Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Colby Shreve Video & Steve Schrenk Quotes

Bonus BlueClaws material for you phans, following up on today's game story (found by clicking here). The first clip below is video footage of Colby Shreve warming up prior to today's start. The second clip is audio of Lakewood pitching coach Steve Schrenk talking about Shreve's flirtation with a no-hitter today and Shreve's progression following Tommy John surgery in 2008. Enjoy.





For PhoulBallz.com's exclusive interview with Colby Shreve, click here.

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Lakewood's Shreve Flirts With No-No


It took till the ninth inning for the second consecutive game in Lakewood, as the playoff bound BlueClaws struck late again, winning in walk-off fashion. The way the starting pitcher performed, however, perhaps it shouldn't have come to that.

Colby Shreve, a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher, rode a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Nationals affiliate Hagerstown Suns. All it took was one bad pitch and the excitement that was beginning to grow among the 5,207 in attendance at FirstEnergy Park was quickly suppressed. Shreve hung a pitch up in the zone for Suns left fielder Justin Bluxom and the ball left the park in no-doubt-about-it fashion. "I threw the worst pitch of the day to Bluxom, and I've got to give him credit...he put a good swing on it and hit it out," Shreve stated after the game.

Shreve, who got 13 fly ball outs in his fast 7 innings of work, said he was aware of the no-hit situation, but wasn't letting it effect his approach to hitters. "I just kept saying to myself, 'Just do what you can do and go out there and locate," Shreve stated. However, he admitted that if the no-hit bid had gone deeper into the contest, that he might have allowed the scenario to consume more of his own thoughts.

Shreve, who had Tommy John surgery mid-way through the 2008 college season, was taken by the Phillies in the 6th round of that year's amateur draft. Shreve has posted a 4-4 record and a 3.71 ERA since joining the BlueClaws this year, his first professional season.

The Suns scored an unearned run in the first inning, when an errant throw from catcher Sebastian Valle on a Francisco Soriano stolen base attempt allowed Soriano to score. Hagerstown held the lead until the 6th inning, when Jonathan Villar singled off of Suns starter Mitchell Clegg to drive in Alan Schoenberger. Castro then stole two bases and was driven home by "The Boss" Jonathan Singleton, who slugged a doubled.

Hagerstown tied the score in the 7th inning on Bluxom's homerun and the game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth inning. After Kyle Lafrenz flied out to center, Alan Schoenberger struck out, but reached base because the third strike was a wild pitch by Suns reliever Kyle Morrison. Schoenberger advanced to second on a balk before Jonathan Villar nearly drove Schoenberger in once again, but Schoenberger was held at third base by manager Mark Parent. Not a bad move, as Schoenberger quickly scored when reliever Rob Wort, who had entered the game to face Leandro Castro, uncorked another wild pitch that enabled Schoenberger to score and gave Lakewood a 3-2 victory.

Lakewood's win in the previous game on Tuesday was a comeback victory in the bottom of the 9th, capped off by a Jiwan James RBI double that plated Adam Buschini. The two walk-off wins by Lakewood gives the team 9 total on the season.

Wednesday's match up resulted in a No Decision for Shreve, despite his excellent performance, allowing just one hit over 7 innings. Jordan Ellis, who got the last out in the 9th inning with the bases loaded, to maintain the tie score, earned the win. Shreve, who has seen a drop in velocity since his surgery, is staying focused on improving his own techniques and expressed satisfaction with the outing today and his overall progress as well. "I am just going to take things one step at a time, and just work. I feel confident in my pitching ability...and it feels great to help the team stay close and get victories."

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Threshers' Garcia Sets Record, Keeps Rolling

Harold Garcia is establishing himself as a solid prospect in the Phillies' system and, in the process, has locked up a place in the High-A level Clearwater Threshers' record book. Monday night against the Dunedin Blue Jays, Garcia extended his hitting streak to 31 consecutive games, when he slammed a triple in the 4th inning off of Philadelphia native Frank Gailey. Clearwater won the game, 7-3.

The 23-year-old Garcia extended his streak to 32 games with a hit in Tuesday's game against Dunedin. The switch hitting second baseman was safe on a bunt hit off of pitcher Chad Jenkins.

Garcia, who helped the Lakewood BlueClaws win the 2009 South Atlantic League championship, is batting .340 through 40 games this season. Garcia has had 14 multi-hit games during his record streak and has only gone hitless twice this season.

Clearwater faces Dunedin again at noon on Wednesday and Garcia will hope to extend his streak to 33 games.

The previous record was held by outfield prospect Quintin Berry, who hit in 30 straight games for the Threshers in 2008.

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It's PhoulBallz Phillies Wednesday. In New Jersey, tune into Shore Sports 1310 or WOBM AM 1160 around 3:20, to hear me talking baseball with Mike & Joe on The Shore Sports Report. You can also listen live online by clicking this link. Check out The Shore Sports Report each weekday at 3pm!


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tough Times Ahead- Polanco and Utley to DL


The Phillies announced today that both Placido Polanco and Chase Utley are headed to the disabled list with injuries. Polanco has been dealing with a left elbow issue since April, when he was hit in the elbow by a pitch from Braves pitcher Tim Hudson. Polanco may also have a loose bone fragment in the joint that would require off-season surgery. Utley, who injured himself sliding into second base in the 4th inning of Monday night's game against the Reds attempting to stretch a single into a double, was examined today and MRI results are pending, but the team has described Utley's issue as a sprain of the thumb on his right hand.
Both Polanco and Utley are the leaders in National League All-star voting at their respective positions.

The Phillies, who have been revaged by injuries this season, have had their proposed lineup 1-8 of Rollins, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino and Ruiz together just five times through 74 games this season. They've also dealt with injuries to several key members of their pitching staff, including "Jay" Happ, Joe Blanton, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. As things stand now, the Phillies (40-34) are 3 1/2 games behind the first place Braves and 2 games behind the wild card leading Metropolitans.

Brian Bocock, who was claimed off waivers from the Giants last offseason, and veteran reserve Greg Dobbs have been promoted to the big club, filling the voids left by Polanco and Utley. The 25-year-old Bocock was batting .179 through 65 games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. Dobbs batted .152 in 42 games with the Phillies this season, before accepting an assignment to Lehigh Valley last week.

Initial reactions from area phans might include great concern over the standings and worry about how the Phillies could possible overtake the Braves and Metropolitans in the standings now. Included in all the hysterical heed given to these matters will be people suggesting that the Phillies call it a season and begin taking offers for free-agent-to-be Jayson Werth. Don't bail out just yet, pholks. The Phillies overcame a considerable deficit in the NL East standings as recently as 2007, when they overtook the Metropolitans' 7 game lead with just 17 games left to play. There is plenty of time left in the season. Impossible is nothing, when it comes to the Phillies.

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Moyer Deserves to Be Honored


Jamie Moyer is having a season that baseball fans could talk about for many years. The 47-year-old veteran starting pitcher is pitching like he is in his prime, delivering the steadiness that the Phillies greatly need in their rotation.

On Sunday, Moyer reached 4,000 career innings pitched, with a scoreless second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. In the very next frame, Moyer served up a homerun ball to clean up batter Vernon Wells, which set a new all-time record for homeruns allowed with 506. Moyer surpassed Phillies Hall of Famer Robin Roberts for the top spot in that category. While he stands alone in allowing big flies, Moyer is among 40 total pitchers to ever throw 4,000 Major League innings.

Lately, the frequency of debates over Moyer's eligibility for the Hall of Fame seem to have increased, as he climbs up historical leader boards and achieves various milestones. Perhaps crowning Moyer in a class of the all-time greatest ballplayers ever is premature. Remarkable longevity is noteworthy, but not quite deserving of such enormous regard. If Moyer were to reach one of those unofficial "Hall of Fame Lock" plateaus, like 300 wins, any debate could easily disappear. However, discussion of Moyer's 2010 statistics befitting an all-star nod may be a more appropriate right now.

The left-handed Moyer bounced back from two off-season surgeries to post impressive stats this season.

Excluding a horrible outing on June 11th against the Red Sox, where he allowed 9 earned runs in just 1 official inning pitched, Moyer has been outstanding in his past 9 starts. During that stretch, Moyer has posted a 6-3 record with a 2.48 ERA. Moyer's 1.05 WHIP this season is tied for fifth best in the National League among pitchers with at least 75 innings pitched. He is also tied with Roy Halladay for the team lead in wins, with 9. In 7 starts at Citizens Bank Park this year, Moyer is holding opponents to a .176 batting average and has posted a 2.94 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP.

Moyer's lone career all-star appearance came in 2003 at age 40, when he won 21 games for the Mariners. Currently, the oldest player to participate in a MLB all-star game was Satchell Paige, at 47 years 7 days old in 1953. Moyer is more than 7 months older than Paige was for the Mid-summer Classic in 1953. In Moyer's favor...Charlie Manuel will manage the National League all-star team and will have some say in who makes the roster. Many phans will remember when Charlie chose Jayson Werth to fill an injury void left by Carlos Beltran in 2009. The same sort of favor could be shown for the Phils' eldest pitcher this time around.

With the stats and the selection process on his side, there is still one thing that could prevent Moyer from becoming the oldest all-star participant...a new rule. The stipulation states that if a player pitches on the Sunday before the all-star break, he is not eligible to pitch in the all-star game. He would still be an all-star, but an active hurler would be chosen to replace him. Barring any changes to the Phillies' rotation, Moyer will pitch twice before the all-star break...this coming Thursday against Pittsburgh and Wednesday, July 7th in Philadelphia against Atlanta. That same rule could benefit Moyer as well. For example, if Moyer is left off the initial NL roster, but a chosen all-star pitches on July 11th, Moyer could be selected to fill that pitcher's spot.

Many writers have written about Moyer this season, using loads of different adjectives to describe him. Among the descriptives...timeless, age-defying, enduring and immortal. I'll just stick with "All-star" to describe Jamie Moyer right now and save those others for some later milestone achievement, record setting accomplishment or after his retirement.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Series Preview: Phillies at Reds 6/28-6/30


Philadelphia is back on a pace that made them a National League force over the past few seasons after winning 8 of their past 11 games. The Phillies (40-33), who are in third place in the NL East, hope to continue their serge against the Reds (42-34), who have led the NL Central division much of the season.

The 3-game series starts Monday, as the Phils send righty Kyle Kendrick to the mound. The hosting Reds will counter with Johnny Cueto.

Read on for details on the pitching match ups and other key info from this series.


Monday, 7:10pm. Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 4.71 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (7-2, 3.97 ERA). In 3 career starts against the Reds, Kendrick is 3-0 with a 6.61 ERA. Kendrick has posted a 3.19 ERA in his last 6 games. In 8 games on the road this season, Kendrick is 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA. Kendrick is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last 4 road outings. Brandon Phillips is 4-for-8 (.500 avg) against Kendrick in his career. In 2 career starts against the Phils, Cueto is 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA. Cueto has posted a 5.46 ERA over his last 5 starts. Lefties are batting .217 against the righty hurler Cueto, while right-handed batters are hitting .287 against him.

Tuesday, 7:10pm. Joe Blanton (3-5, 6.53 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (5-1, 2.92 ERA). Blanton has a 2-0 record and a 4.15 ERA in 2 career starts against the Reds. On the road this season, Blanton is 1-3 with a 9.27 ERA in 4 starts. Leake is 3-1 with a 3.67 ERA through 9 home starts this year. Leake has posted a 6.06 ERA over his last 3 starts. Leake was the Reds' first round draft pick in the 2009 draft.

Wednesday, 12:35pm. Roy Halladay (9-6, 2.29 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.07 ERA). Halladay is 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 2 starts against the Reds. In 7 day starts this year, Halladay is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA. In 10 home starts this year, Harang is 5-4 with a 4.79 ERA. Placido Polanco is 5-for-10 (.500 avg) against Harang in his career.


In 35 career games against the Reds, Ryan Howard is a .277 hitter with a 1.065 OPS. Howard has hit safely in 21 of 23 games played this month.

Chase Utley is batting just .235 in 38 road games this year, with a .664 OPS. Utley is 14-for-35 (.400 avg) with 11 RBI over his last 9 games.

In 10 career appearances against the Phillies, Reds closer Francisco Cordero is 1-0 with 5 saves, 1 blown save, a 0.84 ERA and a .083 batting average against. Ross Gload, Jayson Werth, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins are a combined 0-for-14 against Cordero.

Scott Rolen is a career .347 hitter against the Phillies in 40 games. In his last 6 home games, Rolen is 3-for-19 (.158 avg). Rolen is just 1-for-12 (.083 avg) against Brad Lidge.

In 11 games against the Phillies, Joey Votto is a .211 hitter with a .539 OPS.

Phillies team ERA- 3.95.
Reds team ERA- 4.40.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 68

Bill Nicholson was an outfielder with the Phillies from 1949-1953. Nicholson was a power hitting lefty batter whose best years were mostly behind him by the time he became employed by the Phillies.

Nicknamed "Swish" because of his free-swinging style, Nicholson became a 5-time all-star in his 10 seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He also hit over 20 homers in six different seasons during that same stretch playing with Chicago. Turned down for military service because he was color blind, Nicholson would dine well on war time hurlers. In 1943 and 1944, Nicholson led the National League in homeruns and RBI, finishing second in league MVP voting in 1944, when he also led the league in runs scored with 116 and batted .287. Nicholson fell just 2 voting points short of winning the award, when the Cardinals' Marty Marion took home the honor mainly for his defense, as Marion's offensive numbers (.267 avg., 50 runs, 6 HR, 63 RBI) did not compare to Nicholson's.

