PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies still had a chance to salvage Jacob Arrieta's Phillies debut on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, long after he left the game and even after the bullpen allowed three runs in the eighth inning to hand the Marlins a lead.But less than 24 hours after
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies still had a chance to salvage Jacob Arrieta's Phillies debut on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, long after he left the game and even after the bullpen allowed three runs in the eighth inning to hand the Marlins a lead.
But less than 24 hours after the Phillies posted 20 runs in a blowout victory, they went quietly in the ninth in a 6-3 loss. Andrew Knapp hit a one-out single, but J.P. Crawford struck out looking and Aaron Altherr grounded out to end the game.
Crawford is 1-for-23 with one walk and eight strikeouts in his first seven games. It is a frustratingly slow start for the talented, highly regarded prospect, who showed enough last season in Triple-A and in September with the Phillies that the front office traded veteran Freddy Galvis to the Padres to make Crawford the everyday shortstop.
"I started bad last year, too," Crawford said. "It's not how you start, it's how you finish. I'm getting myself into good counts. I'm working the pitcher and just missing my pitches to hit. That's about it."
Crawford hit .194 with a .565 OPS the first two-plus months of 2017 in Triple-A before batting .280 with a .904 OPS the rest of the way. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said last week that he did not think Crawford's swing was too long, but the rookie said that is the cause of his struggles.
"I'm just trying to get shorter," Crawford said. "It feels long right now, but once I get that taken care of I think I'll be good. It's tough [to fix]. You can be fine in the cages and whatnot, but then when the game comes you get all anxious and you get overexcited, and that's when you get into trouble, trying to get all big. You have to remind yourself to stay short."
Crawford said struggling like he did last season gives him a roadmap to get out of this funk.
"I'm not tripping," Crawford said. "I'm not mad at all. I know the results will come. Keep putting in work every day. I know the results will come."
Arrieta realizes the results will come for him, too. He was on a strict pitch count, so when he allowed three runs and threw 31 pitches in the first inning, he knew he would not have a long day. Arrieta needed 43 pitches the rest of the outing, retiring 10 of the final 11 batters he faced, leaving him encouraged.
The Phillies scored two runs in the first and one run in the third to tie the game, but Phillies right-hander Luis Garcia hit and walked a batter to start the eighth. It sparked the three-run rally.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fish jump Jake: Arrieta struggled in the first inning as the Marlins took a 3-0 lead. Miguel Rojas hit a one-out solo homer. After an infield shift prevented a potential inning-ending double play and catcher's interference loaded the bases with two outs, Braxton Lee's bloop single down the left-field line scored Starlin Castro and Justin Bour. More >
Hoskins stays hot:Rhys Hoskins ripped a double to left-center field in the third inning to score Odubel Herrera from first base and tie the game at 3. Hoskins is hitting .440 (11-for-25) with five doubles, one home run and seven RBIs. He has reached safely in all eight games this season.
"Nothing surprising for us about Rhys and anything he does," Kapler said. "I thought it was interesting today. I went out to the dugout a little bit early and he was out there first. Nobody else was around. He was sitting on the bench, preparing for the game mentally. He plays along with the manager and the coaches in the game as good as anybody that age. Nobody outprepares, outworks. He's very talented. He knows how to look over a baseball. Very talented in working deep counts. He obviously has really good barrel accuracy and power." More >
"A tremendous series from our guys. Really good starting pitching out of Nick [Pivetta] and Vince [Velasquez], and obviously our bats came through huge in the first and second games of the series. Much improved from where we started the first couple series. Very optimistic moving forward for the guys."
-- Arrieta, on winning the series against the Marlins
"He didn't have his command early. He was like all over the place, it seemed, early. But then he kind of settled in and was throwing strikes." -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly, on Arrieta
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Herrera is 8-for-13 with three doubles after starting the season with just one hit in his first 12 at-bats.
Phillies right-hander Victor Arano has not allowed a baserunner and has struck out five batters in his first four innings.
SAME BATTER, DIFFERENT SHIFT
The Phillies shifted Bour two different ways in the first three innings. They had Crawford to the right of second base in the first, when Bour hit a ball to the left of the bag. Had Crawford been playing at traditional double-play depth, he could have possibly turned an inning-ending double play. Instead, it sparked a three-run rally. Interestingly, Crawford stood to the left of the bag in the third when Bour hit with nobody on base.
"Those are the chances that you take," said first-base coach Jose David Flores, who positions the infielders. "I think we've gotten more success than been burned so far. It's just a gamble that you take early in the game. They scored off of that, but I really don't think it affected the outcome of the game."
Phillies right-hander Ben Lively faces the Reds in Monday night's series opener at Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Lively makes his second start of the season. He allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings last week in a 2-0 loss to the Mets, an encouraging debut for the team's No. 5 starter.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.