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Pete Mackanin's Fightin Phils Drop the Last Two In Extras

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The Phillies are 1-4 since the All Star Break. To add insult to injury they are averaging an eye-popping 2 runs per game. Nothing to see here, just business as usual for the Fightins. I guess I shouldn’t have been so bold as to predict an 81-81, just out of the Wild Card, finish.

On Monday, the blown save by Jeanmar followed by the extra inning loss was an absolute heartbreaker. Aaron Nola looked like the time off to clear his head was just what the doctor ordered, tossing 6 scoreless and giving up just 2 hits and 1 walk to one of the best lineups in baseball. He was removed after just 68 pitches.

Along with the blown save, the lineup decided to strike out 18 times. To their benefit, they faced one of the premo pitchers in the game in Jose Fernandez. Not to their benefit, they are also leading the league with a 49.2% swing percentage and last in the league with a .292 OBP. Fast forward to last nights game, we’ve got another extra inning loss, 11 more strike outs out of this lineup and another wasted opportunity to give their starting pitcher a much deserved W. I understand this offense is streaky, but I gotta throw Mackanin under the bus as well, specifically last night. Now I question a lot of Mack’s in-game decision making, but a few things made absolutely no sense to me over the course of last nights game.

Example #1
Freddy Galvis, who has the 5th worst in the MLB and a 20.5 K%, is given the opportunity to hit with a man on first and no one out in the bottom of 7th inning of a tied ball game. Mack had this to say….

“I don’t want to play for one run against that team in the seventh inning.”

Not sure what this means. If it was a different team would he have bunted? As far as I can tell, scoring one more run than the other ball club usually wins you the game. Freddy’s clutch hitting has been a huge factor this season, but the law of averages tells you to take the bat out of his freaking hands. To Freddy’s credit this was one of heck of a play. He’s basically a poor man’s Rey Ordonez at this point.

Example #2
Allowing Ryan Howard to even step foot in the batters box on a 3-0 count, 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd. Of course he swinging at a pitch 2 feet off the plate. If I’m hitting .160 and I’m fortunate enough to get into a 3-0 count, I’m swinging at anything and everything. That pitch would have loaded the bases and we have a whole different ball game. I guess we weren’t playing for one run there either, Mack.

At least we have the Trade Deadline to look forward to. Jeremy Hellickson, Peter Bourjos, and most recently, Jeanmar Gomez and David Hernandez will be the names you hear thrown around the most over the next 12 days. I for one am very excited to blog Matty Klentak’s first deadline. I hope he has some tricks up his sleeve.