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Arrieta sees positives on horizon as skid hits 8

Veteran after final '18 start: 'This season was a success for us in a lot of areas'
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

DENVER -- Jake Arrieta talked Thursday afternoon at Coors Field about the coming months, Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., and how the Phillies need to spend that time preparing for a better 2019.

A few weeks ago, one might have expected Arrieta's post-start conversation at Coors to be centered on what game he will pitch in the National League Division Series. But the Phillies' postseason chances died at the beginning of an eight-game road trip, which concluded with Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Rockies. The Phillies needed to go 7-1 on the trip through Atlanta and Colorado. They went 0-8. There has been only one worse road trip in franchise history, and it happened in the Phillies' inaugural season in 1883, when they went 0-9 through New York, Boston and Providence.

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DENVER -- Jake Arrieta talked Thursday afternoon at Coors Field about the coming months, Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., and how the Phillies need to spend that time preparing for a better 2019.

A few weeks ago, one might have expected Arrieta's post-start conversation at Coors to be centered on what game he will pitch in the National League Division Series. But the Phillies' postseason chances died at the beginning of an eight-game road trip, which concluded with Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Rockies. The Phillies needed to go 7-1 on the trip through Atlanta and Colorado. They went 0-8. There has been only one worse road trip in franchise history, and it happened in the Phillies' inaugural season in 1883, when they went 0-9 through New York, Boston and Providence.

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"We know that we don't want to feel like this again," Arrieta said.

But the season is not a bust, he added.

"We'll talk about the season as a failure and this and that, but I don't look at it that way," he said. "I think that it's unfortunate the way we've played the last couple of months but if you view it as a failure, how does that bode well for us moving forward if we all look at it as we failed? I think this season was a success for us in a lot of areas and some other areas not as much. If we have in our minds that we were a failure, then that's too negative for me. I think we can be realistic with the way things transpired and what we need to do better moving forward to not be in this position, but I think if we're too negative, that doesn't do anyone any good."

Kapler soliciting Phils' advice on ways to improve for 2019

Video: PHI@COL: Arrieta strikes out Iannetta to end the 6th

Arrieta can help the Phillies avoid a repeat performance in 2019, when he begins the second season of a three-year, $75 million contract. He finished 10-11 with a 3.96 ERA in 31 starts. He went 1-5 with a 6.35 ERA in his final nine.

"If you want me to say that I would have liked to be better, yeah of course," Arrieta said. "Yeah, everyone knows that."

Video: PHI@COL: Bautista lines a solo home run to left

Arrieta can also help the Phillies next season by talking to free agents this winter. Arrieta, like Rhys Hoskins, is a Scott Boras client. Boras represents Bryce Harper, among many others.

Hoskins lays out Phillies' sales pitch to top free agents

"I want to win and if there's guys that are in the Phillies' sights, absolutely," Arrieta said. "Any way we can get better in any area, I would like to be a part of helping that come to fruition if I'm able to so, yeah."

Video: PHI@COL: Phillies nab Story at first, call stands

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Carlos Santana hit a two-run home run to left field in the eighth inning. It was his 24th homer of the season. Santana has hit .244 with 22 home runs, 74 RBIs and an .810 OPS since the end of April.

Jose Bautista homered in the third inning.

Video: PHI@COL: Santana goes the other way for 2-run blast

SOUND SMART
Phillies left fielder Dylan Cozens went 1-for-3. He recorded his first career double and stolen base. He has a hit in three consecutive games.

HE SAID IT
"I do not think our team has quit on the season or quit in general. I just think today was pretty good evidence that we still have some fight in us. We had baserunners late, looked like it might be a game that might get out of hand early, we never allowed it get out of hand. Jake battled until the end. We had some good at-bats. I saw fight today." -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler

UP NEXT
Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (0-0, 9.00 ERA) faces Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (12-10, 2.88 ERA) on Friday night at 7:05 ET in the first game of a three-game, season-ending series at Citizens Bank Park. Eickhoff, who was arguably the team's best starter in 2016, will make his first start of the season after appearing twice in relief. He missed much of the season because of a nerve issue in his right fingers.

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

Philadelphia Phillies, Jake Arrieta