The Phillies are not in the Dodgers class. Yet they took two of four from the NL’s best team. The splitting of the series showed me two things. One, the Phillies just can’t possibly match up with a team the Dodgers caliber. They have too many holes. Two, newly extended Matt Klentak needs to get to work.
Klentak must have thought the same way and was possibly using the Dodger series as a springboard of which way to go at the trading deadline. He started by signing left-handed starting pitcher Drew Smyly and followed that up by acquiring RHP Mike Morin from the Minnesota Twins.
The Phillies responded by taking two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Addition of Smyly sends Nick Pivetta to the Bullpen
The Phillies rotation flat out stinks. Even with Aaron Nola pitching, you never know what you are getting out of the starter. The addition of a veteran left-handed will hopefully help stabilize the back end of the rotation.
Here is Smyly’s career stat line: 32 wins and 32 losses with an ERA of 4.13. He has appeared in 169 games having started 94. He has three saves and 604 strikeouts. Although his 2019 stats aren’t as impressive, he has a career line better than everyone in the Phillies’ rotation not named Nola or Jake Arrieta.
Smyly last pitched in the majors on June 16th. He got the start today and was great, shutting down the Pirates lineup. After giving up a run in the first, he settled in and pitched five shutout innings, only surrendering four hits, two walks while striking out eight.
The Bullpen Does Their Job
As bad as the starting pitching has been, the Bullpen has been worse. Klentak saw an opportunity to bolster the pen and acquired Morin from the Twins for cash. Acquiring a veteran RHP with an ERA of 3.42 in 24 games may have just been what the struggling bullpen needed to get jumpstarted. With the two acquisitions, the sent J.D Hammer to Lehigh Valley and placed Seranthony Dominquez on the 60-day injured list.
The Phillies needed the bullpen this series, and they stepped up. In the first game, the bullpen came in for Arrieta in the 5th in a tied ballgame and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings thanks to Juan Nicasio, Jose Alvarez and a two-inning save from none other than Cole Irvin. In-game two, the Pirates roughed up started Zack Eflin. The newly demoted Pivetta pitched two innings giving up one and Morin made his Phillies Debut, giving up one run in one inning.
This afternoon, Kapler lifted Smyly after six innings. The Bullpen would have to be as good as Smyly to, and they were. The combination of Juan Nicasio, Adam Morgan, Hector Neris, and Ranger Suarez pitched 5 innings of scoreless baseball. The Phillies took the game on an 11th inning home run by Rhys Hoskins. Suarez went out and pitched his second scoreless inning earning the save.
The Phillies Bullpen came up big when the offense was dormant. Now, they head to Detroit and with any luck, Klentak won’t leave without trading for Matthew Boyd.
Adam Haseley is Heating Up
I said before that I feel Haseley needs to be an everyday player. I’d rather see him in centerfield and Kingery at third, actually, I’d rather see Bohm at third and Kingery at second, but that’s a whole other article. Haseley can hit, however, if he sits he might not improve. He is starting to heat up having hit his first two homers in consecutive games.
Doc is enshrined and it’s a Beautiful Thing.
I miss Roy Halladay. I’ve watched the piece on his postseason no-hitter five times today. Congrats to the Halladay family. RIP DOC.