The Philadelphia Phillies start an extra long week with no off days because of two make-up games, the first making them play two on Monday against the New York Mets. They also have no off day on Thursday as they head down I-95 to face the Baltimore Orioles in the other rained out game.
day 1 Game 1: The UnClutchables visit Queens
The opener of the DH was an exercise in Phutility as the team would go 2-13 with RISP, 12 LOB, abetted by 2 DP’s and 13Ks.
More on that later, but somehow they still managed to score 3 runs, even taking the lead on singletons in the first two innings, both benefits of two out singles, those only 2 hits with RISP.
In between those was also a single run by Phillies nemesis Asdrubal Cabrera. Coming into the game he was slashing 360/.965/.611/1.006 with 11HR, and 38 RBI, in 203 AB against the Phillies
The Mets would take a 3-2 lead in the third off of Zach Eflin (7-2, 3.15 ERA), with that Cabrerra guy knocking in the 2nd run of the inning.
As is they have so often, the Phils bounced right back on Maikel Franco‘s 11th HR.
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.42) only made it through two outs in the 5th, lifted after the Phillies had two men on, and the Phutility phase kicked in as they could not score then or off a succession of four Mets relievers, the rest of the way.
Eflin would also leave after a full 5In, 5H, 3R – all earned – 4K, 0BB, 0HR, 84P – 58 for strikes, getting a flustrating ND.
Speaking of flustrating, the Phils had bases loaded on three BB in the 8th, and the first two on in 10th with singles, and could not score.
The Phillies pen at the same time only gave up one hit in four innings.
Wilmer Flores ended the game with a HR (8) off the LF pole in the 10th off Victor Arano, this after he claimed to be HBP, and review said he wasn’t.
The Mets have especially hurt the Phils with the long ball. The walk-off was their 108th HR off Phillies pitching since the start of the 2015 season.
Day 2 Game 2: Geaux Nola
The nightcap was all about the starting pitching, especially Aaron Nola (12-2, 2.27), who not only excelled on the mound, but also got their first hit, and knocked in the only runs they would score, or need in the fifth inning. Until that inning NY starter Corey Oswalt (0-2. 6.75), making only his third MLB start, held the Phils to the minimum, striking out 6 batters.
In that 5th though Oswalt walked the first two batters, Carlos Santana, and Aaron Altherr. Then after getting the next two outs and seemingly out of the inning by giving an IBB of Franco to get to Nola:
More on the bases clearing 2B in Flushing Meadows from Philly StatMeister Bob Vetrone Jr.:
That AB, along with a rising pitch count, factored into why Kapler pulled Nola after 7IP, 1H, 0R, 10K, 1BB, 105P – 75 for strikes.
Tommy Hunter gave up his obligatory run in the 8th on the way to his 17th H, and Arano earned his 3rd S, for the final score of 3-1.
Interesting factoid after Arano’s save:
Nola was the first to get to 12 W in the NL, and will be able to get one more start on Saturday and still be eligible for the ASG. Not only did he deserve to make the All Star team, he deserves to start the game.
Day Two Game Three: Phillies prospect Enyel de los Santos dazzling debut
Both starting pitchers Enyel De Los Santos and RHP Drew Gagnon were making their MLB debuts.
How rare is that for the Phillies? I will let Phillies Manager of baseball communications, Chris Ware tell you:
The Phillies acquired De Los Santos in the off season for fan favorite Freddy Galvis (wish I could insert languishing #DoTheFreddy Gif here 🙁 )
Judging from this outing, including his first k below, and his 9-3, 1.89 ERA with the Iron Pigs, GM Matt Klentak made a good deal.
Not that he needed it but the Phils helped him out by scoring early and often,
Franco started it off in the 2nd, when he smacked his second HR in two days (12) to LF, scoring Scott Kingery (FC) and Jorge Alfaro (HBP).
Williams 2 run bases loaded single, put up the second crooked number inning in the third.
De Los Santos got the first MLB earned run out of the way in the bottom half, in typically goofy fashion for these two teams, on a sac fly by a pitcher who has given up 5 runs and almost out of the game, but that is all they would score.
An Odubel Herrera solo HR, his career high 16th, in the 5th, and a single later, Gagnon is gone after 4.2In, 6R – all earned on 7H, 3K, 1BB, 2HR.
The Phillies would score another run in the 6th, on a Franco single, his fourth RBI of the game, to make it 7-1.
