inning each, with both pitchers giving up a hit while Bisenius also walks a batter. Kendrick takes the lost, as his Grapefruit League record drops to 1-1 while his ERA rises to 14.29.
In a losing effort the Phillies get fifteen hits, with Jason Donald leading the way as he goes 3 for 4 with a double, scoring two runs, followed by Raul Ibanez, Greg Dobbs, and John Mayberry, Jr, who would each get two hits in the game. Mayberry’s two hits were a double and a solo home run, as he knocks in two runs, continuing to impress with his .290 spring batting average. Ibanez would also knock in two runs and score a run, while Dobbs would knock in a run. Jorge Velandia, Howard, Jason Ellison, Paul Hoover, a triple, Matt Stairs and Miguel Cairo, a solo home run, would get the other Phillies hits. Howard would knock in two runs, increasing his total to 10 RBIs, as his hit .292 this spring. Valendia, Jayson Werth and Cairo would knock in the other runs.
The Phillies, after falling behind 10-1 after three and a half innings, would slowly chip away at Atlanta’s lead before finally losing the game in the ninth inning, showing that they are still able to comeback against their opponents, as they have done during the two previous seasons. Meanwhile, with this outing, Kendrick appears to be pitching himself out of the fifth starter position in the starting rotation, leaving it as a two man race between Chan Ho Park and J.A. Happ.
The next Phillies Spring Training game will be tomorrow afternoon against the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. The game will start at 1:05 pm.
After losing their third straight Spring Training game yesterday, this time to the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota, Florida, by the score of 10-3, the Phillies’ bats would come alive today as they would pound the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays for 12 runs on 13 hits at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Rays, 12-5.
Kyle Kendrick, whom pitching coach Rich Dubee had earlier announced as the person who had the fifth starter job to lose, would keep the Rays off the board in the top of the first. In the Phils’ half of the first, the silent bats would finally wake up in an explosive way against Rays’ starter Mitch Talbot. Jimmy Rollins would start the inning off with a double, before scoring on an RBI single by Shane Victorino, making it 1-0 Phils. One out later, Ryan Howard would get his first Spring Training hit, a two-run home run, plating Victorino before him, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The next batter, John Mayberry, Jr., who is playing right field in place of Jayson Werth, who has a sore shoulder, would follow Howard with his own home run, his first for the spring, to make it 4-0 Phils. Two batters later, Miguel Cairo would knock in the last Phils run for the inning, as he would hit a solo home run, the third home run for the Phils in the inning, making it 5-0 Phillies.
In the top of the second inning, the Rays would get one of the runs back, as Ray Sadler would hit a two-out solo home run off of Kendrick, making it a 5-1 Phils lead. The Phillies would not score in their half of the second, nor would either team score a run in the third, although Kendrick would be replaced by Drew Naylor in the top of the inning when he got himself into a jam with two men out. Naylor would turn back the Rays, and then keep them quiet in the fourth. The Phillies would get another run back in their half of the fourth, as Jason Donald had an RBI single, his first hit of the spring, as he knocks in Cairo, who had earlier doubled, to make it 6-1 Phils. Naylor would then give up an RBI single to Justin Ruggiano in the fifth, as he would knock in Ray Olmedo, who has earlier singled and then stole second, as Naylor committeed an error trying to pick him off, making it 6-2 Phillies.
After neither the Phils, in the bottom of the fifth, or the Rays, in the top of the sixth, as Mike Koplove would pitch an almost clean inning aginst the Rays, would be able to score, the Phillies would increase their lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Ronny Paulino would hit a two-out solo shot. The Rays would get the run back in the top of the seventh, as Jon Weber would hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Olmedo, making it a 7-3 Phils lead. The Phillies would get the run back in the bottom of the seventh, to make it 8-3 Phillies. After Clay Condrey would put the Rays down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, the Phillies would finally put the game away in the bottom of the inning as they would score four more runs, with Eric Bruntlett, Andy Tracy and Mayberry each knocking in a run with two men outs.
In the ninth, the Phils would send Jake Woods to the mound. He would give up a two-run home run to Elliot Johnson, with two men out, before finally ending the game, with the Phils winning 12-5.
Pitching-wise, Kendrick, one of the four pitchers trying out for the fifth starer position in the starting rotation, would pitch two and two-thirds innings, giving up one earned run on four hits. Naylor would follow by going two and a third innings, also giving up an earned run on three hits while striking out three batters. Koplove would go to the mound next, pitching a scoreless sixth, although walking a batter, who would later be erased in a double play. Scott Eyre would be the next Phils’ pitcher, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one Ray. Condrey would follow and pitch a 1-2-3 eighth. Woods would pitch the ninth, giving up two earned runs on two hits as he struck out two.
