The Philadelphia Phillies (55-50, 3rd Place, NL East) looked to build on their series ending W of an otherwise disappointing series against the first place Atlanta Braves. They would try to do that hosting the surging San Francisco Giants (54-52, 2nd Place NL West) but also just 2.5 out of last Wild Card spot. 19-6 in July, not having lost a series.
That all ended with the Phils, eeking out a win in the opener, not overcoming one bad inning in the second game, but putting an offensive exclamation point on the finale.
Warmups: Trade Deadline Edition
The Phillies made some low cost, low risk, possible high reward moves ahead of the Trade Deadline Wednesday 07/31/19 at 4:00 PM.
On Monday they Phillies acquired LHP Jason Vargas from the New York Mets. What they gave up was MiLB C Austin Bossart. Bossart was with the AA Reading Fightin Phils. The Mets will also send the Phils some cash, reportedly up to $2.5M.
Vargas (36) (6-5, 81H, 45R – 42 earned – 81K, 39BB, 14HR, 4.01 ERA, 94.1In, Opp. BA. .228, 2019), has pitched well lately. He won his last three, 3.06 ERA, over 5.5 K’s a game. Vargas contract this year is for $8M, while the club controls the same for next season or a $2M buyout. A comparatively low cost deal these days, and a bargain if he can be a solid #3 or #2 guy in the rotation. They have sent Zach Eflin to the pen so Jason could take his originally scheduled spot on Friday.
Then on Tuesday they signed FA RHP reliever Blake Parker (34) , who had been DFA’d by the Minnesota Twins last Wednesday. This season. all out of the pen he is 1-2, 34H, 18R – 17 earned – 16BB, 34K, 7HR 4.21 ERA, 36.1 In. He is a possible closer option as he has converted 10/11 this season, 34/41 lifetime. He was made available right away and will wear #53. Terms have not been released at this posting.
Their last moves came Wednesday when they picked up OF Corey Dickerson, from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a PTBNL and International Bonus $. Dickerson, who won a Gold Glove and made the All Star Team with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017, is battling injuries this season, but in his 142 PA, has a .315 BA, 4HR, 25 RBIs, and a .924 OPS. He is now the third LH OF along with Jay Bruce, who may be coming off the IL this coming week, and Bryce Harper. He is also primarily a LF, so this will create a big of a log jam when Bruce comes back.
In a lesser move they also acquired RHP Dan Straily from the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations. He will not be on the big league roster for now, going to the Iron Pigs.
Game 1:All Smyles and just enough offense.
The series started off well for the Phillies as back to back two run innings, was all that new starter LHP Drew Smyly (2-5, 6.85 ERA) would need.
Those runs started in the fourth off of RHPTyler Beede (3-5, 5.01).
Beede would wind up loading the bases on three singles, but the Phils could not score and that would be all for Beede, 5In, 4R – all earned. 2BB, 4K, 1HR, 86P – 58 for strikes.
Meanwhile Smyly kept up his his ground ball act, 8-3 GB/FO, which is a very good way to have success at CBP. He would eventually go 7In, 4H, 0R, 1BB, 5K, 0HR, 103P – 71 for strikes. Smyly lowered his ERA 1.57 pts with 13 innings of one run ball since joining the Phillies.
In the 8th Nick Pivetta would give up a one out HR to Belt (12), and another to Stephen Vogt (5) with two outs in the 8th to get to the eventual 4-2 final after Hector Neris worked a 1-2-3 Save (19).
Game 2:One Bad Inning and stifling Samardzjia
Vince Velasquez (3-6, 4.4o) would get another chance to prove that he should be a part of this rotation. All in all he did not pitch badly but as is his norm, his pitch count skyrocketed early as he had trouble putting guys away quickly.
His 1st two innings were good at 13 and 15 pitches respectively, but the third is where it started going up as he threw 23 to get out of a 2nd and 3rd one out jam unscathed.
Meanwhile Giants RHP Jeff Samardzija (8–8, 3.75) was pretty much stifling the Phillies hitters allowing only 3H, 0R, 1BB, and 5K in 6 innings of work.
The top of the sixth inning was was the ballgame though as that was where San Francisco would score all of their five runs.