In that 1944 season, Nicholson hit 4 homeruns in a game against the Giants at the Polo Grounds. He came up to bat a fifth time and the Giants intentionally walked him, despite the fact that the bases were loaded with Cubs runners at the time. Forcing in just one run better protected the Giants' 3-run lead at that time. Nicholson is one of six men credited with receiving a bases loaded walk in MLB. The others are Abner Dalrymple (1881), Nap Lajoie (1901), Del Bissonette (1928), Barry Bonds (1998) and Josh Hamilton (2008).

With the Phillies, Nicholson served as the team's fourth outfielder, backing up the Whiz Kids group of Richie Ashburn, Dick Sisler and Del Ennis. In 1950, Nicholson twice hit game winning homeruns against the Dodgers to help the Phillies lock down a series in early July. Late that season, however, Nicholson fell ill and doctors discovered that he was diabetic, which caused him to sit out the World Series.

Swish Nicholson played through the 1953 season as a reserve with the Phillies and then retired from baseball.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Series Preview: Phillies at Blue Jays (Sort of)


Something you never thought you would see is finally here...Phillies road games in Philadelphia. Thanks to the well documented issues with the G20 summit in Toronto, this weekend's 3-game interleague series was moved to Philadelphia. The games will still be played as though the Blue Jays are the home club, with American League rules.

Fans in Toronto looked forward to this series with great anticipation, as it would have marked the return of all-time great Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay, who was traded to Philadelphia after last season. Halladay spent over a decade with Toronto, collecting 148 wins in the process.

The Jays won't have to wait long to see Halladay, as he'll start the series opener on Friday night. The Blue Jays will counter with righty Jesse Litsch to start the series.

Toronto won all three games in Philadelphia last year. Read on for information on the pitching match ups and loads more details.


Friday, 7:05pm. Roy Halladay (8-6, 2.43 ERA) vs. Jesse Litsch (0-1, 6.75 ERA). In 8 starts at Citizens Bank Park this year, Halladay is 4-4 with a 2.48 ERA. Halladay is 2-5 with a 3.36 ERA over his last 8 starts. In Halladay's 6 losses, the Phillies have combined to score a total of 9 runs. This will be Litsch's third start of the year, after recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2 career games against the Phillies, Litsch is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA. Raul Ibanez is 4-for-9 (.444 avg) in his career against Litsch.

Saturday, 4:05pm. Cole Hamels (6-5, 3.75 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (6-3, 3.24 ERA). Hamels has a 5.06 ERA in 2 career starts against the Blue Jays. Hamels has posted a 2.91 ERA over his last 9 starts. In 7 starts at Citizens Bank Park this season, Hamels is 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA and has held opponents to a .219 batting avg. against. In 2 career starts against the Phillies, Marcum has allowed 4 runs in 7 innings (5.14 ERA). Marcum has posted a 4.33 ERA over his last 6 starts. Marcum has a 2.52 ERA at the Rogers Centre this season, and a 4.12 ERA outside of Toronto.

Sunday, 1:35pm. Jamie Moyer (8-6, 4.43 ERA) vs. Brett Cecil (7-4, 4.06 ERA). In 39 career games against Toronto, Moyer has a 15-9 record with a 5.41 ERA and 2 complete games. Excluding Moyer's awful outing against Boston on June 11th, he has posted a 2.48 ERA over his last 8 starts. In 6 starts at Citizens Bank Park this season, Moyer is 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Aaron Hill is 10-for-23 (.435 avg) with 3 homers against Moyer in his career. Cecil has lost his last 2 starts, allowing 11 earned runs in 11 innings. Cecil has a 3.11 ERA away from Toronto this season, compared to his 5.59 ERA at the Rogers Centre.


Chase Utley has a .330 batting average with 9 homers and 22 RBI in 33 games this year at Citizens Bank Park. Utley away from Citizens Bank Park this season- .228 avg, 2 homers, 12 RBI in 35 games.

In 11 career games against Toronto, Jayson Werth is a .351 hitter with a 1.462 OPS. Werth has posted a .395 avg. with 3 homers and 9 RBI over his last 12 games.

Shane Victorino has a .259 batting average this season batting in the leadoff spot. His average any other place in the lineup this season is .167.

DeWayne Wise, who was with the Phillies organization much of this year, before exercising an out clause in his contract, is now a Blue Jay and has gone 2-for-12 in 8 games thus far. Wise signed a minor league deal with Toronto, where he played in 2002, on June 5th and was promoted to the big club just 5 days later.

In 15 career games against the Phillies, Aaron Hill is 14-for-62 (.226 avg) with 4 homers. Hill has 27 RBI through 58 games this season, after having a career high 108 in 2009.

Toronto closer Kevin Gregg is 2-2 with 8 saves and 1 blown save with a 1.09 ERA in 22 career games against the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are a combined 4-for-41 (.098 avg.) against Gregg.

Phillies team batting avg.- .259
Blue Jays team batting avg.- .239


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Welcome Home Blue Jays!


A brief introduction is in order. Hello to all of you PhoulBallz.com phaithful! My name is The Man With The Golden Arm, head man at 1BlueJaysWay, and I am a living, breathing, eating, sleeping baseball phan in Canada. Now I know most of you will be shocked to hear that and I'm sure you thought guys like me were mythical like unicorns.....but it's true. I'll take baseball over hockey any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


That being said, I realize that I am in the minority in my native land. And believe me, I hear about it weekly. You see, I can't turn it off. Blue Jays baseball has been and will be a major part of my life until one of two things happen:

1) I die
2) Some dick at MLB's head office moves my team

When Jay Ballz asked me for a few thoughts regarding the upcoming Blue Jays / Phillies series, I pondered it for a couple of days. This ordeal of Roy Halladay's return series being moved to Philadelphia has brought on a complete range of emotions for me. I was excited, scared, happy, sad, angry, embarrassed and everything in between depending on where we were in the process. To put it into perspective for you guys, it was 3 and a half months before I could even talk about Roy Halladay being traded. This is what I came up with.

To say that I was looking forward to seeing him pitch again is a bit of an understatement.

However, right now I'm not so sure. Seeing him with another team would be like seeing your ex girlfriend with another man. I know Doc would be well received here in Toronto, but I can honestly say this here and now: I was hoping to see the Blue Jays knock the hell out of him. You see, I have come to realize that no matter what, the team is more important than its players. Even the best players. Even the phan favorites. Trading away a future Hall of Famer kinda forces you to do just that.

Here is a quote from young lefty pitcher Ricky Romero shortly after Doc threw his perfect game for you. It pretty much sums up my current state of mind:

“There was a guy here that did it really, really well,” Romero said. “You try to learn from that.”
But instead of reminiscing about the Halladay era, Romero reminded reporters of the new reality in Toronto: Halladay wears a different uniform and could face the Jays when Toronto plays the Phillies in late June. So, while Romero had plenty of praise for Halladay, he’s also prepared to face his former teammate. “I’m sure everyone in here is happy for Doc, but we’ve got to take care of our business,” he said. “He’s our enemy now.”

