Phillies

Jerad Eickhoff pounded in Phillies loss as Ryan Braun shockingly homers again at CBP

Jerad Eickhoff pounded in Phillies loss as Ryan Braun shockingly homers again at CBP

BOX SCORE

Jerad Eickhoff was taken deep twice in the first three innings and the Phillies couldn't solve Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff in a 6-1 loss Tuesday night.

Five of the first 13 batters of the game for the Phillies drew a walk but they were unable to capitalize with men on base. Woodruff ended up allowing just one hit over six scoreless innings, a Jean Segura infield single in the opening frame.

The Phils' best run-scoring opportunities against Woodruff came in the second and third innings. In the second, Andrew McCutchen grounded out with runners on second and third and two outs. McCutchen has been a table-setter for the Phillies (.363 OBP) but has stranded 67 of the 76 runners on base during his plate appearances.

In the third, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins walked but J.T. Realmuto hit into a double play to end the threat.

The Phils' only run came on a Jean Segura RBI single in the eighth.

The Phillies are 24-17.

Correction for Eickhoff

One of the major reasons Eickhoff entered his fifth start with a 1.50 ERA? He allowed no home runs in his first 30 innings this season. 

Against a powerful Brewers team, the market correction came. Eickhoff served up a three-run home run to Yasmani Grandal on a high, 90 mph fastball in the second inning, then a two-run shot to Ryan Braun on a hanging curve the next inning.

Eickhoff lasted just four innings, allowing five runs and 10 baserunners. 

He is one of the few Phillies who has overperformed through the first six weeks and was due for regression.

Braun's Phillies ownership continues

Braun's home run was his 14th in 36 career games at Citizens Bank Park. No visiting player has done as much damage as him here. In 160 career plate appearances at CBP, Braun has hit .406 with 27 extra-base hits and 43 RBI. His OPS is just a shade under 1.300.

Someone did the typical Wikipedia thing, editing his page to say he is the owner of the Philadelphia Phillies.

A sigh of relief with Harper

Harper made a sliding catch in foul territory in the sixth inning and came up limping. It was a scary moment, but Harper stayed in the game after a visit from Gabe Kapler and trainer Scott Sheridan. Harper must have been pretty convincing because the Phillies were down five runs at the time, the kind of situation when caution is typically exercised.

Two batters later, Harper made another sliding grab in right field and trotted off to a standing ovation. He has made four sliding or diving catches in the Phillies' last three games and has been one of their most impactful defensive players through 41 games.

Up next

Jake Arrieta (4-3, 3.78) opposes lefty Gio Gonzalez, who signed with the Brewers on April 27 and is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts.

What about Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man?

What about Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man?

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man, is working out in Miami as he seeks to restart his career after an 85-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

But can the Phillies, given all that has happened, actually ever put him back on the field again?

“I don't know the answer to that. I really don't,” general manager Matt Klentak said at this week’s annual general managers meetings. “I think the best thing I could say there is, because the landscape has changed, he's going to have to earn whatever he gets. He doesn't walk back in as the opening day center fielder. 

“Right now, he’s on the 40-man roster and under contract so if camp started tomorrow, he would be there. What happens between now and February? I don’t know.”

Herrera, who turns 28 next month, was the Phillies’ starting center fielder for four-plus seasons before his suspension for an incident in May, and he has two years and more than $20 million remaining on his contract. When Major League Baseball and the Players Association forged its joint policy on domestic violence, both sides agreed that a player violating the policy could not have his contract voided. To move on from Herrera, the Phillies would have to eat the remainder of his salary and prove that they were releasing him for purely baseball reasons.

If you listen closely, you can almost hear Klentak building that case.

“I think the most important thing to recognize with Odubel is the situation that he left in the spring when he was suspended and the situation he's coming back to are not the same,” Klentak said. “Because Scott Kingery went out there and played a well-above-average defensive center field for us for spurts last year. Adam Haseley came up from the minor leagues and did a really good job and we still have Roman Quinn, who when healthy is as dynamic as any player in the league. So, whereas Odubel had been the everyday center fielder for a handful of seasons, now all of a sudden there's more of a competition there so the landscape has changed.”

Herrera was an All-Star in 2016 but his performance has declined in subsequent seasons. Dating to August 2018, he has hit just .204 over his last 84 games.

The Phillies still have several months before they have to make a decision on Herrera and with five openings on the 40-man roster, they are not in immediate need of space. It is still possible that Herrera could be traded (with the Phillies eating the bulk of his salary and getting little in return), but other teams will face the same public scrutiny about taking on the player.

Klentak was careful to point out that Herrera “is an option for us.” But given the gravity of the situation and the time that has passed, one has to wonder if he really is. Time will tell.

More on the Phillies

Gabe Kapler faces uphill battle in San Francisco as Giants on defensive from the jump

Gabe Kapler faces uphill battle in San Francisco as Giants on defensive from the jump

If the Phillies fired Gabe Kapler at least in part to appease a fanbase, the Giants seemingly didn’t take appeasing their fanbase into account when hiring him.

Kapler was introduced as the next manager of the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday and if it only took until his first game in Philly to rile up fans, it happened on Day 1 on the job in San Francisco, months before pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

It was an unpopular hire prior to the introductory press conference and sitting in front of the Bay Area media for an hour seemingly raised more questions than it answered.

The Giants President of Baseball Operations, Farhan Zaidi, worked with Kapler during his time in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization when the ugly incident in 2015 took place involving women being beaten in the hotel room of players from the organization. It’s a complicated story which you can read up on if you’re not familiar.

Zaida was on the defensive yesterday from the jump, referring to “the incidents in L.A.” and attempting to justify an unpopular hire for the remainder of the session.

It isn’t until 11 minutes and 20 seconds into the intro video on the Giants website that Kapler actually speaks. There was a lot of attempting to justify the hire.

Both Zaidi and Kapler agree that they both should have done more in those incidents, that they’ve learned and grown from their mistakes. They both wanted to take accountability for their actions.

“One thing I’m pretty good at is making adjustments. When I find out that this is maybe not the most popular hire, I want to find out what those reasons are, and I want to get better at them,” Kapler said, acknowledging he is already facing an uphill battle to win over fans in San Francisco.

Kapler also praised the city of San Francisco for being “diverse” and “accepting.” 

Gabe never entirely won over a challenging fan base in Philadelphia. Will San Francisco be more accepting of their new, unique manager? Only time will tell, but he’s got a big hill to climb from day one.

You can watch the entire press conference below.