Nate Barnes

Mistakes again cost Phillies as Pirates sweep series

usa-cole-hamels-phillies-pirates.jpg

Mistakes again cost Phillies as Pirates sweep series

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- Whether in the field or at the plate, the Phillies couldn’t execute certain aspects of the game when they needed to. As a result, they were swept for the second consecutive series.

Jose Tabata grounded to Freddy Galvis with a man on first and two outs in the 11th inning. What should’ve been a routine ground ball to send the game into another inning turned into a disaster for Galvis.

The shortstop threw the ball past Ryan Howard at first base and into the stands, moving runners to second and third.

Josh Harrison came to the plate and promptly knocked in game-winning run for a 1-0 Pirates win in 11 innings (see Instant Replay).

Galvis had no in-depth explanation or reason that he missed his target. He simply didn't make the play.

“I just made a bad throw,” Galvis said.

Playing near the outfield grass, Galvis came in near the infield grass to snap up the grounder and threw off one foot.

“I’m not sure that he had to rush it,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “I know that he was off-balance maybe with his feet. That’s a play that he makes all the time.”

Just not this time.

The Phillies have lost six straight and are baseball’s worst team at 22-42. They’ve now been swept five times in 2015.

Another miscue cost the Phillies a chance at scoring in the ninth.

Ben Revere led off with a single and stole second. After Chase Utley narrowly fouled a ball to left, Revere took off for third on the next pitch.

Revere was safe. Until he wasn’t.

The speedy centerfielder slid into third well before Francisco Cervelli’s throw reached third baseman Jung Ho Kang. But Revere overslid the base, with his left foot coming off enough that Kang’s already-applied tag forced him out.

“Having problems scoring runs, that becomes an enormous play especially when he has it stolen very easily,” Sandberg said. “Then to overslide, that becomes a very big play and the chance for us with Chase Utley up there it’s a prime position for us that was taken away.”

The Phillies couldn’t capitalize on a stellar outing by Cole Hamels, who struck out 12 in seven innings. The left-hander allowed four hits and walked one.

“He pitched good today,” Galvis said. “One mistake cost the game.”

Hamels has been one of few bright spots for the Phillies as they continue to lose at an alarming rate.

“I’m just doing what I do,” Hamels said. “As long as I’m going up there and being accountable that’s all I can do.”

If the Phils mustered one run while he was on the mound Sunday, they would probably be on the other side of the game’s result, according to Sandberg.

“He continues to go out and give us a chance to win, nearly every outing he goes out,” Sandberg said. “Probably every outing he goes out he gives us a chance to win and the times that we’ve gotten a run late or gotten a lead he’s actually turned it up a notch then.

“He probably needed just one run today.”

Instant Replay: Pirates 1, Phillies 0 (11 innings)

usatoday-ryan-howard-phils.jpg

Instant Replay: Pirates 1, Phillies 0 (11 innings)

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- Freddy Galvis threw a routine grounder into the seats behind first base with two outs in the 11th to set up Josh Harrison’s walk-off single as the Phillies lost, 1-0, to the Pirates Sunday afternoon.

The Phillies were swept for the second consecutive series and the fifth time this season and extended their losing streak to six games.

Cole Hamels pitched seven shutout innings but Phillies hitters were unable to provide him with any run support.

Hamels struck out a season-high 12, his first double-digit strikeout performance of the season.

The Phillies had a chance in the ninth when Ben Revere led off with a single and stole second. He was thrown out trying to steal third.

Chase Utley followed with a walk and took second but was stranded when Ryan Howard grounded out.

The Pirates advanced a runner into scoring position in the ninth and 10th innings but failed to score.

Starting pitching report
Hamels struck out 12 in seven shutout innings. Hamels gave up four hits and walked one.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases in the fourth after Hamels hit Corey Hart, but the left-hander retired Jordy Mercer with a groundout to end the inning.

Pittsburgh right-hander A.J. Burnett pitched nine shutout innings. He gave up five hits and walked one.