De Los Santos came out for the 7th, but could only get one out. He would give up a run on a BB to start the inning, then a WP,and a 3B after that one out, before he was pulled. His final line would wind up with 6.1 scintillating innings, 5H, 3R – all earned (two of them in the 6th, the last one let in by Mark Leiter Jr. on a sac fly) – 6K, 3BB, 0HR, 84P – 54 for strikes. Could not ask more for a spot start MLB debut.
Enyel had a real nice upper 70’s hook to compliment, his mid-high 90s FB, which kept the Mets hitters off balance until he tired in that 7th.
Gagnon was not so special in his first start, 0-1, 11.57 ERA
De Los Santos would go to 1-0, 4.26 ERA, and would be the first Phillies pitcher to throw over 6 innings, allowing 4 or fewer hits in his first outing since 1983. That game was Charles Hudson‘s debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers on 5/31/83. He gave up 3H in 6In, 2R – both earned, in a 4-1 L.
Day Three Game 4:Pill Tossers Prevail
Just another normal play in the normal rivalry that is Phillies/Mets 😉
helped to keep this game scoreless.
Both Vince Velasquez fresh off the DL (5-8, 4.39) and Mets starter RHP Jacob de Grom (5-4, 1.68) were virtually unhittable through 6, scattering 2 and 4H respectively, and one BB each.
Velasquez was lifted for a PH for in the top of the 7th, so he was done after 6In, 2H, 0R, 3K, 1BB, 85P – 54 for strikes, and got the ND.
de Grom went one inning farther, giving up 5H, 7K, 1BB, but also left with the same.
Both pens then did their jobs until the series would end in fitting fashion, like the opener, with yet another Mets HR. This time it was Brandon Nimmo (13) in the 10th with two aboard off Mark Leiter Jr. for the 3-0 final.
That gave Leiter his first L of the season, and Robert Gsellman (6-2) the W.
Game 5:Phillies Barely Beat Baltimore
This long week continued with the second make-up game in Baltimore.
I looked like the Phils were going to run away with this one as they scored twice in both the 3rd and 4th innings. The two in the 3rd was a small ball run as three singles, the last a Herrera dribbler to the pitcher fooled by a big swing, loading the bases with one out. Santana then dinked a single into LF, for the first Phillies run. A Williams GO made it 2-0 Phils.
The 4th inning 2 spot featured a 2R 2B for Alfaro, continuing his huge night, which got even bigger two innings later:
Giving the Phillies what looked like a comfortable lead for Nick Pivetta (6-7, 4.58) who did not give up a hit until one out in the 5th, and scoreless thru six.
All those runs would be charged to Orioles RHP Kevin Gausman (4-7, 4.33) who was finished after 5 innings.
After giving up a 2R HR in the 7th to Trey Mancini (12) Pivetta was pulled, 6.2, 5H, 3R – all earned – 7K, 1BB, 1HR, 102P – 63 for strikes.
Hunter in relief gave up his obligatory run on a solo shot on the 1st pitch to Jace Peterson (3) to make it a little scarier game at 5-4.
But have no fear, Sir Anthony is here, as Seranthony Dominguez would throw a perfect 9th for his 9th S.
Hunter (18), Edubray Ramos (9), Morgan (12) each get a H. Gausman earned the L.
Refreshingly Phils hitters had only 3 Ks matching their low for 2018.
It was their 2nd season sweep of Orioles. The other was in 2003.
The Phils have at least one XBH in 88 consecutive games (since 4/4), which is the longest such streak in the MLB.
Trevor Plouffe got his first hit in his first AB as a Phillie on Tuesday. He basically traded places with Dylan Cozens at Lehigh Valley before the game.
The team is 20-8 in 1-run decisions, which is the best % in MLB at .714, The Seattle Mariners are next at 26-11. .703.
The Phillies much maligned pen threw down a 1.89 ERA (8 ER, 38 IP) so far in of July, also best in MLB.
A good part of this success has to go to Manager Gabe Kapler who has figured out how to mix and match these guys, sticking to his “no defined roles” agenda. Just another example as to why I intone on twitter #KaplerIsAGenius.
The Phillies end the road trip and go into a much needed ASG break visiting the Miami Marlins. One interesting note about this extra long week and weekend.
Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins
Friday, July 13, 7:10 PM ET , Marlins Park
Wei-Yin Chen, LHP
Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins
Saturday, July 14, 4:10 PM ET , Marlins Park
Trevor Richards, RHP
Sunday, July 15, 1:10 PM ET , Marlins Park