Phillies attempt to solve lack of winning with new clubhouse signs

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That the Phillies won only 73 games last year and portend to be just as bad, if not worse, in 2014 might prompt some to suggest that they have a talent problem. Not so, if the Phillies’ new clubhouse signs are to be believed. All the Phillies need to do to get back to their successful ways is to respect the game, be the “ultimate teammate”, and play the game the right way.

Via MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki:

Given the recent drama involving Jimmy Rollins, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was an indirect swipe at the shortstop. It isn’t shocking, though, that the Phillies think that a key to returning to their glory days is to rediscover the intangibles. After all, they had to be held more or less at gunpoint to create an analytics department — becoming one of the last teams to do so.

Even if every single Phillie does start to respect the game (they didn’t before?), becomes the ultimate teammate (what does this mean?), and plays the game the right way (right, Jimmy?), they’re still likely to rank among the bottom-third in baseball, wins-wise. No amount of intangibles will turn that old, injury-prone, expensive roster into a championship contender.

Astros extend winning streak to 11 games

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The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.

The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.

Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.

After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.