Thursday, August 11, 2016

Phillies Salvage Win Over Dodgers

GAME RECAP: Phillies Defeat Dodgers 6-2

The Dodgers' visit to first place was brief, as Freddy Galvis slugged a three-run homer and pinch-hitter Ryan Howard added a three-run double Wednesday in the Phillies' 6-2 win that snapped the Dodgers' four-game win streak and dropped them back into second place one day after catching the Giants. Rookie Dodgers reliever Grant Dayton allowed Galvis' seventh-inning homer to give the Phillies the lead, and Howard cleared the bases in the ninth off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen for the insurance runs. Galvis also homered Tuesday night. "Grant's been throwing the heck out of the baseball," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of using the left-handed Dayton, who had not allowed a hit in his previous three appearances. "I'm swinging well and just trying to stick with it," said Howard, who has been playing in a reserve role most of the season. "It's a game of ups and downs. You have downs, and some point you're going to have ups." Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir (9-6), removed with a lead he protected from the first inning, took the loss. Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson left the game after five innings with back tightness. He retired the final 13 batters he faced and struck out seven. "There were some at-bats we probably should have run the count and stress him a little more," Roberts said of his offense's approach. "We had Hellickson on the ropes, yeah. We let him catch his breath and get a rhythm, and next thing you know, he's through the fifth inning." Hellickson, who allowed one run on three hits, was relieved by Tuesday callup Elvis Araujo, who hit Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager on the right wrist with a 91-mph fastball in the sixth inning but was the winning pitcher. X-rays on Seager were negative, and he said he expects to play Friday.

  • Galvis had not homered against a left-hander since Aug. 26, 2014, but he turned on a 2-2 fastball from Dodgers lefty Dayton for a three-run home run in the seventh inning to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. It snapped a streak of 305 consecutive plate appearances against a lefty without a home run. Galvis then preserved the lead in the eighth when he made a nice sliding catch and a strong throw to first with runners on first and second and two outs to end the inning. "I just tried to get a good at-bat," Galvis said. "I tried to put the ball in play. He was throwing everything away. He gave me a good pitch to hit. I put a good swing on it, and I hit a homer."
  • It has been a bad week for the Phillies' rotation. They placed Aaron Nola on the disabled list on Aug. 3 and Zach Eflin on the DL on Tuesday only to watch Hellickson leave the game after the fifth inning because of tightness in his back. He had retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced before leaving the game. Hellickson said he will be OK, but if he cannot make his next start, the Phillies will need to find two new starters to pitch next week. "It's definitely not something I think will linger more than a couple days," Hellickson said. 
  • Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez has reached base safely in 18 consecutive games, dating to July 23.
The Phils do not play Thursday, but they open a three-game series Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Rookie right-hander Jake Thompson makes the second start of his career after getting hit hard in his big league debut over the weekend against the Padres.


Seeking Consistency – If Freddy Galvis could hit more consistently, his future with the Phillies might be a no-brainer. He smacked a three-run home run to left field in the seventh inning of Wednesday afternoon's 6-2 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The homer against Dodgers left-hander Grant Dayton put the Phillies in front by one, and it also snapped Galvis' streak of 305 consecutive plate appearances without a homer against a lefty, which dated to Aug. 26, 2014, when he homered against Washington's Gio Gonzalez. "Wow, I can't even remember," Galvis said of his last homer against a lefty. "I think it was like three years ago. Two years ago?" Galvis later preserved the Phillies' one-run lead with runners on first and second and two outs in the eighth. Joc Pederson hit a hard ground ball to Galvis' right. The shortstop made a foot-first slide and backhanded the ball before standing up and making a strong throw to first get Pederson to end the inning. "We try to help each other," he said. "I made the play for [Hector] Neris and for the team. It was good." Galvis' solid defense has never been in question. His instincts on the field and leadership qualities in the clubhouse impress his manager and coaches, too. But Galvis' offense has been his shortcoming. He is hitting .231 with 18 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 45 RBIs and a .627 OPS. Galvis' .618 OPS at shortstop entering Wednesday ranked 23rd out of 25 qualified shortstops, according to FanGraphs. Those numbers are noteworthy, as Phillies' prospect J.P. Crawford continues to play in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Crawford might not join the Phillies this season, even as a September callup, but the expectation is that Crawford will be the team's everyday shortstop at some point next season. Galvis said he is not following Crawford's progress. "I follow my daughter," he said. Galvis eventually could move to second base, where he played brilliant defense in place of Chase Utley in 2012 and '13. But Cesar Hernandez's recent offensive performance might make things a little more interesting heading into the offseason. Hernandez is hitting .285 with 11 doubles, eight triples, 27 RBIs and a .714 OPS, but he makes too many mental mistakes on the field for the coaching staff's liking. If Galvis can finish the season strong -- he has hit .294 with a .735 OPS against lefties since July 3 -- he could help his cause. "I don't want to conjecture too much," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said about Galvis' future with the Phillies, "but I like Freddy a lot. You cannot deny his ability at short defensively, and the guy's got 11 home runs and closing in on 50 RBIs. I'll take the sure-handed shortstop with good range that can drive in 50-plus runs and hit more than 10 home runs."

