Phillies show fight but drop series finale to Giants in extras

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Phillies show fight but drop series finale to Giants in extras

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO – All things considered, the Phillies’ trip to San Francisco was a good one. They won the first two games and showed a little heart in the series finale. Yeah, they made a good showing.

But it could have been better.

Desperate for a lengthy winning streak that might finally vault them above .500, the Phils had a chance to sweep the Giants but came up short in a 4-3 loss at AT&T Park in 10 innings on Wednesday (see instant replay).

“We'll take it,” Jimmy Rollins said of the series win. “But we had a chance to put them away.”

Indeed the Phillies did.

They were stymied by soft-serving lefty Barry Zito for seven innings Wednesday and went into the ninth inning down, 3-1. You could almost have put this one in the loss column at that point because the Giants had closer Sergio Romo in the game and he had converted 12 of his first 13 save chances of the season. The Giants were 13-0 when leading after eight.

But Rollins, who earlier in the game had helped run the Phils out of an inning, started the ninth with a double and good at-bats by Kevin Frandsen, Michael Young, Chase Utley and Delmon Young helped the Phils tie the game at 3-3.

Mike Adams, with a lot of help from his defense, particularly catcher Carlos Ruiz who gunned down a would-be base-stealer, pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth, but Antonio Bastardo could not hold off the Giants in the bottom of the 10th.

Bastardo allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Buster Posey. The Giants used a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch by Bastardo to get Posey to third before Andres Torres won it with a flare single to right with two outs.

Rollins liked the pluck the Phillies showed in coming back in the ninth against one of the best closers in the National League.

“We can stand tall on that and hopefully take that to Arizona,” he said, looking ahead to the next stop on this seven-game trip.

Manager Charlie Manuel also liked the way the Phils went down swinging Wednesday, the same day they learned that Roy Halladay would be out at least three months (see story).

“I like our fight,” Manuel said. “We’ve got plenty of fight. I don’t know what the big deal is. We’ll be all right. We always have been, haven’t we?”

Actually, the Phillies haven’t always been all right. Witness last year’s 81-81 season and baseball-less October.

And the issue of fight, character, guts, pride -- whatever you want to call it -- has been raised twice in the last week or so by Cliff Lee.

“We have a lot of guys who believe in themselves,” Manuel said. “Keep watching.”

Despite their ninth-inning rally, the Phils hardly played a clean game Wednesday. Centerfielder Ben Revere appeared to get a bad jump on a soft fly ball by Marco Scutaro with two outs in the fifth. It dropped in for a hit that broke a 1-1 tie.

Revere said he got a good read on the ball, but it dropped quickly.

“You never know what the ball is going to do here,” he said.

In the sixth inning, the Phils were down a run when Rollins smacked a double against Zito. It might have been the start of something hadn’t Rollins been nailed trying to steal third on an 0-2 pitch to Kevin Frandsen.

Good play?

Bad play?

“It’s a good play if he makes it,” Manuel said.

Rollins went on his own. He has a green light.

“Obviously with one out, that's when you're going to try to take chances right there,” Rollins said. “Zito's a breaking-ball pitcher. It was a breaking-ball count. Put those things together and it's a situation where we can tie the ballgame. He threw a fastball. They got me.”

Later in the game, in the top of the 10th, catcher Guillermo Quiroz nailed another Phillie, Revere, as he tried two swipe second with one out. Revere insisted he beat the throw, but umpire Alfonso Marquez disagreed.

“I was safe,” Revere said. “That was a downer. I was very upset. That momentum shift hurt us.”

The rookie Jonathan Pettibone allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings. The one he wanted back: A two-out, first-pitch fastball to Zito in the sixth inning. Pettibone, who had intentionally walked the previous batter, grooved it andZito clubbed it to right for a run.

“That will haunt me for some time,” Pettibone said.

Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

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The Associated Press

Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

NEW YORK — The clubhouse mood following the Phillies17-0 loss to the Mets Sunday was somber, in part because of the disastrous game that had just wrapped up, but also because of the tragic news of Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death in a boating accident early Sunday morning.

