Phillies

Bullpen woes cost Phillies again as club swept by Rangers

Bullpen woes cost Phillies again as club swept by Rangers

BOX SCORE

ARLINGTON, Tex. — As Phillies players showered, dressed and hurried off for the bus to the airport late Thursday afternoon, Freddy Galvis lingered in front of his locker and stewed in the juices of the team's 15th loss in the last 18 games.

"It sucks, man," Galvis said. "That's the truth. If somebody says it's OK, it's not OK. We're (bleeping) losing a lot of games."

The latest was an 8-4 loss to the Texas Rangers (see Instant Replay). Now, the Rangers are smokin' hot. They've won nine in a row, averaging 6.5 runs and posting a 2.66 ERA over that span. While it's true that they caught the Rangers at a bad time, the Phils didn't exactly play good baseball while getting swept in Texas. They were outscored 22-8 in the series and their starting pitchers went just six, four and 4 2/3 innings, respectively, in the three games. Meanwhile, Rangers starters delivered seven innings in each game.

Thursday's game turned when the Rangers rallied for five runs in the fifth inning to erase a 2-0 deficit. Ryan Rua's three-run homer against a completely ineffective Joely Rodriguez was the game-changing blow. It was the 27th homer surrendered by the Phillies' bullpen this season, the most in baseball.

The Phillies are now 14-24, matching their worst 38-game start since 2000.

Galvis, the team's longest-tenured player, is frustrated.

"When you're losing and losing and losing …" he vented. "We have to play better baseball. We have to be on the same page. We have four months to go and if we don't start playing better, it's going to be a bad season. We have to play better, play together, fight, make pitches, get on base, move runners.

"We're not doing what it takes to win games. I'm tired of losing so many games. If somebody says it's OK, it's not OK.

"You have to know how to win, how to play 162 games. You have to stick together, play together on the field. We have a bunch of good players and a bunch of good coaches but it's just not there right now. We need to show everybody we belong here. We're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. Pitch, run, get on base, move runners. We're not doing that and that's why we're losing, losing and losing."

The Phillies have lost 15 times since winning six in a row and heading to Dodger Stadium on April 28. Thirteen of those losses have come against top competition — the Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals and Rangers. All four of those clubs made the postseason last year — the Cubs won it all — and have October hopes this season.

The rebuilding Phillies did not enter the season with October hopes.

But they were supposed to be better than this.

"We need to step it up," manager Pete Mackanin said. "We're better than what we're going through right now. But we need to execute, play better. I can't make excuses. We have to pitch better and hit better."

Maikel Franco has slumped lately. Mackanin dropped him to seventh in the order Thursday and he responded with some good swings, a hard-hit sacrifice fly to center and a homer to right as he drove in the first two runs.

But Odubel Herrera, another player being counted on for offense, has slumped badly. He went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and is just 3 for 23 through six games on the road trip, dropping him to .242 on the season. His on-base percentage is now .298.

The Phillies are just 3-12 in the month of May. The team ERA in the month is an obscene 5.87. For the season it is 4.92, second worst in baseball.

Nick Pivetta added to that ERA during four starts with the club, but he's a rookie and he's learning. He needs to throw more strikes so he can stay in games longer. He will continue to work on that in Triple A as he was returned to the minors after Thursday's start. The Phillies will likely add a bullpen arm for a couple of days in Pittsburgh before activating starter Aaron Nola on Sunday.

Pivetta took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning Thursday, but a one-out walk cost him a chance to finish the inning and he was lifted with two outs and 107 pitches. The move to go to the lefty Rodriguez made sense because dangerous Nomar Mazara was coming to the plate and he was just 3 for 27 against lefties. But Rodriguez walked Mazara. Then he gave up two run-scoring hits before Rua's killer homer.

Rodriguez ended up being tagged for six hits, two walks and seven runs in just two-thirds of an inning in taking the final loss of this Texas torture.

"He just didn't pitch well," Mackanin understated.

Joe Girardi has been throwing down in the kitchen during time off

Joe Girardi has been throwing down in the kitchen during time off

With no baseball games to manage, Joe Girardi is leaning into one of his biggest hobbies.

"I love to cook so I've kinda broadened what I cook," Girardi told Mike Missanelli late last week. "I've been making this Nutella pizza, the simplest thing to make."

Qué?

"You just buy the dough that's pre-made," the skipper said. "You cook it for about seven, eight minutes at 450 (degrees), then you pull it out and you put the Nutella on it and you put strawberries or bananas, whatever you like, and a little powdered sugar and it's a great dessert. 

"The kids absolutely love it. That has been my new thing."

Kind of like a crepe — there's sweet and there's savory. Depending on how much Nutella you slather on there, you're looking at about 500 to 600 calories for one piece and 60 to 70% of your daily sugar intake. Every calorie matters during such a sedentary period! I am not proud to say I gained six pounds in the first three weeks of the quarantine.

