Phillies

Nick Pivetta turns in strong outing before Phillies' offense comes alive late in victory

Nick Pivetta turns in strong outing before Phillies' offense comes alive late in victory

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PHOENIX — The Phillies have gotten good starting pitching all season but lately they’ve taken it to another level.

Nick Pivetta pitched six shutout innings to lead the Phils to a 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. Pivetta scattered five hits, walked one and struck out six to improve to 7-9. It was his second straight strong outing and the Phillies’ NL-leading 59th quality start.

The bullpen got the final nine outs, surviving some sloppy defense and two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Phils’ middle infield turned a big double play behind Victor Arano to get out of the eighth inning. The Phils also turned an important double play behind Luis Garcia to get out of the seventh when it was still a one-run game (see story). Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.

Offensively, the Phils got a solo homer from Nick Williams in the third inning against Zack Greinke, who gave up just that one run in seven innings. The Phils took that 1-0 lead into the eighth inning, when they rallied for four runs, two of which were unearned. Cesar Hernandez bunted and circled the bases for the Phillies’ first run in that inning after the Diamondbacks made two throwing errors. Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run double and Jorge Alfaro an RBI single in that inning. All the runs were charged to Jake Diekman, the former Phillie.

The win improved the Phillies to 64-49. They lead the NL East by 1½ games over Atlanta.

The Phillies, who squandered eight shutout innings from Jake Arrieta in a 3-2 loss in 14 innings to Arizona on Monday night, will look to win the series on Wednesday afternoon.

Pivetta has put together two straight strong starts. Over that span, he has given up just two runs in 12 innings, while registering 13 strikeouts and walking just one.

Phillies starters have been outstanding over the last eight games. They have allowed just nine earned runs in 55 1/3 innings over that span for a 1.46 ERA. The Phils are 6-2 over those eight games. Both of the losses were by one run, in 13 and 14 innings, respectively.

Crawford almost ready
After playing 14 innings and dipping deep into the bullpen on Monday night, the Phillies added pitcher Enyel De Los Santos from Triple A before the game. Outfielder Dylan Cozens was sent back to Triple A and the Phillies played with a three-man bench. The Phils could have a deeper bench by the weekend as infielder J.P. Crawford could be activated any day now. He has been on the disabled list since June 20 with a broken left hand.

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Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

The first of the eight manager jobs open across Major League Baseball to begin this offseason has been filled.

The Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday announced the hiring of Joe Maddon. Maddon's contract is reportedly for three years. A native of West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Maddon has a long history in the Angels organization. Between 1975 and 2006, Maddon played and managed in the team's minor-league system, served as a coach with the Major League club and assumed the role of interim manager.

Maddon has a 1,251-1,068 record as a manager in the major leagues. He led the Tampa Bay Rays to an American League pennant in 2008 and skippered the Chicago Cubs to a World Series in 2016, their first championship since 1908. Maddon will take over an Angels team that finished 72-90 in 2019, led by two-time MVP Mike Trout.

Though Maddon might have appeared to be an attractive name for the Phillies job, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker are the only candidates known for the position at the moment, according to Jim Salisbury. Baker is meeting with Phillies officials Wednesday, and a hire could come quickly, per Salisbury (see story).

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports Showalter was the runner-up for the Angles job.



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It's clear Phillies want an experienced manager — could a hire come quickly?

It's clear Phillies want an experienced manager — could a hire come quickly?

Phillies officials are busy again Wednesday as they look to fill the team’s open manager’s position.

According to sources, club officials are meeting Wednesday with veteran skipper Dusty Baker.

The meeting comes after team officials interviewed Buck Showalter on Monday. It is believed that club officials also met with Joe Girardi on Monday.

At the moment, these are the only known candidates for the Phillies’ job, though more could emerge. 

Between them, Baker, Showalter and Girardi have 53 years of big-league managing experience and they have won a combined seven manager of the year awards and 13 division titles. Girardi led the New York Yankees to the World Series title in 2009. His club beat the Phillies in six games.

At a news conference Friday, the day after the Phillies announced Gabe Kapler’s firing, team officials were not specific when asked what qualities they were looking for in a new manager. But by focusing on Girardi, Showalter and Baker, the Phillies are clearly looking for big-league experience in their next skipper, and a person with knowledge of the Phillies’ thinking confirmed this.

“They want major-league experience,” the person said. 

If the Phillies’ search is limited to just Girardi, Showalter and Baker, the club could conceivably make a quick hire — maybe as soon as next week. Monday is a scheduled off day between the League Championship Series and World Series. Thursday is a scheduled off day between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series. Major League Baseball frowns on significant announcements during the postseason but it could OK a managerial announcement on an off day.

If the World Series goes seven games, it would end on October 30.

It is not clear who the Phillies’ top candidate is. It very well could be Girardi because of his experience working with a front office that values the use of analytics in building a roster and running a game. The Yankees are one of baseball’s analytic powerhouses. Girardi, however, is a former catcher who also relies on feel in running a game. That balance could be attractive to the Phillies.

Girardi has also interviewed for the Chicago Cubs’ manager’s job and is said to be on the list of candidates for the New York Mets’ opening. Showalter and Baker have not been mentioned, at least publicly, for other openings. Showalter has extensive connections to the Phillies’ front office. He worked closely with several high-ranking Phillies officials during their time in Baltimore. Showalter skippered the Orioles from 2010 through 2018. He is very interested in the Phillies' job and, according to sources, has done homework on the team's roster.

Baker has 22 years of big-league managerial experience and is a three-time NL manager of the year. He last managed the Washington Nationals in 2017 and led that club to 97 wins and the NL East title.



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