Maikel Franco

Phillies-Mets observations: A sweet sendoff for Pete Mackanin in final game as manager

Phillies-Mets observations: A sweet sendoff for Pete Mackanin in final game as manager

BOX SCORE

The Phillies ended their 135th season — and Pete Mackanin's tenure as manager — with an 11-0 win over the New York Mets Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
 
Mackanin, informed Thursday he would not manage the club in 2018, will move into a front-office adviser's role next season. He received a nice ovation from the fans before the game. His final record was 174-238.
 
The Phillies played well under Mackanin down the stretch. They went 37-38 after the All-Star break and 16-13 in September. All of this after the team 29-58 before the All-Star break.
 
For the season, the Phillies went 66-96 and finished third from the bottom in the majors. They will pick third in the draft next year.
 
Final attendance at Citizens Bank Park was 1,905,354, down from 1,915,144 in 2016.
 
• Rookie Nick Williams punctuated the win with a three-run, inside-the-park homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. Williams finished with 12 homers and 55 RBIs in 83 games. He clubbed a liner off the center field wall. It bounced wildly and he sprinted around the bases to the delight of the crowd. He received a curtain call. It was the Phillies' first inside-the-parker since Chase Utley in 2011.
 
• Right-hander Nick Pivetta survived five walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsman on his way to six shutout innings in the 26th and final start of his rookie season. Pivetta's final ERA was 6.02. Despite control problems, he allowed just two runs over 17 innings in his last three starts. That should give him a little confidence as he heads into spring training looking to win a spot in the rotation.
 
• The Phillies scored six runs in an eventful fourth inning that saw Maikel Franco clout a three-run homer and Mets first baseman Dominic Smith make a pair of ugly defensive miscues.
 
• Franco ended up with 24 homers. He has 49 the last two seasons. There was credible buzz that Franco was on the trading block earlier this season, but indications are Phillies management is not ready to give up on his talent. (Surely, they'd be selling low if they did now.) Barring a favorable deal coming their way this winter, the Phillies appear to be leaning toward giving Franco another shot at third base next season. The hope is he puts it together as a hitter and becomes a firm piece of the future or a good trade chip.
 
• J.P Crawford made his sixth start at shortstop since coming up on Sept. 5. It seemed rather telling that Crawford got the nod over Freddy Galvis on the final day of the season. Galvis blossomed into a team leader and continued to play Gold Glove caliber defense this season and probably deserved to start on the final day. But Crawford has long been considered the shortstop of the future and his getting the nod at the position on the final day of the season seemed to indicate that the future will start on opening day 2018. Galvis does not have the on-base skills that the Phillies' front office wants to build a team upon. Crawford does, and he got one more bit of big-league experience before the curtain went down on the season Sunday.

• Galvis had wanted to start all 162 games this season. He came six short but did play in all 162 after entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and stroking a double Sunday. It may have been his last at-bat with the club. The Phillies are likely to shop him for a trade as they look to add some pitching this winter. Galvis became the first Phillie since Ryan Howard in 2008 to play in all 162 games.

• The Phillies out-hit the Mets, 11-2.
 
• Late-season sensation Rhys Hoskins struggled to the finish line. He went 0 for 3 with two walks and three strikeouts Sunday and was just 7 for 52 (.135) with 19 strikeouts and 11 walks since hitting his 18th homer on Sept. 14. Hoskins is set to open the 2018 season at first base.
 
• This wasn't just Mackanin's last game. The members of the coaching staff became free agents after the game. They are free to consult with other clubs. There's also a chance some of them will be back under the new manager. Time will tell.
 
• Next on the docket for the Phillies is a manager search that general manager Matt Klentak has undoubtedly already begun.

Tonight's lineup: J.P. Crawford bats second in penultimate game

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Tonight's lineup: J.P. Crawford bats second in penultimate game

Pete Mackanin won't be writing the lineup in 2018, but many of the same names who have flashed potential in the second half of the season should be in there on opening day.

