NL Rookie of the Year Candidates

September 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

A look at the leading candidates for rookie of the year in the National League.
NL Rookie Batting Leaders

Doubles – Dexter Fowler 27, Andrew McCutchen 20

Triples – Dexter Fowler 9, Gerardo Parra 8

Home Runs – Garrett Jones 16, Colby Rasmus 14

Runs Batted In – Gerardo Parra 50, Andrew McCutchen 44, Colby Rasmus 44

Stolen Bases – Dexter Fowler 26, Everth Cabrera 20

Batting Average (200 or more at bats) – Chris Coghlan .296, Casey McGehee .292

On Base Percentage – Chris Coghlan .373, Chris Dickerson .373, Dexter Fowler .372

Slugging Percentage – Garrett Jones .602, Andrew McCutchen .497

On Base Plus Slugging – Garrett Jones .962, Andrew McCutchen .852

Extra Base Hits – Dexter Fowler 40, Andrew McCutchen 37



Dexter Fowler leads in four of the 10 categories listed, while Garrett Jones is leading in three of the categories.

This could be a tough choice for the voters among Fowler, Jones, McCutchen, Coghlan, and Parra.

Jake Fox would be among the leaders if he had more than 168 at bats. If he had the required 200 at bats, he would be fifth in home runs with 10 and fourth in RBI with 39.

He is 11 RBI behind NL rookie leader Parra, despite having 201 fewer at bats. His .530 slugging percentage would be second to the .602 mark of Jones.

It is too close to call today, but I look for Jones or Fowler to win. Rasmus may be a surprise winner, despite his .311 on base percentage because of playing for the NL Central leading Cardinals.

NL Rookie Pitching Leaders

Wins – J.A. Happ 10, Tommy Hanson 9

ERA – Starters (100 innings pitched) – J.A. Happ 2.63, Randy Wells 3.06

ERA – Relievers (50 Innings Pitched) Ronald Belisario 2.18, Danny Herrera 3.00

Strikeouts – Kenshin Kawakami 98, J.A. Happ 97

Saves – Dan Meyer 2, Juan Gutierrez 2, Bobby Parnell (only 3 rookie pitchers with saves in NL while Andrew Bailey had 20 by himself in the AL.

Holds – Luke Gregorson 19, Dan Meyer 17

Lowest Opponent Batting Average Against Starters – J.A. Happ .226, Randy Wells .255

Lowest Opponent Batting Average Against Relievers – Ronald Belisario .201, Luke Gregerson .233



There is no clear-cut winner among NL rookie pitchers with J.A. Happ (10-3), Tommy Hanson (9-3), and Randy Wells (9-7) leading the field going into September.

My choice right now would be J.A. Happ, since he leads NL rookie starters in wins and ERA. But Hanson and Wells are positioned to make a bid for the NL Rookie of the Year award by the end of the season.

Happ is the choice because he has filled in for the Phillies starting rotation converting from a reliever to a starter. He has three more wins than Cole Hamels in seven fewer starts.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

My First Major League Game: August 13, 1957

August 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Connie Mack Stadium formerly Shibe Park was the site of my first major league game in August of 1957 when the Pirates shutout the Phillies 6-0.

Connie Mack Stadium formerly Shibe Park was the site of my first major league game in August of 1957 when the Pirates shut out the Phillies 6-0.

I have written about seeing my first major league game before but now I have found the boxscore from that game online at

Finding this boxscore was like finding gold since the boxscore reinforced my memories of that game.

I was 12-years old at the time and can remember men bringing brown bags into the stadium that looked like they had bottles in them. It turned out those bottles had alcohol in them.

One of my most vivid memories is watching the players catch fly balls during batting practice just beneath the left field stands where we were sitting.

If only I had known the players better back then it would have been even more special especially seeing Richie Ashburn who would later enter the Baseball Hall of Fame after retiring five years after this game.

The attendance on the night of Tuesday, August 13, 1957 was only 14,129. The game lasted only two hours and twelve minutes.

The Philadelphia Phillies were still in the NL pennant race at the time of this game and were 10 and-a-half games behind the first place Milwaukee Braves.

This game really meant nothing to the Pittsburgh Pirates who were mired in last place and 29 and-a-half games behind the Braves.

Warren Hacker (6-4) started the game for the Phillies while his mound opponent for the Pirates was Bob Friend (8-15).

The Pirates scored first when future Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski hit a two-run homer in the second inning. That was the first major league homer I had ever seen. I can still hear the ball hitting the tin roof over the left field stands where we were sitting 52 years later.

