- For the second straight night, it took more than the regulation nine frames to decide the victor. While the Marlins' late-inning rally on Monday was to tie the game in the ninth, it came a frame later on Tuesday -- and gave them the lead. Having used and in the eighth and ninth, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin turned to Hernandez and Stumpf in the 10th, with little success. Hechavarria led off with a double, and Miami almost stranded him on second, botching a sac bunt attempt and striking out before Yelich scorched a two-out RBI single into left. "Just trying to get a good pitch to hit," said Yelich, who also homered in the fourth. "I left a guy out there in the eighth, so I was trying to make up for it, and I was able to. It was a big win for us."
- battled "dead arm" before the All-Star break, but he looked refreshed against the Marlins, striking out on a 97-mph fastball in the first. Velasquez allowed one run on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. He has a 1.88 ERA (five earned runs in 24 innings) in four starts since returning from a strained right biceps in June. "If I'm refreshed, I would expect to at least go seven innings, at least more than five," Velasquez said. "I was pretty happy with the outcome today."
- Phillies first baseman Joseph crushed a solo home run into the second deck in left field in the third inning for the Phillies' only run. Joseph is hitting .500 (14-for-28) with two doubles, five home runs and eight RBIs in his last nine games. He is now tied with for second on the Phillies with 13 home runs. "Every game for everybody in this clubhouse is an opportunity to showcase yourself and keep your job and give yourself an opportunity to be in the lineup the next day," Joseph said. "That's the way I try to approach every day."
- Joseph has homered 13 times in his first 49 games. Only four other Phillies have homered 11 or more times in their first 49 career games: Ron Jones (1988-90), Don Hurst (1928), (2012-13) and Buzz Arlett (1931).
- Phillies third baseman made a great diving catch on a bunt attempt in the 10th inning. He snapped his neck and face planted into the turf. He seemed dazed after the play, but he got checked out and remained in the game. Franco said afterward he felt fine.
- When slid into second trying to break up a double play in the first inning, dropped the ball on the transfer, hoping to double up Yelich at first. It was ruled that he had possession and Realmuto was out at second. The Marlins challenged the play but the call stood. Mattingly is now 23-for-34 on challenges this season.
- "They've got a real good team. They've got one of the best, if not the best, hitting team in the National League East." -- Mackanin, on the Marlins.
- Tommy Joseph got his first career home run off Chen, a 3-1 win over the Marlins on May 17. Joseph has since put 12 more over the wall and is hitting one every 12.54 at-bats -- the best rate among qualified Major League hitters (minimum of 150 ABs).
- Hellickson has faced the Marlins twice this season, allowing five runs in 11 1/3 combined innings for a 3.97 ERA.
- The Marlins are among the hottest teams, having won seven of their last eight games. Much of that has come from the success of Giancarlo Stanton, who is batting .451 (13-for-37) with five home runs and 12 RBIs over his last 10 games.
- Ichiro Suzuki remains at 2,994 hits, six away from 3,000.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Phillies Waste Another Strong Start
GAME RECAP: Marlins Top Phillies 2-1
The Marlins are applying a little pressure to the Nationals in the National League East. Miami beat the Phillies, 2-1, in 10 innings on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park to move within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Nationals. Marlins shortstop doubled against Phillies right-hander to start the 10th. then ripped a two-out single to left field against left-hander to score the go-ahead run. "[This] is the kind of the game you have to win," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think as we keep doing as we've been doing, we're gonna have a lot of these games. A lot of games that are close, that are hard to win. So we're going to have to execute. We got good pitching tonight. A lot of guys did good things for us. We got some guys out and got the big hit." The Phillies, who have lost four of five games since the All-Star break, struck out looking twice to end innings with runners in scoring position. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he planned to meet with his team to discuss it. "Too many bad at-bats," Mackanin said. "We're not grinding out at-bats, and we need to do that. Too many called third strikes with runners in scoring position. That's a pet peeve of mine, and we're going to address that."
When Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, it could well be for the last time at Citizens Bank Park as a Phillie. The Marlins are searching for rotation depth before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline and will be getting an up-close look at a leading candidate for a deal. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reported Hellickson is on the Marlins' radar. Wednesday will be Hellickson's second-to-last start before the Deadline, but the Phillies hit the road until Aug. 2 after finishing up against Miami on Thursday. Hellickson has been a steady arm in the Phils' rotation of young arms. But he is also 29 and will be a free agent at season's end. Jake Thompson's Triple-A rotation spot is in line with Hellickson's. Hellickson will face an arm the Marlins already acquired, Wei-Yin Chen, who inked a 5-year, $80 million contract with Miami over the offseason. Chen has been hurt by the long ball this season, allowing 19 over 18 starts. His 1.63 per nine innings are the second most in the National League, though Hellickson isn't far behind. He has allowed 18 in 19 starts, and his 1.45 HR/9 is just three spots behind Chen's.
