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Small victories, large defeats.

Updated: 2017-04-30T00:56:37-04:00


Hastily Rewritten Recap: Dodgers 6, Phillies 5



The Phillies took advantage of a shaky bullpen to demonstrate their skills at utter heartbreak.

Well this was awful.

After allowing a leadoff home run to the first batter, Zach Eflin pitched wonderfully, limiting the Dodgers’ chances for most of the evening. Seven innings and two runs, with only four hits, no walks and four strikeouts. His cybernetic knees seem to be doing wonders for this pitching.

Down 1-0 going into the fourth, Brock Stassi hit a three-run homer, the second of his career, scoring Maikel Franco and Michael Saunders. In the fifth, Daniel Nava added another run driving in Odubel Herrera.

Defensive interlude: in the fourth, Herrera made an amazing layout catch on a Yasiel Puig liner. Doobs covers a lot of ground out there.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Dodgers’ rookie Cody Bellinger hit his first career home run, getting the silent treatment from his teammates. Not to be outdone, the Phils’ Andrew Knapp hit his first career home run in the top of the eighth, also getting the silent treatment.

I can’t embed it, but there is a video clip of this here.

So the score was and remained 5-2 going in to the bottom of the ninth. With enigmatic and oft-unhittable Hector Neris taking over as closer, the game seemed well in hand.

And then Puig hit a home run.

And then Cody Bellinger hit a home run.

And then Justin Turner hit a home run.

And then, about four seconds later, Adrian Gonzalez hit a scrub grounder the Franco booted, scoring Austin Barnes and ending the game.

Things literally went from “we’re going to win!” to “wow we lost brutally” in the span of only a few minutes.


With the loss, the Phils drop to 11-11, while the Dodgers improve to 13-12.


Game Thread 4/29: Phillies at Dodgers



Tonight the Phillies can return to their winning ways.

The Phillies winning streak had to end sometime. At least it didn’t end unceremoniously, or with a hugely outsized score. They lost respectably. As a team should.

But let’s see what the Phillies are up against tonight.

Today's Lineups

Cesar Hernandez - 2B Andrew Toles - CF
Freddy Galvis - SS Corey Seager - SS
Odubel Herrera - CF Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
Maikel Franco - 3B Yasmani Grandal - C
Michael Saunders - RF Yasiel Puig - RF
Daniel Nava - LF Cody Bellinger - LF
Brock Stassi - 1B Chase Utley - 2B
Andrew Knapp - C Chris Taylor - 3B
Zach Eflin - RHP Brandon McCarthy - RHP

BRANDON MCCARTHY ALERT. I like Brandon McCarthy, mostly, but I think there’s a chance for the Phillies to put a hurting on the Dodgers tonight. McCarthy has been good this season, and while his ERA is 2.25, I think we all know that probably isn’t who he actually is.

Zach Eflin has a chance to build on his last two excellent starts, and by Jove I think he can do it. By Jove, whoever that is.

Discuss the game (and my obvious encroaching madness) in the comments below.

All Good Things: Dodgers 5, Phillies 3



Must come to a middle.

Riding a six-game win streak, the Phillies jet-legged to LA, only to lose to the Dodgers. Butts butts butts.

Jerad Eickhoff got the start, pitching into the sixth, with a total of five runs allowed on nine hits, three walks and three strikeouts. He was crisp initially, but by around the fourth inning, seemed to be starting every hitter off with a curveball.

While Eick’s curve is a good one, a decent hitter can get around on any pitch if they know it’s coming. The Dodgers picked away at him and his curve, with single runs in the third, fourth fifth, and a pair in the sixth, thanks largely to Justin ‘The West Coast Jay Bruce’ Turner.

The Phils did strike first, with a pair in the top of the third, on a two-run double from Farrdy Glreevs Freedy Gravvls Fladby Grevvs Freddy Galvis (yeah, him), scoring Eickhoff and Cesar Hernandez.

Down 5-2 after two hours of nickel-and-diming, the Phils got another run in the eighth, when Maikel Franco hit a sac fly, scoring Glubis Glabros Gleetins Galvis.

