Philadelphia Phillies can’t stop giving up the long ball, have lost 8 of 10: week in review
The Philadelphia Phillies’ fall back to earth continued with series losses against the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals. Entering Sunday’s walk-off win over the Nationals, the Phillies were a season-worst five games under the .500 mark, but they climbed back up to four games after a Freddy Galvis sacrifice fly in the 10th inning lifted them to a walk-off win over Washington.
Last week: 2-5
Season: 13-17, 4th place in NL East
Games back: 7.5
Galvis’ sacrifice fly in the 6-5 Sunday win snapped a five-game losing streak and bookended the Phillies’ week with a pair of victories. It capped a comeback from a three-run deficit that featured a three-run home run from outfielder Aaron Altherr in the eighth inning.
The Phillies have given up an MLB-high 48 home runs this season, and seven of those came this week. Right-hander Nick Pivetta gave up three in his start against Washington on May 5, while righty Vince Velasquez gave up three between a pair of starts — one of which came in a win over the Cubs on May 1. Velasquez has been the most victimized with eight allowed, while right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has served up seven and right-hander Adam Morgan allowed six in his two appearances at the start of the season. In an 8-3 loss to Chicago on May 2, the Phillies served up three, while their pitchers gave up seven in the three games against Washington over the weekend.
Altherr is going to make it difficult for the Phillies to find playing time for outfielder Howie Kendrick when he returns from the disabled list. Altherr batted .429/.556/.857 in six games with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He also walked six times. He had three multi-hit games, and his game-tying home run on Sunday came in a pinch-hit appearance.
Altherr has been one of the biggest boosts to the Philadelphia offense this season. The 26-year-old currently leads the team in batting with a .338 average and in OPS at 1.057. He ranks second on the team in home runs (four) and in doubles (seven).
Hellickson was a steady presence in the Phillies rotation over the firs tmonth of the season, with a 4-0 record and 1.80 ERA through five starts. In May, though, Hellickson has struggled. He has a 9.35 ERA in two starts this month and has surrendered nine runs in 8.2 innings.
After 12 straight games, the Phillies get two off days this week, with a two-game series with Seattle sandwiched between off days before a nine-game road trip at Washington, Texas and Pittsburgh.
Tuesday, May 9, 7:05 p.m.: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-3, 4.00) vs. LHP Ariel Miranda (3-2, 3.55)
Wednesday, May 10, 1:05 p.m.: RHP Zach Eflin (0-0, 2.42) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 4.46)