- The Phillies' three solo home runs off Shields were from Brown in the second inning, Ryan Howard in the fourth and Cody Asche in the sixth to keep the game tied going into the 12th, when Rupp homered. "We're being aggressive," Rupp said. "When pitchers make mistakes we're ready for them. We're winning, too. That changes how you come to the ballpark every day. That changes your approach at the plate. When you win you're having fun, everything clicks. And that's the way it's going right now."
- Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola battled himself and the strike zone in his fourth start of the season. He allowed six hits, three runs, two walks and struck out six in six innings. He threw 99 pitches, but just 56 (56.5 percent) for strikes. Nola had not thrown fewer than 67 percent of his pitches for strikes in any of his first three starts. Pitching coach Bob McClure was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook, who heard it from both teams throughout the night. "He worked his way out of a jam [in the sixth], which was huge," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said about Nola. "It's one of those reasons I left him in. He's got to learn how to do that and he did a great job of it."
- The Padres lost a challenge in the seventh inning. Brown threw out Solarte at the plate by several feet, but Murphy asked for a review, thinking Phillies catcher Rupp might not have allowed a path to the plate. The replay official in New York confirmed the call. "Usually when they review it they see something," Brown said. "I got kind of nervous out there in the outfield."
- "There's nothing more fun than winning an extra-inning game and using most of your players. Everybody feels like they contributed. That's a great feeling. To lose those games is miserable." – Mackanin.
- Howard has 26 RBIs since July 5, which, entering Friday, ranked second in the National League.
- Entering this series, the Phillies own the best winning percentage of any visiting team in Petco Park history, going 17 games over .500 since the ballpark opened in 2004.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Phillies Overpower Padres In Extra Innings Win
GAME RECAP: Phillies Outlast Padres 4-3
Cameron Rupp blasted a homer to center field off Kevin Quackenbush in the 12th inning to give the Phillies a 4-3 win over the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park. Rupp's homer, his third of the season, was projected by Statcast™ to land 416 feet away. The Phillies homered three times off James Shields, who went 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, with one walk and eight strikeouts. "That was a fun game, man," said Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown, who hit one of the homers and threw out a runner at the plate. "Definitely impressed and happy with how we've been playing. It's been a lot of fun in the second half." The Padres are now 52-58 and have lost four straight.
OTHER NOTES FROM THE DAY:
Tyson Ross and Adam Morgan will face off on Saturday in the second game of a three-game series between the Phillies and Padres at Petco Park. Ross (8-8, 3.37 ERA) was shaky at the beginning of his last start, but earned a win against the Brewers. He allowed two runs in the first inning, but settled down and controlled his command better to pitch six innings. Morgan (2-3, 4.46 ERA) has pitched at least six innings in only three of his first seven big league starts. His last time out, the left-hander took a loss against the Braves, giving up seven hits and four runs through five innings.
Utley Returns Batting Leadoff? – Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin sees this as an opportunity to reset Chase Utley's season. "I don't care what he did earlier," Mackanin said Friday afternoon at Petco Park. "We feel he's a better hitter than what he was hitting before he went on the disabled list, and we're going to give him a chance to prove me right. He can still hit." The Phillies activated Utley from the DL on Friday after he spent more than a month there with a sprained right ankle. Utley went 1-for-5 with a single in the Phillies' 4-3, 12-inning win the Padres on Friday night. Before going on the DL, he hit .179 (39-for-218) with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, 25 RBIs and a .532 OPS in 65 games, making him one of the least productive hitters in baseball when he went on the DL on June 23. But Utley hit first in Friday's lineup. The Phillies are hoping Utley can resurrect his season, which might allow them to trade him to a contender before his contract expires after the season. There is interest, too. The Angels and Cubs are just two teams that might make a run at Utley if they like what they see before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline. Utley seems destined to be elsewhere next year anyway, so he might change his mind about not waiving his 10-and-5 no-trade rights. He has a $15 million club option for 2016 that automatically vests with 500 plate appearances this season, but the option is no longer a possibility. He entered Friday's game with 249 plate appearances. "Only that they want him to play," said Mackanin, when asked about the front office's input in how he should use Utley. "How much or how often is up to me. And the way I do it is up to me. I'm not going to take a guy like Chase Utley, even though Cesar Hernandez is playing so well, I'm not going to take a guy like Chase Utley and just dump him on the bench and let him rot. Because I believe he can still hit. And I believe he can contribute to winning games for us. "I can't say he's going to play every day because we have a purpose this year of trying to find out about these young guys, get them as many at-bats to see how well they finish out. I think I'll be able to get him sufficient at-bats to keep him happy and the other guys happy and kill two birds with one stone." So Hernandez could see some time at shortstop or third base. But Mackanin said four games a week is a good number for Utley, with maybe one of those games at first base.
