The Phillies scored 10 runs Sunday night, but that still was not enough for them to wake up Monday with a winning record for the first time this season. The offense’s 13 hits were not enough to overcome Jake Arrieta’s 46-pitch, four-out, seven-run start. The Phillies were down by 10 runs in the second inning, clawed back, but still fell short. They’ve had five chances this season to have a winning record, but have lost all five games.
Today starts a big week: The trade deadline is Monday before the Phillies face Patrick Corbin on Tuesday and Max Scherzer on Wednesday.
You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning during the season. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @matt_breen. Thank you for reading.
— Matt Breen (email@example.com)
It took Joe Girardi just 29 games before he got ejected for the first time as Phillies manager. Larry Bowa, who managed 90 games before being ejected, would be impressed. But Charlie Manuel, who was booted from game No. 19, and Dallas Green, who was tossed in his 21st game, would’ve asked Girardi what took him so long.
Girardi was ejected Sunday night in the ninth inning after first-base umpire Roberto Ortiz ruled a ball foul, believing that it struck Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte in the foot after he hit it. The replay showed that it missed his foot, bounced off the dirt in foul territory and then bounced fair for what would have been the first out of the inning.
Girardi, knowing the play could not be reviewed, asked the umpires to come together and talk about it among themselves. But none of them disagreed with Ortiz’ decision.
“I said, ‘The hitter told you everything you needed to know. He started to run. He told you everything you needed to know,’ ” Girardi said. “And then he was on their side of the dugout when they were talking about it. A left-handed hitter. So I was surprised that I got thrown out. Of the 30-something ejections I’ve had, I’ve deserved most of them, maybe all of them. But tonight, I didn’t deserve to be tossed for what I said and I’m pretty frustrated by it.”
Under the league’s COVID-19 guidelines, players and managers are subject to ejections, fines, and suspensions if they “leave their positions to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument.” Girardi did that Sunday as he left the dugout and was nearly face-to-face with second-base umpire Bill Welke. But Welke did not toss Girardi until the manager shouted something on his way back to the dugout.
“If the guy fouls a ball off his foot, I don’t think he’s going to run to first,” shortstop Didi Gregorius said. “So I was a little surprised. It caught me a little bit off guard even after they had a little meeting in the middle of the field.”
Girardi, who has been fairly mild-mannered since being hired by the Phillies, was ejected 34 times during his 10 seasons with the Yankees. His 37 career ejections are the fifth most among active managers. Don’t let Girardi’s measured news conferences fool you. He knows how to get heated.
“If he sees something that’s not being done the right way, he’ll go out and argue,” said Gregorius, who also played for Girardi in New York. “He always has the players’ backs, and that’s what you want to see every time from a manager. I don’t know what gets him going, but if it’s not right, he goes out there and fights for it.”
Today is the trade deadline, and the Phillies are still trying to be buyers in a seller’s market, Lauber writes. The Phillies already have beefed up their bullpen, but they could add more relief help or perhaps another starting pitcher. The deadline is Monday at 4 p.m.
The Phillies have been encouraged, Lauber writes, about the recent performance of Hector Neris. The right-hander has pieced together back-to-back scoreless appearances as he tries to work his way back from being bumped out of the closer’s role.
David Robertson won’t pitch again this season after suffering a setback from Tommy John surgery, Lauber writes. He joined the Phillies before last season on a $23 million, two-year deal, but pitched in just seven games.
Today: The MLB trade deadline, 4 p.m.
Tonight: Spencer Howard starts series opener against Washington, 7:05 p.m.
Tomorrow: Aaron Nola faces Patrick Corbin, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Zack Wheeler starts against Max Scherzer, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Phillies retire Dick Allen’s No. 15 before series finale, 4:05 p.m.
The Phillies came close Sunday night to doing something that has happened just twice in major-league history. Only two teams have come back to win after trailing by at least 10 runs in the first or second inning. The Phillies did it in 1989 against the Pirates, and the Cincinnati Red Stockings did it in 1876 against the Philadelphia A’s.
The Phillies trailed Sunday, 10-0, in the second inning before getting within two runs before falling. When the Phillies rallied back in 1989, Pirates broadcaster Jim Rooker famously said he would walk back to Pittsburgh if the Phillies won. Well, he did.
Send questions by email or on Twitter @matt_breen.
Question: If the Phillies don’t win the division, what do they need to do to make the playoffs? — Dale H. via email.
Answer: Thanks, Dale. The three division winners in each league will make the playoffs, but so will each second-place team. It’s important to look at the top two spots when you’re browsing the standings, because that’s who will get automatic playoff berths.