2019 Postgame Recaps

Questionable pitching change prompts yet another Phillies defeat



Nick Pivetta collapsed in the eighth inning Sunday. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

Some managerial moves defy description. Take, for instance, the eighth inning of last night’s Philadelphia Phillies-San Francisco Giants debacle at Oracle Park.

With a runner on first and two outs, Jose Alvarez was on the mound for the Phillies. Arguably the Phillies most productive reliever this season, Alvarez had not surrendered a run since June 28, a span of 14 innings. Inexplicably, manager Gabe Kapler strolled to the mound and summoned Nick Pivetta to face Kevin Pillar, who was scorching-hot offensively.

It was bad enough that, following a wild pitch, Pillar proceeded to scorch a triple to give the Giants a 7-6 lead, but two batters later, Giants closer Will Smith approached the plate for his first-ever plate appearance (the third Giant to do that over the course of eight innings). Unfathomably, Smith lined a two-run single to provide insurance runs. Pivetta (5.36 ERA), the sixth and final Phillies hurler, lasted one third of an inning and was charged with two runs on three hard-hit shots to the outfield.

With the victory, the Giants (59-60) moved to three-and-a-half games out of a Wild Card spot, while the struggling Phillies (60-58) dropped two back. In losing their sixth of their last eight, the Phillies finished a dreadful 2-5 road trip against the Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2) and Giants (1-3), neither of whom figure are most likely to be playing in October. After an off day Monday, the Phillies will return home to face the Chicago Cubs for three and San Diego Padres for three more.

Yet another dismal display in times of clutch cost a Phillies team that seems incapable of reaching their potential. They left an astounding 15 runners on base and were 4-14 with runners in scoring position (which actually isn’t bad, except when you consider runners were left on third base to end the seventh and eighth innings). The Giants? They only left five runners and were a methodical 4-7 in the situations that mattered most.

The Phillies fell behind, 2-0, after one inning, but they responded with five unanswered runs. Roman Quinn (bases loaded walk) and Bryce Harper (two-run single; now with 80 RBIs) made it 3-2 in the second, and Cesar Hernandez delivered a two-run single in the third.

Phillies starter Jake Arrieta, however, could not take advantage of a rare Philadelphia offensive barrage. He surrendered three runs in the third that tied the contest at 5-5, and upon returning to the bullpen, he was told by Kapler that his evening was over.

“He gave us everything he had,” said Kapler, speaking to ESPN’s broadcast crew after the third inning ended. “He didn’t have his best command. He’s always the type of guy that wants to go out and give us as much length as possible . . . [he’s an] an absolute warrior, battler.”

The game was now in the hands of both bullpens with six innings remaining. The Phillies appeared ready to take the early advantage when they loaded the bases with one out in the fourth. J.T. Realmuto, however, swung through a 92 mph fastball for the second out, and Scott Kingery popped up on the next pitch to end the threat.

In the bottom of the sixth, Scooter Gennett blasted a misplaced Ranger Suarez fastball that landed in the San Francisco Bay, which gave the Giants a 6-5 lead. The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Tony Watson induced struggling Rhys Hoskins to pop out to first base. Hoskins – who entered the game hitting .145 over his last 15 games before going 0-4 Sunday – finished the road trip a miserable 2-24.

After Mike Morin put the Giants down in order in the seventh, the Phillies tied the game at 6-6 in the eighth. With runners on second and third and one out, Giants sure-to-be Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy summoned his lefty closer Will Smith – the eighth Giants pitcher of what had become a personal chess match by the three-time World Series champion mentor. But Corey Dickerson, who has struggled against lefties, lofted a long sacrifice fly to right to score Realmuto. Smith got an easy fly-out by pinch hitter Brad Miller to end the inning, but despite getting two outs, Smith was charged with his third blown save against 28 successes.

Smith, of course, would have revenge both with the bat and the glove against a Phillies squad that appears to be running on fumes with 44 games still to go. As for Alvarez, he took a loss to drop to 3-3, but it is more than justifiable to ask why he wasn’t allowed to face Pillar over Pivetta with the game on the line.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

Phillies – In an outing that can accurately be described as “forgettable,” Jake Arrieta was in trouble early and late. He lasted only three innings and was peppered with five runs on seven hits and a walk while whiffing five. Of his 66 pitches, 40 were for strikes. Arrieta is now 0-2 with five no-decisions and a 5.34 ERA in the 32 innings he has thrown since his last win on June 30.

Giants – Conner Menez started strong with a 1-2-3 first inning. But the Phillies scored three in the second, and Giants manger Bruce Bochy responded with a quick hook. In 1.2 innings, Menez gave up two three earned runs, two hits and three walks, while striking out four over 51 pitches (30 for strikes).

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Will Smith

Even though he technically blew the save, Smith got the Giants out of a major fix in the eighth and then slashed a two-run single in his first-ever plate appearance. Smith’s victory raised his record to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.42.

TicketIQ Next Game

  • Tuesday, August 13, 7:05 vs. Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park
  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)

MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION

  1. 10 Years Later, Brad Lidge Talks ‘Battling’ Through 2009
  2. Phillies Rumors: ‘Prevailing Belief’ Is Gabe Kapler Won’t Be Fired
  3. Dylan Cozens Signs Minor League Deal With Rays
  4. First Look: Phillies Players’ Weekend Jerseys
  5. Phillies Nation Mailbag: Who Have Been The Best Phillies Relievers This Decade?

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. delmo

    August 11, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Change the locks pronto on the 3 stooges!

  2. Pingback: Watch Giants' Smith drive in two in epic first career AB – NBCSports.com | One Herald

  3. scmike

    August 12, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Why does this organization continue to praise the entirety of this team. I don’t see it and it is really getting on my nerves. The Gabe Kapler experiment is over. It has become absolutely clear that he is not capable of managing a baseball team. Sure, some players have been under performing, but this team should not be competing for 4th place. The flip flopping of the lineup, mis managing the bullpen and so many other things he does is head scratching. This season should have been an improvement from last year, but it is the same GD story. When they finish the season under .500 and out of the playoffs, it’s time for this circus act to end.

    • schmenkman

      August 12, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Lineup changes are not unique to the Phillies. In fact, the Phillies have used the second fewest different batting orders in the NL.

      • delmo

        August 13, 2019 at 3:46 am

        une parole pour vous:vector tensor matrices

      • schmenkman

        August 13, 2019 at 8:11 am

        In English: the Phillies don’t change their lineup much, compared to other teams.

  4. delmo

    August 12, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Take advantage of being on left coast; begin to recover some of wasted 75mil and fly III stooges to dizzieland so they can advance their career dev with their personal mentors dumbo, goofy and sneezie respectively. That is the PHILAnthropic thing to dooz

  5. Phanatic

    August 12, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Last night one of the hot, brunette Playboy models at Château Phanatic asked if I had a favorite baseball team.

    I took a sip of my Veuve Clicquot, looked deep into her dark eyes and said: ‘whoever is playing the Phillies’.

    She smiled approvingly, rubbed my broad, sculptured chest and said: ‘let’s go to bed’.

  6. Craig Glessner

    August 12, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Wow who wants that story translated into Englsh.

    • schmenkman

      August 12, 2019 at 10:25 pm

      Many pre-teens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2019
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top