Phillies Waste Jake Arrieta’s Brilliant Effort in a Brutal Loss

PHOTO CREDIT: MARK J. REBILAS-USA TODAY SPORTS

I was going to be cute about the Phillies’ collapse in extra innings against the Diamondbacks last night, but I don’t have it in me this morning, so let’s just get into it.

The Phillies should have matched their season-best six-game winning streak after Jake Arrieta mowed through Arizona’s lineup over eight scoreless innings. Arrieta efficiently generated 13 groundouts and mixed in some strikeouts late to quiet those who needlessly fixate over his declining ability to miss bats. It was a boss performance:

It was also a performance that was ultimately wasted after a disastrous ninth inning blown save by Seranthony Dominguez. Indeed, it was a tale of two very different nights for the starter and closer:

Arrieta: 28 batters faced, 3 hits, 0 runs
Dominguez: 4 batters faced, 3 hits, 2 runs

There’s no sense in dancing around the point. Dominguez has sucked since the All-Star break, and the numbers show it:

Before the break: 28 G, 33.2 IP, 16 H, 6 BB, 0.65 WHIP, 1.60 ERA

After the break: 8 G, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 1.95 WHIP, 6.75 ERA

He’s already walked more batters in the second half of the season despite having pitched 27 less innings. His WHIP has tripled. He remains supremely talented, and some regression from a 23-year-old rookie that had not pitched above A-ball prior to this season is to be expected. Still, his recent struggles are concerning because he’s so vital to the overall success of what has actually become a quality bullpen. They need to get him right.

Of course, the blame shouldn’t fall entirely on Dominguez. The Phillies offense again went silent as they managed to plate only two runs over 14 innings. As it turns out, scoring in more than one inning probably would have been useful. In fact, they didn’t even have a single hitter reach base after the 10th inning as Diamondbacks pitchers retired the final 13 batters they faced. The offense’s most glaring miscue came in the ninth inning when Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp each missed key opportunities to tack on what would have been a game-changing insurance run with runners on the corners and less than two outs. That allowed Arizona to tie the game and hang around until the 14th inning when David Peralta took Austin Davis deep to walk it off:

Side note: I know there are hundreds of people in South Jersey who took a bath on this game last night. Let me know if your night went something like this:

1. Downloads DraftKings Sportsbook App
2. Makes first bet on Phillies
3. Thinks to self: “This shit is easy. Winner.”
4. Watches Dominguez blow it in the 9th.
5. Stays up an additional hour-plus to watch the inevitable loss.
6. Inevitable loss occurs.
7. Goes to bed both exhausted and angry.

Good times. That’s baseball. Bad bounces happen. Shit happens. And, after all, they did just win five-straight.

There. That was my best shot at showing some perspective. Now here’s the problem.

When you consider that those wins were bookended by wasted Aaron Nola and Arrieta masterpieces in which they went a combined 16 innings and allowed only one total run, this team’s biggest obstacle comes into focus. They must find ways to bear down and score outside of the occasional big inning if they want to stop pissing away winnable and important games.

It’s only one loss, but it’s a bad one. A really bad one.

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5 Responses

  1. Should have sent him in for the 9th. Sir Anthony is an overrated hyped up loser . POS cost me $ on my Phils bet

  2. Have complete games gone the way of the dodo bird? Don’t you let Jake try to finish it off? Guy was cruising. I swear Kapler is Schroedinger’s Manager…simultaneously good and shitty.

    1. Arrieta couldn’t pitch the 9th…it would mean sending him to the plate with 1st and 3rd and one out in the top of the 9th. Had to hit for him there. The AB by Knapp was atrocious though. And by the way, why the defensive subs? Quinn isn’t getting to anything in that huge outfield either, and you don’t need Kingery’s range when you keep shifting every hitter. Kapler rendered his lineup useless.

      1. Perfect take.
        Also, Klentak not getting one of the. 19 closers at the deadline will cause Jake’s head to explode!

  3. I put this loss squarely on Klentak’s shoulders. Like the above post said, they could have acquired one of the many closers on the market before the trade deadline, and he chose not to. So you’re left with a team that doesn’t score runs and doesn’t have a real closer. The lack of common sense among the Phillies braintrust boggles my mind.

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