Friday, August 5, 2016

Well, You Can’t Win Them All…

GAME RECAP: Giants Outlast Phillies 3-2

Denard Span clapped his hands once in a brief display of celebration after slapping an eighth-inning single up the middle. As he would explain, he was pleased with being able to connect with a pitch despite being fooled. Two innings later, Span wasn't fooled at all, and what he proceeded to do merited an ovation. Span christened Thursday's 10th inning with a leadoff homer that lifted the Giants over the Phillies, 3-2. Having weathered a series of nagging injuries this season, Span went 7-for-15 with four runs scored in three games against the Phillies. He's also batting .347 (26-for-75) in his last 19 games. "I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I just want to try to build off of this," said Span, who broke a 2-2 tie against Phillies reliever Severino Gonzalez (0-2) with his fifth homer of the season. The outcome enabled the National League West-leading Giants to avoid being administered a three-game sweep by the Phillies, who mustered four hits off starter Matt Moore and five relievers. "I don't know, we just couldn't solve him for whatever reason," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Moore. "I thought we were going to after that first inning. … He kept pounding the strike zone. He pitched outside and inside. He kept mixing it up, threw some curveballs and changeups." Span also accounted for the Giants' first two runs by singling and scoring in the first inning and on a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The Phillies kept pace, as Aaron Altherr doubled home Cesar Hernandez in the first inning, before Freddy Galvis' bases-loaded fielder's-choice grounder delivered their second run in the sixth.

  • It didn't take a crystal ball to see the foreshadowing of another short start from Velasquez after the 24-year-old righty needed 28 pitches to make it through the first inning. He joined Zach Eflin and Phil Klein in not making it past the fifth inning against the Giants. Although Velasquez pitched well, allowing only two runs on three hits and striking out six, the Phillies only had one fresh relief arm and could have used a day of rest with six more to play until an off-day. Velasquez hasn't pitched past the sixth inning in all but two starts this season. "It was tough. I had to push myself and at least get to five innings," Velasquez said. "So I've got to work on some things in the bullpen, utilizing my two-seam, locating my two-seam. My secondary pitches are just kind of brutal right now. So I've got to sharpen up a lot of stuff before my next start."
  • Thanks to three straight starts of five innings or fewer, the Phillies bullpen has had plenty of chances to shine this series. After Luis Garcia allowed two runs in the sixth inning of Tuesday's game, no Phillies reliever allowed a run until Gonzalez gifted a fastball over the plate to Span that landed in the right-field seats to give the Giants a decisive lead. In Wednesday's 12-inning affair, Phillies relievers pitched seven innings of scoreless baseball in a streak of 14 innings without allowing a run. A depleted 'pen added four more scoreless innings Thursday before Gonzalez's fateful fastball.
  • Mackanin announced after the game that the Phillies top pitching prospect Jake Thompson will make his Major League debut against the Padres on Saturday at Petco Park. Thompson is ranked by as the No. 70 prospect in baseball. In 21 starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, the 22-year-old right-hander is 11-5 with a 2.50 ERA. The Phillies also optioned Elvis Araujo back to Triple-A, though not to create room for Thompson. A corresponding move will be announced before his start Saturday. Taking Araujo's place will be closer Jeanmar Gomez, returning from the paternity list.
  • After Velasquez issued his second free pass of the day to Pagan in the third, the Giants left fielder tried to swipe second base as Hunter Pence struck out swinging. At first glance, the Giants had narrowly avoided a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play. But the Phillies challenged, the call was overturned and Pagan was ruled out at second to end the inning. The review took 1 minute, 14 seconds and was Mackanin's 18th successful challenge on 31 attempts. In the seventh inning, the Giants challenged a ruling which declared that Altherr was safe as he dove into first base on a pickoff attempt. A video review confirmed that the call on the field stands.
  • Cesar Hernandez and Tommy Joseph were the Phillies' best hitters during the month of July. The two combined to hit .331 (54-for-163) during the month with six doubles, two triples and six home runs.
  • Maikel Franco hasn't homered in the five games he's played in Petco Park, going just 1-for-20 (.050) with a double in San Diego in his career.
  • Wil Myers, who has cooled off since his torrid June, has hit .364/.364/1.000 in 11 at-bats vs. Hellickson, including two home runs.

Jeremy Hellickson makes his first start for the Phillies since Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, matching up with San Diego's Christian Friedrich on Friday. Hellickson's name was all over the trade market with many teams searching for starting pitchers, but Philadelphia ended up holding onto the 29-year-old righty, who has posted a 3.70 ERA in 131 1/3 innings this season. In his past seven starts, Hellickson has 2.27 ERA with 28 strikeouts and six walks. The Phillies are 6-1 in those games. Friedrich, meanwhile, is coming off of his best start in more than a month. He limited the Reds to just one run over six innings thanks to a lively fastball and good spin on his breaking ball. "I thought he was as good as he's been since he's been with us," Padres manager Andy Green said about his outing.


