For a second consecutive game, the starting pitcher wasn’t up to par and the Phillies bats came up empty. Poor defense also tormented the Phillies in a 5-2 defeat to the Brewers. It was an all-around poor effort by the team in dropping a second straight game to Milwaukee.
Not many positives can be taken from this game. Bryce Harper was unable to silence his critics at the plate with a 1-4 night. Jean Segura homered and Bruce Willis made a cameo appearance to provide most of the entertainment for the 28, 129 fans who made their way out to Citizens Bank Park on a cloudy Wednesday night.
Starting Pitcher Jake Arrieta found himself in trouble early. With two runners on and nobody out, he gave up an RBI single to Phillies-killer Ryan Braun. Milwaukee’s first run of the game also happened to be Braun’s 71st career RBI against the Phillies.
Unlike Tuesday night, the Phillies responded quickly. With a 2-1 count, former Phillies prospect and long-time Washington Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez tried to sneak a fastball past Segura. That proved to be a costly mistake as the Phillies shortstop launched the ball into the left-center field stands for his first home run at Citizens Bank Park:
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 15, 2019
After a scoreless second, mental errors plagued the Phils in the top of the third. With a play at second, Cesar Hernandez hesitated after fielding a sharp ground ball from Christian Yelich and instead threw to Rhys Hoskins at first. Yelich was called safe and Arrieta had to find a way out of a bases loaded nobody out situation.
On the very next play, a short ground ball found its way into the glove of third baseman Sean Rodriguez. Instead of tagging third and throwing home, Rodriguez stood still with a confused look and hesitantly threw the ball to J.T. Realmuto at home for the force out. Cameras even caught base runner Lorenzo Cain telling Rodriguez to throw home. The Brewers eventually capitalized and scored one run on a bases loaded walk and two more on a single from Jesus Aguilar:
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) May 15, 2019
Bad defense wasn’t exclusive to the infield. With Braun at first and one out in the top of the 5th, Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas had hit a long but catchable fly ball to center field. Andrew McCutchen narrowly missed the ball, leading to Braun scoring from first and Moustakas getting to second.
Defense, however, saved another run from scoring. With two outs and Moustakas on third, rookie Keston Hiura pulled a ground ball to third. The path of the ball led to a tough play for Rodriguez, whose throw came in off-line. But first baseman Rhys Hoskins was able to make a spectacular catch to get Hiura out at first.
The Phils were able to tag on another run after an Andrew McCutchen single in the bottom of the 7th. The dangerous 3-4-5 trio of Harper, Hoskins, and Realmuto were due up in the 8th, but all three came up empty. Brewers closer Josh Hader then came on to close the door with a perfect 9th inning for his 11th Save of the year.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING PERFORMANCE
- Jake Arrieta: 6 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 4 walks, 5 strikeouts, 107 pitches with 63 for strikes
- Gio Gonzalez: 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 87 pitches with 53 for strikes
Arrieta’s six inning, four earned runs allowed outing was the best starting pitching performance so far in the series for the Phillies. It still wasn’t good enough for a quality start, let alone a Phils win. He was able to get hitters to ground out early on, but too often found himself in 3 ball counts as the game progressed. Arrieta was yet again a victim of the team not being behind him. The defense was unable to make plays in key situation and innings were extended when they didn’t need to be. However much of the blame for how the outing played out should be shifted to him. Walking the opposing pitcher is inexcusable and his inability to be efficient proved costly for the Phillies. Expect Arrieta to be much sharper when he takes the mound in Chicago on Monday for the first time since leaving his former club.
PHILLIES NUGGETS PLAYER OF THE GAME: JESUS AGUILAR
Braun typically hurt the Phillies with two hits, a walk, two runs scored and an RBI. Cain was on base three times with a hit and two walks, while also scoring twice. But it was Aguilar’s two-run single in the third that proved to be a pivotal moment in the game. In an inning that should have been over a few batters earlier, the former all-star was able to execute and add on to the lead. On a night where the Brewers lineup wasn’t all that productive either, Aguilar’s hit was a key, opening a 2-1 lead out to 4-1. The Brewers would never look back. Performances like these from their big hitters will be needed if the Brewers expect to find themselves on top of the NL Central at the end of September.
- Thursday May 16 at 1:05 pm vs the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia; MLB Network (out-of-market only)
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
Bruce Willis threw out the first pitch tonight and it bounced.
Listen to the crowd reaction 👂 pic.twitter.com/wzPQQrud6S
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 15, 2019
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