If you're reading this, you probably already know what happened last night. But if you don't, well, we have something to tell you. The Phillies were an out away from one of their best wins of the season, but Wednesday night ended with another gut-punching loss. Seranthony Dominguez looked human, Adam Morgan let a fastball get away, and Jason Heyward's walk-off grand slam still hasn't landed. The Phillies should be trying to complete a sweep at Wrigley Field today. Instead, they will try to salvage the series.
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No, Seranthony Dominguez did not look his like dominant self Wednesday night. And yes, he was in his second inning of work. But Wednesday was a chance for Gabe Kapler to go out on his shield. The Phillies have relied heavily on Dominguez since he arrived to the major leagues, and he's been almost perfect. The pitcher deserved the chance to see if he could escape his own trouble.
The Phillies still had a two-run lead and Dominguez hadn't been hit hard, as he allowed a walk and a one-out single in the ninth. He had thrown 26 pitches after throwing nine Tuesday. Kapler did not want to push him any further. He called on Adam Morgan to face switch-hitter Ian Happ — a .237 hitter — and the game was over two batters later.
Kapler said Tuesday night that Dominguez is the pitcher "we can depend on most." He said after the loss that "we have a lot of trust in him." It's easy to say a day later, but Kapler should've have trusted Dominguez on Wednesday for at least one more batter. He just needed a ground ball. The results couldn't have been worse than what happened, right? Even if Dominguez had failed, it would have been a good experience for the rookie. And if he escaped, it would have been just another great night. He instead watched from the dugout as his first runs of the season scored on walk-off grand slam by Heyward.
"He was imperfect, but he's human," Kapler said. "He's not going to throw scoreless innings for the rest of his life."
Wednesday night's loss, Scott Lauber writes from Chicago, is a consequence of "not designating one reliever to pitch the ninth inning." Gabe Kapler has shed titles from his bullpen, and he does not have a closer. That bit him in a rough ninth-inning meltdown.
J.P. Crawford is back from the disabled list, but Kapler would not commit to Crawford's being his primary shortstop. Crawford came off the bench Wednesday as a pinch hitter, as Kapler did not start him against a lefthanded pitcher.
Pat Neshek threw a bullpen session Wednesday at Wrigley Field and thinks he could return later this month. The Phillies could really use him the back of their bullpen.
The Phillies wrapped up the MLB draft Wednesday by drafting 30 more players. Here's some info on the first 20 they selected yesterday, and one even has a link to Mariah Carey.
The Phillies used their 39th-round pick to pay tribute to Roy Halladay, as they selected the catcher from the high school team that Halladay coached in Florida. Mat Nelson will play at Florida State, but this was a nice gesture.
Today: Phillies end series at Wrigley Field, 2:20 p.m.
Friday: Phillies return home vs. Brewers, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday: Jake Arrieta pitches, 1:05 p.m.
Sunday: Phillies honor 1993 NL Champs, 1:35 p.m.
Wednesday night's loss dropped the Phillies' road record to 13-18. Of their last nine seasons with a winning record, just one (2003) has included a losing record on the road. If the Phillies want to finish better than .500, and even make the playoffs, they'll have to figure out how to win away from Citizens Bank Park, where they are 19-9.