All good runs come to an eventual end. The Philadelphia Phillies won the National League East from 2007 to 2011, including two pennants and the 2008 World Series title. This remarkable stretch came to a close in 2012 with an 81-81 showing during a season full of injuries and inconsistencies.
Charlie Manuel entered his ninth season as Phillies manager. The daily lineup, however, would look different with a few offseason moves. Center-fielder Ben Revere came from the Minnesota Twins for pitcher major league Vance Worley and minor league pitcher Trevor May. Third baseman Michael Young left the only team he knew for more than a decade, the Texas Rangers, by joining the Phillies in exchange for reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla.
Former Washington Nationals left-handed starting pitcher John Lannan signed as a free agent. Relievers Mike Adams and Chad Durbin also joined the Phillies as free agents. Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. actually consulted with rabbis before signing free agent outfielder Delmon Young after Young blurted racist phrases.
Major League Baseball removed the Houston Astros from the NL Central to the American League West. This meant the NL had 15 teams (five in each of the three divisions) and the AL consisted of 15 teams (also five in each of the three divisions). Interleague play would be in effect for the entire season as each day involved at least one game pitting an NL squad against an AL for.
Opening day on April 5 at Citizens Bank Park featured the AL Central Kansas City Royals and the Phillies. The Royals defeated the Phillies,13–4, with a sellout crowd of 45,307 spectator. These teams first met in the 1980 World Series (the Phillies won the championship), and both won one Fall Classic apiece since that meeting (the Royals in 1985 the and Phillies in 2008).
April didn’t offer a promising outlook for the City of Brotherly Love. Phillies ace Harry Leroy Halladay III (known as Roy Halladay) wasn’t baffling the opposition as his velocity hovered around the mid-to-upper-80, going 2-3 in six starts (32 innings) with 13 walks, 31 strikeouts, and 24 earned runs. Cole Hamels looked as if he wasn’t interested to pitch by yielding 33 hits and 20 earned runs in six starts (37.2 innings) with a 1-3 record, 34 strikeouts, and 17 walks. By the end of April, the Phillies were five and one-half games out of the division lead.
Philliadelphia already disappointed its fans in May despite going 14-14. The Phillies demonstrated they couldn’t compete like they did in prior seasons. On the mound, pitchers surrendered 113 earned runs (120 total) in 246.2 innings with seven saves, one shutout, one complete game, 15 hit batters, 254 hits, 85 walks, and 195 strikeouts while opponents hit .267. At the plate, the Phillies batted .240 with 92 runs, 39 doubles, two triples, 32 home runs, 87 runs batted in, 78 walks, 204 strikeouts, and 17 stolen bases. However, left-fielder Domonic proved he could play regularly as he hit .303 with 12 homers and 25 runs RBIs during that month.
June displayed more inconsistencies than improvements as the Phillies went 13-15 to fall nine and one-half games out of first in the NL East. The Phillies won three of the four series against teams above .500 but lost four of the five series versus clubs under .500. While going 7-4 at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia posted a road record of 6-11; the Phillies had a five-game winning streak and a five-game skid. Sure, the offense batted .274 with 128 runs, 28 long-balls, 202 strikeouts, and 72 walks, but the pitching staff yielded 112 earned runs in 251 innings.
Still, the Phillies continued waning in the standings by going 11-13 in July. Pitchers posted a combined 4.42 Earned Run Average in 214 innings with six saves, zero complete games or shutouts, 241 hits, 166 strikeouts, and 78 walks. The offense produced a .251 average with 87 runs, 40 doubles, four triples, 16 sayonaras, 178 strikeouts, 81 RBIs, seven steals, and 48 walks. Michael Young collected 15 singles, four doubles, three jacks, seven runs, 13 RBIs, 11 walks, and 13 strikeouts in 24 games (second baseman Chase Utley and Brown also touched them all three times). Hamels was 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 35 innings while fanning 30 and walked six.
