Saturday, August 6, 2016

Phils Rally Falls Short in Jake Thompson Debut

The Phillies top pitching prospect, 22-year old right-hander Jake Thompson, made his highly anticipated big league debut. 
But the host San Diego Padres got to him early, and held on late for a 9-7 victory on Saturday night at Petco Park.
Thompson (0-1) allowed six earned runs on seven hits while striking out one batter and walking two over his 4.1 innings. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch, and threw 53 strikes among his 83 pitches.
The rookie was particularly hard to watch in the 1st inning, exhibiting stereotypical wide-eyed, first-time-out jitters in surrendering four runs on three hits, two walks, and the wild pitch.
The big blow in that first frame was a two-out, bases loaded double off the bat of Christian Bethancourt that cleared the bases and made it a 4-0 game.
To their credit, the Phillies didn't roll over and die
despite the early deficit. They fought back against Padres 28-year old right-handed starter Paul Clemens to get within 4-3 into the 5th inning.
Ryan Howard blasted his 16th home run of the season with one out in the top of the 2nd, and then the Phils used three hits, including a double by 'The Big Piece', and some sloppy San Diego defense to score twice in the 4th to cut the deficit to one run.
Meanwhile, Thompson seemed to have settled down. He allowed just two hits over the next three frames, and went into the bottom of the 5th seemingly back in this one. However, the Padres knocked him out.

Travis Jankowski and Wil Myers led off the frame with back-to-back doubles to make it a 5-3 game. After Thompson hit Yangervis Solarte, Thompson recorded his final out, but was then pulled in favor of reliever Luis Garcia, who walked a batter and gave up a sac fly that scored a 6th run charged to Thompson.
In the bottom of the 6th, Solarte grounded a two-run single off Garcia, and the home side had pushed their lead out to an 8-3 margin.
Freddy Galvis hopped a ground-rule double over the left-center wall to start the Phillies 7th, and scored two batters later on a Cesar Hernandez RBI double.
Hernandez was then caught trying to steal 3rd with his team down by four runs and just one out in what was yet another in a recent series of baserunning boners by the 2nd baseman.
In the bottom of the 8th, Solarte struck again, grounding an RBI single to score Jankowski with the run that made it a 9-4 lead for the Padres, who took that lead into the 9th inning.
The Phillies took a run at it in the top of the 9th when Cody Asche led off with a double and scored ahead of Jimmy Paredes' 4th home run of the year to cut the deficit to a 9-6 margin.
Hernandez worked a walk, and then with two outs, Aaron Altherr lined a double to score the speedy Hernandez, cutting the Padres' lead to 9-7 and bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of slugging 3rd baseman Maikel Franco.
However, the San Diego closer, Brandon Maurer, got Franco to ground out easily to 1st base on a 1-2 pitch, and the home team had held on for a victory.
"I wasn't nervous," Thompson said per MLB.com contributors following his debut. "I was kind of amped up, instead of being nervous. Especially in that first inning, I just wasn't able to spin the ball for strikes or be able to get fastballs down in the zone."
He'll get plenty of more chances at success, the next due to come in front of the home fans at Citizens Bank Park when the team returns home next Friday night against the Colorado Rockies.

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