Five things learned from Phillies series loss to the Blue Jays

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TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 24: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Philadelphia Phillies exits the game as he is relieved by manager Gabe Kapler #22 in the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The players are wearing special jerseys as part of MLB Players Weekend. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 24: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Philadelphia Phillies exits the game as he is relieved by manager Gabe Kapler #22 in the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The players are wearing special jerseys as part of MLB Players Weekend. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 19: Starting pitcher Nick Pivetta #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch in the second inning against the New York Mets during the MLB Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark on August 19, 2018 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

Nick Pivetta remains inconsistent

Nick Pivetta, like the rest of the Phillies, has been inconsistent for most of the season. He started off the year with a 3.26 ERA through May, seemingly turning the corner after a pedestrian rookie year. Pivetta then posted a 6.70 ERA in June & July combined, walking 18 batters and allowing 11 home runs in 49.2 innings.

This month, we have seen the good and the bad with Pivetta. He started off the month with three straight quality starts, giving up just three runs and striking out 19 batters in 18 innings. Then, Pivetta served up batting practice to the Mets in the Little League Classic, allowing six runs on eight singles in 3.2 innings.

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Saturday’s outing against the Blue Jays was another dud for Pivetta. He gave up a two-run home run to Kendrys Morales and an RBI single to Teoscar Hernandez in the fourth inning, bringing the game to 5-3. He was sent back out in the seventh with 84 pitches under his belt. Pivetta allowed a leadoff double but got two strikeouts. Billy McKinney then took a first-pitch fastball and turned it into a home run, ending Pivetta’s day.

After Saturday’s start, Pivetta now has a 4.76 ERA and 1.294 WHIP in 136 innings this year. His strikeout rate and walk rate are both significantly improved compared to last season, but home runs continue to kill him. He has now allowed 20 this year. His 3.61 fielding-independent pitching and 3.33 skill-interactive ERA both indicate he should be performing better, but his on-field results remain troublesome.

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