In conclusion, I hope you all enjoy the extra three "home games" for your Phillies this weekend. I know it will be odd to see your team hit first and with that stupid Designated Hitter rule in your park. A fitting end to a total screw up by all parties involved. Toronto folks get the G20 and Philadelphia phans get our home games. In my eyes, we can call the whole Joe Carter walk-off home run to win the World Series thing even now. ;)

Total low blow, I know. But I'm not even gonna pretend like I'm sorry.




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Thursday, June 24, 2010

6/24/10 Notebook


"Jay" Happ will continue his minor league rehab work with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs this coming Tuesday. The lefty hurler had his latest rehab outing for Double-A Reading on Wednesday night. Happ surrendered 3 runs over 5 innings and struck out 4 while walking no one. Velocity had been a concern, but Happ's arm strength appears to be building, the more he pitches, and velocity is returning. Happ, who has been sidelined since April with a forearm strain, is likely to be ready to return to the big leagues shortly after his next start, if things go well.

Chad Durbin, who strained his hamstring fielding a ground ball in the 9th inning of Wednesday night's game, was placed on the disabled list today. Nelson Figueroa was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his spot on the roster. Manager Charlie Manuel described Durbin's ailment as "pretty serious", but initial impressions are that Durbin may not require longer than 15-days to recover.

Ryan Madson is scheduled to travel to Clearwater, FL tonight in order to begin rehab work. Madson has pitched from the mound this week and has taken part in pitchers fielding practice. Madson is slated to begin his rehab work with a game appearance for the High A-Level Clearwater Threshers on Sunday.

Greg Dobbs, who was designated for assignment by the Phillies on Tuesday, has accepted an assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Dobbs will report Friday, and some minor league roster moves will be made accordingly.

The Phillies' new backup catcher Dane Sardinha hit his first Major League homerun in the 6th inning of Thursdays match up with the Indians. The 31-year-old Sardinha had a homer and 5 RBI in 9 spring games with the big league Phils in spring training this year. Sardinha was called up this week when Carlos Ruiz was placed on the disable list with a concussion. Dane, a Hawaii native, has a brother, Bronson, who catches for Colorado's Double-A team, the Tulsa Drillers. Dane and Bronson have another brother, Duke, who played in the Colorado system as well, from 2002-2008.

The Phillies have come to an agreement with their third round draft selection, Cameron Rupp. A catcher for the Texas Longhorns this season, Rupp batted .304 with 10 homers. He is expected to report to short season Williamsport on Friday. The Williamsport Crosscutters, who started their season last week, are 4-2 thus far and are being led by 17-year-old outfielder Domingo Santana, who is batting .474 with a double and 2 homeruns through 6 games. Santana began 2010 with A-Level Lakewood, but batted just .182 through 49 games.
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Utley & Howard to Appear on "It's Always Sunny"

For those who may have missed the news, Phillies All-stars Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will be appearing in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia this coming season.

Phans who watch the show are familiar with the famous scene from last season when Mac's character is revealed to have a man-crush on Chase Utley and a love note he wrote to Utley is read out loud. Utley first heard of the show after the love letter scene was sent his way, via e-mail, by a friend. He has since watched the program, enjoyed it and decided to participate in an upcoming edition of the mature FX Network comedy, along with his teammate 2009 NLCS Most Valuable Player Ryan Howard.

Chase Utley with Sunny stars Charlie Day & Glenn Howerton and Ryan Howard


This photo co-stars Danny DeVito's troll foot.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Advice For the Phils: Learning From Others

These days, many phans would advise the Phillies to avoid doing silly things like trading away ace pitchers for garbage prospects and signing guys with silent S's at the end of their first name. Those tips would, of course, use hindsight and look into the Phils' own recent mistakes. PhoulBallz.com has been reviewing some other MLB franchises, and has developed some tips for the home team.
Today, we offer a list of 5 things the Phillies should avoid doing.

#5- Letting their manager hang out with the city's head football coach, like they do in Seattle. Charlie Manuel's family is drug free and his team can win championships. Nothing good would come from rubbing elbows with the likes of the Eagles' coach.

#4- Fruity flying hip touches. Leave that to the Metros in NYC...and that other team too.

#3- Engaging in any sort of contact like these Padres. Shoulder impalement and stinky fingers do not help players win baseball games.

#2- Doing their hair as though they are the adopted children of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

#1- Playing home games on the road. It pretty much defeats the whole purpose and is kind of nuts.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rollins Returns and More Roster Moves


Jimmy Rollins has been activated from the disable list and will lead off for the Phillies in Tuesday's series opener with the Indians in Philadelphia. Rollins has been out of action since May 22nd with a strained right calf.

In 12 games played this season, Rollins is batting .341 with 2 homers, 7 RBI and 11 runs scored.

Phans who have been aggressively damanding that the Phillies part ways with Greg Dobbs (.152 avg, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 runs in 42 games) have gotten their wishes. Today, the Phillies designated Dobbs for assignment to make room for J-Roll. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters today that the decision to trim Dobbs from the roster was a difficult one and acknowledged that Dobbs' role on the team was not an easy one.

Carlos Ruiz, who was hit in the head with a bat on Friday, has been placed on the disabled list. Initially, Ruiz showed no signs of a concussion, and was kept on the Phillies' 25-man roster, but further diagnosis on Tuesday showed that Ruiz did not feel well enough to remain active, so he was placed on the DL.

Filling Ruiz's void on the roster will be lefty reliever Mike Zagurski, who last pitched with the Phillies in 2007. Zagurski missed the entire 2008 season after needing Tommy John surgery and has been working his way back to the Majors ever since. In 29 games with Triple-A level Lehigh this year, Zagurski held opponents to a .196 avg. and had a 2.35 ERA and 45 strike outs in 30 2/3 innings.

Zagurski told me last season that his goal was to simply stay healthy and pitch well so the Phillies would have no choice but to consider him for an open spot on their pitching staff. Now, more than 2 years and 10 months since his last Major League appearance, Mike Zagurski is once again in the big leagues and is more than excited to be back there after all the hard work. Click here to check out last season's interview with Mike, with info about his rehab, his Phillies debut and plenty more.
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Daulton to Be Honored on Phillies Wall of Fame

Darren "Dutch" Daulton, who was a 25th round draft selection by the Phillies in 1980 and helped lead the 1993 team to the World Series, will be honored by the Phillies on August 6th as the latest Phillie to be enducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame.

Daulton was a three-time All-star as a Phillies (1992, 1993 and 1995). He led the National League in RBI in 1992 with 109. Daulton was behind the dish for Terry Mulholland's no-hitter against the Giants on August 15, 1990. Also, he played 965 games at catcher for the Phillies in his career, which is 4th in team history, behind Mike Lieberthal, Red Dooin and Bob Boone.

