Sunday was the final afternoon of a 10-day road trip for the Philadelphia Phillies and things got weird. The result of the game, a 10-8 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, almost seemed secondary to the goings-on of the day.
The Phillies went 4-5 on this road trip and are 21-20 overall. They trail in the NL East by a half-game to the New York Mets, who were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend.
Here’s three takeaways:
Bench fight, confusion with injuries
The Phillies, down eight runs at one point in this game, pulled within two with runners on the corners, two outs and Bryce Harper up in the top of the ninth. Yes, Bryce Harper, who did not start because of shoulder soreness. He struck out on a full count to end the game.
It was hard to tell on this afternoon who for the Phillies was hurt and who wasn’t.
The Phils knew they’d wake up shorthanded Sunday morning with Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius all unavailable to play. Harper is dealing with a sore right shoulder, Realmuto a sore left hand and Gregorius has swelling in his right elbow.
All three were out of the lineup, then Andrew Knapp was scratched 20 minutes before game-time with tightness in his ribcage. It appeared manager Joe Girardi was entering a game with zero bench players.
But with the Phillies trailing 8-4, Harper entered the game in the bottom of the sixth. He took over in right field for Scott Kingery, who had three more uncompetitive at-bats, striking out all three times. Kingery exited the game because he was dizzy. Girardi said they think it happened when he banged into the wall in right.
Was Harper feeling better after receiving treatment all day? No, Harper’s shoulder clearly is not all the way right. He soft-tossed a ball in play back into the infield upon entering, and squared around for each pitch during his first at-bat, popping one up to third base with two runners aboard. He later struck out to end the game.
There was also a dugout yelling match between Girardi and Jean Segura after Segura’s first-inning error. Segura’s momentum was going toward first base on a ground ball and he hastily tried to begin a 4-3-6 double play, missing the ball completely. The Phillies committed three errors on Saturday and Girardi voiced his frustration with the defense afterward.
Girardi had no interest after the game Sunday saying what happened with Segura. He said it’s a conversation that will stay within the group and got testy with reporters when asked for more info, replying with “next question”.
Anderson’s bad day
The Phillies dug an 8-0 hole as Chase Anderson had nothing. He gave up seven runs and recorded four outs as his ERA boosted to 6.96.
He’s made eight starts and completed five innings twice.
The Phillies crawled back with eight runs after the fourth inning but were never in this game until the ninth. Nick Maton was a big bright spot with his first two major-league home runs. He also hit a two-run single and is batting .316 through 82 plate appearances.
Speaking of the long ball, Andrew McCutchen went back-to-back with Maton. It happened after his first home run.
The Phils are off Monday and play six games at home this week against the Miami Marlins and the Boston Red Sox. Zack Wheeler pitches the series opener against Miami Tuesday night.