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Small victories, large defeats.

Updated: 2017-06-25T21:01:30-04:00


Fight to the end: Diamondbacks 2, Phillies 1



Today, the fight was nearly as important as the win.

Today is one of those days that I could be very discouraged by the Phillies. They lost 2-1 in 11 innings, and were only able to score one run. But there were actually a lot of good things in today’s game, even if the outcome was disappointing. (How did I react to the disappointment? Watching the game in my apartment, I booed loudly and threw cereal at the TV.)

So what were those good things? The pitching, oh the pitching. Jeremy Hellickson had his second great start in a row, hurling six innings and giving up just one run on three hits. Plus, he got seven strikeouts and gave up no walks. That’s right: zero. He had thrown 95 pitches by the time his spot came up in the top of the seventh, and with runners on the corners, Pete Mackanin had no choice but to pull Hellickson for pinch hitter Howie Kendrick.

It was the right move. Kendrick popped a bloop single up the first base line that Brandon Drury badly misread (and thonked into the grass while attempting to catch), and that’ when the Phillies’ lone run scored.

Hellickson’s strong six was followed by two brilliant innings from Luis Garcia. That’s right, two! Three strikeouts and just one hit. Pat Neshek followed him with an effortless nine-pitch inning (he threw six strikes, though he did allow a hit). Joaquin Benoit gave us a heart pounding inning in which he threw way too many balls way too close together. He walked the second batter he faced, and nearly walked the third. He got out of the inning with a strikeout, but it was a sign of what was to come.

Edubray Ramos was so close to being out of the inning. So, so close. He got the first two batters out, but then gave up a a single and a walk. And then Daniel Descalso hit a 1-0 single and the game was over. He was absolutely devastated, and heartbreakingly spent an extra few moments staring at the D-backs celebrating their walk-off win.

Despite that last inning from Ramos, there were a lot of positive things in today’s game. And even though the offense seemed to completely disappear today, they had nine hits, more than the Diamondbacks. Of course, they left eight men on base, but that right there is exactly why they lost the game.

The Phillies are doing their best. They’re not good enough to win most of their battles, but today they put up a good fight against one of baseball’s better teams. There’s no shame in being bested by a superior team. It’s disappointing, but at least you can see the promise of things to come.

Game Thread 6/25: Phillies at Diamondbacks



Yup, we’re still in Arizona.

So we’re still in Arizona, the Phillies having won one and lost one. And guess what: tomorrow the Phillies are STILL in Arizona! Still! They’re never leaving. They live in Arizona now. They’re the Phoenix Phillies. At least when they’re done in Arizona, we get to go see Chooch in Seattle. We have that to look forward to.

Today's Lineups

Cameron Perkins - LF Gregor Blanco - LF
Freddy Galvis - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Aaron Altherr - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Tommy Joseph - 1B Chris Owings - RF
Maikel Franco - 3B Daniel Descalso - 3B
Odubel Herrera - CF Brandon Drury - 2B
Andrew Knapp - C Rey Fuentes - CF
Ty Kelly - 2B Jeff Mathis - C
Jeremy Hellickson - RHP Randall Delgado - RHP

The Phillies need one more win to split this series, and I’d like them to get it today. Jeremy Hellickson is on the mound, and we’ve got Ty Kelly starting at second base and Cameron Perkins in left field. I’d call this the JV team, but honestly, the Varsity team isn’t any better. So let’s see what these guys can do.

Discuss the game in the comments below.

Bax 9, Phils 2: Are we STILL in Arizona?




Yesterday’s festivities in the land of heat were apparently all we get. The Phils lost in the desert this time, 9-2.

Ben Lively started off well, but his trademark “don’t strike anyone out” approach petered out in the mid innings. His final line was five runs allowed in five and a third, with seven hits, including a home run. This was more than enough for the loss, as the Phils managed only two in response. Both, of course, were scored by Lively himself, on his first career home run.

So there’s that.

But just in case Lively’s heroics were threatening a win, the bullpen came to the rescue. Hoby Milner made his major league debut memorable by allowing a run. Edubray Ramos allowed a run. Adam Morgan, not to be outdone by mere rookies, allowed two runs.

