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Small victories, large defeats.



Updated: 2017-07-26T23:20:02-04:00

 



Wham Bam Thank You Cam: Phillies 9, Astros 0

2017-07-26T23:20:02-04:00

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Those baseball gods are out there, I tell ya.

Sometimes, we just have to take a step back and remember we’re all on the same side here, right? After a bit of controversy last night and plenty of, uh, discussion about said controversy throughout the day, the Phillies decided to put all of that aside and win a game in the least controversial of ways Wednesday night.

The baseball gods are out there laughing somewhere right about now, seeing that after Odubel Herrera’s non-benching benching, Cameron Rupp would have to play hero after sharing some critical words about the outfielder after Tuesday’s contest. But Wednesday would be a new day, and it would be a 9-0 victory for the Phillies.

And while Rupp may have played a major role in the victory (more on that later), it’s worth noting that Aaron Nola’s fantastic 2017 continued against one of the better lineups in baseball. Nola hurled six scoreless innings and posted a career-high 10 strikeouts against Houston, with his curveball looking spicy once again and his fastball effectively commanded all night long. Nola now has a 1.49 ERA in his last nine starts.

As for the offense, there would be plenty of it. With the home television crew sitting in right field for the evening in their annual quest to annoy fans outside the booth, Ben Davis regaled us with a little story. It wasn’t the most interesting story, but it was a story about a bet and a man named Cam. Ben said that he’d give Rupp $10 if he hit a homerun to him. The TV crew was stationed closer to center than the right field line, hanging out near the bullpens. Rupp just missed his mark, but did indeed smash a two-run homerun that got the Phillies on the board in the bottom of the 4th. Ben, just pay up anyway.

Meanwhile, in between Rupp excitement, there was some Maikel Franco excitement for the evening. Franco, who had gone cold over the last few games, hit a towering two-run homer to left field that hugged the foul pole, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead.

Rupp would work a little more magic in the 6th inning, taking a Michael Perez pitch out for a ride to center. For Rupp, it was his second two-run blast of the game, putting the Phillies up 9-0. That would be plenty for the Phillies on this night.

Of course, not everything can always go right. Howie Kendrick, whom the Phillies were giving some run with Herrera on the bench for the evening, was hit in the hand with a pitch in the 3rd inning. He was pinch-hit for in the 4th, and it was later announced that he left the game with left hand soreness. There are only hours left until the July 31 deadline, and it’s looking more and more like Kendrick could be on this roster into August.

But that didn’t mean Matt Klentak wasn’t busy Wednesday night, because it was announced after the game that the team’s lone All-Star, Pat Neshek, was shipped to Colorado in exchange for three minor league prospects. Pat, we hardly knew ye. Thanks for the (brief) memories.




Phillies Trade RHP Pat Neshek to Rockies

2017-07-26T23:00:36-04:00

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The veteran reliever was outstanding, and now looks to tackle Coors; 3 prospects return

The Phillies broke their own news following Wednesday’s gamne, heralding the trade of RHP Pat Neshek to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for three minor leaguers.

Neshek, 36, was phenomenal as a gun-for-hire on a lost Phillies squad. He ends his Phils career with a 1.12 ERA in 40.1 IP, the third-best single-season ERA for any Phils pitcher. He did not pitch Wednesday in the club’s 9-0 win over first-place Houston.

The prospects in return are as follows:

  • SS Jose Gomez, 20, is currently on the DL. He’s spent the year at A-ball with the Asheville Tourists, slashing .324/.374/.437 in 351 PA. He is a shortstop, and was MiLB’s #21 Rockies prospect.
  • RHP Alejandro Requena, 20, is a starting pitcher who also plays for Asheville. He’s listed at 6’2”, 200 lbs. and has logged 117 innings of 3.54 ERA ball.
  • RHP J.D. Hammer, 23, has a fucking awesome name and 47 strikeouts to 5 walks, albeit in A-ball at that age. Yes, he, too, is a member of the Tourists.

Expect more in-depth analysis from our prospect crew. For now: Trade party!




Game Thread 7/26: Astros at Phillies

2017-07-26T18:30:01-04:00

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Oh please let it end.

The Astros are one game away from leaving town! I feel like this deserves a parade, because the last two games have been exceedingly unpleasant. And “exceedingly unpleasant” is a massive understatement. You’re better than the Phillies, Astros! No need to shove it in all of our faces! ::sobs::

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Jose Altuve - 2B Cesar Hernandez - 2B
Derek Fisher - CF Freddy Galvis - SS
Josh Reddick - RF Nick Williams - RF
Yulieski Gurriel - 3B Howie Kendrick - LF
Marwin Gonzalez - SS Aaron Altherr - CF
Carlos Beltran - LF Maikel Franco - 3B
Brian McCann - C Tommy Joseph - 1B
Tyler White - 1B Cameron Rupp - C
Mike Fiers - RHP Aaron Nola - RHP

But today is Aaron Nola day. And Aaron Nola days are great. He’s awesome and if anyone on the Phillies staff has the stuff to take down the Astros high octane offense, it’s Aaron Nola.

Notable: Odubel Herrera is not playing. But it’s not a benching. Pete Mackanin says it’s not a benching, but with Aaron Altherr of the DL (welcome back, Aaron!), he’s got four outfielders and someone’s got to sit. And that person is going to be Odubel, I’m sure for reasons totally unrelated to everything that’s going on.

Oy. Let all this nonsense be over soon. I want to talk about something else.

Discuss the game int he comments below.




Odubel Herrera operates in extremes

2017-07-26T13:10:02-04:00

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The guy succeeds hard and screws up hard.

Below, you will see what might look like a picture of Odubel Herrera sliding into home plate, inexplicably still holding his bat. Not only would a player not typically do that, but that player would not ever be Herrera specifically, given that his bat is often several body lengths away, whether he’s homering, doubling, flying out, or walking, and sometimes he doesn’t even toss it in the direction of the right dugout.

That’s just so sweet. We miss you, Harry.

The Astros are wrapping up their series in Philadelphia today, THANK GOD, and if you’re looking for a little more about the Kalas connection, read this article from last week about Harry’s son Todd, who is the play-by-play announcer for the Astros. It’s a great piece that tells us why Todd decided to make his mark in a different city.




Jay Jaffe on “The Cooperstown Casebook”

2017-07-26T07:00:04-04:00

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On Episode 136 of The Felske Files, host John Stolnis talks with SI.com’s Jay Jaffe about his new book, “The Cooperstown Casebook.”

This weekend, Major League Baseball welcomes three new members to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez will gather together with the rest of the baseball community to celebrate their accomplishments as players over decades of professional baseball.

For Bagwell and Rodriguez, they didn’t have to wait too long to be enshrined, but for Raines, it took until his last year of eligibility. He was the subject of a lot of debate over the years, debate that is commonplace among many of the players who appear on the ballot.

In his new book, “The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques,” SI.com contributing baseball writer Jay Jaffe delivers the quintessential guide to learning everything there is to know about who’s in, and who’s not in, the Hall of Fame.

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