- He did not get the win and he did not pitch six innings, but Thompson continues to make strides following a rough start to his big league career. He had a 9.78 ERA after his first four starts, and he was unable to pitch more than five innings in any of them. But after he allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Nationals, Thompson has a 2.33 ERA (five earned runs in 19 1/3 innings) in his last three. "I thought I had it," Thompson said.
- Rupp belted a game-tying, three-run homer to left-center field in the eighth inning. Rupp has struggled lately since hitting .278 with 18 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 38 RBIs and an .831 OPS through Aug. 5. In fact, he had hit a mere .185 with two doubles, one home run, seven RBIs and a .515 OPS in his previous 71 plate appearances, entering the game. Perhaps this shot gets him back on track. "I was ready for it," Rupp said. "I would say I sold myself on getting a fastball there."
- "I thought about hitting [Tommy] Joseph there or [Darin] Ruf, someone to maybe hit a home run, but my biggest concern was going 14 innings and having to go to those guys. That would be the worst-case scenario for me." --
- Herrera left the game in the fifth inning with a bruised right leg after Roark hit him with a pitch in fourth. X-rays were negative. He is day to day.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Minor Awards And Major Disappointments
GAME RECAP: National Edge Phillies 5-4
Maybe manager Dusty Baker said it best: is a difference-maker. The rookie center fielder proved it once again at Nationals Park on Friday night, when he clubbed a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Nationals over the Phillies, 5-4. Washington's magic number dwindled to 14 to win the National League East. The second-place Mets defeated the Braves, 6-4. With the score tied at 4, Turner battled reliever for nine pitches. Turner connected on a 1-2 fastball and hit the ball over the center-field fence to end the game. It was also his second home run of the night. "I finally got a pitch up in the zone. I put the barrel on it," Turner said. "I'm still laughing at how it ended up over the fence. I felt good." Turner now has eight home runs in 223 at-bats. He had only six home runs in 331 at-bats with Triple-A Syracuse this year. Baker had nothing but praise for his center fielder. "Keep it coming. The sky's the limit. He is probably doing some things that even amazes himself," the skipper said. "He just let it flow and let it be. He is playing an outstanding center field. His first two-homer game, his first walk-off homer game. This one he will remember for a long time." The Nationals blew a three-run lead before Turner's homer ended the game. The score was tied at 1 when the Nationals took the lead in the sixth inning off Philadelphia starter . After doubled with one out, singled to right field, sending Murphy home. An inning later, Phillies right-hander was on the mound when Turner hit a two-run homer to give Washington a three-run lead. But Washington's lead didn't last long. In the eighth inning, allowed a three run homer to to tie the score at four. "That kid Turner is a good-looking player," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Right-hander Jared Eickhoff (10-13, 3.86 ERA) faces the Nationals on Saturday night in the third game of a four-game series at Nationals Park. He has pitched six innings in each of his last four starts, allowing three or fewer runs in each of his last three.
Rupp Goes Deep – needed that one. He mashed a game-tying, three-run home run to left-center field in the eighth inning Friday night in a to the Nationals at Nationals Park. The 2-0 fastball from Nationals reliever Koda Glover left Rupp's bat at 106 mph and traveled a projected 420 feet, according to . But it looked like it traveled faster and farther than it did. He crushed it. "I was ready for it," Rupp said. "I would say I sold myself on getting a fastball there." Rupp hopes the shot reverses his fortunes following a rough few weeks. He had hit .278 with 18 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 38 RBIs and an .831 OPS in 283 plate appearances through Aug. 5, making him one of the most productive catchers in baseball this season. But he has struggled since then. He entered Friday night hitting .185 with two doubles, one home run, seven RBIs and a .515 OPS in his last 71 plate appearances. "I just hit one of those spots," Rupp said. "It's part of the game. At some point every hitter goes through it. It took me a little longer to get out of it. It was a little frustrating at times. I got away from myself a little bit and finally found my approach again and got back to getting the ball in the zone and putting a good swing on it." Said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: "He's pulling off the ball. I talked earlier about how he changed his approach at the plate and changed his swing path. Well, he was reverting back to his old swing path. That's common for players to do. When you do something one way your whole life you kind of creep back to it little by little. But he put a charge into that one." But Rupp never needed to worry too much. He solidified himself as the team's No. 1 catcher with his strong play through early August. Even with his recent struggles, he still ranks seventh out of 20 catchers in OPS, making him the projected Opening Day starter behind the plate next season. "You've got to have success in this game to keep your job," Rupp said. "It was nice to get off to a good start, but I really can't worry about that. I've got to stick with my strengths and worry about pitch selection and calling games and working with the pitchers and just let the offense happen."
