Phillies-Mets observations: Ben Lively, Phils rack up hits in 9-1 win

Phillies-Mets observations: Ben Lively, Phils rack up hits in 9-1 win


NEW YORK — Nights like this are why Charlie Manuel used to say, "Baseball is a funny game."

Jacob deGrom has spent much of his career beating up on the Phillies. On Tuesday night, the Phillies beat him up in a 9-1 win at Citi Field.

• The kids fueled the victory and offered a glimpse of what the future might look like (see story). Rookie right-hander Ben Lively pitched seven strong innings and drove in four runs with a two-run single and a two-run homer, both against deGrom. Rookie Nick Williams had a three-run double. Rookie Rhys Hoskins was on base four times with a single, double and two walks. And, of course, J.P. Crawford had a hit, scored a run and played flawless at third base in his first big-league game. He also grounded into a double play and struck out twice, but all in all it was a nice debut.

• You will see a lot of Crawford over the final weeks of the season (see story).

• Lively doesn't light up the radar gun, but he commands what he has and has some deception in his delivery. He held the Mets, who scored 11 runs against Phillies pitching on Monday, to four hits and a run over seven innings. The run came in the first inning. He then racked up six scoreless. He got away with three walks and struck out four.

• Lively has turned in a quality start in eight of 11 outings.

• DeGrom was tagged for 10 hits and a career-high nine runs (three were unearned) in 3 2/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career. It was surprising to see deGrom knocked around like that by the Phillies. After all, he struck out the side in the first inning. And he had entered the game with some impressive numbers against the Phils — a 6-0 record with a 2.10 ERA in 10 career starts. He had been 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA (three earned runs in 19 2/3 innings) in three starts against the Phils this season. He had struck out 24 and walked just three in those three games. As Charlie used to say, "Baseball is a funny game."

• Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe it wasn't. On the day Crawford, a legitimate threat to his job, showed up, Freddy Galvis stroked three hits and drew a walk. He entered the game with just a .304 on-base percentage. Getting on base is Crawford's strength. His career on-base mark in the minors was .367.

• Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph, the opening day third baseman and first baseman, respectively, were both on the bench as the Phillies looked at rookies Crawford and Hoskins at those positions. Crawford, a natural shortstop, looked good at the position. He started a nifty 5-4-3 double play to end a Mets' threat in the eighth and get Hoby Milner out of trouble.

• Watch your back, Joe D., Odubel Herrera's hitting streak is at 19 games.

• In 26 games, Hoskins has an on-base percentage of .436.

• The series concludes on Wednesday night with a pair of hard-throwing right-handers — Nick Pivetta (5-9, 6.28) vs. Matt Harvey (4-4, 5.97).

Phillies-Padres postponed, rescheduled as part of doubleheader Sunday

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Phillies-Padres postponed, rescheduled as part of doubleheader Sunday

Saturday night’s Phillies-San Diego Padres game has been postponed because of rain.

The game will be made up Sunday as part of a separate admission doubleheader.

The start of Sunday’s regularly scheduled game (game 50 ticket) will be moved from 1:30 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. Gates will open at 11:05 a.m.

The makeup game (game 49 ticket) will start at 6:05 p.m. According to the team, fans holding tickets for Saturday night's game may use them for Sunday night’s 6:05 p.m. game. Fans unable to attend that game may exchange them for any remaining home game this season.

Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta will be the Phillies’ starting pitchers in Sunday’s doubleheader. Pivetta will start Game 1 and Velasquez will take the mound for Game 2.

The Phillies returned from the All-Star break and posted an 11-5 win over the Padres on Friday night. That game began a stretch of 19 of 29 games against non-contending teams for the Phillies.

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It didn't take long for Freddy Galvis' defense to wow the Padres

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It didn't take long for Freddy Galvis' defense to wow the Padres

It didn't take long for Freddy Galvis to open the eyes of his new teammates.

"I can think of maybe two balls all year long where he did not make a play," Padres manager Andy Green told the San Diego Union-Tribune at the end of June.

"It's the most accurate arm I've ever seen from a shortstop," first baseman Eric Hosmer said in the same piece.

The Phils obviously didn't move on from Galvis because of his defense. They moved on from him because he never reached a higher level with his bat and because they had two young infielders — Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford — they were ready to move forward with.

The Galvis trade was a good one for the Phillies. In exchange for one year of his services, they got a solid young pitcher with upside in Enyel De Los Santos.

It was a move they had to make because Galvis will be a free agent after the season and this gave them the extended look they needed at Kingery and Crawford.

There's no question, though, that the 2018 Phils have missed Galvis' defense. Phillies shortstops have committed 13 errors, seventh most in baseball. Padres shortstops have committed five errors, fewest in the National League and second fewest in the majors.

At the beginning of Galvis' major-league career, his flashy plays stood out but he wasn't as effective with routine plays as Jimmy Rollins was. That changed after Galvis made 17 errors in 2015. In the three seasons since, he's committed just 20 errors combined.

Galvis can make the flashy play, but he also makes almost every single routine play. He knows where to position himself for every hitter, how quickly to release the ball to throw out a speedy runner. 

Over the years, more than a few teammates have commended Galvis' baseball instincts as some of the best they've ever seen. You can't quantify baseball instincts the way you can quantify offensive stats, so there's a portion of fans that will always scoff when Galvis' value is brought up.

"His internal clock, as far when he releases the ball, how much times he has, he just knows all that stuff beforehand," Hosmer told the Union-Tribune. "He's about as fundamentally sound as any infielder I've ever seen."

The Phillies have not gotten the look at Crawford they wanted in 2018. Injuries have limited him to just 34 games, 112 plate appearances and 93 defensive chances at shortstop.

As for Kingery, he should benefit from the everyday playing at shortstop. He's improved defensively as the season has worn on. In a few years, he'll likely be even better with the glove — and, equally important, a more selective hitter.

Galvis has hit .234/.294/.331 this season. Phillies shortstops have hit .238/.286/.352 and played worse defense. 

If this ends up being the worst offensive year of Kingery's career, then his worst numbers would fall in line with Galvis' career averages (.244/.288/.367).

It will be interesting to see where Galvis ends up this offseason. A team with a powerful and deep lineup — the Brewers, the Diamondbacks — can win with Galvis and effectively hide him in the 8-spot. If the Phillies had better offenses all those years, the weak aspects of his game wouldn't have been as pronounced.

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