The Philadelphia Phillies return home after taking two out of three from the Washington Nationals. The tough month of June does not get any easier as the, at the time, MLB’s best winning % New York Yankees (50-25, .667) arrive for three games. There is also no day off this week as the away/home series with the Natinals continued with 4 games starting Thursday.

The Phils had won four series in a row, while NY was just swept by the Tampa Bay Rays, their first three game losing streak of the season.

Let’s just say neither of those momenti carried over to the Yankees series as the Phillies would lose the first two, but avoided the sweep, in front of packed houses of seemingly mostly Yankees fans. They did split the week by taking the first game of the Nationals series, so they have some of that Mo back going into a steamy weekend at CBP.

Game One:Phillies Phall behind and can’t get up

The Yankees vaunted offense put the Phillies behind with single runs in the 2nd and 5th innings,

The run in the 2nd came on two BB’s and and excuse me hit away from the shift into RF by the 5-6-7 NY hitters off Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.69 ERA). An Aaron Judge solo HR with two outs in the 5th gave them a 2-0 lead.

Vince eventually outlasted Yankees RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (2-0, 1.93), going a full QS  6In, 3H, 2R – both earned – 7K, 4BB, 1HR, 96P – 31 for strikes, to Loaisiga’s 5.1 In. The difference is the Yankees starter did not give up a run, helped out by RHP David Robinson coming on with men on 2nd and 3rd in the 6th, getting the last two outs.

The Phillies would not get their 1st base runner until the 5th, a Carlos Santana BB (more on Santana’s BBs below), and their first hit until the next inning, but still could not score because of the work by Robinson noted above.

The Phils finally broke up the shut out on Santana’s second BB of the night, a WP, and then a Scott Kingery single off Robinson in the 7th.

That comeback would be stalled as the Yankees loaded the bases with not outs on two hits and a BB off Adam Morgan, the next inning and capitalized after Yacksel Rios came on and gave up a 2R single to GianCarlo Stanton. Rios would get the next three outs, so it remained 4-1, Yankees in the 8th.

Hard throwing Aroldis Chapman, except for a two out HR to Maikel Franco (10), would shut the door from there with his 23rd S, as the Yankees won the opener 4-2

15 Ks by the Phillies was the 6th time this season they have reached that total, boosting their franchise record. The most previously had been four times.

The Yankees also struck out 12 times, but got the hits when they counted.

That being said this is the trend in all of MLB this season, and the Phillies record thus far, shows that it has not hurt them as much as one would think.

Game Two:This Game Sucked

Jake Arrieta (5-6, 3.54) sucked; 5In, 9H, 6R – 3ER – 5K, 1BB, 2HR, 81P – 51 for strikes.

Cesar Hernandez sucked on one missed DP that abetted the 3R 3rd inning.

The whole offense sucked getting only 6H, 12K, 0BB, 0-4 RISP.

To be fair, the opposing pitcher  RHP  Luis Severino ( 12-2, 2.10) had given up only 26 BB in 16 starts, 104+ In, so they knew it was going to be a tough night. The fact they he did not give up a BB to the team with the best BB rate in MLB, tells you how well Severino is pitching this season.

The only Phillies who did not suck where the BP guys, including a madness stopping LHP Zac Curtis, who pitched two scoreless 1H, 1K, 1 BB. The other two relievers, Victor Arano, and Hector Neris each also threw zeros. Neris had 2Ks, so his last two outings since being recalled, 2In, 0H, 0BB, 4K, 28P – 15 for stirkes, are encouraging.

In the end, with Yankees fans in all their NYC annoying full hue and cry, the 6-0 shut out sucked.

Game Three:Eflin and Dominguez stifle Yankees as One Rhys Lightning Strike Was Enough.

One crooked number in the second inning would be all the Phillies could muster, but it would be enough as the Yankees got nothing but goose eggs.

That one big inning built slowly on a one out single by Franco, then a two out BB by Cesar.

Then with 2 outs and the count at 1 and 2:

It was Hoskins 12th HR of the season.

It would be all Zach Eflin (6-2, 3.02) would need as he baffled the Yankee hitters for a solid seven innings, 4H, 0R, 6K, 2BB, 92P – 67 for strikes.

At the same time a succession of Yankees pitchers would follow RHP Luis Cessa (0-1,5.00) who only lasted three innings and was stuck with the L. Like Cessa, none of the three pen guys had more than three seasons of MLB experience so there was not as much for the Phillies hitters to go on. They could not increase their lead off of them.

Seranthony Dominguez would pitch two perfect innings. to end the game for his 5th S.

