Playing after a somewhat disappointing trade deadline has to be a little deflating. You spend all month hoping your general manager will make a big splash to help push you toward the postseason and you’re left seeing the rich get richer in Houston, the two teams in front of you adding depth to their bullpen, and the only thing that the Phillies did was add a left fielder that you had hoped would arrive in time to make a token pinch hitting performance. While the Corey Dickerson trade could end up being a smart, underrated move, it has to be difficult on the players to not get someone like Zack Greinke.
The disappointment must have seeped into their offensive approach tonight as the Phillies were pretty thoroughly dominated by Jeff Samardzija and the rest of the Giants pitching staff, managing 5 measly hits against the
Notre Dame wideout righty and a lone, solitary run. It was kind of not fun to watch.
It started out pretty good. Vince Velasquez was matching Samardzija blank inning for blank inning until the sixth began. He was using the approach that the team was asking to take by living at the top of the zone with his fastballs, as detailed by Meghan Montemurro in a piece on the Athletic.
Velasquez with big strikeouts of Yastrzemski & Posey with bases loaded to end 3rd in scoreless game. Attacked both with four-seam fastballs up in zone. That's not a coincidence. It's a focal point in his bullpens where Phillies have been getting creative: https://t.co/INWxd0IaR6 pic.twitter.com/P4ajMmOJUT— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) August 1, 2019
These were his two big strikeouts he got in the 3rd with the bases loaded. He knew what he had to do and executed beautifully. It had been like this all game. He was baiting Giants’ hitters into swinging at pitches at the top of the zone all night. It was pretty nice to see. Unfortunately, that whole “beyond the fifth” thing that always seems to happen to Vince reared its head yet again.
In the sixth, Velasquez walked Mike Yastrzemski to lead off the inning, then didn’t get a fastball high or fast enough to get by Buster Posey, who belted one in the left field stands for a two-run home run, ending Velasquez’s night. Adam Morgan came in and promptly threw some gas on the fire by allowing a:
- home run to Pablo Sandoval
- single to Brandon Crawford
- home run to Kevin Pillar
It wasn’t good. Mike Morin, Hector Neris and Zach Eflin wouldn’t allow the Giants to score again, but the point had been made.
It wasn’t totally about the pitching, but it underscored again the need for better relief pitching. No, tonight was about the inept bats. Perhaps Matt Klentak had this night in mind when he was negotiating to take on Dickerson. Perhaps Jay Bruce and the always tricky oblique injury isn’t getting any better any time soon. Who knows? But tonight, this offense stunk. They’ll go for the series win tomorrow at 1 p.m.