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PostHeaderIcon Dykstra: Phillies are ‘worst-positioned organization in baseball’

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Lenny Dysktra speaks his mind when it comes to baseball and Thursday presented another chance to do that. Sitting in studio as a guest of 97.5 The Fanatic’s All-Star Thursday – featuring all of their weekday on-air hosts – Dykstra sounded his frustration with the Phillies organization.

“The Philadelphia Phillies organization, at this point right now, is absolutely, without a doubt, the worst-positioned organization in all of baseball,” Dykstra said. “It’s almost like the owners called in Ruben and said, ‘we need you to destroy this organization as bad as you can.’ You couldn’t do it if you tried.”

Dykstra was very honest and up front when discussing the Phillies, leaving no stone unturned. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Report: Phillies ‘trying hard’ to trade Howard

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Ryan Howard spent Thursday afternoon’s Phillies win against the Giants the same way he spent Wednesday night’s loss – sitting on the bench for the game’s entirety.

Prior to Thursday’s game, Howard had a private meeting with manager Ryne Sandberg. Following the game, Howard offered no comment.

“Talk to him,” Howard said upon leaving the clubhouse. “Bye. Talk to the manager.”

Less than two hours later, Howard’s name showed up on the trading block as a high priority. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Phillies are “trying hard” to trade the struggling first baseman and are willing to take on most of his remaining $70 million owed through 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon It’s Optional: Phillies contracts posing problem

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The situation continues to snowball for the Phillies. Rumors swirling in every which way, with no sense of direction. It’s fitting for the state of the franchise.

One thing seems certain: the Phillies are trying to make changes. You can’t deny that.

There’s just one catch. Other teams are not interested in making deals with the Phillies. And there is one common reason why.

On Thursday, as many have already, ESPN’s Jayson Stark profiled the players most likely to be traded. It featured nine players: Marlon Byrd, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, A.J. Burnett and Antonio Bastardo.

Here are the troubling details. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon King For A Day: Hamels deals gem as Phillies snap streak

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Every day is another audition for several Phillies players who could be on their way out in the next week. Three players made strong impressions on Thursday afternoon.

Leading the way was Cole Hamels, who turned in his second straight gem. Again, he got just enough offense to back it up.

Marlon Byrd and Chase Utley provided the two RBI singles that pushed the Phillies past the Giants on Thursday afternoon in a 2-1 win at Citizens Bank Park. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Game 102 Preview: Phillies vs. Giants

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The Giants got to Jonathan Papelbon for a second straight night to send the Phillies to another late-inning loss. Entering Thursday’s series finale, the Giants look for more than a series win.

The Phillies (43-58) attempt to snap a four-game losing streak on Thursday afternoon. The Giants (57-44) go for a series sweep following back-to-back wins in their final at-bat. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.

Cole Hamels (4-5, 2.83 ERA) gets the start for the Phillies. Hamels allowed one run on four hits in seven innings against the Braves in his last start to earn the win. In 12 career starts against the Giants, Hamels is 5-3 with a 3.75 ERA. At Citizens Bank Park, he is 52-41 with a 3.32 ERA in 128 starts.

The Phillies will face right-hander Tim Hudson (8-6, 2.78 ERA). Hudson allowed one run on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings in his last start against the Marlins. In 29 career starts against the Phillies, Hudson is 11-9 with a 3.72 ERA. At Citizens Bank Park, he is 4-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 10 starts.

Game notes, lineups and more are available after the jump.

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PostHeaderIcon Power Outage: Howard’s time in Philly dwindling

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Ryan Howard will still be a member of the Phillies on Aug. 1, after the team does whatever may happen at the trade deadline in the days leading up to July 31. But there certainly is a chance that Howard’s days in a Phillies uniform are numbered.

2014 marked the first year since the end of 2011 that Howard has been fully healthy – at least whatever condition it is that allows him to play everyday.

Howard is in the midst of the worst season of his career, hitting .224 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI. To put this in perspective, Howard’s last season playing at least 100 games was in 2011 – he played 71 games in 2012 and 80 in 2013. In 2011, he hit .253 with 33 home runs and 116 RBI.

That was the player Howard thought he would be with renewed health. That is the type of player the Phillies hoped they would get this season.

But as we know, the Phillies were really hoping against hope in 2014, relying on aging veterans and unseasoned youngsters at the other positions to try to contend again.

That run of contention is over. And even with as much as $60 million left on a contract that runs through 2016 – with, of course, a team option for 2017 – so might be Howard’s career.

Just as the time has come for the Phillies to stop living in the past, it is also time to cut ties with Howard for good. Eat the money, admit the mistake, and begin again. And surprisingly, it might just happen. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon HP3: Pence’s double scores 3 in 9th, Giants score late win again

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You may remember a time not long ago when Hunter Pence and Jonathan Papelbon were teammates on the Phillies. That was 2012. On a July night in 2014, with Papelbon’s days in Philadelphia possibly dwindling as they did for Pence in 2012, his former teammate delivered the game-winning hit.

For eight innings, there was scoreless baseball and a 59-minute rain delay. In the ninth, it was Pence’s bases-clearing double that proved to be the difference as the Giants scored off Papelbon for the second straight game to take a 3-1 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Game 101 Preview: Phillies vs. Giants

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Another game went deep into the night on Tuesday night, the fourth game of 14 innings or more for the Phillies. Once again, the Phillies were on the losing end.

The Phillies (43-57) return not long after the 14-inning defeat against the Giants for another meeting. The Giants (56-44) look to claim the series and pull further ahead in the NL West. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

A.J. Burnett (6-9, 4.08 ERA) gets the start for the Phillies. Burnett allowed six runs on 10 hits in his last start over five innings, taking the loss to the Braves. In nine career starts against the Giants, Burnett is 6-3 with a 2.30 ERA. At Citizens Bank Park, he is 6-7 with a 3.90 ERA in 18 games and 17 starts.

The Phillies will face left-hander Madison  Bumgarner (11-7, 3.38 ERA). Bumgarner allowed one run on four hits in six innings in his last start, earning the win against the Marlins. In three career starts against the Phillies, Bumgarner is 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA. This is Bumgarner’s first career appearance at Citizens Bank Park.

Game notes, lineups and more are available after the jump.

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: Deadline success for Phillies means a big name must go

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Tuesday night’s game was another tease that ended in defeat. The Phillies had played with that fine line that is competence.

This is a bad baseball team and if you don’t believe me by now, sit through 14 innings of it. It isn’t fun, that’s for sure.

For baseball to be fun again in Philadelphia, there have to be new names, new faces and a new outlook. It doesn’t have to be a team with a playoff makeup right away. That will come with the right amount of time and the right kind of development.

But the well has run dry. The Phillies don’t have the internal options to do this. They need to sell off the old and get new in a hurry.

The trade deadline presents that chance and the Phillies will be active. But the most likely trades to happen aren’t going to amount to much. They need to make a splash in a different way than any of us are familiar: they need to cut ties with a big name to open the door to a bigger and better future. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Phillies lose lead in 9th, fall in 14 to Giants

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The Phillies haven’t had many bullpen meltdowns lately, but Tuesday night certainly felt like one in the making. An infield single and error by Chase Utley cut the Phillies lead to one in the seventh.

But the Phillies young bullpen, headed by gutsy performances from Ken Giles and Jake Diekman got the game into the hands of closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Amidst trade rumors, Papelbon failed to finish the job, picking up his third blown by allowing his first home run of the season to Buster Posey.

The game went to the 14th inning where the Giants completed the comeback, scoring four runs to take the second game of the four-game series against the Phillies by a score of 9-6 on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Read the rest of this entry »

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