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Phillies Take 2 of 3 from Brewers But Fundamentals Are Still Lacking

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Taking 2 of 3 in a season series deserve a pat on the back, but this team still has so much it needs to work on and it starts with fundamentals. I love the youth and exuberance of this team, but Pete Mackanin needs to start fixing some of the obvious flaws of this team. Not to mention, he needs to adjust a few things himself.

For starters, they need to be better on the base paths. In 17 chances this year they have been caught a league high, 8 times! This weekend alone they were caught three teams and Cesar Hernandez is now 1/5 in stolen base opportunities on the season. When a team has an OBP of .287, dead last in the league, you the last thing you want to be doing is ruining a threat.

This one really pissed me off yesterday. Down 8-5, your best hitter who has been locked in all weekend at the plate and Freddy does something like this.

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You can’t force a rally, but you especially can’t take the bat out of Maikel Franco’s hand down only 3 runs in the top of the 7th inning. This is an ongoing theme of the young 2016 season for the Phillies and if they want to continue this winning baseball trend, stuff like this needs to stop.

Moving on to defense, which in my opinion has been atrocious at times. Sunday showed some of their true colors.

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Emmanuel Burris got the start in left, his 6th career start in the outfield. Why he is out there over Darin Ruf who the offense seems to show up every time he is in the lineup, I have no clue. Speed demon Chris Carter could have crawled home after that throw.
Then we have this by Peter Bourjos.

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And then simple things like not hitting a cutoff and allowing the runner to advance.

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But then we have this.

Jared Eickoff pitched tremendous in the first 5 innings. His curveball was filth, outside of a few hangers. He was pitching fine into the 6th before the curve started hanging on him again. 80 pitches in, and no one warming up in the bullpen, Braun and Carter step up to the plate in the 6th. A single by Braun and a double by Carter to lead off the inning, Eickhoff hangs an 0-2 curveball to Kurt Newenheis and he absolutely smokes it past Ryan Howard for a 2 run double and to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead. Braun and Carter hit a combined 12-23 on the series and with Eickhoff clearly not at his best, he was left out to dry. Side note on Ryan Braun; he absolutely murders the Phillies. A career .387 hitter with 20 home runs in 58 total games against the Phils.

At least we finally got to see Maikel heat up. After a 3-29 stretch, Maikel exploded this weekend hitting 7-13 on the series with three home runs and 8 RBI.

…God I hate Ben Davis with his stupid “Hang it and Bang it” home run calls. Last year it was him screaming Yakka and now this. Give me more Mike Schmidt please CSN.

Odubel continued his on base explosion, reaching base in his 16th straight game. He also scored 6 runs in the series and swiped two bags. Aaron Nola continued to show that he is our future ace, striking out 7 over 7 innings in a 5-2 win on Friday. That gives Aaron Nola 30 k’s over 26 innings so far this season, which I’m sure has exceeded the entire organizations expectations.

I like what I am seeing so far in the first 19 games. They are beating up on really bad teams in the NL and squeaking wins out of the top teams. I don’t expect them to hover around the .500 mark all season, but they have certainly turned heads in the NL East. Velasquez v. Scherzer tomorrow. Scherzer has been shaky his first few outings, but has a career 2.11 ERA vs the Phils in 11 starts. Velasquez is 1 game removed from his dominant 16 k outing. Let’s see if he can return to form.