Phillies

Freddy Galvis hits grand slam as Phillies cap rough trip out West with loss to Padres

Freddy Galvis hits grand slam as Phillies cap rough trip out West with loss to Padres

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres might have the worst record in the National League, but they weren’t the worst team on the field Sunday afternoon.

Not by a long shot.

That distinction belonged to the Phillies, who looked flat for most of the game and played horrendously in a 9-3 loss at Petco Park.

The defeat provided a fitting end to a six-game road trip in which the Phillies lost four times, were shut out twice and scored just 15 runs in total.

They were on their way to being shut out again Sunday before scoring three times in the eighth. The Padres made two errors in the inning.

Freddy Galvis, who spent a dozen years in the Phillies organization before being traded to the Padres in December, came back to haunt his old club with a third-inning grand slam against Jake Arrieta in the loss. Galvis has 10 hits and nine RBIs against his old team in six games this season.

The defeat knocked the Phillies back into a first-place tie in the NL East with victorious Atlanta.

The Phillies lost two of three to a rugged Arizona team in Phoenix then rolled into San Diego looking to do some damage against three rookie starting pitchers.

Didn’t happen.

Jacob Nix pitched six shutout innings and held the Phils to four hits in 2-0 loss to the Padres on Friday night.

The Phillies won Saturday night’s game behind Aaron Nola then came back Sunday and did nothing against lefty Joey Lucchesi, another San Diego rookie. Lucchesi held the Phillies to two hits over six shutouts inning.

Arrieta began the trip with eight shutout innings against Arizona in a game the Phillies kicked away and lost, 3-2, in 14 innings.

He was a different guy in this one. He allowed eight hits, two walks and five runs in five innings.

Arrieta struggled from the get-go, allowing a pair of hits and a run in the first inning. It took a freakish bounce off the backstop and an unusual rundown play for Arrieta to get out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the second inning.

In the third inning, everything went bad for Arrieta. He allowed a pair of hits to lead off the inning, but the second one should not have happened. Eric Hosmer hit a tapper halfway between home plate and the mound. Arrieta could have made a play on the ball — in fact, it was his play — but catcher Jorge Alfaro, who has made similar plays very well this season, converged on the ball at the same time as Arrieta and no one was able to make a play.

After the infield hit by Hosmer, Arrieta retired two batters and walked Austin Hedges on four pitches to load the bases and bring Galvis to the plate. Galvis entered the game hitting .235 so Arrieta likely felt good about his chances facing the Padres’ shortstop.

Galvis, however, has always had sneaky power and he does look to drive the ball. Sometimes that mindset gets him in trouble, but it didn’t this time. He drove a 2-2 sinker over the centerfield wall for the first grand slam of his career. Galvis’ slam was no cheapie. He hit it 406 feet to capitalize on the misplayed ball earlier in the inning.

That wasn’t the only miscue the Phillies made. Rhys Hoskins and Asdrubal Cabrera failed to make plays on balls that were ruled hits and Maikel Franco made a base-running blunder then topped it off with a throwing error that resulted in Travis Jankowski scoring from third base in the seventh. Jankowski walked, stole two bases, giving him four on the day, and scored on the error. It was that kind of day. The Phils made another error to fuel three San Diego runs in the ninth. For the day, the Padres stole six bases.

Things don’t get easier for the Phillies, who are 65-52. They are off on Monday and host Boston, the best team in the majors, in a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, it’s five against the Mets, three against the Nationals, three against the Blue Jays, three more against the Nationals and three against the Cubs.

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Gabe Kapler soaks in the sting of elimination, stores it for motivation next season

Gabe Kapler soaks in the sting of elimination, stores it for motivation next season

ATLANTA — Gabe Kapler knows what the Atlanta Braves were feeling as they streamed euphorically out of the dugout Saturday after clinching the National League East with a 5-3 win over the Phillies. As a player, Kapler was a World Series champion with the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

Nonetheless, Kapler lingered on the top step of the dugout and watched the Braves celebrate for several moments after they had eliminated his Phillies from contention (see story).

