Jonathan Pettibone's big-league debut similar to his dad's


Jonathan Pettibone's big-league debut similar to his dad's

Jay Pettibone, his wife, son and daughter flew all night from California to be in Philadelphia on Monday. The Pettibones expected to be a little tired after a trip on the red eye, but they weren’t expecting to be so cold.

You see, while rushing around to get ready for a last-second trip and making the arrangements with work and school, the family wasn’t prepared for the winter-like evening at Citizens Bank Park. They didn’t pack any winter coats.

Nevertheless, Jay Pettibone warmed up quickly after watching his son Jonathan work 5 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his major-league debut at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night (see story). In fact, Jonathan Pettibone did pretty well on such short notice. On Saturday, the 22-year-old right-hander from Anaheim, Calif. was in Allentown, Pa. with the Phils’ Triple A club when he got the call to come to Philadelphia.

Pettibone allowed six hits, including a pair of solo homers, and no walks (more on that here) while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings to put the Phillies in position to pull out the 3-2 victory (see Instant Replay) and make the trip that much more exciting for Jay Pettibone and his family.

“Everyone is busy with work and school,” Jay Pettibone said. “My daughter is in high school and my son is in college playing ball, too, and packing everything up within a few hours to get on the road -- we just wanted to be there for him and show him the support. It was something we didn’t want to miss.”

A similar scenario occurred 30 years ago, too. While pitching for the Triple A Toledo Mud Hens, Jay Pettibone was told to hurry to Minnesota to make his big-league debut against the Kansas City Royals.

Jay Pettibone remembered that Sept. 11, 1983, complete-game loss as if it were yesterday. His son remembers hearing the story about that debut over the years, too.

“He always talks about it because he got a CG (complete game), so it went a little better than mine,” Jonathan Pettibone said. “He reminds me from time to time, but it’s all in fun.”

There are some quirky coincidences in the pro baseball careers of Jay and Jonathan Pettibone. Aside from rushing from Triple A to make surprise spot starts, the elder Pettibone remembered working for pitching coach Johnny Podres, who also guided the Phillies’ pitchers when they won the National League in 1993.

Jay passed on the advice he received from Podres back then to Jonathan on Monday afternoon.

“The whole scenario. The quick call and hurry to get there and being told you’re pitching the next day,” Jay Pettibone said. “I just told him to relax and enjoy it just like I was told by Johnny Podres way back when. I tried to do that myself.”

It was the perfect bit of advice.

“Don’t let anything around here get to you,” Jonathan Pettibone said his dad told him. “Just enjoy it and do what you’ve been doing your whole life.”

In Jay Pettibone’s debut, he went up against Danny Jackson, a member of that '93 Phillies team. He made three more starts after the debut and lost them all. When the season ended, Jay Pettibone went back to the minors in 1984, and he played for a young manager in his second season at Double A Orlando named Charlie Manuel.

Three decades later and Jonathan Pettibone made his big-league debut for Charlie Manuel.

What are the odds?

“He was a good guy that the players all liked,” Jay Pettibone remembered. “He just let you go do your thing. As a pitcher, he would let you go out there and go deep into games. The players that were hitters really liked him because right fresh out of baseball and he was very helpful to them.”

Manuel recalled the elder Pettibone’s repertoire.

“I remember he pitched for me,” Manuel said about Jay Pettibone. “Sinker, slider.”

Jonathan Pettibone relied mostly on his fastball and changeup. Of his 83 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, Pettibone threw just eight sliders. Everything else was heat or a changeup, which was the plan. Eventually, Pettibone will have to throw more breaking pitches, but for now it was important to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters.

“That was the game plan,” Jonathan Pettibone said. “I didn’t want to pick around the strike zone. I wanted to be aggressive and get ahead of guys.”

Manuel liked the pitcher's aggressiveness. Though he allowed a double on the second pitch he threw in the game, Pettibone recovered to get out of the inning unscathed. In the second, Pettibone allowed a solo homer to third baseman Pedro Alvarez, but recovered to get a pair of strikeouts.

In his first big-league plate appearance, Pettibone drew a leadoff walk against A.J. Burnett, advanced to second on Jimmy Rollins’ single and moved to third on a groundout by John Mayberry.

When Burnett threw one wild to Chase Utley, Pettibone rushed home with the Phillies’ first run.

Dad might have been a little more nervous about the at-bat and the trip around the bases than the pitching performance.

