Tag Archives: MLB

Indians… Yeah, They Win Games Now

14 May

Jeez…

As you may or may not have noticed, I took a little time off.  No excuses, I just didn’t have it in me…

However, as a Season Ticket Holder I figured I would have to commiserate with someone!  Lucky you!

With Roy Halladay scheduled to undergo surgery tomorrow. Let’s look ahead and see if the Phillies legitimately have any chance of making noise in the N.L. East.

Let’s be honest, nobody is running away with it at this point.  Yes, it’s early but they all count in the end.  The Phillies are 4 1/2 games out of first place in the N.L. East.  The Braves were insanely hot to start the season, but have since cooled off, and the Nats are playing basically average baseball.  If this was the first of September I’d be less optimistic.

Keeping things short, which I usually do, I feel that the Phillies need to take advantage of two things.  Crappy teams, and head to head competition with the Braves and the Nationals.  They only saw the Braves once, and lost two of three, and will finally see the Nationals next weekend in D.C.

I have to say, I don’t think that the Phillies pitching has been all that terrible.  Cliff is pitching great, Kendrick has been outstanding, and Cole, well… It’s been the same old story for him… No run support.  If Pettibone and whoever is the 5th starter can keep it together then the starters are going to be alright.  Anyone can pitch better than Roy Halladay at this point, so look for the starters overall ERA to drop.  The middle relievers look pretty miserable at a glance, but they’re mainly pitching when the game has already been lost.   Bastardo, Adams and Papelbon are getting the job done when they have the chance.

Really the glaring problem is the offense.  They just are not scoring enough to get the job done.  Even if they eeked into the playoff, I don’t see them having the firepower to compete without the pitchers throwing out of their minds.

The Phillies welcome the Cleaveland Indians into town with a two game set Tuesday and Wednesday.  The Indians are 21-16, and have won 7 of their last 10.  They destroyed the Phillies last month in a two game series where the Phillies mustered just two runs while the Indians tagged the Phillies for 20.  When the Indians win, they win big.

The Indians are a tough customer, scoring an average of about four runs a game.  They’ve filled their lineup with a bunch of guys that nobody really wanted (Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, and Mark Reynolds) but with the exception of Bourn who’d been on the D.L. for a bit of time, they’re producing.

This should lead to be a tough contest for the Phillies.

2013 Free Agents…

7 Oct

So… Who do you like?

Here is a list of the 2013 MLB Free Agent class.

Catchers
Rod Barajas (37) – $3.5MM club option, no buyout
Henry Blanco (41) – $1.24MM mutual option
Gerald Laird (33)
Russell Martin (30)
Brian McCann (29) – $12MM club option with a $500K buyout
Jose Molina (37) – $1.5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Mike Napoli (31)
Wil Nieves (35)
Miguel Olivo (34) – $3MM club option with a $750K buyout
Ronny Paulino (32)
A.J. Pierzynski (36)
Humberto Quintero (33)
David Ross (36)
Carlos Ruiz (34) – $5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Brian Schneider (36)
Kelly Shoppach (33)
Chris Snyder (32) – $4MM mutual option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
Yorvit Torrealba (34)
Matt Treanor (37)

First basemen
Lance Berkman (36)
Jason Giambi (42)
Eric Hinske (35)
Aubrey Huff (36) – $10MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Casey Kotchman (30)
Adam LaRoche (33) – $10MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Carlos Lee (37)
James Loney (29)
Xavier Nady (34)
Mike Napoli (31)
Lyle Overbay (36)
Carlos Pena (35)
Ty Wigginton (35) – $4MM club option with a $500K buyout

Second basemen
Jeff Baker (32)
Robinson Cano (30) – $15MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Mike Fontenot (33)
Orlando Hudson (35) – $8MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Maicer Izturis (32)
Kelly Johnson (31)
Adam Kennedy (37)
Jeff Keppinger (33)
Jose Lopez (29)
Ryan Theriot (33)

