Arrieta struggles early in Philly debut; Phillies fall to Marlins

Jake Arrieta makes Philadelphia debut
Jake Arrieta labored early on Sunday but eventually found the rhythm familiar to most Cy Young award winners, retiring 10 of the final 11 batters he faced in a 6-3 loss to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Arrieta needed 31 pitches to get through a first inning where he allowed a solo homer to Miguel Rojas and a two-run single to Braxton Lee. He settled down from there though ending the day with 74 pitches over four innings. He walked a pair and struck out five.

"Erratic in the first, was maybe just a little too giddy," Arrieta told reporters afterward. "I was pulling a lot of stuff out of the zone. The homer was on a ball I was trying to get down and away and it got away from me."

Arrieta knew he was on a relatively short leash entering Sunday's contest. The 32-year-old didn't sign with the Phillies until March 12 and is still working to stretch his arm out. He only made two appearances late in Spring Training, tossing just five innings.

"He was on a pitch count and we knew that we would get him to a very specific area of the game," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said (see video below). "We were in constant communication with Jake throughout the game to make sure he was feeling healthy and strong."

Trailing by three after the top portion of the first, the Phillies' bats picked off right where they left off on Saturday. Cesar Hernandez opened the frame with a lead-off double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch before scampering home on a Carlos Santana sacrifice-fly to right.



Odubel Herrera mirrored Hernandez, doubling later in the inning before also advancing to third on a wild pitch and ultimately scoring on a Nick Williams single to center.

The Phillies evened the contest in the third via an RBI-double by Rhys Hoskins that scored Herrera.

The Phillies' bullpen dropped the contest in the eighth though as Luis Garcia and Adam Morgan combined to surrender three runs, allowing the Marlins to break the tie and leave Philadelphia with a victory.

Struggles Worsen
J.P. Crawford went 0-for-4 Sunday and is hitting .043 on the season. Over his first seven games, he's collected just one hit in 23 at-bats.

Despite the early numbers, Kapler isn't concerned.

"I personally have a ton of confidence in J.P.," Kapler said Sunday. "There's a lot of guys struggling around the game right now, 20 - 25 plate appearances in. There are no concerns at all about J.P.'s ability to contribute offensively and he's playing great defense."

Did You Notice?
Rhys Hoskins picked up his fifth double of the season on Sunday and is now hitting .440 on the season. He's also collected at least one walk in five of eight contests this season while leading the National League in batting average and on-base percentage.

Up Next
The Phillies welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game set beginning Monday night.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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