- Everybody has been waiting for Brown to show signs of life at the plate since he made the 2013 National League All-Star team. He showed some pop Thursday. Brown hit a three-run home run against Greinke in the first inning and singled to drive in a run in the third. He is hitting .367 (18-for-49) with one double, one triple, three home runs and 14 RBIs in his past 14 games. "I don't know," said Brown, when asked if he feels this could be his last chance with Philadelphia. "I'm just playing, really. I haven't had time to sit down and think about it. I'm here every day making sure I'm ready to play. That's really it. No added pressure. It's baseball. If it doesn't work out here, I'll bust my butt so it will work out somewhere else."
- Buchanan (2-6, 7.23 ERA) allowed three runs in the first, but he stepped onto the mound with a two-run lead in the second. He could not hold it. Buchanan allowed three runs in the second and one run in the third to hand the Dodgers a 7-5 lead. He allowed 10 hits and seven runs in four innings. It was the second time in nine starts this season Buchanan allowed seven runs, and his fourth start allowing five-plus runs. "Scoring that many runs off Greinke and not giving us a chance to win hurts," Buchanan said. "It's unfortunate, especially after what they did to pick me up in the first inning."
- "Their top five in the order are up there with best top five we have to face, and you probably don't hear people say that. It's a tough top three." -- Greinke, on the Phillies' lineup.
- Maikel Franco has posted an .842 OPS through his first 307 plate appearances this season. The last rookie third baseman to post an .842 OPS or higher with a minimum of 400 plate appearances was Evan Longoria (.874 OPS) in 2008. The last Phillies rookie third baseman to do it was Scott Rolen (.846) in 1997.
- Chase Utley was with the Phillies on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, but he wasn't activated off the 15-day disabled list. However, the second baseman, who has received trade interest from a few teams, could be activated before the team's trip to San Diego.
Friday, August 7, 2015
Brown Can’t Salvage Win For Phillies
GAME RECAP: Dodgers Beat Phillies 10-8
Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke had allowed five runs in the first inning all season before surrendering five to the Phillies in the first frame on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. He got the win anyway, aided by an impressive effort by the Dodgers' offense in a 10-8 victory. Greinke settled on the mound over his final five innings and helped his cause at the plate, going 3-for-3. He singled and scored a run in the second inning and slammed a solo home run against Phillies right-hander David Buchanan in the third. "Little different-style game than you would think with Zack pitching today," said manager Don Mattingly. "But our guys kept on going. After the first inning, Zack was pretty good. Showed what Zack's all about. He's not going to give in, say it's a bad day. He's going to keep pitching." Despite four RBIs from Domonic Brown, it was the first series the Phillies have lost since the All-Star break. "I don't know about you, but it's fun for me to watch these guys hit," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said about the Phillies, who scored 17 runs in the series. "They're playing as a team and they're putting hits together. It's nice to see. It's encouraging for us down the road."
OTHER NOTES FROM THE DAY:
The Padres and Phillies begin a three-game series on Friday as the two teams face off at Petco Park at 7:10 p.m. PT for the first meeting between the two teams in 2015. James Shields will take the mound for the Padres, and Aaron Nola will get the start for the Phillies. Shields (8-4, 3.74 ERA) took a no-decision in his last start, allowing five hits and two runs and striking out four through six innings. Since coming back from the All-Star break, Shields is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four starts. Nola has three big league starts under his belt. The 22-year-old won against the Braves on Aug. 1 after allowing two runs on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts in five innings.
Utley Returns To Action – Chase Utley is back. The Phillies announced Thursday afternoon that Utley will be activated from the 15-day disabled list before Friday night's game against the Padres at Petco Park. He had been sidelined since June 23 with a sprained right ankle. Following Thursday's 10-8 loss to the Dodgers, the Phillies optioned outfielder Jordan Danks to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Utley on the 25-man roster. The Phillies also optioned right-hander Dalier Hinojosa. They will select left-hander Adam Loewen's contract Friday to take his place. "I'm going to do as much as I can to try to get [Utley] in there four days a week," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. Cesar Hernandez has hit .323 (53-for-164) with nine doubles, two triples, 15 RBIs and a .783 OPS in 40 games since June 17, but he could see some time at third base or shortstop while Utley plays. Mackanin also said Freddy Galvis could play a game or two at center field to accommodate Hernandez at shortstop. Mackanin has his reasons for that. First, Utley is Utley. He is the greatest second baseman in Phillies history, and the manager respects that. Second, there are a few contenders that are interested in Utley for the final few weeks of the season, including the Angels and Cubs. The Phillies need to play Utley if they hope to trade him before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline. "It isn't easy," Mackanin said. "But I've already had a meeting with Cesar, Freddy and [Maikel] Franco. And even with Whitey [Andres Blanco]. They're all aware of the situation and the need to get Chase at-bats."
Brown Bouncing Back? – Is Domonic Brown getting it again? He hit a three-run home run against Dodgers ace Zack Greinke in the first inning and singled to drive in a run in the third on Thursday afternoon in a 10-8 loss at Citizens Bank Park. Two big hits against arguably the best pitcher in baseball continued a torrid two weeks for the Phillies outfielder, who needs to play well the final few weeks of the season to remain part of the club's future. "Just playing and getting more comfortable," Brown said. "That's it." Brown is batting .367 (18-for-49) with one double, one triple, three home runs and 14 RBIs in his past 14 games. "Yeah, he's been swinging the bat better," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "It looks like he's playing with more confidence. It's nice to see. As I've said before, we want him to hit and hit for power. He's starting to do that a little bit. If we can get him back to the year he made the All-Star team, that's what we're trying to do. But it is encouraging." Brown's homer came on a 1-1 fastball from Greinke. He singled down the left-field line to score Maikel Franco in the third to cut the Dodgers' lead to 7-6. He lined out sharply down the first-base line in the ninth inning to end the game. Greinke was impressed with what he saw from Brown and the top of the Phillies' lineup. "Their top five in the order are up there with best top five we have to face, and you probably don't hear people say that," Greinke said. Brown's reemergence is welcomed. He was one of the hottest hitters on the planet before the 2013 All-Star break, but from July 19, 2013, through July 19, 2015, he hit .236 with 31 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 87 RBIs and a .633 OPS in 770 plate appearances over 217 games. Brown's OPS ranked 273rd out of 299 qualified hitters in that span and 113th out of 124 outfielders. He continued to play nearly every day because the Phillies were trying to learn about him. Could he recapture his potential that made him the No. 1 prospect in baseball a few years ago? Or is it time to cut their losses and look elsewhere for a corner outfielder? He is making things interesting at the moment. "I don't know," said Brown, when asked if he believes this could be his last chance with Philadelphia. "I'm just playing, really. I haven't had time to sit down and think about it. I'm here every day making sure I'm ready to play. That's really it. No added pressure. "It's baseball. If it doesn't work out here, I'll bust my butt so it will work out somewhere else."
The Phillies are starting the season as expected and are now at the bottom of the NL east at 42-67. 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 52-51-0 on this day.