Instant Replay: Phillies 10, Braves 3

Instant Replay: Phillies 10, Braves 3


Fill-in starter Jake Thompson pitched five scoreless innings and Aaron Altherr homered twice as the Phillies battered the Atlanta Braves, 10-3, on Friday night.

The Phils hit four homers in all, three in a seven-run fifth inning.

Altherr, who had the first of those homers in the fifth, added another in the eighth. He now has 16 this season.

Thompson (1-0) made his first start of the season when Jeremy Hellickson, the subject of trade speculation, was scratched shortly before the start of the game (see story).

Altherr and Cameron Rupp opened the fifth with back-to-back homers off Braves starter Julio Teheran (7-9). Tommy Joseph added a three-run shot later in the inning, and Altherr launched an opposite-field blast off reliever Jason Hursh in the eighth.

Atlanta’s Kurt Suzuki and Sean Rodriguez slugged solo homers off Phillies reliever Hoby Milner in the seventh.

Starting pitching report
Thompson, recalled Tuesday from Triple A Lehigh Valley, made three relief appearances in the majors earlier this season. On Friday he allowed five hits while striking out five and walking two.

He had runners on in every inning, but showed a sharp slider and changeup; all of his strikeouts came courtesy of one of those pitches. He also had help from his defense.

The Phillies turned a double play after the Braves put runners at the corners with one out in the first, and Altherr, playing left field, threw out Matt Kemp at second in the fourth, when he attempted to stretch a single into a double.

Teheran went 4 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking two. He was nicked for a run in the first when Suzuki, the Braves’ catcher, threw wildly to third on Freddy Galvis’ steal, and responsible for all seven runs in the fifth.

Bullpen report
Milner allowed the homers to Suzuki and Rodriguez in his two innings of work, and the Braves pushed another run across against Adam Morgan in the eighth with the help of Maikel Franco’s error.

Joaquin Benoit retired Ender Inciarte to end that inning, after Atlanta loaded the bases with two down, then pitched a scoreless ninth.

Atlanta reliever Sam Freeman blanked the Phils over 1 1/3 innings, but Hursh surrendered Altherr’s homer.

At the plate
Altherr began the game hitting .290, but manager Pete Mackanin dropped him to the seven-hole in the order because he was 1 for 12 off Teheran.

At the same time, Mackanin said, “He’s not the same hitter he was last year. He’s shorter to the ball.”

Altherr showed that in his fifth-inning at-bat, ripping Teheran’s 2-0 fastball into the upper deck in left, well over 400 feet away. He took Hursh’s 95-mph offering the other way for his second homer.

Rupp followed Altherr’s first homer of the night with his 10th, the fourth time this season the Phils have gone back to back. The last time was July 9 against San Diego, when Altherr and Galvis did so.

Galvis added an RBI triple later in the inning, then continued home on a throwing error by Atlanta second baseman Brandon Phillips.

Joseph’s three-run shot was his 16th homer of the season.

Suzuki hit his 11th homer and Rodriguez his second in the seventh for the Braves. Both of Rodriguez’s homers have come as a pinch hitter. He has four such homers in his career.

Pair of trades
Shortly after the game, the Phillies traded veteran outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick to the Nationals (see story).

And later in the night, Hellickson was sent to the Orioles (see story).

Medical report
Kemp left the game after straining his right hamstring on the fourth-inning play in which he attempted to stretch a single into a double. 

Up next
Phillies RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-7, 4.71) opposes LHP Sean Newcomb (1-5, 4.81) when the series continues Saturday night at 7:05 on NBC10.

Larry Bowa recalls two special seasons with (almost unanimous) Hall of Famer Derek Jeter

Larry Bowa recalls two special seasons with (almost unanimous) Hall of Famer Derek Jeter

Larry Bowa asked a question Tuesday afternoon.

“You think he’ll be unanimous?”

Derek Jeter was a 14-time All-Star and a five-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees. He won a Rookie of the Year award, was a World Series MVP and finished in the top 10 in American League MVP voting eight times. He won five Gold Gloves at shortstop and finished his career with 3,465 hits. Only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Tris Speaker had more.

We’re talking rare air here, folks.

We’re talking icon.

So, six hours before the official Hall of Fame announcement was to come down early Tuesday night, the question that Bowa posed wasn’t whether Jeter would make it through the doors of Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility – that was a slam-dunk, take-it-to-the-bank, lead-pipe cinch – it was would he be just the second player ever to be elected unanimously.

“He should be,” Bowa said.

The answer to Bowa’s question came soon enough.