As some talked about today and yesterday, losing on the road to a playoff-caliber team isn’t a pathetic disaster, but it sure is disheartening. A couple silver linings to take away were a perfect Major League debut for Mark Leiter Jr, a two-strikeout perfect inning from erstwhile Jeanmar Gomez, and the Toyota Saturday Morning Mosquito-and-Doughnut Roundtable with Scott Franzke, Jim Jackson, Larry Anderson, Ben Davis and Greg Murphy.

Oh yeah, and some guy named Kenta Maeda pitched for LA. He threw every pitch for strikes, and when a Cy Young caliber pitcher is throwing like that, even good teams struggle. So takeaways? Who knows.

Also some dude named Utley got a hit. Maybe he’ll make a name for himself.

Except we’ll see you tomorrow later today, with another edition of West Coast Late Nights with Phrozen.

Game Thread 4/28: Phillies at Dodgers



You know, technically the Phillies are playing in the past.

It’s the first West Coast road trip of the year! Aren’t you so excited to forget the Phillies are on late, and then fall asleep while you’re trying to watch them play? It’s the best! Or the worst!

At the very least the Phillies are going to LA on a weekend. That opens up a few night owl watching options if you don’t have to be at work tomorrow.

Today's Lineups

Cesar Hernandez - 2B Andrew Toles - CF
Freddy Galvis - SS Corey Seager - SS
Odubel Herrera - CF Justin Turner - 3B
Maikel Franco - 3B Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
Michael Saunders - RF Yasmani Grandal - C
Aaron Altherr - LF Chase Utley - 2B
Tommy Joseph - 1B Cody Bellinger - LF
Cameron Rupp - C Enrique Hernandez - RF
Jerad Eickhoff - RHP Kenta Maeda - RHP

I just love seeing the first four names in the batting order. Cesar. Freddy. Odubel. Maikel. They’re fun to watch, and it always looks like they’re having fun playing together.

Give ‘em hell, boys. And discuss the game in the comments below.

Cameron Rupp is probably better than this


The Phillies catcher of the future isn’t coming up anytime soon. So let’s discuss the Phillies catcher of the present. When things start to go right, even temporarily, it’s easy to point to the successes. The top of the Phillies lineup is having a ball right now, with Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, and Maikel Franco putting a charge into the ball. Howie Kendrick was performing before he got hurt, Brock Stassi hit a triple the other day, Michael Saunders has been making solid contact and hit a ball into the second deck the other night. But as some numbers go up, our eyes drift toward those that have stayed low. In the Phillies lineup, one guy who has yet to see any amount of success at the plate in 2017 is catcher Cameron Rupp. When has Rupp had offensive success? He had 14 hits, including two doubles and three homers, over the course of a ten-game hit streak in August 2015, but when that month began he was hitting .226. Rupp had a very consistent May 2016, full of hits and runs and barreling that big ‘ol torso around third an entire eight times. And how about these numbers, brought to us by a person who you might be able to safely guess is an ardent Cameron Rupp supporter. @FelskeFiles @lizroscher When you say I know what he is do you mean this ?— Clint Rupp (@clint_rupp) April 20, 2017 But where it gets really interesting is looking at, and they believe that indeed no, that is not a sinker, but in fact it is a changeup! In fact, you silly, silly reader, Velasquez doesn’t even throw a sinker! What is happening here? Well, there is no doubt that Velasquez is using his changeup more. Both Pitch F/x sites are in agreement with that. However, has he added a sinker, or just started using one more often? The best source for this I could find was this article from last spring from Matt Gelb where Velasquez acknowledges beginning to throw a sinker. So, since it is coming directly from the player, we can definitively say that he has a sinker and that Brooks baseball is correct. It matches up with something Velasquez himself has said publicly, and with what some of the Pitch F/x systems are seeing. We now have to adjust our understanding of what he has in his back pocket. 3. The stuff he has is better than before This is where the small sample size argument is really going to kick into high gear, simply because he’s only had four starts. Take a look at his pitch values, according to Fangraphs: Just a couple of takeaways here: his four-seamer is in the hitting zone a lot more this than the past two years, and hitters are making more contact with it hitters are making less contact with the curveball, but everything else is up Remember when I said it was odd his curveball usage is down? By batting average against, his curveball has been his second best pitch this year. Also looking at heatmaps available of Fangraphs, he’s been able to bury the pitch when needed. It’s just been an odd start to Velasquez’s season. The hard part about making observations this early in the season is that one or two bad starts can really skew numbers in a bad way. Based on what we’ve seen the past two starts, this chart is a result of that. In order to get a true reading of his stuff and how it is playing, it would probably be best to revisit that chart after May when his starts have begun to stabilize and we can get a true read on how effective his pitches have been during the course of the season. What we can see is that whatever formula Velasquez is using to get more efficient outs in the last two games is working. With a few more tweaks, perhaps he can be that pitcher that can get the groundball when needed while still maintaining and using the ability to strike a man out when needed. Phillies fans should just be happy that he is finally starting to show that he can last more than five innings and become the to[...]

