Phillies (39-65) at Angels (52-54)
10:07 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App
Game 1 in Anaheim did not go so well for the Phillies, who lost 7-1 because Albert Pujols is still capable of doing damage on any given night.
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There were some positives in the loss - Aaron Nola, Tommy Joseph, Cesar Hernandez, the first look at Drew Anderson - but it was a lopsided defeat that ended the Phillies' five-game winning streak.
On to Game 2:
1. Trout watch
Mike Trout went 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored last night. Both hits were hard-hit singles between shortstop and third base.
Nola had a nice sequence against Trout in the first inning. After falling behind Trout 2-0, Nola froze him with two straight two-seam fastballs that began off the plate but came back over the outside corner. Then on a 2-2 count, Nola induced a weak opposite-field flyout on a low-and-away curveball.
In the ninth inning, Trout struck out against a debuting Anderson, who was sent back to Double A after the game.
Trout was just 2 for 17 in 2014 against the Phillies so he's already equaled his career hit total against them.
2. Infielders building trade value
The Phillies need a strong final two months from Joseph and Hernandez, if not for their own futures then for the increase in trade value.
Hernandez reached base twice more last night. He's hit .339 with a .420 on-base percentage in 14 games since returning from the DL. Hernandez has had multiple hits in four straight games and five of his last six.
Joseph went 2 for 3 with an RBI-double and a walk. Over his last 12 games, he's hit .354 with six doubles, a homer and 11 RBIs.
3. Thompson gets another start
Jake Thompson made the surprise spot start for Jeremy Hellickson last Friday night against the Braves and pitched well, cutting his season ERA in half with five shutout innings.
Perhaps not thinking about the start for the four days preceding it helped Thompson keep it simple. He also benefited from some Braves ineptitude - with runners on first and second in the first inning, Thompson threw two hangers that Matt Kemp simply missed. The second one was a high pitch that Kemp could have hammered, but he instead grounded into a double play.
When Thompson was going well last year, he was keeping the ball on the ground and collecting a lot of twin killings. He induced 32 double plays in 31 starts last season compared to seven in 22 starts this season.
4. Ramirez the last piece left
The last piece of the ill-fated 2009 trade of Cliff Lee to the Mariners, that is.
In that trade, the Phillies sent Lee to Seattle for prospects Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. Aumont retired last year, Gillies didn't hit and had off-field issues, and the Angels are Ramirez's fifth organization since the Phillies cut ties with him after 2013.
Ramirez has found a home in the Angels' depleted rotation. He's made 23 appearances (20 starts) and is 9-9 with a 4.29 ERA. He's struck out 96, walked 40 and allowed 19 home runs in 121⅔ innings.
Ramirez throws mostly sinkers and sliders. His sinker is not ordinary, though, averaging between 96 and 97 mph.
As with most right-handers who don't have a good changeup, Ramirez has been susceptible against left-handed hitters. Lefties have hit .273/.343/.559 off him with 34 extra-base hits. In the same number of plate appearances, right-handed hitters have just 11 extra-base hits.
So expect the Phillies to stack the lefties tonight - Hyun Soo Kim at DH, Andrew Knapp behind the plate, and perhaps a start for Daniel Nava if he's activated off the DL in time for tonight's game.
5. This and that
• The Phillies optioned Anderson back to Double A and Cameron Perkins to Triple A after last night's game.
• Ricky Nolasco beat the Phillies last night with changeups. The Phils have hit just .219 this season against changeups, which ranks fourth-worst in the majors. The league average is .244.
• The Phillies were 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position last night. They have the lowest batting average (.239) and on-base percentage (.309) in the NL with RISP.
• We'll see what happens tonight if the Phillies hold a ninth-inning lead, but Hector Neris could probably use another day off. He threw 68 pitches in three appearances Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
• Pujols' game last night was ironic because he rarely hurt the Phillies like that in his prime when he was a perennial MVP candidate. Pujols entered last night with a .840 career OPS against the Phillies, his lowest against any National League team.
• Nick Williams is 4 for 25 with nine strikeouts in his last six games.