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

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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.

Brewers claim Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.

Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below: