Phillies Notebook: Breaks don't go Phils' or Buchanan's way

Posted: August 19, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO - With two on and two out in the second inning, Giants eight-hole hitter Brandon Crawford hit a ball in the hole between first and second base. Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard made a diving effort, but the ball found the outfield grass.

Pitcher David Buchanan initially broke to first base to cover if Howard got to the ball, and then didn't have enough time to back track and back up third base. Marlon Byrd's throw to third bounced away from Cody Asche and out of play.

The series of unfortunate events, which seem to take place with regularity this season for the Phillies, led to the Giants erasing an early deficit and claiming their first lead of the game, too.

When the game went final a couple of hours later at AT&T Park, another regular occurrence became official: the Phillies lost.

After taking the first game of the series on Friday night, the Phillies played sloppy on Saturday and their offense never awoke yesterday, as they fell to San Francisco, 5-2.

Nine of the final 11 batters the Phillies sent to the plate struck out, as they managed to score two runs or fewer for the 48th time in 124 games this season.

"All three games we had base-runners and we swung the bats," Sandberg said. "The key hit, or the key extra-base hit with some men on base, that's been tough to come by."

The Phils failed to take advantage of an off-kilter start from two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who walked four batters in the first three innings. The Phillies stranded seven runners in the those three innings.

"We had a chance to get runs and couldn't do it," said Ben Revere, who had three hits in his 14th multihit game since the All-Star break. "It's definitely frustrating. It kind of ticked me off and the whole team. But that's how a good team wins like the Giants. They had guys in scoring position and find a way to get out of it, or vice versa. They did their part. We didn't."

Buchanan's ability to rebound from the second inning and keep the Phillies within striking distance may have been the lone silver lining for Sandberg and Co. He allowed two earned runs and came one blooping Buster Posey hit from giving the Phillies seven innings.

Buchanan has a 3.79 ERA in three starts since jumping into Cliff Lee's spot in the rotation. The rookie righthander has allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts this season, and has gone six innings or more in nine starts.

"It was a quality start for him," Sandberg said. "He kept his stuff right until the end. He didn't taper off. He mixed his pitches really well. He continues to improve. He did a nice job today for sure."

Revere's a hit

Ben Revere banged out hits in each of his first three plate appearances yesterday to continue his climb up the National League leaderboard.

Revere is hitting .314. At the conclusion of yesterday's game, he trailed only Colorado's Justin Morneau (.323) in the NL batting race.

"A couple guys have [told me that]," Revere said. "If I can [win it] that would be a blessing . . . But my focus is just go out there, take one game at a time and win a ballgame."

Revere (3-for-5) leads all major league hitters with 70 hits since June 26. He is batting .376 in that 45-game stretch.

"He's on fire," Sandberg said. "The way he's putting the ball in play and scrapping, yeah [he can make a run at the batting title]."

No Phillies player has won a batting title since Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn in 1958. Only two franchises have gone longer without a batting champion: the Indians (Bobby Avila, 1954) and Athletics (Ferris Fain, 1952).

Also notable: Seven of the last 16 NL batting champions have been Colorado Rockies.

Valentin added

Nine days after trading starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers, the Phillies got half of their return back.

The first of the "players to be named" is Jesmuel Valentin, a 20-year-old second baseman.

Valentin, the son of former major leaguer Jose Valentin, was the 51st overall pick in the 2012 draft. He was hitting .280 with a .779 OPS and 38 extra-base hits (seven home runs) in 108 games at Class A Great Lakes.

He will report to Class A Clearwater.

"They call him Jesse," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We like the kid. He's got baseball acumen. He's advanced pretty quickly. He plays shortstop and second. We'll probably have him play second.

"Our scouts had good reports on him and we saw him play a few more games last week and that reinforced what we had seen. We like him. He swings the bat well. He's not a big guy, but he has a little pop. He can run. He plays the game right, plays hard.

"For the situation we're in and the player we gave up, I think we did pretty well. Even if we had just this guy, we'd be happy."

The Phillies have until the middle of September to select their second player from the Dodgers' minor league system. Amaro said the team is leaning toward a pitcher.


Cody Asche went 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI yesterday. He finished the three-game series in San Francisco 5-for-10 with a home run, a double, two walks and three RBI . . . Former first- round lefthander Jesse Biddle was scheduled to be re-evaluated yesterday after leaving his start Saturday at Double A Reading with a right quad injury. "We don't think it's serious, but I haven't heard anything about it today," Ruben Amaro Jr. said . . . Tonight against Seattle, Jerome Williams will make his first start at Citizens Bank Park since joining the Phillies a week ago tonight. Williams allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-2 loss in Anaheim on Tuesday. The 32-year-old made his major league debut in Philadelphia, in a 10-2 loss while with the Giants at Veterans Stadium on April 26, 2003.

On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21


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