Looking at Daulton's overall Phillies career statistics (1109 games, .245 avg., 134 HR, 567 RBI, 48 steals, 489 runs), there is nothing overly impressive about them. "Dutch" is simply an icon in Phillies lore because he was the home grown guy who led the beloved group of cast-offs, including Mitch Williams, John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, Danny Jackson and Pete Incaviglia, to the 1993 National League pennant. Daulton will be the first player from that 1993 Phillies squad to honored on the Phillies Wall of Fame. And surely, the 1993 Phillies deserve to be honored in some way, so if Daulton is the token honoree to represent that legendary season, then so be it.

The tradition of honoring Phillies alumni began in 1978 at Veterans Stadium, when Robin Roberts became the very first man to be given the distinction by the Philadelphia baseball club. Phillies players with 5 or more seasons of service are eligible, while managers and coaches are required to have 4 or more years of service. Harry Halas was recognized on the Wall last season.

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Series Preview: Indians at Phillies 6/22-6/24


The Indians (26-42) visit Philadelphia this week to take on the defending National League champion Phillies (35-32) in a 3-game series. Cleveland is in last place in the American League Central, 13 1/2 games behind division leaders Minnesota. The Phillies are in third place in the National League East, 5 1/2 games behind the first place Braves.

The Phillies have lost 17 of their past 26 games, without perennial lead off man Jimmy Rollins. Rollins has been sidelined with a calf strain for the past month. Rollins is expected to be activated from the disabled list and return to the Phillies' lineup for this series.

The Phillies are just 17-15 (.531 winning %) at Citizens Bank Park this season, a place where they posted a .555 winning percentage last season. Philadelphia will have to start performing better at home if they hope to gain ground on top spot in the division.

Cleveland will send Matt Talbot, who surrendered a career high 13 hits in his last start against the Metropolitans, to the mound for the series opener. Philadelphia will counter with Jamie Moyer, who held the Yankees to 2 runs on 3 hits over 8 innings in his previous outing.

Details on the pitching match ups for this series as well as other key stats from this series lie ahead.


Tuesday, 7:05pm. Matt Talbot (7-5, 4.21 ERA) vs. Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.76 ERA). In 6 road starts this season, Talot is 4-2 with a 2.56 ERA. Over his last 6 starts, Talbot's ERA is 5.50. Talbot, a righty hurler has held left-handed opponents to a .217 batting average this season. Moyer is 7-0 with a 2.33 ERA over his last 11 starts against Cleveland. Not considering Moyer's 1 IP/9 ER outing vs. the Red Sox on June 11th, his ERA over his past 7 starts is 2.68. In 5 home starts this season, Moyer has posted a 3-2 record with a 3.41 ERA. Austin Kearns is 7-for-16 (.438 avg) with 2 doubles and a triple against Moyer in his career.

Wednesday, 7:05pm. Jake Westbrook (4-4, 4.76 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 4.48 ERA). Westbrook has a 3-2 record with a 4.50 ERA in 8 road starts this season. Over his last 5 starts, Westbrook's ERA is 5.08. Raul Ibanez is 8-for-24 (.333 avg) with 2 doubles and a homer against Westbrook in his career. In 6 home starts this season, Kendrick is 2-2 with a 6.32 ERA. Over his last 5 starts, Kendrick has posted a 2.33 ERA. Austin Kearns is 2-for-11 (.182 avg) in his career vs. Kendrick.

Thursday, 1:05pm. Fausto Carmona (6-5, 3.31 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (2-5, 6.96 ERA). Carmona is 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 7 road starts this season. Over his last 9 starts, Carmona's ERA is 2.90. In 4 day starts this season, Carmona is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA. Placido Polanco is 3-for-18 (.188 avg) against Carmona in his career. In his career against the Indians, Blanton is 2-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 8 starts. Blanton is 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA through 5 home starts this season. Blanton has a 7.46 ERA in 6 day starts this season. Jhonny Peralta is 9-for-23 (.391 avg) with 2 doubles and 2 homeruns against Blanton in his career.


Indians closer Kerry Wood is 4-1 with a save and a 3.74 ERA in 8 games against the Phillies. Wood has a 1.50 ERA in 6 road games this season, compared to his 12.27 ERA in 9 home games this year. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino and Brian Schneider are a combined 1-for-19 (.053 avg) against Wood.

Jhonny Peralta, in 3 games against the Phillies is 5-for-13 (.385 avg) with 3 doubles.

Shin-Soo Choo is batting .235 with a .625 OPS in 35 road games this season.

Former Phillie prospect Jason Donald, who is a righty hitter, is batting just .179 with a .530 OPS against right-handed pitchers in 31 games this season.

In 30 home games this season, Chase Utley is batting .317, compared to his .228 avg. in 35 road games this year. Utley has hit just 1 HR in his last 27 games.

In 16 career games against Cleveland, Jose Contreras is 7-3 with a 3.26 ERA. Contreras has a 4.00 ERA at home this season, compared to a 1.35 ERA on the road.

Ryan Howard has successfully hit in all 9 home games played in June. He has a .395 batting average during that stretch.

Indians team batting avg.- .249
Phillies team batting avg.- .256

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Monday, June 21, 2010

BlueClaws Win First Half Title, Clinch Playoffs

A 16-5 run helped the Lakewood BlueClaws overcome a 4 1/2 game deficit in the standings to the Hickory Crawdads in the Northern Division standings, since May 30th, and win the first half title for the second straight season.

Lakewood led Hickory by a game headed into Sunday's action and needed to win, or for the Crawdads to lose, in order to lock down a spot in the 2010 postseason. Both occurred, as the BlueClaws were led by slugging first baseman "The Boss" Jonathan Singleton and starting pitcher Brody Colvin in a 6-3 defeat of the White Sox affiliate Kannapolis Intimidators and Hickory suffered an 11-8 loss to Greenville.

Singleton stretching prior to a game over the weekend

The 18-year-old Singleton gave Lakewood an early 4-1 lead with a 3-run homerun, his 8th of the season, in the first inning. He added a nice cushion for the 'Claws when he smashed his second homer of the game in the 5th inning, putting Lakewood up 6-2 at that point. Singleton's home OPS through 19 games is now 1.200.

Colvin warming up prior to a game earlier this season

Colvin, a 19-year-old right-hander, struck out 5 batters over 5 innings and allowed just 2 earned runs. The win for Colvin improved his record to 4-6. His season ERA also saw an upgrade to 4.48. In his last 7 starts, Colvin has posted a 1.82 ERA.

In addition to the solid starting effort, Ebelin Lugo pitched three innings of 1-hit ball, improving his outstanding season ERA to 1.14.

For the BlueClaws, this will be the third playoff appearance in the team's 10 year history. The previous two times they've competed in the postseason, Lakewood has won the South Atlantic League championship.

