Phillies

Takeaways after Rhys Hoskins' ejection, Jason Vargas' struggles and another loss by Phillies to Mets

Takeaways after Rhys Hoskins' ejection, Jason Vargas' struggles and another loss by Phillies to Mets

BOX SCORE 

The Phillies continue to play wasteful baseball. They wasted a strong start from Aaron Nola in losing to the New York Mets on Friday night. On Saturday, they came back and squandered several good scoring chances in suffering a 6-3 loss to the Mets.

The Phils (69-64) wasted one more thing Saturday: A chance to pick up a game on the Chicago Cubs for the last spot in the NL wild card race. The Cubs lost to Milwaukee but still lead the Phillies by 3 ½ games. The Phils have 28 games left.

Phillies hitters went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Phillies hitters struck out 12 times, including three times with a runner in scoring position.

The Mets were backed by a large and vocal contingent of their fans in the crowd of 40,690. They stood and cheered loudly as Seth Lugo got J.T. Realmuto to ground out to end the game.

Too many base runners

Phillies starter Jason Vargas stranded four base runners in the first two innings as he did a good job limiting early damage. But Vargas allowed 13 base runners in four-plus innings of work and that was not going to work very long. He faced four batters in the fifth inning and all reached base on a single, a walk and back-to-back doubles. Vargas left trailing, 5-1. He gave up nine hits, including three doubles, three walks and hit a batter. Vargas, acquired from the Mets in July, has allowed 19 earned runs in 33 innings pitched (5.18 ERA) with the Phillies.

Not enough

The Phillies did not take advantage of a big chance to take control of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bryce Harper led off the frame with a solo homer, his 29th, to cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. The Phils then proceeded to load the bases on an error and two singles against Steven Matz.

Bases loaded. No outs. One run in.

The Mets brought in lefty Luis Avilan to turn Cesar Hernandez around to the right side. Hernandez lined out to third base with Todd Frazier making a leaping grab on a ball that came off the bat at 89 mph. Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp then worked a walk to bring home a run and make it a two-run game for Adam Haseley. The thing the Phillies could not afford most was a double play and that’s just what Haseley bounced into to end the inning.

Missed chance

Down two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Phils got a leadoff double from Jean Segura. He did not move off of second as relievers Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson carved through Realmuto, Harper and Logan Morrison.

Good work

The Phillies’ bullpen, hammered for 10 runs the night before, did a good job keeping the game close, Blake Parker, Ranger Suarez and Jared Hughes, in particular.

Something to keep an eye on

Corey Dickerson, who had 24 RBIs in the month of August, appeared to injury his right hand or wrist on a check swing in the eighth inning. He was checked by athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and stayed in the game. He struck out and was seen flexing his hand as if in discomfort as he walked back to the dugout. The Phils have little margin for error in the final month of the season. Losing Dickerson for any period of time would hurt badly.

Ejected!

Usually mild-mannered Rhys Hoskins was ejected for the first time in his career for arguing a called third strike with home plate umpire Will Little in the third inning. Hoskins spiked his helmet at home plate and said a few choice words to Little.

Hoskins had a point. The call stunk. The pitch was up and out of the strike zone and Harper died at second base in what was still a one-run game.

Reinforcements coming

Rosters expand on Sunday. The Phillies are expected to bring up several players from the minors this week, starting with Jay Bruce. He is expected to come off the injured list and be available as a bat off the bench Sunday night.

Up next

The series concludes Sunday night with a nationally televised game. Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.50) pitches against Marcus Stroman, who is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in five starts with the Mets.

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Phillies schedule: Phils-Braves postponed because of inclement weather, doubleheader Sunday

Phillies schedule: Phils-Braves postponed because of inclement weather, doubleheader Sunday

Friday night's series opener between the Phillies and Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park has been rained out.

It was a "quick bang" as they say in the baseball business, no waiting around for the bad weather to clear out. That's part of the health and safety protocol for the COVID-impacted 2020 season. Major League Baseball does not want players and staff sitting around for long periods of time in enclosed areas like a clubhouse.

The postponement will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Game 2 begins 40 minutes after Game 1 ends. The Phillies have 53 games remaining on their schedule and six of them will be played as part of doubleheaders. They already played a doubleheader Wednesday night, splitting with the New York Yankees.

Jake Arrieta will start for the Phillies Saturday against the Braves. Vince Velasquez will start one of the games of the doubleheader Sunday. The starter for the other game is still TBA. The Phils could promote prospect Spencer Howard to make the start. More on that as it becomes available.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Massive early-season Phillies-Braves series on tap

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Phillies Talk podcast: Massive early-season Phillies-Braves series on tap

The Phillies will play 40% of their games against the Braves over the next four days, making this a massive early-season NL East series.

Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss that and more on the latest Phillies Talk podcast.

• How do Phils and Braves match up in 2020?

• How often can the Phillies' bullpen do what it did in series finale vs. Yankees?

• They're lucky to have Hector Neris.

• Starting pitching has been good so far — particularly Zack Wheeler.

• Phillies quietly Top 6 in on-base percentage and slugging.

• Phillies bound for regression one way or the other.

• Yankees complaints.

• J.T. owes the fans a pizza.

• Will we hear the air horn every game now?

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

   

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