The Philadelphia Phillies came home from a 1-5 road trip looking for a stopper in RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.97 ERA) and some offense as well, vs the Washington Natinals’ RHP Tanner Roark (3-4, 2.71). Jeremy pitched very well but it was an off night by a normally lights-out Hector Neris who was mostly responsible for the eventual 4-3 loss .
DC was held off the board after a lead off 2b by Daniel Murphy. Two great defensive plays by Tyler Goeddel and Ryan Howard sandwiching another K on the change-up by Hellickson ended that 2nd inning threat. The Phils followed w/ the smallest of small ball work on a one out walk of Cesar Hernandez, who then advanced on a SB and a WP. After Goeddel was also walked, Hellickson helped himself w/ a very well placed sac bunt squeeze (aided also by an infield that had just moved back into DP depth) to get Cesar home, to take the early 1-0 lead. Hellickson followed w/ a 1-2-3 SDI.
Murphy – who apprently can hit the Phillies in any uni – tied it up w/ his 8th HR of the year to deep RCF on a “hit me” FB mistake by Hellickson in the 4th.
In the bottom of the 6th the phans got to as Freddy Galvis drove a solo shot over the RF wall. The next inning’s tough SDI for Hellickson was helped out by another good running catch by Goeddel who then finished off the DP by gunning down Bryce Harper at 1st, who had been HPB to start the inning. A triple off the wall followed, but Hellickson got the next batter on one pitch and his night was done after a Solid Seven innings 3 H 1 r, 1 ER, 1 HR. 0 BB, 1 HBP, 8ks, That jammy SDI probably cost him at least one more inning.
The heretofore reliable Neris came on in the 8th and after 2 walks, the 2nd being an inexcusable 2 out free pass of the light hitting, difficult to walk, Ben Revere, allowed Jayson Werth to single in a run, and tie the game up. Another walk followed by a 2-0, 2 run single by the red hot Murphy – at that point a triple away from a cycle – and Neris was finally pulled. He gave up 3 walks over-all, 2 of them scoring, as his ugly line ended .2 in, 2 H, 3 BBs, 3 R all earned, 1 K w/ Jeanmar Gomez coming in to clean up the mess. The Phillies now found themselves in a 2 run hole w/ 2 ABs left. It felt like 100 w/ this anemic Phillies offense right now.
The Phils went quietly in the 8th and then Franco lead off the 9th w/ a double off Natinals closer Jonathan Papelbon. Howard followed w/ something besides a HR – a double in the gap on a 1st pitch FB – to score Maikel. But there would no no Anti-Papelbon magic on this night as he settled down and k’d the next two batters and then a Goeddel LO to 2nd, to earn his 1st save of the season against the Phillies and his 14th overall. Neris Earned the the twofer BS and the L, while Roark got the W w/ 7 in, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks.
Would Be Stopper Did All He Could: Hellickson really had his off speed stuff working as 7 of his 8 K’s were on the change or the curve. It was the fifth straight time, he held the opposition to three runs or less. He also knocked in the 1st Phils run w/ a sac bunt safety squeeze.
Streaks Come, Streaks Go: Odubel Herrera broke an 0-8 streak w/ a lead-off hit in the 3rd, Carlos Ruiz 0-18 coming into the game kept that alive by going 0- 3. Natinals offense had gone 25 scoreless against the Phillies before the Murphy HR and also snapped a 4 game losing streak to them, while the Phillies have now dropped 4 in a row overall. Hector Neris gave up his 1st ER since May 6th – 9.2 innings.
Next Ups: RHP Joe Ross (4-4, 2.52 ERA) Vs RHP Aaron Nola (4-3, 2.86) 7:05 tomorrow. night. I will be in the ballpark and connections willing will offer some live tweets from my perch in sec. 423 and hoping to keep my modest 1 game W streak going and break the Phils L streak. A new addition to PattisonAve.Com will be covering the story tomorrow night as we welcome Brooke Taylor aboard.