Posts for bryce harper

Bryce Harper Thanks Fans, Claims “We Will Reign Again”

Russ Joy - September 29, 2019

Sunday marked the Phillies’ 162nd game of the season, one that -quite frankly- couldn’t come quickly enough. Would it be Gabe Kapler’s final game as the manager? Could Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail be shown the door by owner John Middleton? For a moment before the game, none of that mattered. The team’s massive free agent signing took to the mic and delivered a heartfelt message to those in attendance:

Harper: Welcome to today’s game. From myself and my teammates, just wanted to tell you guys thank you for all your support this year. I know it didn’t go as planned, but I believe in this organization. I believe in this city. And we will reign again. On a personal level, I just wanna say thank you so much for inviting me and my family into this city. It’s been an incredible year for myself… coming to a city that I didn’t really know anything about, but I just want to say thank you so much. You guys have made this year so good. Thank you. See you guys next year.

The bolded line is my own emphasis and I think it’s worth repeating. “I know it didn’t go as planned, but I believe in this organization.” Well, I guess it’s good someone does. Let the Joe Maddon, Joe Girardi, Dave Dombrowski, trade Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola can’t win a big game, etc., debates commence. T-minus 146 days until Grapefruit League play begins.

It Sure Feels Like This Season Has Gotten Away From the Phillies

Bob Wankel - August 31, 2019

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It was quite the afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Let’s recap this instant classic.

I guess we can start with Rhys Hoskins getting ejected after he took a called third strike that appeared to be out of the zone.

That was fun. Some other highlights included:

  • Phillies starter Jason Vargas failing to complete five innings after allowing 13 of the 25 batters he faced to reach base. He surrendered nine hits and three walks. He also hit a batter on his way to allowing five earned runs. Of note, It was the 32nd time this season that a Phillies starter failed to last five innings.
  • Chants of Let’s go Mets! filled the stadium after Joe Panik’s double that made it 5-1. Those chants overpowered the half-hearted boos mustered by Phillies fans in attendance.
  • Speaking of boos, Sean Rodriguez received another healthy dose of them.
  • The Phillies went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Good times.

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The Phillies Have Finally Won a Series Against a Bad Team

Bob Wankel - August 28, 2019

*This post is brought to you by Cynch, the new propane home delivery service. They deliver your grill tank right to your doorstep and take away your old tank for just $10 with the Crossing Broad promo code “ItsLit5”. Just enter your address, leave the tank on your porch/driveway, and Cynch will do the rest.*

The Phillies are a team that play true to the trends. A night after losing for the 10th time in 10 opportunities to reach seven games over .500 dating back to June 19, the Phillies improved to 10-0 in games at Citizens Bank Park started by a pitcher entering with an ERA of 5.50 or higher.

The latest victim was highly-touted Pirates pitching prospect Mitch Keller, who was coming off an excellent six-inning effort against the Reds in which he allowed only one earned run while striking out six batters. However, the results were much different tonight as he was touched up for eight earned runs on 11 hits in four-plus innings of work.

Make of this what you will, but the Phillies have now scored 87 runs over 14 games, an average of 6.21 runs per game since Manuel was named the team’s hitting coach.

A small sample size? Sure. But if this offense can come anywhere close to replicating that type of production over their final 30 games, we may be on wild card watch late into September when the air gets crisp.

It was no doubt a refreshing change of pace for a Phillies team that did something that it had previously failed to do on numerous occasions in recent weeks by taking care of an inferior opponent in relatively stress-free fashion.

In the process, they ended a streak of failed opportunities to capitalize against some of baseball’s have-nots.

Suck on that one, 56-77 Pirates.

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Bryce Harper’s Grand Slam Completes Sweep of Cubs

Bob Wankel - August 15, 2019

We don’t need to get into the details here, just roll the damn video:

A strong effort from T-Mac. Here’s Scott Franzke’s call. Nails it, per usual.

Baseball, fun in Philadelphia again.

Imagine that.

Harper Silences “Overrated” Chants at Oracle Park With Two Monster Blasts

Bob Wankel - August 10, 2019

It would seem that Bryce Harper likes hitting out of the leadoff spot.

Batting first for only the fifth time this season, Harper crushed a pair of homers that helped power the Phillies to a refreshing 9-6 comeback win over the Giants at Oracle Park last night.