Bullpen report
Ken Giles gave up a hit but struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning.

Luis Garcia gave up a hit and walked one but struck out two to work a scoreless ninth.

Jonathan Papelbon worked around a one-out double and walk to keep the Pirates off the board in the 10th. Papelbon (1-1) allowed an unearned run in the 11th.

Antonio Bastardo (2-0) gave up a hit but worked a scoreless 11th for the Pirates to earn the victory.

At the plate
Jeff Francoeur collected two hits and was the only Phillie to advance past first base with his double in the first inning.

Revere went 2 for 5 but was caught stealing at third in the ninth.

Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz recorded the other Phillies hits.

Domonic Brown went 0 for 4 with two flyouts and a groundout in his first game with the Phillies this season.

The Phillies were shut out twice and scored three runs in three games and finished the series in Pittsburgh batting .218 (26 for 119).

Up next
The Phillies conclude their eight-game road trip with a two-game set in Baltimore. Jerome Williams (4-7, 3.04 ERA) starts for the Phillies on Monday against Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (2-4, 3.21). The Phillies have not won a game six games into their road trip.

Phillies fail to capitalize in 8th inning, drop 5th straight

usa-jeff-francoeur-phillies-mlb.jpg

Phillies fail to capitalize in 8th inning, drop 5th straight

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH — The Phillies were poised to overtake the Pittsburgh Pirates in the eighth inning Saturday. Pittsburgh took a three-run lead after two innings but the Phillies cut their deficit to two after Ben Revere doubled and scored on Jeff Francoeur’s single to start the eighth.

Chase Utley followed with a single and Ryan Howard walked to load the bases with no outs against left-hander Tony Watson.

But the Phillies didn’t score again, as they fell, 4-3, to the Pirates for their 18th loss in their last 22 games and fifth straight defeat (see Instant Replay).

“It really came down to the eighth inning,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “We put ourselves in a good situation to not only tie but possibly win.”

Maikel Franco and Cody Asche each grounded into a fielder’s choice that resulted in runners thrown out at the plate. Freddy Galvis grounded out to end the inning and let the Pirates off the hook.

“It’s a situation where young players were up there and it’s something that they’ll experience and grow from,” Sandberg said. “But really the game came down to that.”

Franco, who’s played in only 42 games and is 22 years old, showed his youth when he grounded the first pitch he saw from Watson to third base. Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison fielded it and threw home for the force out.

“I was trying to see a good pitch to hit,” Franco said. “He threw me a changeup down and I hit a groundball.”

Franco was hunting a fastball to put in play from Watson after he saw that Watson walked a batter earlier in the inning on a breaking pitch.

“Once again these are some of the guys that he’s facing for the first time,” Sandberg said. “I think he’ll learn from that going forward but the guy threw him a good changeup on the first pitch and he went fishing for it, maybe thought it was a fastball.”

Franco homered off Reds flamethrowing closer Aroldis Chapman earlier this month and is hitting .425 in June, but Sandberg suspected he was trying to do too much in the situation.

“He’s an aggressive hitter and that’s part of what he does well,” Sandberg said. “It really gives him a chance to hit and drive the ball because of his aggressiveness.”

Moving forward, Sandberg hopes his young third baseman will learn from at-bats of the sort to “think about getting one in not three or four.”

After Franco, Asche took a called strike then tapped back to Watson on the mound. Watson flipped the ball home as Utley tried to score.

Galvis got ahead in the count 3-1, but grounded out to second base and ended the inning with Phillies failing to score after loading the bases with none out.

The massive missed chance followed a night in which the Phillies went 0 for 9 with men in scoring position and stranded 13 men on base in their 13-inning loss. The Phillies wasn’t much better Saturday, going 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranding seven men.

“It’s been a combination of things but sometimes it’s just putting the ball in play to pick up a run,” Sandberg said. “We did that early on in the game to pick up a couple runs, did a nice job there, but could not do it there in the eighth.”