Live Game Chat: Rockies at Phillies

Live Game Chat: Rockies at Phillies

We'll likely be in and out here with spotty coverage cause we'd like to watch the game you know.

1st - Cole comes out gunning to shut down the Rockies in the first.  Cole gets the crowd into it early.

Jeff Francis made Jimmy, Shane and Chase look rather silly swinging at some nasty curves.  I don't like this Francis guy.

These announcers suck.  I never thought the day would come when I'd wish Wheels were calling a game.

2nd - Damn.  The ageless Todd Helton leads off the second with a bomb to dead center that took a nasty bounce off the wall for a three bagger.

Ugh.  Rockies take the early lead and Cole looks human.  This isn't how it was supposed to go, Cole.

Cole gets back on track with a nice K on a high fastball but then follows that up with a base on balls.  Cole certainly doesn't look nearly as dominant as his performance last week.

Shit.  Yorvy Torby gets a single and drives in another.  Phils down 2-0 real fast.  Settle down.  It's early.

After Francis got down a nice bunt for the second out, Cole walks Kaz to load the bases.  Meeting on the mound.  Somebody needs to calm this guy down.  Get out of this one and let him settle in.

Walks in a run.  3-0 Rockies.  The euphoria of the last four days is slowly turning back into that Philly pessimism we all know too well.  I guess it could have been a lot worst.  Time for the bats to go to work.

Anyone else hate that commercial where Tony Gwyn gets told he's going to the HOF?  Big shocker there.

Hey our man David Aldridge does baseball?  Where's Barkley?!  I think I'd boo Sir Charles right now.

Ryan Howard comes up to start the inning and sits right back down with his 3,000 K of the season.

Hey! Aaron Rowand didn't strike out!

The Bat does what he does and gets the Phillies their first base runner of the day.  Patience is a virture.  Keeps telling myself, "it's only the second inning."

3rd Inning.  Hopefully Cole can settle in a bit here. Three quick outs and that's the kind of inning we need.  Now let's get a hit!

Carlos Ruiz leads off the inning with a K.  Awesome.  Maybe Cole can get a friggin hit here.

AND HE DOES!  King Cole comes through with a single.

DAMNIT.  Jimmy grounds into an inning ending double play.  Not much going the Phils way thus far.

4th Inning.  I just got a text message with the F word in it about 8 times.  Fickle Philly fans.  Must have faith.

The announcers keep talking about Cole's pitch count.  He's up to almost 80 in the middle of the 4th.  He has settled in though.  Two quick outs, the second on a quick liner right back to Cole.  And another 1, 2, 3 inning for Hamels.

They just showed a nice aerial view of the stadium and I ask you all, why do I not have tickets?

Jeez.  Shane hits a bullet right to Atkins.  Why can't they find a gap?  Chase is good at that, right?

Ryan Howard strikes out, of course.  End of 4, still without a hit from somebody who is paid to hit baseballs.

5th Inning.  Ruiz!  Carlos pulls in a foul ball that it didn't look like he had a chance at.  Glad to see that elbow is alright.  Two more quick outs topped of by a sick play by Wes Helms at third.  Cole can do this for four more innings, right?

COME ON BATS.

Aaron Rowand answers the call!  That baby's outta here!  3-1 ballgame.  As I said in my preview, I had a feeling Rowand would be a catalyst for this team in the post season.

BACK TO BACK HOME RUNS!  WOooo!!! Ahhhhhh... nice nice nice.  Pat Burrell goes yard by the skin of his teeth.  3-2 Rockies.

Time for the faithful at CBP to get rowdy, give this team some energy.

Wes Helms hit one rather hard that for a moment looked great but was actually right at a Rockie.  That would have caused pandemonium.  Hamels pops a bunt to Atkins.  Garbage.

Ruiz gets a single and the Phils are starting to get to Francis.  That's four hard hit balls in a row.

The speedster Carlos Ruiz steals second!?!  And on a full count, Jimmy walks to put two on for Shane.  Shane can't capitalize but the Phils showed some life.  The meat of the order will lead off the 6th for the Phils.

6th Inning.

