Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Phils Notebook: Daulton’s presence will be felt

Posted by Eric Fisher On August 8

This week’s Alumni Weekend will have a somber feel. Not only won’t the long-awaited induction of Pete Rose into the Phillies’ Wall of Fame take place, but the death of Darren Daulton will also cast a heavy shadow over the gathering.

Rose’s induction was canceled after the filing of sworn testimony from a woman stating that she had a sexual relationship with Rose while he was with the Reds during the 1970s before she was 16 years old, the age of consent in Ohio. Considering that Rose’s defense is that he thought she was 16 – he was married and had kids at that time – the Phillies made the appropriate decision to cancel the ceremony and Rose bobblehead giveaway.

Without Rose’s induction, something would have been missing from the atmosphere at Alumni Weekend. But the loss of Daulton means the weekend will be missing something far greater.

Daulton wasn’t scheduled to appear at Alumni Weekend. His condition had deteriorated during the past nine months. Still, the death of the extremely popular will unquestionably be felt during Alumni Weekend, which kicks off on Thursday.

Daulton was as popular with his teammates as he was with the fans. It’s not an exaggeration to say that they loved and respected him.

As Daulton said at the end of his induction ceremony, the fans are also part of his family. The family, including his “brothers” that played on the team with him, will certainly feel an emptiness from his physical absence, but Daulton’s spirit may be very much alive this weekend at Citizens Bank Park.


SIGNIFICANT LOSSES: Darren Daulton is the fourth former Phillie to die this year. Former pitcher and United States senator Jim Bunning, Dallas Green and Ruben Amaro Sr. also passed away this year.


UPS AND DOWNS: After finishing their homestand with a five-game winning streak, the Phillies promptly went out and lost the first five games of their road trip. The Phillies were swept by the Angels and then lost the first two games of their series with Rockies before avoiding another sweep in the series finale.


WORST AGAIN: The five-game winning streak temporarily moved the Phillies ahead of the Giants, so they no longer had the worst record in Major League Baseball. The five-game losing streak, though, returned the Phillies (40-69) to the basement, with the Giants improving to 44-70.


HERNANDEZ IS HOT: Cesar Hernandez enters Tuesday’s game against the Braves with an 11-game hitting streak. He has two hits in seven of those games, raising his batting average to .294.


REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: What has happened to Luis Garcia? After a sensational July, during which he allowed one run in 14 appearances, Garcia gave up runs and suffered losses on back-to-back days last week against the Angels and Rockies. The only run he allowed in July came on July 30, ending a scoreless streak that lasted 21 1/3 innings, the longest single-season scoreless streak by a Phillies reliever since current broadcaster Larry Andersen hurled 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in 1984.


EFLIN GETS CALL: Zach Eflin has been recalled from Class AAA Lehigh Valley to face the Braves tonight (Tuesday). Eflin was sent down to Lehigh Valley after compiling an 0-3 record and 6.13 ERA in eight starts earlier this season with the Phillies.


POSITION SWITCH: With the Phillies having Tommy Joseph at first base, hot prospect Rhys Hoskins started in left field Monday for Lehigh Valley. If Hoskins can play adequate defense in left field, it will enable him to have more playing time – instead of platooning with Joseph – when he’s called up by the Phillies.


DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: Credit goes to WIP’s Rob Charry, who provided this interesting tidbit (which I’ve updated) during a pregame program last weekend. When the Phillies faced the Dodgers in late April, the Phillies were 11-9 and the Dodgers were 11-12. Since the start of that series, the Dodgers are an amazing 68-20, while the Phillies are 29-57.


WIDE-OPEN RACE: In contrast to the National League playoff race, which I summarized in my last Phillies Notebook, the American League playoff race is wide open. The only certainty seems to be that the AL West-leading Astros (71-40) will be in the postseason.

The Red Sox and Indians only lead the AL East and Central by three games, respectively. The Yankees, who are in second place in the AL East, are the top wild card team. The Rays and Royals, who are in second place in the AL Central, are tied for the second wild card berth. The Mariners are one game behind the Royals and Rays, the Orioles are 1½ games behind, and the Twins are 2½ games behind. Their sweep of the Phillies has helped the Angels climb within three games of the final wild card berth, and the Rangers (53-58) are only four games behind.

It should be a wild playoff race in the American League.


ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After completing their eight-game road trip with games against the Braves on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Phillies will return home for a four-game series with the Mets before embarking on a West Coast trip that takes them to San Diego for three games and then San Francisco for four games.

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