Among the batters, Howard, Cairo and Mayberry would lead the Phils thirteen-hit attack by each getting two hits, with each man hitting a home run, a two-run shot by Howard and solo shots by Cairo and Mayberry, while Mayberry would knock in a second run during the Phillies’ four-run eighth. Rollins, Victorino, Bruntlett, Tracy, Pablo Ozuna, Donald and Paulino would each get one hit.
The victory gives the Phillies a 1-3 record in the Grapefruit League. The next Phillies’ game is tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 pm Eastern, as the Phils play the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Florida at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
As mentioned in a previous article, there are several feats in baseball which is rare for baseball players to accomplish. Hitting for the cycle is one. Another is throwing a no-hitter. Throwing a perfect game is rarer still. In Major League Baseball History, as of 2008, there has been thrown only 256 no-hitters, of which only 1 has been perfect games. Four teams have so far not been able to throw a no-hitter, those teams being the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies and the Tampa Bay Rays. In Phillies’ team history, Phil pitchers have thrown only nine no-hitters, including one perfect game, while being the victim eighteen times, as well as being the victim in five other games that are now no longer considered no-hitters because of a rule change made in 1991 in which a no-hitter is now considered, “An official no-hit game occurs when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings.” The five that are no longer considered no-hitters were games that were stopped before being able to reach the now official nine innings, mainly because of either rain (or pre-1930s, because of the game being called because of darkness.) At this moment, I will concentrate on the nine no-hitters thrown by Phillies’ pitchers.
The first Phillies’ no-hitter would be thrown on Saturday, August 29, 1885, by Charlie Ferguson, as he would defeat Dupee Shaw of the Providence Grays, 1-0, at Recreation Park. The second Phillies’ no-hitter would occur on Friday, July 8, 1898, as Red Donahue would defeat the Boston Beaneaters, 5-0, at National League Park, aka Baker Bowl. The next Phillies’ no-hitter would be the first one thrown by a Phils’ pitcher in the 20th century as Chick Fraser would no-hit the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, 10-0, on Friday, September 18, 1903, at the second ballpark that the Cubs would name West Side Park, in the second game of a doubleheader split between the two old rivals. No-hitter number four would occur on Tuesday, May 1, 1906, in Brooklyn, as Johnny Lush would defeat the Brooklyn Superbas (now the Los Angeles Dodgers) at the second part that Brooklyn would call Washington Park, 6-0. The fifth Phillies no-hitter would not occur until Sunday, June 24, 1964 when Hall of Famer Jim Bunning would throw his father’s day perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, winning 6-0. This would be the junior senator from Kentucky second no-hitter, as he threw an earlier one in 1958 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. The next no-hitter recorded by a Phillies’ pitcher would occur over seven years later, on Wednesday, June 23, 1971, as Rick Wise would help his own cause by hitting two home runs in a 4-0 defeat of Ross Grimsley of the Cincinnati Reds, in Cincinnati, at Riverfront Stadium. Phillies no-hitter number seven would be the first no-hitter to be thrown at Veterans Stadium, as Terry Mulholland would defeat Don Robinson of the San Francisco Giants 6-0, on Wednesday, August 15, 1990. No-hitter number eight, the last Phillies’ no-hitter of the 20th Century, would be the only no-hitter so far pitch outside of the U.S. by a Phillies’ pitcher as Tommy Greene would throw a no-no against the Montral Expos at Olympic Stadium, on Thursday, May 23, 1991, defeating Oil Can Boyd, 2-0. The Phillies’ ninth and most recent no-hitter, would also be the first no-no to be thrown by a Phils’ pitcher in the 21st Century, as well as the second and last one to be thrown at Veterans Stadium, as Kevin Millwood would defeat the Giants and Jesse Foppert, 1-0, on Sunday, April 27, 2003.
Phillies’ pitchers have thrown two no-hitters in the 19th Century, six in the 20th and one so far in the 21st Century. Of the nine no-hitters, four have been thrown in Philadelphia, one each has so far occurred in Chicago, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Two no-hitters were thrown at Veterans Stadium, with one each being thrown at Recreation Park, National League Park (Baker Bowl), West Side Park (II), Washington Park (II), Shea Stadium, Riverfront Stadium and Olympic Stadium. The main victim has so far been the San Francisco Giants, who have been no-noed twice, with the now defunct Providence Grays, Braves (as the Boston Beaneaters), Cubs, Dodgers (as the Brooklyn Superbas), Mets, Reds and the Nationals (as the Montreal Expos) being the victim one time each. Only one of the pitchers to throw a Phillies’ no-hitter, Jim Bunning, is now a member of the Hall of Fame.
