Phillies

Freddy Galvis beaten out for Gold Glove by Brandon Crawford

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Freddy Galvis beaten out for Gold Glove by Brandon Crawford

For the second straight year, Freddy Galvis lost out to Brandon Crawford for the National League Gold Glove at shortstop. 

Galvis had by far the best defensive season of his career in 2017, making almost all of the routine plays and most of the difficult ones. He committed just seven errors in 637 defensive chances for a .989 fielding percentage.

Last season, Galvis committed eight errors in 625 chances.

By several metrics, Galvis had a better defensive season than Crawford. But Gold Gloves are like Pro Bowls in the NFL — they’re more about reputation and past performance than how you played that season. 

The only three shortstops in Phillies history to win a Gold Glove were Jimmy Rollins, Larry Bowa and Bobby Wine.

Will Galvis be back in 2018?

The Phillies are at a crossroads with him. He played all 162 games for them in 2017 but has an uncertain role moving forward with J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery ready and Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco still in the fold. 

It would be extremely surprising if the Phillies open next season with all five of Crawford, Galvis, Hernandez, Kingery and Franco still in the organization.

Offensively, Galvis hit .255/.309/.382 this past season with 12 homers and 61 RBIs. He hit eight fewer home runs than he did in 2016 but his on-base percentage was 35 points higher. The league average OBP from shortstops last season was .318.

Arrieta exudes leadership, veteran savvy in pacing another Phillies’ win

Arrieta exudes leadership, veteran savvy in pacing another Phillies’ win

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Jake Arrieta prides himself on being a leader to this young Phillies’ pitching staff.

“More than anything, you want to lead by example,” he said. “Part of the mentorship and trying to help these guys progress is exactly that – going out there, having a plan, being prepared and executing. You can talk to guys until you’re blue in the face, but until you can go out there and put up results and show these guys that what you do in between starts really pays dividends, then guys really start to buy in.

“Actions speak louder than words. Any time you can put into motion what you’re trying to emphasize to these guys plays a huge role in their development. I don’t intend to be a preacher, but there’s a lot of things that I regard highly as a starting pitcher and I’m trying to emphasize to these guys and they’re grasping it and running with it.”

Arrieta provided a great example in how to grind when you don’t have your best stuff and how to minimize damage in tight situations in helping lead the Phillies to a 5-3 win over Arizona on Wednesday night (see first take).

Aaron Altherr’s three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning against Zack Greinke was the big blow for the Phillies, but also important was the way Arrieta kept everything together in the top of the fourth inning. A leadoff error, a single and two Arrieta walks pushed an Arizona run home and the bases were still loaded with no outs.

The 32-year-old former NL Cy Young winner heard a few boos – “Who likes a bases-loaded walk?” he said. “I would have booed, too.” – but he responded by getting two ground balls, one a neatly started double play by Maikel Franco, to get out of the inning and limit the damage.

“Tonight was one of those games where a young starting pitcher could give up six or seven runs,” Arrieta said. “That’s just kind of how it goes. Bases loaded no outs. A double in the gap, a walk, things escalate and before you know it you’re out of the game in the fifth. So being able to slow it down, take a deep breath, collect yourself, and then get focused on executing a pitch is really what I try and emphasize to all of these guys and if you’re able to do that more times than not you’ll be able to come out ahead.”

Arrieta battled his way through seven innings for his third straight quality start and the Phillies' 12th in 23 games as a staff. Only one of the three runs he allowed was earned as he pitched over errors by Franco, J.P. Crawford and Andrew Knapp.

“We have to defend the baseball better, everybody knows it,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

Arrieta picked up the defenders and Altherr picked up everybody when he clubbed a 2-1 slider into the shrubs in center field for a three-run homer. Grienke doubled up with his slider. Altherr was looking for it and exploded on it.

Why was he looking for that pitch?

“I’d rather not say,” Altherr said with a laugh. “I’ll keep my thoughts to myself on that one.”

Makes sense. Altherr will see Greinke again someday. In the meantime, the Phils are 15-8 and they will look to take the rubber match of the series on Thursday afternoon.

Phillies overcome 3 errors to take down Diamondbacks

Phillies overcome 3 errors to take down Diamondbacks

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This is what happens when you get good pitching. You keep the game close until one big hit can win it for you.

The Phillies have utilized this recipe a lot in the early stages of this season and they did it again Wednesday night. Jake Arrieta delivered the team’s 12th quality start in 23 games and Aaron Altherr provided the big hit the team needed in a 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park.

Altherr, a Phoenix-area native, smacked a three-run home run against Zack Greinke with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning to rescue the Phils from a one-run deficit and give them a two-run lead.

It was Altherr’s second difference-making hit in three games. His RBI single in the 11th inning lifted the Phils to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Altherr got off to a slow start – he had just three hits in his first 39 at-bats – but he has seven hits and seven RBIs in his last seven games.

The win was the Phillies’ 14th in the last 18 games and it improved them to 15-8. It came against an Arizona club that entered with the second-best record in the majors and against a pitcher who had dominated the Phillies in recent seasons. In 11 previous starts against the Phillies, Greinke was 7-1 with a 2.56 ERA and a .194 opponents batting average.

Arizona is 16-7.

Arrieta went seven innings and pitched over some poor Phillies’ defense. The club made three errors, two of them in the infield (Maikel Franco and J.P. Crawford) to lead off innings. Both of those errors led to runs.

Arrieta held the D-backs to four hits. He walked two and struck out two. He has won each of his last three starts and all have been quality starts – six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs. His ERA in four starts is 1.82.

After Arrieta left, relievers Adam Morgan, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris closed out the Diamondbacks.

The two teams close out the series on Thursday afternoon with Ben Lively opposing right-hander Matt Koch. Arizona won the first game, 8-4, on Tuesday night.

Notes
• General manager Matt Klentak said right-hander Jerad Eickhoff was progressing well in his recovery from a strained lat muscle. “When he comes back to this team, he’s going to be back in the rotation,” Klentak said. “We need to get him stretched out. I think we’re looking at the later part of May. It could be sooner than that. Fortunately, right now we have five guys rolling through the rotation, doing pretty well. We can afford to do the right thing for Jerad and not rush him back.”

Relievers Pat Neshek and Mark Leiter Jr. are due back sometime in May, as well.