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Phillies monthly review: August 2016
by Scott Butler 9/2/16

Phillies Dugout

Phillies August Storyline

The Phillies had a chance to say thank you to one former Phillies star and say goodbye to another. That mostly sums up the highlights of August for the Phillies.

Chase Utley returned to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since being traded to the Dodgers last season, and Phillies fans thanked him in a way most would not expect. And, after hitting two homers against his former mates, Utley was forced to accept their gratitude with a total of three curtain calls throughout the night.

A little more than a week later, Carlos Ruiz was traded to those same Dodgers, ending his 11-year Phillies career. All that remains now from 2008 is Ryan Howard.

On the field, the Phillies hung in there for another month.

The Phillies actually had a nice start to August.  After splitting their first eight games, the Phils won four straight and swept out the Rockies at home. They then lost five of their next seven and went 4-10 in their last 14 games, including a sweep by the Nationals at home to end the month.

The offense might have reached a new low, getting just 10 hits in the entire three-game Washington series.

The Phils offense just refuses to play smart baseball.  They swing at way too many pitches and strikeout way to much for an offense that ranks 11th in the National League in homers.  Then there's this from Matt Gelb:

The players in the majors have combined to produce a .296 on-base percentage, which ranks dead last in baseball and is the worst clip for a Phillies team since 1968.

It would not be surprising at all to see hitting coach Steve Henderson get fired after the season. The hitting coach always gets blamed for bad hitting even if it isn’t his fault. This offense is definitely bad enough to get a coach fired.  Although I have a hard time blaming coaching for a player like Maikel Franco who went 0-for-4 on four pitches against Max Scherzer, and that is the SECOND TIME THIS SEASON he did that.

The Phillies are barely hanging on, and with two more pitchers leaving the rotation soon when Velasquez and Thompson are shut down, September looks to be a gory month.

Phillies August Win/Loss Totals

Record: 12-14
Home record: 7-8
Road record: 5-6
Top winning streak: 4
Top losing streak: 3
Series record: 3-5-1
Began month: 48-59, 14 games behind 1st place Nationals & 7.5 games behind 3rd place Mets.
Finished month: 60-73, 18 games behind 1st place Nationals & 7.5 games behind 3rd place Mets.

Phillies Totals and NL Rankings for month of August

Phillies Team Hitting August Totals 
Average: .236 (13th) 
Runs: 112 (13th) 
Runs/game: 4.3 (13th) 
HR: 32 (t-8th) 
BB: 72  (last) 
SO: 238 (4th most) 
OBP: .299 (14th) 
SLG: .396 (12th) 
OPS .694 (12th)

Phillies Team Pitching August Totals
ERA: 5.50 (14th) 
ER: 143
IP: 234.0

Phillies Starting Pitching August Totals
ERA: 6.49 (last) 
ER: 100
IP: 138.2

Phillies Relief Pitching August Totals
ERA: 4.25 (8th) 
ER: 45
IP: 95.1

Phillies Season Totals and NL Rankings through August

Phillies Team Hitting Season Totals 
Average: .236 (14th) 
Runs: 492 (last) 
Runs/game: 3.7 (last) 
HR: 134 (11th) 
BB: 333  (last) 
SO: 1,084 (7th most) 
OBP: .296 (last) 
SLG: .385 (14th) 
OPS .681 (last)

Phillies Team Pitching Season Totals
ERA: 4.55 (10th) 
ER: 595
IP: 1,178.0

Phillies Starting Pitching Season Totals
ERA: 4.64 (11th) 
ER: 385
IP: 746.0

Phillies Relief Pitching Season Totals
ERA: 4.42 (11th) 
ER: 212
IP: 432.0

Phillies August Win/Loss Chart

Phillies 2016 August Win Loss Chart

Phillies August Event Recap

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS August 2-4
(Phillies win series 2-1)

Game 1: Homers from Altherr and Franco gave Phils 6-0 lead in 2nd inning off Bumgarner, but Giants tie game in fifth off Eflin and after exchanging leads in 6th, Altherr broke tie with 5th RBI in 8th and Rupps homer gave Phils 13-8 win.
Game 2: Down 4-0 to All-Star starter Cueto and Phil Klein on mound for Phils, homers from Howard and Rupp and an RBI single from Franco tied game in 8th and Franco hit walk off single in 12 with Altherr getting thrown out and 2nd for not touching base in celebration.
Game 3: Gonzalez allowed solo homer in 10th to break 2-2 tie in 3-2 loss.

@ San Diego Padres August 5-7
(Phillies win series 2-1)
Game 1:
Rupp's 3-run homer in 4th part of 4 RBIs and gave the Phils lead for good with Hellickson lasting 6.2 innings in 5-4 win.
Game 2: Thompson has 4-run first in MLB debut and finishes with 6 ER in 4.1 innings and despite 3-run 9th, Phils lose 9-7.
Game 3: Eickhoff allows 4 runs in six innings, but a 4-run 4th helped in 6-5 with for the Phillies, who turned 5-4-3 triple play in 7th when Jabari Blash hit a grounder to third baseman Maikel Franco, who stepped on third base to begin a 5-4-3 triple play, the Phillies' first since Aug. 23, 2009, when Eric Bruntlett had an unassisted triple play against the Mets at Citi Field.

@ Los Angeles Dodgers August 8-10
(Phillies lose series 1-2)
Game 1:
In Utley's first game against Phillies, Eflin struggled and allowed 7 ER in 3 innings, including a homer to Utley in 9-4 loss to Dodgers.
Game 2: Velasquez allows 3 homers and 9 ER in 4.2 innings and Phils lose 9-3.
Game 3: Down 2-1 in 7th, Galvis hits 3-run homer and Howard adds pinch-hit bases clearing double in 9th in 6-2 win, but Hellickson left game with back issues after 5 innings.

