Velasquez's attack plan goes south in SoCal

Phillies righty tagged for 9 runs in series loss to Dodgers

Velasquez's attack plan goes south in SoCal

LOS ANGELES -- Vince Velasquez had a plan of attack Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

He wanted to be aggressive with his fastball. It worked in the first inning when he struck out Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Josh Reddick on 95, 94 and 95 mph fastballs, respectively. But Velasquez's night quickly deteriorated. He allowed a career-high nine runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. He allowed a career-high 11 hits, including home runs to Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner.

Velasquez's ERA jumped from 3.33 to 3.94.

"The whole mentality going into today's game was just attacking the hitters," Velasquez said. "And then it just went south from there."

Velasquez grew up 30 miles away in Pomona, Calif. He had more than 100 family and friends scattered across the ballpark, so he had hoped to fare better. But he allowed four runs in the second inning, two in the third, two in the fourth and one more run in the fifth before Phillies manager Pete Mackanin pulled him.

"Everything was hard, hard, hard," Mackanin said. "He had a pretty good fastball. We've seen him throw harder. He had plenty to get them out. But against a team like the Dodgers, especially against lefties, he's got such a good changeup that he didn't use. I think he should have used it more. I think he would have been more effective."

Mackanin on loss to Dodgers

Velasquez rolled his eyes at the suggestion that he should have thrown his changeup more. He threw 16 changeups out of 100 pitches.

"Again, I had a plan to attack the guys," he said. "I challenged the guys inside, outside. I mean, you can't go wrong with that.

"I mean, I think I threw enough [changeups]. There were guys who were late on my fastball and then they ended up turning on it on the next pitch. I'm not going to throw a fastball and then a changeup. You have to keep them guessing. They were on my stuff."

Mackanin said he asked Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp during the game why they weren't throwing more soft stuff.

"Rupp told me that he didn't want to throw it for whatever reason," Mackanin said. "I don't know, he gave up a hit to [Joc] Pederson early in the game and then decided he didn't want to use it."

Call it a clear difference of opinion. But both manager and pitcher allowed the idea that this game could be a learning experience for the 24-year-old, although maybe in different ways.

"You're not always to go out and throw a shutout, especially against a team like this that's fully loaded," Velasquez said. "You have to attack them all the way through, one through nine. … Missed locations, it happens. There is a positive out of this. You have to learn from your mistakes. We have a long flight going back home. So refer back to the video and learn from this."

"I think as he gets older and continues to grow, he'll learn from outings like this that it's important to use all his pitches, especially against a team like this with all the power they have," Mackanin said. "He'll get it. He'll get it."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.