At this point we’re not concerned with wins and losses (really, when were we?). Still, losing two of three at home to a bad Oakland Athletics team isn’t the best way to start the home stretch.
It’s time for a daily news report.
Harry for the Henderson
Henderson Alvarez’ Phillies debut went “meh,” as the 27-year-old right-hander who spent much of the season playing for the independent Long Island Ducks gave up four runs in five innings, striking out four and walking two. I don’t think you could’ve expected any more, and at least we didn’t get any less. I’d imagine he gets at least one more start, which is fine – just hold up the frame of the house, Henderson.
“Mr.” Joey Wendle (a local kid!) hit a grand slam for the A’s off Edubray Ramos, the only blemish for a bullpen that continues to be pretty good. Maikel Franco had the lone good game for the Phils, going 3-for-4 with singles and attempting to keep his name on the roster in 2018.
Meanwhile Rhys Hoskins is *gasp* slumping – he went 0-for-11 in the Oakland series with six strikeouts and one walk. Maybe the whole “Rhys Lightning” (it’s a bad nickname, folks) thing got to him. Meanwhile, I bet you Pete Mackanin sits Hoskins in one of these Los Angeles games. (Maybe that’s a good idea?)
Dodging a Bullet?
And yes, the Dodgers are coming to town – a four-game series starting tonight at the Bank. They went 1-16 over an atrocious 17-game stretch to start the month, but since are 4-1, winning series against the Giants and Nationals. And lest you think the losing made them vulnerable, they’re now 96-53. Uh, they’re not vulnerable.
Oh, tonight’s starter for the Dodgers is Clayton Kershaw. Tomorrow it’s Yu Darvish. Then Alex Wood. Good luck, Phils.
Of course, this means Chase Utley is back in Philly for the week. He’s hitting a cool .234/.324/.406 with eight home runs and 32 RBI as a sometimes-starter.
Surely, though, he’ll boost all those numbers this week, because he likes coming home and doing good things.
The Phillies Nation Podcast is coming today. Our guest is Graham Womack of the Sporting News and other places; he recently wrote about Utley’s hall of fame chances. Listen to that, plus more Hoskins talk, when the pod drops in a few hours.