- Greinke was masterful all night, extending his Major League-leading scoreless streak to 35 2/3 innings. He allowed just one baserunner, in the second inning on a Ryan Howard single. Greinke retired the last 21 hitters he faced. Mattingly said that Greinke would've stayed in the game if the score had held at 4-0, but after Puig hit a two-run homer in the eighth, he opted to give reliever Joel Peralta an inning. "Yeah I did [want to finish the game]," Greinke said. "But it didn't hurt my feelings to not go out there."
- Entering his seventh start of the season, Gonzalez had held opponents to a .591 OPS the first time through the lineup, while opponents had posted a 1.343 OPS the second time through. That trend continued against the Dodgers. Gonzalez cruised the first time through the Dodgers' lineup, retiring eight of the first nine batters he faced, but the Dodgers scored four runs against him in his final 2 2/3 innings. "I was trying to make sure that what I've been told -- keep the ball down -- I was trying to concentrate on that the whole game," Gonzalez said. "Just making sure the pitches were down. In the past I got hurt with pitches up. I went in with the mindset to come into this game and make sure I could keep the pitches down."
- "I think what's frustrating about Greinke is I think a lot of hitters, they see it good. And then when you go to swing it just moves off your barrel. That's what makes him tough. I think he knows that, too. He kind of feeds off the hitters, off their aggression. I think he's good at reading hitters and feeding off it. If you're trying to see some pitches, if you're trying to be aggressive, he kind of knows how to attack you." -- Phillies left fielder Cody Asche.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Calling All Phillies Hitters: Please Show Up!
GAME RECAP: Dodgers Shutout Phillies 6-0
Zack Greinke made his case to start for the National League in the 2015 All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile as he fired his fifth consecutive start without allowing a run in a 6-0 win over the Phillies on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. Greinke threw eight innings, allowing just one hit, and extended his scoreless streak to 35 2/3 innings. Greinke has not allowed a run since June 13. Yasiel Puig drove in four runs to provide the offensive punch for Los Angeles and finished 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. "They've got a little bit of a younger club that probably didn't prepare like a veteran club did," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of the Phillies. "They chased the changeup, they chased the ball down and they just pounded that into the ground. Older clubs make him get the ball up." Severino Gonzalez (3-3) had his longest start of the season, 5 2/3 innings, but was still stuck with the loss for the Phillies. The rookie allowed four runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out three. "It was all Greinke," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's the whole package. He's more impressive than the guy [Clayton Kershaw] last night. He had all his pitches working for him. He had command, location and velocity and he makes it look easy at times. There's plenty of good pitchers in the league. He's right at the top of my list."
OTHER NOTES FROM THE DAY:
Phillies ace Cole Hamels makes his final start before the All-Star break in Friday night's series opener against the Giants at AT&T Park at 10:15 p.m. ET. Hamels is 5-6 with a 3.02 ERA in 17 starts, but he has pitched better recently, posting a 2.42 ERA in his last four starts.
Welcome To Groundhog Day – So this is how hitters felt in 2011 when the Phillies ran Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels at them. Lots of frustration. Lots of lonely walks back to the bat rack. The Phillies suffered their second consecutive shutout in Thursday night's 6-0 loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. A night after Clayton Kershaw pitched a shutout, Zack Greinke allowed one hit and struck out eight in eight scoreless innings against the Phillies, who lost three of four in the series. "Well, that's an easy one to talk about," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said afterward. "It was all Greinke. He's the whole package. He's more impressive than the guy last night. He had all his pitches working for him. He had command, location and velocity and he makes it look easy at times. "There's plenty of good pitchers in the league. He's right at the top of my list." It was the 10th time this season the Phillies have suffered a shutout, which is second in baseball only to the Padres (13). The loss dropped the Phillies to 29-59, which puts them on pace for 109 losses. It would be their most losses since the 1942, when they dropped 109 games. The Phillies set a franchise-record 111 losses in 1941. The Phillies suffered back-to-back shutouts June 14-15 against the Pirates and Orioles. Between then and Wednesday and Thursday they actually swung the bats pretty well, averaging 4.86 runs per game in a 21-game stretch, which ranked eighth in baseball. "I think what's frustrating about Greinke is I think a lot of hitters, they see it good," Phillies left field Cody Asche said. "And then when you go to swing it just moves off your barrel. That's what makes him tough. I think he knows that, too. He kind of feeds off the hitters, off their aggression. I think he's good at reading hitters and feeding off it. If you're trying to see some pitches, if you're trying to be aggressive, he kind of knows how to attack you." Phillies right-hander Severino Gonzalez replaced Kevin Correia in the rotation for the series finale. He allowed five hits, four runs, two walks and one home run in 5 2/3, which was the longest start of his seven-start career. He retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, but he allowed four runs in his final 2 2/3 innings. Entering Thursday, Gonzalez held opponents to a .591 OPS his first time through the lineup. But hitters posted a 1.343 OPS against him the second time through. It almost didn't matter against Greinke. He would have needed to throw a perfect game. "We hope that we can catch somebody at a bad time and continue to swing the way we did before we faced these last two guys," Mackanin said. "We got Bum (Giants ace Madison Bumgarner) tomorrow. That's another pretty good pitcher."
