Phillies waste Jake Arrieta's gem as win streak snapped in extras by Diamondbacks

Phillies waste Jake Arrieta's gem as win streak snapped in extras by Diamondbacks


PHOENIX — The Phillies blew a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning and suffered a painful, 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 14 innings on Monday night/Tuesday morning.

Seranthony Dominguez blew his second save in as many days. The Phils came back to win Sunday’s game against Miami, but not this one.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Phillies as they squandered eight shutout innings from Jake Arrieta. That really hurt.

Dominguez got the first out of the ninth then allowed a solo homer to David Peralta, a double to Eduardo Escobar and a game-tying single to Steven Souza Jr.

Luis Garcia got two outs, including the final one with the bases loaded, to get out of the ninth with the score tied at 2-2.

Victor Arano pitched out of trouble in the 10th and 11th.

Tommy Hunter pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the 12th and stranded a runner at third in the 13th.

Lefty Austin Davis took over in the bottom of the 14th and took the loss when he allowed a one-out, solo homer to Peralta.

The loss dropped the Phillies 63-49 and reduced their lead in the NL East to a game over Atlanta.

The time of game was four hours, 38 minutes. It ended at 2:18 a.m. Philadelphia time.

Arrieta and Arizona right-hander Zack Godley hooked up in a tight pitchers' duel. It was a scoreless game into the seventh inning and both teams had just two hits to that point. The Phils broke the scoreless deadlock with two runs in the inning. Asdrubal Cabrera singled with one out and came around to score on a triple by Odubel Herrera. Before the frame was over, Jorge Alfaro lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

Arrieta made six starts in July and the Phillies won them all. He was 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA in the month. He started off the current winning streak on the final day of July with seven innings of one-run ball at Boston.

Arrieta picked right up where he left off in Boston in this one. His eight shutout innings lowered his ERA to 3.11. Arrieta gave up three hits, including a leadoff double in the bottom of the second. Cabrera, starting at shortstop for the third straight game, started a nice 6-4-3 double play to get Arrieta out of trouble that inning. Arrieta walked two and struck out just four. All of his strikeouts came in his final three innings of work.

Godley pitched well for Arizona. He gave up just the two runs over 7 1/3 innings. He allowed five hits and a walk, which was intentional. He hit two batters and struck out seven.

Nick Pivetta opposes Zack Greinke in the second game of the series Tuesday night.

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The DH sucks but would undoubtedly help the Phillies

The DH sucks but would undoubtedly help the Phillies

The designated hitter coming to the National League is an inevitability. To some, it's a welcome inevitability. Personally, I hate it, but I acknowledge I'm probably outnumbered.

It's not about watching pitchers hit. That is the over-simplified one-line response from DH proponents. It is about many additional elements of strategy not having a DH adds. If you're a pitcher, it affects how you approach the 6-7-8-9 hitters. There is more thinking ahead. 

That goes for managers, too, who face the difficult of question of, "Do I pull Jacob deGrom with two outs and two on in the bottom of the sixth inning in a scoreless game for the extra offense?"

That doesn't happen in the AL. The Justin Verlanders of the world pitch until they're no longer effective. There is no difficult decision for the manager. 

There is also less need for a bench. AL teams sometimes run three-man benches. And plenty of AL bench players exist only as defensive replacements and/or pinch-runners.

But whatever. It's probably coming. Could be coming as early as 2021, according to Jim Bowden.

It would actually benefit the Phillies, though. The Phils face a potential logjam in the corner infield with Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, Scott Kingery and Jean Segura. Only one of them can play third base. And Hoskins or Bohm would be at first base. If the DH came to the NL in 2021, the Phils could just slot Bohm into that position.

They could also use Hoskins, who isn't exactly an above-average defensive first baseman, as the DH. And toward the end of Bryce Harper's 13-year contract, his days of effective right field defense could be over and that may be the ideal spot for him.

It will be an adjustment when the NL rules change, and there will be some hard feelings, but the baseball world will probaby get over it within a few years. MLB has already adopted the three-batter rule for relievers, altered active rosters to 26 and prevented teams from utilizing their entire 40-man roster in September. These changes, in conjunction, are pretty significant too.

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Phillies' 2020 World Series odds are pretty surprising

AP Images

Phillies' 2020 World Series odds are pretty surprising

Most of the baseball world agrees that the Phillies are improved with the additions of No. 2 starter Zack Wheeler, shortstop Didi Gregorius, and the new contingent of manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Bryan Price and hitting coach Joe Dillon.

The question is how much improved?

The Phils won 81 games last season, a year after winning 80. Both years, they totally collapsed in September. Both years, a good number of players were simply playing out the string, though the effort level was more questionable in 2018 than in 2019.

Even though the Phillies were quiet this offseason after their two big signings, and even though the NL East is still a beast, they should still exceed 81 wins. If they don't, there's a serious problem. If they don't, the GM probably won't be here to try to rectify things next offseason.

The over/under win totals are out and the Phillies' number is 85.5 at FanDuel and 84.5 at DraftKings.

I'd go over at 84.5. Think about how many injuries the Phillies suffered last season. Think about the talent gap between Wheeler and every Phillies starting pitcher behind Aaron Nola last season. The impact of Girardi, Price and Dillon won't be all that quantifiable, but it is realistic that this revamped coaching staff can conjure a few more wins out of the 2020 Phillies, whether it's in-game decision-making or better instructions given to young players who underperformed last season.

At DraftKings, the Mets' over/under is a game better than the Phillies' at 85.5. The Braves are at 90.5 and the Nationals 88.5. The Marlins are at 64.5, higher than only one team, the Tigers.

Much more surprising are the Phillies' World Series odds. They have the sixth-shortest odds to win it all. Seriously. They're +1800. Here is the Top 10:

Yankees: 3.5/1
Dodgers: 5/1
Astros: 6/1
Braves: 11/1
Nationals: 14/1
Phillies: 18/1
Mets: 20/1
Twins: 20/1
Red Sox: 22/1
Cubs: 22/1

Apparently, the expectation is that the NL Central will be bringing up the rear in 2020. Really, the only NL Central team that improved was the Reds. The Cardinals lost Marcell Ozuna, the Brewers lost Yasmani Grandal and the Cubs didn't spend money on a single major-league free agent.

Four of the top seven teams being NL East teams just shows you how much of a battle these next seven months will be for the Phils.

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