Phillies implode in middle innings, fall to Braves in series opener

Jake Arrieta failed to get through the fifth
Jake Arrieta attempted again on Friday to deliver a gritty performance while dealing with a bone spur in his pitching elbow, but things didn't go as planned.

The veteran surrendered four runs in the fifth inning off a pair of walks, a single, double, and home run. As has happened in his last two performances, his stuff fell off significantly in the fifth. The Braves went on to secure a 9-2 win over the Phillies in the series opener.

“I was pretty much in control until the fifth and then I was physically just limited and not able to do what I was doing the first four innings,” Arrieta told reporters afterward. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s just what I’m dealing with.

“The movement, the action, the velocity in the first four innings was about as good as it’s been all year. And then it flips. It’s frustrating because that’s what I’ve been dealing with for the majority of the season. It’s not a good feeling.”

With the loss, the Phillies now trail the division-leading Braves by 6 1/2 games.



“I don’t think there’s a doubt in anyone’s mind in here that we have guys right now in this clubhouse that are capable of winning ballgames consistently and climbing the ranks and separating ourselves and moving past on some teams,” Arrieta said. “We just have to win games. It’s easy to look outside of the clubhouse for solutions. I think we have more than enough talent to make it happen with the guys we have.”

Rookie Cole Irvin followed Arrieta and surrendered four runs, including a pair he walked with the bases loaded, to let the game get out of reach.

"He was the guy who was there to give us length, get us through a couple of innings," manager Gabe Kapler said (see video). "It was the right part of the lineup to get a couple of innings out of him. It just didn't work out in our favor."

Zach Eflin will start Saturday's contest for the Phils. He complained of his body feeling heavy earlier in the week, but medically he's cleared to pitch. The Braves counter with lefty Max Fried.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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