Phillies, Mets to play 2nd MLB Little League Classic Game next August

USA Today Images

Phillies, Mets to play 2nd MLB Little League Classic Game next August

When the Phillies host the Mets on Aug. 19 next summer, the game won't be at Citizens Bank Park. It will take place at 7 p.m. at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa. as the Phils and Mets take part in MLB's second annual Little League Classic game.

Last month, MLB for the first time held a regular-season game (Pirates-Cardinals) at the home of the Little League World Series as a way to give little-leaguers and big-leaguers a chance to meet and build more youth interest.

"The interactions throughout the day between the Major League Players and Little Leaguers was something that those involved will remember forever," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "We are pleased to once again have the opportunity to help create these special memories next August."

Phillies and Mets players will attend the LLWS games earlier in the day.

"It's experiences like the 2018 MLB Little League Classic that create baseball fans for life," Phillies executive vice president David Buck said, "and we are honored to be a part of it."

Phillies take opener in crucial series with NL East rival Braves

Phillies take opener in crucial series with NL East rival Braves


If this is the most important series that the Phillies have played since 2011 — the last time they made the playoffs — then this was their most important win since 2011.

Nick Pivetta pitched brilliantly again, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr both hit home runs and catcher Jorge Alfaro was a defensive standout as the Phillies shut out the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, 3-0, at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night.

The win improved the Phillies to 27-18 and pulled them within a half game of the Braves in the division. The two teams play again on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as the Phillies, who haven’t had a winning season since 2011, look to move into first place in the division.

OK. OK. OK. It’s still May and there are more than four months remaining in the season. There are many miles to go before this team establishes itself as a legitimate postseason threat or not. Nonetheless, this was a pretty nice win for the Phillies in front of 21,284.

Pivetta pitched seven shutout innings, gave up just four hits and a walk and struck out seven.

He got all the run support he needed in the fourth inning when Williams smacked an opposite-field homer to left. Williams started for the third time in four games in right field in place of Altherr. Altherr entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and crushed a two-run homer to left to make it a 3-0 game.

Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless eighth inning, running his scoreless streak to seven appearances and 7 2/3 innings since debuting in the majors earlier this month.

Manager Gabe Kapler went to Hector Neris in a three-run game in the ninth and Neris picked up the save.

Though first baseman Carlos Santana was charged with his third error in as many games, the Phillies did have some defensive standouts. Third baseman Maikel Franco made a big play in the fourth. Leftfielder Rhys Hoskins made a nice diving catch on a sinking liner by Freddie Freeman to open the sixth. An inning later, in a one-run game, Alfaro gunned down Johan Camargo trying to steal second with a howitzer throw and made a nice play in front of the plate on a swinging bunt to get Dansby Swanson at first.

Alfaro ended the game with another defensive gem, gunning down Ender Inciarte on a dribbling bunt up the third-base line.

Pivetta is on a terrific roll. Featuring a power fastball and sharp slider, he has won three straight starts. He has pitched 19 innings of one-run ball over that span. He has given up 10 hits, walked two and struck out 25. Pretty impressive.

The Phillies had eight hits. Cesar Hernandez walked and singled. He has reached base safely in 25 straight games.

Another injury, more missed time for prospect Roman Quinn

USA Today Images

Another injury, more missed time for prospect Roman Quinn

Oft-injured Phillies prospect Roman Quinn is on the shelf again. The team announced Monday night that Quinn had surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn ligament in his right middle finger. Quinn will be out six to eight weeks, the team said.

Quinn, who turned 25 last week, has long been one of the Phillies’ most exciting prospects, mostly for the electricity he generates on the bases and in the outfield. His career, however, has been marked by one injury after another. The team’s second-round draft pick in 2011 has missed time over the years with a torn Achilles tendon, a torn left quadriceps, a concussion and a strained elbow ligament.

Quinn suffered his latest injury diving into a base last week while playing for Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Quinn has been a standout in big-league spring training for the Phillies. The team considered carrying him as an extra man on the opening day roster this season, but sent him back to Triple A to play every day. Quinn spent some time in the majors in September 2016. He had 15 hits in 57 at-bats (.263) and recorded a .373 on-base percentage. In one memorable play, Quinn threw out a runner at home plate from center field. The throw registered 96 mph to the plate on MLB’s Statcast. That’s some serious heat. Now, Quinn is on ice again.