I know it’s Wednesday morning and the Phillies have a game in a few hours against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, but I was just wondering if they started their Tuesday night game against the O’s yet.
What, it was postponed? After forcing O’s fans — and traveling Phillies fans — to sit through a rain delay of more than three hours? Have the Orioles not already inflicted enough pain on their fans this season?
The makeup date for Tuesday night’s postponement is Thursday, July 12 at 7:05 p.m.
NBC Sports Philadelphia really had to dig into its archives during Tuesday night’s marathon rain delay, but it picked a winner at the start. Videographer Dan Stephenson’s documentary — They Said We Couldn’t Play: An Oral History of the Philadelphia Stars — which originally aired in 2016, is worth watching over and over again. One of the coolest parts of the documentary is watching how Phillies World Series stars Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins connected with the Negro League players from the Stars.
Anyway, here’s hoping it has stopped raining somewhere.
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Game time, 12:05 p.m.
With the threat of more bad weather in the Baltimore area, the starting time for today’s game between the Phillies and Baltimore Orioles was moved up from 12:35 p.m. to 12:05. The Phillies also decided to keep their pitching rotation intact, so last night’s scheduled starter, Nick Pivetta, will pitch today. Andrew Cashner, who has a career 2.55 ERA in 13 career games against the Phillies, will start for the Orioles.
The Phillies have also activated righthander Mark Leiter Jr. from the disabled list. Leiter had missed the first 6 1/2 weeks of the season because of a flexor strain in his right arm. He was dominating in three rehab appearances with high-A Clearwater, allowing just one hit and one walk and striking out nine in five scoreless innings.
It’s no secret that Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado will be a player of interest for the Phillies should he reach the free-agent market after the season, but with the Orioles among the worst teams in baseball, he likely will also be available at the July 31 trade deadline. Our Matt Breen caught up with Machado before Tuesday’s postponement, and he talked about the many connections he has with members of the Phillies organization. Will that — and something like $250 million — be enough to lure Machado up Interstate 95 to Citizens Bank Park? It would be something to have him in the middle of the Phillies’ lineup.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, who was working under Phillies president Andy MacPhail in the Baltimore front office when the Orioles drafted Machado third overall in 2010, made the trip to Camden Yards and talked Tuesday about the state of the Phillies. This year’s team is 23-16, which is a record pretty similar to the 23-17 start the Phillies had during Klentak’s first season as GM in 2016. The record is the only thing that feels similar to Klentak, who believes these Phillies are more likely to remain above .500.
Our Frank Fitzpatrick has the dirt on the dirt that 22 major-league teams, including the Phillies, use on their infields, warning tracks, batter’s boxes and pitcher’s mounds. It comes from a company called Dura Edge Inc. near Slippery Rock, Pa. and the Phillies were the initial client. Believe it or not, the company drew more clients on that infamous October night in 2008 when the Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays kept playing Game 5 of the World Series despite heavy rain and puddling on the infield.
Today: Nick Pivetta faces Andrew Cashner, 12:05 p.m.
Tomorrow: Vince Velasquez pitches the series opener in St. Louis, 7:15 p.m.
Friday: Jake Arrieta goes for Phils in an 8:15 p.m. start
Stat of the day
The Phillies are tied for 18th in the major leagues with a .242 batting average, but they are tied for fifth in the majors with a .331 on-base percentage, thanks to an 11.2 walk percentage that is second to only the New York Yankees. Rhys Hoskins (30), Cesar Hernandez (29), Carlos Santana (23) and Aaron Altherr (20) each have at least 20 walks. Hoskins and Hernandez are on pace to become the first Phillies with 100 walks in a season since Pat Burrell had 102 in 2008.
From the mailbag
What do you think it would take to get Machado?
— TMacDaddy (@PhilsEaglesND) May 16, 2018
Answer: That’s a great question. With the Orioles almost certain to be a seller at the trade deadline, it really complicates things for any team that might be interested when Manny Machado becomes a free agent after the season. If you can get him this season, you can start negotiating at that point, and the Phillies are one of a handful of teams that has the deep pockets needed to keep him away from the free-agent market. Machado would also be the kind of addition that would make the Phillies instant World Series contenders. What’s the price for that? I’m guessing it would start with pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, and it might also include Scott Kingery. As much as I love both those guys as players, I might still do it.