Girardi, like practically everyone else, is making the most of the extra family time he's getting with his 20-year-old daughter Serena, 18-year-old son Dante and 13-year old daughter Lena. 

"I find myself cooking every night," Girardi said. "I think I've picked up from a restaurant one time. I love to cook so it works out and my wife loves to clean up so it works even better."

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The best Philly products we've gotten home delivered during self-quarantine

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The700Level

The best Philly products we've gotten home delivered during self-quarantine

This would have been the weekend many of us visited Citizens Bank Park to get our first fill of spring baseball of the season. There’s nothing quite like strolling Ashburn Alley and smelling the sausages grilling and seeing that bright green grass for the first time in months.

I’m really missing a classic hot dog and cold beer at the ball park. But with the absence of some pleasures, many of us around town have had a little extra cash in our pockets and have been getting some of our favorite things delivered right to our homes.

Here’s a list of some of the best things I and a few of my NBC Sports Philadelphia coworkers have gotten delivered over the past few weeks from some of our favorite Philly spots. All caveats about tipping extremely generously and handling your goods in a responsible manner apply.

1. Rival Bros. coffee — listen, I could have put beer first, but honestly a good cup a coffee in the morning is the start to what kind of day we’re going to have. Rival Bros. happens to be my local coffee shop and they ship which I am incredibly thankful for. ReAnimator and Ultimo are two other great local options.

2. Tired Hands beer (or Forest and Main on Saturdays) — Delicious craft beer delivered to your door. Not everything about being stuck at home is so bad. There are obviously dozens of local craft beer spots around town you can hit up, I just happen to go with these two to start. At the end of these long days, a nice heady pint can do wonders.

3. Fresh meat from Reading Terminal Market — I’m honestly not sure how this works, but my wife ordered some fantastic meat from a service called Mercato where they’ll shop the market for you. You can even get cookies or a nice baguette delivered. Guess who is making short ribs tonight?

4. Cheese from Di Bruno Bros. — Again, you can get a ton of stuff delivered from Di Brunos online shop. Treat yourself to some Piave or aged Gouda this weekend and you’ll be a little happier at home. They’ll even ship pretty far, so you can also send people you’re thinking about a nice gift basket. My parents out in the burbs are going to enjoy a nice cheese plate this weekend.

5. Federal Donuts -- Fresh donuts at your door will not only cheer up anyone you're stuck in a house with but you can eat as many as you like because it's a sin to let a donut go to waste.

6. Philadelphia Distilling -- With PA Wine and Spirits shops closed and their website barely usable, go direct to the distiller who will ship to your home in Pennsylvania for $10. A dirty martini can cheer the wife up pretty quickly. Also good for helping you fall asleep during these stressful times.

7. A new hoodie and sweatpants — Gotta be comfy 24-7 and this is the time for elastic waistbands to truly shine. If you’re looking for a local shop, give Lapstone & Hammer a visit. Ben Simmons rocks it.

Here are some of the best things my NBC Sports Philadelphia coworkers have had delivered:

Anthony’s Coffee and Chocolates -- If you’ve ever walked through the Italian Market and followed your heart, as well as nose, in to the glorious place that is Anthony’s, you know that going into that store physically is a religious experience. They have some of the best chocolate in the city, and luckily they deliver, so I’ve still gotten my fix. The bad part is now being trapped inside with an overwhelming amount of chocolate and no one to eat it but myself. -Erin Dunne

Famous 4th Street Deli -- What's better than corned beef piled highonrye bread slathered in swiss cheese, thousand island, and cole slaw? Nothing. So support local business  and get a Famous 4th St. "super reuben." -Ashley Hall

Termini Bros. -- We placed an order from Termini Brothers Bakery for ourselves and also as a gift to send our family. Zeppole for us and assorted Italian cookies for my family. Everybody is a bit happier when they have Italian pastries. -Amy Fadool

Barcelona Wine Bar -- Without the ability to drink cocktails on their gorgeous Passyunk patio, I have turned to getting their extremely convenient cocktail kits, loaves of fresh baked bread, and cheese selection to go, which you can pair with the half-priced bottles of wine deal they are offering. I sat very close to a house plant while enjoying my “Guns n’ Roses” cocktail kit. -Erin Dunne

Art Supplies -- Like many, I’ve had a bunch of extra time on my hands — and when I get bored — I get crafty. I’ve ordered so much art supplies, a small elementary school could probably be stocked for a month. From new paints and brushes to markers and even 2,000 popsicle sticks. Why do I need 2,000 popsicle sticks? I’m still trying to figure that out … I’ll just say I saw a concept on TikTok and want to attempt to execute it. It’s been fun tapping back into this side of my life, since I’m normally too busy for it. I’m excited to see what I can create next, including some Philly-teams-inspired art. -Brooke Destra