Yet Another Bullpen Loss

If this is the final week in the Phillies career of Ryan Howard, he started it in grand style. He hit the first pitch he saw for his 15th career grand slam in the first inning. By the end of four innings, Jerad Eickhoff was working on a 6-1 lead, having allowed just one hit.

Then the rains came, a delay of nearly two hours. As it turned out, It didn’t rain long enough to postpone the game. The delay cooled the Phillies bats and robbed Eickhoff of a win. He’ll have one more start, the final game of the season Sunday.

The rains also meant the beleaguered Phillies’ bullpen would take over. Within four innings, the Braves led, 7-6, which was the final score. They’ve won five in a row over the Phillies.

One of the strangest patterns continued. On Saturday the Phillies scored 10 unanswered runs. The rest of that game and Sunday, the Mets scored 25 unanswered runs. Last night, six for the Phillies followed by seven by the Braves. Once again the game was decided by the bullpen which has eight blown saves, nine losses and allowed 69 runs this month.

Roman Quinn snapped a streak of six consecutive strikeouts by starting the game with three straight hits. He left the game with an oblique injury . . . Howard’s slam was his 15th, putting him in a tie for 13th place on the all-time list with Ken Griffey Jr. and Richie Sexson. Only three first basemen have hit more, Willie McCovey (18), Eddie Murray (19) and Lou Gehrig (23).

Howard HR Facts
Vs. Braves, 52, most against any team
At Turner Field, 23, most for any enemy ballpark
Batting fifth: 43
Tonight’s starter: Foltynewicz, 1
Thursday night’s starter: Collmenter, 0

On this date:
2007, #127, Arnie Munoz at Washington
2014, #334, Aaron Harang vs. Atlanta

MLB Note
From Elias Sports Bureau: A total of 107 players have hit 20 home runs this season, a major league high. Previous was 103 in 1999.

Player Development
Baseball America has released its list of the top 20 players in the Gulf Coast League.
Three are Phillies, #1, CF Mickey Moniak; #7, 2B Dan Brito and #15, OF Jhailyn Ortiz. Sixto Sanchez was named the Pitcher of the Year.

The Florida Instructional League season began on Monday with the Phillies hosting the Blue Jays at Bright House Field. Emphasis is on instruction and not statistics. It resembled a typical FIL game in that the Phillies used six different pitchers and 13 position players. Actually that’s September baseball in the major leagues these days.

Before the 1 o’clock afternoon game, the entire camp worked out at Carpenter Complex. That is a daily routine except for Sunday.

This Date
September 28, 1919
In the fastest game ever played in the major leagues, it takes the New York Giants 51 minutes to beat the Phillies, 6-1, at the Polo Grounds. Most batters swung at the first pitch and ran the bases at will.

September 28, 1958

CF Richie Ashburn goes 3-for-4 in the final game of the season, a 6-4 win at Pittsburgh, to edge Willie Mays, .350 to .347, for the NL batting title. The Phillies haven’t had a batting champion since.

September 28, 1983
C Bo Diaz has five hits, including two homers, and 2B Joe Morgan, four hits and three RBI, as the Phillies clinch the NL East, 13-6, at Chicago, their 14th win in the last 16 games.

September 28, 2003

Before a sellout crowd of 58,554, the final game in Vet history is won by the Atlanta Braves, 5-2. Following the last out, emotional and memorable closing ceremonies are held featuring the 2003 Phillies and nearly 100 alumni. Larry Bowa jumped on home plate during the ceremonies.

September 28, 2011
Phillies set club record for most wins in a season with 102 as they beat Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in 13 innings. Charlie Manuel sets club record for most wins by a manager with 646, passing Gene Mauch.

Twitter: @ShenkLarry

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