The BlueClaws now have 3 scheduled days off, but will send two active All-stars to Greenville for Tuesday night's SAL All-star game. Infielder Jonathan Villar and relief pitcher Josh Zeid will be on the Northern Division roster, while two other BlueClaw All-stars will not play due to injury. Lefty pitcher Nick Hernandez, who was placed on the disabled list in May with shoulder weakness will miss the game along with infielder Jeremy Barnes, who was injured this past week during batting practice, when a batted ball took a funny hop and struck Barnes in the nose as he attempted to field it.

Roster moves are expected as the second half of the minor league season begins this week. A pair of older BlueClaws who are rumored to be in line for a promotion to Advanced A-Level Clearwater are 24-year-old closer Jordan Ellis, who has a 2.75 ERA and 43 strike outs in 36 innings pitched this year, and 23-year-old starter Matt Way, who is 4-0 and has a 1.31 ERA over his last 5 starts.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 67

Dave Cash was a second baseman for the Phillies from 1974-1976. Cash initially debuted with Pittsburgh, replacing Pirates icon Bill Mazeroski, and helped them advance to 3 consecutive postseasons. The Phillies front office acquired Cash, when they overhauled much of the team, in an effort to upgrade the offensive output at the second base position as well as add leadership in the clubhouse. Cash quickly proved to be a smart addition.

In 1974 Cash became an all-star for the first time, with the Phillies. He played in all 162 games and laced 206 total hits that season. Cash excelled in the field as well, leading the league in total chances, turning more double plays than any other National League second baseman and finishing 2nd in Gold Glove Award balloting.

Cash's contributions on the field came in second to his efforts boosting the team's morale. He is credited with helping turn the Phillies' fortunes around and getting the franchise on the winning track. He coined the phrase "Yes We Can" as the Phillies' rally cry. Cash also is said to have taken a young infielder named Mike Schmidt under his wing, to help him adapt to the Major League level. Schmidt was a player with all the tools, but he lacked confidence. Cash helped Schmidt focus and become a player that others would eventually look to for leadership.

The 1975 season saw more solid offensive numbers from Cash, who batted .305, drove in 57 runs, scored 111 runs, got 214 hits- 40 of which were doubles and played in all 162 games once again. Cash became the first Phillie since Chuck Klein (in 1932 & 1933) to have back to back seasons with 200 or more hits.

Cash earned a third straight all-star nod in 1976, when he led the league in triples with 12. Despite that and the fact that Cash helped end the Phillies' 26-year playoff drought, the team chose not to re-sign him and Cash left as a free agent.

The Expos signed Cash and he played with Montreal for 3 seasons and later one year with San Diego. Cash retired from playing in 1981 but stayed in the game as a coach for minor league and independent clubs, even spending a season as the first base coach for the Baltimore Orioles.

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BlueClaws Fall Short in Chance to Clinch Playoffs

In the A-Level South Atlantic League, division leaders at the midseason mark and at the end of the regular season advance to the postseason. Lakewood had a 2 game lead over rival Hickory with 2 games remaining till the deadline. The "magic number" for the BlueClaws was 1...either a victory by the 'Claws or a loss by Hickory would lock up another postseason berth for the defending SAL champs. Saturday night the BlueClaws seemed to have everything in order to clinch a playoff berth for the second straight season at the midway point. The BlueClaws were facing the last place Kannapolis Intimidators with their staff ace, 97 mph fireballer Jarred Cosart, on the mound.

The (non-alcoholic) bottles that the BlueClaws had on ice, ready to be popped, will have to wait another day at least. No playoff trips were locked on Saturday, as Kannapolis came out on top and Hickory knocked off Greenville, which dropped Lakewood's lead in the division to just 1 game. The BlueClaws have already clinched at least a tie for the Northern Division lead. The best that the Hickory Crawdads can do is tie the BlueClaws after tomorrow's games are played. An even finish would result in a one game tie breaker. That deciding game would be the first time the two teams will meet this season, on August 25th in Hickory.

Cosart, who entered the game with a 7-1 record and a 3.25 ERA, let up 2 runs early as the first two Intimidators batters of the game reached base on singles and later scored. Lakewood took a 3-2 lead in the 3rd inning when Jiwan James drove home Adam Buschini with a single and, after a Jonathan Villar walk, Leandro Castro drove home both Alan Schoenberger and James on a 1-out single.

The score remained the same until the 6th inning when Cosart ran into trouble. Daniel Wagner led off the inning with a single and was moved to 2nd on a sacrifice. Center fielder Kyle Colligan then tied the game with an RBI single. The damage in the 6th was not done as lefty hitting outfielder Nick Ciolli jacked a huge opposite field 2-run homerun off Cosart, to give Kannapolis a 5-3 lead.

Lakewood threatened in the 7th inning as Castro smashed a 1-out triple off of reliever Zach Piccola. "The Boss" Jonathan Singleton plated Castro on a sacrifice fly. The BlueClaws missed another opportunity in the 8th inning when Adam Buschini reached on a hit and stole second, but was left stranded there when JR Ballinger struck out Alan Schoenberger. Lakewood failed to plate any more runners, as Kannapolis starter Justin Collup earned the win.

The difficulties for Cosart were something that manager Mark Parent attributed to his inexperience and his age. "He's 19 years old and instead of being able to relax and use his best stuff, in and out, he got away from it and he threw too many change ups. We had this problem, probably 2 games ago." Parent said, already familiar with Cosart's tendencies to not rely on his 95-97 mph fastball that has made him a darling in the Phillies' system.

Parent added, "Jarred gave us all he had, he's just young and sometimes his pitch selection is an issue."

Cosart followed up the 3-run 6th inning with a one-two-three 7th inning. Parent spoke of the overall importance of letting Cosart come back out, even though relief pitcher Luke Wertz was ready to enter the game. "We want to win, right? But I need Jarred Cosart to go back out there and finish on a high note...for the long run."

Cosart was, in fact, on a lower pitch count than normal, as he exceeded the usual 100 pitch limit in his previous start. Wertz was ready in case Cosart didn't bounce back with a quick inning.

In the end, Parent is still confident in the team and knows that there's plenty of baseball left, no matter how Sunday's results go. "My job is to keep these guys competing after tomorrow even if we do win," Parent said. "We want to win the first half, that's what we're supposed to do as a team. And if we do that, then we've succeeded, but then there's a whole other half. We just don't (crap) it away, we gotta keep playing."

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Chase D'Arnaud Q&A with PhoulBallz.com

Yesterday, PhoulBallz.com featured an article about the D'Arnaud brothers, Chase and Travis. Much of that took a look at the sibling rivalry from Chase's point of view. You can read that post by clicking here.

Chase D'Arnaud is a short stop prospect in the Pirates system, currently playing for the Double-A level Altoona Curve. Chase had more to say on his season and professional career to date. Some of that action lies ahead.


You've really cranked things up and turned it on here in June (.329 avg. this month, after batting .209 through April & May). What improvements have you made and/or what do you attribute to getting things turned around this month?