“I think it's important to feel the blow of that,” Kapler said. “Because up until a couple of days ago, I felt like we had a chance to be the ones having that moment at our ballpark. And I never came off that position because I always thought it to be possible, and I always believed in the players in that room. I think there's some value in just allowing the sting of that to sink in and acknowledge it and use it as motivation for next season.”

The Braves are NL East champs for the first time since 2013. They went 68-93 in 2016 and 72-90 last year, finishing 25 games out of first place. The Braves considered replacing manager Brian Snitker after last season. They stuck with him and now he is a strong candidate for NL manager of the year.

Kapler’s name was being mentioned as a manager of the year candidate when the Phillies were 15 games over .500 and leading the division by 1½ games on Aug. 5. The Phillies are 15-28 since then. There are eight games remaining in the season and the Phils need to win half of them to have their first winning season since 2011. They went 66-96 last season. 

Beyond saying that Aaron Nola would make his scheduled start Sunday, Kapler was not ready to say how he would approach the final eight games of the season.

“This is a really important moment to reflect back to the beginning of the season and even the offseason,” he said. “Yes, we feel disappointment. But if we had said that we were going to be playing a meaningful game on Sept. 22, I think a lot of people would've said that that's not a reasonable thought. On the flip side, this is ultimately a sting. This hurts. But I'm really proud of the guys in that room for putting us in this position and for fighting to be in Atlanta with kind of the season on the line today.”

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Jake Arrieta, Rhys Hoskins take responsibility in wake of Phillies’ elimination

Jake Arrieta, Rhys Hoskins take responsibility in wake of Phillies’ elimination

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ATLANTA — There were no excuses from two of the biggest names in the Phillies clubhouse.

Jake Arrieta didn’t get the job done Saturday and he said as much.

Rhys Hoskins didn’t get the job done down the stretch and he said as much.

The Phillies have breathed their last in the National League East race. Their long, painful collapse became official in a 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday (see first take). The Braves are NL East champions for the first time since 2013. They trailed the Phillies by 1 ½ game on Aug. 5 then went 27-20 to eliminate the Phillies. The Phils are 15-28 since being 15 games over .500 on Aug. 5.

The slow fade culminated with Arrieta lasting just two innings Saturday. He issued a four-pitch walk to three of the first four batters he faced and gave up four hits and four runs in the shortest start of his career. There was no politicking to try to stay in the game.

“If I did, my case wouldn’t have been very good,” Arrieta said. “I didn’t do my job today. You’ve got to tip your cap. They won the division. They really did.

“This wasn’t something that started today, obviously. Individually, the last month or so I haven’t been very good and we didn’t really take care of our business to get the job done. They did. That’s why we have the result we have.

“Defense, pitching and we didn’t swing the bats well. That’s all phases of the game that we weren’t as good and I think that’s pretty obvious.”

In March, the Phillies signed Arrieta to a three-year, $75 million contract — his $30 million salary this season is the largest ever for a Philadelphia athlete — because they believed his talent and veteran experience would be valuable in snapping a long postseason drought.

The 32-year-old right-hander failed to deliver down the stretch. He has a 6.64 ERA over his last eight starts. In 12 starts after the all-star break, his ERA is 5.09.

“This game is humbling,” Arrieta said. “You don’t always have it figured out and when you feel like you do you get kicked in the teeth. I’m not blaming it on anything other than just not being very good.”

With eight games to go, Hoskins is hitting .247 with 32 homers and 93 RBIs in his first full big-league season. At 25, he is a core building block for the future. But like Arrieta, he expected more from himself down the stretch. He is hitting just .204 with a .729 OPS over his last 44 games. He was hitless in 12 at-bats in the series before an RBI single in the eighth inning Saturday.

“It's disappointing,” Hoskins said in the postgame clubhouse. “You probably see that on a lot of our faces.

“I take a lot of responsibility for it. I wasn't me. That's frustrating and disappointing. But all you can do is learn from it.

“The inconsistency is frustrating. That's what makes good players great. I think it comes as a learned skill. All I can do is take what has happened, albeit disappointing, and learn from it and move forward with it.”

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