One of those players is J.P. Crawford, regardless of what position he plays. On Saturday night, Crawford plays shortstop. He also hits second for the second time as a major leaguer. Crawford has struggled recently at the plate and sat Friday. He has only one hit in his last 17 at-bats. 

Maikel Franco, tied with Tommy Joseph for the team lead in homers at 22 after his two-run blast Friday, looks to finish a solid month of September strong. Franco is hitting .280 with four homers and 10 RBIs in September.

Henderson Alvarez starts for the Phillies. In his last start, Alvarez pitched five shutout innings, though the Phillies' bullpen couldn't hold a lead against the Braves. 

Seth Lugo starts for the Mets. His one start this year against the Phillies was way back on Aug. 11, when Rhys Hoskins was still searching for his first major league hit. He threw 5 1/3 innings in that outing, allowing eight hits, four walks and five earned runs.

The Phillies' lineup can be found below:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. J.P. Crawford, SS
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
5. Nick Williams, RF
6. Odubel Herrera, CF
7. Maikel Franco, 3B
8. Jorge Alfaro, C
9. Henderson Alvarez, SP

Phillies-Mets observations: Homers help deliver 6-2 win

Phillies-Mets observations: Homers help deliver 6-2 win

BOX SCORE

Pete Mackanin's farewell weekend began with a 6-2 win over the New York Mets on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

The win left the Phillies at a game under .500 (36-37) since the All-Star break. They went 29-58 before the break. They are 15-12 in the month of September.

This improvement did not save Mackanin's job. He was fired from the manager's position earlier Friday, but will finish out the season and move to a front-office advisory position after the season (see story).

• Rookie Ben Lively got the win in his final start of the season. He gave up two runs, both on solo homers, over six innings. He struck out just one batter, but walked none. The quality start was Lively's 10th in 15 starts this season. He has a knack for pitching around trouble and keeping his team in games. He finished with a 4.26 ERA in 88 2/3 innings in the big leagues and will surely get a long look to be in the rotation in spring training.

• Lively was visibly angry with himself after allowing a first-inning home run to Jose Reyes on an 0-1 fastball, but he got it together and pitched well. The kid's got some toughness to him.

• Maikel Franco, Jorge Alfaro and Cesar Hernandez all homered for the Phillies. Franco's was a two-run shot in the second inning on a 3-1 fastball from Matt Harvey. The pitch tailed right into Franco's happy zone on the inner half of the plate and he did some damage. Alfaro's homer against Hansel Robles in the sixth was a bomb — 423 feet to center.

• Robles also gave up a homer to Hernandez in the sixth inning. He came inside on the next batter, Freddy Galvis, and that prompted home plate umpire Marvin Hudson to issue warnings to both benches. The Phillies have had problems with Robles in the past. Tommy Joseph, who was not in the lineup, stood on the top step of the dugout as warnings were issued. He looked ready to take a run at Robles. Joseph was the Phillies' opening day first baseman but he's been relegated to reserve duty down the stretch and he has a history of concussions — five of them — but he was ready to go if things escalated and that says something about him as a teammate.

• Lively left with a 6-2 lead and the bullpen did the rest. Adam Morgan was first with another scoreless inning. He has given up just two runs in his last 26 innings. He struck out two to raise his total to 32 in his last 26 innings. Luis Garcia and Edubray Ramos followed Morgan with a pair of scoreless frames. Over the last 31 games, the Phillies’ 'pen has given up just 30 runs in 110 1/3 innings. That's an ERA of 2.44. 

• The Phillies have hit 171 homers, their most since 2009 when they slugged a National League-high 224. The Phils have hit 101 homers at home, their most at Citizens Bank Park since they had 108 in 2009.

• Henderson Alvarez (0-1, 3.60) pitches against Mets right-hander Seth Lugo (7-5, 4.72) on Saturday night. Alvarez is auditioning for future employment. He pitched five shutout innings last weekend in Atlanta. The right-hander is coming back from shoulder surgery. It might make sense for the Phillies to try to keep him in the organization on a minor-league contract next season. Pitching depth is always needed. Alvarez, however, will surely seek a big-league deal somewhere.