PHILS INSIDER

Phillies manhandled by Dodgers, await results of Realmuto’s concussion test

PHILS INSIDER

The Phillies beat the big green blobs on the weather radar, but they couldn't beat the team in gray and blue uniforms on Wednesday night.

And adding injury to the insult of a second loss in as many nights to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Phils may have lost one of their most indispensable players to a possible concussion.

Catcher J.T. Realmuto left the 8-2 loss in the bottom of the first inning after taking two foul balls off his facemask in the top of the inning.

Players who exit games after blows to the head immediately enter MLB-mandated concussion protocol. It's not clear when Realmuto will return to the lineup but losing him for any amount of time will be a blow to the team as it tries to hold on to its share -- yes, share -- of first place in the NL East. 

"He's day-to-day, questionable," manager Joe Girardi said after the game. "We'll have to see how he is tomorrow, just wait and see. He went through testing and we'll wait for results tomorrow from MLB."

Update: Phillies get good news on Realmuto

Realmuto's absence was felt in Wednesday night's loss. The Phils trailed by just a run in the top of the seventh when the Dodgers scored two runs against Kyle Gibson. The right-hander allowed a single, hit a batter and walked another in the inning. But he was also let down by his defense as an error by Alec Bohm, playing first base in place of injured Rhys Hoskins, and a passed ball charged to Andrew Knapp, Realmuto's replacement, allowed two runs to score.

 

Ironically, the Phillies had played some excellent defense earlier in the game with corner outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper making big plays in a close game.

"Defense is really important," Girardi said. "I still believe you win this game with pitching and defense and when you give a team like the Dodgers extra outs, you're asking for a lot of trouble."

While the Phillies have lost two straight to the Dodgers, the Atlanta Braves have won two straight over the Cincinnati Reds. The Phils' two-game lead over the Braves is now gone. The two teams are tied atop the NL East with the New York Mets a game back.

"It's what you go through," Girardi said. "We need to play well."

Offensively, the Phils have just 13 hits in two games against the Dodgers and 12 of them are singles. They have struck out 24 times. Bryce Harper, who came into the series on fire, has cooled. He is 0 for 6 with four strikeouts and two walks in the first two games of the series, which concludes Thursday afternoon.

"We have not swung the bats as well as we had been," said Girardi, alluding to the eight-game winning streak the Phillies carried into the series. "We've been through this before and we've always bounced back. So you look forward to tomorrow and hopefully we get the bats going and win one of these three games with the Dodgers."

A day after losing a cruising Aaron Nola in the fourth inning because of a rainstorm and delay of one hour, 44 minutes, the Phils took no chances with a bad weather forecast. They held Gibson out of his scheduled start and kept him in a holding pattern until the rains came and went. Relievers Connor Brogdon and Hector Neris picked up the first two innings and held the Dodgers scoreless before the skies opened and brought a 53-minute delay.

Gibson finally took the mound to open the top of the third inning of a scoreless game.

He got some help from McCutchen -- he gunned down Will Smith trying to stretch a single into a double -- in getting out of the third unscathed but was tagged for three runs in the fourth inning. 

Gibson opened that frame with a four-pitch walk to Corey Seager then went toe-to-toe with Cody Bellinger for 13 pitches before giving up a two-run homer. 

After Bellinger's homer, Gibson gave up a one-out single to AJ Pollock and a two-out double to the opposing pitcher, David Price, in falling behind 3-0.

The Phils shaved two runs off the Dodgers' lead in the bottom of the fourth as Ronald Torreyes delivered a two-out, two-run single, but Price, who survived the rain delay, got Odubel Herrera to fly out to deep center to end the inning.

 

The Dodgers went to their bullpen in the fifth and that unit delivered five scoreless innings to go with the 5⅔ scoreless innings it provided in Tuesday night's win.

"We couldn't go through what we did (Tuesday) because it would have compromised our bullpen," Girardi said of the decision to hold Gibson back while the weather cleared.

He took no solace in the fact that the strategy worked.

"We didn't win, that's the bottom line," he said.

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