Leaving A Little Early – The Phillies hope Jeremy Hellickson's back is a little sore and nothing more. He left Wednesday afternoon's 6-2 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium after the fifth inning because of tightness in his back, potentially leaving the Phillies with just three healthy starters. The team placed Aaron Nola on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3 because of inflammation in his right elbow, replacing him with rookie Jake Thompson. They placed Zach Eflin on the DL on Tuesday because of sore knees. They have not named his replacement for Sunday's start against the Rockies. The Phillies will need a second starter Wednesday against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park if Hellickson can't pitch, but he said he expects to be OK. It helps that he is not scheduled to pitch again for a week because the Phillies do not play games Thursday or Monday. "It's definitely not something I think will linger more than a couple days," Hellickson said. Adam Morgan, David Buchanan and Phil Klein are candidates to take a spot or two in the rotation. Hellickson struggled a bit in the first inning Wednesday but cruised before he left the game, retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced. He said he tweaked the right side of his back on the second pitch against Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley in the fifth inning. "Then it just kind of tightened up on me," Hellickson said. "I tried to talk [manager Pete Mackanin] into letting me go back out, but it's probably a good thing he didn't let me." An injury to Hellickson is one of the risks the Phillies took when they did not trade him before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline. He is a free agent after the season and has been pitching well, but the Phillies wanted talent commensurate with a compensatory pick in the 2017 Draft to trade him. They are expected to make Hellickson a qualifying offer after the season. If he rejects it and if he signs with another team, the Phillies receive an extra Draft pick. The risk is if Hellickson gets injured or struggles before the end of the season, surveys the landscape for free-agent starting pitching and accepts a one-year contract expected to be worth about $16.5 million. In that case, the Phillies get Hellickson on a very expensive one-year contract and no Draft pick. But it sounds like Hellickson should be OK. The Phillies certainly need him. "It's unfortunate," Hellickson said about the Phillies' recent rotation woes. "Nola did all he could to fight through that. Then Eflin, same thing. He'd been battling. Like I said, mine's not going to be any more than a little soreness tomorrow. Hopefully just a couple days of soreness. I can't see it being any longer than that."

Today In Phils History – The Phillies were certain to win the game on this day in 1910 up 9-0 heading into the 9th inning but then they sent 13 batters to the plate and obliterated the Pirates by a score of 18-0. The scoreboard wasn’t as kind to the Phillies in 1931 as the Giants recorded 28 hits including 4 homeruns and 7 doubles as they defeated the Phillies 23-8. Phillies manager Ben Chapman is remembered for a variety of unpleasant reasons but one incident that is commonly overlooked happened on this day in 1947 when he mistakenly handed the umpires a lineup card from the previous day forcing Schoolboy Rowe to start for the second day in a row throwing two pitches and surrendering a double without warming up before being replaced by Charley Shanz. Despite Jim Command connecting for a grand slam for his first MLB hit in 1954, the Phillies lost to the Dodger in the 1st game of a double header. Dick Allen’s homerun is the difference maker as the NL prevails at the 1967 All Star Game in Anaheim. 20 years later, Kent Tekulve made the 900th appearance of his career setting a new MLB record by a pitcher who had never started a game. Phillies closer Heathcliffe Slocumb gets the win as the NL edges out the AL at the 1995 All Star Game in Arlington, Texas. A decade later, Bobby Abreu hit a record 41 homeruns (including 24 in the 1st round) to win the All Star Homerun Derby in Detroit.

The Phillies are currently 53-63 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 44-36-0 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