Brown On Borrowed Time – Chase Utley might not be the Phillies' No. 1 second baseman anymore, but Domonic Brown continues to play nearly every day in right field. The Phillies want to see more of Brown, but their desire is limited. "He's going to be getting some chances," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. "But his leash isn't as long as it used to be. That's been communicated to him." Brown went 2-for-4 against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in Wednesday's 5-0 loss. He is hitting .205 (15-for-73) with three doubles, six RBIs and a .535 OPS in 23 games. He has hit .239 (164-for-687) with 31 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 85 RBIs and a .642 OPS in 210 games since the 2013 All-Star Game, when he made the National League All-Star team. "It was good to see Brown get a couple hits off a tough pitcher," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "Maybe that'll get him jump-started." "It's time to get it going," Brown said before the game. "I'm feeling good in the box, I'm taking some good swings, but it's time to put some numbers up." Brown, 27, is likely getting his last shot with the Phillies. If he cannot hit like he did before the 2013 All-Star Game he figures to be playing elsewhere next season. "I agree with him 1,000 percent," Brown said about Amaro's comments that his opportunity is limited. "If I don't make the most of my opportunity, then he has to do his job and get me out of here I guess. But I don't want that. I want to be in Philly. But that's part of the game as well and I understand that. But I'm not going to go out there and put extra pressure on myself because of that. "If I continue to play I think it's just a matter of time before stuff starts clicking. I didn't hit 30 home runs and be an All-Star for nothing. I just have to go out there and play baseball. This is different than Triple-A. As you guys know, this is not Triple-A. You have to get in there and get at-bats. Charlie [Manuel] always talked about it, he'd just run me out there every day. That's really the biggest thing. Now I have to take it on myself." Brown has come across sometimes as indifferent about his play and status on the team, but he said he is motivated to play at a high level again. "I'm hungry, I'm hungry right now, man," Brown said. "I'm out here busting my butt every single day. I'm really hungry. I don't think I've ever been this hungry, ever." Brown needs to turn that hunger into results. "When you're a younger player or an unestablished player trying to make your mark in the game, you're auditioning every day," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "The more chances you get, at one point your run out of chances."
Is There A Couch In His Office? – Pete Mackanin found himself in a unique situation a couple weeks ago when Ryne Sandberg abruptly quit as Phillies manager. Mackanin unexpectedly and suddenly became interim manager through the end of the season. He not only is filling out lineup cards and running games from the dugout, but he is trying to talk to players individually about where they are mentally and what they think about what is happening around them. That includes Phillies ace Cole Hamels, who pitches Friday night's series opener against the Giants at AT&T Park. "Just to say, 'What are you thinking about?'" Mackanin said Thursday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. "I always joked around with these guys, but I never really talked to them on a one-on-one basis. So I wanted to find out, 'Tell what you're thinking about? What's on your mind?' Certainly, the trade and the whole situation is on [Hamels'] mind. These guys that are used to winning, it's tough to deal with. It's tough for me, too. It's tough for the guys who aren't used to winning. Nobody likes to lose. It was just a nice one-on-one chat." Hamels is 5-6 with a 3.02 ERA in 17 starts. He is 0-1 with a 2.42 ERA in his last four starts. It is believed the Phillies will trade him before the July 31 Trade Deadline. But the trade speculation and constant losing have been happening for a long time, and it perhaps has had a numbing effect on Hamels and other veterans waiting to be traded. "I know you're an outstanding competitor, but you're kind of aloof [between starts]," Mackanin said he told Hamels. "You're just kind of like, existing. And I get it. I said, 'Just remember who you are. You're a premier pitcher in the National League. Go out and pitch like it. Don't worry about that other stuff.' "Everybody needs to be reminded. I understand [Jonathan] Papelbon. I understand Cole. You get to the point where it's a different feeling. When I was here earlier [as a coach] when the team was really good, you knew you had a chance to win every night. And now here it's like … we've overmatched right now, but that's the whole purpose of playing these young guys."
Signing For The Future – It will take a few years, but the Phillies think they found a big-time power hitter in Jhailyn Ortiz. The Phillies announced Thursday they had officially signed the 16-year-old right fielder to a Minor League contract. Sources told MLB.com the deal is worth about $4.2 million. MLB.com ranks Ortiz, who is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, as the sixth-best prospect in this year's international free agent class. Baseball America rated Ortiz's power as the best in the class, grading his power tool as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. "We have been scouting Jhailyn since he was 14 years old," Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper said in a statement. "Since that time, our scouts have gotten to know the family and have a strong conviction of not only his ability to play baseball, but his strong character and desire to be a Major League player. We are excited to add the power potential Jhailyn possesses to the Phillies organization." Phillies director of international scouting Sal Agostinelli signed Ortiz on Thursday in Ortiz's native Dominican Republic. The Phillies also signed three other additional international prospects: Venezuelan catcher Rafael Marchan ($200,000), Dominican infielder Kuedy Bocio and Dominican left-hander pitcher Manuel Silva. The Phillies on Sunday acquired the No. 1 overall signing slot ($3,590,400) for the 2015-16 international signing period from Arizona for Class A Lakewood right-hander Chris Oliver, Class A Lakewood left-hander Josh Taylor and the team's No. 9 overall signing slot ($1,352,100). The trade allowed the Phillies to avoid penalties that would prohibit them from signing international players for more than $300,000 until the 2018-19 signing period. The Phillies entered the signing period July 2 with an allotted $3,041,700, but the trade boosted that figure to $4,562,550 because teams can only acquire 50 percent of their international bonus pool. Teams that exceed their pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods, in addition to paying a 100 percent tax on the pool overage. That Phillies would have blown past that percentage without the trade. "This keeps our hands untied, so to speak," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Sunday.
The Phillies are starting the season as expected and are now at the bottom of the NL east at 29-59. Given the departures, aging stars, injuries, and performance so far this season, this could end up being the worst team in franchise history! All time, the Phillies are 40-47-0 on this day.