This was not how the Phillies wanted to start September. The Phillies were swept by the Atlanta Braves in a three-game series at home. This was their sixth loss in a row and they have lost 10 of their last 12 games.
Friday night was all Philadelphia… until it wasn’t. Ryan Howard started off the scoring with a RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. AJ Ellis did his best to win over the hearts of Philadelphians as he hit a three-run home run in the second inning to extend the Phillies lead to 4-0. Jeremy Hellickson (10-8; 3.88 ERA) was cruising until the fifth inning. Hellickson conceded four runs that frame, in large part to Matt Kemp‘s three-run home run. The game remained tied 4-4 until the ninth inning. Jeanmar Gomez (3-3; 3.58 ERA) came in to try to keep the game tied going into the bottom of the inning. Gomez was hit hard as the Braves put up a four spot, giving Atlanta the 8-4 win.
Vince Velasquez (8-6; 4.12 ERA) made his final start of his 2016 season on Saturday. Valesquez pitched strong in his finale as he gave up three runs, two earned, over seven innings. Adonis Garcia hit a solo home run to lead off the game, but Valesquez quickly settled down. The Phils put up a three runs in the third inning thanks to the bats of Cesar Hernandez and Cameron Rupp. With the Phillies up 4-3 in the top of the eighth, Garcia continued his strong night as he tied the game up with a fielders choice eventually forcing extra innings. Edubray Ramos (1-2; 3.94 ERA) came in for the tenth inning where Atlanta would inevitably take the lead for good. The Braves were able to tack on two runs and would go on to win 6-4.
Sunday we saw a pitchers duel as Jake Thompson (1-5; 6.48 ERA) has shown signs of settling down as he faced veteran Julio Teheran (5-9; 3.01 ERA). Thompson gave up one run in seven innings of work. His only blemish was a solo shot off of Kemp in the second inning. Unfortunately it was one run too many as the Phillies could only muster five hits over nine innings without crossing the plate. Atlanta would tack on an unnecessary insurance run in the eighth inning. The Braves swept the series by winning 2-0. The Phillies are now 16 games under .500, the worst they’ve stood all season.
The Phillies hope to end their losing streak tomorrow as they head to Miami to face the Marlins for a three-game series. First pitch tomorrow afternoon is at 1:10pm.