Incompetence with runners in scoring position – an abysmal 2 for 17 – and a bullpen meltdown cost the Philadelphia Phillies (59-54) an 8-4 defeat against the host Arizona Diamondbacks (57-57) last night. Despite the loss, the Phillies still control one of the two spots in the National League Wildcard race.
On the third pitch of the game, Corey Dickerson torched an 87.3 MPH cutter, sending it 463 feet over the center field wall. The blast left Dickerson 4-12 with two home runs, four RBIs, and two runs scored as a Phillie since coming in a trade from Pittsburgh on July 31. A potential big inning fizzled, however, when Cesar Hernandez grounded out with runners on first and second.
Corey Dickerson’s home run leading off the game was his second in 4 games, 8 plate appearances, since joining the Phillies. pic.twitter.com/VBQRoagWJw
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) August 7, 2019
After needing 30 pitches to thwart the Diamondbacks through the initial two innings, Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta used his quick reflexes to catch a line drive by Jarrod Dyson and double off Alex Avila (walk) at first base to end the 3rd inning.
Although the Phillies doubled their lead to 2-0 on an opposite-field single by Adam Haseley, their lead could have/should have been larger. But the aforementioned Hernandez ground out with two on in the first, respective double plays in the 2nd and 3rd innings, and a Dickerson ground out with runners on first and second in the 4th inning kept the Diamondbacks within striking distance.
Sure enough, slugger Eduardo Escobar drilled a two-run homer in the home 4th to tie the game up at 2-2. Arrieta allowed another single before the inning ended, but his pitch count had already reached 65.
Undaunted, the Phillies regained the lead at 3-2 when Rhys Hoskins came within inches of a home run and had to settle for a double high off the center field wall. An ugly throwing error following an easy grounder by Bryce Harper scored Hoskins with the lead run. But once again, the Phillies failed to capitalize after Harper had moved to third base with one out.
Arrieta was in trouble again in the 5th inning, surrendering a one-out single by opposing pitcher Mike Leake. Arizona put runners on second and third with one out, but Harper saved the night – at least temporarily – with a tremendous diving snare of a sinking pop fly in no man’s land along the right-field line. A pop out to Scott Kingery (2-4) in foul ground ended the inning, as well as Arrieta’s evening.
Bryce saved the day once. Someone may need to come up heroic again like this before this game is over. pic.twitter.com/VhwhAmftj8
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) August 7, 2019
In the 6th, the Phillies loaded the bases with one out and their top power hitters lurking. To the annoyance of Phillies fans everywhere, Hoskins and Harper appeared completely overmatched by reliever (and ultimately winning pitcher) Andrew Chafin (1-2) and his lousy 4.58 ERA, each whiffing on pitches out of the zone.
With Ranger Suarez now in relief, Arizona proceeded to load the bases on a single and two walks and one out. Pitching coach Chris Young approached the mound to talk with Suarez. Whatever Young said didn’t work – at all. Suarez proceeded to fall behind Avila 3-1 and then watched as the Dbacks catcher slung a two-run single to right, giving Arizona its first lead at 4-3.
Blake Parker replaced Suarez, who would ultimately be hung with his first loss of the season, and got the Phillies out of a first-and-third, one-out situation. Parker’s efficiency didn’t last in the 7th inning. After Jean Segura’s 12th error of the year and third in four games started the inning, Escobar knocked in another run – his National League-leading 92nd – on a single, David Peralta blasted a two-run dinger, and the rout was on.
The Phillies climbed to within 7-4 on Haseley’s third hit – a double that plated Kingery (double; 39th extra-base hit of the year) – but Haseley was left at second. Zach Eflin allowed a solo homer to Avila in the 8th inning to finish the scoring.
Fittingly, the game ended on yet another wasted threat by the Phillies. Segura, who enjoyed a three-hit night, and Andrew Knapp singled with two outs to put runners on first and third. But Kingery grounded out, and another distasteful loss was officially in the books.
The Phillies and Diamondbacks compete for the series tomorrow night in the finale at Chase Field.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING PERFORMANCE
Phillies – Jake Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the fourth before finishing with a solid line score of five innings pitched, five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and five strikeouts over 80 pitches, 49 for strikes. He received a no-decision.
Diamondbacks – Mike Leake lasted 5.1 innings and somehow allowed only three runs (two earned) despite surrendering 11 hits and a walk. He struck out three over 97 pitches, 65 for strikes. His teammates took him off the hook for the loss by rallying from a 3-2 deficit.
PHILLIES NUGGETS PLAYER OF THE GAME: EDUARDO ESCOBAR
Down 2-0, Arizona’s second baseman tied the game with his 25th homer of the year. He finished with three RBIs, and now leads the National League with 92 runs batted in on the year.
TICKET IQ NEXT GAME
Wednesday, August 7, 9:40 EDT vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- Could the Phillies lose control of the Phillie Phanatic in lawsuit?
- Alec Bohm comes through in the clutch once again at Double-A Reading
- Examining 17 late Phillies bullpen collapses and 2019 blown games
- Bobby Abreu joins franchise immortals on the Phillies Wall of Fame
- PN INTERVIEW: 10 years later, Brad Lidge talks about “battling” through 2009 season