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

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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.

Jayson Werth always had a hunch his pal Bryce Harper would end up a Phillie

Jayson Werth always had a hunch his pal Bryce Harper would end up a Phillie

CLEARWATER, Fla. — On the one-year anniversary of his decision to join the Phillies, Bryce Harper received a visit from an old friend Friday. 

The visitor did not need directions to the Phillies' clubhouse. Jayson Werth spent four seasons with the Phils and helped the team win the World Series in 2008 before moving on to Washington, where he played with Harper for six seasons.

Werth became a mentor to Harper in Washington and as Harper's service-time clock ticked toward free agency, Werth always believed there was a chance his friend would find his way to Philadelphia.

"I always thought this would be a possible destination for him, even way back when, for a bunch of reasons," Werth said. "Kind of where the team was, the money was right, the owner was right, the town's right.

"But more than anything else," Werth added with widening eyes, "Citizens Bank Park is just an awesome place to hit. We always talked about that.

"I don't want people to think I was pushing him there. As players, you just have those conversations. We talked about every stadium while we were stretching in the outfield, while we were on airplanes. I couldn't even figure out how many hours I spent talking to this kid, so stuff like that comes up."

In his seven seasons with the Nationals from 2011 to 2017, Werth tormented the Phillies by hitting .291 with a .922 OPS, 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 52 games.

Werth's 16 career homers in Citizens Bank Park — he hit one as a member of the Dodgers — are second-most at the park by a visiting hitter. David Wright of the New York Mets hit 22 in the park.

Harper hit .260 with an .882 OPS, 35 homers and 114 RBIs in his first season with the Phillies last year. He had a .939 OPS, 20 homers and 63 RBIs at home.

Werth had a love-hate relationship with Phillies fans. They mostly loved him when he wore the red pinstripes and mostly rode him when he moved on to Washington.

He laughs about it now.

"As bad as they can be, they can also be really good," Werth said. "I took it with a grain of salt. It was kind of fun. I was getting booed off the field and at the same time, I was probably playing my best baseball every game I was there. So it was good. It raises everything."

By now Philadelphia fans are familiar with Harper's fiery, hair-flying style of play.

"I always thought that would be something Philadelphia would love," Werth said.

Werth retired in 2018 so both he and Harper were gone from Washington when the Nationals, after failing to make it past the Division Series four times in seven years, finally won the World Series last fall.

Harper watched the entire World Series on television and was thrilled for his old friends.

Werth actually attended the World Series games in Washington and was in attendance for the Nats' Game 7 clincher in Houston.

He felt he had to be.

"I was looking for closure," he said. "It felt like it closed the book on my career, like mission accomplished, job well done. 

"I signed there when nobody wanted anything to do with that place. Harper was a first-round pick when they were coming off 100-loss seasons. Me, Bryce, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman and a bunch of other guys in 2011 and 2012 kind of turned the franchise around and the fruits of that labor were ripe for the picking last year, finally. So I was elated for those guys and the owners, the front office, (GM) Mike Rizzo, the whole thing."

Werth did not visit the victorious Washington clubhouse after Game 7.

"That wasn't for me," he said. "It was for those guys."

Harper is entering the second season of a 13-year, $330-million contract with the Phillies. The Phillies are banking on him leading the club to a World Series title one of these years.

It's something Harper, a former National League Rookie of the Year and MVP, badly wants.

"He wants to win," Werth said. "He's got everything. There's really not much on the list for him except that.

"He's the type of kid that grew up wanting to be a Hall of Famer. Most kids grow up wanting to be big leaguers. He grew up wanting to be a Hall of Famer. The ring, winning a championship, the parade, all that stuff comes with it. That's not a stretch for me to think those are things he wants."

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Phillies Talk podcast: Opinions on Bryce Harper after a year in Phillies pinstripes

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Phillies Talk podcast: Opinions on Bryce Harper after a year in Phillies pinstripes

Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman got together for a lil' Phillies Talk on the one-year anniversary of the Bryce Harper signing. Aside from their opinions and big-picture takeaways from Harper's first year with the Phillies, the guys discussed Zack Wheeler's imminent debut, Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen.

• Zack Wheeler debuts Saturday — what are we looking for?

• Some Phillies hitters thrilled to not have to face Wheeler anymore.

• Why so much Jean Segura at 3B early in camp?

• Defensive upgrades in the infield.

• Where is Andrew McCutchen? How does the knee look?

• Recalling the buzz in Phillies camp when Harper signed.

• The overlooked aspect of Harper's first season in Philly.

• How many Phillies records can Harper set?

• Honesty from J.T. Realmuto about Phillies pitchers, coaching changes and disrespect from the outside.

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More on the Phillies