- Buchanan needed to show considerable improvement since his last start with the Phillies on Aug. 11, when he allowed 11 runs in 1 2/3 innings in Arizona. But his struggles continued against Atlanta. He allowed 10 hits, four runs, three walks and one home run in just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed 14 of 22 batters to reach base, with double plays in the first, third and fourth innings limiting the damage to just four runs. Afterward, Mackanin would not commit to Buchanan making his next start. "Yeah," said Mackanin, asked if he is concerned the team might not have enough pitching to finish the season. "We're going to reassess everything and try to figure it out."
- Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard went 0-for-4. He is hitless in his last 29 at-bats, which is the longest hitless streak of his career.
- "We miss [Maikel] Franco's bat. Not that one guy is going to change everything, but it certainly helps." -- Mackanin, on Franco, who has been sidelined since last month with a broken left wrist.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
From Impressive To Ugly In A Single Series
GAME RECAP: Braves Beat Phillies 8-1
Julio Teheran helped the Braves accomplish something Wednesday night they had not done in nearly a month. He helped them win a series with an 8-1 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Braves right-hander allowed four hits, one run, two walks and struck out four in seven innings, helping Atlanta win their first series since Aug. 14-16 against Arizona. "We have been battling," Braves center fielder Michael Bourn said as his teammates celebrated their third win in their past 23 games. "We just haven't had any luck. Today, we were able to get a series win and that is a big thing. We'll try to carry it over." Bourn recorded four of the season-high 18 hits notched by the Braves. They picked up 10 against Philadelphia right-hander David Buchanan. They picked up the other eight against Phillies relievers Jerome Williams, Ken Roberts and Nefi Ogando. The Phillies have been officially eliminated from postseason contention, the first team in baseball to be eliminated. "Everything starts with pitching," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "We're not pitching."
OTHER NOTES FROM THE DAY:
The Phillies open a four-game series Thursday night against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan (5-5, 4.42 ERA) faces Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (18-6, 2.03 ERA) in the series opener at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Hoping To Return This Season – Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco took a few swings Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park and said he felt no pain in his left wrist, which means he could still play this season. Franco has been on the disabled list since Aug. 12 with a broken left wrist. He tried to hit last week in New York, but he still felt some discomfort in the wrist. Wednesday became D-Day for Franco. If he felt something Wednesday, he expected his season to be finished. "Everything is good," said Franco, who took about 20 swings, including 10 off the practice tee. "I felt fine." Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said Franco will continue to hit with the team before heading to Clearwater, Fla., to face some live pitching before potentially rejoining the Phillies before the end of the season. "We'll figure it out," Franco said.
Rotation Decisions – Hours before the Phillies and Braves opened a three-game series Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the organization planned to be pitching intensive in the 2016 Draft. The Phillies, who could have the No. 1 Draft pick, desperately need pitching. It showed again Wednesday night in an 8-1 loss to the Braves. Phillies right-hander David Buchanan allowed 10 hits, four runs, three walks and one home run in just 3 1/3 innings. Buchanan has a 22.00 ERA (22 earned runs in nine innings) in his last three starts, which includes 11 runs in 1 2/3 innings in an Aug. 11 start in Arizona. "We're going to reassess that and evaluate the whole thing," said Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin, asked if Buchanan would make his next start. Buchanan, who just joined the Phillies' six-man rotation, entered Spring Training a favorite to make the rotation based upon a solid rookie season in which he posted a 3.68 ERA in 20 starts. But the script has flipped since then. Buchanan is 2-8 with a 9.11 ERA in 11 starts this season, and others in the organization seem to have passed him by. "I'm going to keep grinding. I'm going to keep working to get better. I'm going to keep taking the ball and improving on what I'm doing," Buchanan said. The Phillies have some serious starting pitching holes to fill before Spring Training. Phillies starters have thrown the second-fewest innings in baseball this season, which has worn out the bullpen. They also have a 5.47 ERA, which is the highest mark in baseball. Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams and Chad Billingsley are free agents after the season, and it is unlikely they return. Matt Harrison and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez have injury issues. Aaron Nola is a lock to make the rotation, but it is difficult to imagine the Phillies also opening the season with Adam Morgan, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher in the rotation because it would be too inexperienced. The Phillies will need to find some veteran arms in the offseason. It is too early to pursue high-priced free agents that might be available like Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Yovani Gallardo, Jordan Zimmermann and Jeff Samardzija. It seems more likely they will go for mid-level starters or placeholders, maybe somebody of a similar ilk or better than Harang, who signed a one-year, $5 million contract after posting a 3.57 ERA in 33 starts last season with Atlanta. That group could include pitchers like Doug Fister, J.A. Happ and Ryan Vogelsong. "It's pretty obvious we need to do that to be more competitive," Mackanin said about the need to add starting pitching before next season. "We might have some guys right here that are going through their first year in the big leagues that will step up and perform next year. We may have to make some additions."
The Phillies have returned to their lackluster ways and regained their grip on last place in the NL East with a record of 54-86. Given the departures, aging stars, injuries, and bipolar performances this season, this could still end up being the worst team in franchise history… at least that is something to hope for this year! All time, the Phillies are 35-70-0 on this day.