COLORADO ROCKIES August 12-14
(Phillies sweep series 3-0)
Game 1:
On Jim Thome Wall of Fame night, Howard's grand slam helped Jake Thompson, who became first Phillie with four strikeouts in an inning since 1902, earn his first win.
Game 2: Franco's 3-run homer in first set the pace for 6-3 win and benches cleared when Franco was hit by pitch in the third.
Game 3: Paredes finished a triple short of the cycle with 3 RBI, Morgan left early after getting hit by line drive in forearm, and Gomez barely hung on in 9th in 7-6 win to sweep Rockies

LOS ANGELES DODGERS August 16-18
(Phillies lose series 1-2)
Game 1:
Utley hits two homers, including grand slam, and receives two standing ovations as Velasquez allows three homers and five runs in 15-5 loss.
Game 2: Thompson allows two homers and 5 runs in 5 innings while offense scores just twice in 7-2 loss.
Game 3: Down by a run, Franco's two-run homer in the seventh gave Phils lead and they held on in 5-4 win.

ST LOUIS CARDINALS August 19-21
(Phillies lose series 1-2)
Game 1:
Morgan with strong outing of 1 run in six innings and back-to-back homers from Herrera and Galvis gave Phils 3-1 lead, but Gomez blew save and Herrmann allowed run in 11th.
Game 2: Hernandez homers in first and finishes triple shy of cycle and Jeremy Hellickson became the first Phillies starter in 22 games to throw seven innings in 4-2 win
Game 3: Velasquez serves up two homers and 5 runs in 6 innings in 9-0 shutout loss.

@ Chicago White Sox August  23-24
(Phillies split series 1-1)
Game 1:
Thompson lasts just 5 innings allows 7 runs in 9-1 shellacking by White Sox.
Game 2: Eickhoff fantastic through 6 innings with two runs allowed on 71 pitches before being lifted, Hernandez and Joseph homer, and Altherr knocks in two in 5-3 Phillies win.

@ New York Mets August 26-28
(Phillies split series 2-2)
Game 1:
3 homers and 6 runs against Morgan in 5 innings doom Phillies and Morgan ties for third longest losing streak in team history with 8 straight losses, whose late rally wasn't nearly enough in 9-4 loss.
Game 2: Hellickson only gets through four inning with 5 runs allowed and two homers, Mariot gave up 6 runs in 7th, and Phils scored once on a Galvis homer with just 3 hits in 12-1 route.
Game 3: A.J. Ellis with tie breaking tw-run double in 4-run seventh in 5-1 win, with Velasquez allowing 1 run in six innings.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS August 29-31
(Phillies lose series 1-2)
Game 1:
Phils shutout 4-0, but Thompson goes 7 innings with 2 runs in by far his best outing.
Game 2: Scherzer fans 11 Phils and Howard's 2-run homer in 7th was only runs they scored in 3-2 loss in which Howard hit his 20th homer for the 10th time in career.
Game 3: Morgan with great outing and just 2 runs allowed in 6.2, but Phillies muster just two hits in 2-1 loss and get swept by Nats.

Phillies August Highlights and notes

August 1 - Phillies make no trades at the deadline. The Phillies had a high asking price for Jeremy Hellickson, relievers Jeanmar Gomez and David Hernandez received little interest, and then much publicized interest from the Ranger in Vince Velasquez trade never became anything.
August 2 - Phillies designate Andrew Bailey for assignment and promoted right-hander Luis Garcia from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
August 2 - After taking 6-0 lead in 2nd inning off Madison Bumgarner, Phils blow lead before scoring five eighth-inning runs to break a tie and proceed to a 13-8 triumph. Aaron Altherr went 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs.
August 3 - Phillies place Aaron Nola on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow.
August 3 - Maikel Franco's bases-loaded line drive snaps a 12th-inning deadlock and gives Phillies a 5-4 victory. Aaron Altherr stopped running and never reached second base and the play was ruled a fielder's choice, taking away Franco's first official walk-off hit.
August 6 - Cameron Rupp homers in his third straight game, leading the Phillies to a 5-4 win over the Padres. Rupp hit his 13th homer of the season 427 feet before tacking on an RBI double in the sixth.
August 6 - Phillies designate Oberholtzer for assignment.
August 7 - Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez and Tommy Joseph turn the 32nd triple play in franchise history.
August 9 - The Phillies place Zach Eflin on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with patellar tendinopathy in both knees.
August 10 - Jeremy Hellickson left game with back issues after 5 innings, which turned out to be nothing serious and his following start was pushed back only a couple days.
August 12 - Jim Thome inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame prior to the game. In the game, Howard's grand slam helped Jake Thompson earn his first major league win.Thompson also became first Phillie with four strikeouts in an inning since 1902.
August 12 - Cody Asche sent down to triple-A.
August 17 - Phillies place Aaron Nola on the 60-day disabled list and Frank Herrmann added to the 40-man roster.
August 19 - Ryan Howard cleared by MLB in PED investigation of the Al Jazeera documentary "The Dark Side."
August 19 - Zach Eflin undergoes season-ending surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee. Eflin is expected to have the same surgery on his left knee in six weeks.
August 25 - Phillies send Carlos Ruiz and cash to the Dodgers in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, pitching prospect Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later or cash.
August 26 - Jorge Alfaro called up before Philadelphia's game against the Mets, but just for one day, as A.J. Ellis will join the team in his place in next game.

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