Cole starts off the top of the sixth by wiffing Helton.  After striking out Atkins but not getting the call, the second out comes on a pop up to Rowand.  What kind of name is Hawpe?  Strike that guy out.  And Cole does!  7th for Cole to end the inning.

Utley hasn't had a hit yet today.  He's due.  UGH.  Utley hasn't looked good against Francis today at all.  3rd K of the day for our man.

Ohhhhhhhh.  Man, this ump is calling them tight today.  After it looked like he should have been struck out, Howard pops out to right.  Utley and Howard haven't done jack.

Rowand pops out to left to end the inning.  I need a beer.

7th Inning.  Cole starts it off allowing a base on balls to the CF whose name I don't feel like trying to type.  Cole's up to 110 pitches.  Not much left in that arm today.

Cole gets Yorvy to pop out.  Francis comes up to attempt a bunt and successfully gets it down to move the runner over.  Now why couldn't Cole do that?

And Hamels leaves the game to a nice ovation.  Hat tip to Cole.  That second inning was unfortunate, but he looked great otherwise.  On comes Flash.

Flash gets the job done!  You can ask for your peanuts and Cracker Jacks while only being down one run thanks to Gordon.  Enter crunch time.

Burrell leads off the bottom of the 7th, Francis is still out there.  Scratch that.  In comes LaTroy Hawkins... wasn't he the guy in Chicago that one those games for the Phillies when he was a Cub about 3 summers ago?  Google says, Yep, it was him!  Oh, and I Love Latroy!

Damn it, Hawkins is efficient and gets Burrell on one pitch.  Dobbs to PH for Helms.

Programming note: Gamecast is faster than MLB Radio that is faster than SOPcast.

Dobbs fouls off five pitches before taking ball four.  Great at bat by Mr. Dobbs.  Now they're taking him out to pinch run Bourne.  Not sure how I feel about that.

Ugh.  Shit.  Damn.  Not good.  Carlos grounds into a double play.  See, now did you really need Bourne to pinch run there?  Make me manager!

8th Inning. Gordon is back out there.  They brought in Abe to play third.  After Helms was lifted for Dobbs who was lifted just because.  Striiiiiiiiike three.  Gordon gets a K to start the 8th.

Sigh.  Matt Holliday goes yard.  That's the Flash we know!  Rockies lead 4-2.

Fact: J.C. Romero is our favorite Phillies reliever.

One out.  Apparently you can get MLB playoff text alerts?  I bet A.J. Feeley gets those.

SICK PLAY BY JIMMY ROLLINS.  SICK.  Diving to his right on the fringe of the outfield grass, gets up, and gets the runner on a bang bang play to end the inning.

Prediction: Tadahito will lead off with a single and Jimmy or Chase will go yard to tie the game up.

Brian Fuentes starts off the 8th by giving Iguchi a base on balls.  That's not what you want to do if you're a Rockies pitcher.

Jimmy pops up after what was looking like a nice at bat in which he had the count in his favor.  Doh.  I jinxed him.  Blame me.  It's all my fault.

Shane grounds into a dou... nope.  Shane is fast enough to prevent a double play but grounds out to short.

Down goes Utley looking.  I'm starting to feel this one fading.  Hmm... this is not good.

9th Inning.  This live blogging thing starts to suck when your team is looking like they're going to lose.  Myers comes out looking pretty sharp though.  Myers throws to straight Ks but then gives up an infield single to Yorvy.

Phew.  After letting two runners on, Myers gets the curve working to K Matsui to end the 9th.

It's in the hands of Howard, Rowand, and Burrell.

K, ground out, fly out.

The called third strike on Howard looked like a horrible call.  Boo to that ump.

There's your game one people.  That wasn't very fun.  Rockies 4 Phillies 2

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

He’s done it again.
 
Eleven days ago, Sixers social media went wild over a video that showed Joel Embiid walking out to the ring as a WWE character in WWE 2K17. Well, YouTube user Hillman811 is back with an even better version of the video complete with Sam Hinkie and fans chanting.
 
