Phillies

Phillies snap 19-inning scoreless streak in win over Padres

Phillies snap 19-inning scoreless streak in win over Padres

BOX SCORE 

SAN DIEGO — The Phillies’ offense awakened from a two-game slumber and joined Aaron Nola in beating the San Diego Padres, 5-1, Saturday night.

The victory improved the Phillies to 65-51. They are a game up on Atlanta for first-place in the NL East. Atlanta lost its game at Milwaukee.

Five games into a six-game trip through the Southwest, the Phillies are 2-3. With a win Sunday, they can go .500 on the trip. A victory would also match last season’s win total of 66 — and there are still 46 games to play.

The Phillies entered Saturday night’s game in the throes of a 19-inning scoring drought. They quickly broke that with a pair of runs against San Diego rookie Walker Lockett in the first inning. Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a walk and scored on a triple by Nick Williams. Two batters later, Asdrubal Cabrera stroked an RBI double and the Phils were on their way.

Maikel Franco (No. 19) homered in the fourth and Hernandez (No. 10) clubbed one in the fifth to highlight a two-run inning. Rhys Hoskins singled and scored the second run in that inning. The hit snapped an 0-for-22 skid for Hoskins.

The four extra-base hits in the first five innings were as many as the Phils had in the first four games of the trip. They scored just seven runs in the first four games.

Nola pitched six shutout innings and scattered three singles and a double. He walked three and struck out five. He is 13-3 in 24 starts and has a 2.28 ERA. He entered the game with the sixth-best ERA in the majors.

Nola’s command was not at its best, especially early in the game, and that caused his pitch count to rise to 95 in six innings. But the right-hander was tough with men on base. He stranded six runners in the first three innings.

Nola has been brilliant on the road lately. He has allowed just five earned runs over 33 innings in his last five starts away from Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies’ bullpen picked up three innings and allowed just one run after Nola left.

Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his first work since blowing a save at Arizona on Monday night. Dominguez’ velocity was down a tick in that game. He was pretty firm in this outing with a fastball that consistently registered 97-98 mph. He struck out Eric Hosmer looking at a 97-mph heater to end the game.

More on the Phillies

Why J.T. Realmuto’s contract extension with the Phillies might take some time

Why J.T. Realmuto’s contract extension with the Phillies might take some time

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The Phillies went into this offseason prioritizing a contract extension for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Even as the Phils pursue pitching and possibly a third baseman, they are quietly trying to hammer out that extension, according to multiples sources. 

But the extension might not come before the New Year. It might not even come before the opening of spring training.

Don’t panic. Realmuto solidified his status as the top catcher in baseball by winning the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 2019. The Phillies very much want to prevent him from becoming a free agent after next season and Realmuto, for months, has professed his affection for the Phillies and Philadelphia as well as his desire to stick around.

“Everything I’ve experienced in Philadelphia has been awesome so I wouldn’t be opposed to spending the rest of my career there,” he said in July. 

In order to preserve some payroll flexibility for the 2020 season, it is possible that the Phillies could sign Realmuto to a one-year contract this winter — he projects to make about $10.5 million in his final arbitration year — then subsequently finalize a separate multi-year extension that would kick in at the start of the 2021 season. The extension could be finalized and announced later this offseason or even in spring training.

Realmuto, who turns 29 in March, is projected to get an extension of four or five years with an average annual value of $20 million or more. By starting the extension in 2021, the AAV of Realmuto’s deal would not count toward the 2020 payroll and thus affect luxury-tax calculations. For tax purposes, the Phillies currently have about $116 million committed to nine players for 2020. Even with Realmuto’s 2020 salary still to be determined and raises due to a number of other players, the Phils do not appear to be in jeopardy of reaching the $208 million tax threshold in 2020 and have the room to pursue top free agents. But pushing Realmuto’s extension back to 2021 would allow for even more room under the tax threshold and that could come in handy this winter or even at the July trade deadline.

After the 2020 season, the Phils will gain some payroll flexibility as Jake Arrieta’s $25 million AAV and David Robertson’s $11.5 million AAV come off the books just as Realmuto’s extension would kick in.

The Phillies have never exceeded the tax threshold. Teams exceeding it for the first time pay 20 percent on every dollar they go over. Last month, owner John Middleton offered his thoughts about exceeding the tax threshold.

“I’m not going to go over the luxury tax so we have a better chance to be the second wild-card team,” Middleton said. “That’s not going to happen. I think you go over the luxury tax when you’re fighting for the World Series. If you have to sign Cliff Lee and that puts you over the tax, you do it. If you have to trade for Roy Halladay and sign him to an extension and that puts you over the tax, you do it. But you don’t do it for a little gain.”

Other than expressing a desire to extend the relationship, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has steadfastly declined comment on the status of talks with Realmuto on a possible extension. Klentak continued that tack at this week’s GM meetings.

“We love J.T.,” Klentak said. “Every week, it seems like he’s winning a new award. What all of that is doing is confirming what a lot of us have felt for a long time. This guy is the real deal. He can do everything. At some point in this offseason, we will likely talk to him about trying to keep him in the fold beyond his control years and hopefully we’ll line up on something.”

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At the Yard podcast: Phillies takeaways from the GM Meetings

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At the Yard podcast: Phillies takeaways from the GM Meetings

Jim Salisbury relays the juiciest info — Phillies and leaguewide — from MLB's GM Meetings in Arizona. Check out the latest At the Yard podcast.

• Scott Boras immediately makes his presence felt

• Biggest takeaways from the GM Meetings

• Phillies interested in Mike Moustakas

• Surveying the third base landscape

• Gerrit Cole, Cole Hamels and more

• Odubel Herrera update

• Gabe Kapler's rocky road to acceptance in San Francisco

Subscribe and rate At The Yard:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19