About Last Night: Phils Stumble in Seattle

About Last Night: Phils Stumble in Seattle

The Phillies had some rallies going in three of the final four innings last night at Safeco Field, but it was too little, too late. It was Ichiro Suzuki jersey night, and the right fielder responded by scoring three runs, while Michael Pineda took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Mariners won 4-2.

It took the Fightins' bats a while to get used to Seattle's rookie
right-hander, who had some overpowering stuff. Chase Utley finally
notched an RBI single in the top of the sixth, but Placido Polanco
struck out with the bases loaded to limit the damage to one run. Polanco
was not pleased, and had words for the umpire after the three-pitch at
bat, something it seems has been all too common lately for the typically steady
third basemen.

From there it was up to the Mariners bullpen, and they made things interesting. Shane Victorino homered in the eighth to get the Phillies within two, and they had the tying run at the plate while making their last stand, but Domonic Brown grounded out to end the game.

Just prior to Vic's solo shot, Jimmy Rollins was called out at first on a really close play. On the replays, it appeared he may very well have been safe, but neither J-Roll, the Phils' skipper, or the announce team made much noise about it. It doesn't appear it would have impacted the game's outcome anyway.

Roy Oswalt didn't pitch bad, but his inability to get Ichiro out proved costly. SS Brendan Ryan drove him in twice, and Justin Smoak also had an RBI. C Miguel Olivio added a solo blast, and hit the ball hard all night, as Oswalt went 6.1, and allowed four earned on eight hits and two walks.

It was a tough game for the Phils, who made the cross-country flight to meet a team they are not familiar with, and play in a ballpark that doesn't necessarily suit their style. Of course, they'll have to get over all of that, and it won't get any easier tonight against the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez.

The loss ended a seven-game winning streak.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Michael Saunders, RF
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Vince Velasquez, P