Well, coming out this season, in the very beginning, I didn't really feel my swing out and I saw some footage a couple weeks ago from my Arizona Fall League at bats, when out hitting coordinator came into town, and it seemed to really help me out a lot. Right now I just feel really balanced and I feel like my swing compliments my approach right now. Which is very important...where as before I had the right approach, but my swing just wasn't complimenting. Now I feel like I am working the count and getting the ball to the right-center gap, like I should be.


At the tail end of spring training, you got to play at Citizens Bank Park when the Pirates visited Philadelphia for the Phillies' annual On-deck Series. What was that like for you to get that opportunity to play in a Major League Park with and against big league players?

It was amazing. I remember the first inning, I was out there, my heart was beating hard and everything was really loud. That's a park that's really built upward and you feel like you're in a Tic Tac box and everyone's just right on top of you. It was an amazing feeling and it was definitely a mile stone for me, playing with big leaguers in the park that day.


Was that something you will always remember and kind of cherish?

Yeah, definitely. Hopefully, I have many more of those kinds of games ahead in the regular season.


The MLB amateur draft just passed. Just a couple years back, you were in the mix with all of that action. What was your draft experience like back in 2008?

I was at home. I took the day off and stayed home...every round that went by I kept biting my lip, 'cause I was getting real anxious. And then I got the call from the Pirates in the fourth round and I was so excited. I worked hard to where I was at that point and getting drafted was the first step to getting the bigs. Right now, I'm in Double-A and I am still striving hard to get there and I am working hard every day.


What do you think is the best thing about the Pirates system, or something that people might be surprised to learn about the Pirates system?

Not too long ago the Pirates kind of flushed out their system and hired a whole new (coaching) staff. I really enjoy working with our staff and all our coordinators. They're all very knowledgable and still students of the game. I'll sit next to them during a game and they'll talk to me and I learn a lot of stuff from those guys. It's important to the program.

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Series Preview: Twins at Phillies, 6/18-6/20


The AL Central leading Twins (38-28) visit the NL East's third place Phillies (34-30) for a three game series starting Friday night. Hoping to win three games in a row for the first time in a month, the Phillies will send Joe Blanton to the mound, hoping he can right his own ship and turn around what has been a weak showing thus far in 2010. The Twins will counter with Nick Blackburn for game 1.

The Twins visit Philadelphia for the first time since 2002 and the teams last met in 2004, when the Phillies traveled to Minnesota.

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson could both be activated from the disabled list during this series.

Read ahead for information on the pitching match ups and plenty more stat details from this series.


Friday, 7:05pm. Nick Blackburn (6-3, 4.96) vs. Joe Blanton (1-5, 7.28 ERA). In 6 road start this season, Blackburn has a 2-3 record with a 7.31 ERA. In 3 June starts, the right-handed Blackburn has an 8.10 ERA. Ben Francisco is 1-for-12 (.083 avg) in his career against Blackburn. In his career against the Twins, Blanton is 3-4 with a 4.44 ERA in 7 games. In 4 home starts this season, Blanton is 0-2 with a 5.47 ERA. Former Phillie Nick Punto is 3-for-17 (.176 avg) against Blanton is his career.

Saturday, 4:10pm. Kevin Slowey (7-4, 3.84 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (6-5, 3.74 ERA). In 5 road starts this season, Slowey is 3-1 with a 3.90 ERA. Slowey has never faced the Phillies before. Slowey has posted a 2.49 ERA over his last 4 starts. Ben Francisco is 1-for-12 (.083 avg) against Slowey in his career. Hamels has posted a 2.77 ERA over his last 8 starts, which includes a rain shortened outing that lasted just 2/3 of an inning. Hamels has a 2.81 ERA and has held opponents to a .224 batting avg. against in 6 home starts this season. Lefty hitting opponents are batting .141 against Hamels this year.

Sunday, 1:35pm. Carl Pavano (7-6, 3.92 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (8-5, 2.36 ERA). Pavano has posted a 3.65 ERA over his last 5 starts. In 20 career games against the Phillies, Pavano is 5-7 with a 4.86 ERA. Pavano has allowed 11 earned run in 11 innings pitched at Citizens Bank Park (9.00 ERA). In 13 career games against the Twins, Halladay has an 8-1 record and a 2.90 ERA. In his last 7 starts, Halladay is 2-4 with a 3.35 ERA. Jim Thome is 12-for-28 (.429 avg) off of Halladay is his career.


Justin Morneau is 5-for-35 (.143 avg) in his past 10 games. Morneau is hitting .363 in 28 road games this year.

Minnesota closer Jon Rauch had a 4.09 ERA in 11 May games. In his 14 other outings this season, his ERA is 1.20.

In 96 career games at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Thome is a .237 hitter with 25 homeruns and 58 RBI. Thome is hitting .271 on the road this year, compared to .205 at home.

Shane Victorino has hit 8 of his 11 homeruns at Citzens Bank Park this year. Shane's OPS is 164 points higher at home than it is on the road.

In 27 home games this year, Chase Utley is batting .300 with 8 homers and a 1.072 OPS.

Minnesota team ERA- 3.67
Phillies team ERA- 3.95

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chase D'Arnaud's Sibling Rivalry


The D'Arnaud brothers, Chase and Travis, have been in opposing dugouts since they graduated little league. They attended rival high schools and then they were pitted against one another in the minors, when different Pennsylvania teams drafted each of them. Travis was selected by the Phillies as a supplemental 1st round pick in 2007 and Chase was picked by the Pirates in the 4th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Regular PhoulBallz readers should be familiar with Travis (interviews here and here), the former Phillies prospect, who was among the minor leaguers traded to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay last December. However, we've not heard from Chase, the Pirates shortstop prospect, here, until now.

Dating back to their youth, Chase and Travis have played for rival teams. During their teenage years in California, Chase attended Los Alamitos High School and Travis attended Lakewood High School. In Chase's first pro season, the brothers faced each other in the NY-Penn League, when Chase played for State College and Travis played for Williamsport. Even last season, with Chase playing for the West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League and Travis the starting catcher for the eventual league champion Lakewood BlueClaws, they were matched up quite a bit, including a stretch in May when their father, Lance, made a trip to see his sons play each other when the Power and BlueClaws met in Charleston and Lakewood in consecutive weeks.

Chase considers the rivalry toned down since high school, when things were more aggressive and competitive. Now, he says, it's more enjoyable. "It's a lot more fun right now, 'cause we're both just working on our games and getting better." Chase added, of Travis, "It's exciting watching him play."

These days, the D'Arnaud brothers compete in different leagues. Chase plays for the Altoona Curve in the Double A level Eastern League, while Travis catches for the Dunedin Blue Jays in the High A level Florida State League. Chase is batting .238 overall in 60 games this season.

