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Maikel Franco hits home run against nationals



PHILADELPHIA – Jake Arrieta describes the bone spur in his right elbow as a "pretty good marble" that blocks the joint.
It hurts him every time he throws, but he said he will try to throw with that pain the rest of the season, hoping that he will perform well enough to

PHILADELPHIA – Jake Arrieta describes the bone spur in his right elbow as a "pretty good marble" that blocks the joint.

It causes him pain every time he throws, but he said he will try to throw with that pain the rest of the season, hoping that he will perform well enough to stabilize a rotation that is at the bottom of the National League.

Arrieta's efforts on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, which allowed four hits and a career in five innings, prepared Maikel Franco's home run to left field with two outs in the ninth inning in a 4-3 win over Los Angeles. national Franco's 100th homer prevented a sweep in the series and moved the Phillies back to second place in the National League.

"We needed this game so badly," said Franco.

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But the presence and performance of Arrieta in the forward rotation is worth watching closely. The rotation entered Sunday in position 11 in the National League with a 4.53 ERA and the last with a FIP of 5.02.

Phillies ace Aaron Nola has a 0.76 ERA (three earned runs in 35 2/3 innings) in five starts since June 15, while the rest of the rotation has a 6.62 ERA (66 runs won in 89 2/3 entries) in 18 openings.

"The more pitches you throw, the harder it becomes," Arrieta said. "It does not feel good, I'll tell you."

"How was Jake's 85 percent to us? That's right," said Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. "He's a guy who can fight for some trouble. He is a guy who can fight for not being at his best but still can give us the chance to win. A truly impressive, gusty and resilient effort from Jake. "

The speed of Arrieta's fastball averaged 93.2 mph through two innings, but 91.3 mph in the third, 92.9 in the fourth and 91.0 in the fifth. He threw his cutter only once in his last two starts. It launched the launch 15.2 percent of the time in its first 17, according to Statcast.

"Probably that is the tone that hurts most and is most affected by this bone spur," said Arrieta. "I'm trying to throw that pitch like I've always done, but I just can not make him do what I can normally do." The rest is not there. I will use it on certain occasions, but every time I have to turn my hand towards the curve or the cutter, it gives me some problems ".

Leave Arrieta with a sinker, curve and change. He said that may be enough.

"My combination of curve and change for me are generally very good and if I can place that and overtake the guys and use those pitches in situations to put the ball on the ground and get hits and failures, I will." "Arrieta said.

Of course, it would be a mistake for the Phillies to have Arrieta pitching like that for the rest of the season. At some point the pain may become intolerable. Nobody knows. What they really need are right-handers Zach Eflin, Vince Velásquez and Nick Pivetta to throw better. The trio faces the Dodgers in that order in the first three games of a four-game series, starting Monday night.

"Obviously, we need them to improve and be a little better for us and I think they will," Arrieta said. "They know what's at stake, they're very aware of that, we believe in the group we have, regardless of what's happening, I still know what I'm capable of even with this problem, we need something more from our headlines collectively and I think that has been the message since Day 1. "

The Phillies could seek help from outside. Two postseason contenders found reinforcements for their rotations at a low cost. The Red Sox acquired right-hander Andrew Cashner (9-3, 3.83 ERA, 4.25 FIP) from the Orioles for two 17-year prospects and cash. None of the prospects were among the 30 best in Boston. They are essentially lottery tickets. The Red Sox will pay Cashner less than $ 2 million. The right-handed pitcher acquired by the A, Homer Bailey (7-6, 4.80 ERA, 4.47 FIP) for a double-A player A Kevin Merrell, who was his No. 17 prospect. Oakland will pay Bailey about $ 250,000.

The Braves signed left-hander Dallas Keuchel (3-2, 3.09 ERA, 4.89 FIP) last month. The Phillies had no interest in him.

It's hard to imagine the Phillies acquiring a pitcher like the left-hander of the Giants Madison Bumgarner. It will cost a lot and Phillies president Andy MacPhail said Friday that the team is more than one player to win a World Series, which indicates that it is unlikely that they will change the best prospects for a rent.

"I think the group here can do it," Arrieta said. "We just need more productivity from some of our guys, it's simple and simple, it's easy to always look for the solution on the outside, it might be a cliché, but we have the kids here who can keep winning constantly, we just have to act and that's all there is to be done. "

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him Twitter and Facebook.


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