Eflin finished June with five straight wins, three of them stopping losing streaks, 1.76 ERA, 0 HR in 30.2 innings. He also had five of the Phils 11 W’s in June. You had to go back to Cole Hamels in May of 2012 for a Phillies pitcher to go 5-0 in a month.

It was the 7th SO thrown by the Phillies in 2018.

Game Four:Another Good Starters performance, another come from ahead victory

For the second game in a row the Phillies starting pitching, coupled with just enough runs by the offense, overcame one bad bullpen inning.

The Nats scored first as Nola had a problem with the bottom of the lineup in the 2nd. A single, sac bunt and then a 2B by the 5,6,7 hitters gave them a 1-0 lead.

But the resilient Phils got that right back as their 7,8 hitters, Franco and Jorge Alfaro, doubled and singled respectively to start the inning. Alfaro’s ball was hit pretty hard to the CF Michael A. Taylor, who proceeded to bobble it, allowing the “speedy” Franco to score.

They would tack on another run in the 3rd, which started with a doink on a Herrara HBP. Odubel would then make one of the bigger plays of the game, that looks small in the box score, moving up to 2nd, on a deep fly ball to CF. A Nick Williams single and a Scott Kingery sac fly later, the Phils led 2-1.

Meanwhile Aaron Nola (10-2, 2.48) was dealing, rarely getting into trouble, still throwing strong in the 7th, ending that inning with B2B K’s.

 Tanner Roark (3-9. 4.10), who would wind up with the L,  was also pretty good, shutting the Phils down after the 3rd and would leave after 6 innings.

Ex Philie RHP Ryan Madson entered in the 7th, and was welcomed by a Hernandez single and then:

a 2R HR  by Hoskins (13) to extend what felt like a comfortable lead to 4-1.  In the useless but fun facts category, it was the first HR by Rhys that was not a game tying or leading RBI this season.

In the top of the 8th, Nola gave up a lead-off hit, then got two outs. After a BB on a long AB to get to 114P – 78 for strikes, Kapler had seen enough. Morgan got the next batter on the first pitch.

Nola’s Final line, 7.2, 5H, 1R – earned – 8K, 2BB. The 114 pitches was a career high. The Phillies have two off days next week so Aaron will have an extra days rest, which factored in to him going back out for the 8th.

Unfortunately $9M man, Hunter continued to underwhelm giving up 2 hits, and 2 ER,

This brought in Dominguez, who pitched two innings for a save the night before, came on to get the final two outs for his 6th save. He was obviously tired, throwing two WPs, the second allowed in Hunter’s 2nd ER, making the final 4-3.

Morgan(10) and Hunter (14) each get a H.

Nola improved to 7-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 8 starts at Citizens Bank Park. He amassed 63 strikeouts in 56 innings. The team also won his first start which was a ND.

In other words:

Phinal Thoughts:

With Hoskins HR on Wednesday, btw the teams 41st go-ahead Hr (only the Yankees have more at 43), Hoskins took the fewest games in his career to hit 30 HRs for the Phillies, at 119. Chuck Klein – 132 , and Ryan Howard – 134.

Also on Hoskins career from the Phillies on Monday.

Which leads to more on Santana:

After Thursday, Santana has 26 BBs in June. That is his career high for a month. The total surpassed the last Phillies, Howard and Pat Burrell, who each had 25 in ’07.

Early on I was preaching patience with Santana. Back on 5/4 I had this to say:

“For those getting in a tizzy over the low BA for Santana, it is apparent by looking at his past early season numbers, that this will hopefully be at least a normal year for Carlos. Take one year 2014 when in April he slashed 151/.313 OBP/.280 SLG. By the end of the season he was at .231/.365/.427. He hit 27 HR, and led MLB in BB with 113. Compare that to this season’s cruelest month .153/.275/.296 and there is hope that he will turn this around as the weather gets warm.”

and I kept that up for a few weeks.

To get up to date In May he slashed .281/.373/.594 with 7 2B and 7 HRs, and in June .231/.415/.410, 2 2B, 4 HR. His averages are up to .221/.358/.426, 152B, 13HR.

Lastly for all those in a dither about Phillies Ks:

On Deck:

Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies

Friday, June 29, 7:05 PM ET , Citizens Bank Park
Erick Fedde, RHP


Nick Pivetta, RHP
Saturday, June 30, 6:05 PM ET , Citizens Bank Park
To Be Announced


Sunday, July 1, 1:35 PM ET , Citizens Bank Park
Gio Gonzalez, LHP


Jake Arrieta, RHP
  • Last 3 starts

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