Like a broken record, I must return to the spot where I say, the Philadelphia Phillies needed a stopper as well as some offense to end the 6 game losing streak. They almost got that as RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-7, 4.07 ERA) pitched very well but the offense once again did not hold up their end as they fell to the Milwaukee Brewers and RHP Chase Anderson (2-6, 5.00), 4-1. 2 out of the last three games, the starters had a QS and the games were low scoring and close until the last two innings – Adam Morgan was one inning away from that – but the offense just had not been there. Not so much not scoring w/ RISP, but just getting them there had been a struggle. It’s either the odd solo HR or the smallest of small balls often w/ the help of the other team. Coming into the game on a 6 game losing streak they were scoring 1.8 rpg and batting below .200. The Phillies offense lately has made average guys like Anderson look like Cy Young candidates and tonight was no exception. Two new additions to the Phillies lineup w/ the finally off rehab that began in S.T., Cody Asche, starting in LF, and the newly acquired Jimmy Paredes in RF, made this game a bit more interesting. Asche did make a nice running catch for the 3rd out in the 1st, and Paredes struck out to end the bottom half.
The Brewers got to Eickhoff in the 2nd on a single by Jonathan Lucroy, followed by a Kirk Niewenhuis double 2 batters later that should have given them 2nd and 3rd, but an ill-advised send of Lucroy got the out on a good, but not great relay play, easily at home. This mattered a lot as Eickhoff proceeded to give up another double to Aaron Hill that only scored one. Even though Maikel Franco lead off the bottom half of the inning, once again the Phils were unable to advance him.
In the 4th Chris Carter (14) made it 2-0 Brewers on a 2 out, 1-2 hanging curve that he hit out to deepest LCF, and once again the deficit felt like more w/ this weak offense. In the bottom 1/2 though Franco (9) answered that w/ a Blast to LF, his 2nd hit of the night. Eickhoff followed w/ a refreshingly easy SDI.
Eickhoff had a tough 6th inning where he loaded the bases w/ 2 outs but he ended the inning w/ another QS by a Phillies starter and still waiting for the bats to get involved. It is like Cole Hamels is pitching every game for the Phils. The Phillies finally got a man to 3rd the next inning but Paredes – whose Phillies career not off to a great start – 3 k’s in his 1st 3 AB’s – struck out again w/ that man on 3rd, 1 out. So the offense did what I alluded to earlier lowering Anderson’s ERA .32 as he was lifted in the 6th having given up only the one HR to Franco, 3 H overall, 6 k’s, 0 BB’s, 95 pitches. Eickhoff’s night was done the next inning when a 2 out, hard ground ball went off his foot. His line would wind up 6.2 in, 8H, 2R, both earned, 4 k’s 1 BB, 101 pitches, 66 for strikes, as David Hernandez came on to get the last out. Overall a good enough performance to get a W on most clubs. Joseph started off the 7th w/ a single – his 2nd hit of the night – but the Phils still managed to strand their 3rd lead-off runner of the game. The late inning BP woes looked like they were going to continue for the Phillies, as Hernandez loaded the bases w/ no outs. Hector Neris come on for the 1st time since his meltdown on Monday and k’d Carter. Then a heads up play by Cesar Hernandez to get the out at home, followed by a k of Aaron Hill as well, on a controversial call, to get out of the jam. But then it was Jeanmar Gomez, who had not had much work lately, who became the 9th inning victim this time as he gave up a single and then a one out, 2 run HR to ex Phillies prospect (left as part of the trade to get Roy Oswalt), Jonathan Villar (3), which effectively put an end to this game w/ the way the Phillies were not hitting. Paredes did finally get on the Phillies hit list w/ a double to start the 9th off Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress (13S), but as is the Phillies wont, Franco k’d, GO by Tommy Joseph, and Tyler Goeddel struck out looking.
Eickhoff deserved better but was stuck w/ the L to fall to 2-8, Anderson gets the W to move up to 3-8 and that much closer to that Phillies induced Cy Young, and Jeffress earned his 14th save.
Phlustrated Phillies: This was their 7th straight loss, and 8th in a row to the Brewers. It was also the 13th time they scored 1 run or less.
Enough w/ the Negadelphia stuff: Franco and Joseph both had 2 hits on the night, including the HR for Franco, though none of those other hits came at an important time.
Next Ups: I will be at the ballpark tomorrow night (as well as Saturday afternoon) when RHP Vince Velasquez (5-2, 3.63) will face RHP Jimmy Nelson (5-3, 2.88). Will tweet at you some then. Our Ali Van Norden will have her usual w/e recap for you on Sunday.