Phillies can't overcome sloppy play in rain-soaked loss to Cardinals

Phillies can't overcome sloppy play in rain-soaked loss to Cardinals


ST. LOUIS — This was a game best forgotten.


The Phillies waited out a one-hour, 35-minute rain delay at the outset then played poorly — three errors — in rainy conditions in suffering a 12-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Friday night.

The loss denied the Phils a chance to move into first place in the NL East. They remain a half-game behind Atlanta. The Braves lost to the Marlins on Friday night.

The Phillies were out-hit, 15-7, by the Cardinals. Pedro Florimon, who started the game at shortstop, finished up on the mound for the Phillies. After pitching a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Florimon homered in the top of the ninth. It was his second homer in as many nights after not hitting one in the majors since September 2013 (see story).

The game did not end until 12:16 a.m. local time. The Phils have little time to brush off the loss. They play the Cardinals again Saturday at 1:15 p.m. local time.

Jake Arrieta lasted just three innings, a season low, and gave up four runs as the Phillies’ run of excellent starting pitching came to an end. Coming into the game, Phillies starters had given up just eight runs in 62 1/3 innings over the previous 10 games.

The Phillies have lost just three times in the last 11 games and all three defeats have come in Arrieta starts. He pitched well in the previous two only to see leads disappear in the ninth inning. This time, however, Arrieta was not all that sharp. The Cardinals batted around on him and scored four runs in the third inning. Two of the runs were unearned.

Arrieta pitched in steady rain in the third inning. The Phillies made an error behind him in the inning and he threw a wild pitch. Despite throwing just 64 pitches, Arrieta did not come out for the fourth inning.

Starting catcher Jorge Alfaro left the game with right knee soreness. He appeared to hurt himself chasing down a wild pitch in the fourth inning.

Odubel Herrera improved his on-base streak to 44 straight games with a two-run single in the fifth inning. Those were the only runs that Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha gave up in six innings of work.

• Jerad Eickhoff will make his next minor-league rehab start on Sunday. He will pitch for Triple A Lehigh Valley at Syracuse.

• The game was delayed in the eighth inning when home plate umpire David Rackley had to leave the game for an unspecified medical reason.

• After the game, reliever Yacksel Rios was optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley. Reliever Victor Arano (shoulder) is in St. Louis and could be activated off the disabled list Saturday.

Toronto's 3-month shutdown doesn't bode well for any pro sport

Toronto's 3-month shutdown doesn't bode well for any pro sport

The announcement Tuesday that the city of Toronto has banned all public events through June 30 is not a good sign that games in any North American professional sports league will be back by then.

This is the longest-ranged shutdown any city has enacted, a span of three months. What is more likely: That only Toronto makes this decision, or that by the end of April many cities in the U.S. have followed suit?

In Toronto, this pertains to city-permitted events such as festivals and parades, city-led conferences and cultural programs, and major mass participation events organized by external groups at civic centers and squares, parks and public spaces. It's logical that sporting events could follow.

Previously, we knew that MLB's regular season would begin no earlier than late May or early June. That is an optimistic target date. If the season somehow does begin by June, it will likely be in empty stadiums. This is going to be gradual. It's unrealistic to expect 30,000 fans plus hundreds of stadium workers to be carefree and packed into a venue in just a few months.

"If you have municipalities doing that, to me it's tough to open your doors at a ballpark," Jim Salisbury said on our Phillies Talk podcast Tuesday.

"You think, well, OK, play with no fans, but they need personnel in the ballpark just to get the ballpark open. These clubhouses are big complexes, multi-room complexes. You're gonna have an expanded roster of like 30 players, then you'll have guys on the IL, 10-plus man coaching staffs and video staffs and analytics staffs and athletic training staffs and there's even the guys in there nightly who do the drug testing. 

"Your clubhouse complexes are very populated. There's a lot of people in there, and you don't know where people are going in those 10, 11 hours that they're out of the ballpark. You have umpires and TV personnel. To me, those are still gatherings. I don't even know if you can play with nobody in the ballpark. I don't have any idea how this is gonna play out."

The Phillies were supposed to host the Blue Jays in April and visit them in mid-September. Toronto's NBA and NHL teams are both heavily in the playoff mix. The Raptors are the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference and the Maple Leafs are third in the Atlantic. Playoffs in both leagues end in June; how far could they extend this year?

More on the Phillies

How Philly-New York trash talk led to the Oakland Athletics elephant mascot

How Philly-New York trash talk led to the Oakland Athletics elephant mascot

The Oakland Athletics were slated to visit Philadelphia in mid-June in 2020 which, for the A's, would have been a return to the franchise's original home.

But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has Major League Baseball adjusting its 2020 schedule on the fly, so let's take some time to exploring a particularly quirky connection between Philadelphia and the Athletics' whimsical elephant mascot, Stomper.

You know, this guy:

Stomper dates all the way back to 1902, when professional baseball was still finding its footing, according to a neat little video on a slice of baseball from NBC Sports Bay Area.

It was a different time: Philadelphia had a team called the Athletics, and a man named John McGraw was managing the New York Giants. (Yes, the baseball Giants.)

McGraw, during a press conference, said he didn't think the Athletics' decision to buy up expensive star players' contracts was going to pay off, and said they would be left with "a big white elephant on their hands".

Famed Athletics owner and general manager Connie Mack laughed at McGraw's characterization, and decided to make a white elephant the Athletics' unofficial mascot. Eventually it became official, and before the Athletics and Giants faced off in the 1905 World Series, Mack presented McGraw with a white elephant statuette.

What an unreal Philly zinger.

You can watch the video from NBC Sports Bay Area below:

When the Athletics moved to Kansas City, the elephant disappeared (politics) but after the Athletics moved to Oakland, the team made the decision in the late 1980s to have the elephant make a triumphant - tri-unk-phant? - return.

I'm glad it came back, because now we have a reason to remember a sick 115-year-old burn. Connie Mack forever.