No, Jeter did not make it into the Hall unanimously, as his great Yankee teammate Mariano Rivera did the year before. But he still received historic support as he sailed into Hardball Heaven on his first try.

Jeter appeared on 396 of the 397 ballots cast by voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Voters are encouraged but not required to make their ballots public. The identity of the one writer who did not vote for Jeter was not immediately known. That person will likely come forward at some point, not that it will matter a whole lot in the final analysis. The 99.7 percent of the vote that Jeter did receive is the highest ever for a position player.

Hard-hitting outfielder Larry Walker, an MVP and three-time National League batting champ, was also elected. He made it by six votes in his 10th and final year on the writers’ ballot.

Former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling missed by 20 votes, but his 70 percent bodes well for future election. He needs to get to 75 percent of the vote in his final two years on the ballot.

Another former Phillie, third baseman Scott Rolen, received 35.3 percent of the vote in his third year on the ballot.

Bowa, the great former Phillies shortstop and manager, played 2,222 games at shortstop, seventh-most all time. Jimmy Rollins played 2,227 games at short, sixth-most all-time. Omar Vizquel ranks first on the list at 2,709 and Jeter is second at 2,674.

Bowa enjoyed an up-close look at Jeter’s greatness during the 2006 and 2007 seasons when he was third-base coach for the Yankees. Jeter still had another seven seasons to go in his career, but even at that point, Bowa knew he was looking at a Hall of Famer.

“He just had an aura about him that said, ‘If you want to be a big-leaguer, watch me,’ “ Bowa recalled. “It was that way in everything he did. He never sulked if he didn’t get any hits.

“In my two years there, I don’t think I ever saw him make a mental mistake. He was always well prepared. He was very coachable and open to advice. He never jogged. He always played the right way. In big situations with the game on the line, he wanted to be at the plate. And he produced.”

Bowa compared Jeter to a couple of players he managed with the Phillies, one a Hall of Famer, one a potential Hall of Famer.

“He reminded me of Jim Thome, the way he handled himself,” Bowa said. “Very humble guys. Both team-first. If it was the eighth inning and a guy led off with a double, you didn’t have to tell Jeter to get the ball to the right side and get him over to third.

“He was a little bit like Chase Utley. You wind him up in April, say good luck and have a good year, and at the end of year he’d have a great season. He could have played without any leader or manager. Incredible work ethic.”

Like any other player, Jeter could have an off day, though not often. Bowa recalled a time in 2007 when the Yankees played an awful game. 

“I think it was a Sunday game,” Bowa said. “It might have been the worst game I’d ever seen the Yankees play.”

The performance left manager Joe Torre quietly seething. He called the team together after the game.

“I’d never seen Joe angry before,” Bowa said. “He usually got with guys one-on-one in his office if he wasn’t happy and no one knew about it. But this time, we played so bad that he felt like he had to get everyone together.”

Torre didn’t go after the 25th man.

He went right for the heart – Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

“He was all over them,” Bowa said. “It was the only time I ever saw Joe get on a guy like that. There was no swearing or anything like that, but he literally pointed them out and told them they were better than that and he expected more.”

The next day, Jeter was getting ready to do some early work with Bowa in the infield. Bowa asked him about what had gone down the day before.

“Jeter was completely accountable,” Bowa said. “He said he deserved it. That really showed me something. Here was a guy putting together a Hall of Fame career and he just got it. He didn’t take it personally.”

And he won’t take not being a unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame personally, either.

Ninety-nine-point-seven percent.

We’re still talking rare air here, folks.

“The guy was just solid, man,” Larry Bowa said. “So professional. Just a pleasure to watch. I’m really happy for him.” 

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Make that 2 buy-low bullpen moves for the Phillies

Make that 2 buy-low bullpen moves for the Phillies

Drew Storen wasn't the only reliever the Phillies added early this week.

The Phils also agreed to a minor-league deal with veteran right-hander Bud Norris, according to Robert Murray.

The Phillies worked out Norris late last season but did not sign him.

Norris last pitched in 2018 with the Cardinals. He was pretty effective, posting a 3.59 ERA in 57⅔ innings with 67 strikeouts. He saved 28 games.

Relievers are so volatile from year to year that it stands to reason one of Storen or Norris will recapture some success in 2020. The Phillies have seen quite clearly over the last two seasons that big relief contracts are a gamble. They paid David Robertson, Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek a combined $57 million and all three dealt with long-term injuries.

The big wild-card in the Phils' bullpen is Seranthony Dominguez, who missed most of last season with arm injuries but could be a much-needed and useful weapon if he can revert to his 2018 form.

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