Jake Arrieta roughed up as Phillies drop opener with Brewers

Phillies walloped by Brewers
The Phillies left for Milwaukee on a high note, having taken a series against Colorado at home and coming off a fantastic starting performance from Vince Velasquez.

The high lasted less than three innings though as the Brewers walloped the Phillies at Miller Park on Friday, 13-2.

Jake Arrieta, who struggled in his previous two starts, scuffled again, allowing eight runs - four earned - in 3 1/3 innings.

Four of the eight runs surrendered by Arrieta were unearned, attributed to four errors with shortstop Scott Kingery accounting for two of them.

"It was [terrible] all the way around," Arrieta told reporters. "And that's a good example of why the starting pitcher is charged with the win or the loss. In a situation like that, I singlehandedly lost us the game. Not the way I drew it up. Any time you start a game where a position player has to pitch, it's frustrating.

"I put up a five-spot in the second inning and it wasn't because of the defense really. And if there's a defensive play that's not made, it's our job to get the next guy out and pick him up."



Kingery failed to snatch a one-hopper in the second from Lorenzo Cain that should have led to a double-play, allowing two runs to score. That play poured gasoline on an already tough situation, enabling the Brewers to score five runs in the frame. He committed a throwing error earlier in the inning.

Kingery is young and a natural second baseman. He's been shifted all around the diamond this year so manager Gabe Kapler isn't overly concerned, at least not yet.

"I think we stay the course," Kapler said (see video). "We understand that our players are young and we understand that our players are developing. They're learning positions. It's part of the process.

"I don't think that looking at some struggles -- and there has been some struggles from time to time -- is the way to analyze this properly. I think the way to analyze this properly is to say, 'Is this young man, this young developing athlete Scott Kingery, getting better because of this experience?' I think the answer to that question is, 'Yes.' Is he strong mentally, tough physically, and capable of handling this challenge? I think the answer is, 'Yes.' At the end of the day, do we think that he will be one of our better players for many, many years to come because of this experience? I think the answer is 'Yes.'"



The Phillies want to see Kingery succeed at shortstop as Cesar Hernandez remains rooted at second base. The plan includes J.P. Crawford staying at third base with Maikel Franco as the odd man out.

"I think that covers the most ground," Kapler said. "It's very close, right? When you put J.P. at short and Scott at third base, that would be a pretty good defense as well. I don't know if there's a huge difference either way. But I'm very comfortable with the developing shortstop in Scott Kingery and a very good athletic third baseman in J.P. Crawford."

The Phillies and Brewers resume their three-game set on Saturday with right-hander Zach Eflin squaring off against Brewers right-hander Junior Guerra.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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