Phillies

Instant Replay: Marlins 9, Phillies 8

Instant Replay: Marlins 9, Phillies 8

BOX SCORE

The Phillies could not hold a five-run lead in the middle innings and lost Thursday's series finale, 9-8, to the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

The Marlins tied the game with three runs in the sixth — all the runs came on a pair of homers — and took the lead in the top of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto also tied the game with an inside-the-park homer in the sixth.

Rhys Hoskins homered again for the Phillies, his eighth in an 11-game span.

The Marlins took three of four in the series.

The two teams combined for 21 home runs in the series, 11 by the Phillies; 10 by the Marlins.

Starting pitching report
Jake Thompson, called up from Triple A before the start, allowed 11 baserunners on seven hits and four walks over five innings. He gave up five runs. He allowed a pair of home runs.

Former Phillie Vance Worley started for the Marlins. He was tagged for nine hits and eight runs over four innings. He gave up two homers.

Bullpen report
Rookie right-hander Jesen Therrien lost a three-run lead in the sixth inning. He allowed three two-out runs on two homers and a walk. One of the homers was a two-run inside-the-parker.

Luis Garcia took the loss. He gave up a pair of one-out singles and a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Christian Yelich set up the run by alertly going first to third on a hit to center field.

Miami's bullpen — five scoreless innings — was very good.

At the plate
The middle of the order continued to produce for the Phillies. Hoskins clubbed a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the third. Tommy Joseph drove a three-run homer in the third. Nick Williams had a two-run double in the fourth.

Joseph has three homers and six RBIs in his last four games.

Hoskins has 19 RBIs in 15 games.

The Marlins hit four home runs. Giancarlo Stanton slugged his majors-leading 47th. A.J. Ellis had a two-run shot. Yelich had a solo homer with two outs in the sixth. Therrien then walked the next batter to keep the inning alive for Realmuto, who tied the game with a two-run inside-the-park homer. It was the second inside-the-park homer surrendered by the Phillies in the last six games.

In the field
Williams had a tough day in center field. He misplayed two balls in the first inning and that led to a Miami run. Williams broke back on a shallow fly ball and lost a ball at the wall in the sun. Yelich ran on him in the eighth, setting up the go-ahead run.

Transaction
To make room for Thompson on the active roster, the Phillies sent reliever Ricardo Pinto to Triple A. He will likely be back in September. Thompson was optioned to Triple A following the loss.

Up next
The Phillies host the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs for three games beginning on Friday night. The pitching probables:

Friday night — RHP Jerad Eickhoff (3-7, 4.46) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.73)

Saturday night — RHP Ben Lively (1-4, 3.70) vs. RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.52)

Sunday afternoon — The Phillies have not yet named their starting pitcher. Right-hander John Lackey (10-9, 4.90) will start for the Cubs.

Former Phillies pitching coach Rick Kranitz leaves on the high road

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USA Today Images

Former Phillies pitching coach Rick Kranitz leaves on the high road

When the news broke that he had been let go as Phillies pitching coach earlier this week, Rick Kranitz's cell phone started dinging.

And dinging.

And dinging.

From all over the country and Latin America, stunned Phillies pitchers sent well wishes.

"I heard from all of them," Kranitz said Friday from his home in Arizona. "It meant a lot. It was nice to know they were thinking of me.

"That's the thing I'm going to miss the most, the relationships I've built with these guys. The players are the ones who do it but I was always happy to be able to guide them through the good times, the tough times, the emotional times. I've been in the game for 40 years and the relationships have always been what means the most to me."

Kranitz, 60, was pushed aside in favor of Chris Young. Kranitz had been with the Phillies for three seasons, first as bullpen coach, then as assistant pitching coach and finally as head pitching coach in 2018. Teams don't typically let coaches go in mid-November, particularly after saying seven weeks earlier that the entire coaching staff would be returning. In this case, Young, 37, had received interest from other clubs and rather than risk losing him the Phillies promoted him from assistant pitching coach to head pitching coach. Kranitz was told that he was free to seek employment with other organizations, though the Phillies will still pay him through 2019.

The whole thing seems cold, but Kranitz is taking the high road. He's a big boy. He's been around — he'd previously been pitching coach in Miami, Baltimore and Milwaukee — and understands the business of baseball and these days the business of baseball is more new school than old school. That doesn't mean it's better. It's just the way it is for now.

"I was surprised and very disappointed when I first got the news," Kranitz said. "I'd built a lot of good relationships with this group. I believe in every one of these guys and I believe the future is bright for the Phillies. I wanted to see it through."

The news that Kranitz had been let go broke on Wednesday. That night, Aaron Nola finished third in the NL Cy Young voting. For three years, Kranitz had been influential in Nola's development.

"I was so proud of that young man," Kranitz said. "He deserves everything he gets. He's a class individual and the Phillies are lucky to have such a special young pitcher — not just a pitcher but a person. I could not have been prouder. I'm thankful to have gotten the chance to watch him, grateful to be able to see special times."

Kranitz began his pro career as a pitcher in the Brewers' system in 1979. He would like to continue to work and surely some team will benefit from his wisdom. But in the meantime, he intends to spend his unexpected free time focusing on the people who have always been there for him, his wife Kelly and their four children.

"We have four grandkids and one on the way in March," Kranitz said. "So I'll be around for the birth and that makes me happy. 

"This game has been great to me. The Phillies were great to me. It didn't end great but my experience with the city and the people in that organization was great. Now it's time to shift my focus to my family and give back to them."

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What would spending 'stupid' money look like for Phillies this offseason?

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What would spending 'stupid' money look like for Phillies this offseason?

Phillies owner John Middleton recently reiterated what he's been saying for years: The Phillies will spend aggressively this offseason.

This time, he was a bit more colorful about it.

"We're going into this expecting to spend money," Middleton told USA Today at the owners meetings this week. "And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.

"We just prefer not to be completely stupid."

#LetsGetStupid

You know the usual suspects: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. But the Phillies' needs go beyond offense and there is a top-tier left-hander on the market who could boost this rotation (see story).

Harper turned down a $300 million offer from the Nationals, so it's safe to assume he's expecting a deal closer to the $350-400 million range, one with an annual value in the neighborhood of $40 million.

It's hard to gauge where Machado's price tag will be and whether his October comments affected his market. Will he get slightly less than Harper because of it? Will he get more than Harper because of the position(s) he plays?

Including guaranteed contracts, projected arbitration figures and the raises due to pre-arbitration players, the Phillies' 2019 payroll is in the vicinity of $110 million right now. But that figure is cut in half in 2020 and next-to-nothing in 2021, when the only two guaranteed deals on the Phillies' books belong to Odubel Herrera and Scott Kingery.

Aaron Nola will have to be paid sometime before 2022, and Rhys Hoskins before 2024, but the Phils still have so much wiggle room. 

Team president Andy MacPhail has been sure to remind Middleton and others that there is baseball to be played beyond 2019. But it's not often a free-agent class has headliners like this. 

The Phils could feasibly afford both Harper and Machado, but things would get extremely tricky down the road when Harper, Machado, Nola and Hoskins are combining to make about $120 million per year between the four of them. Those are the kinds of long-term issues this front office has to consider and will consider.

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