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panxing18 Offline

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28.06.2019 03:47
It took the Philadelphia Phillies a little longer than Antworten

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — usual to arrive at a familiar spot.After leading their division with the second-best record in the National League one week into August , the Phillies went 16-33 over the final 49 games and finished with a losing record (80-82) for the sixth straight season.There are several reasons for the collapse, and the Phillies will enter the offseason with plenty of questions as they try to reshape the roster into one that can contend for a full season. Philadelphia could try to land a big-name free agent like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado — or even both.“There’s been some really important answers but there’s things we have to address this offseason and future offseasons,” general manager Matt Klentak said Monday.Gabe Kapler’s first season as manager was adventurous. His unconventional approach drew a ton of scrutiny and criticism in Philadelphia, especially after the team fell apart.But Klentak is sticking by his analytics-minded manager and his new-school style.“His energy, his attitude, his work ethic and his willingness to adjust are about as good as they can be and I think we made enormous strides this year,” Klentak said. “We were projected to win 74-76 games. That team is not going to the playoffs if you play traditional baseball. When those are your expectations, that’s a good year to try things.”Kapler, who found a positive spin on everything throughout the season, is optimistic — no surprise — about 2019.“If everybody takes a small step forward in their development we’ll win a lot of baseball games,” Kapler said.Here’s some things to know about the Phillies heading into the offseason:GOT AN ACE: Right-hander Aaron Nola established himself as a legitimate No. 1 starter by having one of the best seasons in franchise history. He was 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA. His 224 strikeouts were the second-most ever by a Phillies pitcher age 25 or younger. He joined Grover Cleveland Alexander (1915) as the only Phillies pitchers to strike out 200 or more batters and hold opponents to a batting average of .200 or lower. His 0.976 WHIP was the fifth-lowest in team history.REST OF ROTATION: Right-hander Jake Arrieta (10-11, 3.96) isn’t going anywhere because of his big contract. Fellow righties Zach Eflin (11-8, 4.36), Vince Velasquez (9-12, 4.85) and Nick Pivetta (7-14, 4.77) showed flashes but lacked consistency. It’s likely at least one of the trio returns and all three could be back.CLOSING TIME: Rookie Seranthony Dominguez (2.95 ERA, 16 for 20 in save opportunities, 74 Ks in 58 innings) struggled after an outstanding start and then finished strong. Hector Neris lost his closer’s job, got demoted and was excellent down the stretch. Several relievers had up-and-down seasons. The Phillies like their bullpen depth.INCONSISTENT OFFENSE: The Phillies finished last in average (.234) and were 22nd in runs. More hitters regressed as coaches emphasized launch angle instead of contact. Six players hit at least 15 homers but only two teams struck out more. Left fielder/first baseman Rhys Hoskins (.246, 34 homers, 96 RBIs) will be part of the nucleus going forward. Catcher Jorge Alfaro (.262, 10, 37) and infielder Scott Kingery (.226, 8, 35) will get another chance to prove they can be regulars. But there aren’t many other guarantees. Outfielder Odubel Herrera had a career-high in homers (22) and career-low in average (.255). Same for second baseman Cesar Hernandez (.253 Jason Kipnis Jersey , 15, 60). Third baseman Maikel Franco (.270, 22, 68) and outfielder Nick Williams (.256, 17, 50) aren’t locks to be back.CHASING STARS: The Phillies will make a strong push for Harper and Machado. They spent big bucks on Arrieta ($75 million, three years), first baseman Carlos Santana ($60 million, three years) and right-handed relievers Pat Neshek (2.59 ERA, five saves) and Tommy Hunter (3.80 ERA, four saves) last offseason and got varying results. Ownership has deep pockets and a need to improve attendance. Harper or Machado or both would excite fans and significantly upgrade the lineup. I hope you hadn’t made other plans."There have been longer games at Chase Field in terms of innings. Indeed, later this season, we saw a 16-inning contest against the San Diego Padres. However, that ended in a) defeat for the Diamondbacks, and b) a relatively brief five hours and thirty-one minutes. Three other games also went that distance, in 2013, 2006 and 1999, but none of them topped 5:32 in duration. This one cruised past them all, in part because it broke a near two-decade