Rest Pays Dividends – spent the All-Star break relaxing and hanging out with his nephews in California. He returned to Philadelphia last week feeling refreshed. Velasquez pitched like it Tuesday night in a on a 97-mph fastball in the first inning. He allowed just one run on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings, which was his longest outing since he struck out 16 in a shutout against the Padres on April 14. "I got my full rest in," Velasquez said. "If I'm refreshed, I would expect to at least go seven innings, at least more than five. I was pretty happy with the outcome today." Velasquez is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA (five earned runs in 24 innings) in four starts since he returned from the disabled list in June. His velocity had been down in those first three starts, which Velasquez attributed to fatigue. He had no such issues against the Marlins. "I didn't really have my stuff against the Royals [on July 3], but I just had to pitch to contact," Velasquez said. "That's what pitching is all about. You're not going to have your stuff every day. It's just like real estate. You've got to locate. My dad came up with that. It's so true. I pitched to my spots against the Royals and executed very well." But a little extra juice helped him Tuesday. "Don't hold anything back," Velasquez said. "It's the first start back. Why not go at it and give it all you've got? If nothing is hurting, then I don't see why not." Velasquez made one mistake: an 0-2 slider to in the fourth inning that was crushed for a solo home run to right-center field. "That can't happen," Velasquez said. in 10 innings to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Velasquez, who battled "dead arm" before the break, struck out
Rookie Continues Providing Power – Phillies first baseman has heard that these final couple of months are huge for him. He has a chance to earn a job in 2017 with a strong finish in 2016. Joseph continued to strengthen his case Tuesday night in a in 10 innings to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. He went 2-for-3, crushing a game-tying home run into the second deck in left field in the fourth. He is hitting .500 (14-for-28) with two doubles, five home runs and eight RBIs in his last nine games. "Every game for everybody in this clubhouse is an opportunity to showcase yourself and keep your job and give yourself an opportunity to be in the lineup the next day," Joseph said. "That's the way I try to approach every day." Joseph has homered 13 times in his first 49 games. Only four other Phillies have homered 11 or more times in their first 49 career games: Ron Jones (1988-90), Don Hurst (1928), (2012-13) and Buzz Arlett (1931). Joseph has also walked four times in his previous eight games after walking three times in his first 41, but that is just a coincidence. "I don't ever try to walk," Joseph said. "I'm up there to hit every pitch of every at-bat. If you're up there to take and work a walk, then I don't really know why you would hit. It doesn't make any sense to me. Every time I step in the box, I want to hit. Every pitch that's thrown, I'm trying to hit it. I think I've just been better at taking those pitches that are just off the plate, those borderline pitches I haven't swung at." But whatever the reasons for his impressive performance recently, Joseph has skyrocketed to the top of the rookie stat sheet. He is tied for third among rookies in home runs. He is second behind Colorado's with a .546 slugging percentage (minimum 100 plate appearances). Joseph is making an argument to be the Phillies' first baseman in 2017. Philadelphia will need one. Phillies first baseman will not return in 2017 as the organization will exercise the $10 million buyout on his $25 million club option. The free-agent crop includes , who has mostly been a designated hitter this season with Toronto; ; ; and . Joseph could be a good fit to a young team on the rise. "Without question," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said, asked if Joseph is earning more playing time at first base.
Cashing In? – There are a few teams looking for bullpen help as the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches and one reliever that could assist is Phillies closer . The fact Gomez is an option is surprising in itself. He entered the season as a middle reliever, capable of pitching a couple innings, often in low-stress situations, if needed. But after the bullpen struggled in a 0-4 start, the Phillies essentially elevated Gomez to closer out of desperation. Gomez, 28, responded to his new role well. He entered Tuesday night's to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park with a 3-2 record and a 2.89 ERA with 25 saves in 28 opportunities. He pitched a scoreless ninth in the defeat. So why would the Phillies move Gomez, who does not become a free agent until after the 2017 season? Well, because if Gomez has proven anything, it is that closers can be developed or even discovered. In fact, the Phillies might have a couple of pitchers already in the bullpen ready to take his place should he be traded. Setup man is 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 48 appearances. After a rough patch from late May through mid-June, he has a 1.84 ERA in his last 14 outings. Rookie right-hander has been considered a potential closer for some time. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning in Monday's 3-2 loss in 11 innings to the Marlins. He has a 5.06 ERA in 12 appearances, but that includes one rough outing on July 7 in Colorado when he allowed five runs in 1/3 innings. He has a 0.87 ERA in his other 11 appearances. "Other than the outing in Denver, I like his breaking stuff," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "He has two sharp breaking pitches. His slider bites, and his curveball bites. Real solid rotation and depth. He has the velocity. He's pretty much a strike thrower." With Neris and Ramos in the fold, it might make sense for the rebuilding Phillies to strike while Gomez's stock is at its highest. They won't be able to get a huge haul for him, but if they can get a piece that could help them in the future, it might be worth it.
Today In Phils History – The Phillies ran into a familiar adversary on the mound in 1921 when Pete Alexander threw a shutout against his former team while 2 Phillies pitchers combined to allow 23 hits and 10 runs without walking or striking out a batter. In 1970, Bill Singer of the Dodgers threw a no hitter against the Phillies and only lost the perfect game due to his own errors (one was rather debatable). 3 years later, rookie Dick Ruthven earned the only save of his career (322 career starts) thanks to Bill Robinson stealing a homerun from Dusty Baker. Tony Taylor was enshrined in the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2002. In 2007, Raul Ibanez hit his 25th homerun of the year which was also the 207th of his career moving him past former Phillie Pete Incaviglia on the all-time list of homeruns by a player with a last name beginning with I.
The Phillies are currently 43-52 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 53-55-0 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.