Herrera Out – Phillies center fielder left Friday night's to the Nationals with a bruised right leg. Nationals right-hander drilled Herrera in the leg with a pitch in the fourth inning. Herrera stayed in the game, but replaced him in the top of the fifth inning as a pinch-hitter. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said after the game that X-rays on Herrera's leg were negative. He is day to day. Herrera doubled in his first-inning at-bat against Roark. He is hitting .278 with 16 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 42 RBIs in 139 games this season.
Minor Awards – Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins had two of the best seasons in Minor League baseball this year. So the Phillies on Friday announced both Double-A Reading sluggers earned the organization's Paul Owens Award for its top position players. It is the third time two players won the Paul Owens Award in the same season, and first since 1997, when and Jeff Key won it. Triple-A Lehigh Valley right-hander earned the Paul Owens Award as the organization's top pitcher. Cozens, 22, hit .276 with 38 doubles, three triples, 40 home runs, 125 RBIs, 61 walks, 21 stolen bases, 106 runs scored and a .591 slugging percentage. He led the Minors in home runs, RBIs, extra-base hits (81) and total bases (308). Cozens, who the Phillies selected in the second round of the 2012 Draft, set the Reading single-season home run record and is just the second Phillies' Minor Leaguer since 1963 to hit 40 or more homers in a season. hit 46 in 2004. The outfielder also earned the Eastern League MVP Award and earned a spot on the MLB Futures Game roster. Hoskins, 23, hit .281 with 26 doubles, 38 home runs, 116 RBIs, 71 walks, eight stolen bases, 95 runs and a .566 slugging percentage. He had three multi-homer games and seven games with four or more RBIs. Hoskins ranked second in the Minor Leagues in home runs, third in RBIs and total bases (282) and tied for ninth in extra-base hits (65) and runs. The Phillies selected the first baseman in the fifth round of the 2014 Draft. "The hardest thing to develop is power, and the hardest thing to find is a run-producing bat," Phillies player development director Joe Jordan said in a statement. "We feel like both of these guys are going to be that. It has been a fantastic experience to watch them, and the reward was seeing them develop as players. We couldn't have drawn it up any better. I think both of them should be a bright part of our future." Lively, 24, went a combined 18-5 with a 2.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (42 walks, 118 hits), 139 strikeouts and a .192 opponents' batting average in 170 2/3 innings with Reading and Lehigh Valley. He is the first Minor Leaguer to win 18 games in a season since Colorado's in 2008. Lively led the International League in WHIP and opponents' batting average and finished second in ERA. Lively, who won Reds' Minor League Player of the Year in 2014, was acquired from Cincinnati in a trade for in Dec. '14. "Ben opened himself up in Spring Training and said, 'I've got to do what I can to get better,' and he has taken a huge step forward," Jordan said. "His delivery is sound and he is a big, strong guy that lives at the bottom of the strike zone. We saw this summer what he has a chance to be."
Today In Phils History – It was on this day in 1955 that Robin Roberts broke the NL record when he surrendered his 40th homerun of the season (he would finish with 41 and break his own record the following year). A decade later, Fergie Jenkins made his MLB debut pitching 4 1/3 innings of relief and earning his 1st win. In 1974, Lou Brock broke Maury Wills’ single season stolen base record (105) and Max Carey’s all time NL record (738) in a loss to the Phillies. Marty Bystrom made news for the 1st time in the 1980 season when he recorded a shutout in his 1st MLB start. Mike Schmidt hit his 10th and final walk off homerun to break an 11th inning tie with the Expos in 1985. 6 years later, Schmidt’s former teammate Larry Bowa was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Hall of Fame. In addition to Jenkins, other notable debuts that occurred on this day include Harry Coveleski (1907), Willie Jones (1947), Vic Power (1964 – with the Phillies), Bob Boone (1972), and Cameron Rupp (2013). Finally, happy birthday to Harry Anderson (1931) and Danys Baez (1977).
The Phillies are currently 63-78 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 35-70-0 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.