With the Phillies starting off their four-game series against Milwaukee with a 4-1 loss on Thursday, they looked to rebound over the weekend in Philadelphia.
Vince Velasquez (5-2, 3.67 ERA) tried to take it upon himself to get the Phillies back in the win column. Cameron Rupp got the offense started with a solo home run against Jimmy Nelson in the third inning. The Phightens weren’t done that inning though. They scored two more runs with an RBI from both Maikel Franco and Jimmy Paredes. In the fourth inning, Andres Blanco matched the three runs in the third inning with one swing of the bat; a three-run home run off of Nelson. Despite six unanswered runs by Philadelphia, Velasquez could not hang in there enough to earn the win. He had the bases loaded with no outs before he was pulled for Andrew Bailey in the fifth inning. Bailey gave up two runs that frame, both credited to Velasquez’s line. While Jonathan Villar of Milwaukee homered in the seventh inning, it was not enough to catch up the Phillies. The Phils came out on top, 6-3.
Saturday’s matchup saw the same score, but a different outcome. Looking to revenge their loss the previous night, Milwaukee’s Villar hit a leadoff home run to start off the game. The Phillies would answer back with two home runs in the second inning; a solo-shot from Tommy Joseph and a two-run home run from Cesar Hernandez. Unfortunately, those three runs would be the only runs Philadelphia would muster for the rest of the ball game. Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.80 ERA), the game’s starter, went on to give up two more runs during his five innings of work. With the game tied 3-3 in the eighth inning, the usually dominant Hector Neris gave up the lead. Bailey came in for the ninth inning and allowed two more runs. The Phillies fell to the Brewers, 6-3.
While the 6-3 loss to the Brewers was upsetting, there was nothing more upsetting than the actions that took place immediately following the game. With two-outs in the ninth inning, Ryan Howard was a pinch-hitter and grounded out to end the game. As Howard was heading toward the dugout, a fan allegedly through a beer bottle at the one-time Rookie of the Year and NL MVP. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, no one deserves that form of assault or disrespect. No one. Let’s not forget that this city doesn’t have a championship in 2008 if it was not for Howard. I try to keep my posts non-bias or not too emotional, but those actions this “fan” allegedly took went too far. It was a disgrace and not a representation of how Philadelphia truly feels about our once All-Star first basemen. But, back to baseball…
With Howard receiving another day off for the rising Tommy Joseph, Philadelphia sought out a win to salvage the series with a split. Emerging ace Aaron Nola (5-4, 2.65 ERA) took the mound as the Phillies bats came alive. The Phils scored eight unanswered runs, all throughout the first five innings. Franco, Paredes, and Rupp all homered along with an RBI from Freddy Galvis, Hernandez, and Joseph. Eight runs was all Nola needed as he cruised along with six shutout innings. The only blemish on the Phillies scorecard was an RBI from Ramon Flores in the eighth inning. The Phillies won the game, 8-1.
The Phillies hope to revenge their recent series in Chicago as the Cubs come into town for a three-game series. Game one is tomorrow at 7:05pm at Citizens Bank Park w/ LHP Adam Morgan (1-4 7.07 ERA) facing LHP Jon Lester (6-3 2.29) for the Cubs.