ON THE PHIELD:
The Phillies went 4-2 last week. They swept the Houston Astros in a three-games series and won 7-6 on Sunday against the New York Mets, but fell twice by one run to the Mets. They still have a game left in the four-game series against New York to be played Monday.
Ryan Howard came out of his slump and came up big several times. He went 7-for-27 last week, including a walk-off single in Tuesday’s 15-inning marathon against Houston and another walk-off hit to beat the Mets on Sunday. He also hit a key grand slam in a 6-5 Phillies win in the series finale against Houston.
Cole Hamels continued to impress in his lone start last week, but his efforts fell flat in a 2-1 loss on Saturday. Hamels received poor run support over seven strong innings and gave up only one run on five hits. The ace has gone at least seven innings in each of his last six starts. During that span his ERA has gone from 2.97 to 2.37 which is much lower than his 3.29 career ERA.
ON THE TRADE FRONT:
Roberto Hernandez was scheduled to start for the Phillies on Thursday, but he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named later.
A slew of Phillies were put on revocable trade waivers, including Cole Hamels who was claimed by the Chicago Cubs. Hamels was pulled back before any deal was made and he will remain with Philadelphia.
Cliff Lee will be out for the rest of the season, but won’t need surgery for his left elbow. With just lots of rest prescribed for the veteran, the Phillies dodged a bullet in that surgery could have caused Lee to miss time next season.
Domonic Brown has been fighting body aches and a sore throat. The outfielder has tonsillitis and will likely need his tonsils removed this coming offseason.
ON THE PHARM:
The Double-A debut of this year’s top draft pick, right-hander Aaron Nola, was impressive. Nola went just five innings, but only allowed one run on six hits while striking out four. It’s very possible he’ll be the first pitcher, and maybe even overall player, drafted this year to make the big-leagues.
With Class-A Lakewood, third baseman Mitch Walding drove in seven runs during a doubleheader on Friday. Walding hit a grand slam in the second seven-inning game. The Blue Claws went 2-5 last week.
Cuban flamethrower, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, also started pitching for a new team. So far he’s appeared in five games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. During that time he’s recorded two saves, but allowed six hits and four runs – three of them earned.
ON THE WHOLE:
The Phillies are still in last place, 11 games back. Ruben Amaro, Jr. does seem content to move players claimed off waivers if he can swing the right deal, as evident in the Hernandez trade on Thursday.