Breaking: Mackanin Signed to Two Year Deal
In typical 2017 fashion the Phillies announced this morning on twitter that they have re-upped Manager Pete Mackanin through 2018 with a club option for 2019. He was in the final year of his contract with the club also holding the option for next year. This would seem to be an expression of confidence in him and that they want to keep him involved in the growth of the team and the expected splashes in the FA market in the next few seasons.
Now back to your regularly scheduled series recap:
It is hard to write a story on this series without referring to the return of 2008 Philadelphia Phillies WSC catcher Carlos “Choooch” Ruiz to town as a Seattle Mariner. It would be tough to find someone that does not like him, or a person that he did not like. We all wish him nothing but the best as he finishes his career – but of course not this week. He would PH late in game 1 and FO to CF with a man on 1st in the 8th. He got a long and loud ovation before and after the out (the Phillies even broke out Chooch’s walk-up song by Phil Collins) even in the heat of the battle.
By the end of the series though, despite the good will offered to Ruiz, and a good amount of runs scored by the Phillies offense, there was not much left to cheer about as the Phillies were swept by the Mariners. This result was mostly due to the bull pen’s inability to hold a lead or a tie, and the offense not coming through in many key situations, while the Mariners often did just that.
Game 1: Phillies Could Not Hold a Lead
RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-3, 4.00 ERA), would face Cuban emigre LHP Ariel Miranda (3-2, 3.55)
From the start Eickhoff struggled to throw strikes giving up a walk and committing an error in the 1st two innings, but no damage was done. This could have presaged a big problem, as in his short career Jerad has only had 95 runs scored for him in 39 starts – lowest for NL starters.
Phillies Start Fast:
The Philies put a dent in that number though as they got to Miranda early for four runs in the 1st inning. Cesar Hernandez got things started with a walk, stole 2nd, and advanced to 3rd on a pick-off error. He scored easily on Odubel Herrera‘s double with one out. Michael Saunders (3), and Tommy Joseph (3) went B2B with 2 outs to RCF and LCF respectively. Eickhoff finally got his run support, but it was not to be his night
Mariners Maul Eickhoff:
The Mariners got two back on a long 2 out HR to CF by Robinson Cano (7). The M’s then loaded the bases with 2 hits and a walk, but Jerad got out of it on a pop-up. He had already thrown 59 pitches through 3 at that point.
The next inning, though, it all fell apart for Jerad, as after two singles with a GO in between “slugger” Ben Gamel brought them all home w/ a rainbow to RF, just his 2nd HR of the season, to make it 5-4 Mariners. Gamel would go on to be the Man of the Series as the Phils pitchers could not figure out a way to keep him off the basepaths.
After 2 outs and then a double and a walk, Mackanin had seen enough. Eickhoff’s final line, 3.2 In, 8H, 5R , all earned, 3BB, 2K, 2HR, 83P – 47 for strikes.
This 2017 Phillies Team Does Not Quit:
The Phillies fought right back to get Jerad off the hook. Freddy Galvis drove in Joseph, who walked, with a ringing double – his 6th of the season. Cameron Rupp, whose bat is starting the come alive (2/2, 1 BB), followed with a single. Ty Kelly – just called up from AAA – got his 1st RBI as a Phillie, scoring Freddy on a sac fly. Miranda’s night would also soon end after a single by Cesar. Not soon enough for Miranda as Altherr, one of the Phillies bright spots lately, added on to his line with a 3 run HR to LF. 3.1 In, 6H, 8R, all earned, 3BB, 1K, 1HR, 69 P – 46 for strikes was Miranda’s final line.
The Phillies were then up 9-5, but it looked like the kind of night when that may not be enough as the M’s were showing their hitting prowess in this game early and often.
Game Long From Over:
The Mariners got three back in the top of the 6th, the second with the help of a Franco error (5) which would have been the 3rd out, to make it a one run game.
No Phillies pitcher was able to get Gamel out, as his fourth hit of the night, a double tied the game at 9 with one out in the 7th off of Joely Rodriguez.
The 16th hit of the night for the Mariners, an RBI double by Kyle Seager off of Hector Neris in the 9th, gave them the 10-9 lead.
The Phils could do nothing in the bottom of the order, and somehow wound up scoring only one run off the Mariner’s bad pen which ranked in the low 20’s in MLB coming into the game.
The top of the Mariners order just killed the Phillies – 1-3 scored 8 of the 10 runs. This led to the Phillies blowing two 4 run leads in the game. Prior to this game, they were 79-2 the last 81 times they’d scored 9+ runs.
