Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Phillies Falling Apart On West Coast

GAME RECAP: Dodgers Dominate Phillies 9-3

The Dodgers' offense kept on humming as home runs from Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner powered them to a 9-3 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night. With the Giants falling, 2-0, in Miami, the Dodgers (64-49) moved into a tie for first place in the National League West. While starter Kenta Maeda didn't have one of his better nights, going just five innings and allowing three earned runs, the offense more than picked him up. And they did it quickly. After the Phillies jumped ahead, 2-0, in the second inning on Aaron Altherr's home run, Los Angeles put up crooked numbers for three consecutive innings. "I thought he caught it at first, but I was just glad it kept rolling, so I'll take it," Kendrick said of his second-inning homer. "A lot of guys have been putting in the same work all year and you're starting to see the fruits of their labor. Hopefully, we can continue to do the same thing and keep the ball rolling." Along with the home runs, Adrian Gonzalez put up doubles in consecutive innings, his second game with multiple extra-base hits in three days. The offensive explosion came entirely at the expense of Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, who allowed a career-high nine earned runs and saw his ERA increase from 3.22 entering Tuesday to 3.94. "The whole mentality going into today's game was just attacking the hitters," Velasquez said. "And then it just went south from [the first inning]."

  • Velasquez grew up in nearby Pomona, Calif., so he had a whole bunch of family and friends in attendance, but after he struck out the side in the first inning, things fell apart for him. He is the first Phillies' starter to allow nine earned runs in a start since David Buchanan allowed 11 in 1 2/3 innings in Arizona on Aug. 11, 2015. "Everything was hard, hard, hard," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Velasquez's outing. "He had a pretty good fastball. We've seen him throw harder. He had plenty to get them out. But against a team like the Dodgers, especially against lefties, he's got such a good changeup that he didn't use. I think he should have used it more. I think he would have been more effective."
  • Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before the game that Altherr could move to center field at some point, but he needed to prove he could hit big league pitching first. Altherr hit his third homer of the season in the second inning, a two-run homer that gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
  • Altherr has not been in the big leagues long, but he has piled up extra-base hits: 24 of his 44 hits (54.5 percent) have gone for extra bases.
  • Freddy Galvis singled in the second inning and soon stole second base with Cody Asche up to bat. The Dodgers challenged that Corey Seager's glove reached Galvis before Galvis reached second, but the safe call stood to give Galvis his 11th stolen base of the season. He would get No. 12 a batter later when he took third.
  • The Angels claimed left-hander Brett Oberholtzer off waviers. The Phillies designated him for assignment over the weekend.
  • Phillies left-hander Elvis Araujo joined the team Tuesday after the Phillies placed right-hander Zach Eflin on the 15-day disabled list with sore knees. Araujo is expected to help in the bullpen until Sunday, when they will need to add a starter to take Eflin's turn in the rotation.
  • Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph has 15 home runs, which are the most by a Phillies rookie since Ryan Howard hit 22 in '05. He entered Tuesday averaging one home run every 14.33 at-bats, which is the fifth-best home run rate in the National League this season.
  • Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner enters Wednesday's game on a season-high 10-game hit streak. He's one game away from tying his career-high, an 11-gamer in 2011.

The red-hot Dodgers will look to sweep the Phillies and take their fifth straight win on Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. With Tuesday night's win, Los Angeles (64-49) moved into a tie with the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West. Jeremy Hellickson will take the ball for Philadelphia opposite the Dodgers' Scott Kazmir. The Phillies surprisingly held onto Hellickson at the non-waiver Trade Deadline despite the right-hander's impending free agency. Hellickson has been a model of consistency over the last two months, holding a 2.98 ERA in his last 10 starts and reaching six innings pitched in all but one of his starts. The sole time he didn't reach that mark was on July 30, when he went 5 2/3 innings. That's a level of steadiness Kazmir would envy. The southpaw has suffered an erratic first season with the Dodgers, reaching the six-inning mark in less than half of his 22 starts. He gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last time out against Boston on Friday.


Can’t Go Home Again – Vince Velasquez had a plan of attack Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. He wanted to be aggressive with his fastball. It worked in the first inning when he struck out Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Josh Reddick on 95, 94 and 95 mph fastballs, respectively. But Velasquez's night quickly deteriorated. He allowed a career-high nine runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. He allowed a career-high 11 hits, including home runs to Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner. Velasquez's ERA jumped from 3.33 to 3.94. "The whole mentality going into today's game was just attacking the hitters," Velasquez said. "And then it just went south from there." Velasquez grew up 30 miles away in Pomona, Calif. He had more than 100 family and friends scattered across the ballpark, so he had hoped to fare better. But he allowed four runs in the second inning, two in the third, two in the fourth and one more run in the fifth before Phillies manager Pete Mackanin pulled him. "Everything was hard, hard, hard," Mackanin said. "He had a pretty good fastball. We've seen him throw harder. He had plenty to get them out. But against a team like the Dodgers, especially against lefties, he's got such a good changeup that he didn't use. I think he should have used it more. I think he would have been more effective." Velasquez rolled his eyes at the suggestion that he should have thrown his changeup more. He threw 16 changeups out of 100 pitches. "Again, I had a plan to attack the guys," he said. "I challenged the guys inside, outside. I mean, you can't go wrong with that. "I mean, I think I threw enough [changeups]. There were guys who were late on my fastball and then they ended up turning on it on the next pitch. I'm not going to throw a fastball and then a changeup. You have to keep them guessing. They were on my stuff." Mackanin said he asked Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp during the game why they weren't throwing more soft stuff. "Rupp told me that he didn't want to throw it for whatever reason," Mackanin said. "I don't know, he gave up a hit to [Joc] Pederson early in the game and then decided he didn't want to use it." Call it a clear difference of opinion. But both manager and pitcher allowed the idea that this game could be a learning experience for the 24-year-old, although maybe in different ways. "You're not always to go out and throw a shutout, especially against a team like this that's fully loaded," Velasquez said. "You have to attack them all the way through, one through nine. … Missed locations, it happens. There is a positive out of this. You have to learn from your mistakes. We have a long flight going back home. So refer back to the video and learn from this." "I think as he gets older and continues to grow, he'll learn from outings like this that it's important to use all his pitches, especially against a team like this with all the power they have," Mackanin said. "He'll get it. He'll get it."

