The Phillies were slaughtered by the Blue Jays on Thursday night, suffering a 13-2 loss at Citizens Bank Park. It was 10-1 in the top of the eighth inning when Michael Saunders stepped to the plate with a runner on first base and one out.
Reliever David Hernandez threw a 1-2 fastball, which Saunders lifted to right-center. Herrera jogged after the ball and caught it casually, flipping the ball into the stands above the right field fence. Whoops. Edwin Encarnacion, who was on first base, was allowed to advance two bases as a result.
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It’s understandable that Herrera’s focus might have waned, given the way the game was going. Perhaps unfairly, this incident will be used against him in tandem with last month’s benching for a lack of hustle. Herrera, though, has been one of very few bright spots on an otherwise underwhelming Phillies roster. He went 2-for-4 on Thursday night, raising his batting average to .309 and his OPS to .838. The only other Phillies with a comparable OPS are Cody Asche (.793) who has had 44 plate appearances, and Tommy Joseph (.797) who has had 93.
Herrera’s blunder brings back memories of 1994, when Expos right fielder Larry Walker lost track of the outs at Dodger Stadium: