The Phillies lost their first series of the season in the most Philadelphia way possible, snagging defeat from the jaws of victory. It is a tough one to take as it showcased the Phillies biggest weakness, their pitching. Sports radio was full of hosts and callers alike screaming how Nick Pivetta “stinks” and the Phillies need to go get Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel now! Overreacting is such a Philly thing to do.
The Phils took the first game of the series thanks in part to Rhys Hoskins two-homer game. Vince Velasquez had a decent game going 5 innings in his first start. There is where the trouble lies. The starting pitching has not been going deep into the games causing the bullpen to log a lot of innings.
The Nats Flip the Script.
Game two and the Phils’ Ace had a 6-1 lead and very low pitch count going into the sixth inning. The Nats got one back in the sixth and in the seventh, it came undone for Nola. He let up a two-run homer, followed by a solo home run to keep a slim 6-5 lead. Enter the 9th inning, where Edubray Ramos needed one more strike when he hung a slider that was blasted out of the yard. Game tied! The Nats blew it up in the tenth to take the game 10-6. This was a bummer as the Nats gave the Phils a taste of their own medicine. The win breathed life into a Nats team that didn’t start the season strong. Twitter and sports talk was all about the need for Kimbrel.
Game three and the Nats kept the momentum from the previous night. They chased Pivetta in the fourth scoring 7 runs and ultimately winning 15-1. Jeremy Hellickson shut down the Phillies through 6 innings. The lone bright spot of the game was when it was over.
In all, it was a heartbreaking result to what appeared to be an easy series win. Phillies fans are now in over react mode. Can the addition of Keuchel and Kimbrel help the Phillies? Absolutely! But we just need to remind ourselves that it’s early in the season. Aaron Nola will figure it out and hopefully, the team can consistently get 6-7 innings a night from their starters. Everybody, let’s take a breath and realize we still have one of the best lineups in baseball.
Pitching Help is out There.
My opinion is that Matt Klentak should go and try to get Keuchel. This is not a panic move but a smart one. Keuchel has pitched in the playoffs and world series. He is a two-time all-star and a Cy Young award winner. Plus Klentak may need to act fast. Although it is being reported that that the Yankees are not interested in Keuchel, with the loss of Luis Severino, they may be looking to add pitching depth.
Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports