Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Phillies Lose Despite Help From Umpire

GAME RECAP: Pirate Beat Phillies 5-3

The Pirates were three outs away from a five-game losing streak Tuesday night before Sean Rodriguez stopped their September skid. Rodriguez lined a three-run homer to right field off Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez, leading the Bucs to a 5-3 win at Citizens Bank Park. "It's easier said than done, but you try to simplify it," said Rodriguez, who set a new career high with his 13th homer. "You just try to execute. That's all you can do and just hope it works out. Today, I was able to come out on top." But they snapped that streak -- and their four-game slump -- to undo the Phillies' one-run lead on Tuesday. Francisco Cervelli drew a leadoff walk, Jordy Mercer doubled to right and Rodriguez ripped his second career pinch-hit homer. Left-hander Tony Watson slammed the door in the bottom of the ninth, picking up his 12th save. The Bucs had lost 140 straight games when trailing after eight innings, with their last such win coming on July 12, 2014, against the Reds. But they snapped that streak -- and their four-game slump -- to undo the Phillies' one-run lead on Tuesday. "We were talking about it in there tonight because they kept bringing it up on the TV. I heard it 37 times in the ninth inning," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's something that's really peculiar, and I'm really glad it's over." The Pirates got another strong start from rental right-hander Ivan Nova, who struck out 11 over six solid innings. By the end of the fourth inning, Nova had struck out each hitter in the Phillies' lineup at least once. He left after allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk. In eight starts with the Pirates, Nova has put together a 2.41 ERA with 43 strikeouts and only three walks in 52 1/3 innings. "All my pitches were working," Nova said. "Getting ahead in the count, and the curveball was sharp. … Be able to throw it for a strike and bounce it when you need to, that's one of the things that I've focused on." Phillies rookie Alec Asher permitted two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four in 6 1/3 innings. With the game tied in the eighth inning, Freddy Galvis knocked lefty Felipe Rivero's 0-1 fastball to deep center field for a sacrifice fly, driving in the go-ahead run. "That's a shame to lose that game, the way the guys hung in there and battled," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "We kind of shot ourselves in the foot. It was a good game for eight innings -- until the ninth."

  • Phillies rookie Roman Quinn is getting an opportunity to prove himself in the season's final weeks, and he made the most of his opportunity Tuesday. He singled and scored the tying run in the fourth, reached on a bunt single in the sixth that moved a go-ahead run into scoring position and singled and scored a run in the eighth. "It's definitely a big part of my game, and I want to use it as much as possible," Quinn said about his speed. 
  • Asher has fared well in his first two starts of the season, posting a 1.46 ERA (two runs in 12 1/3 innings). After a scoreless start last week against the Nationals, he allowed four hits, two runs and three walks and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings against the Pirates. Asher might have pitched longer, but he walked two batters with one out in the seventh. One of those runners eventually scored on a Michael Mariot wild pitch to tie the game, 2-2. "Obviously, I don't want to give up three bases that late in the game, but it happens," Asher said. "The best thing is just to learn from it."
  • Gomez has fallen on tough times recently. He has a 9.00 ERA (12 earned runs in 12 innings) in 14 appearances since Aug. 14. He has blown two saves this month in which he did not retire a single batter. "I feel really confident," Gomez said. "It was a tough day. Tomorrow is another day."
  • Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing that first-base umpire Alan Porter interfered with Frazier's route to first base on what would have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, Howard reached safely on a grounder to first base and Cesar Hernandez scored to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. 
Phillies right-hander Jake Thompson faces the Pirates on Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park. The rookie had a 9.78 ERA after his first four starts this season, but he has a 2.33 ERA (five earned runs in 19 1/3 innings) in his last three.


Game Changing Speed – For a long time Phillies fans had heard only stories about Roman Quinn's speed. The man can run, but Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park might have been the first time many had seen how Quinn's speed can affect a game. He played a significant role in a 5-3 loss to the Pirates, a game spoiled by Jeanmar Gomez's second blown save this month in which he did not retire a single batter. Quinn singled and scored a tying run in the fourth inning, put a go-ahead run into scoring position with a bunt single in the sixth and singled and scored a short-lived go-ahead run in eighth. "It's definitely a big part of my game and I want to use it as much as possible," Quinn said about his speed. Quinn is the organization's No. 8 prospect, according to Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said earlier this week that he plans to give Quinn an extended look in the final few weeks of the season. He started him Sunday in center field, started him Monday in right and started him Tuesday in left. "He's an exciting player to watch," Mackanin said. Quinn singled to center to start the fourth. He advanced to second on a wild pitch that travelled a few feet away from Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli. A slower-footed player would have remained at first, but Quinn reached second easily. "We did early baserunning today, and that's one thing we worked on -- pitches in the dirt," Quinn said. "It was almost a reaction, like, I already did this. It was just a reaction, for sure." Quinn later scored when Ryan Howard hit a ground ball into the defensive shift in shallow right-center field. Quinn had slowed down as he reached third base only to see Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier boot the ball. He turned on the jets and scored easily to tie the game at 1. "I thought the ball was right at him," Quinn said. "But I picked up the ball real quick and reacted again." Quinn dropped a bunt in front of Pirates pitcher Ivan Nova in the second. Quinn moved down the first-base line so fast that Nova did not even bother to throw to first. Cesar Hernandez advanced to second on the play and later scored to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. "Cesar had a good at-bat," Quinn said. "We've got a runner on first, no outs, I felt like it was a great time for me to bunt, especially with a drag. I got a good pitch to bunt and got it down." Quinn also fell behind Felipe Rivero, 0-2, in the eighth, but worked a one-out walk. He later scored from third on Freddy Galvis' sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. "It's good to see a guy that can run like that," Mackanin said. "There's a few of them in the game and he's one of them. I'm anxious to see him, going forward."

Today In Phils History – Ed Sanicki hit a homerun in his 1st MLB at bat against Pittsburgh in 1949 and connected for 2 more later that month which were his only 3 hits in 13 at bats that season. After hitting a walk off homerun the previous day to beat Warren Spahn and Milwaukee, Johnny Callison repeated the feat on this day in 1962 against St. Louis which was the 1st time in franchise history that the team won back to back games on walk off homeruns. Randy Lerch made a dubious debut in 1975 entering the game in the 9th and surrendering a walk and 4 hits (including a grand slam) in the Phillies 13-7 win over the Cubs. Bobby Dernier got a hit in his 1st MLB at bat in 1980 and followed it up with a walk or hit in his next 4 plate appearances which was the longest such streak to begin a career since 1957. 4 years later, backed by 2 jacks by Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton collected his 235th win as a Phillies breaking the franchise record held by Robin Roberts. Despite striking out 12 times against Sid Fernandez in 1990, the Phillies defeat the Mets 4-1 mirroring a performance the previous week against David Cone and the Mets. In the 1st game of a double header in 2008, Chase Utley is plunked in the 6th inning for the 26th time that season breaking the record that he set the previous year. Roy Halladay clinched a playoff birth for the Phillies in their 146th game of the 2011 season with a complete game shutout of the Astros which is the earliest the Phillies had ever clinched a playoff spot surpassing the record set in 1915 by one game. 2 years later, after blowing a 3 run lead, Jonathan Papelbon grabbed his crotch while exiting the field to a cascade of boos from the stands resulting in a 7 game suspension (he claimed it was merely an equipment adjustment). There have been a whole host of debuts that have happened on this day the most notable of which were Darin Ruf (2012), Sparky Lyle (1980 – with the Phillies), Pete MacKanin (1978 – with the Phillies), Jim Konstanty (1948 – with the Phillies), Granny Hamner (1944), and Andy Seminick (1943). Finally, happy birthday to 3 players who had brief but memorable tenues with the team: Delmon Young (1985), David Bell (1972), and Kid Nichols (1869).    

The Phillies are currently 64-81 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 60-45-1 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.

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