Three years later Mazeroski would hit the game-winning homer in the seventh game of the 1957 World Series defeating the New York Yankees. That brought back memories of that August night in 1957 when Mazeroski had hit the home run at Connie Mack Stadium.

Mazeroski would hit a two run double in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 4-0.

Bob Skinner, who would later become manager of the Phillies and the San Diego Padres, singled in a run in the top of the eighth inning. Hank Foiles also singled in a run that inning that ended the scoring for the game with the Pirates defeating the Phillies 6-0.

Bob Friend hurled a complete game two hit shutout that night to take the win.

One of my memories of the game were that the Phillies fans booed their own players during the game. They had reason to boo considering their hometown team had only two hits in the game.

Three future Hall of Famers played in the game including besides Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente, and Richie Ashburn.

1957 was just the third season of Clemente’s major league career and he hit .253 and stole no bases that season in 111 games. His lifetime stats show he had only 83 stolen bases in 18 seasons with 12 being his career high for a season.

Ashburn was not a power hitter by any means having only 29 homers in 15 seasons. He fell 436 hits short of 3000 hits. He played the inaugural 1962 season for the Mets. He retired after that season at the age of 35.

He would go on to become a color analyst for the Phillies in their broadcasting booth before dying 12 years ago.

Granny Hamner and Harry Anderson had the only hits in the game for the Phillies.

The Phillies made three errors in the contest but none of them resulted in runs being scored.

The rest of the season would turn around for the Pirates who were 22-20 the remainder of the season after being 40-72 after the game that night.

On the other hand the season took a turn for the worse as the Phillies who were 59-53 after the game were the worst team in the NL the rest of the season with a 18-24 record.

Since that night I have only seen nine more major league games in the last 52 years.

My last game was on June 10 of this year when I saw the Cubs-Astros game in Houston at Minute Maid Park. It was my first time to see a game since 1991.

The game at Connie Mack Stadium is the game I will remember the most because it was the first one for this 12 year old kid that has followed baseball ever since then.

Boxscore of the game that night:

Note: has boxscores going back till about 1953 for anyone searching for a certain boxscore. The usual disclaimer applies saying that I have no financial interest in

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Six Starters, No Closer

August 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Jamie Moyer has been relegated to bullpen duty since Pedro Martinez has been added to the Phillies starting rotation.


The Phillies have an abundance of starters now that Pedro Martinez is in the starting rotation. Jamie Moyer is being shifted to the bullpen to make space for Martinez in the rotation. Martinez may have won his first game but he still did not pitch that well. He has a 5.40 ERA which is only slightly better than that of Moyer.

Moyer has only pitched one game in the bullpen since 1996. Hitters are hitting .300 against him as  a starter this season so it will be interesting to see if he fares any better out of the bullpen. His 5.47 ERA this season is the worst for him since 2000 when he posted a 5.49 ERA in 2000.

Brad “Lights Out” Lidge may have to change his nickname the way the season is going. Instead of turning the lights out, he is pouring gasoline on the fire when he enters the game this season.

Last season, he posted a 2-0 record with a 1.95 ERA and converted all 41 save opportunities.

This season he is 0-5 with a 7.27 ERA and has blown eight saves which is two more than any other major league closer. Lidge is ranked 531st in the majors in ERA this season.

It has reached the point where a Phillies starter with a lead is in danger of losing a win if Lidge enters the game. Last year it was the opposite when it was like money in the bank when Lidge came in from the bullpen.

It will be an interesting end to the 2009 season as the Phillies try to sort out their starting rotation with Martinez and Moyer both wanting to be the fifth starter.

How much longer can Charlie Manuel bring in Lidge from the bullpen? His 8.44 ERA for August is the highest for any month. Opposing hitters are hitting .301 against Lidge so he is not exactly striking fear into the hearts of hitters this season.

The Phillies may be in first place right now but they haven’t won anything yet and may not if they can’t get better pitching from their closer between now and the end of the season.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Raul Ibanez: Great Signing for Phillies

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Raul Ibanez hit his 15th homer yesterday in the Phillies 12-5 win over the Reds.

Raul Ibanez hit his 15th homer yesterday in the Phillies 12-5 win over the Reds.

The Philadelphia Phillies made a great move during the offseason when they signed Raul Ibanez to a three year contract for $31.5 million.

Ibanez has hit six homers and driven in 17 runs in his last ten games for the Phillies and has eight homers and 23 runs batted in during the month of May with several games left this month.

