UPDATE: Martin Frank of the News Journal has some quotes from the Phillies’ skipper:
“I shouldn’t have said a word, but I didn’t say anything about
Colorado or anything about them crying,” Manuel said. “If I did
something, I’ll definitely talk to [Tracy]. I didn’t say anything about
that particular game.
“Usually, I say we’ll take care of that by beating them. I’ll let
Louisville [the Phillies’ bats] talk to them.”
8:15 PM: Before Friday’s game against the Brewers, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told reporters that he shouldn’t have said anything about this week’s sign-stealing allegations by the Rockies.
As you recall, earlier in the week Manuel told the teams who have accused the Phillies of such shenanigans to “keep crying,” something that offended Rockies manager Jim Tracy.
Well, now Manuel says that comment wasn’t directed specifically at the Rockies. He even said he would be willing to talk to Tracy directly about the incident. Good man.
Manuel’s harshest words were left for the Mets the other day — all but accusing them of stealing signs at Citi Field in the process — so I’m going to assume he was simply directing his frustration towards his favorite division rival. Oh well. Anything to keep this rivalry fun.
So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.
The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.
Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.
With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.