Defensive blunders lead to Phillies loss

By: Rebecca Serad, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

Final: Atlanta Braves 3, Philadelphia Phillies 1  ❖  Attendance: 18,545

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A win tonight over the Atlanta Braves (29-18) could have put the Philadelphia Phillies (27-19) in first place in the National League East. However, that was not meant to be. Phils starter Vince Velasquez battled through four and a third innings, including a rough fourth inning that saw him load the bases with no outs before striking out three consecutive batters to get out of it. The righty allowed two runs, only one earned, along with six hits and three walks. He also struck out nine batters. According to Phillies reporter Jim Salisbury, this is Velasquez's fourth loss to the Braves this season. However, Velasquez wasn't to blame for the loss. Errors on back-to-back plays by right fielder Nick Williams and first baseman Carlos Santana led to a run scoring in the fifth inning for the Braves. Also, a passed ball by catcher Jorge Alfaro led to another run scoring in the ninth. Santana now has errors in four straight games for the first time in his career, which is alarming.

There weren't many positives on the offensive front, as the bats were quiet when it counted. With his fifth inning single, Cesar Hernandez extended his on-base streak to 26 consecutive games. It's currently the longest streak in the National League and tied for the longest streak in baseball with J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox. Santana ended his 0-8 streak with a single in the bottom of the sixth inning. He needs to contribute on a more consistent basis.

WP: Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.67 ERA)  ❖  LP: Vince Velasquez (4-5, 4.18 ERA)  ❖  SV: Arodys Vizcaíno (9)

Hub:   Game Summary      Starting Pitchers     At the Plate      Bullpen      What's Next

Game Summary

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
ATL 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 10 0
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 2

The Braves struck first in tonight's game. With one out in the top of the third, Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate and smacked a home-run over the right field fence. The homer was Albies' 14th of the season, tying him with Bryce Harper of the Nationals for the league lead. Phils starter Vince Velasquez was able to retire Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman on a strikeout and a groundout, respectively, to end the inning.

The Braves added on in the fifth, as a result of some poor Phillies defense. Albies led off the inning with a walk. One out later, Freeman singled to right field. Phils right fielder Nick Williams overthrew third base in a poor attempt to get Albies out, who was going from first to third on the play. The error allowed Albies to easily coast into third and Freeman to advance to second. Nick Markakis hit a grounder to first baseman Carlos Santana. He attempted to throw out Albies at the plate, but the throw sailed past catcher Jorge Alfaro. The play was called a fielder's choice with an error on the first baseman and the Braves now had a 2-0 lead. Velasquez was taken out in favor of reliever Victor Arano, leaving runners on first and third with one out. Arano retired Tyler Flowers and Ender Inciarte on a strikeout and a groundout, respectively, to avoid any further damage.

The Phillies got one back in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Maikel Franco singled. Shortstop Scott Kingery lined out for the second out. Pinch-hitter Aaron Altherr walked to put runners on first and second with two outs for Cesar Hernandez. He singled to right field, scoring Franco from second base. Altherr went to third on the hit. Hernandez moved up to second base on a wild pitch to Rhys Hoskins, which put the winning run in scoring position. However, Hoskins struck out to end the inning and the Phils had to settle for one run in the inning.

The Braves added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Albies singled to right field. During the at-bat of Acuna, a passed ball allowed Albies to move up to second base. That ended up being a key mistake, as Acuna singled to center field, scoring Albies to make it a 3-1 ballgame. Freeman grounded into a double play to end the frame, but the damage had been done. The Phillies were quietly retired in the bottom of the ninth to hand the Braves the victory.

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Starting Pitchers

Brandon McCarthy 5.2 4 1 1 2 5 0 4.67
Vince Velasquez 4.1 6 2 1 3 9 1 4.18

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At the Plate


  • Ozzie Albies: 2-4, 3 R, HR, RBI, .286 AVG
  • Ronald Acuna Jr.: 2-5, 2B, RBI, .260 AVG
  • Freddie Freeman: 2-5, .326 AVG


  • Maikel Franco: 2-4, R, .259 AVG
  • Cesar Hernandez: 1-4, RBI, .277 AVG
  • Carlos Santana: 2-3, .195 AVG

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  • Sam Freeman (6th): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 2.84 ERA
  • Dan Winkler (7th): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 0.89 ERA
  • A.J. Minter (8th): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 2.70 ERA
  • Arodys Vizcaíno (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 2.49 ERA


  • Victor Arano (5th): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 1.32 ERA
  • Luis Garcia (6th, 7th): 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR, 3.20 ERA
  • Adam Morgan (7th): 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 2.31 ERA
  • Tommy Hunter (8th): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 4.22 ERA
  • Edubray Ramos (9th): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 0.96 ERA

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What's Next

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018: vs. Atlanta Braves, 7:05 p.m.
    • Philadelphia – Citizens Bank Park
    • LHP Luiz Gohara (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.82 ERA)
    • TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WSAN AM 1470, WTTM 1680

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