Gabe Kapler, eager to change the subject from yesterday’s Phillies collapse and loss, has posted his lineup for tonight’s game against the Braves. The main draw: rookie Scott Kingery will make his big league debut and play third base, batting in the sixth slot against Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz.
The Phillies signed Kingery to a six-year $24 million contract with three team options just before the season started. That allowed them to forego the ritual of keeping him down in the minors for a few weeks to ensure some extra team control and cost savings. As such, their top prospect — who hit a combined .304/.359/.530 with 18 home runs and 29 stolen bases in 603 plate appearances in Double- and Triple-A last year — began the season on the big league roster.
Kingery is naturally a second baseman, but the presence of Cesar Hernandez keeps him off of the keystone. Today he’ll take Maikel Franco‘s place at third, which is where you have to imagine the Phillies’ brass imagine seeing him play most of the time.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.