After a Mike Yastrzemski LF (Grandson of Carl) BB, Giants C Buster Posey, who has been having a sub par season, hit just his 6th HR of the season. After LHP Adam Morgan relieved V. V., 3B Pablo Sandoval followed with his 14th. Still with no outs and a man on it was CF Kevin Pillar‘s turn with a 2R HR (13) to make it 5-0 Gigantes. It would turn out that Morgan was pitching with the same injury that sent him to the IL earlier, and he would be sent back to it after the game.
The Phils would scratch out a run in the 7th, but that was all in this 5-1 loss.
Velasquez despite his decent 5In, 4H 2R – both earned – 3BB, 6K, 1HR, 90P – 57 for strikes, still got stuck with the L, and Samardzija earned the W.
Hector Neris was used in the 8th inning of a 5-1 game, which was a bit of a head scratcher, until we learned he would be dropping his appeal, and start serving his three game suspension on Thursday.
Game 3:Offense Awakens For a Day At least
The finale could not have been more different than the first two as the Phightin’s scored early and often, putting up crooked numbers in the 2nd through 4th innings (3,2, and 4 respectively), and a singleton in the 5th.
The damage was done mostly off of Giants starter RHP Dereck Rodríguez (4-6, 5.32) who gave up 7R – only 4 earned on 8H, 2BB, 0K, 1HR.
It was those three runs in the first that were unearned, as a Giants fielding error on two out ground ball to SS Brandon Crawford by Phillies starter Jake Arrieta (8–8, 4.51), that would have ended the inning, instead allowed the first run to score and kept the bases loaded with 2 outs. it was originally ruled an out, but quickly overturned in replay review. Hernandez would follow with a double for the 3-0 lead.
A single by Scott Kingery in that inning broke an 0-11. He would add on to that with a one out 2R single for the 2 run third. He would eventually go 3/4, 1R, 2 RBI, 0K on the night after being moved down to the 6-hole.
Realmuto also had a good night extending his hitting streak to 5 games (3/5, 3R, 3RBI, 1HR).
Those 3 RBIs came on the HR (15) that was part of the four run 4th inning.
Cesar also smacked his 8th of the season to start the inning.
Unfortunately Arrieta was not able to stick around long enough to reap the benefits of this outburst.
It was obvious by the 4th inning that that pesky bone spur was starting to bother him, when he gave up a single and a BB, but got out of it unscored upon. The 5th though was a different story.
It started with Hernandez’ 2nd error of the game, followed by a single. A WP then put both runners into scoring position, whereupon the pesky 1B Brandon Belt knocks on in with a single and Jake’s afternoon was done – 4In, 4H, 2R – 1 earned – 1BB, 5K, 0HR, 71P – 46 for strikes. LHP Jose Alvarez, relieved him and let in the second run on a single, but no more to leave the score at 9-2.
The Phillies would tack on one more in the fifth on apparently deceptively strong Roman Quinn‘s 2nd HR of the season, for the final 10-2 victory.
Alvarez (2-2, 3.00) would get the W, and Rodriguez (4-6, 5.32) the L.
Even with the L on Wednesday the Phillies still ended the month of July with a winning record, 12-11.
The final game of the series showed the quandary that is Cesar Hernandez, as my tweet illustrates.
— 🌊 #IWBIWISI #NoWarWithIran☮️ #DontTweetIm🍑 (@brett5355) August 1, 2019
This dichotomy is causing quite the debate on the interwebs about whether Hernandez should be on this team in 2020. I have always leaned toward defending Cesar, hoping that his defensive and sometimes base running deficiencies would lessen over time, but it does not look that way. I could see trading him, but it has to get a good return, a starting P or a proven pen guy, at the least.
Speaking of the internet, there are a lot of Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler haters out there blaming him for everything from lineupps, to in move games, and even to what particular pitches batter are swinging at. I understand some of it, but IMHO, he seems to get the blame for every loss, and no credit for any of the wins. As the team showed in the last game, they are good at short memory and bouncing back from bad losses. They also have 30 or so come from behind wins, which is at or near the top of the NL. That should be attributed to the Manager. At the same time, hitters not producing on bases loaded, less than three outs, needs to laid more at the feet of the players we so idolize. These appear to be minority opinions these days, but I stand by them.
Phillies Phriday Phill-Ins will be on hiatus next week due to all 9:30 starts every game which I will see none of so don’t feel good about writing about them. I will be back, hopefully on time on 8/19 to write up the Chicago Cubs series.
The Phillies (57-51) would end the home stand against the Chicago White Sox (46-59, 3rd Place AL Central)
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.