Manny Machado

Padres 8, Phillies 2: McCutchen hurt as season-high losing skid reaches five

Padres 8, Phillies 2: McCutchen hurt as season-high losing skid reaches five

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SAN DIEGO — The Phillies’ season-high losing streak grew to five games on a Monday night to forget in Petco Park.

Not only did the Phillies lose the game, 8-2, they may have lost leadoff man Andrew McCutchen.

The Padres mugged Phillies starter Aaron Nola for six runs in 5⅓ innings. Five of those runs came when Nola unraveled in the sixth inning.

Manny Machado — ever heard of him? — had the big blow in the Padres’ seven-run sixth inning. He belted a grand slam against reliever J.D. Hammer.

The loss left the Phillies at 0-4 on the California road trip. They are 33-27 and their lead over Atlanta in the NL East is down to a half-game.

Injury report

The Phillies suffered a loss early in the game when McCutchen had to be helped from the field after injuring his left knee in a base-running play in the first inning. He was replaced by newcomer Jay Bruce.

Manager Gabe Kapler said after the game that McCutchen has a left knee sprain and will have an MRI Tuesday.

McCutchen does have some history of knee problems. In fact, he left a game earlier this season when he experienced a locking sensation in his knee.

McCutchen was hurt in a rundown after Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler intentionally let a pop up by Jean Segura drop so he could turn a double play. It was not an infield-fly-rule situation.

The Phillies are already down two outfielders with Roman Quinn on the injured list and Odubel Herrera on administrative leave after a domestic violence charge. The team’s outfield depth also took a hit when Aaron Altherr was let go. The Phils can’t afford to lose another outfielder — especially McCutchen, who has played well and brought an .832 OPS to the Phillies’ leadoff spot.

Nola’s night

The right-hander elevated a couple of changeups in the middle innings and the Padres were able to take control of the game on those mistakes. Hulking Franmil Reyes crushed a 2-0 changeup over the centerfield wall to tie the game with two outs in the fifth. It was his 17th homer. An inning later, Nola allowed four hits and a walk as the Padres blew the game open. The big hit against Nola in that inning was a two-run pinch-hit single by Josh Naylor on an elevated 2-2 changeup. Hammer allowed the grand slam to Machado later in the inning.

Nola had entered the game with a 2.50 ERA in his previous seven starts. He is 6-1.

Where has the offense gone?

The Phillies hit .158 (15 for 95) in losing three games over the weekend in Los Angeles. They had just six hits in this game and only two in six innings against Eric Lauer, the Padres’ lefty starter.

The Phils are 6-11 against left-handed starters this season.

The Phillies have scored just eight runs in their last four games.

Health check

Reliever Tommy Hunter (elbow strain) continues to make strides toward being activated later this month. He will throw a bullpen session Tuesday then head to Clearwater for more rehab. The Phils have him penciled in to throw to hitters next Monday.

Also, Zach Eflin’s sore back is better. Kapler said the right-hander would come off the injured list and start Friday night at home against the Reds.

Transactions

Bruce was activated. Reliever Austin Davis was called up from Triple A. Outfielder Nick Williams and pitcher Cole Irvin were optioned to Triple A.

Up next 

Jerad Eickhoff (2-3, 4.10) pitches Tuesday night against right-hander Chris Paddock (4-3, 2.40). Eickhoff has been hit hard lately — 17 earned runs in 18⅓ innings over his last four starts. The Phils need him to turn it around and deliver a stopper-like performance.

This Manny Machado play would not have been received well in Philly

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USA Today Images

This Manny Machado play would not have been received well in Philly

One of the benefits of playing in San Diego is avoiding major criticism when you do something like this. 

Manny Machado, he of the infamous “Johnny Hustle” comments in the 2018 postseason, again loafed his way to first base on a soft groundout. These kinds of plays happen throughout a 162-game season but there’s increased scrutiny when it happens with a player who has openly admitted hustling isn’t one of his main priorities. 

It happened in the first inning of Sunday’s Padres-Blue Jays affair. Machado grounded softly to the second baseman and barely ran out of the box, moving about as fast as the majority of Americans on a Memorial Day weekend morning. 

Toronto’s second baseman bobbled the ball a few times but Machado was still out by about 10 feet because of the lack of hustle. 

Here is the play.

Not a good look. And say what you will about Bryce Harper’s high strikeout rate, hustle has been no issue whatsoever with him so far in a Phillies uniform. Harper has given the Phillies added value in the field and on the basepaths. 

Coincidentally, a similar thing happened in the first inning of the Phillies-Brewers game Sunday. Andrew McCutchen grounded a ball near the second base bag and his first step out of the box was not full-speed. The second baseman bobbled it and McCutchen immediately picked up speed, being thrown out narrowly. It was similar to the Machado play but not as egregious. At least McCutchen looked like he cared at some point during the play.

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More on the Phillies

At The Yard Podcast: Manny Machado's money, Scott Boras' next play, why Bryce Harper's the right guy for Phillies

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USA Today Images

At The Yard Podcast: Manny Machado's money, Scott Boras' next play, why Bryce Harper's the right guy for Phillies

On this edition of At The Yard, Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss Manny Machado's record-breaking free-agent deal with the San Diego Padres. How disappointed are the Philles that they didn't land the superstar infielder?

Now all eyes turn to Bryce Harper. The guys give you the latest on that pursuit. Also, why there's added importance to making the splash this offseason as opposed to the future.

0:30 — Phillies didn't want to go to $300 million for Machado
5:00 — Machado not a great fit in Philadelphia?
9:00 — Did the Phillies really have a preference?
13:00 — Scott Boras' next play for Harper
16:00 — What if the Phillies miss out on Harper?
19:00 — Why Harper is the right guy even if he's imperfect

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