Phillies

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

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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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Phillies and Nationals postponed for second straight night

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Phillies and Nationals postponed for second straight night

Here we go again.

After a rain delay of about two hours, the Phillies and Nationals have been rained out for a second straight night. Tonight’s game will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Sept. 24.

After nearly three hours of waiting on Monday, the series opener was postponed and scheduled to be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Wednesday (1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.), but Tuesday’s postponement will cause even more issues for both teams.

Different from Monday, there was steady rain falling throughout the night and, perhaps, with a day game on Wednesday, it got too late to give this one a go. The Phillies have announced that Zach Eflin will start game one and Jake Arrieta will start game two. It appears Patrick Corbin will try again for Washington, however the Nationals may be searching for a second starter after a freak accident during batting practice resulted in a broken nose for their ace, Max Scherzer, whose status is TBD. (see video)

While a doubleheader is difficult from a pitching standpoint, the Phillies will welcome two extra days for J.T. Realmuto and Jay Bruce to mend. Not in the posted lineup for either of the games that were postponed due to rain, Gabe Kapler did indicate that Realmuto would start one game on Wednesday and Bruce was available to pinch hit on Tuesday if needed.

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Phillies need a 5th and 6th starter this weekend; who could it be?

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Phillies need a 5th and 6th starter this weekend; who could it be?

Updated: 9:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consecutive rainouts Monday and Tuesday benefited the Phillies by giving J.T. Realmuto and Jay Bruce two additional days to recover from their injuries. Had the Phils played Tuesday night, both players would have been available to pinch-hit but would have likely needed pinch-runners. Realmuto will start one game of the Phillies’ day-night doubleheader Wednesday. 

Where it negatively affected the Phillies is in the starting rotation. The Phils don’t have a true No. 5 starter right now. Gabe Kapler said Monday that there is a belief within the organization that Vince Velasquez can fill that role, but it’s not a certainty that he’s returned to the rotation. If Velasquez is needed out of the bullpen Thursday or Friday, for example, he may not get the start Saturday. It’s TBD. 

And now, because the Phillies play twice on Wednesday, they’ll also need a starter for Sunday’s game. In effect, a team with no fifth starter needs a fifth and sixth starter this weekend. 

On Wednesday, it will be Zach Eflin in Game 1 and Jake Arrieta in Game 2. 

Nick Pivetta pitches Thursday. 

Aaron Nola pitches Friday. 

Then possibly Velasquez Saturday. 

On Sunday, the Phils will have to figure out something else because it would be short rest for both Arrieta and Eflin. 

Who are the options? Kapler said Tuesday that hot pitching prospect Adonis Medina, despite being on the 40-man roster, is not under consideration for a start this weekend. 

The organization likely does not feel he’s ready yet and doesn’t want to rush a young pitcher with promise just because it needs a spot starter this weekend. Plus, Medina is a trade chip, and you don’t want to do anything to ding his value by bringing him up before the time feels right. 

So there’s Velasquez, there’s Cole Irvin, there’s Enyel De Los Santos. Those are the three most realistic options. Irvin is still on the active roster and was ticketed for the ‘pen before Mother Nature intervened. 

De Los Santos made a six-inning start for Triple A Lehigh Valley on Sunday, so he’d be on turn this weekend. The Phillies don’t seem to love him as a starting pitcher, though. They haven’t turned to him when the need has arisen this season and when he has been promoted it has been as a reliever. More of a two-pitch pitcher, De Los Santos could ultimately find more success as a reliever. 

Drew Anderson, who started Tuesday for the IronPigs, is another swingman on the 40. There’s also Ranger Suarez. 

If the Phillies want to promote someone who’s not on the 40-man roster, 23-year-old Dominican right-hander Ramon Rosso is another option. He has pitched well in 11 starts this season, including a Triple A debut June 13 in which he struck out nine and did not allow an earned run over six innings.

The other options are using an opener or making a trade. It seems unlikely the Phillies will be able to complete a deal for an attractive starting pitcher by the weekend, but one name to keep in the back of your mind is Mike Leake. He’s a No. 4 starter who has alternated quick and efficient quality starts and clunkers throughout his career. He’s on a Mariners team committed to tearing things down and eager to trade high-priced veterans for seemingly whatever they can get, whether it’s salary relief or an interesting young player. Leake is owed $15 million next season and has a $5 million buyout in 2021, way too much for a pitcher his caliber. The Phillies are not going to want to commit $20 million to him just because he’s the most obtainable starting pitcher on the market this minute. But if the Mariners pick up a bulk of his remaining money a la Bruce, he could and should be considered as a rotation stabilizer, not as the missing piece. 

Fortunately for the Phillies, they face the lowly Marlins this weekend. If there is a team to lack starting pitching against, it is them. 

But again, it highlights the lack of quality options the Phillies have after their first four starting pitchers, who collectively have been just OK. The choice to not sign a veteran starter this offseason has predictably backfired. The team enters Wednesday 39-32, which is still an 89-win pace, but the more important point is that the Braves are surging and the Nationals have won 14 of 21 with a roster every bit as talented as the Phils’. 

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