Phillies

Giants 5, Phillies 0: One hit, one stinking hit, in third straight loss

Giants 5, Phillies 0: One hit, one stinking hit, in third straight loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — This was not pretty.

Aaron Nola had a rare off night and the Phillies’ bats had another poor night. The result was an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.

The Phillies had just one hit and three base runners in the game.

Giants’ starter Madison Bumgarner tied Phillies hitters in knots. He did not allow a hit until there was one out in the sixth inning and he finished with seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

Pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez had the Phillies’ only hit, a single.

Bumgarner relied heavily on a four-seam fastball and a cutter, but he was not overpowering. His best fastball was 92 mph and the pitch averaged 90 mph. He struck out just three. He threw 85 pitches and got 21 called strikes.

Mike Yastrzemski led the Giants with a two-run double and a solo homer.

The loss was the Phillies’ third in a row — all on this road trip — and sixth in the last nine games. They had entered the day tied for the second NL wild-card spot, but are now off the pace by a half-game. At 59-56, they have the same record as the New York Mets, who were once dead and buried in the standings but have rallied into contention with 13 wins in the last 14 games. The Phils are going in the opposite direction (see story).

Bad offense

The Phils have scored one run in the last two games and that came on a Bryce Harper homer in the ninth inning Wednesday night after the Phils had already been down, 6-0.

Nola's night

The right-hander entered the game with a 1.91 ERA and 10.71 strikeouts per nine innings in his previous nine starts. Nola was tagged for seven hits and three runs in five innings. He allowed four straight hits, capped by Yastrzemski’s two-run double, and three runs in the third inning. Nola walked two and struck out three.

Not a fan

The Giants’ home park at 24 Willie Mays Plaza is one of the most beautiful in baseball, but Nola is probably not a fan. In three career starts in the place, he is 0-2 with an 8.77 ERA. He has allowed 13 earned runs and 24 hits in 13 1/3 innings.

Sloppy sixth

Catcher Andrew Knapp made a throwing error and Nick Pivetta walked two and threw a wild pitch that resulted in a run.

Tough out

Bumgarner is a very good hitting pitcher. He hit his 18th career homer earlier this season. Bumgarner gave Nola fits in two plate appearances. He finished a nine-pitch at-bat with a single to help fuel a three-run rally in the third inning and he worked a six-pitch walk in the fourth inning.

Kingery's defense

One night after costing the Phils a run with a defensive miscue at third base, Scott Kingery started at second base, his best position, and made two defensive gems, one on a tag play, one on a slow ground ball.

Transaction

The Phillies activated Jay Bruce from the injured list and sent Adam Haseley to Triple A. Manager Gabe Kapler explained why the Phillies subtracted a hot bat.

Up next

Lefty Drew Smyly (2-6, 7.01) opposes Giants right-hander Tyler Beede (3-6, 5.38) on Friday night.

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Phillies' 2020 World Series odds are pretty surprising

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Phillies' 2020 World Series odds are pretty surprising

Most of the baseball world agrees that the Phillies are improved with the additions of No. 2 starter Zack Wheeler, shortstop Didi Gregorius, and the new contingent of manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Bryan Price and hitting coach Joe Dillon.

The question is how much improved?

The Phils won 81 games last season, a year after winning 80. Both years, they totally collapsed in September. Both years, a good number of players were simply playing out the string, though the effort level was more questionable in 2018 than in 2019.

Even though the Phillies were quiet this offseason after their two big signings, and even though the NL East is still a beast, they should still exceed 81 wins. If they don't, there's a serious problem. If they don't, the GM probably won't be here to try to rectify things next offseason.

The over/under win totals are out and the Phillies' number is 85.5 at FanDuel and 84.5 at DraftKings.

I'd go over at 84.5. Think about how many injuries the Phillies suffered last season. Think about the talent gap between Wheeler and every Phillies starting pitcher behind Aaron Nola last season. The impact of Girardi, Price and Dillon won't be all that quantifiable, but it is realistic that this revamped coaching staff can conjure a few more wins out of the 2020 Phillies, whether it's in-game decision-making or better instructions given to young players who underperformed last season.

At DraftKings, the Mets' over/under is a game better than the Phillies' at 85.5. The Braves are at 90.5 and the Nationals 88.5. The Marlins are at 64.5, higher than only one team, the Tigers.

Much more surprising are the Phillies' World Series odds. They have the sixth-shortest odds to win it all. Seriously. They're +1800. Here is the Top 10:

Yankees: 3.5/1
Dodgers: 5/1
Astros: 6/1
Braves: 11/1
Nationals: 14/1
Phillies: 18/1
Mets: 20/1
Twins: 20/1
Red Sox: 22/1
Cubs: 22/1

Apparently, the expectation is that the NL Central will be bringing up the rear in 2020. Really, the only NL Central team that improved was the Reds. The Cardinals lost Marcell Ozuna, the Brewers lost Yasmani Grandal and the Cubs didn't spend money on a single major-league free agent.

Four of the top seven teams being NL East teams just shows you how much of a battle these next seven months will be for the Phils.

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Phillies prospects Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm make Baseball America's Top 100 list

Phillies prospects Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm make Baseball America's Top 100 list

Baseball America’s always interesting Top 100 Prospects list landed this week and the Phillies are represented with two players in the top half.

Starting pitcher Spencer Howard ranks 27th on the list and third baseman Alec Bohm 28th. Both players are projected to open the coming season at Triple A and get to the majors at some point in 2020. Both have been invited to major-league spring training camp, which begins in less than three weeks in Clearwater. See the complete list of Phillies’ in-house non-roster invites here.

Howard, a 23-year-old right-hander, was the Phillies’ second-round draft pick in 2017. We profiled him here.

In its story on the Top 100 prospects, Baseball America offered this take on Howard: Triple-digit fastball, swing-and-miss curveball and the ability to work the edges of the strike zone, Howard flashes front-end potential.

Bohm, 23, was the third overall pick in the 2018 draft. He hit .305 with 21 homers, 80 RBIs and a .896 OPS at three levels, including Double A in 2019. We profiled him here.

Baseball America offered this take on Bohm: Even with questions about whether he’ll have to move to first base, Bohm has the feel to hit and plus power to hit in the middle of the Phillies’ order, and soon.

Shortstop Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays was ranked No. 1 on Baseball America’s list for the second year in a row. The Rays placed eight players on the list. Because of a loaded farm system, the Rays were unable to protect left-hander Cristopher Sanchez on their 40-man roster and the Phillies traded for him in November. Read about Sanchez here.

The Los Angeles Dodgers placed seven players on the list and the Minnesota Twins and San Diego Padres had six each.

The Miami Marlins led National League East teams with five players in the Top 100, including former Phillies pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, who was traded for J.T. Realmuto a year ago. Sanchez ranks 16th on the list and is projected to arrive in the majors sometime in 2020.

The Atlanta Braves placed four players on the list and the Washington Nationals and New York Mets joined the Phillies with two players.

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