Phillies strike out nonstop but J.T. Realmuto picks them up in narrow win

Phillies strike out nonstop but J.T. Realmuto picks them up in narrow win


The Phillies struck out nonstop but mustered just enough offense thanks to J.T. Realmuto to win the first of a six-game homestand, 4-2, over the Cubs.

Realmuto scored the Phillies' first run and drove in their next two with a two-out solo home run in the fifth inning and a two-out RBI double in the seventh. The final run of insurance came on Roman Quinn's two-out RBI triple in the eighth.

The home run was Realmuto's 16th. He has not reached the higher offensive gear some expected he would in his first season as a Phillie, but Realmuto is still on track to surpass his career high of 21 home runs.

Realmuto has hit .310/.359/.530 since June 29 with 11 doubles and six homers in 145 plate appearances (see story).

Jason Vargas kept the game close but did not factor into the decision. 

Blake Parker, Mike Morin and Hector Neris combined for three scoreless innings to protect the win, which prevented the Phillies from falling to just a game over .500 for the first time since they were 39-38. Instead, the Phils are 61-58. 

It was not an inspiring offensive performance — the 15 strikeouts were the Phillies' most in a nine-inning game this season and they didn't even bat in the ninth — but they are so desperate for wins that right now, the end result matters so much more than how it was achieved.

Can't hit Q

Jose Quintana entered Tuesday's game with a strikeout rate similar to Jake Arrieta's. Quintana is a contact pitcher who relies on hitting the corners and generating groundballs.

Yet somehow, the Phillies made him look like Justin Verlander. In just six innings, Quintana set a career high with 14 strikeouts, five of which were looking. Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins were a combined 0 for 6 against Quintana with five strikeouts, four looking.

It's not a good look when a pitcher who has averaged 6.75 strikeouts per nine innings since May 1 punches you out 14 times in six innings. Some of the strikeouts were the result of deep counts that ended with a good pitch. Some were just really bad at-bats.

The only earned run allowed by Quintana came on a solo home run from Realmuto, moments after a section of Phillies fans in left field began chanting, "We want Charlie."

The Phillies missed a chance for early runs when Harper grounded out on the first pitch with runners on second and third and two outs in the second inning.

The Phillies are last in the National League with a .213 batting average with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break.

Vargas does his job

For the second time in three starts as a Phillie, Vargas kept his team in the game, allowing two runs over six innings.

Vargas has a 4.15 ERA in his three starts, which sadly represents a massive upgrade for any Phillies starting pitcher not named Aaron Nola.

Vargas didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning. He struck out only one but got 12 outs on the ground or on infield flies.


Corey Dickerson, the Phillies' hottest hitter, was forced out of the game in the third inning after taking a pitch to the hand.

Dickerson swung through a 91 mph sinker but on the swing, his hand made direct contact with the ball. After being examined for a few minutes, Dickerson took a practice swing and came out of the game. He was replaced by Sean Rodriguez.

Dickerson was diagnosed with a hand contusion and is considered day to day. If he's forced to miss time, it could be Nick Williams again getting the call-up from Triple A. Williams has been optioned to Lehigh Valley four times and recalled three times already this season.

As a Phillie, Dickerson is 9 for 30 (.300) with a triple, three homers, nine RBI, no walks and 10 strikeouts.

Hittin' season about to begin?

New hitting coach Charlie Manuel will arrive Wednesday to assume the role for the season's final 43 games. 

If Manuel can work his magic, create some looseness in the clubhouse and conjure more confidence for the Phillies' hitters, he can make an impact (see story).

Up next

The much-anticipated Nola-Cole Hamels matchup takes place Wednesday night at 7:05 on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Nola is 10-3 with a 3.67 ERA. Hamels is 6-3 with a 3.09 ERA but is coming off of one of his worst starts. He allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits over three innings in Cincinnati last Thursday.

Hamels was out from June 29 until Aug. 2 with an oblique strain. This will be his first-ever start at Citizens Bank Park as a visitor.

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Giants fans seem to absolutely hate the Gabe Kapler hire

Giants fans seem to absolutely hate the Gabe Kapler hire

Gabe Kapler was a pretty polarizing figure in Philadelphia with a slight majority of fans disapproving of his managerial style and general demeanor as skipper of the Phillies. He had some progressive fans in his corner though.

Based on the reactions to the San Francisco Giants' announcement of Kapler as their next manager, you'd think he was the worst thing to ever happen to the game of baseball.

Fans were not pleased with the hire. Not one bit. From fans saying they're no longer going to be fans of the team after 40+ years of fandom to people saying they plan on canceling their season tickets, there was plenty of vitriol directed at the Giants. Here's a sampling:

And a check in from Philly:

Anyway, that's just a sampling. Go check out the Giants' actual tweet to see some of the brutal replies. And good luck to you, Giants fans. You will need it.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as manager

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as manager

Just over a month after being fired by the Phillies, Gabe Kapler has found another managerial job in the majors with the San Francisco Giants.

Kapler will succeed Bruce Bochy, the team announced Tuesday night. You can read more on the news here.

It is a surprisingly quick turnaround for Kapler, even with the well-documented connection he has with Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. The two worked together in the Dodgers' front office when Zaidi was GM from 2014-18, and Kapler was a finalist for the managerial job in L.A. that went to Dave Roberts ahead of the '16 season.

Kapler went 161-163 in two seasons as Phillies manager. There was a slight chance he could return for a third season and it's what GM Matt Klentak wanted, but ownership was ready to move on and Joe Girardi was hired to lead the Phillies' core into the future. 

It will be a shock to some that Kapler landed on his feet so quickly after a rocky two-year tenure in Philly. His team exceeded expectations in Year 1 and fell well short in Year 2, with two straight horrible Septembers playing a large role. 

Kapler does, however, have qualities that appeal to franchises ready to get creative. The Phillies were in that position when they hired him after 2017 and the Giants are now. The Giants are embarking upon a rebuild that will take years. They lack top-end talent and have numerous players aging out of their effective years. They'll need marginal advantages to win games. Enter Kapler.

It will be interesting to see how Kapler's managerial style changes at his second stop. Surely, he will have learned many lessons from the two years in Philadelphia. How to get your message across. How to communicate with players in a way that leaves no room for uncertainty. What not to say after a bad loss. How to better handle a bullpen.

The members of Kapler's staff have also resurfaced. Former Phillies pitching coach Chris Young took the bullpen coach job with the Cubs, former hitting coach John Mallee is now an assistant hitting coach with the Angels, and infield coach Bobby Dickerson is the new bench coach in San Diego.

The other members of Kapler's staff — Rob Thomson, Dusty Wathan, Jim Gott, Dave Lundquist, Paco Figueroa, Pedro Guerrero, Bob Stumpo and Craig Driver — have remained in their roles under Girardi.

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