Phillies-Athletics observations: Offense quieted by Daniel Mengden in 2-hit shutout


The Phillies were done in Friday night by an unorthodox pitcher and the Oakland Athletics’ version of Rhys Hoskins. 

Matt Olson hit his 15th homer in 30 games, a 483-foot, two-run blast off Mark Leiter Jr. in the first inning, and Daniel Mengden pitched a two-hitter to lead the A’s to a 4-0 victory at Citizens Bank Park that snapped the Phils’ three-game winning streak. 

While Hoskins was befuddled by Mengden and his funky delivery in an 0-for-3 night with two strikeouts (see story), Olson continued his torrid pace. The rookie sent Leiter’s 90-mph fastball more than halfway up the second deck in right field. It was his 19th homer in 51 games. 

Matt Joyce hit a two-run homer in the second off Leiter (3-6), who then settled down and matched a career high with nine strikeouts in six innings. 

Mengden, who sports an old-school handlebar mustache and even older-looking double-clutch windup, allowed two singles to J.P. Crawford and no walks in his first career complete game. 

• Hoskins, who entered with a major-league record 18 homers in his first 34 games, struggled to time Mengden’s strange delivery. The rookie chased a pitch in the dirt for strike three in the second and fanned looking on three pitches in the fourth. He grounded out sharply to second in the seventh to snap his homer streak at three games. 

• Leiter’s nine strikeouts matched his performance Aug. 5 against Colorado. He allowed four earned runs and walked one in a 103-pitch outing. 

• Mengden (1-1) had never faced any active Phillies player, and it showed. While he has had limited success and was just called up Sept. 5, his style kept the Phillies off-balance. The righty struck out seven and sat down the final 11 batters. 

• Ricardo Pinto worked out of a jam in a scoreless seventh and Kevin Siegrest struck out two in a perfect eighth. Zac Curtis struck out two and walked one in a hitless eighth in his Phillies' debut. 

• Mengden retired the first seven Phillies' hitters until Crawford singled to left. Crawford singled to right in the sixth. Aaron Altherr’s flyout to deep left was the closest the Phillies came to scoring in their first shutout since Aug. 16 at San Diego. 

• Crawford made his second start at shortstop and couldn’t make a backhand play of Mengden’s grounder in the second. Instead of the third out, the ball bounced off Crawford’s glove for Mengden’s first major-league hit. Right after a fan yelled “Freddy Galvis makes that play,” Joyce hit a two-run shot to right to make it 4-0. 

• Andrew Knapp made his first start at catcher since Aug. 3 following a broken hand and had no issues behind the plate. 

• It was the Athletics’ first game here since 2011. The Philadelphia A’s left town after the 1954 season, moving to Kansas City before ending up in Oakland. Playing interleague games this late in the season felt odd on both sides. 

“We obviously have some history here as far as our organization goes and that’s kind of cool, but our interleague [schedule] was kind of broken up,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s two teams that really don’t know a whole lot about each other.”

And the Phillies never did figure out Mengden. 

• The Phillies must go 6-9 the rest of the way to avoid 100 losses. 

• Phillies RHP Ben Lively (3-6, 3.86 ERA) faces RHP Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.48) on Saturday night.