2018 Recaps

No more Atlantas: Phillies drop series finale, 7-3

The Phillies fell to 10-7 after losing to the Braves on Wednesday, 7-3.

They’re now 2-4 against Atlanta, which is dumb, but again – and we have to keep saying this – it’s only April. Also six games in their first 17 at lonely SunTrust Park is nearly overkill. It’s okay. Breathe. April.

There were certainly positives to Wednesday’s game: Vince Velasquez pitched six strong innings, giving up three runs on a dumb home run by Ryan Flaherty, who against the Phillies this year has become the best player in major league baseball, and whose numbers (.465/.450/.500) are absolutely sustainable because it’s how he’s been his entire career. Oh, Velasquez: He struck out six and walked none and, for five of six innings, looked pretty darn good.

Offensively, the Phils seem to have as many dull performances as good performances. It was the rare game where Cesar Hernandez didn’t get on base (0-for-4), and where the only good hitting came from Andrew Knapp, and even then he was aided by an error. The offense obviously should be better. But again, it’s April.

Slightly more worrisome is the performance of Hoby Milner. Called specifically to vanquish left-handed hitters, Milner hasn’t been very good against them. Lefties are hitting .267/.389/.467 off him with two walks and a home run in 18 plate appearances. Small sample size, of course, but lefty-one-out guys don’t necessarily get the luxury of a full sample. When Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter return, it’ll be interesting to see how the bullpen changes.



  1. denzen

    April 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Something I have thought about, that has intrigued me for a while. Maybe you number crunchers can figure this out. First off, I have no problem with Vinnie hitting 8th. (He is a hitter at the plate) But should he have taken the extra base.? Did he have trouble settling down when he took the mound, next half inning.? Seems like I have noticed this as a trend. When the pitcher runs the bases hard, he has issues when he takes the mound after that. If he had dropped anchor at 1st he may have been better off.
    Puts me in mind of Carlton’s batting. If he was batting in a tight game and there were runners on base, esp. scoring position, he would up there to get a hit, and he was clutch. Once he got on base, however, he was strictly station to station. I also remember him batting when the Phils had a good sized lead, and no one on base, he had no interest in hitting. Sometimes he would not even take the bat off his shoulder. My father and I used to speak about this while watching a Carlton pitched game. Anyone have any thoughts.?

  2. Ken Bland

    April 19, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Sounds like you want some statistical evidence to support pitchers not exerting themselves on the bases which I personally can’t offer, but do have a couple observations on what you said.

    Generally, the name of the game with pitching is concentration and rhythm. How a pitcher best gets there would seem very individual. Some position guys don’t even go all out on every play, then you have some who bust their butt like even a simple play might be the last thing they’ll ever do.

    In the particular instance of last night, VV probably slipped a notch earlier than his at bat. He gave up a couple 2 out hits in the last of the 4th. Then, after he came out for the 5th after singling and exerting himself, he walked the leadoff guy which all too often is problematic, let alone when your body language suggests frustration when ball 4 was called off the 3-2 pitch, and then things unraveled into 3 runs. As well as he pitched early, and it was excellent, seems like he lost his rhythm and compounded it with frustration a lot more than suffering from running the bases with good energy.

  3. denzen

    April 22, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I’ll bet someone could figure out ERA the 1/2 inning after a pitcher doubles or triples compared to other 1/2 innings he pitched. That just would not be me. haha VV is just an excitable guy, and his heart rate was probably still elevated. Then feeling he got squeezed by the ump, he maybe reacted more than if he was calmer. That is all. ps. I looked Carlton’s hitting stats, and I was surprised to see he had 6 triples, so he must have run the bases hard sometimes. (At least 6 haha)

    • denzen

      April 22, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Running the bases did not affect Pivetta. He seems to be maturing faster than Vinny.

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