Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Another one-run loss for Phillies as Marlins take series opener

Jerad Eickhoff was hurt by three homers on Monday night
The number of one-run losses for the Philadelphia Phillies now sits at 25 following last night's 6-5 10-inning loss to Miami at Marlins Park. The story line was all too familiar, littered with missed opportunities and the type of weird plays that besiege a team on pace to lose more than 100 games.

Jerad Eickhoff was hindered by the long ball, surrendering three homers - including a pair to Giancarlo Stanton to fastballs - over a pedestrian six innings. He also walked four.

“When you give a hitter in a hitter’s count a fastball anywhere close to being over the plate, that’s what he’s going to do,” Eickhoff said. “Same thing happened with the second one, too. That’s going to happen. Honestly, I wasn’t worried about those.”

Justin Bour accounted for Eickhoff's other homer, a two-run shot that came on a first-pitch fastball.

“He got hurt by the long ball, obviously,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “[Stanton] is leading the National League in home runs. So that happens. The other one, he just made a bad pitch.”

The Phillies twice used five infielders and Ty Kelly, playing right field for just the third time in his career, misjudged a fly ball that resulted in a triple and eventually the winning run in the 10th.

"Tough to take a loss like that," Mackanin said. "The positive is that we battled."

Battling, however, is only part of the equation. The Phillies sit with the worst record in baseball, 31 games below the .500 mark and are looking to move several pieces before the July 31 trade deadline to re-calibrate the current rebuild.

A bright spot last night for the Phillies was the return of Cesar Hernandez to top of the lineup. He secured an infield-single in his first at-bat back since going on the disabled list in early June with a strained oblique.

"You get to feel more comfortable in the other two at-bats," Hernandez said of notching his first hit since coming back. "So you're more relaxed."

Roster Moves
Following Monday's contest the Phillies optioned Mark Leiter Jr. to triple-A Lehigh Valley and reinstated Tuesday's starter Vince Velasquez. Tuesday will mark his first start since May 30 after going on the disabled list with a strained flexor in his right elbow.

Howie Kendrick, dealing with a left hamstring injury, could begin a rehab assignment this week. He participated in batting practice and some outfield work Monday.

The Percentage Game
Murmurs about the Phillies interest in outfielders Stanton and Christian Yellch continue to circulate, but the likelihood of a deal - according to one American League scout - "is less than three-percent."
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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