His first shot of the evening was a 420 ft. blast off of Giants starter Tyler Beede, which gave the Phillies a 5-3 lead:

After the Giants rallied for three runs in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead, it appeared the Phillies were headed for yet another miserable west coast loss.  Harper, who was greeted by familiar “overrated” chants as he stepped into the box in the seventh, wasn’t having it.

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John Kruk: Defender of Bryce Harper

Bob Wankel - July 24, 2019

Is Bryce Harper overrated? Tigers fans who were in attendance at Comerica Park last night to watch their 30-66 team play the Phillies seemed to think so.

Harper was greeted throughout the evening with what have become customary “overrated” chants across visiting ballparks this season, including in the 10th inning when he came to the plate. Phillies announcer John Kruk had some thoughts on those jeers. Let’s listen in, after the jump:

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The Phillies Have an Opportunity to Change the Narrative, Starting Tonight

Bob Wankel - July 12, 2019

*This post is brought to you by Cynch, the new propane home delivery service. They deliver your grill tank right to your doorstep and take away your old tank for just $10 with the Crossing Broad promo code “ItsLit5”. Just enter your address, leave the tank on your porch/driveway, and Cynch will do the rest.*

We’ve spent plenty of time over the past few weeks picking apart the Phillies’ flaws. It’s been easy to do during a six-week stretch in which they have faded from one of the National League’s best teams to a fringe playoff contender. Their problems – a lack of rotation depth, bullpen injuries, offensive inconsistency – seem to trade places as the most devastating flaw on a nightly basis, but each of them leads us back to the same conclusion, which is that the Phillies have to do something, perhaps a trade – or three – to save their season.

Sound familiar? It should.

Plenty of Phillies coverage lately has focused on the team’s needs, possible trade targets, and the potential roadblocks that exist, and rightfully so, but the truth is that nobody – including the team’s decision-makers – knows how the market will develop in the coming weeks. So rather than speculate about guys who aren’t here right now, let’s go about this in a different way by examining how those who are here can improve, and I don’t mean in a numerical sense. This isn’t going to be a data-driven analysis on how Bryce Harper’s exit velocity should yield a higher slugging percentage in the second half, though that’s true. Instead, I want to look at the human element of what’s at play here.

This team has no juice right now. It’s totally flaccid, but it wasn’t always this way. Just go back to Opening Day when Rhys Hoskins stepped to the plate after the Braves intentionally walked Harper in the seventh inning of a 6-3 game.

Walking Harper to get to me? Cool, no problem. Watch this.

Know what’s good? Grand slams. Know what’s even better? “F*** you” grand slams that come after intentional walks. This is the type of shit teams feed off of.

Listen to that crowd. Look at the energy, the celebrations, the confidence. Where has it gone? There seems to be no buzz around the Phillies right now. Sure, some of that has to do with the problems already outlined. I get it. It’s difficult to overcome mediocre starting pitching or blown leads – sometimes both – but too often it feels like the Phillies are slogging their way through games without the energy and fight we saw earlier in the season. At least when they aren’t playing the Mets.

Where is the intensity, brashness, and confidence the Phillies played with through 55 games during a promising 33-22 start?

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Harper Homers and Hustles as Phillies Blast Cardinals

Bob Wankel - May 30, 2019

This, friends, this is the way the Phillies drew it up back in March. Aaron Nola dominates, Bryce Harper mashes, nay, everybody mashes, and the Phillies bludgeon the opposition into submission in a blowout win. Before we continue, let us enjoy some Tsunami by DVBBS & Borgeous, which is played after every home run at Citizens Bank Park, and thus currently remains very much embedded in my brain as I write this.


Whoever is in charge of the in-stadium music couldn’t pump it fast enough tonight. The Phillies pounded out 11 runs and 12 hits in an 11-4 rout of the Cardinals. Brutal month for St. Louis which is now a miserable 7-18 in May after entering the month 19-10. Yikes.

Anyway, the Phillies’ offensive explosion was headlined by Harper’s three-hit performance. About Harper, real quick. You may have heard something about how he’s struggling right now. Lots of missed fastballs. Lots of missed breaking balls. Copious, potentially historic amounts of strikeouts. All true. Can’t hide from facts, but here’s what else is true: he’s currently the owner of an .839 OPS. He’s also on pace for approximately 30 homers, 50 doubles, and well over 100 RBI. And he’s struggling, or maybe, he was struggling.

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