Phillies

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Maikel Franco delivers walk-off home run

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Maikel Franco delivers walk-off home run

BOX SCORE

One night after blowing a two-out lead in the ninth inning, Hector Neris struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning of a tie game Sunday afternoon. The Phillies rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning to beat the Washington Nationals, 4-3, at Citizens Bank Park.

The winning run came off the bat of Maikel Franco. He hit a first-pitch homer off lefty Matt Grace with one out.

The Phils ended up salvaging one game in the series. They should have won two. They were one out away from a win Saturday when Neris gave up a two-out single and a two-run homer as Washington rallied for a 4-3 win (see story).

The Phils are still in rough shape at 48-45 and in third place in the NL East.

And the big, bad Dodgers are coming to town.

Arrieta's day

Jake Arrieta was able to give his team five innings of one-run ball and left with a lead, but there are still concerns about how effective he will be long term pitching with a bone spur in his elbow. For instance, Arrieta’s command was not particularly good. He threw 88 pitches in five innings and 37 of them were balls. His velocity also dipped from 93 mph to 91 over the five innings. Arrieta has pitched 4 1/3 and 5 innings in his last two starts. If he can’t go deeper than that into games, it is going to expose the team’s weak middle relief corps.

Bullpen blues

Veterans Jose Alvarez, Adam Morgan and Neris and rookie Ranger Suarez all did a good job out of the bullpen, but rookie J.D. Hammer struggled in the seventh. He walked a pair of hitters with one out and paid a big price as Howie Kendrick and Trea Turner smacked RBI singles to tie the game at 3-3.

Realmuto getting warm

J.T. Realmuto continues to get hot. He improved his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single and a solo homer. He has 16 hits over the 10 games.

Bryce Harper was 0 for 7 with a walk and three strikeouts in the final two games of the series.

Health check

Reliever Tommy Hunter is back on the injured list with the same forearm pain that he experienced in spring training. That ultimately kept him out of action for the first half of the season. Hunter is optimistic of a return, but it will be tough to bank on him.

Edubray Ramos was called up from Triple A.

Up next

It gets no easier for the Phillies. The Dodgers bring the best record in the majors into Philadelphia the next four days. The pitching matchups favor the Dodgers:

Monday night — RHP Zach Eflin (7-8, 3.78) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.09)

Tuesday night — RHP Vince Velasquez (2-5, 4.63) vs. RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 3.46)

Wednesday night — RHP Nick Pivetta (4-4, 5.81) vs. RHP Kenta Maeda (7-6, 3.82)

Thursday afternoon — RHP Aaron Nola (8-2, 3.63) vs. RHP Ross Stripling (4-3, 3.65)

The Dodgers swept the Phillies out west earlier this season.

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Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

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At The Yard podcast: Phillies' manager search could be quick

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At The Yard podcast: Phillies' manager search could be quick

Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss the Phillies' managerial search, which began in earnest Monday, on the latest At The Yard podcast.

• Phillies' busy day Monday in New York with Showalter & Girardi.

• Are inexperienced managers definitely out of the conversation?

• Why the fan preference is definitely Girardi.

• Is Phillies job better than Mets job? Better than Cubs job?

• What to make of Gabe Kapler immediately getting 2 interviews.

• Odubel Herrera's future.

• Phillies' future at 2B

• Why we might see a stop-gap third baseman in 2020.

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More on the Phillies