Friday, June 17, 2016

Ugly. Just Plain Ugly.

GAME RECAP: Blue Jays Obliterate Phillies 13-2 

The Blue Jays' offense proved to be too powerful for the Phillies to handle this week. They bashed five home runs in a 13-2 victory Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. They outscored the Phillies, 31-7, in the last three days. But Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ did his job Thursday, too. He allowed just three hits and one unearned run in seven innings as Toronto improved to 19-8 since May 18. Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola suffered the shortest start of his career, allowing eight runs in three-plus innings. Odubel Herrera capped an ugly night when he threw a ball into the stands with two outs in the eighth inning, allowing Edwin Encarnacion to advance from first to third. "Oh man, that was an outburst," Happ said of his club's offensive performance. "It was fun to watch in our dugout. It was a good time. Hopefully we can carry some of that momentum into a big series in Baltimore."

  • Nola would love to forget his last two starts. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings Saturday against the Nationals and just three-plus innings against the Blue Jays. Nola's ERA jumped from 2.65 to 3.51 in that span. "I mean, it's tough for the team when I can't get out of the fourth inning," Nola said. "It's unacceptable for my part. I felt like it's a letdown for the team. It's unacceptable for me to go that short in a game. My job is to go deep in a game and save the bullpen and keep the game as close as I can."
  • "There's a choice to be made. You either cave in or you fight your way back out. I don't want to see guys pouting or feeling sorry for themselves. If you want to prove you belong here you've got to fight." - Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, who called a team meeting after the game.
  • Encarnacion has at least one RBI in seven consecutive games. He also has now homered in five consecutive games at Citizens Bank Park dating back to 2014.
  • The Phillies challenged Pillar's slide into second base in the third inning, which broke up a double play and allowed a run to score. The replay official determined Pillar failed to engage in a bona-fide slide. Additionally, Pillar's actions hindered and impeded the fielder.
  • After Aaron Nola allowed eight runs in three-plus innings on Thursday, Phillies' starting pitchers have posted a 5.93 ERA since May 23. The D-backs offense will be a welcome sight for a team that's faced the Cubs, Nationals, Blue Jays and Tigers in 19 of their last 23 games.
  • Neither Ray nor Morgan has faced their respective opponent. No Phillies player has had a plate appearance against Ray, though Michael Bourn (0-for-2) and Jean Segura (1-for-3, RBI) previously faced Morgan on other teams.
  • Ray has never pitched against the Phillies and has never faced any player on their roster.
  • This is the start of a three-city, 10-game road trip with no off-days for the D-backs, who played their past nine at home. This is the last series of a six-game homestand for the Phillies after two games against the Blue Jays. 

The D-backs and the Phillies open a four-game series in Philadelphia on Friday night with a battle of left-handed starters in Robbie Ray and Adam Morgan. Ray (3-5, 4.57 ERA) is coming off his best start of the year for Arizona. He pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over the Marlins last time out, his first victory since May 16. It was only the second time in his past 10 starts that Ray lasted at least six innings. Morgan (1-5, 6.33 ERA) had lost five straight starts until his last outing against the Nationals. He gave up three earned runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision. The lefty also set a season high with eight strikeouts.

Today In Phils History – On this day in 1930, Chuck Klein set the modern franchise record by recording a hit in his 26th straight game. Milt Thompson was always an intelligent baserunner and it was never more evident than in a game against the Mets on this day in 1988 when he prolonged the double play (ball was hit by Steve Jeltz) long enough to allow 2 runners to score before the inning was retired. 4 years ago, Jim Thome earned another mention in the history books when he became the 4th player in MLB history to hit at least 100 homeruns for 3 different teams joining Reggie Jackson, Darrell Evans, and Alex Rodriguez.

The Phillies are currently 30-37 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. The Phillies finished the spring exceeding most expectations compiling a record of 15-11-3 (18-11-3 if you include the exhibition games against Reading and the University of Tampa). All time, the Phillies are 48-60-0 on this day. I expect the Phillies to finish in the bottom half of the division but not last in the NL East by finishing the season with a 77-85 record. Let the rebuild begin!

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