Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Phillies haven’t scored first in a game since May 20

7 Comments

Things are not going well for the Phillies. Things haven’t been going well all year, but the Phillies’ last month in particular has been one long nightmare. Heralded cornerstones Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco have been abysmal at the plate. Veteran additions like Michael Saunders and Clay Buchholz haven’t worked. Young pitchers Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, and Aaron Nola have been inconsistent at best. The bullpen has been largely unreliable.

It’s no shock, then, that the Phillies entered Wednesday afternoon’s action with baseball’s worst record at 17-33. Wednesday’s 10-2 loss to the Marlins gives them exactly twice as many losses as wins, an ignominious feat. The Phillies’ -58 run differential doesn’t offer any hope, only putting them a couple of wins better than they have been.

How bad have things been? The Phillies have held the lead exactly five times in their last 12 games spanning 110 innings. They haven’t scored first in a game since May 20, when they visited the Pirates.

  • May 31 @ MIA: Fell behind 3-0 after the first inning (lost 10-2; never led)
  • May 30 @ MIA: Fell behind 2-0 after the second inning (lost 7-2; never led)
  • May 29 @ MIA: Fell behind 2-0 after the third inning (lost 4-1; never led)
  • May 28 vs. CIN: Fell behind 1-0 after the first inning (lost 8-4; led 4-2 until the third inning)
  • May 27 vs. CIN: Fell behind 2-0 after the first inning (won 4-3, walkoff; led 3-2 until the sixth inning)
  • May 26 vs. CIN: Fell behind 2-0 after the first inning (lost 5-2; never led)
  • May 25 vs. COL: Fell behind 1-0 after the fourth inning (won 2-1, walkoff; never led until 11th)
  • May 24 vs. COL: Fell behind 7-0 after the third inning (lost 7-2; never led)
  • May 23 vs. COL: Fell behind 2-0 after the third inning (lost 8-2; never led)
  • May 22 vs. COL: Fell behind 3-0 after the third inning (lost 8-1; never led)
  • May 21 @ PIT: Fell behind 1-0 after the sixth inning (lost 1-0; never led)
  • May 20 @ PIT: Went ahead 1-0 after the first inning (lost 6-3; led 1-0 until the third inning)

On the bright side, the rebuilding Phillies weren’t expected to be competitive this season, and finishing with baseball’s worst record will net them the first overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. But Phillies fans are growing impatient. While the fans may not have been expecting to watch a winner, they did expect to see somewhat competent baseball and the Phillies have provided very little of that, particularly in the month of May. The Phillies closed out the month of May with a 6-22 record after an 11-12 April.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

Getty Images
3 Comments

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.