Phillies MLR 4/27/17: Rhys Hoskins hits HR #6, puts pressure on Tommy Joseph



Phillies Minor League Roundup for 4/27/17

Weekend Probables:

LHV: Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Ricardo Pinto
REA: Drew Anderson, Tyler Viza, Shane Watson
CLR: Cole Irvin, Alberto Tirado, Blake Quinn
LWD: Felix Paulino, Nick Fanti, Sixto Sanchez

Lehigh Valley 7, Columbus 4

Mark Appel - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR, 3 GB, 2 FB
Roman Quinn - 2 for 4, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
J.P. Crawford - 1 for 4, BB, SB
Rhys Hoskins - 2 for 5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 K
Cam Perkins - 1 for 4, RBI, BB, K
Nick Williams - 0 for 2, R, HBP
Dylan Cozens - 0 for 2, RBI, K
Jesmuel Valentin - 0 for 5, K

Mark Appel was surprisingly not totally awful. He gave up a 2-run HR in the 2nd inning and was able to settle down en route to his first victory of the season. However, he threw just 47 of his 84 pitches for strikes. Scary moment for Nick Williams who took a wild pitch off the top of his foot. He stayed in the game, scored a run and played out the inning in the field. However, he was replaced by Dylan Cozens to start the top of the 6th. It will be something to keep an eye on this weekend. J.P. Crawford with back to back games with a hit for the first time this season. Columbus isn’t able to slow down Hoskins, who blasts his 6th HR of the season. Jorge Alfaro had the day off.

Clearwater 3, Tampa 2

Franklyn Kilome - 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 K, 6 GB, 6 FB (throwing error)
Jacob Waguespack - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R
Tyler Gilbert - 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, K, WP
Mark Laird - 0 for 4
Herlis Rodriguez - 1 for 4, R, SB
Cornelius Randolph - 1 for 4, R, 3 K (outfield assist, 2B)
Damek Tomscha - 2 for 4, R, RBI
Jose Pujols - 0 for 3, BB, CS
Jan Hernandez - 1 for 4, RBI, K
Genny Cumana - 1 for 4, RBI, SB
Austin Bossart - 1 for 4, 2 K
Emmanuel Marrero - 0 for 4, K

Folks, Franklyn Kilome is doing some things. Not pushing him, he threw just 71 pitches (51 strikes) in his 7 innings. Last night was his 2nd win of the season and has put his season line at: 23.2 IP, 24 H, 6 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 22 K. Also in exciting news, Cornelius Randolph returns to the lineup after a 3-game absence. Herlis Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 9 games and stole his 3rd base of the season.

Kannapolis 2, Lakewood 1

Adonis Medina - 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 6 K, 5 GB, 1 FB
Mauricio Llovera - 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, K, WP
Jonathan Hennigan - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K
Daniel Brito - 0 for 4, K
Carlos Duran - 0 for 4, K
Mickey Moniak - 1 for 3, picked off
Brett Barbier - 0 for 3, 2 K
Darick Hall - 0 for 2, BB, K
Cord Sandberg - 0 for 2, K
Henri Lartigue - 1 for 3, R, 3B
Danny Zardon - 0 for 3, RBI (throwing error)
Jose Antequera - 0 for 3, K

Adonis Medina only last 4 innings after a 7 inning, 10 strikeout performance his last time out. This start put him at 0-2 despite a sterling 1.71 ERA in 21 IP. The offense was out-hit 11-2 and were a lowly 0 for 3 with RISP. Darick Hall, after being out since April 7th, returned to the lineup and DH’d. Daniel Brito has only been held hitless in a game 5 times in his 21 games this season.