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Self-destructing Phillies lose again to Gabe Kapler’s Giants

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Self-destructing Phillies lose again to Gabe Kapler’s Giants originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

SAN FRANCISCO — An already troubling road trip got a little worse Saturday when the Phillies fell all over themselves and lost, 5-4, to the San Francisco Giants.

The loss was the Phillies’ second straight to a Giants team that entered the series losers of seven straight and 11 of 13.

Before San Francisco, the Phils lost two of three in Arizona. They will look to avoid a sweep Sunday afternoon. They are 1-5 in their last six games.

In a lot of ways, the Phillies gave away Saturday’s game. They played poor defense and gave San Francisco a run in the first inning and another in the bottom of the sixth when the Giants broke a 4-4 tie.

In that inning, left fielder Kyle Schwarber misplayed a catchable ball by pinch-hitter Lewis Brinson into a leadoff double and the Giants eventually scored the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk by Brad Hand. Hand walked three batters in the frame but could have gotten out of the inning unscathed had Jean Segura tried to turn a double play instead of throwing home to cut a run. So, the Phils ended up giving the Giants five outs in that inning.

Five games into the trip, Phillies pitchers have issued six walks and hit a batter with the bases loaded.

Pitching and defense were not the only culprits in Saturday’s loss.

The Phillies left eight men on base and were just 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

They wasted a leadoff single in the first inning. They opened the fifth with a double and a single and got nothing. In the seventh, they wasted a leadoff triple by Schwarber. That was killer. They got the first two runners on base in the eighth and got nothing.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler pulled the right strings with his deployment of right-handed pinch-hitters against Hand in the sixth and with his calls to the bullpen.

The Giants’ bullpen picked up some huge outs. Scott Alexander got Bryce Harper to bounce into a double play to end the top of the fifth. Jarlin Garcia blew away JT Realmuto on three pitches to end the top of the seventh with runners on the corners. Camilo Doval struck out Matt Vierling with the potential tying run on third to end the top of the eighth.

Phillies starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard lasted just 4⅓ innings and gave up four runs. He cost himself a run with a throwing error in the first inning.

In the Phillies’ four losses on this trip, the starting pitching has lasted just 3⅔ innings, 4 innings, 1⅔ innings and 4⅓ innings. Not good. Bailey Falter is the only pitcher to get through six. He did that in Wednesday night’s 18-2 win.

The Phillies entered the day holding the third NL wild-card spot by 3½ games over Milwaukee, which was set to play a night game at Arizona. The Phils, who have 29 games remaining, do hold a tiebreaker over Milwaukee.

September has been a problem month for the Phillies in recent seasons. They have not had a winning September since 2017 and now they are 0-2 in this one.

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