Andrew McCutchen said he isn’t focused on what the front office will do before Friday’s trade deadline. His job is to show up and play, McCutchen said. But his swing Monday night sure applied pressure on the front office to make moves this week, as the Phillies are just 3 1/2 games out of first place. McCutchen jumped on a first-pitch fastball, and you can bet Dave Dombrowski is working the phones.
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Zach Eflin will miss at least one more start with a lingering knee injury, Scott Lauber writes.
Manager Joe Girardi said Vince Velasquez has struggled, but the Phillies are keeping him in their starting rotation.
As MLB confronts rising spin rates, Ranger Suárez finds success in the ninth inning the “old-school way.”
The great Bob Brookover is leaving The Inquirer and wrote a beautiful farewell column about why he loves baseball.
Tonight: Matt Moore faces Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde, 7:05 p.m.
Tomorrow: Zack Wheeler starts against Patrick Corbin, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Velasquez pitches the series finale vs. the Nats, 1:05 p.m.
Friday: Phillies open three-game series in Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
Stat of the day
McCutchen is the third active player in the majors with 250 career home runs and eight career walk-off homers, joining Albert Pujols and Ryan Zimmerman, per Elias. Also per Elias, Monday was the first time the Phillies won a game in which they trailed by at least four runs through five innings since Aug. 15, 2019 vs the Cubs. During that game, the Cubs led, 5-0, after five innings, and the Phils came back to win, 7-5, on Bryce Harper’s walk-off grand slam in the ninth.
From the mailbag
Send questions by email or on Twitter @matt_breen.
Question: Matt, I saw your prediction for the deadline. Better question: Should the Phillies be buyers? — Tom M. via Twitter
Answer: Thanks, Tom. Yes. But not “buyers” in the way of going all in and risking your premium prospects. The Phils are just 3 1/2 games out of first place and haven’t been to the postseason since 2011. It would be insane — and insulting to the fans and clubhouse — if they sold this week. They don’t need to mortgage the future, but they do need to add some pieces. They need a starting pitcher and some bullpen help to at least have a chance at the division title in the final two months.
So yes, buyers. But maybe not top-shelf buyers.