Homer Happy – Dodgers ace Zack Greinke gave the Phillies one heck of a compliment Thursday, when he said the top of their lineup is one of best he has faced this season. "You probably don't hear people say that," he said. No, you don't. But the Phillies' offense has been much better lately. It hit four solo home runs in Friday night's 4-3 victory over the Padres in 12 innings at Petco Park, including Cameron Rupp's game-winning blast to center field in the 12th. Domonic Brown homered in the fourth, Ryan Howard homered in the sixth and Cody Asche homered in the seventh. "We're being aggressive," Rupp said. "When pitchers make mistakes we're ready for them. We're winning, too. That changes how you come to the ballpark every day. That changes your approach at the plate. When you win you're having fun, everything clicks. And that's the way it's going right now." The Phillies are 14-5 since the All-Star break, moving them into a tie with the Marlins for the worst record in baseball. A big part of the Phillies' second-half surge is the offense. ACTA Sports reported that the Phillies had a .743 OPS in July, a .091 improvement over their .651 OPS from April through June. That was the fourth-best improvement in OPS in baseball. Only the White Sox (.108), Mariners (.105) and Angels (.103) improved by more. The Phillies entered the game with just 75 home runs, which ranked 29th in baseball. The four homers Friday were each projected by Statcast™ to land at least 411 feet away from home plate. "For us to win in that fashion is really atypical of our team," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "The guys are swinging it pretty good." According to Statcast™, Howard's homer left his bat at 107 mph. Rupp's left his bat at 106 mph. Brown's and Asche's each left their bats at 102 mph. Brown has hit four home runs in his last eight games. "You've never seen that before?" Brown said. Yes, Brown hit home runs in similar bunches in the first half of 2013, which put him on the National League All-Star team. He had mostly struggled since. "It's been a while, for sure," Brown said. "But like I tell you guys all the time, I've got confidence. I started feeling really good at the plate. That's all it is."
Long Road Back – The third time feels right for Phillies left-hander Adam Loewen. He is back in the big leagues for the first time since 2011, when he resurrected his career as an outfielder with the Blue Jays. Before a stress fracture in his left elbow seemingly ended his pitching career, he pitched parts of three seasons for the Orioles from 2006-08. "To get called up as a hitter was really surreal," Loewen said Friday afternoon at Petco Park. "It didn't sink in for a while. This time I feel like this is where I'm supposed to be. This is what I was always supposed to be." The Phillies promoted Loewen from Triple-A Lehigh Valley because they need another left-hander in the bullpen after trading Jake Diekman to the Rangers. Loewen, 31, went 1-3 with a 2.15 ERA in 40 appearances with the IronPigs. His first appearance for the Phillies will be his first time on the mound in a big league game since July 6, 2008. "I didn't have any expectations of being called up," Loewen said. "I just knew that if I pitched well for long enough that I'd be a name that they would consider. Really I wasn't going out there every day thinking, 'Oh, this might be the day.' I was taking care of business out there and that was it." Loewen, whom the Orioles selected with the fourth pick in the 2002 Draft, signed as a Minor League free agent with the Phillies in April 2014. His agent had told teams he planned to try pitching again, but only a few teams showed up to watch him throw. A short time later he got a call from Phillies president Pat Gillick, who gave Loewen a tour of Safeco Field as a 17-year-old. "He's got an outstanding memory," Loewen said of Gillick. "I'm surprised he even remembered who I was." Gillick is famous for his recall. Loewen said in that telephone conversation Gillick remembered the names of his parents, brother and sister. "I didn't have a job and I didn't want to stop playing," Loewen said about his desire to try pitching again. "I had five years to allow my arm to rest so I was curious how it felt. In Spring Training '14 I started throwing off a mound and threw for some teams. A lot of them didn't go very well. But then I threw for the Phillies and it went really well that day. "It's been a roller coaster of emotions from year to year. One day you think you're in it and the next day you're out. And then you're back in. But I've been really blessed to have a third opportunity. I just feel lucky. I feel lucky to be here."
The Phillies are starting the season as expected and are now at the bottom of the NL east at 43-67. 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 48-62-1 on this day.