The 23-year-old Chase, who had successful and unsuccessful stolen bases attempts against his brother last season in the South Atlantic League, speaks highly of Travis. "He's a great catcher and he's got a great arm," Chase said, but added some swagger by asserting his confidence on the bases against his younger brother. "He's great defensively, but I gotta show up little brother whenever I have the chance to."

The brothers speak regularly about meeting up, as opponents, as they both progress upward in the baseball ranks. Chase anticipates Travis getting a mid-season promotion to Toronto's Double-A affiliate, New Hampshire, and hopes they get to face off later this year. Chase feels that they each pick up their game when facing one another. "It's always fun," Chase said. "Usually, we both do really well, when we play each other."

The D'Arnaud brothers also rely on each other for support when the rigors of a long season take their toll and slumps prevail. "It's very convenient having a brother who's also doing well in the game, because whenever I'm struggling, I can go to him for help. And whenever he's struggling, he can come to me for help," Chase said. "We just feed off each other."

Altoona and New Hampshire face off just once more on the regular season schedule, in Altoona, August 13th-15th. It remains to be seen if 2010 will see another Clash of the D'Arnauds, but if 21-year-old Travis continues on his current pace (.284 avg., 5 HR, 27 RBI in 38 games), it's not absurd to expect this brotherly broil to reignite this season.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trenton Seating Attendant Outshining the Thunder Players?



Today, PhoulBallz brings to you "Crystal Ball"...the Trenton Thunder seating attendant, who regularly performs between innings, on top of the visitors' dugout at Waterfront Park. The Thunder is the Double A Eastern League affiliate of the New York Yankees.

"Crystal" is quickly becoming more popular than promotional down-time staples like the dizzy bat race, musical chairs and the mascot vs. random child race around the bases. Shaking his thang to today's latest dance music, each chance he gets, "Crystal" is definitely a solid addition to the Waterfront Park staff.

There is no question that, as "Crystal Ball" soars toward regional stardom, you should check out the Yankees' Double A team in Trenton while "Crystal" is still in full effect at his roots. Click here for tickets, before it's too late and "Crystal" is booked on a lengthy tour as a dancer for an artist like Beyonce, Nelly Furtado or Lisa Lisa, but NOT Cult Jam.

Trenton is currently in first place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League, 11 1/2 games ahead of the 5th place Reading Phillies.

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Below is bonus footage of some Portland Seadogs players getting a bit of a show from the beloved "Crystal". Also, please make note that "Crystal Ball" and I have no relation. He is Ball, and I am (Jay) Ballz.



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Viewing Party with Dan Baker, Part 2

Come on out to Chickie's & Pete's in Bordentown, NJ to watch the Phillies/Yankees game on Thursday night, June 17th! It's Chickie's & Pete's Summer Nights at the Ballpark promotion and Phillies public address announcer Dan Baker will be in the house, announcing the game as though he is at the ball park and conducting phan trivia with prizes between innings.

Party with the PhoulBallz crew and some fellow Philadelphia bloggers like Mister Tug from TheFightins.com, Chris of Long Drive fame and perhaps another rare public appearance from the 701 Level guys (Shep & Gil). You can also meet the star of this year's TastyKake ad campaign, Jaimie Mac!

Happy hour is from 5-7pm, featuring discounted pizza, nachos, crab fries & other food as well as $1 domestic beers. Also, Bud & Bud Light beer specials will be in effect during the game.

So, my phriends, come on out to meet Dan Baker, play some trivia, root-root-root for the Phillies and TWEET UP with your favorite Philadelphia sports bloggers.

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Today is PhoulBallz Phillies Wednesday. Check me out around 3:20pm, talking baseball with Joe & Mike on The Shore Sports Report. Tune in on 1160 WOBM AM or on Fox Sports 1310 in New Jersey. You can also listen live online by clicking THIS LINK.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Series Preview: Phillies at Yankees, 6/15-6/17


It's the rematch! Both the Phillies (32-29) and the Yankees (40-23) will have their aces going in the series opener when Roy Halladay and C.C. Sabathia meet up in the collission of last year's World Series opponents. The Yankees won the best-of-seven series in six games.

The Yankees enter the series tied for first place in the American League East with the team the Phillies faced in the World Series two seasons ago, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Phillies, however, are struggling to climb back atop the National League East, as they are in third place, 3 1/2 games behind the first place Braves and 1 1/2 games behind the second place Metropolitans.

Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups for this series as well as loads more information.


Tuesday, 7:05pm. Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96 ERA) vs CC Sabathia (6-3, 4.01 ERA). In 37 games against the Yankees, Halladay has an 18-6 record with a 2.84 ERA. In 6 road starts this season, Halladay is 4-1 with a 1.52 ERA. Curtis Granderson is 5-for-12 (.417 avg) with two doubles and a homer against Halladay. Sabathia is 0-2 in 3 career post-season starts against the Phillies. Over his last 4 starts, Sabathia has a 5.40 ERA. In 5 home starts this year, Sabathia is 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA and a .189 batting average against.

Wednesday, 7:05pm. Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.80 ERA) vs AJ Burnett (6-4, 3.86 ERA). Kendrick has not faced the Yankees before. In 7 road games this season, Kendrick is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA. Mark Teixeira is 1-for-12 (.083 avg) with a homer against Kendrick in his career. In 17 career games against the Phillies, Burnett has posted a 5-8 record with a 4.75 ERA. In 5 home starts this season, Burnett is 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard are a combined 4-for-25 (.160 avg) against Burnett.

Thursday, 7:05pm. Jamie Moyer (6-6, 5.03 ERA) vs Andy Pettitte (8-1, 2.46 ERA). Moyer is 10-9 with a 4.78 ERA in 36 career regular season games against the Yankees. Moyer has lost 4 of his last 5 starts. Alex Rodriguez is 21-for-54 (.389 avg) with 3 doubles and 6 homers against Moyer in his career. Pettitte has a 2.10 ERA over his last 4 starts. In 8 home starts this season, Pettitte has a 6-1 record with a 2.84 ERA. Left-handed hitting opponents are batting .171 against Pettitte this season. Pettitte's ERA in 5 night starts is 4.18, compared to his 1.31 ERA in 7 daytime starts. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are a combined 2-for-16 (.125 avg) vs. Pettitte.


In 24 road games this year, Placido Polanco is batting .354. In his career against the Yankees, Polanco is a .284 hitter with 4 homers in 22 games. Polanco has reached base safely via a hit or walk in 14 of his last 15 games played and 25 of his last 27 games played.

Chase Utley is batting .224 with just 2 homers in 32 road games this season. In 11 games this month, Utley is just 6-for-38 (.158 avg).

In 10 career regular season games against the Yankees, Ben Francisco is a .351 hitter with 5 doubles. In 7 June games, Francisco is 6-for-16 (.375 avg) with 3 RBI.

Chan Ho Park has a 5.71 ERA and a 1-1 record in 12 relief appearances for the Yankees this season.

Derek Jeter is batting .364 in 28 home games this year. Jeter is 7-for-29 (.241 avg) in his last 7 games.

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