Our Philadelphia Phillies (16-13) had a rough week in St. Louis, dropping three out of four games to the Cardinals (15-14) while being outscored 19-8.
Jeremy Hellickson (2-2, 4.88 ERA) got the start in the first game of the series. Freddy Galvis got the Phillies on the board first with a two-run single, and Maikel Franco added a sac fly to make it 3-0 in the third inning. Sadly, that’s all the offense could muster and the Cardinals drove in ten straight runs to take the first game of the series 10-3. Hellickson took the loss for the Phillies, giving up six runs, all earned in 5.1 innings of work. The other four runs were charged to reliever Brett Oberholtzer who saw his ERA balloon to 9.84.
The Phillies bounced back in game two of the series, notching their sixth shutout of the year in a 1-0 victory. Aaron Nola (2-2, 2.93) went seven scoreless innings, striking out seven while allowing only three baserunners. He’s now pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings. The Phillies offense did just enough to win, notching five hits, the most important being Ryan Howard‘s solo home run in the 6th. The back end of the bullpen took it from there, doing what they’ve done so many times in this young season as Hector Neris struck out the side in the eighth, and Jeanmar Gomez stayed perfect with his ninth save to close the game.
After eight straight wins in one-run games, the Phillies luck finally turned around in a 5-4 loss in game three. Ryan Howard once again gave the Phillies the early lead with a three-run homer in the 4th inning, his seventh blast of the year. Odubel Herrera made it 4-0 in the 5th with a solo bombt, his third long ball of the season. Adam Morgan (0-0, 6.00 ERA) got his second start of the year, and was cruising until he allowed five straight baserunners and three runs in the bottom of the 5th inning, which resulted in the end of his day. Colton Murray worked out of a two-on, no out jam in what was also his second appearance of the year to preserve the one-run lead. After the 5th the Phillies’ bats went quiet. A single by Herrera was the only hit they mustered for the rest of the game, but Elvis Araujo, Andrew Bailey, and Hector Neris all had scoreless outings to turn the ball over to Gomez as he looked for his 10th save in as many chances. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. A leadoff walk came back to hurt Gomez, and the Cardinals loaded up the bases with one out. They tied the game on an infield single to Freddy Galvis, but some good defense saw the Phillies notch the second out and gave them a chance to send the game to extras. Matt Holliday was having none of that though, and sent the Cardinals home winners with a hard hit single through gap between shortstop and third base.
The final game of the series was a mostly uneventful one for the Phils, falling by the score of 4-0. Jared Eickhoff (1-4, 4.15 ERA) took the loss, pitching six innings while giving up three earned runs. Bradon Moss got St. Louis on the board with a solo home run in the first inning and that would be all the offense the Cardinals would need. Jamie Garcia was nearly unhittable for the Red Birds, only allowing two singles in seven innings while striking out five. The only other Phillies hit came from a David Lough triple in the 8th that just missed making it over the wall. The Phillies put runners on second and third with two outs in the 9th, but Cameron Rupp grounded out to end the game.
- After seeing his 11-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday, Odubel Herrera hit safely in each of the four games in St. Louis. He still leads the team with an impressive .454 OBP.
- Darin Ruf continued to struggle, finishing the series 0-10 with four strikeouts.
- Thursday’s 4-0 loss was the the first time the Phillies were shutout this season.
- The Phillies offense continues to struggle mightily, ranking 27th in the MLB in runs and dead last in OBP.
- At 16-13, the Phillies are one of only three teams above .500 with a negative run differential (-27). By comparison, the Yankees are 9-16 with an identical difference in runs.
The Phillies head to Miami for a weekend series against the red-hot Marlins, winners of nine of their last ten heading into Thursday evening. Vince Velasquez (4-1, 1.44 ERA) gets the start in game one on Friday and he’ll be opposed by Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.26 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.