Shortstops
Jason Bartlett (33)
Yuniesky Betancourt (31)
Ronny Cedeno (30)
Stephen Drew (30) – $10MM mutual option with a $1.35MM buyout
Alex Gonzalez (35) – $4MM vesting option. Details here.
Cesar Izturis (33)
Jhonny Peralta (31) – $6MM club option with a $500K buyout
Marco Scutaro (37)

Third basemen
Miguel Cairo (39)
Eric Chavez (35)
Mark DeRosa (38)
Brandon Inge (36)
Maicer Izturis (32)
Jose Lopez (29)
Placido Polanco (37) – $5.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Scott Rolen (38)
Ty Wigginton (35) – $4MM club option with a $500K buyout
David Wright (30) – $16MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Kevin Youkilis (34) – $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout

Left fielders
Melky Cabrera (28)
Jonny Gomes (32)
Scott Hairston (33)
Josh Hamilton (32)
Eric Hinske (35)
Reed Johnson (36)
Andruw Jones (36)
Austin Kearns (33)
Carlos Lee (37)
Ryan Ludwick (34) - $5MM mutual option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
Juan Pierre (35)
Juan Rivera (34) – $4MM club option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
Delmon Young (27)

Center fielders
Alfredo Amezaga (35)
Rick Ankiel (33)
Michael Bourn (30)
Curtis Granderson (32) – $15MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Scott Hairston (33)
Angel Pagan (31)
Cody Ross (32)
Grady Sizemore (30)
B.J. Upton (28)
Shane Victorino (32)

Right fielders
Matt Diaz (35)
Kosuke Fukudome (36)
Torii Hunter (37)
Andruw Jones (36)
Ryan Ludwick (34) – $5MM mutual option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
Xavier Nady (34)
Juan Rivera (34) – $4MM club option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
Cody Ross (32)
Ichiro Suzuki (39)
Nick Swisher (32)

Designated hitters
Bobby Abreu (39)
Johnny Damon (39)
Travis Hafner (36) – $13MM club option with a $2.75MM buyout
Raul Ibanez (41)
Hideki Matsui (39)
David Ortiz (38)
Luke Scott (35) – $6MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Jim Thome (42)
Delmon Young (27)

Starting pitchers
Scott Baker (31) – $9.25MM club option
Erik Bedard (34)
Joe Blanton (32)
Bartolo Colon (40)
Aaron Cook (34)
Kevin Correia (32)
Jorge De La Rosa (32) – $11MM player option with a $1MM buyout
Ryan Dempster (36)
R.A. Dickey (38) – $5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Scott Feldman (29) – $9.25MM club option with a $600K buyout
Jeff Francis (32)
Gavin Floyd (30) – $9.5MM club option
Freddy Garcia (37)
Zack Greinke (28)
Jeremy Guthrie (34)
Rich Harden (31)
Dan Haren (32) – $15.5MM club option with a $3.5MM buyout
Roberto Hernandez (32) – $9MM club option
Tim Hudson (37) – $9MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Edwin Jackson (29)
Hiroki Kuroda (38)
Francisco Liriano (29)
Kyle Lohse (34)
Derek Lowe (40)
Paul Maholm (31) – $6.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Shaun Marcum (31)
Jason Marquis (34)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (32)
Brandon McCarthy (29)
Kevin Millwood (38)
Jamie Moyer (50)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Carl Pavano (37)
Jake Peavy (31) – $22MM club option with a $4MM buyout
Anibal Sanchez (29)
Jonathan Sanchez (30)
Ervin Santana (30) – $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Joe Saunders (32)
James Shields (31) – $9MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Carlos Villanueva (29)
Chien-Ming Wang (33)
Kip Wells (36)
Randy Wolf (36)
Chris Young (34)
Carlos Zambrano (32)