Who will be the next Phillies’ pitcher to no-hit an opponent? No idea at this point in time, although the most likely person to do it would be Cole Hamels, the team’s present ace.
Sources: Wikipedia, Phillies.com, Baseball Almanac.com, Retrosheet.org
There are several things that are rear to do in Baseball. One is to pitch a no-hitter, whether its ends up being a perfect game or not. The other is hitting for the cycle. Of the two feats, hitting for the cycle is a very rare thing to do while being a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, as it has been accomplished only eight times by a Phil, with one player actually doing it twice.
For those of you who might not know what hitting for the cycle is, hitting for the cycle means that in one game, you have hit a single, a double, a triple and a home run, in at least four official at-bats. To date, hitting for the cycle has occurred only 248 times in Major League History. Players playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates have done it the most times with 23, while no players have so far done it for either the San Diego Padres, the Florida Marlins or the Tampa Bay Rays. The last major leaguer to have hit for the cycle has been Adrián Beltré of the Seattle Mariners, who had accomplished the feat on September 1, 2008, just hours after Stephen Drew of the Arizona Diamondbacks had done it.
Among the Phillies, the first one to hit for the cycle would be Lave Cross, who would perform the feat on April 24, 1894, in a 4-1 win over the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). Several months later, on August 17, Sam Thompson would become the second Phillie player to accomplish the feat, doing it during a 29-4 rout of the Louisville Colonels (Yes, Louisville, Kentucky, actually had a major league franchise before the start of the 20th Century.). It would be 33 years before the third Phillie to hit for the cycle, Cy Williams, who would win the National League home run title that same year, would do the deed, performing it on August 5, 1927, in a 9-7 victory over the Pirates. The fourth Phillie to hit for the cycle, Chuck Klein, would perform it on July 1, 1931, in a 11-6 win over the Chicago Cubs. Less than two years later, Klein would become the only Phillie player to perform the deed twice, as he would hit for the cycle again on May 26, 1933, during the year he would win the NL triple crown (batting average, home runs, RBIs), doing it in a 5-4 lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The sixth Phil to join the club would be Johnny Callison, who would accomplish the deed on June 27, 1963, over 30 years after Klein’s second performance, doing it in a 13-4 rout of the Pirates. It would be another 32 years before the next Phil, Greg Jefferies, would hit for the cycle, doing it on August 24, 1995, during a 7-6 win over the Dodgers. The most recent Phillie player to do it, David Bell, would did it on June 28, 2004, in a 14-6 victory over the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Senators).
In the eight times that a Phil has hit for the cycle, the Phillies have won all but one of those games. The team that the cycle has been done against the most has been the Dodgers and the Pirates, who have both been on the wrong end twice, while the Louisville Colonels, the Cubs, the Cardinals (the only team to win when a Phil hit for the cycle) and the Nationals (as the Expos), have been the other four. Two Hall of Famers, Sam Thompson and Chuck Klein (who did it twice) have both hit for the cycle while being a Phil.
When will another Phil hit for the cycle? Your guess is as good as mines.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com
Free agent Pat Burrell, the former left fielder for the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies, has just finished signing a two-year, $16 million contract with the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays. Burrell, who, until signing with the Rays, has spent all nine years of his major league career with the Phillies, having a career batting average of .257, while hitting 251 home runs (3rd place in team history) and 827 RBIs (7th place) for the red pinstripes. Burrell will more than likely be acting as the Rays’ designated hitter, although he has said at one time that he would prefer playing in the field, thus keeping his mind in the game.
We’re going to miss you here in Philly, Pat, and I, for one, wish you success in Tampa, as long as it isn’t against the Phils.
Chase Utley’s faking a throw to first and then throwing home to nail the Rays’ Jason Bartlett for the final out in the top of the seventh inning to keep Game 5 of the World Series tied has been voted the 2008 Postseason Moment of the Year by the fans in MLB.com’s annual This Year in Baseball Awards, receiving 35.6 percent of the votes, beating out fellow Phil Brad Lidge’s striking out Erik Hinske in the top of the ninth to clinch the Phillies winning of the 2008 World Series, 4 games to 1.
Congratulations on winning the fan award, Chase.