The Marlins coming to town was suppose to be the start of the second half. It was a series that could propel the Phillies to stop the tailspin. After two games, the Phillies look worse than ever.
On Friday, Aaron Nola let up two runs. Vince Velasquez pitched a gem for only five innings. He let up one hit in 5 innings, didn’t surrender a walk and struck out five. He also threw a whopping 57 pitches. I mean, seriously, Velasquez was pitching as good as he has all season. Why the need to take him out so soon? These types of decisions by the coaching staff feed into the masses calling for a change.
The bats started off ‘ok’, then Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins hit back to back home runs. Harper then added another RBI in the 5th. The Ballpark was electric and the hopes of the collapse being over were high…until they weren’t.
Kapler tried to infuse life into his ball club by getting tossed in the fourth inning. You can watch the exchange here, be mindful of some colorful language.
Kingery checks his swing. The pitch runs high and tight hitting Kingery in the hand. Now even if he DID swing and the hand in part of the bat, why was he out and not called a foul ball? Did I miss a rule change? Kapler was right to make a stand here. The home plate umpire, who missed the play, tosses Kapler and instead of injecting life into the Phils, seemed to send them back to sleep.
The Lack of hustle is inexcusable
Another day, another “extra base single.” That is when a hitter hits one into the gap that should be a double, but a lack of hustle out of the batter’s box holds him to a single. This time it was Cesar Hernandez. A leadoff “double” turned single, due to him failing to run hard.
The single allowed the Marlins to play their infield at double-play depth, instead of shifting on Harper, the next batter. At the time the Phillies were trailing by one. Harper hits into a double play to short, which may have been a single due to the shift. At the very least, Hernandez is still in scoring position with one out.
So the question about another incident where lack of hustle could have cost them a run has to be asked. Did Kapler lose the clubhouse?
Another note, Harper may be the worst base runner I have ever seen. The opposing defense throws Harper out way too much.
It’s has been a rough few weeks to be a Phillie fan. The Phillies may be proving that they just aren’t as good as we thought they would be. The Phillies better figure this out soon.
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports