Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Phillies welcome in San Francisco for three games

Embed from Getty Images
The Giants are sporting a 29-24 road record this year

The San Francisco Giants play the Phillies tonight at home for the first of three games between the two teams. With the way the schedule works now, the Phillies don't see the Giants as often as they use to many years ago. The Phils face the Giants at home now, then starting Aug. 8th for 4 games at AT&T Park in San Fran.

Embed from Getty Images
Buster Posey is the leader on this SF Giants team

What have the Giants been up to? I don't really watch as many West coast games as I use to, but the Giants are very much like the Phillies this season, they are 2 games over .500 and in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. The Giants are 2.5 GB in the Wild Card race that has plenty of time to go. The Giants have been surging though, in the last 30 games, the Giants are 21-9 while the Phillies are 16-14.

Last year the Phils won the season series 4-3 with the Giants.

Here's the Giants this year, and what they have done:

Team Batting
Rk Pos Name Age PA AB R H 2B HR RBI BA OBP
1CBuster Posey32292265327020529.264.329
21BBrandon Belt*314113445580171136.233.350
32BJoe Panik*28374332337716327.232.306
4SSBrandon Crawford*32378338407919944.234.307
53BEvan Longoria (10-day IL)333112783867141339.241.318
6LFAlex Dickerson*299787223410623.391.454
7CFKevin Pillar304083875095251254.245.275
8RFSteven Duggar* (40-man)25267248255811428.234.277
Rk Pos Name Age PA AB R H 2B HR RBI BA OBP
93BPablo Sandoval#322632413964201338.266.310
10OFMike Yastrzemski*28200182335011931.275.322
11CStephen Vogt*34153134183717419.276.353
12UTTyler Austin2714412724232820.181.278
13MIDonovan Solano3113512515429216.336.370
14OFGerardo Parra*329786817316.198.278
15UTYangervis Solarte#317873915517.205.247
16RFAustin Slater2666577155313.263.364
17LFMac Williamson28575136117.118.211
18CErik Kratz39363214213.125.222
19CAramis Garcia (40-man)26171633023.188.235
20LFMike Gerber* (40-man)26161501100.067.125
21LFConnor Joe26161511000.067.125
223BZach Green25131112101.182.308
23OFMichael Reed268800000.000.000
24Aaron Altherr281100000.000.000
Rk Pos Name Age PA AB R H 2B HR RBI BA OBP
25PMadison Bumgarner29504425013.114.188
26PJeff Samardzija34353113101.097.097
27PTyler Beede26282324001.174.269
28PShaun Anderson24242102100.095.136
29PDereck Rodriguez (40-man)27191914000.211.211
30PDrew Pomeranz30181700000.000.000
31PDerek Holland#32131201000.083.083
32PNick Vincent (DFA)323300000.000.000
33PAndrew Suarez* (40-man)263300000.000.000
34PConner Menez* (40-man)242200000.000.000
35PTy Blach (DFA)281100000.000.000
36PTravis Bergen* (60-day IL)250000000
37PMark Melancon340000000
38PSam Coonrod260000000
39PTony Watson*340000000
40PTrevor Gott260000000
41PReyes Moronta260000000
42PSam Dyson310000000
43PPat Venditte*340000000
44PWill Smith290000000
45PRay Black (40-man)290000000
46PWilliams Jerez* (40-man)270000000
Team Totals30.240343629463859211109449.237.303
Rank in 15 NL teams814143141514
Non-Pitcher Totals30.338383453457840209108444.243.310
Pitcher Totals28.7196176619215.108.147
Rk Pos Name Age PA AB R H 2B HR RBI BA OBP
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/30/2019.

So the Phillies have to keep themselves focused more than ever to keep winning, keep pace with the Wild Card race or better if the Braves start to stumble.

Tonight, it's Beede vs. Smyly at Citizens Bank Park.

So the Phils went out and got Jason Vargas from the Mets, that's not the worst thing to happen, but I am expecting some more. This isn't the kind of bold move the Phillies need to make, we need a bit more than this. There is still time.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Phils management sits by sidelines as deadline clock ticks

Embed from Getty Images
Smiles again in the Phillies dugout yesterday

Of all teams to make a deadline move yesterday, it was a team that really isn't in contention for anything that made one, the New York Mets. The Mets went out and got a pitcher giving up 2 Top 10 pitching prospects for pitcher Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. Maybe someone should tell Mets GM, Brodie Van Wagenen that he's only supposed to make a move like this if his team is going somewhere, but so far, that's a good move as the Phillies management is scratching their heads on what to do at the trade deadline.

What will the Phillies management do? We saw the team salvage one game against the Braves on Sunday afternoon, with the team finally able to corral the Braves and end up so far with a 6-6 record on the season against the Atlanta Braves.

So far we've had no clues on what Phils management is looking for, or what they think the Phillies need. After not hearing much from the Phillies team president in a while, Andy MacPhail did give an interview a few days ago but really it didn't sound like he knew what was happening with this team. In fact, it was revealed that the Phillies organization secretly extended the deals of Klentak and MacPhail without making the news public.

Here's a replay of the interview:

MacPhail said the Phillies aren't close to being in the World Series, so the top search for a great piece to add to this team probably won't be coming. Talk about a pep talk, the last time I checked this season isn't over, that's about the dumbest comment I've heard ever from a Phillies team president. It's almost like he is justifying all of the things that didn't make the Phils a winning ballclub under his leadership, and he says that his goal was just to make the playoffs after his 4th year, and 'if we don't, we don't" - that doesn't sound like someone that the Phillies should have exteneded. There was a reason why MacPhail quit the baseball world a few years ago, now he's just collecting a paycheck for him and his former Orioles employee Matt Klentak.

The fact that the Phillies organization secretly extended both MacPhail and Klentak shows you a little something about this organization, it has changed. It's not the way it used to be, this should have been known about when it happened back in March but it was just discovered a week ago by the media. It's sneaky and it's almost like the organization wasn't proud of what it was doing. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Life's a beach - Phils take second whipping from Braves

Embed from Getty Images
The Braves have out hustled the Phillies in this series, and have gotten hits when they needed it

All hands on deck, the Phillies ship is starting to sink fast in the NL East, with another whipping last night by the Braves, the Phils are now back to 7.5 GB in the standings, and they are 4 games above .500 now with the 2 losses in a row at the hands of the Braves.

Embed from Getty Images
Eflin has to be blamed for the past 6 starts, giving up a total of 36 ER combined

What can be done? It seemed like Eflin had a nightmare of an inning last night, it wasn't all his fault, the Phillies had a meltdown in the infield that led to runs behind an error from Segura and another play that could have been an error by Rhys Hoskins. The Phillies should have been out of the inning in the 3rd if the play was made by Segura, it was a manageable 5-1 at that point. Eflin was throwing poorly as well, he was throwing the ball right down the plate. I'm rewatching the 3rd inning by the Braves as I write this blog post.

Embed from Getty Images
Realmuto has cooled off and the Phils don't seem to have an offensive leader

The Phillies were out hustled again, and some key hits by the Braves were the key to a victory last night. The Braves built up a big lead, and I was happy to see that Phillies manager, Gabe Kapler, didn't start putting a position player into the pitcher's spot. Had he done that, he should have earned a ticket out of Philly. We've seen that enough already, it's worn out it's welcome.

The 3rd inning was one of the nightmare innings that you never want to see when it's against the Phillies, a whopping 7 runs were scored. Did Gabe Kapler leave Zach Eflin in a little too long? Yes, I think so in my opinion. Eflin has given up 31 ER in his last 6 starts combined, he's either earned a trip back to AAA or a trip out of Philly forever.

Again, the Phils can shake the dust off and get back on the field and try to salvage something. It's what they have to keep on doing. As of right now the Phillies, as bad as all the last two games look, are still in a Wild Card race. They are 1.0 GB at this time.

The series continues this afternoon vs. the Braves at 1:05 PM

Gausman vs Nola  

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Phils can't continue winning ways against Braves

Embed from Getty Images
Last night we kept Donaldson under control, Freeman didn't really get loose either, but the Phils still lost 9-2

Call it a lack of spark, a misfired offense, call it whatever you like, but the Phillies reverted back to the 'bad' Phillies against the Braves last night in South Philadelphia. The game was fairly tight at 1-0 Braves till about the 5th inning, when Jake Arrieta was still on the mound, and gave up 5 R (4 ER) on the night with only 4 SO, then Cole Irvin gave up 4 R (2 ER) and the Phillies offense was essentially quiet.

The Phils rallied for only 2 runs in the game, one in the 5th inning and one in the 7th. Again, the Phillies had chances in this game, they were 2-8 with RISP on the night. That's what the Braves were doing well, they would get runners in scoring position and then get a hit and drive them home. That's as simple as what the Phillies seem not to be able to do on the baseball diamond.

It's really a lack of clutch hitting with this Phillies team, there are people on base, but the next batters are not doing their job to be able to move them. Last night Kingery, Realmuto, and Harper were up and combined they left 10 runners on base. They need to be hitting in those situations, but they didn't last night.

Embed from Getty Images
Around the 5th inning is when Jake gets hit, it happened again last night, for his 8th loss of the year

Jake Arrieta gets his 8th loss of the year, if he's injured, the Phils may as well get him ready for next year. The pitching we saw from him in the previous couple games before last night showed improvement but last night, the combination of little offense and then the Braves getting to him showed his not so good side.

Realmuto has cooled off big time on this team, he was sailing along getting timely hits for a few games, but lately hasn't been that great. Harper needs to come through in the clutch a whole lot more that he does. We've seen him up countless times with runners on, and he just doesn't seem to rise to the occasion.

Embed from Getty Images
 We need better from the dynamic duo, what happened to their BA?

