Entering Sunday’s series finale against the Giants, the Phillies’ offense hadn’t scored a run since the seventh inning of Thursday’s game against the Dodgers, when Jorge Alfaro doubled in a run. The Giants blanked the Phillies 4-0 on Friday and 2-0 on Saturday.
Giants rookie Dereck Rodriguez, son of Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, made his first major league start on Sunday against the Phillies. He held them scoreless over the first two innings, but Jake Arrieta — who entered Sunday with a 2.09 ERA, by the way — homered to left field, leading off the third inning.
That is Arrieta’s sixth career home run and his first of the season. He’s homered in each of the last four seasons. Arrieta also has a postseason home run to his name, which was also hit at AT&T Park. He hit a three-run home run off of Madison Bumgarner in Game 3 of the 2016 NLDS.
Phillies starter Zach Eflin has also homered this year. Technically, bench player Pedro Florimon homered as a pitcher as well. On May 18 against the Cardinals, with the Phillies trailing 12-3, Florimon pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, then hit a solo home run off of Mike Mayers in the top of the ninth. If we count that, the Phillies lead the majors in home runs by pitchers with three. The Cardinals are the only other team with multiple homers from pitchers, as Carlos Martinez and Miles Mikolas have both gone yard.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.