Closers
Grant Balfour (35) – $4.5MM club option with a $350K buyout
Jonathan Broxton (29)
Matt Capps (29) – $6MM club option with a $250K buyout
Brandon League (30)
Ryan Madson (32) - $11MM mutual option with a $2.5MM buyout
Brett Myers (32) – $10MM vesting option with a $3MM buyout
J.J. Putz (36) – $6.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Mariano Rivera (43)
Fernando Rodney (36) - $2.5MM club option with a $250K buyout
Joakim Soria (29) – $8MM club option with a $750K buyout
Jose Valverde (35)

Right-handed relievers
Jeremy Accardo (31)
Mike Adams (34)
Luis Ayala (35)
Miguel Batista (42)
Shawn Camp (37)
Todd Coffey (32) – $2.5M club option for 2013 with a $300K buyout
Francisco Cordero (38)
Juan Cruz (34)
Octavio Dotel (39) – $3.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Chad Durbin (35)
Kyle Farnsworth (37)
Jason Frasor (35)
Kevin Gregg (35)
Jason Grilli (36)
LaTroy Hawkins (38)
Clay Hensley (33)
Livan Hernandez (38)
Bobby Jenks (32)
Brad Lidge (36)
Matt Lindstrom (33) – $4MM club option with a $200K buyout
Derek Lowe (40)
Mark Lowe (30)
Brandon Lyon (33)
Guillermo Mota (39)
Juan Carlos Oviedo (29)
Vicente Padilla (35)
Brad Penny (35)
Joel Peralta (37)
Chad Qualls (34)
Ramon Ramirez (31)
Jon Rauch (34)
Francisco Rodriguez (31)
Takashi Saito (43)
Rafael Soriano (33) – $14MM player option or a $1.5MM buyout
Carlos Villanueva (29)
Jamey Wright (38)

Left-handed relievers
Jeremy Affeldt (34)
Sean Burnett (30) – $3.5MM mutual option with a $250K buyout
Tim Byrdak (39)
Randy Choate (37)
Pedro Feliciano (35) – $4.5MM club option
Brian Fuentes (37) – $6.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Mike Gonzalez (35)
J.P. Howell (28)
Will Ohman (35)
Darren Oliver (42) – $3MM club option with a $500K buyout
J.C. Romero (37)
Hisanori Takahashi (38)

Source: MLBTR

Melky Suspension May Disrupt Phillies

15 Aug

Like it or not, the suspension of Melky Cabrera is going to have an impact on the Phillies offseason plans.

Cabrera was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy, as he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. Cabrera had denied reports of the test for a number of weeks after rumors swirled of the test around the time of the All-Star game.

Cabrera was the All-Star Game MVP, and was leading the league in runs, and hits.

The Phillies toyed with the idea of trying to trade for Melky last season before making their move for Hunter Pence, and given their need for a center fielder next season, would likely have considered trying to sign him as a free agent this fall.

They still could.

For Cabrera it was a mistake that will cost him millions, as he was likely in line to entertain offers above $75MM for his services going forward.  He was going to be one of the three most sought after outfielders this fall with Michael Bourn, and Shane Victorino. All along I was kinda hoping that Bourn would be our number one target, but with this suspension to Cabrera it may actually increase Bourn’s price.

With Bourn’s price already looking to be sky high, and Melky’s suspension makes the market for a premiere outfielder a little bit thinner.  At the same time it’s possible that a team might get a huge discount if a team decides to grab Cabrera in free agency, but of course there is plenty of risk there, since you really don’t know what you’re going to get.

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Halladay Looked Good… Real Good

11 Aug

Eight innings good.

For those of you who thought Roy Halladay was cooked, you were wrong.

Roy’s performance on Friday night was utterly brilliant, and it all came down to one thing.

His mechanics.
“To me it’s going out and making pitches. I’ve had years when I threw 90 or 91. I had success. It’s location, movement and making pitches. For me one or two miles-per-hour isn’t going to help me. For me, location and movement is going to help me. I just need to focus to continue to do that — just go out and pitch. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of success in my career and I’ve been very blessed to do that and I’m going to go out from game to game like I always have. I’m not worried about if I’m going to win 20. Those are things I’ve never worried about and I’m not going to worry about them now. I’m just going to do the best I can and be aggressive and make pitches.”
That’s just the type of pitcher Roy is.  It’s not about his velocity, it’s about his stuff.  Last night made it pretty evident that Roy can be effective if he’s throwing 90-91 instead of 92-93.
Did you see that curve ball last night?  Nasty.

