The announced attendance for tonight’s Braves-Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park was 41,665, falling short of a sellout for the first time since July 6, 2009. And with that, the Phillies’ sellout streak ends at 257 games. Given the Phillies’ current place in the standings and the recent trades of Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, it was only a matter of time.
Via Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, here’s a statement from Phillies president David Montgomery.
“The number of sellouts could not have been possible without the tremendous loyalty of our fans who continue to lead all of Major League Baseball in average attendance this year.”
The sellout streak is the longest in National League history and third-longest in MLB history. The Indians sold out 445 straight games from 1995-2001 while the Red Sox have a current streak of 772 sellouts at Fenway Park.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.