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Phils drop 5th straight, fall to .500; Altherr exits

September 24, 2018

DENVER - Aaron Altherr crashed face first into the left-field wall Monday night at Coors Field, futilely pursuing a fly ball that cleared the fence and hit the face of a Rockies fan that missed the ball with his glove.The Phillies' once promising season is ending in painful fashion.Philadelphia lost

DENVER - Aaron Altherr crashed face first into the left-field wall Monday night at Coors Field, futilely pursuing a fly ball that cleared the fence and hit the face of a Rockies fan that missed the ball with his glove.
The Phillies' once promising season is ending in painful fashion.
Philadelphia lost Monday to the Rockies, 10-1, to fall to 78-78. It is the first time the Phillies have been .500 since April 10, when they were 5-5.
"It's evidence that we haven't played good baseball for quite some time," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.
It has been a heck of a slide. The Phillies had the second-best record (63-48) in the National League on Aug. 5. They have the worst record (15-30) in the league since. Philadelphia entered its current eight-game road trip through Atlanta and Colorado knowing it needed to win almost every game to have a chance to overtake the Braves in the NL East. Instead, the Phillies lost their first five.
They have not looked competitive in the process.
"I don't think we're out of gas," Kapler said. "I think we're continuing to fight, we're continuing to battle."
Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings. He left with the bases loaded in the third inning because of left side tightness, which he started to feel during his Sept. 14 start against the Marlins. Eflin will fly to Philadelphia to be examined, and it's unlikely he pitches again this season.
"I really couldn't tell you what it is," Eflin said. "I kind of jammed it. I landed awkwardly two starts ago. I felt something that I shouldn't have been feeling. It's completely manageable. This time it just grabbed a little more than normal."

Left-hander Austin Davis walked home two of Eflin's runs, and a wild pitch scored another. Yacksel Rios allowed three runs in the fourth inning to hand the Rockies an 8-0 lead.
Two of Rios' runs scored on David Dahl's home run to left field. Altherr, who is one of the team's best defensive outfielders, sprinted straight into the wall as he efforted to catch the ball. He fell to the warning track and remained motionless for a moment, eventually standing up and walking to a cart in the left-field tunnel.
Altherr showed concussion symptoms and received testing for that. He also suffered a sprained big right knee and a bruised right knee.
"We'll have him checked out again before we clear him," Kapler said of Altherr's concussion symptoms.

The Phillies need to win four of their remaining six games to finish with their first winning record since 2011. It will be very difficult to do so, considering the way they have played the past several weeks and the fact the Rockies are fighting for their postseason lives.
"It's not fun," Eflin said. "It is frustrating. But at the end of the day, we've played some really good baseball this year. A lot of guys have taken a big step forward. We understand that. We're looking forward to being able to have a healthy offseason and having a lot of people make strides this offseason for next year.
"We're just as excited as we were in Spring Training. Nobody thought we'd be in the position we were a couple weeks ago when we were in the middle of it."
Rhys Hoskins crushed a solo home run to left-center field in the seventh inning for his 33rd of the season. The ball left his bat at 108.6 mph and traveled a projected 444 feet, according to Statcast™. It was the second-longest homer of Hoskins' career. He hit a 445-foot homer Aug. 23, 2017, against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies are 6-16 (.273) in September. It is their lowest winning percentage in September/October since 1942, when they finished 6-21 (.222).
Phillies center fielder Roman Quinn made an impressive diving catch in right-center field to rob DJ LeMahieu of a hit in the first inning. Quinn covered 63 feet in 3.9 seconds, according to Statcast™. It rated as a 4-star catch, his second 4-star catch of the season.

"If you need some evidence of that, you can look at the home run that Rhys hit. Obviously, he didn't have to go up there and give everything he had and compete and fight, and he did. Look no further than Ranger Suarez, who came in today and went through a really tough lineup and did a really good job. Roman Quinn went out there and laid it all out on the line and dove into right-center, maybe one of the better plays of the season. That doesn't happen without determination. That doesn't happen without concentration. That doesn't happen without fight." -- Kapler, on if his team is showing enough fight to close the season

Third baseman Maikel Franco (sore right wrist), shortstop J.P. Crawford (sore right shoulder) and outfielder Nick Williams (swollen right middle finger) remained out of the starting lineup, although Crawford made an appearance as a pinch-hitter.
Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez (9-11, 4.59 ERA) faces the Rockies on Tuesday night in the second game of a four-game series at Coors Field, with first pitch set for 8:40 p.m. ET. The Rockies will start Chad Bettis, although it is expected to be mostly a bullpen day. Velasquez is 1-3 with a 7.67 ERA in his last eight starts and has not pitched more than five innings in any of those starts.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.