old mark for most base-runners allowed in an Arizona victory. The D-backs allowed 19 hits and eight walks, passing the previous record of 26 (14 hits, nine walks, two HBP and a ROE) set in August 1998. No wonder this took nearer six hours than five and a half. Despite the mojo of Byung-Hyun Kim tossing out the first pitch, it didn’t begin like a home win, as a Yasmani Grandal blast gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead, one out and 16 pitches into the game. Arizona chipped away , tying the game with runs in the first, third and fourth. LA starter Hyun-Jun Ryu lasted only four innings, while Taijuan Walker was gone after five, and the bullpens settled in for what turned out to be a long night. The Dodgers took advantage: Yoshihisa Hirano allowed his first run, on a home-run by Logan Forsythe in the sixth. Then Andrew Chafin and T.J. McFarland each gave up another in their innings; although Jorge De La Rosa left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Arizona trailed by three.Going up against Kenley Jansen - at that time, still one of the most feared closers in the majors - things looked bleak, especially after David Peralta and Ketel Marte grounded out. That left Arizona down to their final out, trailing by three with the bases empty, and a Win Probability of just 0.6%. But Paul Goldschmidt drew a full count walk. Then A.J. Pollock drew a full-count walk, and Chris Owings came to the plate representing the tying run. He wasn’t hanging around, and deposited the first thing he saw, a mediocre 91 mph pitch from Jansen, into the left-field bleachers for a three-run home-run, tying the game at six. We had ourselves a brand-new ballgame. And things were just getting started. Five innings followed without either side being able to score. That, combined with the short outings by both starters, left the relief corps on each side severely taxed, and Arizona and Los Angeles were eventually worn down to their last bullpen arm standing - Wilmer Font and Fernando Salas respectively. It looked like the Dodgers would prevail, scoring off Salas in his third inning of work. But the D-backs rallied once more, tying the game up on Nick Ahmed’s RBI double into the left-center field gap. [Jake Lamb scored that run, but his dive home exacerbated the shoulder injury suffered earlier that night, diving for a pop-up in the ninth - it eventually ended his season in July]That brought in Jeff Mathis, pinch-hitting for Salas with one out and the winning run on second-base. This switch was a role of the dice by Torey Lovullo, with Salas his final available pitcher: if Arizona hadn’t walked it off, Mathis would have ended up taking the mound for the sixteenth inning [Jeff would eventually get to make his Arizona pitching debut later in the year Larry Doby Jersey , on July 8, pitching the sixteenth inning there, and taking the loss against the Padres on a home-run to Wil Myers] And that was a real risk. The catcher made his major-league debut in 2005. Know how many pinch hits Mathis had before in his career before this trip to the plate? Just two. He had gone 2-for-26 off the bench, with 11 strikeouts.Of course, Mathis dumped the ball almost into the same spot as Ahmed’s game-tying double, and as the clock rolled on to nearly half-past midnight in Phoenix, the latest celebration in Chase Field history got under way. What they saidTorey Lovullo: “It was a really, really satisfying night to come out ahead the way we did. It spoke volumes about the character of this team. I’ve talked about it now for over a year, this team doesn’t shut down. They fight, they claw, they believe eally proud of these guys tonight.”Chris Owings: “It was two really good at-bats before me, and just looking at his misses, kind of up and away, kind of thinking he’d need to get back in the zone, and that pitch was right where I was kind of looking. Definitely got us back in the game, and from there, the rest is history.”Taijuan Walker: “[Mathis] definitely didn’t want to pitch. He came in here and he had the look on his face. He didn’t want to pitch. We were pretty much like, ‘Hey, if you don’t want to pitch, get a hit.’ He did. It was awesome.”Jeff Mathis: “Everybody was coming in and talking about how slow [Font’s curveball] was and how you have to let it get there. It was really good advice for me coming in off the bench... Watching him over the last four innings, he was mixing it up, fastball and his curveball. He threw me the first one for a strike and I saw it pretty good. He ended up leaving the next one up and I was able to get some barrel on it.”Alex Boswell: “In the end, this team never quits. Who would have thought that the longest game in Chase Field history would end with a Jeff Mathis walk-off single.”

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