Winning is fun, losing not so much. This really became evident on Monday when the Philadelphia Phillies (12-9) visited the New York Mets ( 11-10) after a series loss in the seemingly cursed Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies.
The above was not more evident than in the first game which saw the first Phillies ejection since 2015, and their “ace” so far this season in Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.65 ERA), once again calling out his teammates.
The ejectee was Bryce Harper, tossed for continuous arguing about balls and strikes from the dugout, apparently in a NSFW way.
“What he said warranted an automatic ejection,” the ejector, Home Plate Umpire Mark Carlson said. “Personal and language, yes.”
“I guess I overstepped,” Harper said.
This is nothing new for Harper,whose main baseball character flaw is this, as it was his 12th ejection in his eighth season.
The calling out by Arrieta came as the offense managed only one run, Rhys Hoskins sixth HR of the season right after Harper’s ejection.
The problem is that the inning before that Jake gave up two runs on two singles sandwiching a 2B, so the Mets still had the lead, and one of your biggest offensive weapons was out of the game.
In the 5th, Arrieta gave up the Mets 2nd baseman Jeff McNeil’s first HR of the year. It was Jake’s 4th HR, and 10th earned run allowed in five starts.
The Metropolitans added two more in the 7th, to make the final 5-1.
Arrieta who was pulled after allowing a single to start the 7th, earned the L on 6In, 7H, 4R – 3 earned – 1BB, 7 K, 1HR, 99P – 65 for strikes.
While that was going on the Mets LHP Steven Matz (2-1, 4.03) also went 6In in the win, 3H, 1R, 2BB, 6K, 1HR, 99P – 64 for strikes.
FTR RHP Seth Lugo got an H(4).
The fun was not over yet though as Arrieta had plenty to say after this game:
I don’t think our guys were ready to play,” Arrieta said. “We were flat. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. We didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat.”
“It’s troubling, yeah,” he said. “I’m out there doing everything I can to win a game. I need my guys behind me and they weren’t.”
Harper was part of his rant:
“We need him in right field,” he said. “I don’t care how bad [the umpire] is. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.
“I’m out there, trying to make pitches, he misses some calls. So what? Like, we need him out there. We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t and it showed.”
Most of the players who commented agreed with what Jake had to say, but kept to themselves how he went about it.
“I mean we’ve got to play better, plain and simple,” Harper said. “These games matter. They matter now, they matter in September, so we’ve got to go out there tomorrow, put our best foot forward and try to win a ballgame.”
“I said it from the start,” Hoskins said. “This first month was pretty important, with all the divisional games. I don’t think anybody in here is hitting the panic button at all. We’ve lost two games in a row twice in this season. We’ve been pretty good at bouncing back. I think all of us in here are feeling pretty confident going into tomorrow. We’re fine. I don’t think anybody in here is panicking.”
If Arrieta's harangue on Monday was meant to inspire, motivate or WTF up this @phillies team, here's a hint. It. Did. Not. Work. Jake, how about you worry about your own performance and let the others motivate themselves.#LetsGoPhillies
— 🌊 #IWBIWISI #DontTweetSubpoena #DontTweetIm🍑 (@brett5355) April 24, 2019
I tweeted this the day after the Phils managed only 5 hits in a 9-0 shellacking by New York.
In reality the only thing worth noting in this one happened in the 9th inning.
With two outs and the game mercifully heading to an end, Mets reliever RHP Jacob Rhame threw four near 98 MPH FB well high and inside, including the first one that went behind Hoskin’s back. The Mets knew what was happening as some guys were out of their dugout quickly. Hoskins glared at home the Umpire issued warnings, but nothing further really happened.
“We’re trying to pound him in,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “I guess he didn’t like one sailing over his head. I probably wouldn’t, either.”
“I was just trying to work inside,” Rhame said. “Historically, I’ve left a lot of balls over the plate, guys have been diving. So I’ve got to try to get better at my game, too.”
“Oh, he just said they were trying to go inside, and I laughed,” Hoskins said. “He didn’t miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide.”
Zach Eflin (2-3, 4.15) earned the L going only 4In. 4H, 4R – 3 earned – 1BB, 3K, 1HR, 72P – 45 for strikes.
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (2-2, 4.85) went 7In, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 11K – 105P, 74 for strikes, for the W.
The next night in a game that seemed pretty important for the end of April, as you don’t want to get swept by a division rival that is at the top with you, the Phightin’s bounced right back. Hoskins would also get the last laugh.
Before the game though the Phillies called up IF Sean Rodriguez most likely until Jean Segura returns, hopefully this weekend. Rodriguez is also known as a bit of a spark plug, so that may be part of it as well as this team seems to be losing the early season steam they had.
PHUN PHACT: Sean Rodriguez is the fourth different shortstop to start for the Phillies. According to Elias Sports Bureau that’s the most ever for the Phils before May 1. #RingTheBell
The Phillies would break on top early on b2b 2B by J.T. Realmuto and Harper in the 1st, and never looked back.
Vince Velasquez (1-0, 1.99) followed with the longest SDI ever loading the bases on 27 P, before escaping.
Mets LHP Jason Vargas (1-1, 7.20) who came in w/ a 9+ ERA, was pulled after only 4.2In, 3H, 1R – earned – 2BB, 4K, 89P – 53 for strikes.
Velasquez did not go much farther, 5In, 3H, 0R, 3BB, 6K. 97P – 53 for strikes. Many of those Ks came in Mets scoring chances, C Wilson Ramos struck out twice w/ RISP, less than 2 outs.
Four more Phils pitchers would combine with V. V. for the SO including Pat Neshek (H2) and Seranthony Dominguez (H3), and the so far magnificent Adam Morgan who pitched his 10th inning, giving up only 4H, 0R.
The Phillies would put up a three spot in the 8th to pretty much cement the W for Vince, on a Hoskins (1) lead of 3B, and four singles.
It was the two runs they would get the next inning though that turned what had been a nightmare series, into one of retribution for Rhys Hoskins.
Since Hoskins debut on 8/10/17, he leads the NL with 59 HRs.
Here’s a shock, IF Roman Quinn, is injured again. This time it is a groin injury suffered while running to 1st base. IF Dylan Cozens was brought up from Lehigh Valley IronPigs. IIRC this is the 34th player used by the Phillies this season. Some of that had to do with some extra inning games making pitching moves a necessity, and some with the spate of injuries lately.
These are the periods of a season that really tell you a lot about a team. As I said at the opening, it is easy to have fun when you are winning. It is another thing to keep doing so when you are losing. All the injuries they have had the last few weeks will also test the depth they built up in the off-season.
They really need to put the Colorado and Mets series behind them, and concentrate on going forward.
That going forward includes the bottom feeding but playing better lately, Miami Marlins (7-17) for four games
Though I was born a few blocks from what was to be the NY Worlds Fair/Shea Stadium/Forrest Hills Complex, my parents saved me from being a NY fan by moving to Elkins Park in 1955, when I was 6 months old. I have been living and dying w/ Philly sports teams ever since. Now over 60 , I bring an older, but hopefully not stodgy, spin to this blog. By day I am a mild mannered controller/IT guy for a family business, but by night you will either find me @ CBP at least 17 games a season, and most other nights yelling at my tv as if they can hear me. Though I attend many other local sports, my main love has always been baseball, and my focus here is the Phillies, but I am also part of the team covering the Philadelphia Union.