Phillies

Phillies outslug and outlast Braves on long, rainy night to stay in striking distance in wild-card race

Phillies outslug and outlast Braves on long, rainy night to stay in striking distance in wild-card race

BOX SCORE 

The Phillies earned a split with the Braves by outlasting them 9-5 on a rainy night that featured plenty of home runs and pitching changes.

The Phillies homered four times, the Braves homered three times and 12 of the 14 combined runs scored via the homer.

Eleven relievers were used. It was a long, slow September game.

Cesar Hernandez, Jean Segura, Adam Haseley and J.T. Realmuto each homered and drove in two runs. 

Hernandez led off the game with a homer for the 10th time in his career.

Segura hit his 12th of the season, tied for the second-most of his career.

Haseley again went deep to one of the deeper parts of the park. He has five home runs — two to center, two to right-center and one to left-center.

Sean Rodriguez, still getting booed, provided a big insurance run with a one-out RBI double in the ninth inning. Realmuto followed two batters later with his 25th home run to give the Phils a four-run cushion.

Hector Neris recorded four outs for his 26th save. He has allowed one earned run in his last 22⅔ innings.

The win made the Phillies 76-70.

Updated wild-card standings

The Cubs, Brewers and Mets all won Thursday afternoon. The Phillies remain two games behind Chicago and Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot and are tied with the Mets.

More on each team's upcoming schedule here.

Short starts

Both starting pitchers lasted only four innings. The Phillies homered three times off Julio Teheran and the Braves homered twice off Drew Smyly.

There was a ton of loud contact allowed by both pitchers — beyond the homers there were balls crushed foul, squared-up pitches fouled straight back and well-struck balls in play.

Smyly struck out six. He allowed a pair of runs in the first and fourth. One was unearned because of Rhys Hoskins' error catching a throw from Maikel Franco to begin the game.

In 10 starts with the Phillies, Smyly is 3-1 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, respectable numbers for a back-end starting pitcher.

5 important outs

Jared Hughes came into the game in the fifth inning and kept the Braves off-balance with his sinker. Facing the top and middle of Atlanta's order, Hughes pitched 1⅔ hitless innings, walked two and struck out two. He retired all three of Ronald Acuña Jr., Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson, no easy task.

The big right-hander helped the Phillies settle the game down in the middle innings.

Up next

The Phillies have the extremely rare Friday off. Typically, the only time they've ever been off on a Friday is when the season opens on a Thursday and they're off the next day.

After that is a two-game series against the Red Sox, who are all but eliminated from the playoffs. The Red Sox were 10 games back in the wild-card race when their game began Thursday night.

Pitching matchups for the series:

Saturday night at 7:10 — Aaron Nola (12-5, 3.70) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (17-6, 3.73)

Sunday afternoon at 1:10 — LHP Jason Vargas (6-7, 4.31) vs. Rick Porcello (12-12, 5.83)

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

J.T. Realmuto feeling 'blessed' as he heads into arbitration showdown with Phillies

J.T. Realmuto feeling 'blessed' as he heads into arbitration showdown with Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto will participate in Tuesday’s workout before taking a flight to Phoenix for Wednesday’s salary arbitration hearing.

Realmuto is dreading the long flight, not the hearing.

“One way or another, I’m going to be playing baseball in Philly this year,” he said. “I’m going to either be making $10 million or $12 million, and I’ll be happy either way. I’m blessed to get to do what I do for a living for a lot of money so either way, I’m happy.”

Realmuto is actually seeking $12.4 million. The Phillies have filed at $10 million. The arbitration panel will select one figure or the other. There is no middle ground (more details here).

Realmuto, who made $5.9 million last year, is in his third and final year of arbitration and is scheduled to become a free agent after this season. To date, the highest-paid catcher in that class was Matt Wieters, who avoided a hearing with Baltimore and made $8.275 million 2015. Catcher Mike Napoli actually made more — $9.4 million — in a negotiated settlement with the Texas Rangers in 2012, but he was in his fourth year of arbitration because of his Super-Two status with the Anaheim Angels in 2009.

So, no matter how the arbitration panel rules, Realmuto’s 2020 salary will be a record for an arbitration-eligible catcher.

Once Realmuto’s 2020 salary is established, the Phillies will turn their attention to negotiating a long-term contract extension with him. Realmuto is expected to seek in the neighborhood of $23 million per season, matching Joe Mauer’s record salary for a catcher, over a five- or six-year deal. 

The Phillies would like to get a deal done by opening day to avoid any potential distractions. Would Realmuto negotiate during the season?

“We haven’t gotten there yet,” Realmuto said. “I’ll talk with my agent and we’ll communicate with Matt (Klentak, the general manager) and let him know.”

Subscribe and rate Phillies Talk:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

More on the Phillies

Joe Girardi asks Phillies players to give him their hearts — and their trots

Joe Girardi asks Phillies players to give him their hearts — and their trots

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Joe Girardi officially opened his first Phillies spring training camp by telling the players to give him their hearts.

“He knows if he can get our heart, he’ll get our best on the field,” J.T. Realmuto said.

Both Girardi and managing partner John Middleton stressed that the goal was to play deep into October. The Phillies have not been to the postseason since 2011.

Middleton reminded the players of the passion that Philadelphia fans have and urged them to give back to the fans by playing the game hard and respecting it.

Girardi roamed the fields of Carpenter Complex during the workout. He lightened the mood at the end of a base-running drill by asking a group of players, including Jean Segura, to show off their home run trots.

“Just to have some fun,” Girardi said after the workout.

The home-run trot "drill" came with some instructions.

“Make sure you run hard before you know it's out,” he told the players. “The big thing is if you run hard to first, there is a great chance it'll be out by then. Then you don't get caught on first base or caught on second base when you should be a base ahead. Just run hard.”

Phillies pitchers will begin throwing live batting practice during Tuesday’s workout.

Subscribe and rate Phillies Talk:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

More on the Phillies