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Archive for the ‘Morning Review’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: Outfield production leads Phillies

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There were several Phillies whose names were in the mix the week leading up to the trade deadline this week. Marlon Byrd’s was a popular one.

Byrd had been here before, last season in fact. He was traded from the Mets to the Pirates and right into a playoff race.

This season, he survived.

So in his second game following the deadline, Byrd showed off more power in a year that may end up being the best of his career from a production standpoint. His 21st home run proved to be the difference in the Phillies 2-1 win over the Nationals. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: Howard’s response at end of rough week

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Last week started like any other week for Ryan Howard. He was getting regular playing time in the heart of the Phillies batting order.

Sure, Howard had been struggling, but that hadn’t provoked what would come later in the week.

On Wednesday, Howard’s name became bigger among trade rumors and there was the rumor that internally, the Phillies had discussed releasing the former MVP. From Wednesday to Friday, Howard didn’t see the field.

Howard got two hits in his return on Saturday. On Sunday, in his first at-bat, he homered to centerfield. Now that’s a response. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 Morning Review: More than a box score

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After five days of winning, the Phillies streak is over again, just as it was a few weeks ago.

In order to identify where the game really went wrong for the Phillies, you have to look further than the box score.

The Phillies had entered Saturday’s game hitting .361 with runners in scoring position in their last five games. On Saturday, they were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Additionally, the Phillies entered Saturday’s game having not committed an error in 40 innings. That streak extended to 50 on Saturday, but an ill-advised fielder’s choice by Chase Utley proved to be the play that made a huge difference. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: Five alive?

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For the second time in a month’s time, the Phillies have a five-game winning streak. The first time around, it looked and felt a lot better.

That was before the Phillies essentially reverted back to the ways that forced talks of rebuilding and fire sales. They lost 13 of 16 games.

So this five-game winning streak feels different. But then again, it doesn’t completely feel all that different.

The Phillies had closed the gap in the division by three games to be 3 1/2 games out of the division lead. The Phillies fell hard in their losing streak, dropping to as many as 12 games back. After this five-game streak, they are now eight games back. Could they really still be alive?

Logic says no. But the last five games on the field have been five of the Phillies best. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: Those crazy Phillies

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The Phillies have had some pretty unpredictable games and series this season. The Phillies coasted into June, losing six straight games, then lost two of three to both the Reds and Cubs in the same week.

They followed that with a three-game sweep of the Braves and taking the first two from the Cardinals for a five-game winning streak, their longest in more than a year.

The Phillies entered Monday’s series opener against the Brewers having lost 13 of 16 games. They followed winning the next four games.

“Baseball is a funny game,” Jimmy Rollins said. “You hear it a lot and it’s very cliche, but it is. It’s weird. It’s weird.” Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: Papelbon wants out

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Just moments after recording the save, his 22nd of the season, Jonathan Papelbon faced reporters in Milwaukee. There, he voiced his intentions. The closer is very open to playing elsewhere and soon.

Papelbon was careful with his words – to a degree. He didn’t say anything bad about the Phillies organization, showing remorse to the fact that what he thought would be a successful tenure team-wide is failing fast, forcing him to consider where he can go to win. But he didn’t hesitate to subliminally take shots at his teammates either.

It’s no secret that Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley – now players with 10-5 rights – want to spend the remaining years of their careers with the Phillies. But with very little upside to the franchise without some necessary moves and the franchise’s success will remain limited. Papelbon had trouble fathoming players that wanted to play for a losing team.

“Some guys want to stay on a losing team? That’s mind-boggling to me,” Papelbon said. “I think that’s a no-brainer [to want to play to a contender].”
Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: A glimpse of the future

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The result on Monday night was meaningless, yet significant.

Any win at this point comes with a grain of salt. It’s hard to imagine anything saving the Phillies this season, so winning a game here or there offers little solace. In fact, it offers more surprise than anything.

But what the Phillies got on Monday could be a glimpse into the future: a strong start led by ace Cole Hamels and protected by fireball reliever Ken Giles. Giles wasn’t the closer on Monday, but now the signs show his future is in the key moments of a ballgame. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: 5 things for Phillies to do by deadline

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Sunday marked the Phillies 13th loss in the last 16 games. The Phillies next 14 games, seven before the All-Star Break and seven after, are all against playoff teams. So the Phillies could be looking at a 2-12 or even 1-13 record. No kidding. They are that bad right now. That said, the Phillies have no choice but to start getting active. The first dominoes of the trade deadline fell with Oakland’s trade which landed them Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs. The Phillies need to sell high on some players but be smart. This isn’t about a fire sale but smart shopping. Even in being a smart shopper, there are certain things the Phillies need to do. Here are five things the Phillies need to do – or not do – by the deadline. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Morning Review: Forget 2014, Phillies future is darker

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One week ago, the Phillies had already lost two straight games to St. Louis Cardinals to end a seven-game road trip. It was the five-game winning streak before it that had everyone talking though.

A 5-2 road trip renewed some excitement in the Phillies as an eight-game homestand began. That homestand is now over. The Phillies went just 2-6 in that time, capped off with a four-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves.

So what does it all mean? For starters, it’s back to talks about the trade deadline, selling, rebuilding, firing Ruben Amaro Jr. – you know the drill. Read the rest of this entry »

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