Sunday, August 6, 2017

Leiter excels in relief but Phillies fall to Rockies

Philadelphia falls behind early; falls to Rockies
Mark Leiter Jr. probably didn't expect to put his name in the Phillies' record book on Saturday night, but that's exactly what happened in the club's 8-5 defeat at the hands of the Rockies at Coors Field.

Nick Pivetta started the contest for the Phillies but was chased before getting out of the third inning. He needed 29 pitches before recording an out and allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base. All told, he surrendered eight runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings. His ERA for the season sits at 5.89.

Leiter entered in the third and accomplished something no Phillies reliever has done in more than 47 years - collecting nine strikeouts in relief.

"He threw all his pitches for strikes, threw strikes with all his secondary pitches -- he's got quite a few of them -- and he made a lot of good hitters look bad," manager Pete Mackanin said. "Can't say enough about his performance."

Leiter's mark was the highest strikeout total by a Phillies reliever since Lowell Palmer whiffed 10 on May 3, 1970. He also became the seventh Phillies reliever ever to strike out nine or more batters in a game, and the first to do so without walking anyone. He is the sixth reliever in MLB history to fan nine or more without giving up a run or walk. The last to accomplish the feat was the Rockies' Bruce Ruffin on Sept. 14, 1993.

Jorge Alfaro finished 2-for-4 in his 2017 debut with the Phillies. Freddy Galvis and Daniel Nava each had three hits in the losing effort.

The loss pushes the Phillies current losing skid to five; they've gone winless since opening this current road trip.

Aaron Nola is set to start Sunday's series finale in Denver. He'll be opposed by right-hander Jeff Hoffman.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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