Photo by AP / Gary Landers
For the third time in three games our Philadelphia Phillies (0-3) took an early lead against the Cincinnati Reds (3-0), and for the third time in three games they ended up taking the loss.
In his first regular season game with the Phillies, starting pitcher Charlie Morton got off to a good start. He retired the first six batters he faced, then reached base on an infield single to start the 3rd. Ryan Howard drove him in with a 2-out single to give the good guys a 1-0 lead.
The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd on a two-out RBI double by Scott Schebler, but LF Cedric Hunter led off the 4th with a solo home run to give the Phils the lead right back. It was the second career MLB hit and the first home-run for the 28-year old who’s spent most of his career mired in the minor leagues.
After taking their second lead of the game, the game essentially ended in the bottom of the 4th as Charlie Morton, Daniel Stumpf, and Brett Oberholtzer combined to give up eight runs to give Cincinnati a 9-2 advantage.
It was the MLB debut for left-handed reliever Stumpf, who walked two batters and gave up a grand slam to Eugenio Suarez, and now sports an ERA of infinity.
There were still a few positives to find as the game drew to a close. Oberholtzer was largely effective in the long-relief role and ended up pitching 3+ innings while allowing only a single earned run on a Jay Bruce solo homer in the 7th to go with five strikeouts.
Additionally, Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard each hit two-run homers to help give the Phillies their best offensive output of the season. The shades of 2008 still live on!
Ultimately though, the Phillies need to perform better in all aspects after being outscored 19-10 and swept in this forgettable opening series. Luckily, there’s still a long way to go.
- 3B Maikel Franco finished 1-2 with a double. He’s hitting .300 with a .462 OBP so far this year.
- Odubel Herrera finished 0-5 and booted a ball in center field for his second fielding error of the year. He’s hitting just .092 and will need to play much better in order for this team to be competitive.
- Dalier Hinojosa pitched a scoreless 8th for the Phillies, which lowered his ERA to 13.50.
- Ruiz and Howard were the only Phils with multiple hits in the game.
- Robert Stephenson earned the win for Cincinnati, finishing with a line of 5 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB and 1 K.
The Phillies head to New York for a weekend series with the Mets. The action kicks off tomorrow with another afternoon game as Jared Eickhoff is scheduled to oppose Jacob deGrom. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m.