With the loss, the Phils drop to few-many, while the D-Backs improve to more-less. Tomorrow’s game will be played at high noon, which given the location, I assume means some renegades will have a shoot-out in front of the saloon.

Once again, there’s not much more to say, so let’s jump into Phrozen’s Alaska-Themed Diversion of the Week: The Goldpanners won again, walking off again in the bottom of the eleventh!

Thanks for humoring me, folks. Feel free to add any additional—actual—comments about the Phillies game. See ya “tomorrow.”

Game Thread 6/23: Phillies at Diamondbacks



What is this feeling, so sudden and new?

It’s always a new and strange feeling the day after the Phillies win. It doesn’t happen that often, so I try and enjoy it while I can. Of course, yesterday’s win came with some weird drama, but you can’t have everything.

Today's Lineups

Cameron Perkins - LF Daniel Descalso - LF
Howie Kendrick - 2B David Peralta - RF
Aaron Altherr - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Tommy Joseph - 1B Jake Lamb - 3B
Maikel Franco - 3B Chris Owings - SS
Odubel Herrera - CF Brandon Drury - 2B
Freddy Galvis - SS Chris Iannetta - C
Cameron Rupp - C Rey Fuentes - CF
Mark Leiter - RHP Patrick Corbin - LHP

The Phillies have had some impressive pitching lately. Nick Pivetta and Aaron Nola both had fantastic starts, and now it’s the turn of... Mark Leiter Jr., in his first major league start.

Leiter is facing a frankly fearsome Diamondbacks lineup. (They’re not tied for second in the NL West for nothing.) So good luck to him! We’re behind him! And hopefully, he knows how low our bar is as Phillies fans. Don’t give up like 10 runs, and besides that we’ll be happy.

Discuss the game in the comments below.

Phillies drama: Pat Neshek, Pete Mackanin have conflicting stories again



Someone here isn’t telling the truth.

The Phillies won on Thursday, which is great. But even that wasn’t drama-free. And no, I’m not talking about another Odubel Herrera baserunning error (though that did happen). This is drama between reliever Pat Neshek and manager Pete Mackanin.

In the eighth inning of Thursday’s game, Pat Neshek came in with one out and needed just five pitches to get the final two outs. It was another perfect performance in a string of perfect Neshek relief appearances. But with just five pitches under his belt, Mackanin told Stephen Gross of the Morning Call that he wanted Neshek to go back out for the ninth.

Here’s where things get interesting. Mack told the Morning Call that he asked Neshek to go back out, but Neshek declined. Here’s the quote.

"I asked him to go back out," Mackanin said. "He said he would rather not, he didn't feel like he had it."

Okay, pretty cut-and-dried. OR IS IT?! Because back in the clubhouse once the game was over, Neshek said that Mackanin had never asked him to go back out.

What’s nuts about this, as if this situation wasn’t kind of crazy to begin with, is that this is the second straight day this has happened. On Wednesday, Mack told the press that Neshek wasn’t available due to soreness. But Neshek said that Mackanin had given him the day off when he got to the clubhouse.

I want to give everybody the benefit of the doubt here. After Wednesday’s non-agreement, I thought it was possible that one or the other was misunderstood. Though I’m not sure how Pete got “I’m sore, I can’t pitch” and Neshek got “You’ve got the day off” from presumably the same exchange. But I wasn’t there, it could happen!

Thursday’s miscommunication, though, makes me pretty sure someone is lying. This isn’t a matter of what words Mackanin chose, he either approached Neshek or he didn’t. Neshek is essentially saying that Mackanin made up an entire exchange between the two of them.

That Mackanin is lying here seems pretty unlikely, especially since it’s his job to not just win games, but add and remove pitchers from the game. He could be trying to cover his ass, but considering how shitty the team has been lately, this seems like a ridiculous thing to cover his ass over.

The more likely scenario? Neshek wants off of the Phillies. Infuriating the coaching staff and front office is a great way to make sure the team doesn’t keep you for rebuilding purposes. Neshek is definitely infuriating them by obliquely accusing the manager of lying.