Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Trevor Rosenthal finally records out in 2019

8 Comments

The Nationals destroyed the Phillies on Wednesday night, winning by a 15-1 margin. While losing by such a wide margin may be shameful in and of itself, it may have been a specific incident within Wednesday’s game that was of greater shame to the Phillies. Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp struck out against reliever Trevor Rosenthal, becoming the right-hander’s first out of the season.

Coming into the game, Rosenthal failed to record outs on any of the nine batters he had faced. On March 30 against the Mets, he gave up back-to-back singles to Wilson Ramos and Jeff McNeil, walked Amed Rosario, then served up a two-run single to J.D. Davis. The next day, he allowed an RBI single to Rosario before being yanked. On April 3 against the Phillies, he walked Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery before the Vaudeville hook pulled him off stage. Finally, on April 7 against the Mets, he hit Dominic Smith with a pitch, then uncorked two wild pitches before walking Luis Guillorme.

With the Nationals leading 15-0 in the bottom of the ninth, manager Dave Martinez decided to bring Rosenthal into the game in the lowest of low-leverage situations. Things started off as bad as usual, with Rosenthal walking Rhys Hoskins on five pitches. That marked 10 consecutive batters faced to begin the season without recording an out. Rosenthal, however, bounced back by blowing a 100 MPH, 2-2 fastball past Andrew Knapp for the first out of the inning and the first out of the season for Rosenthal.

Rosenthal’s performance certainly did not inspire any confidence. After fanning Knapp, Rosenthal issued back-to-back walks to Odúbel Herrera and César Hernández to load the bases. Franco grounded out to first base to bring in a run, marring the shutout. Aaron Altherr, an outfielder who came in to pitch the top of the ninth, flied out to right field to end the game.

Rosenthal’s ERA no longer reads “INF” (for “infinite”), but is an unflattering 72.00. With one inning under his belt, he has yielded eight runs (all earned) on four hits and seven walks with one strikeout.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

Hunter Martin/Getty Images
11 Comments

July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.