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Deal Complete – Hunter Pence to the Giants

31 Jul

Official: The Phillies have acquired OF Nate Schierholtz, C Tommy Joseph and RHP Seth Rosin from Giants for OF Hunter Pence.

Here is the official release.

The Phillies have traded right fielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catcher Tommy Joseph and right-hander Seth Rosin, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.  The Phillies also sent cash considerations to the Giants.

Schierholtz, 28, was hitting .257 with five doubles, five triples, five home runs and 17 RBI in 77 games.  A left-handed hitter, Schierholtz has made 37 starts in right field this year.  As a pinch-hitter this year, he had six hits in 28 at-bats (.214), but for his career owns a .296 (37-125) pinch average with two home runs and 16 RBI.  Selected in the second round by the Giants in the 2003 draft, Schierholtz had spent his entire professional career with the organization and is a career .270 hitter with 23 home runs, 119 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 503 major league games.

Joseph, 21, was hitting .260 with eight home runs and 38 RBI in 80 games for double-A Richmond this season.  Last year, he batted .270 with 22 home runs and 95 RBI in 127 games for single-A San Jose.  Joseph was originally selected in the second round of the 2009 draft out of Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Az.

Rosin, 23, has gone 2-1 with 10 saves and a 4.31 ERA in 34 games (five starts) for single-A San Jose this season. In his 56.1 innings pitched, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound right-hander has 68 strikeouts (10.86 SO/9.0 IP). Rosin was a fourth-round selection of the Giants in the 2010 draft out of the University of Minnesota.

Pence, 29, was acquired by the Phillies on July 29 of last season from the Houston Astros.  In 155 games for the Phillies since his acquisition, he batted .289 with 27 doubles, 28 home runs and 94 RBI.  This season, Pence was hitting .271 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI in 101 games.  He was leading the Phillies in runs (59), hits (108), home runs, RBI, walks (37) and total bases (178) and was tied for the lead in games.

 

I’m not as big on this deal as a I am with the Victorino deal.  Tommy Joseph looks like a great catcher, but the Phillies also have Sebastian Valle in Reading.  Nate Schierholtz almost seems like a throw-in.

Update: 2:04 PM EST The Phillies will also acquire Single-A RHP Seth Rosin for Hunter Pence.  The final deal should be announced shortly.  Leslie Gudel of ComcastSportsnet Philadelphia says that Hunter Pence just left the Phillies clubhouse, and he said he was “Surprised.”  Pence also said “We had a great run.  Now I’ve been sent off.” 

Update 1:51 PM EST Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Cronicle is reporting that Nate Schierholtz has been told he’s “Going to Philadelphia.”   It sounds like a mult-level/player deal is almost in place. 

Update 1:18 PM EST The deal is not yet finalized, as physicals and a few other details need to be sorted out.  Still sounds like Pence is headed West, but for who, we’re unsure. 

Update 12:50 PM EST Todd Zolecki of MLB.com is speculating that Nate Schierholtz might be part of the deal for Pence.  Schierholtz has been looking for a change of scenery. 

Update 12:35 PM EST Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com is reporting that one of the players the Phillies have aquired is Tommy Joeseph. Tommy is catcher and first baseman.   The rest of the details are not yet ironed out, but Hunter is headed to SF. 

It’s also being reported by Jayson Stark that the Phillies will NOT aquire Gary Brown, Brandon Belt, or Kyle Crick. 

I loved the heart that Hunter Pence brought to Philadelphia, but it just didn’t work out.

Hunter Pence is headed to San Francisco.

Pence, 29, is hitting .271/.336/.447 in 440 plate appearances for the Phillies this year.

I’m pretty curious what they’re going to do on Hunter Pence Bobblehead night in a few weeks.

If Tommy Joeseph is included, the Phillies have gotten a good catching prospect who could eventually replace Chooch. The Phillies gave up some good players to get Pence last year from the Astros, so you know that Ruben Amaro Jr. is pushing hard for a good return on him today.

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Mahalo Shane – Victorino Traded to Dodgers

31 Jul

I feel like listening to some Boyz II Men.  It is hard to “Say Goodbye to Yesterday”, but Shane Victorino has indeed been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right handed relief pitcher Josh Lindbloom, and Ethan Martin.

Josh Lindbloom is in his second year of Major League service and is arbitration eligible next season.  Lindbloom this season is pitching with a 2-2 record, 3.02 ERA and 8.1 SO/9.  He currently makes $483k and isn’t a free agent until 2018.

This deal was about getting younger, and getting the right players that make reasonable money that the Phillies can control.

Josh Lindbloom threw a scoreless inning against the Phillies on July 18th.  He struck out Mike Fontenot, and Jimmy Rollins.

Ethan Martin is a former first round pick (15th) that has been pitching with the Dodgers AA team in Chattanooga.  He’s struggled a bit over the years, but has improved this season.  Martin has averaged 9.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched (441 SO/426.2 IP).

The Phillies will also receive a player to be named later, or cash.

Not enough can be said for what Shane has done for this team and it’s community.  I loved the little guy.  Very fiery, and very charitable.   Shane has had a great ride in Philly and will be missed.

Not too bad for a Rule 5 pick.

Mahalo Shane.

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Trade Update: Shane Victorino

31 Jul

  • Update: 10:10 AM EST – ESPN’S Jayson Stark is reporting that the Dodgers and Phillies are “Very close” to a deal for Shane Victorino.  Deal said to be for Josh Lindbloom, and another player. 
  • Update: 1:15 AM EST – Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweets that the Dodgers and the Reds are the only teams that are still on Vic.  My thoughts are The Dodgers just acquired Brandon League from the Mariners, who would be perfect to flip to the Philles. 

Give Ruben Amaro Jr. a little credit, he’s not giving away anything.

One of the reasons that the Phillies are going down to the wire with their trades, is that Amaro isn’t parting with any of his players without a fight.  Shane Victorino is one of them.

Victorino is hitting .261/.324/.401 in 431 plate appearances this year, and the Giants, Reds, and Dodgers have been named as other potential suitors for Shane.   Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says that Giants are only discussing one Phillies outfielder, and it’s Hunter Pence. They apparently are not in on Victorino.

The word with the beats is that the Phillies are pushing Pence harder then Shane, but that may just be because they know Shane will be easier to unload.

The Reds need a leadoff hitter and Victorino has been their top target, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports, however the Reds don’t like the Phillies’ asking price for Victorino.

The Dodgers seem to make the most sense.  They are without the speedy Dee Gordon for a few more weeks, and could use a little speed at the top of their lineup. They also have the cash and prospects to make it happen.

Right now the market for Shane is pretty calm, but by noon on Tuesday, things should be cooking. Stay tuned.

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Trade Update: Joe Blanton

30 Jul

Update: 1:47 PM EST The Orioles are said to be lowering their demands. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says that the deal is “Gaining steam.”

Update: 12:53 PM EST Jayson Stark is reporting that the talks between the Orioles and the Phillies are on “life support.”  Teams are very far apart still. 

Update 11:53 AM EST According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com The Orioles are said to be looking around other places for pitching help, but can’t seem to meet the demands of other teams. Not sure exactly if this bodes well for the Phillies. 

Update: 10:55 AM EST Blanton is still on the Orioles radar.  Baltimore is reluctant to pick up any of the roughly $3MM still owed to Joe this season.  

The Phillies may have found a suitor for Joe Blanton.

After years of being involved in trade rumors, and being the outcast pitcher among aces, Joe Blanton appears to finally be on the move.

The Cardinals and Blue Jays have also expressed interest in Big Joe, but it looks like Baltimore has what the Phillies are looking for.

The Phillies are interested in Orioles AA prospect Jonathan Schoop.  Schoop is the #82 Prospect in Baseball America’s Top 100, and the Orioles third best prospect, however Baltimore is reluctant to give up Schoop, and right now that and the money is what’s holding things up.  Baltimore is not interested in taking on any of the $3.02MM that Blanton is still owed, and Philadelphia is OK paying most of it, but they want prospects in return if they’re going to pay.  This isn’t an all out salary dump.

Since there are other teams in the mix the Phillies can haggle all the way up to 4 PM EST tomorrow.

The Phillies have sent Blanton’s medical records to the Orioles, which shows that Baltimore is pretty serious.

I think this one is gonna happen.

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Downward Spiral Continues

29 Jul

With their second straight loss to the Braves yesterday the Phillies have almost certainly sealed the fate of some of their teammates. They have had their chances, but yesterday’s game was filled with poor at-bats, and uninspired play from a team that needs to be giving it their all.

The Phillies only mustered up 4 hits, and are now 0-10 with runners in scoring position in this series.  They also committed two more errors in the field.

The Phillies are 11 1/2 games back from the second Wildcard spot.  No, not the Division, the Wildcard.

Yesterday’s pitching performance bodes well for Joe Blanton.  As you probably remember the Phillies acquired Joe from the A’s in 2008 and he was instrumental in their championship run.  He would certainly help solidify a contenders starting rotation, and in his last three starts has proven to be as durable and reliable as ever.  Joe allowed just four hits and two runs over seven innings. He walked just one and struck out seven.

At this point I’m starting to think that Blanton, Victorino, and possibly Juan Pierre are as good as gone. With the amount of speculation surrounding these three, and how poorly the Phillies have played this weekend, it’s almost a forgone conclusion.

What else should Ruben Amaro Jr. do?  It would be irresponsible of him to let the opportunity to trade and try to re-tool this team pass him by.  The current Phillies have done little to tell him that he should keep them together.

There are three days left until the deadline… Such a shame.

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Off Night for Hamels Costs Phils

28 Jul

The Phillies came up pretty short in a series that is said to have serious implications for their season.

The series with the Brewers, and their terrible bullpen is over, and once the Braves went up 5-1 it was hard to believe that the Phillies could come back.  The Phils were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position, and left nine on base.

Defensively they committed two costly errors.

The $144 million dollar man didn’t quite have it either.   Cole Hamels threw more balls than strikes when throwing 100 or more pitches for first time in his career.  It was also the shortest outing of the season for Hamels, who only went five innings. Hamels surrounded a career high six walks to the Braves.

“Obviously, I didn’t do my job,” Hamels said. “We’ll find it. We hit some rough patches. With the caliber of players we have, I know we’ll be able to find it. I know it’s a little more urgent to do right now, but I have the confidence all five of us will work hard and get the job done.”

Some were saying that the humidity was having an effect on Cole’s grip.  Hamels didn’t deny it, but said it was no excuse despite having to change his undershirt and jersey, twice.

“It’s not going to be the last time it’s ever going to be humid” Hamels said.

Yep, six homers, in six games. The story of the night might just be Brian McCann, who just KILLS the Philles. McCann is 9 for 25, with six homeruns, and 16 RBI against the Phillies this season.  He’s homered in every game he’s played against the Phillies this season.

This series might just decide if the Phillies are buyers, or sellers for the season.  Ruben Amaro Jr. and several of his front office cronies got to witness the defeat in person, as they are traveling with the team.

“These three games are important, yeah,” Ruben said before the game. “How determinant they are about how we go about our business from here on in, I don’t know yet. Again, it’s kind of a fluid situation. If we get swept here, it’s going to make things very daunting for us. We take two out of three, that’s good. We happen to sweep them, even better.”

Well, the sweep is out, but two of three is still a possibility.

If the Phillies are going to make up any ground in the race to the playoffs, it’s going to have to happen in their division.   The Phils are 11-23 against NL East and 29-22 against the rest of the National League.

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