Thompson aiming to deliver in clash with LA

Thompson aiming to deliver in clash with LA

The Dodgers are closing in on a fifth straight National League West title and Wednesday night's game against the Phillies may see a visitors' clubhouse doused with champagne.

With a magic number of two, the Dodgers can clinch the division with a win and a D-backs loss to the Padres on Wednesday.

Continue Reading

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoskins comes up big again, delivers key hit

First baseman clears the bases with three-run double to break tie in 10-pitch at-bat

Hoskins comes up big again, delivers key hit

PHILADELPHIA -- Rhys Hoskins got to see Pedro Baez's fastball 10 times in the seventh inning on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Hoskins grew more comfortable and more confident with each one, until he finally ripped a two-out double into left-center field to score three runs in a 6-2 victory over the Dodgers. Hoskins went 2-for-3 with the double, a walk and four RBIs. He saw 30 pitches over four plate appearances.

Continue Reading

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morandini turned unassisted triple play in '92

|
Morandini turned unassisted triple play in '92

One of the primary insights of social science is that no individual is entirely responsible for what appear to be his own achievements. As a human being embedded in a society, various conditions -- both social and material -- always contribute to and make possible an apparent individual triumph.

On Sept. 20, 1992, Phillies second baseman Mickey Morandini did his darndest to expose all of social science as a bunch of hooey.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Phils use 4-run 7th to stay tough on Dodgers

Phils use 4-run 7th to stay tough on Dodgers

PHILADELPHIA -- The magic number for a fifth consecutive National League West title fell to two for the Dodgers on Tuesday night, despite Rhys Hoskins' three-run double and four RBIs that rallied the Phillies to a 6-2 win at Citizens Bank Park. The second-place D-backs dropped a 6-2 decision to the Padres.

"This is frustrating," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose club has lost 19 of 24, and has seen its division lead slashed from 21 games to 9 1/2. "That team over there with a good pitcher in [Phillies starter Aaron Nola], they've got speedy guys, put the bat on the ball, they play hard. Teams that have nothing to play for but are trying to establish themselves, those are dangerous teams."

Continue Reading

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Phillies on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The Phillie Phanatic went streaking at CBP

|
The Phillie Phanatic went streaking at CBP

With Labor Day more than two weeks in the rearview mirror, beach season is mostly over in the Philadelphia area. The kids are back in school and the weather is getting a little chillier.

Don't tell that to the Phillie Phanatic, though. During Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Dodgers, he took off his clothes and turned the verdant expanses of Citizens Bank Park into his own, personal nude beach:

Continue Reading on Cut4

Eshelman, Kingery earn Paul Owens Award

Eshelman, Kingery earn Paul Owens Award

PHILADELPHIA -- For an organization that bet big on high-ceiling high schoolers for years, the Phillies are reaping rewards from a pair of collegiate second-round picks whose names were called minutes apart in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Right-hander Tom Eshelman, selected 46th overall by the Astros out of Cal State Fullerton before being traded months later to the Phillies in the Ken Giles deal, and second baseman Scott Kingery, taken two picks later by the Phils, were honored as Paul Owens Award winners on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. The designation is reserved for the top hitter and hurler in the Phillies' farm system each season.

Continue Reading

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hats on: Neris will continue to wear filthy cap

Hats on: Neris will continue to wear filthy cap

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies closer Hector Neris has a filthy baseball cap.

He knows this, but Neris said before Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers that he has no plans to clean the old one or use a new one. Neris' cap is covered so much with rosin -- the front is smeared with white residue -- that the Dodgers asked the home-plate umpire to inspect it for any illegal substances in Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Continue Reading

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tummy, rake: Philly pitcher nabs liner to belly

|
Tummy, rake: Philly pitcher nabs liner to belly

Fresh off battling the A's from the bench in a Saturday rain-delay standoff, Nick Pivetta was ready to actually play some baseball on Monday night against the Dodgers. He just didn't expect to also have to literally take on a baseball.

After the Dodgers began the game with back-to-back homers that included Chris Taylor's inside-the-parker, Pivetta shut out their potent lineup during the remainder of his six innings, fanning eight batters in the process. With two outs in the top of the sixth and 102 pitches behind him, Pivetta faced Austin Barnes in what was to be his final batter of the game.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Altherr not taking slam off Kershaw for granted

Go-ahead shot followed strong at-bats by Kelly, Hoskins

Altherr not taking slam off Kershaw for granted

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr tried to treat Monday night's game against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw like any other.

His efforts proved futile.

