Coming off of being swept for the first time in 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies needed a good performance to get back on track and extend their dwindling lead in the National League East. Unfortunately, more of the same was in store, as the Phillies (33-27) fell to the San Diego Padres (31-29) for their fifth consecutive loss, the longest losing streak of the season. In the first chapter of the Bryce Harper versus Manny Machado saga, Machado asserted himself on top with a grand slam and starter Aaron Nola, while looking strong early on, lost his command in the sixth and suffered his first loss of the season.
Things didn’t get off to an ideal start for the Phillies in the top of the first.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen began the game by drawing a walk. Jean Segura then popped up to Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler. Kinsler opted to drop the ball to force a double play with Segura taking his time on the basepaths. After the tag was applied on McCutchen, the 32-year-old former MVP writhed in pain, grabbing his knee and falling to the diamond:
Andrew McCutchen has exited today's game with an injury and had to be helped off the field. pic.twitter.com/bAy1yQ85uH
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 4, 2019
The very next inning, new Phillies outfielder Jay Bruce came into the game to play left field, with Sean Rodriguez moving from left to center field. The Phillies have yet to issue an update on McCutchen’s status.
The Padres threatened to score first in the bottom of the third. The opposing pitcher, Eric Lauer, led off with single, followed by a single from Greg Garcia. Nola found himself in a jam with runners at first and third with nobody out. With the 2-3-4 hitters up, Nola proceeded to display the brilliance that allowed him to finish third in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2018. He got Franmil Reyes to line out to Bryce Harper, Machado to pop out to Hoskins and Hosmer to succumb to a nasty curveball. The bats then rewarded Nola in the fourth, with Rhys Hoskins doubling to right center and Realmuto bringing him home with a single of his own that he was thrown out trying to stretch into a double.
San Diego finally responded in the fifth. Nola left a 2-1 changeup in the middle of the plate and Reyes was all over it. The ball carried in the air for what seemed like forever and finally landed over the wall in center field, tying the ballgame up for the Padres:
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) June 4, 2019
In the sixth, the Padres took their first lead of the game. With two runners on, Kinsler got a hold of a fastball and sent it out to right field. Harper was unable to reach the ball in time and after slipping, Kinsler was able to reach second for a double. Nola then walked Austin Hedges, and Josh Naylor came off the bench to pinch-hit for Lauer. Naylor came through with a two-run single, increasing the Padres lead to three runs.
Just like Sunday, the game began to unravel for the Phils. In relief of Nola, rookie J.D. Hammer was asked to come into a tough spot. After striking out Reyes with the bases loaded and two outs, Machado, a four-time All-Star, stepped to the plate. Machado got a hold of a first pitch fastball and crushed the ball over Harper and into the seats in right field for a grand slam:
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 4, 2019
While Realmuto would add a home run in the seventh inning, the Phillies would ultimately fall 8-2 to the Padres.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance:
The Padres starter’s birthday was today. The Phillies starter’s birthday is tomorrow (now today on the east coast). The home team’s birthday boy was the much more impressive pitcher in this game.
With the bullpen depleted after the Dodgers series, Aaron Nola needed to be sharp. He started off the game with a stress-free four pitch inning and worked his way out of serious trouble in the third. At times, he was the beneficiary of a wide strike zone and his curveball looked phenomenal. Everything changed in the sixth and eventually, he found himself on the hook for six earned runs after J.D. Hammer gave up a grand slam to Machado with two of his runners still on base.
Padres starter Eric Lauer fared much better. He gave up only one run through six innings of work. His only hiccup came in the fourth, after giving up what almost was back-to-back doubles to Hoskins and Realmuto. He’ll look back on his 24th birthday and remember his performance against the Phillies fondly.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Manny Machado
It’s always tough to watch an opposing team’s hitter hit a grand slam to break open the game. It’s even tougher when the guy who launched the grand slam was a superstar free-agent that was connected to the Phillies for years. Not to mention, Machado’s home run was launched over the head of Bryce Harper, the superstar that the Phillies got instead of Harper. Of course, Machado’s hit was just one at-bat in a 10-year deal. But Monday night, Machado and the Padres fared much better than Harper and the Phillies.
TicketiQ Next Game
- Tuesday June 4, 2019 at Petco Park
- 10:10 p.m. ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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