He is tied with Adrian Gonzalez for the major league lead in homers with each player having 15. He is third in the majors and first in the NL in runs batted in with 40.

Ibanez is projected by to hit 62 homers and drive in 166 runs by the end of the season and have 222 hits.

He more or less replaced Pat Burrell in the Phillies lineup this season. Burrell is on the disabled list for the Rays and before going on the DL he had one homer and 17 runs batted in in 108 at bats.

So Ibanez has 14 more homers and 33 more runs batted in than Burrell so the Phillies made the right move by letting Burrell go to the Rays.

Ibanez is leading all major leaguers with at least 100 at bats in slugging with a .724 mark. Next is Kevin Youkilis with a .701 slugging percentage.

He is second in extra base hits with 26 with only Evan Longoria having more with 28. He leads the NL in OPS with a 1.134 mark.

The offensive spark provided by Ibanez has helped the Phillies lead the Mets by a game and a half in the NL East despite being 27th in ERA. The Phillies are second in the NL in runs scored.

Ibanez and the Phillies are looking forward to hitting in the new Yankee Stadium as they start a three game series there tonight. However the Yankees are looking forward to facing Brett Myers who will start for the Phillies. Myers and Jamie Moyer lead the majors in most home runs allowed with 12 each.

Best Matchups Tonight

Phillies at Yankees: This should be an interesting game with so much firepower in one contest. The Yankees will feature Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira while Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Raul Ibanez see for themselves what it is like to hit in the new Yankee Stadium which has become the latest homer haven in the majors.

Mets at Red Sox: Johan Santana 5-2 will face Daisuke Matsuzaka 0-1 who is starting his first game since April 14th.

Blue Jays at Braves: Roy Halladay 8-1 will try to become the first pitcher to win nine games against the Braves who will send a struggling Kenshin Kawakami 2-5 to the mound.

Pirates at White Sox: Zach Duke 5-3 who has won his last two starts will be opposing Gavin Floyd 2-4 who hasn’t won since April 19. Floyd has allowed 20 runs and 24 hits over his last three starts which encompassed 15 innings. He has an ERA of 12.00 this month.

Cubs at Padres: Carlos Zambrano 3-1 will make his first start since May 3 against Jake Peavy 3-5 who used his no trade rights yesterday to nix a trade to the White Sox. Peavy had also been mentioned last offseason as possibly being traded to the Cubs.

Giants at Mariners: Randy Johnson 3-4 will try for his 299th win tonight. Johnson has allowed 18 runs and 27 hits in 14 innings over his last three starts. Johnson will be facing Jason Vargas 1-0 who has a 1.29 ERA and has allowed only two runs in 14 innings.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Former Phillies Manager Danny Ozark Dies at 85

May 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Former Phillies manager Danny Ozark died today at 85.

Former Phillies manager Danny Ozark died today at 85.

Danny Ozark died today in Vero Beach, Fla., at the age of 85. Ozark never played in the major leagues but had a long minor-league career.

He played 18 minor-league seasons in the Dodgers farm system. He hit 238 minor league homers and had a .282 lifetime batting average.

Ozark is best known for managing the Phillies from 1973-1979 and managed the Giants for part of the 1984 season. He managed the Phillies to identical 101-61 records in 1976 and 1977.

He didn’t have complete respect of his players after making a decision to leave Greg Luzinski in a 1977 playoff game in which Luzinski  mishandled a ball off the wall.

Ozark had usually substituted for Luzinski in the late innings, but Luzinski was scheduled to hit third the next inning, so Ozark left him in the game.

The next season when he went to the mound to take Steve Carlton out of a game Carlton spiked the ball on the ground instead of giving it to Ozark.

The Phillies finished sixth in the 1973 season, his first as the manager. But then, he led  them to a third-place finish, a second-place finish, three first-place finishes but was let go in the 1979 season when they finished fourth.

Only Gene Mauch, with 645 wins,, and Harry Wright, with 635 wins, won more games as the Phillies manager, with Ozark winning 594 games in Philadelphia.

He was born Daniel Leonard Orzechowski in Buffalo, N.Y., on Nov. 24, 1923.

Mike Schmidt had this to say about Ozark today:

“I was saddened by the news.”

“He was a good friend, my first major league manager and played a major role in the early years of my career, and was instrumental in building us into prominence in the mid-1970s.”

Ozark served during World War II and received a Purple Heart and five battle stars after seeing action at Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ginny.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies