Gabe Kapler put Nick Pivetta into Sunday night’s game, whose strategy of “fastballs down the middle” failed hard enough for the Giants to knock in the winning runs. Bruce Bochy had gone to the bullpen early in this in, causing raucous carnival music to start playing in Kapler’s head, so this was a game in which bullpens would be emptied, match-ups would be considered, and references to “chess” would be made by the broadcasters.
Once more, Kapler got to make a bunch of bullpen decisions that made you either shrug or question his sanity. And because the teams went to their bullpens early, that meant some relievers would get to hit. Giants hurler Will Smith had never had a big league AB in 11 years until tonight, and facing Pivetta, he smacked the first base hit of his career, and he
all the way down the first base line.
Has to be an amazing feeling for a pitcher to have someone single off you and then laugh all the way up the line.— Grant Brisbee (@GrantBrisbee) August 12, 2019
The Giants dugout broke out in a fit of giggling, too, and for good reason. Pitchers hitting! Absurd! It’s like a dog walking around on its hind legs. What a hoot!
The Phillies sure are a fun team to play against—just ask the extremely beatable White Sox, Diamondbacks, and Giants, who have beaten the Phillies in each of the last three series. During these four games against San Francisco, the Phillies were shut out by Madison Bumgarner over seven innings, watched Bryce Harper spring to life with two bombs to win game two, got utterly silenced by Jeff Samardzija, and watched the bullpen bleed runs to death during a stupid bullpen game on Sunday night.
Jake Arrieta, who shouldn’t be pitching with bone spurs in his arm, was yanked after three innings and five earned runs. He’s still weighing his options about the rest of the season after making, what, ten or twelve crappy starts since it was announced that he had a marble rolling around inside of his body? At least tonight he made a little history by giving up a home run to Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson. Cesar Hernandez, J.T. Realmuto, and Scott Kingery all had multi-hit games—and hey, even Vince Velasquez, who was pinch hitting, knocked a single. Why not. The Phillies came back from a 2-0 deficit and made it 5-2 at one point. A Realmuto sac fly tied it back up at 6-6 after the Giants came back.
The bullpen did throw a few clean innings: Blake Parker and Mike Morin put zeroes in a frame each. But in the end, the thing that keeps happening happened: The Phillies just weren’t good enough to keep up. And now, it’s mid-August, and it doesn’t matter why.
I’m not going to read the Kapler quotes following this one, but we can assume they’ll be about getting better, or doing better, or knowing the hot streak is right around the corner.
Tonight, the Phillies walked 11 times and lost. And playing as the Sunday Night game on ESPN, everybody saw.
The lack of urgency and vibe that this Phillies team can flip a switch just like that and make a run falls directly on their manager. Show me an area where this team has gotten better under Gabe Kapler in the last two years?— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) August 12, 2019
That’s the attitude that’s the problem. “We don’t think we are obviously the best so we will just give up.” Momentum matters if you have a shot: The best team didn’t win in 2008 (The Cubs). Nor did the best team win in 2011 (The Phillies). https://t.co/KhYJBuSPUV— Frank Klose (@FrankKlose) August 12, 2019
Phillies lose again. Time for a quick rant— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) August 12, 2019