“Oh boy,” Jay Pettibone said about watching his son dig in at the plate.

Pettibone got three more strikeouts in the third and fourth innings and allowed just one hit. Russell Martin hit a solo homer to lead off the fifth and Clint Barmes followed with a single, but Pettibone got out of the inning with three ground balls.

After Pettibone retired Andrew McCutchen to start the sixth, Manuel went to the bullpen.

Through it all, the first Phillie to be born in the 1990s was poised and stoic on the mound. Yeah, he admitted to having difficulty falling asleep the night before and said he was nervous for the first couple of innings, but once he got going it was just another game.

“That’s normal for him,” Jay Pettibone said. “He stays in control and doesn’t show a lot of emotion. That’s typical for him.”

In the meantime, the Phillies are going to need a fifth starter with John Lannan on the disabled list. Manuel said the Phillies will discuss if Pettibone will get some more work in the big leagues, but if it’s a one-and-done gig, it went pretty well for the kid.

Even his dad thinks so.

“Good job,” Jay Pettibone said when asked what he’ll tell his son after the game. “Way to go out there and throw your strikes and challenge people. That’s the key. Let them put the ball in play and keep the game close and turn it over to the ‘pen like he did and they have a good chance to win it.”

Vince Velasquez strong in return from DL to help Phillies blank Diamondbacks

Vince Velasquez strong in return from DL to help Phillies blank Diamondbacks


PHOENIX — From the effort and his physical presence, Phillies starter Vince Velasquez could not have asked for much more.

Coming off the disabled list from a right biceps strain, Velasquez looked like he did not miss a beat from his high-level performances earlier this season during Monday's 8-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks (see Instant Replay)

After one rehab start at Double A Reading on June 22, and not facing major-league competition since he started June 8 against the Cubs, Velasquez lasted five strong innings. When Velasquez reached a pitch count of 84, manager Pete Mackanin took no further liberties.

In helping to dominate the Diamondbacks before 22,567 at Chase Field, Velasquez raised his season mark to 6-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.38.

“My goal was to throw at least five innings and get the W,” Velasquez said. “I was OK with stopping at [84] pitches, and have full confidence in the recovery. This was a good start and something to build on and grow.”

Before Velasquez’s start Monday night, Mackanin said the right-hander was not on a short leash. The pregame forecast was 90 pitches, and Mackanin hoped for five or six innings. Velasquez reached the five-inning mark but hit the mid-80s on his pitch count as he allowed five hits and walked none while striking out seven hitters. That was the most Velasquez fanned since he struck out 10 Marlins at home on May 17.

While Velasquez was pounding the strike zone and stayed ahead of the hitters, Mackanin said one of the key plays in this one took place early. With the score deadlocked, Diamondbacks second baseman Jean Segura led off the third with a single. Michael Bourn then lined out to center and after making the catch, Obubel Herrera fired to first and caught Segura in a double play. Paul Goldschmidt followed with a single, but Velasquez reached back to strike out Jake Lamb.

“When the ball was hit, the runner was going,” Herrera said of the double play. “After I caught it, I thought I had a chance to get him.”

If Herrera was smart with his glove and arm, his bat was lethal. Sparking a season-high 16-hit attack for the Phillies, Herrera matched a club high in hits with a 4-for-5 night. The four hits were achieved three other times this season, and the last was by Cesar Hernandez on June 23 against the Twins.

The Phillies broke open a scoreless tie with a two-spot in the sixth and set another season mark with six runs in the seventh. Previously, their season best was a five-run inning on June 5 against the Brewers. 

Run-producing singles from Maikel Franco and Cameron Rupp in the sixth gave the Phillies' arms all they needed. In the seventh, Herrera and Cody Asche drove in a run each with hits, Franko singled in a pair and Hernandez knocked in two with a single.

“On this trip we’re swinging the bats very well,” Mackanin said. “We started off slowly against [Arizona starter Robbie Ray], but picked it up. It was good to see the offense come alive, and we’re playing everyone tough.”

With a 3-for-5 night, Peter Bourjos, whom Mackanin claims is one of the hottest hitters currently in baseball, raised his season average to .259. After Monday’s game, Bourjos has a seven-game hitting streak (14 for 27, .519) and is hitting .458 (22 for 48) in his last 18 games.

While Bourjos continued his scorching run at the plate, first baseman and Phoenix native Tommy Joseph had a rough night in front of his hometown fans.

