The Phillies are running out of effective starting pitchers. Last night we watched on MLB. TV Jake Arrieta struggle inning after inning. He was unable to hold off the New York Mets after the Phillies took early leads in the game. Today, we learned in a tweet from Ken Rosenthal that he is pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow. According to a tweet by Matt Gelb, Arrieta’s ERA over his last seven games is 6.63.
It goes without saying the Phillies’ hopes to make the post season are on the line with the break down of the starting pitching. With last night’s 6-5 loss, they are only three games over .500 and a half game out of the Wild Card spot as the All Star break approaches.
At AA Reading, the Phillies starting pitching has shutout the Richmond Flying Squirrels over the last 20.1 inning in games just prior to the Eastern League All Star break. The shutout two-hit starting pitching of both Damon Jones in the second game Friday night and Bailey Falter last night have stood out.
Jones pitched four shutout inning striking out six. Since he was called up from High A Clearwater, Damon has pitched 22 innings and has allowed only two earned run while striking out 31. Falter in his last two starts has pitched 14 innings allowing only two runs while striking out 14 including seven last night.
The Fightin Phils won yesterday not only because of the pitching of Falter but also a grand slam by centerfielder Grenny Cumana in the 5-0 win. Cumana now has hit two homers in his last nine games including a three-run homer back in Reading on June 28th.
Cumana has been rewarded with his strong play this season with an invite to the Eastern League All-Star game in Richmond this Wednesday. Currently, Grenny has the second highest batting average at .320 of those batters with at least 150 at bats in the Eastern League.
Thanks in part to the pitching of Jones and Falter and the bat of Cumana, Reading has taken a three-game lead in the East Division. They have gone 13-7 to start the second half.
With the Phillies need for starting pitching clearly apparent, Jones and Falter should be immediately be called up at least to AAA. Remember what Kyle Kendrick did when he got the call up to the Phillies from Reading in 2007. All Kyle did was lead the Phillies to the N.L. Playoffs that year by going 10-4 in the major league starting rotation down the stretch.