Phillies fall to Yankees and sound like visitors in their own park

Phillies fall to Yankees and sound like visitors in their own park


All the ingredients for a big ol' pot of frustration were there for the Phillies on Monday night.

A kid making his third big-league start dominated them on the mound.

They racked up an ungodly 15 strikeouts.

They had just three hits.

They were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

And on top of it all, they were like visitors in their own ballpark, the hometown fans outnumbered and outshouted by fans of the New York Yankees, who fueled just the second sellout crowd of the season — 44,136 — at Citizens Bank Park.

The Yankees rode a stellar start from rookie Jonathan Loaisiga and timely hits from Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton to a 4-2 victory in their first trip to Philadelphia since the 2009 World Series (see first take).

The frustration of that World Series loss led to team owner John Middleton's famous "I want my bleeping trophy back" comment.

The frustration of Monday night's loss led to Rhys Hoskins, the leader of this young Phillies club, getting into a brief but quite noticeable verbal spat with a fan behind the home dugout.

The incident occurred after Hoskins struck out against reliever David Robertson with runners on second and third in what was then a two-run game in the bottom of the sixth. Hoskins got back to the top step of the dugout, heard something from a fan and shot back. He then put his helmet down and returned to the top step of the dugout and suggested that the fan go up to the plate and hit. Eventually, Hoskins told the fan to "Go home."

After the game, Hoskins waited at his locker for reporters. He called his actions a mistake and owned up to them.

"I'll start by saying I'm aware of what happened, obviously," he said. "Someone said something in the stands that triggered me. I was pretty frustrated by the at-bat that I just had and compounded with the mistake. I got caught up in the moment. It shouldn't happen. It can't happen. But it did. And that's how it goes.

"I couldn't even tell you (what was said). Obviously, there's a lot going on. Big game. Big situation in the game. It's late in the game. Don't even remember. Can't even tell you what he looks like."

The pitch that Hoskins struck out on eluded catcher Austin Romine, but Hoskins did not immediately run to first base. Hoskins said he did not notice that the ball got away from Romine.

"I'm not deliberately not running," he said. "I don't believe that's the kind of player that I am. That was not deliberate at all."

Hoskins showed character taking the issue head-on.

"I think it's a necessary thing," the 25-year-old slugger said. "In today's world, I know that everything gets caught. I just kind of assumed that it was. I was in the wrong. I think it's right to address it, move on from it, and it won't be a distraction."

Manager Gabe Kapler spoke to Hoskins and was ready to move on.

"I think he was a little bit frustrated in that moment and Rhys always says and does the right thing," Kapler said. "He's always standing up for his teammates. He's imperfect. He gets frustrated just like anybody else. We talked about it. It's behind us."

The loss, too, is behind the Phillies, but looming Tuesday night is Yankees ace Luis Severino. He is one of the best young pitchers in the game and is 11-2 with a 2.24 ERA.

Loaisiga was brilliant Monday night. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out eight.

"The guy has good stuff," Hoskins said. "Obviously, he's 95 to 97 (mph) with a pretty good breaking ball. When a guy with that kind of stuff is putting it where he wants to, you're not going to get many pitches to hit. It's pretty hard to hit when they're doing that. I think he located pretty well with both pitches. With the wipeout breaking ball, he was getting swings and misses."

Phillies starter Vince Velasquez paid the price for a second-inning walk and wild pitch when Torres doubled to right despite being fooled by on a 2-2 slider. Three innings later, Velasquez gave up a bullet of a homer to Judge. It came off the bat at 110.9 mph and rocketed over the left-field wall about 20 feet above the ground. The Yankees salted it away with two in the eighth against struggling Adam Morgan.

Phillies fans were loud. Yankees fans were louder.

"It was fun," Hoskins said. "Good atmosphere. We as players dream of that. Obviously, we'd like it to be swayed more our way. But that's the Yankees. The Yankees travel. They always do. They always will. No matter where they are. I've never been in a playoff baseball game but I imagine that's pretty close to what it feels like."

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Gabe Kapler recalls the challenge of his final days in Philadelphia

Gabe Kapler recalls the challenge of his final days in Philadelphia

SAN DIEGO — The beginning wasn’t easy for Gabe Kapler in Philadelphia and neither was the end. He was booed before managing his first game in Citizens Bank Park in 2018. Eighteen months later, he twisted in the wind for 10 days as Phillies ownership pondered whether to bring him back for the 2020 season or let him go.

Eventually, Kapler was fired but he wasn’t out of work long as the San Francisco Giants hired him to manage their club in November.

At the winter meetings Tuesday, Kapler recalled waiting for John Middleton’s verdict over those uncomfortable final 10 days in Philadelphia.

“Those ten days were challenging because I definitely wanted the opportunity to continue to manage the Phillies,” Kapler said. “I wanted to see the work that we put in, and I wanted to see it through the finish line. In my mind, that finish line was still in the future and in the distance, and I think there's going to be a lot of great things accomplished in Philadelphia next year.

“But it was difficult, and sometimes there's a real silver lining to those situations. I think the Philadelphia Phillies got a great manager in Joe Girardi in place, and I think I have an opportunity to manage a club that I'm incredibly excited about, and the people that I'm working with, I'm really excited about as well. So I think, interestingly, even though it was challenging, those 10 days, it worked out pretty well for the Phillies, and I think it worked out really well for the Giants as well.”

Kapler was asked what he said to Middleton upon learning that he would not return to manage the Phillies.

“The last words were 'thank you for the opportunity,' ” he said.

Kapler was asked how he might have been able to save his job in Philadelphia.

“Probably win more baseball games,” he said.

Kapler’s record in Philadelphia was 161-163. He learned a lot in those two seasons.

“I think the thing that stands out to me is I'm excited about getting every possible strategic advantage as a manager and as part of a coaching staff,” Kapler said. “I think that one of the things that I learned is that sometimes those small strategic advantages come at the expense of some confidence from a player.

“So I think I did a better job in 2019 than I did in 2018 of blending those two things, blending the small strategic advantages with the confidence level of the players, and I think I'm going to do a better job having learned some of those lessons in '18, in 2020, without overcorrecting. I think that's an important part as well. Bringing it back to the middle is important, too, after an overcorrection is made.

“So, specifically, it's just striking the right balance between getting small strategic advantages and confidence levels of players.”

Kapler will be back in Philadelphia with the Giants August 7-10 — unless he sneaks into town earlier for one of his favorite steaks at Suraya.

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Phillies fans, you're gonna love Didi Gregorius based on his Twitter personality

USA Today Images/NBC Sports Philadelphia

Phillies fans, you're gonna love Didi Gregorius based on his Twitter personality

MLB free agency is in full swing and the newest addition to the Phillies, Didi Gregorius, has quite the personality on Twitter.

More specifically, he really enjoys tweeting after his team wins ... especially with emojis.

It almost feels like Groundhog Day scrolling through his feed. And by the looks of things, he rarely forgets.

Take a look:

Of course, these are only a few of the many he has tweeted out. If you have the time though, look at the rest — there are definitely some hidden gems.

Will he continue this tradition with his new club? Will we be able to see tweets from him stating that the bullpen was worth four fire emojis? What emojis will he assign for Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins and the rest of the team?

These are the hard-hitting questions we want answered right after the news of a signing breaks — but we'll just have to wait and see once Spring Training comes to a close in a few months.

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