Though he now lives in Destin, Florida, because his fiancé is in the military, Joseph, who went to Horizon High School in Phoenix, drew cheers each time he stepped to the plate.

In facing Arizona starter Ray three times, Joseph fanned three times and left four runners on base. In the first inning, Joseph struck out looking with runners on first and second. He struck out swinging to end the third inning. Plus, in the fourth, he fanned with runners on second and third and one out.

In the seventh, Joseph encountered Arizona righty Jake Barrett. The two had faced each other playing for the Arizona state high school championship in 2009. This time, Barrett fanned Joseph on three pitches, and the third one was a nasty slider down and away.

Joseph flied out to center field in the ninth to cap an 0-for-5 performance.

The series continues on Tuesday when Jerad Eickhoff (5-9, 3.36 ERA) opposes Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.61 ERA).

Instant Replay: Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 0

Instant Replay: Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 0


PHOENIX — For a rotation in flux, Vince Velasquez clearly gave the Phillies the kind of result he delivered earlier in the season on Monday night.

Coming off the disabled list and facing major-league competition for the first time since he went against the Cubs on June 8, Velasquez appeared in total control during the Phillies' 8-0 win over the Diamondbacks. 

Powered by two runs in the sixth and a six-spot in the seventh, the Phillies avenged the embarrassment of the recent Arizona sweep at Citizens Bank Park with the victory before 22,567 at Chase Field Monday night.

Starting pitching report
Pounding the strike zone constantly in the mid-90s, Velasquez easily fulfilled manager Pete Mackanin’s expectations.

The right-hander from Montclair, California, lasted five strong innings. He allowed five hits, walked none and fanned seven hitters. That’s the most Velasquez struck out since he fanned 10 Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on May 17.

For the game, Arizona managed seven hits against Velasquez and relievers Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris and Severino Gonzalez. The shutout was the ninth this season by the Phillies' pitching staff.

At the plate
Run-producing singles from Maikel Franco and Cameron Rupp in the sixth snapped a scoreless tie. Sending 11 hitters to the plate in the seventh, the Phillies added six in that inning. The key hits were a two-run double from Franco and Odubel Herrera singled in a run, each with no outs. Later in the frame, Cesar Hernandez slapped a single with the bases loaded for two more off reliever Josh Collmenter.

In total, the Phillies collected a season-high 16 hits.

Remember me?
Acquired from Houston in the Ken Giles deal last Dec, 12, Velasquez saw the Diamondbacks with the Astros in the last series of the 2015 season at Chase Field. Despite the starter pitching just one inning and allowing a run out of the bullpen at that time, Velasquez did leave a calling card.

“[Velasquez] is a dominant pitcher," Arizona manager Chip Hale said prior to Monday's series opener. “His fastball is particularly effective coming into left-handed hitters. We’ll see how he does coming off the DL.”

Velasquez did just fine, as he improved his record to 6-2 on the season with the win.

Moving to the bullpen
Mackanin's assessment of moving left-hander Adam Morgan to the bullpen was that it serves two purposes.

First, the club had to make room in the starting rotation for Velasquez, who was coming off the disabled list. Plus, Brett Oberholtzer, the remaining lefty in the bullpen, was not putting up electrifying numbers. In 18 appearances this season, Oberholtzer, coming into Monday’s game with the Diamondbacks, was 2-1 with a 5.35 ERA and had allowed 23 runs in 38 2/3 innings.

All of which puts a premium on Morgan to produce quality appearances and fill important roles. Going forward, Mackanin envisions Morgan pitching in certain situations and against certain hitters, while, at the same time, giving the club length in subsequent days.

Prior to his demotion to the bullpen after Sunday’s game in San Francisco, Morgan was 1-6 in 11 starts with a 6.55 ERA. Now, Morgan’s move gives Mackanin a certain degree of flexibility with a reliever he now believes is capable of getting hitters out.

“[Morgan] is the kind of guy who can give you three innings,” Mackanin said. “He has a really good slider and, physically, that carries success.”

Mackanin explained that he would give Velasquez a long leash in the game, but also that he wouldn't hesitate to go to the 'pen early, perhaps in favor of Morgan. Instead, Mackanin went to Ramos as the first one out of the bullpen Monday night.

A different team
When the Diamondbacks swept the Phillies earlier this month at Citizens Bank Park, the numbers were alarming.

That four-game defeat represented the Phillies’ first home series loss to Arizona since 2007. In those four games, the Phillies were outscored by 17 runs (22-5), and the Diamondbacks smashed 10 home runs to only one by the Phillies. That was a solo shot by Herrera off of Zack Greinke during the first inning of the series' second game.