Another DL Bound – Zach Eflin's knee condition is more concerning than originally believed. The Phillies announced Tuesday they had placed Eflin on the 15-day disabled list with patellar tendinopathy in both knees. He will be evaluated by specialists in Philadelphia, and it is unclear if he will pitch again this season. "It's pretty confusing," Eflin said. "I'm confused, too." The Phillies recalled left-hander Elvis Araujo to help in the bullpen until Eflin's turn in the rotation comes up Sunday against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. It is unclear who will make that start, although left-hander Adam Morgan and right-hander David Buchanan are options. But with Aaron Nola on the DL and the workload of both Vince Velasquez and Jake Thompson being monitored closely, it should be interesting to see what the rotation looks like at the end of the season. "We're not in a tizzy, we're in a quandary," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. Eflin, 22, has had knee issues since he was 11 or 12 years old. "I've had it my whole career," Eflin said. "I've gotten treatment my whole career. And it's getting to be a little much right now. I woke up this morning and they were pretty stiff and sore." Eflin went 0-2 with a 13.85 ERA in his last three starts, allowing 22 hits, 20 earned runs, nine walks, six home runs and striking out five in 13 innings. He allowed seven runs in three innings in Monday's 9-4 loss. He is the third Phillies' starter to allow six or more earned runs in three consecutive starts since 2000. Sean O'Sullivan ('15) and Joe Blanton ('12) are the others. Eflin was 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts before his recent slump, which made his struggles somewhat alarming. "It's kind of affected me enough to where we're going to back to Philly, we're going to reevaluate everything," Eflin said. "We're going to get some studies done and see what's really going on. I really don't know what to expect. Like I've said, I've had it for so long. It's always been tolerable. It's always been maintainable. I guess we'll see what happens. "It's always been maintainable. But just recently this year has probably been the worst year."

Altherr In CF? – It is too early to say what the Phillies' outfield will look like next season, but it is not a stretch to think Aaron Altherr could be in center field. Of course, first things first. "Altherr still has to prove himself offensively," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday before Altherr hit a two-run homer in a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. "I like what I see and I think he's going to. But he's a darn good center fielder. He plays anywhere well. He glides to the ball. It's fun watching him play. A good chance he'll be the center fielder and we'll move Odubel [Herrera]. But we're not doing anything right now." Herrera has been the team's everyday center fielder since last season, when he joined the team as a Rule 5 Draft pick. He made the National League All-Star team this season, but he has taken a step back defensively. His UZR (ultimate zone rating) dropped from 9.9 in 2015 to 0.2 in '16. "At some point, the thought crossed my mind to make that switch this year," Mackanin said. "Maybe in September, just to get Odubel familiarized with a corner. But he adapted to center field so well last year. This year, he's not quite the same guy. If I have what I consider a better defender in center field, that's what I'd like to do." One reason the Phillies are reluctant to have Herrera work out on the corners right now is that he has struggled offensively. The Phillies' don't want to put too much on his table. But it sounds like a change is coming at some point. If it's not Altherr in center field it could be Double-A Reading prospect Roman Quinn, for example.

Today In Phils History – In the wake of the walkway collapse from the previous day in 1903, the NL postpones the remaining Phillies home series (an NL record 9 games in total were postponed) so that repairs could be made to the park. Grover Cleveland Alexander entered the game in relief against the Phillies and pitched 4 innings against his former team to record his 373rd, and final, victory. Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch suffered a minor heart attack in 1956 after hosting a post-game TV interview following a game between the Phillies and Giants at the Polo Grounds. In the 1st game back following a 2 month strike in 1981, Pete Rose recorded his 3631st career hit breaking Stan Musial’s NL record. 6 years later, Kevin Gross is ejected for scuffing a ball with sand paper that was later discovered in his glove (he was subsequently suspended for 10 games). Former single season saves record holder joined the Phillies for the stretch run on this day in 1993. Former coach and player John Vukovich was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame on this day in 2007. The following season, Greg Dobbs hit a RBI double against the Pirates for his new team record 21st pinch hit of the season. 5 years ago, the Phillies came from behind to defeat the Dodgers after surrendering 6 unanswered runs over the 1st 3 innings to set a new mark by recording their 9th win on a 10 game road trip.  

The Phillies are currently 52-63 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 43-61-0 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment