Philes Game Chat: Kratz Kratz Kratz Kratz Kratz

Philes Game Chat: Kratz Kratz Kratz Kratz Kratz

Phillies beat-writers' crush Erik Kratz has been called up to the big squad to provide a right-handed bat off the bench while Jim Thome spends some time on the DL trying to rest his sore back. Our Minor League-loving friends over at Beerleaguer think it's a bench move that can give Charlie Manuel just enough flexibility.

Beerleaguer on Kratz: "He's not going to see a heck of a lot of playing time, but he's the best
guy for the job. Kratz, 31, was hitting .294/.333.549 over 53 plate
appearances with three home runs. With Ty Wigginton playing basically
every day now, and with John Mayberry trying to climb his way back, the
added right-hander isn't the worst thing in the world, and you could
argue that adding a third catcher gives Charlie Manuel just as much
flexibility off the bench as they were enjoying with a healthy Thome."

The Phillies will look to continue their recent winning ways and attempt to get above the .500 mark on the season this evening with Roy Haladay (3-2, 1.95) taking on right-hander Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.00).

The Phils haven't won three games in a row yet this season. No time better than the present, especially when you've got Roy throwing for you.

Doc took an L his last time out when he faced the Cubs when he gave up 3 earned on 6 hits over 7 innings of work. He does have real solid career numbers against Atlanta, however, going 4-1 against them over his career with a 1.78 ERA.

Also on the positive side, Cliff Lee reportedly had a pain-free bullpen session and could be back in the fold some time next week.

7:10 start time from Turner Field.

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.