Nick Vincent (1-0) got the W pitching a scoreless 8th inning, Neris (1-2) well earned the L, Joely Rodriguez blew his 2nd S, and Edwin Diaz got his 7th S. Nobody earned a H.
Game 2: Phillies Pen Wastes Another Good Effort by Eflin
RHP Zach Eflin (0-0, 2.42) making his 5th start of the season, matched up with RHP Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 4.46)
Eflin had gone at least five innings every time out not giving up more than three runs. He would do the same in this game and once again deserved a better fate.
The Teams Even up at 3-3 through three:
Eflin did work in and out of trouble all game but held the scoring to a minimum. He gave up a sac fly to the red hot Kyle Seager in the first, scoring the aforementioned Gamel. Gamel, batting .373 in 13 games since being called up from Triple-A, would end the two-game series reaching base in nine of his 12 PA, with 5R and four RBIs.
In the third Eflin yielded a 2 run HR to Cano (8).
The Phillies did show a flash of their resiliency in the bottom of the inning. After a one out single by Eflin, and a walk by Cesar, one out later Altherr hit what was becoming a trademark 3 run HR to LF to tie the game. More on his play lately below.
Scoreless Middle Innings:
Neither team was able to dent the scoreboard for the next three innings, though both teams had at least one man on every frame.
It’s would end up being a QS for Zeflin as he was lifted for a PH in the bottom of the 6th His final line wound up 6In, 9H, 3R, all earned, 1BB, 3K, 1HR, 106P – 71 for strikes. He was left still looking for his 1st decision, though he pitched well enough to win in every start.
Crooked Numbers in 7th and 8th Bust Game Open for M’s:
Seattle would break the game wide open in the 7th as Joaquin Benoit would come on and managed to only get one out. After the dust had settled he had given up 5R, all earned on 3H, and 3BB (1IBB), including a 2 run double by Ruiz. Edubray Ramos would add another 2 walks to the BP line, but nothing else. Benoit was the first Phillies pitcher to give up 5 runs with only one out since Ryan Madson 2005.
Benoit had this to say after the game in somewhat of a defense for his and the rest of the pen’s performance.
“One day I’m seventh [inning], I’ve started in the sixth, I’ve been in the ninth, the eighth. Right now I’m all over the place. It’s a little bit consistency, and not just the pitching staff, but the people that run it, too.”
Jake Thompson would give up 3 more runs in the 8th to make the score 11-3. He pitched a scoreless 9th, but got sent back down to AAA after the game.
The Phillies once again showing that they do not give up until the last out, scored one run in the 8th and two in the ninth (including Altherr’s second HR of the game, his 7th of the season, and Joseph’s 4th HR on the year) but it was too little too late, setting the final score at 11-6.
Tony Zych (2-0) vultured a W with a scoreless 6th inning, Benoit (0-2) got a much deserved L. There were no S or H’s in this contest.
Aaron “All Star” Altherr:
Altherr has now hit a 3 run HR in three consecutive games sending statheads scrambling to find comparable past Phillies events. Aaron became the third since 1929 to do this – Mike Schmidt in ’81, Andy Seminick in ’49 and the first since Darren Daulton in 1994 with a homer and 3 RBIs in 3 consecutive games. Rico Brogna in 1998 was the last to have 3 RBIs in 3 straight games. Hard to believe none of the ’07 – ’11 guys did any of the above
Phillies Going Streaking:
After game 1 Altherr had a 7 game hit streak, Hernandez 6 H , Rupp 2 hitting and, 8 OB, Galvis 3 H, 6 OB.
In the second game Altherr obviously kept his alive going 2/4, both HR’s and a BB. Cesar lost his H streak but did have 2 BB. Galvis also kept his streaks alive, and Rupp did not make an appearance.
Phillies Pitchers have allowed a HR in six straight games, overall giving up 52 home runs, tied with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for most in the majors, while playing 4 less games. They are on an MLB record pace to allow 263 dingers.
On a more positive note the offense, though it seems to come up small in big moments, has scored 137 runs in their first 30 games. This is the most in that span since 2011 when they put up 139.
Aaron Nola made his 1st rehab start on Wednesday. He threw 52 pitches, 37 strikes, 12 of 16 first-pitch strikes, 1 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K. His FB reached 93 mph.
After an “off” day, which includes the always popular and philanthropic “Phillies Phestival” to fight ALS, they hit the road with a first stop in DC this weekend to face the Washington Natinals.
Friday 7:05 RHP Nick Pivetta (0-2, 5.40 ERA) Vs RHP Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.46)
Saturday 7:05 RHP Vince Velasquez (2-3, 5.94) VS TBA
Sunday 1:35 Jeremy Hellickson (4-1, 3.49) Vs TBA