“It was rough. People are devastated. I didn’t even know him and I was crushed,” Phillies starter Jake Thompson said. “I can only imagine how that clubhouse feels. That’s something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, to deal with something of that magnitude.”

Both teams paused for a moment of silence before Sunday’s game and the Mets taped a jersey bearing Fernandez’s name and number onto their dugout wall.

“This morning, that was quite a surprise,” manager Pete Mackanin said of the atmosphere of the day. “I don’t think it affected the players once the game started. It was such bad news this morning that everybody was kind of melancholy.”

Fernandez had built a strong track record against the Phillies in his young career, amassing a 2.88 ERA in six starts.

“It’s kind of cliché to say but you look at the start of his career and he could have been a Hall of Famer,” Thompson said.

Asked how he would remember facing Fernandez, Mackanin was succinct.

“He was a helluva pitcher,” he said.

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Phillies suffer worse shutout loss in modern era to Mets

Phillies suffer worse shutout loss in modern era to Mets

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Jake Thompson faced the issues that a 22-year old starter in his 10th career appearance usually does Sunday against the Mets.
 
Thompson struggled with his command at times, walking the bases loaded in the fourth inning before escaping his self-induced jam with a flyout. He hit a batter and surrendered a home run to Curtis Granderson on a pitch that caught too much of the plate.
 
The righty departed after four innings in what manager Pete Mackanin declared postgame to be Thompson’s last start of the season.
 
But perhaps neither he nor the rest of the Phillies expected the extent to which his struggles would ripple through the bullpen. The Phillies’ relievers surrendered 14 runs, hit three batters and gave up a grand slam in a 17-0 loss, the franchise's worst shutout defeat in the modern era (see Instant Replay).
 
“Obviously the bullpen has scuffled for a while now,” Mackanin said. “That shows you how much the game is about pitching. It keeps you in games, gives you an opportunity to win like it did the first couple of months of the season for us. Now, the last month, it’s not keeping us in games or it’s losing games.”
 
The Phillies’ relievers were charged with 28 runs over the course of their four-game swing in New York. Their collective 4.69 ERA is the fourth-worst in the National League.
 
Sunday, Phil Klein — who hadn’t pitched since he was recalled from Lehigh Valley on Sept. 10 — and little-used Colton Murray and Patrick Schuster — who had combined for three appearances in the past two weeks — took the brunt of the damage.
 
Klein walked two batters, surrendered two singles and hit Mets catcher Rene Rivera in the left hand to force in a run. He left the bases loaded for Murray, who allowed an inherited runner to score on a wild pitch. Murray was pulled in the seventh having gotten into a bases-loaded jam of his own. His replacement, Frank Herrmann, allowed all three runs to score on a walk and a grand slam by Asdrubal Cabrera.
 
Schuster was assigned five runs in the eighth after he was tagged for three hits, walked a batter and hit Gavin Cecchini.
 
Which pitchers — if any — out of the Phillies’ cadre of middle relivers will return next year is an open question and Mackanin made it clear that he will use the remaining six games in the season to evaluate his team’s arms.
 
“It’s another audition.” Mackanin said. “We want to see who might fit in.”
 
Thompson can clearly stake a claim to his role in the Phillies’ rebuilding effort. Despite the hiccup in his final outing, he has come a long way in just two months from being the pitcher that surrendered six runs to the light-hitting Padres in his Aug. 6 debut.

His changeup — a pitch that hitters had connected on for six home runs this year, according to data from Fangraphs — was particularly lively Sunday. Cabrera chased it out of the zone in the first inning for Thompson’s only strikeout.
 
“I think the changeup’s probably been my best pitch up here,” Thompson said. “I’ve given up a lot of homers on it, too. That just shows whenever you don’t execute it, it’s a tough pitch to throw in the zone. As far as the swing-and-misses that I was getting with it, it’s kind of night and day.
 
“At this point last year I pretty much had no changeup, so that’s a big thing for me.”
 
Only 23 on Opening Day next year, Thompson has plenty of room to improve.
 
The Phillies’ bullpen does, too.

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