You would’ve realize the Phillies waved the white flag in Aug (12-17 record). On Aug. 16, Amaro, Jr. decided to fire Manuel by replacing him with third base coach and Baseball Hall of Fame second basemen Ryne Sandberg on an interim basis (Amaro, Jr. actually cried while announcing the move); Manuel was 780-636 with the Phillies and 220-190 in three seasons as Cleveland Indians skipper. At the time of the firing, the Phillies were 53–67 and Manuel’s final victory was his 1,000th win as a big-league manager. The day after his ousting, Manuel attended his scheduled autograph session at the Granite Run Mall and even stayed an additional 30-to-45 minutes past his slated departure time.
Even if games were meaningless, the Phillies still participated in Sept. Sandberg discovered he would return to the Phillies the following season as their full-time manager. Left-handed starting hurler Clifton Phifer Lee punched-out 14 in eight innings of a 12-2 Phillies home victory against the Miami Marlins while going three-for-four at the dish with two singles, his first triple in the majors, and four RBIs. The Phillies won 11 games and dropped 15 in their final month.
Anyway, the Phillies ended 2013 at 73-89, good for fourth place in the NL East. Halladay suddenly announced his retirement from a major league career after the season, which began in 1998. Michael Young, Delmon Young, and Lannan wouldn’t return to Philadelphia the following season.
The Phillies displayed the NL’s ninth-ranked defense (.984 fielding percentage) with 1,614 assists, 4,309 putouts, 97 errors, and 141 double plays.
Twenty-seven men (including position players John McDonald and Casper Well in one game) stepped on the mound, posting a combined 4.32 ERA in 1,436.1 innings with 32 saves, three shutouts, six complete games, 1,465 hits, 749 runs (689 earned), 152 gopher balls, 506 walks, and 1,199 strikeouts. The starting rotation consisted of Halladay (4-5, 13 starts, 62 innings, 51 strikeouts, 6.82 ERA), Lee (14-8, 31 starts, 2.87 ERA, 222.2 innings, 32 walks, 222 strikeouts, 2.87 ERA), Hamels (8-14, 33 starts, 220 innings, 50 walks, 202 strikeouts, 3.60 ERA), Kyle Kendrick (10-13, 30 starts, 182 innings, 47 walks, 110 strikeouts, 4.70 ERA), Lannan (3-6, 14 starts, 74.1 innings, 5.33 ERA), Jonathan Pettibone (5-4, 18 starts, 100.1 innings, 66 strikeouts, 4.04 ERA), and Tyler Cloyd (2-7, 13 games, 11 starts, 60.1 innings, 41 strikeouts, 6.56 ERA).
Coming out of the bullpen were closer Jonathan Papelbon (5-1, 29 saves, 61 games, 57 strikeouts, 2.92 ERA), Justin De Fratus (3-3, 58 games, 3.86 ERA), Antonio Bastardo (3-2, two saves, 48 games, 2.32 ERA), Jake Diekman (1-4, 45 games, 2.58 ERA), Adams (1-4, 28 games, 3.96 ERA), Jeremy Horst (0-2, 28 games, 6.23 ERA), Luis Garcia (1-1, 24 games, 3.73 ERA), Phillipe Aumont (1-3, 22 games, 4.19 ERA), J.C. Ramirez (0-1, 18 games, 7.50 ERA), Durbin (1-0, 16 games, 9.00 ERA), Joe Savery (2-0, 18 games, 3.15 ERA), B.J. Rosenberg (2-0, one save, 22 games, 4.58 ERA), Cesar Jimenez 1-1, 19 games, 3.71 ERA), and Michael Stutes (3-1, 16 games, 4.58 ERA).
Regarding offense, the Phillies batted .248 (1,355-for-5,456) with 610 runs, 255 doubles, 32 triples, 140 home runs, 578 RBIs, 417 walks, 1,205 strikeouts, and 73 base thefts in 103 attempts.
Revere, mostly in centerfield, compiled a .305 average (96-for-315) in 88 games with 37 runs, nine doubles, three triples, zero homers, 17 RBIs, and 22 steals in 30 attempts. Michael Martinez was listed as a center-fielder and failed to hit above .200 for the third straight season with seven hits in 40 at-bats (.175 in 29 games) with five runs, three RBIs, and 12 strikeouts. Former Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina spent 27 games in the final two months in centerfield and the other outfield position and was 14-for-75 with eight runs, four doubles, one triple, two four-baggers, five RBIs, 21 strikeouts, and four walks.
