Andrew McCutchen’s walk-off homer for Phillies masks need for pitching

Dave Dombrowski is trying to land some pitching before Friday’s trade deadline.

He better hurry.

The Phillies’ need for quality pitching grew even more dire in Monday night’s dramatic 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals in front of 23,265 at Citizens Bank Park.

With one starting pitcher (Zach Eflin) already on the injured list, another (Matt Moore) consistently inconsistent and another (Vince Velasquez) sporting an ERA over 10 in his last four starts, the Phillies may have lost another at a very inopportune time.

Spencer Howard, in the unique position of either being in the big-league rotation as August arrives or being used as a trade chip, left the start in the fourth inning because of a blister on his right middle finger.

Howard, who turns 25 on Wednesday, was basically what he was in six previous starts this season: Effective, even borderline dominant, in the first two innings, followed by a big drop off in effectiveness and velocity after that, and finally an early exit.

The right-hander stroked a base hit to lead off the bottom of the third inning, ran the bases extensively in the frame, then was torched for five hits and four runs in the top of the fourth.

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The Phillies made a game out of it when Rhys Hoskins clubbed a three-run homer in the sixth and they won it, in jaw-dropping fashion, on Andrew McCutchen’s three-run homer with one out in…

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Jim Salisbury

Jim Salisbury

NBCS Philly

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#Phillies Insider for @NBCSPhilly. Spent 13 yrs. at Phila. Inquirer. Co-author The Rotation: Favorite holiday is Hoagiefest