Phillies

Manny Machado trade update: Dodgers now seem to have edge over Phillies

Manny Machado trade update: Dodgers now seem to have edge over Phillies

Losing out to Los Angeles on two superstars in two months will be tough for Philly fans to take, but momentum now appears to be on the Dodgers' side in acquiring Manny Machado.

Barring a last-minute change, the Orioles are expected to trade Machado to the Dodgers on Wednesday, according to a report Tuesday by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.

As our Jim Salisbury has reported, the Phillies have been awaiting an answer from the Orioles. They've been aggressive in pursuing Machado, but the Dodgers just have a prospect group that is perceived to be better.

Fancred's Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that Dodgers top prospect Yusniel Diaz, an outfielder, is part of their offer for Machado. Diaz was ranked by Baseball America as the 51st-best prospect in the game. He was a $15.5 million international free-agent signee out of Cuba in 2015.

Machado makes every bit as much sense for the Dodgers as he does the Phillies. The Dodgers are in clear win-now mode and their window won't remain open forever. Corey Seager, their superstar shortstop, is out for the season with an elbow injury. After a slow start, L.A. has caught fire and leads the NL West by a half-game over the Diamondbacks, two games over the Rockies and four over the Giants.

Acquiring Machado would be a clear separator for the Dodgers, not only in their division race but in the playoffs. It would make them the NL favorite after a World Series loss a year ago.

Obviously, this could be a ploy by the Orioles to get the Phillies to increase their offer. As Salisbury first reported, the Phils are willing to include No. 2 prospect Adonis Medina.

But the O's are in a position where they need to feel like they've won the trade. They waited way too long to break up their core and face a painful near future because of it. They have a weak farm system that needs to be bolstered in the trade of their best asset, Machado.

And while the Phillies do have depth in terms of talented young pitchers, Baltimore could see a higher ceiling with a player like Diaz. Quantity vs. quality is always a topic when it comes to midseason trades and teams often veer toward the higher-quality package.

This isn't over yet though, folks. These trade talks are extremely fluid and the Phillies have the clear desire to land the trade deadline's biggest fish.

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Cubs 8, Phillies 4: Cubs drop a couple of big bombs on rookie Cole Irvin

Cubs 8, Phillies 4: Cubs drop a couple of big bombs on rookie Cole Irvin

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs, ranked fourth in the majors in runs per game and OPS, showed off their thunderous lineup in laying an 8-4 beating on the Phillies at sold-out Wrigley Field on Wednesday night.

The Phils actually held an early 3-0 lead on Cole Hamels, who faced his old team for the first time. Hamels did not pitch well, but neither did Phillies rookie Cole Irvin. He allowed seven runs on a three-run homer and a grand slam. All eight of the Cubs’ runs came on homers.

The loss was the Phillies’ second in as many nights against the Cubs. The Phils blew a one-run lead in the ninth on Tuesday night and suffered a walk-off loss.

The Phils remain atop the NL East at 28-21.

The keys

• Irvin is a pitcher who needs to locate well and change speeds. He doesn’t have the stuff to survive in the middle of the plate. He was hurt badly by two juicy pitches over the heart of the plate. Anthony Rizzo crushed a grooved, 3-0 fastball that registered just 87.7 mph high off the scoreboard in right field for a game-tying three-run homer in the third inning and Albert Almora clubbed a two-out grand slam in the fourth on a first-pitch changeup that was up and over the heart of the plate.

• Phillies hitters made Hamels throw pitches. He ran his count to 99 and was out of the game after four innings. The Phils got to Hamels for three runs, but they could have done more. They left runners at second and third in the first inning and the bases full in the fourth.

Irvin's night

The rookie lefty showed moments of poise. For instance, after serving up the 437-foot, three-run bomb to Rizzo with no outs in the third, he got three quick outs on his way to retiring seven straight. But the walls caved in in the fifth when he gave up a one-out double and two walks to set the table for Almora.

In all, Irvin gave up seven hits, four for extra bases, in 4 2/3 innings. He’s had two good starts and one poor one. The poor one came in an intimidating environment against an intimidating lineup. It would not be surprising if Phillies officials took that into account and stuck with Irvin for his next turn. If they decide against that, they could reinsert Vince Velasquez into the rotation. He’s pretty much recovered from a sore elbow and ready to go and the Phils face a decision on what to do with him (see story).

Center of attention

Scott Kingery got his second straight start in center field and third in four games since coming off the injured list. He misplayed a routine fly ball in the third and it hurt. The ball dropped in for a single and Rizzo followed with his three-run homer. Kingery, primarily an infielder, has not looked completely comfortable the last two nights in center field.

Harper's night

Bryce Harper had three hits, including a bunt single in the Phils’ two-run third inning. Surprisingly, it was the 11th bunt single of Harper’s career and second this season.

Up next

The four-game series comes to an end Thursday afternoon with a good pitching matchup — Aaron Nola (4-0, 4.47) against Jon Lester (3-2, 2.09). The Phils need a win for a series split.

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Cole Hamels requests a jersey patch that honors David Montgomery

Cole Hamels requests a jersey patch that honors David Montgomery

CHICAGO — When the City of Philadelphia dedicated a Roxborough ball field in David Montgomery’s honor in November, Cole Hamels was there.

Montgomery’s passing earlier this month hit Hamels hard. Montgomery was Phillies club president when the pitcher was drafted by the club in 2002 and the two rode together down Broad Street after the Phils won the World Series in 2008. Hamels, of course, was MVP of that series.

Hamels still does charitable work in Philadelphia. He has credited Montgomery for igniting that charitable spirit in him. 

The Phillies are wearing a patch with the initials DPM on the right sleeve of their game jerseys in honor of Montgomery.

Though Hamels now pitches for the Chicago Cubs and has not worn a Phillies jersey since July 2015 when he was traded to Texas, a piece of him remains with the club and a piece of Montgomery remains in his heart. That’s why Hamels reached out to Greg Casterioto of the Phillies communications department and asked if he could get one of the patches when the Phillies traveled to Chicago. Chris Ware of the Phillies communications department plans to catch up with Hamels before Thursday's series finale and deliver the patch.

Hamels started against the Phillies on Wednesday night. It was the first time he’d ever pitched against his old club and it came in the same ballpark where he last pitched for the Phils. Who could forget that storybook close to Hamels’ time with the Phillies — a no-hitter against the Cubs on July 25, 2015?

It was just one of the memories that Hamels took from Philadelphia. Others, of course, included the 2008 World Series title and his relationship with David Montgomery. Hamels will soon have a tangible memory of that bond.

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