The Phillies (29-31) got an early scare during today’s ball game as starter Vince Velasquez exited the ball game after throwing only two pitches and facing one batter. Velasquez threw two pitches in the mid-80s which is nowhere near his usual velocity in the mid-90s. The team said during the game that Velasquez exited with “right bicep soreness.” Velasquez doesn’t imagine the injury to be anything serious, but it is unclear whether or not he will miss any time. The rest of the game, was dominated by the Chicago Cubs (41-17) and their high-powered offense. The Cubs didn’t push across their first run until the fifth inning, but after that they scored 7 runs in the final four innings as they routed the Phillies 8-1 today at Citizen’s Bank Park.
The Phillies offense was virtually non-existent in today’s ballgame as they were shut down by yet another Cubs starter. The Phillies were only able to muster three scattered hits in today’s ball game. The only run the Phillies scored came in the bottom of the ninth inning during an 8-0 blowout. Cesar Hernandez grounded out to shortstop allowing Tommy Joseph to score and prevented the team from being shutout. No Phillies player recorded multiple hits, and the Phillies went 0-4 with runners in scoring position as a team this afternoon. The Cubs young sluggers delivered today as Kris Bryant homered for the 14th time this season and Anthony Rizzo drove in another run. Cubs shortstop Javier Baez also had an outstanding game, going 4-4 with 3 RBIs.
As I mentioned before, starter Vince Velasquez only pitched to one batter before exiting with right bicep soreness. Brett Oberholtzer came in relief of Velasquez and pitched four solid innings, allowing only one run on four hits and one walk while striking out one batter, however he received the loss. Andrew Bailey came in after Oberholtzer and he struggled in today’s ballgame, allowing three runs on three hits (2 homeruns) in an inning and 2/3 of relief. Colton Murray also didn’t have his best stuff today, as he allowed four runs on five hits in 2 innings of relief. Cubs starter John Lackey earned the win in today’s ballgame as he continued his impressive season by improving to 7-2 with an ERA of 2.63 on the season. Lackey pitched seven outstanding innings, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out eight Phillies. Pedro Strop and Clayton Richard each provided an inning of relief for the Cubs to close out today’s game and the series.
The Phillies have an off day tomorrow on the baseball diamond, but tomorrow is still an important day for the franchise. The 2016 MLB Amateur Draft takes place tomorrow and the Phillies hold the first pick in this year’s draft. The Phillies will travel to Washington for a three game series against the Nationals that begins Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.80 ERA) is scheduled to throw against hard throwing right hander Stephen Strasburg (9-0, 2.85 ERA). The Phillies will look to get the bats going this weekend, but that appears to be a large feat as their first task is to face one of the most dominant pitchers in the National League this season, Strasburg.
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