SEATTLE — The umpires refused to get a closer look, so Joe Girardi decided he had seen enough.
It was the second inning here Tuesday night. The Phillies trailed by two runs to the Mariners and had just allowed a third when first baseman Rhys Hoskins had the ball jarred from his mitt by Seattle’s Adam Frazier on a play at first base.
Hoskins put his hands to his ears, the universal signal for a replay review. From the dugout, Girardi asked for one, too. But according to Girardi, crew chief Bill Miller said the Phillies took too long -- more than the allotted 20 seconds -- to make their request.
And that’s when Girardi lost it.
“When I walked out of the dugout, he said, ‘No chance. Time’s up,’” said Girardi, ejected from the Phillies’ 5-4 loss. “I said, ‘Bill, use some common sense. There’s no way. I came right out of the dugout.’ And he said, ‘No, I saw the clock was up.’
“That ends up being a big play. At the time, maybe it doesn’t seem like it. But it’s really disappointing to me that someone doesn’t recognize that that’s not 20 seconds.”
Girardi’s first ejection since last Sept. 17 and the seventh of his managerial tenure with the Phillies punctuated a loss that featured four Phillies errors, five Mariners infield hits, and yet another hard-luck loss for Aaron Nola.
It also marked the Phillies’ sixth loss in eight games. They fell to 13-17, their worst 30-game start since the 2017 team, which lost 99 games. And they will send spot-starting lefty Bailey Falter to the mound in a Wednesday matinee as they try to avoid losing their fourth consecutive series.
The controversial play that led to a run in a game that was decided by one run began with second baseman Jean Segura’s diving stop of Frazier’s grounder to the right side. Segura threw off-balance from one knee, and Hoskins made a backhand scoop of the one-hop peg.
But as Hoskins brought his glove up, he hit Frazier in the belt buckle. The ball came loose and rolled toward the first-base dugout, allowing Luis Torrens to score from third base. Knight called Frazier safe on the play, Hoskins was charged with the first of his two errors, and the Mariners seized a 3-0 lead.
“You don’t ever think that the runner’s going to be in fair territory,” Hoskins said. “I think that’s why they have that baseline there. You don’t think he’s going to be on your left. You’re kind of always peeking at your right for the runner.”
When Miller denied the replay request, Girardi asked Knight about his call. Girardi said Knight told him he didn’t think Hoskins had control of the ball. Based on that explanation, the play would’ve been reviewable.
“From my view, it looked like Rhys had the ball in his glove and then it got knocked out,” Nola said. “That’s just what I saw.”
It was one of three infield hits in the second inning against Nola -- more like Aaron No-luck -- who held the Mariners at bay until the sixth. The Phillies got to within 3-2 against Seattle starter Robbie Ray and knocked him out of the game in the sixth inning.
The Mariners stretched the margin to 5-2 in the sixth inning, but Hoskins and Segura hit solo homers in the seventh and ninth, respectively, leaving the disputed play to loom large in the overall outcome.
“Definitely frustrating,” Hoskins said. “It gives us a chance to get an out. Jean makes a heck of a play. I don’t really know what else to say.”
Nola entered with a 2.13 ERA -- but an 0-4 record -- in his last four starts. And his lucklessness only persisted.
Of the nine Mariners hits against him, only one registered an exit velocity of more than 100 mph. Only three were hit harder than 85 mph. The Mariners scored two runs in the first inning on two broken-bat hits and a 50-foot tapper by Julio Rodriguez and one unearned run in the second on three infield singles, including the Frazier play.
“Pretty weird game, especially the first two innings,” Nola said. “I mean, it’s baseball. They hit the ball in perfect spots that we weren’t. Can’t really do nothing about it.”
Even in the sixth inning, Nola turned over a two-on, one-out sixth-inning jam to lefty Brad Hand, who allowed the inherited runners to score when he walked Frazier to load the bases, hit Ty France with a two-strike slider, and gave up a sacrifice fly to J.P. Crawford.
“[Nola] pitched great,” Girardi said. “It’s really a shame. That’s probably as frustrating an outing as you can have as a pitcher.”
St. Nick delivers
Ray, who won the AL Cy Young Award last season with Toronto, recorded 12 consecutive outs to begin the game. But Nick Castellanos opened the fifth inning by hitting an 0-2 slider out to left field for his fifth homer of the season.
Castellanos has been the Phillies’ most consistent hitter so far. He entered the game with a .374 on-base percentage, a .506 slugging percentage, and 17 RBIs in 28 games.
“He’s a guy that knows how to hit,” Girardi said. “He’s a hitter first, and then he’ll hit his doubles and hit his home runs. He’s more of a pure hitter.”
Segura in Seattle
Facing his former team for the first time since he was traded after the 2018 season, Segura is having a stellar series.
Segura homered for a second consecutive game with one out in the ninth inning against Mariners closer Paul Sewald to account for the final margin.
In the fifth inning, he manufactured the Phillies’ second run with smart, aggressive baserunning. After working a walk, he tagged and went to second on Hoskins’ 341-foot flyout to left field. Segura went to third on a wild pitch that skipped away from catcher Luis Torrens and scored on another wild pitch.
In the seventh inning, Hoskins homered for a second game in a row. One night after notching 17 hits, the Phillies recorded only five, including two doubles by Bryce Harper.