Then, the Phillies dropped road series to the Twins and Giants, and now have lost 12 straight series dating back to May 20. That’s when they took two of three from the Marlins at home.

From the Diamondbacks' perspective, Hale said he expected a much different Phillies team for the three now in the desert.

“It was a tough series for them back in Philly,” Hale said. “Everything they tried to do did not work. Now, they have a different club, and we’ll have to play good baseball. We will not beat them by just showing up.”

Is it hot or what?
When the Phillies completed their three-game set against the Giants in San Francisco over the past weekend, the weather was ideal.

For the finale Sunday afternoon, skies were crystal blue, bright sunshine enveloped the Bay Area and temperatures reached into the mid-70s. Now, the Phillies appear stuck in the searing heat of the desert, and the game-time temperature Monday night was 108 degrees. From May through September, the roof to Chase Field is closed, and the temperature inside remains constant around 80 degrees.

“Once it gets over 103, it’s just mad,” Mackanin said before Monday’s game. “People like to stay inside and listen to their air-conditioner.”

When the Diamondbacks were in Philly last weekend, temps in the greater Phoenix area hit the upper-110s. 

Forecast for the remaining two games of the current series, Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, are predicted to reach 110.

Elsewhere ...
Mackanin said Carlos Ruiz will catch right-hander Jerad Eickhoff Tuesday night. In his last start, Eickhoff defeated the Twins, but in that recent series in Philly against Arizona, he lost, 4-1, on June 18 to Greinke.

With the selection of Ruiz behind the plate, Mackanin indicated there could be additional work for the veteran back-stopper, and said, “I’d like give [Ruiz] more playing time than I have.”

Up next
The series with Arizona continues Tuesday at 9:40 p.m. That’s when the Diamondbacks' Greinke (10-3, 3.61 ERA), who is 7-0 and has a 2.18 ERA in his last eight starts, faces Eickhoff (5-9, 3.36 ERA). For the Wednesday matinee at 3:40 p.m., look for the Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley (3-3, 4.50) taking on right Zach Elfin (0-2, 6.28).

After a day off Thursday, the Phillies return home for a six-game homestand that features three with the Kansas City Royals and three with the Atlanta Braves.

Best of MLB: Kris Bryant hits 3 homers in Cubs' win over Reds

Best of MLB: Kris Bryant hits 3 homers in Cubs' win over Reds

CINCINNATI -- Kris Bryant became the first major leaguer to hit three homers and two doubles in a game, and Jake Arrieta added a solo shot in the ballpark where he threw a no-hitter in April, leading the Chicago Cubs to an 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

The Cubs pulled out of their 1-6 slide behind a tandem that's had some historic moments in Cincinnati.

Arrieta (12-2) threw his second career no-hitter on April 21 during a 16-0 win over the Reds. Bryant led the way with a pair of homers in that game, including a grand slam that gave him a career-high six RBIs.

Arrieta struggled in his return to Cincinnati, giving up a season-high five runs in five innings, but Bryant drove in six runs again to help the right-hander pull through. Bryant's 16 total bases were a Cubs record, and his five hits marked a career high (see full recap).

Nationals, Mets rally past Syndergaard
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals dealt Noah Syndergaard his first loss in more than a month, an 11-4 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series between the division rivals.

Washington starter Joe Ross (7-4) gave up four early runs then retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.

The Nationals increased their lead over idle Miami to 3 1/2 games in the NL East, while the Mets are four games back. The Nationals stole six bases, matching their most since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005.

Five steals came against Syndergaard (8-3), who had won six consecutive decisions and had not lost since May 6. He lasted only three innings, surrendering season-highs in runs (5) and walks (3) (see full recap).

Indians top Braves for 10th straight win
ATLANTA -- Lonnie Chisenhall hit a three-run homer, Trevor Bauer gave up two runs in six innings and the Cleveland Indians beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 on Monday night for their 10th straight win.

Jason Kipnis added a homer in the ninth.

The AL Central-leading Indians extended the majors' longest winning streak of the season. It is Cleveland's longest streak since closing the 2013 regular season with 10 straight wins.

The Indians have outscored opponents 68-21 and have hit 21 homers, including 10 in their last three games, during the streak.

The Indians had 14 hits as they scored at least six runs for the seventh straight game. Mike Napoli drove in a run with three hits (see full recap).