You've got the 1-2 punch from Hoskins and Harper, but lately they have not combined very well to be on sync with a better Phillies offense. Earlier in the season it seemed like they would have a great time of getting hits for each other to drive runners home, but that combination of both of them hasn't been all that feared or effective lately. Look at their BA for both, Hoskins is at .263 and Harper is at .256

Series continues tonight with Eflin vs. Fried - last night's attendance: 31,268

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Phils sweep up in Motown, Braves test at home next

Embed from Getty Images
Velasquez picks up a much needed win yesterday for the Phils

Alright, this is what we needed to see from the Phillies, a sweep in Detroit. Ok, the first game was a bit on the tough side. 15 innings in total with a team that is near to last in the standings in the whole MLB, but a win is a win, and even though it was 2-1 in a game that went 4:29 (which included a 38  minute rain delay) - the Phillies will take it.

Embed from Getty Images
The Phils will have to keep a potent offense under wraps this series, Freeman, Markakis, and Acuna Jr. and a player who has hurt the Phils, Josh Donaldson

This weekend at home, the Braves will play the Phillies in yet another series that is very important to them. In fact, it's just going to be the rest of the season is very important now that the Phils are over the 100 games played mark.

The projected model on Baseball-Reference.com had the Phillies at a best case scenario of winning 90 games, and a worst case of only winning 77 games through the rest of the season, check it out, the computer model is always changing depending how the team is doing. I mentioned this on the Phillies Talk Podcast on the latest edition.

The Braves are slipping a bit lately, they were just swept in Kansas City, and now are only 5.5 Games ahead of the Phillies and 4.0 ahead of the Nationals. The curious thing is fan support, the Braves are ranked 12th in fan support, and the Phillies actually have had better fan support so far than the Braves have.

The probables for starting pitching looks like this in the series:

Fri: Arrieta vs. Soroka
Sat: Eflin vs. Fried
Sun: Nola vs. Gausman

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Phillies Talk Podcast: Halladay in the Hall - Phils in Detroit - Trade Deadline Moves?

It's the latest podcast with Rich Baxter and Matt Veasey talking some Phillies baseball. This edition it's Halladay to the Hall, Phils go to Motown, can they beat Detroit? All of this and more, including some trade deadline talk.

It's Matt Veasey from PhilliesNation.com and MattVeasey.com joining me talking about all things Phillies on the longest running independent podcast talking Phillies baseball.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Phils in Motown - still in hunt for Wild Card

Embed from Getty Images
Phils win by slimmest of margins 2-1 yesterday in Pittsburgh

The Phillies squeaked out a win in Pittsburgh, the game was tied up 1-1 until Rhys Hoskins put the Phillies up in the 11th inning with a HR and the Phils were able to close out the Pirates who were 1-9 with RISP in this game.  Very much like the Phillies sometimes, they couldn't get runs across the plate, but the Pirates had plenty of opportunities.

The Phils move onto Motown on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM, the woeful Tigers are 30-65 on the season, if there is ever a time that the Phillies should sweep a series, it should be this one. Of course we know though, that baseball doesn't always work that way, especially the way the Phillies have been playing this season.

Embed from Getty Images
Phils get upgraded in the bullpen with Smyly added and he pitched yesterday

The Phillies have made a few upgrades, finally the bullpen is no longer a AAA pitcher on the Phillies team. It was crazy to stock a bullpen with pitchers that were brought up from the farm for the most part, except for a few pitchers that have been injured for what seems to be more time than they are healthy in the cases of Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter, and David Robertson. The Phils have added Drew Smyly as of yesterday, and Mike Morin on the 20th of July.

With all of the setbacks and miscues, the Phillies are still in the hunt for a wild card playoff spot as of July 22- they are a 1/2 game back in the crowded race at this point. The Phils are 7.5 GB from the Atlanta Braves and one game behind the Nationals who are 6.5 GB behind the Braves.

Embed from Getty Images
Tigers celebration of a win at home plate on Sunday vs. the Blue Jays

It's Inter-League play for a series with the Phillies and the Tigers, the Tigers are coming off of a win against the Blue Jays 4-3 in 10 innings and a walkoff victory.

Nola vs Boyd in Game 1 of the series, click here for the preview

Phillies batters over the years that have more than 1 RBI against the Tigers in a game:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
1Scott Rolen2002-06-07PHIDETW 11-14141015
2Jason Michaels2004-06-17 (1)PHIDETW 6-23131014
3Maikel Franco2019-05-01PHIDETW 7-34121003
4Odubel Herrera2016-05-25PHIDETW 8-54110013
5Jimmy Rollins2007-06-15PHIDETL 8-125230123
6Pat Burrell2002-06-07PHIDETW 11-15220013
7Peter Bourjos2016-05-25PHIDETW 8-54120012
8Aaron Rowand2007-06-16PHIDETW 6-33120012
9Shane Victorino2007-06-15PHIDETL 8-125120012
10Jimmy Rollins2004-06-17 (2)PHIDETL 4-56031002
11Pat Burrell2002-06-09PHIDETW 7-54221102
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/22/2019.