Frustrations Mount with Shoddy Defense and No Timely Hitting

Frustrations Mount with Shoddy Defense and No Timely Hitting

"We didn't deserve to win the game," Charlie said after Tuesday night's 6-2 loss against the Dodgers. "We didn't play good."

Charlie speaks the truth.

Roy Oswalt's recent dominance of the Dodgers came to an end, and while Roy's velocity continued to be a bit down, he wasn't particularly bad on the evening overall. The ball was going L.A.'s way in this one, which allowed plenty of Dodger base runners. A real rough series of plays in the third is what really cost him. After walking the Dodgers rookie pitcher to start the inning, Dee Gordan singled, Casey Blake singled, and then Roy Oswalt threw a ball to first base in a pickoff attempt. The only problem was, Ryan Howard wasn't holding the runner on -- a real cringe-inducing play.

"I had one inning that got kind of out of hand. Had a couple balls that got thrown away, had some signs mixed up," Oswalt said after the game.

Roy wasn't particularly worried about his stuff, and said that he feels fine, "We had some plays here and there that could have been one or two runs, and nothing would have been said about [baserunners]."

While Oswalt seemed to brush tonight off as just another loss in which he had some bad luck, Charlie Manuel says he's noticed a difference in Lil Roy this season.

"He's not as sharp as he was," Manuel said. "When we got him last year, when he came over here after his first game, he was pretty sharp," Manuel said. "His changeup was a pitch he had been working on and he really used it a lot last year. He was very aggressive, pounding the strikezone. His velocity is a little different, but I think his arm is still sound."

The real downer from Tuesday night's game was the team's inability to capitalize on Dodgers' wild starter Rubby De La Rosa.

"Some of the credit has to go to their guy," Utley, who had an RBI triple, said after the game. "But we had some pitches to hit and we didn't. Didn't work out for us tonight. We're going to turn the page and come out ready to go tomorrow."

It was just a bad night for timely hitting from the Phils. With the bases loaded and no outs in the second inning, the Phillies only managed one run off a De La Rosa walk.

Oswalt wasn't great, but he kept the team in it, despite a couple of errors from the defense. Utley made a couple of throws that were way off target, and when asked if there was anything to it, Utley said there was not.

"Ryan is throwing me a good target over there," Chase said. "He's a big guy."

He may be a big guy when standing on first base, but he hasn't been living up to his Big Piece nickname at the plate (0-4 on the night with 2 Ks). The Phillies as a whole have been lacking power, with their last home run coming in the month of May. Wednesday is June 8th for those checking their calendars.

Without really being asked a particular question towards the end of his presser, Charlie offered up a soliloquy of sorts for anyone willing to listen to the frustrations that have been building.

"This is a game -- I say over and over and over, you guys here the same old story from me -- but this is a game you don't take nothing for granted," Manuel said. "Just because you did something last year or yesterday, doesn't mean you're going to do it tomorrow. We gotta play better baseball, we gotta hit better, we gotta run the bases better, we've got to score with two outs, we've just got to play the game much better."

It was some uncharacteristic angst from the Phils skipper, perhaps trying to send a message to his team.

"Our performance this year lately, especially against the pitching we've seen I think we should be hitting it, really. From Washington all the way through Pittsburgh and now tonight."

"We've just got to play better, that's the bottom line," Manuel continued. "It was a very bad ball game for us."

The skip wasn't the only guy one showing a bit of steam. While not really addressing the media lingering around the clubhouse after the game, Shane Victorino was visibly peeved.

"We're frustrated," Shane said. "Write that."

It seems losing frustrates everyone.

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp, both struggling mightily through the first month of the season, will get Saturday night off when the Phillies take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Joseph is hitting .190 with one homer and 18 strikeouts in 18 games, while Rupp is batting .180 with one homer and 20 strikeouts through 15 games. Last season, Joseph had 21 home runs and Rupp 16.

Brock Stassi will spell Joseph at first base and bat seventh. Andrew Knapp takes over for Rupp behind the plate and will bat eighth.

Daniel Nava also receives a start, playing left field. The first-year Phillie is hitting .346 with a pair of homers and as many walks as strikeouts (seven).

Zach Eflin takes the mound in a meaningful start for the right-hander (see story). He opposes resurgent Dodgers righty Brandon McCarthy (see game notes).

Here are tonight's lineups:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Daniel Nava, LF
7. Brock Stassi, 1B
8. Andrew Knapp, C
9. Zach Eflin, P

Dodgers
1. Andrew Toles, CF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Yasmani Grandal, C
5. Yasiel Puig, RF
6. Cody Bellinger, LF
7. Chase Utley, 2B
8. Chris Taylor, 3B
9. Brandon McCarthy, P

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

With their final pick of the 2017 draft, the Eagles selected 6-foot-1, 313-pound Washington defensive tackle Elijah Qualls in the sixth round on Saturday.

He's the second Washington player the Eagles took in this year's draft. They selected injured cornerback Sidney Jones in the second round (see story).

Qualls had 77 tackles, 11½ tackles for loss and 7½ sacks in 30 career games (see bio).

"I for sure stop the run well," Qualls said at the NFL Draft Scouting Combine. "And I'm actually a lot better pass rusher than a lot of people think. Typically a lot of our game plan as far as pass rushing was to keep the quarterback contained, so I really couldn't get after him like I'm capable of.

"I'm not going to say I'm one of the best pass rushers ever or anything like that — I've only been playing defensive line since I got to college. I'm still learning, but I'm a lot better than people do think."

Qualls was actually a running back in high school, but he said he got bored scoring touchdowns.

"I was 260 playing running back in high school," he said. "I had 1,300 rushing yards, though. It honestly became too easy, that's why I switched to defensive line. Scoring touchdowns wasn't exciting to me anymore, it was just something I expected.

"Then my last year, my coach came to me and said, 'Hey, would you be willing to play some defense?' My mindset was that if I played defense, I could get the ball back. So I played some defensive line, middle linebacker. I was recruited at both of those positions.

"I kind of just did a little research project trying to see what the long term was like for both running backs and defensive linemen, and defensive linemen tend to last longer, have less severe injuries, and honestly on average probably make more money, so I decided to be a defensive lineman. Plus I like the challenge."

With Bennie Logan leaving as a free agent, the Eagles have Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Beau Allen and now Qualls in the mix on the interior of the defensive line.

"I feel like I can fit into any scheme," Qualls said. "I can do anything you ask me to, I played everything from zero to outside linebacker, so there's not much I can't do. It's just whether or not someone can accept me being a couple inches shorter than the person they prefer playing there.

"But I'm stronger than a lot of people, and my football intelligence is top notch."