Sunday, August 27, 2017

Lively stumbles as Cubs trounce Phillies via the long ball

Ben Lively surrendered four homers
The Chicago Cubs scored a season-high 17 runs on Saturday night in an absolute romp of the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Chicago's six hits and seven runs in the top of the seventh tied season highs for both in an inning.

Phillies pitching surrendered six long balls, including a pair to Anthony Rizzo and Tommy La Stella. Rookie hurler Ben Lively surrendered four of the six blasts and dealt with control issues throughout the outing.

"My fastball was fine," Lively said. "It was tough to be on the same plane with [catcher Jorge Alfaro]. … I wanted to throw more in, we just weren't on the same page, and my curveball was crap early and I tried to fix it early, but too late."

Pitching has become a sore spot for the Phillies, especially over the last month. The starting staff has a 6.02 ERA since the start of August, the second worst mark in baseball over that stretch. Sunday's starter - Nick Pivetta - has an ERA of 14.49 in four starts this month.

"You can look at the players that we have here, I've seen them all before," Mackanin said. "So you base your opinion -- you end up thinking if he gets it, if he starts commanding his fastball or starts being able to pitch backwards, or if he can throw a breaking ball on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded to get a guy out, that's what determines how successful that player is going to be. It's all those things combined."

The lone highlight Saturday night for the Phillies was another Rhys Hoskins homer, his seventh homer in as many days and his 10th in his first 17 games, a Major League record dating back to at least 1913.

The two clubs conclude the three-game set Sunday with Pivetta scheduled to oppose veteran John Lackey.

Sunday's Lineup
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, RF
4. Rhys Hoskins, LF
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Pedro Florimon, CF
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Nick Pivetta, P
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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