Missed opportunities costly in Phillies’ loss

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PHILADELPHIA — Don’t tell Andrew McCutchen June is over. It seems he wasn’t given the memo, and the Phillies found out the hard way. The National League Player of the Month in June has carried his hot bat into July, homering twice in a 3-0 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday that included a 22-minute rain delay in the eighth inning.

McCutchen’s two homers, which Statcast™ projected having a 108.2 mph and 108.1 mph exit velocity, were the two hardest homers he’s hit this season, and two of his three hardest hits. Since the beginning of June, he’s hitting .412, getting on base more than half the time, and slugging .735.

Making his third Major League start, Mark Leiter Jr. held the Pirates to two runs in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander had five strikeouts, two walks and gave up four hits — the last of which was McCutchen’s first homer of the day. Leiter has filled the rotation spot of Jerad Eickhoff, who has been on the disabled list since June 20 with a back strain but could return to the Phillies before the All-Star break.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
RISP woes: The problem for the Phillies wasn’t getting runners on, so much as it was getting runners home. Philadelphia stranded nine runners across the first seven innings, and in every inning, one was left in scoring position, including four at third base. Aaron Altherr grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. The Phillies were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Cut off, cut down: With one out in the third, a John Jaso bases-loaded popout broke the scoreless tie and put the Pirates ahead, 1-0. More damage could have ensued, though. Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera‘s throw home was so far up the line that first baseman Tommy Joseph cut the ball off and nabbed Josh Harrison attempting to go to third base.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. He covered the Pirates on Tuesday.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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