The first video sparked questions to Embiid about his favorite WWE wrestler, and he even did his own Triple H introduction at the Wells Fargo Center after The Game threw him an All-Star vote (see story).
 
Watch the video below and let your mind run wild with what this would look like if it actually happened.
 

Tommy Joseph focused on earning first base job, taking more walks

Tommy Joseph focused on earning first base job, taking more walks

There was no better story of personal triumph on the Phillies' roster than Tommy Joseph in 2016.

Dumped from the 40-man roster and passed over by 29 other teams on the waiver wire and in the Rule 5 draft in 2015, he reported to minor-league camp with his career on the line last spring.

Two months later, thanks to good health and a molten bat, Joseph's career began to spike upward.

But 4½ months in the big leagues and the promise of a starting job in the majors in 2017 hasn't changed Joseph's outlook or the mindset he will take into spring training camp next month.

He's still going to scrap and claw for everything, just like he did a year ago when he was fighting for his baseball life after a series of concussions put his career in jeopardy.

"I'm preparing the same way I did last winter," Joseph said during an offseason stop at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday.

"The job is not given to me. I still have to win it. I'm not going to walk in and have it. Obviously, it's mine to take and I plan on going in and winning the job."

Joseph, 25, earned a significant slice of the starting first base job last year. But with Ryan Howard, the last piece of the 2008 World Series team, gone, Joseph has a chance to stake an even greater claim to the position in 2017 and establish himself as a serious building block in the Phillies' rebuild.

"Tommy came out of nowhere last year," manager Pete Mackanin said. "There's something to be excited about there. He was off the map and he did enough to warrant a real strong look this year. And hopefully, he can improve and take baby steps toward being a final product."

Joseph pushed himself to the majors and cut into Howard's playing time last season by hitting .347 with six homers, 17 RBIs and a .981 OPS in 27 games at Triple A. He came to the majors in mid-May and hit .257 with 21 homers and 47 RBIs in 107 games. In the fall, Joseph briefly played winter ball in the Dominican Republic, but right wrist tendinitis, now fully healed, cut the stint short.

Joseph's good showing at the plate in 2016 was partly the result of his finding good health. As he recovered from a fifth concussion in the summer of 2015, it was discovered that he had a series of ocular problems. They were addressed through therapy and ... well, it's amazing what a hitter can do when he can see the ball.

This year, Joseph will look to improve in the field. The converted catcher is looking to add quickness around the first base bag and that starts with better footwork. At the urging of bench coach/infield instructor Larry Bowa, Joseph has been jumping rope and doing box drills all winter.

Joseph also wants to improve his approach and mindset at the plate. Though he wants to drive the ball like his size — 235 pounds — and position dictate, he wants to improve his on-base percentage and thus his OPS, on-base plus slugging percentage.

Joseph struck out 75 times and walked just 22 times in 347 plate appearances in 2016 and his on-base percentage was just .308. But over the final month of the season, he made an effort to be more selective at the plate and he recorded a .327 batting average and .406 on-base percentage (while slugging .618) over the final 23 games of the season. He struck out 10 times but walked seven over that span.

"My whole career has been a battle when it comes to walking," Joseph said. "I started to listen and read more what veterans around the league were saying about on-base percentage and OPS. Slugging is important on the corners, but there are times you have to take your walks. It's relevant because the best players in the game have a high OPS."

Joseph needs to improve in this area for a couple of reasons. First, the front office is intent on building a long-term lineup around players who control the strike zone, i.e., those who don't chase bad pitches. And second, the Phils have a legitimate run-producing first base prospect in Rhys Hoskins set to take his game to Triple A in 2017.

Joseph knows all of this and takes nothing for granted.

"The only difference this year will be I'm on the big-league side in spring training, but everything still has to be earned," he said.

The Phillies ranked last in the majors — or "last in the world," as Mackanin said — with just 610 runs scored in 2016. The offseason additions of Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders should help run production. So, too, should expected improvements from Maikel Franco and Joseph, two players who have the chance to be long-term building blocks.

"We've got guys at the big-league level that I choose to think are going to get better," Mackanin said. "Tommy Joseph is a perfect example."