The day after the most – Ryan Howard -and least – A. J. Ellis tenured Philadelphia Phillies called a team meeting to try to get them back in the right frame of mind for the last four games of the season, the Phils would start RHP Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 3.78 ERA) – possibly for the last time as a Phillie – to help avoid the sweep. He would face veteran RHP Josh Collmenter (3-0, 4.19). For certain, it would be the last game for the Phillies at Turner Field. The Phightin’s have the best record at the Ted , 82-90, well ahead of the Natinals 72-101.
The Phillies would not better that record on this night, as with a typical late inning rally, the Braves pulled away from the Phightless Phils, 5-2.
The Phils did start the scoring, on a two out RBI bloop single by Odubel Herrera, knocking in Hellickson who reached on a one out single, but that would be the only run they could manage.
The game took a bit of an ominous turn when with one out in the bottom of the 4th, Hellickson looked directly into the dugout after a strike out. Pete Mackanin and pitching coach Bob McClure came out immediately and Jeremy’s night and 2016 season was over. 3.1 In, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4 K, 47 pitches, 32 for strikes. The Phillies would report later that it is a right knee sprain. Hard to say at this time how that will affect how hard they go after him as a FA in the off-season. They would have to make a 17M qualifying offer to get any compensation for him if he leaves.
Except for a solo HR by Dansby Swanson (3) on a 3-1 FB out to LCF, no outs in the 6th, Colton Murray did a good job in emergency relief, getting 5 ks in 2.2 innings of work. Collmenter meanwhile, after throwing a lot of pitches early, settled down to eventually go 7 strong innings, 6H, 1ER, 0BB, 4K, 106 pitches, 72 for strikes.
The pitchers were in control of this game until the Braves – as they have done so often in this park – took a lead in a late inning. It was a continuation of Jeanmar Gomez‘ tough September (0-2, 8 In., 19.13 ERA) combined with some shaky OF and IF play. without an official “E” called, to give up 4 runs in the 8th inning.
The Phillies did score a basically meaningless run in the 9th – except for maybe Aaron Altherr‘s psyche after an RBI single- to make the final score 5-2.
Gomez would like to share this L with his “fielders” but that’s not the way it goes. He falls to 3-5, with now a 4.85 ERA. Mauricio Cabrera gets his 2nd W of the series going to 5-1, 2.82 in 1/3 of an inning.
Run Challenged: I have used this phrase often, as well as “Unclutchable” this season but the fact is that with the run scored in the 3rd, the Phils were final team to reach the 600 run plateau this season. Mackanin is reported to be lobbying for hitting this off-season and I agree. Meanwhile the other teams, not so much, as the Phils pitchers gave up 68 runs on this road trip.
Next Ups: To quote Bobby Burnett: We are going back to Philadelphia Pa, for the final three games of the season and most likely a certain 1st baseman we all know and love, as a Philadelphia Phillie. Though I have at times gotten on Ryan Howard for his post hit poses – especially when it does not leave the park – I am second to none in admiration and respect for what he has done for the Phillies franchise and the Philadelphia community. There are many institutions that bear his name and largess here, and will make him be a Phillie forever no matter where he may wind up the rest of his career. As for the 1st game of the series RHP Alec Asher (2-0, 1.66) will face the NY Mets RHP Robert Gsellman (3-2, 2.56) , and once again the Phils look to play the spoiler role to end the season for themselves and the Metropolitans. The belowmentioned Ali will take you the rest of the way for what promises to be an emotional farewell to the last member of the ’07-’11 Phillies mini dynasty.
So Long, Until We Meet Again: This is my last Phillies game of the season, and would be remiss in not thanking Pattisonave.com once again for offering me this opportunity. Their faith in me has led to my fulfilling one of most sports fans greatest dreams, that of being in a Press Box for Philadelphia Union and Temple Owls football, surrounded by many writers I have enjoyed reading over the years. I will be back in each again before their seasons are over. Also want to thank my baseball colleagues, Seamus Killeen & for their weekend and weekly updates,
Lastly any of my readers think they know the Phillies, and can turn a phrase like a 5-4-3 double play, we are always looking for new contributors to give their personal touch to PattisonAve.com. Contact me if you think you have the right stuff, and we will see what we can do to get you on board.