Looking For Depth – After using his bullpen for seven innings on Wednesday and four on Tuesday, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin was counting on a little help in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Giants from Vince Velasquez -- the only starter of the past three games to open the season in the Phillies' rotation. But Velasquez lasted no longer than his two predecessors, Zach Eflin on Tuesday and Phil Klein on Wednesday, needing 93 pitches to make it through five innings. Velasquez's five were better than Eflin or Klein's, allowing only two runs compared to six and four, respectively. But another inefficient outing from Velasquez again put the weight on the shoulders of a beleaguered bullpen. "It was tough. I had to push myself and at least get to five innings," Velasquez said. "We used a lot of pitchers last night, and starting out with [28] pitches in the first inning doesn't help. So I just had to make my pitches and manage to get through five." Nearing the end of his start, Mackanin and head trainer Scott Sheridan paid Velasquez a visit on the mound to check a blister on his middle finger. Mackanin said if not for the blister, Velasquez would have possibly stayed in longer than five innings, likely to take the load off a depleted bullpen, as Velasquez was already at 93 pitches. Even the supposed fresh arms in the 'pen weren't so. The two relievers called up the last two days, Michael Mariot and Elvis Araujo, had each pitched for Triple-A Lehigh Valley the day prior to getting the call. Severino Gonzalez, the one reliever who had a day or more of rest, was the one to serve up Denard Span's go-ahead solo home run in the 10th. For Velasquez, it is becoming all too much of a trend to not make it deep in games. Only twice this season has he made it past the sixth inning -- his 16-strikeout shutout of the Padres in his second start with the Phillies and a seven-inning, one-run performance in his first start out of the All-Star break. Take out those, and also the start he left injured after a third of an inning, and Velasquez is averaging just over 5 1/3 innings per start this season. "He is a power pitcher, but the thing I like about him is he uses all of his pitches," Mackanin said. "He uses two-seamers, he'll throw his changeup, he'll mix in his breaking ball. And I think it is tough for him because he can blow people away with 95-plus. I think he has a tendency to try to pitch too much instead of trying to establish that fastball early." Velasquez next faces his hometown team, the Dodgers, in his hometown of Los Angeles. He has walked at least two in each of his last six starts, including three Thursday. "I'd like to minimize my walks," Velasquez said. "I know I am probably leading the team in walks right now, which is kind of bad, actually really bad. "So I've got to work on some things in the bullpen, utilizing my two-seam, locating my two-seam. My secondary pitches are just kind of brutal right now. So I've got to sharpen up a lot of stuff before my next start because the Dodgers are an ecstatic team. Those guys just rake." But at only 24 years old and in his first full season in a Major League rotation, Velasquez's inability to pitch deep into games is only disappointing, not concerning, to Mackanin. "He's pitching very well," Mackanin said. "But he's just not locating as well as he's going to in the future."

Debut Scheduled – Phillies manager Pete Mackanin put an end to the speculation. The organization's top pitching prospect, Jake Thompson, will make his Major League debut on Saturday in San Diego, the skipper announced after the Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Giants on Thursday. Starting Saturday, Thompson won't slot into Aaron Nola's temporarily vacated rotation spot. Mackanin said that the debut date is to give other starters extra rest but that pitching coach Bob McClure is who determines the rotation order. "I know he's got Major League stuff, and I'm anxious to see him perform. We'll find out Saturday," Mackanin said. "I don't know what to expect. Eflin had a shaky debut but we really like him, obviously. So we're anxious to see him." The Phillies also optioned Elvis Araujo back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following Thursday's game to accommodate Jeanmar Gomez's return from the paternity list. A corresponding move to make room on the 25-man roster for Thompson will be announced prior to his start on Saturday. The Phillies are only carrying four starters on the 25-man roster, so an extra bullpen arm will likely be sent down. In his last seven starts at Triple-A, Thompson has allowed more than one run in only one of them -- a five-run blip on an otherwise dominant statline. In 21 starts with Lehigh Valley this season, the 22-year-old right-hander is 11-5 with a 2.50 ERA. In addition to being ranked as the Phillies' top pitching prospect by, Thompson is the club's No. 5 overall prospect and ranked as the No. 70 prospect in baseball.

Today In Phils History – In 1921, the Phillies lost (to the Pirates) the 1st MLB game ever covered by a play by play announcer as Harold Arlin called the game for KDKA out of Pittsburgh. 6 years later, Cy Williams hit for the cycle in 4 at bats against Pittsburgh. In 1975, the Phillies started a game against the Cubs with the 1st 8 batters hitting safely against Bill Bonham and finished the inning with 10 runs on 10 hits including 2 homeruns (the won the game 13-5). That same day the Phillies acquired John Vukovich from the Reds. 4 years later, during a loss to the Pirates (John Milner hit a grand slam off Tug McGraw in the 9th), Pete Rose collected his 2,427th single breaking Honus Wagner’s NL record. In 1987, during a blowout loss to the Mets, OF Glenn Wilson durned in the best pitching performance of the night for the Phillies when he completed the 9th inning without surrendering a hit or walk while striking out a batter. In 2000, the Phillies bid farewell to Mickey Morandini as they traded him to Toronto. 5 years later, Bob Boone was inducted in the Phillies Wall of Fame. Finally, 2 years ago, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins started in their 887th career game together setting a new MLB record for games started by a 1B/2B/SS combo (the Dodgers’ Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, and Bill Russell previously held the record). In the same game, Antonio Bastardo struck out 6 in 2 innings of work (7 batters faced) for the 2nd time that season.

The Phillies are currently 50-60 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 51-48-0 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