Utley hit .284 in 131 games with 73 runs, 25 doubles, six triples, 18 big flies, 69 RBIs, and 45 walks. Rookie second baseman Cesar Hernandez was 35-for-121 in 34 games with 17 runs, five doubles, 10 RBIs, and 26 strikeouts.
Michael Young had been the regular third baseman for 126 games, going 129-for-468 (.276) with 49 runs, 24 doubles, four triples, eight sayonaras, 42 RBIs, 42 walks, and 78 strikeouts. Cody Asche got called up to fill-in at third base for 50 games and posted 38 hits in 162 at-bats with 18 runs, 22 RBIs, 15 walks, eight doubles, one triple, and five round-trippers. Pete Orr was also listed at third base, providing four hits in 20 at-bats (.200 in 15 games) with a run, zero RBIs, two strikeouts, and eight walks.
Brown’s early-season success booked him a trip to the All-Star game before suffering an injury and wasn’t the same near the end of the season; in 139, Brown batted .272 (135-for-496) with 65 runs, 21 doubles, four triples, 27 long-balls, 97 strikeouts, eight steals, and 83 RBIs. Backup left-fielder John Mayberry, Jr. tallied 35 extra-base hits (45 singles), 39 RBIs, and 47 runs in 134 games. Darin Ruf, a first baseman in the minors, found most of his time in left field in 73 games with a .247 mark (62-for-251) with 36 games, 11 doubles, 14 outta heres, 30 RBIs, 33 walks, and 91 strikeouts. Wells posted a triple in 24 at-bats (.042 in 12 games).
Primary catcher Carlos Ruiz missed the first 25 games due to an drug suspension, going 83-for-310 (.268) in 92 games with 30 runs, 16 doubles, five fence-clearers, and 37 RBIs. Backup catcher Erik Kratz collected 42 hits in 197 at-bats (.213 in 68 games) swatted seven doubles, touched them all nine times, drove-in 26 runs, and safely crossed home 21 times. Backstop Humberto Quintero went 16-for-64 in 24 games with three runs, four doubles, two homers, 15 strikeouts, nine RBIs, and three walks.
Regular first baseman Ryan Howard missed time due to injury, playing 80 games with a 266 clip, 34 runs, 20 doubles, two triples, 11 jacks, 43 RBIs, and 95 strikeouts. Along with Ruf also working first base, Kevin Frandsen worked 119 contests with 59 hits (.234), 27 runs, 10 doubles, one triple, five goodbye balls, and 26 RBIs.
Shortstop Jimmy (J-Roll) Rollins couldn’t find the magic touch in 160 games, batting .252 (151-for-600) with 22 steals in 28 attempts, 93 strikeouts, 59 free passes, 39 RBIs, six homers, two triples, 36 doubles, and 65 runs. McDonald, the other listed shortstop,was four-for-23 in 21 games with five runs, a long-ball, and three RBIs.
Delmon Young (80 games) and Laynce Nix (81 games) split time in right field. Young hit .261 (71-for-272) with 22 runs, 13 doubles, eight fair souvenirs over the fence, 31 RBIs, and 69 strikeouts. Nix went 23-for-128 with 11 runs, four doubles, two singers, and seven RBIs.
Brown and Lee represented the Phillies in the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field in Flushing, New York. Even with the Phillies out of sorts, Citizens Bank Park counted 3,012,403 tickets. Pitcher Severino Gonzalez and third baseman Maikel Franco won the Paul Owens Award as Philadelphia’s top minor league players.
Tom McCarthy (play-by-play), Chris Wheeler (color), Gary “Sarge” Matthews (color), and Greg Murphy (sideline/interview) broadcasted games on Comcast SportsNet, The Comcast Network, and PHL 17; Wheeler and Matthews didn’t have their contracts renewed for 2014. Calling the action on 1210 WPHT-AM and 94.1 WIP-FM were Scott Franzke (play-by-play), Larry Andersen (color), and Jim Jackson (play-by-play).