Continue Reading

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altherr's slam off Kershaw wins it for Phillies

Altherr's slam off Kershaw wins it for Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr launched the first grand slam Clayton Kershaw has allowed with two outs in the sixth inning Monday night as the Phillies stunned the Dodgers with a 4-3 comeback win at Citizens Bank Park.

The Dodgers' magic number to secure the National League West title fell to three with the D-backs losing in San Diego and sits at eight for home-field advantage in the NL (over Washington, which had the day off).

Continue Reading

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Sanchez on list of prospects with soaring stock

Sanchez on list of prospects with soaring stock

On Monday, we took a look at hitters who made the biggest leap forward in terms of prospect status in 2017. Now it's time to turn attention to the mound.

The pitchers on this list all turned in terrific seasons to jump much more firmly on the radar, pitching across multiple levels, often very young for the league they were in at the time. Some have gone from off the Top 100 prospects list to firmly on it, while others have leapt from the end of the list up close to the top.

Continue Reading

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Utley focused on race, but keeps eye on Phils

Longtime Phillie pleased to see former club's second-half improvement

Utley focused on race, but keeps eye on Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- "The Man" is back in town. Unlike his initial return to Philadelphia last season -- a two-homer homecoming last August -- Chase Utley could find himself in a less-than-familiar setting with the Dodgers on the threshold of sealing the National League West crown.

"It's a little different from last year, but it's still a little awkward," Utley said. "For the amount of years that I played here, to suit up in this locker room is just different."

Continue Reading

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franco drives in 2, Alvarez allows 4 runs in loss

Franco drives in 2, Alvarez allows 4 runs in loss

PHILADELPHIA -- The homecoming of Athletics second baseman Joey Wendle spoiled the comeback of Phillies right-hander Henderson Alvarez at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday.

Wendle, who went to Avon Grove High School outside Philadelphia and attended West Chester University, hit a two-out grand slam in the top of the sixth inning that put his team ahead for good in Oakland's 6-3 win.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Sunday.

Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the A's on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Worth the wait: Alvarez shows promise in start

Out of action since 2015, right-hander impresses, eyes rotation spot

Worth the wait: Alvarez shows promise in start

PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who took a giant step forward on his comeback trail with a start against the Athletics on Sunday, was walking through the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park after the game. Catcher Cameron Rupp passed him. Their eyes locked.

Rupp walked toward the pitcher, patted him on the back and nodded. He didn't say a word. He didn't have to. Oakland won, 6-3, and Alvarez took the loss. But the list of candidates for the Phillies' 2018 starting rotation had just increased by one.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

There's already a baby named after Rhys

|
There's already a baby named after Rhys

During the Phillies' most recent run of playoff teams, a clear phenomenon took place in the Philadelphia area: Babies were named Cole and Chase with a higher frequency. As a result of Chase Utley hustling his way into Philadelphia's collective heart and Cole Hamels pitching his way to a World Series MVP Award in 2008, all of a sudden parents were naming their newborn children after them.

It appears Rhys Hoskins' early-career home run binge has already inspired the latest trend in how Phillies fans name their children.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Bullpen of the Week: Phillies

Bullpen of the Week: Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies are out of the race but building for the future. They have exciting young players all over their roster and in their system. And it's starting to show in the late part of this season.

Philadelphia won four of six games in the past week, and the work by their relievers in those games was enough to earn the Phillies the honor of "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford."

Continue Reading

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Milner standing out in improved bullpen

Lefty becoming a dependable arm for Mackanin

Milner standing out in improved bullpen

PHILADELPHIA -- There are several reasons why the Phillies had the worst record in baseball at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but the bullpen was near the top. Through July 31, the relievers had a 4.43 ERA, ranked 22nd in baseball and had converted just 16 of 31 save opportunities.

There are plenty of reasons why the Phillies have been so much better lately. Once again, the bullpen is front and center. Going into Sunday's series finale against the Athletics, the ERA was more than a half run lower (3.84). And since Aug. 27, it was 2.18, second best in all of baseball.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Hoskins on list of prospects with soaring stock

Hoskins on list of prospects with soaring stock

The prospect landscape is always changing, with players seeing their stock rise and fall over the course of any season. The 10 hitters listed below made the biggest jumps forward in 2017, with many not even on the Top 100 Prospects list to start the year rankings, but now all firmly on the list, from the top 10 on down. On Tuesday, we'll take a look at the pitchers who moved up the most.

Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves' No. 1/MLB No. 6
Acuna began the year just off of the Top 100, much to the chagrin of Braves fans, but that slight was corrected in the early stages of the 2017 season. He then proceeded to make the Minor Leagues look easy, going from the Class A Advanced Florida State League all the way up to Triple-A, all at the age of 19. After finishing with a .325/.374/.522 line to go along with 21 homers and 44 steals, Acuna should hit Atlanta at age 20.

Continue Reading

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The Phillie Phanatic gave Ray Fosse a kiss

|
The Phillie Phanatic gave Ray Fosse a kiss

The Phillie Phanatic typically earns his keep by keeping fans entertained with his antics at the ballpark -- both on the field and in the stands. Perhaps because of the rain during Saturday's 5-3 win over the A's, the Phanatic took his act to the A's broadcast booth where he had some fun with broadcaster Ray Fosse.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Alfaro's 2-run shot leads Phillies past A's

Alfaro's 2-run shot leads Phillies past A's

PHILADELPHIA -- Catcher Jorge Alfaro's two-out, two-run homer with the score tied in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted the Phillies to a 5-3 win over the Athletics on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

For the second day in a row, Oakland took an early lead with a Matt Olson two-run homer, this one against Phillies starter Ben Lively in the second. But the game was interrupted by rain after one pitch was thrown in the bottom of the third, forcing both managers to go to their bullpens early when play resumed after a delay of an hour and 46 minutes.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Saturday.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the A's on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alfaro stressing defense amid hot streak

Catcher is getting more playing time lately and focusing on helping pitchers

Alfaro stressing defense amid hot streak

PHILADELPHIA -- When this season started, Cameron Rupp was the Phillies' regular catcher. Then, for a while, Andrew Knapp was getting the bulk of the playing time.

Lately, it's been Jorge Alfaro who's been getting a good, long look. He's started nine of 15 games in September, including Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park when his two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the sixth put the Phillies ahead for good in what turned out to be a 5-3 win over the Athletics.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pivetta, A's engage in rain-delay standoff

|
Pivetta, A's engage in rain-delay standoff

It was an hour and 46-minute rain delay that caused a stir of events when the Phillies topped the A's, 5-3, on Saturday night. Yes, there was water everywhere, that goes without saying, but Nick Pivetta took it upon himself to brave the rain and turn it into a friendly standoff.

Pivetta sat in the dugout while most of his teammates took shelter in the clubhouse. In his winter hat, he sat under a torn-up trash bag, in addition to the one he was wearing. He was not on this journey alone though -- he had the support of Freddy Galvis (who was prepared with a paper cup) and Jorge Alfaro. He did his best to stay dry, but he had some competition … the A's.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Phils to end season without using lefty starter

Mackanin prefers using Morgan, other southpaws out of bullpen

Phils to end season without using lefty starter

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies will end this season without having used a single left-handed starter. The last time that happened was 1918.

Now, like any manager, Pete Mackanin would like to have at least one southpaw in his rotation. He just doesn't want it to be Adam Morgan.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Klentak commends Mackanin's job in rebuild

GM says there is reason to be optimistic about the future

Klentak commends Mackanin's job in rebuild

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, like everybody else, watched the Phillies post the worst record in baseball through the All-Star break.

Play has improved since then, albeit slowly. The Phillies entered Friday night's game against the A's with a 28-31 record since the break. They are 14-12 record since Aug. 18. Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams and others have keyed the turnaround, but Klentak on Friday also commended Pete Mackanin and his coaching staff.

Continue Reading

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense silenced by A's as win streak snapped

Offense silenced by A's as win streak snapped

PHILADELPHIA -- A's right-hander Daniel Mengden's quirky windup kept the Phillies' bats off balance and silent Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Mengden enjoyed the best start of his 18-start career, pitching his first career shutout in a 4-0 victory. It is the A's first shutout since Aug. 19, 2016, when Kendall Graveman tossed a two-hitter against the White Sox in Chicago. Mengden allowed just two hits and struck out seven, largely in part because he alters his time to the plate from the windup to mess with the hitter's timing. Certain attributes of the Phillies hitters made this exponentially more effective.

Continue Reading

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the A's on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils smash 3 HRs in big 2nd, blank Marlins

Phils smash 3 HRs in big 2nd, blank Marlins

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies mashed their way to a three-game sweep of the Marlins on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Jorge Alfaro, Freddy Galvis and Rhys Hoskins each homered during a seven-run second inning in the 10-0 victory. Alfaro hit the Phillies' longest homer of the season, a 459-foot laser into the second deck in left field, Galvis supplied a two-run shot and Hoskins hit his record-setting 18th homer in just his 34th career game, as the Phillies improved to 14-12 since Aug. 18.

Continue Reading

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Marlins on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.