The first half of the baseball season wrapped Sunday as the Phillies were swept by the Giants in San Francisco.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 29-62 on the season. The 62 losses is the most by any Phillies team prior to the All-Star break, surpassing the previous mark of 61 back in 1997. Note that in 2011, the Phillies lost just 60 games all season, going 102-60 on the year. What a difference four years makes.
It was an emotional start Friday night as Cole Hamels took the hill against lefty Madison Bumgarner. With the rumor winds blowing, could it have been Cole’s last start in red pinstripes?
Unfortunately Cole didn’t do all that much to help his trade stock. In tie game headed into the bottom of the 4th inning, Hamels rocked for 8 more runs to start the inning only managing one out before being pulled from the game, including a grand slam off the bat of former Phillie Hunter Pence
The 9 runs allowed by Hamels were a career worst and the 12 hits allowed tied a career high. The 3 1/3 innings pitched was Hamels shortest stint on the mound since April 5, 2011, when Hamels lasted just 2 2/3, allowing 6 earned runs against the New York Mets.
The blowout only continued as Hamels left the game as the Phillies went on to lose 15-2. San Francisco set an AT&T Park record with 22 hits
Saturday night’s game marked the return of righty David Buchanan, but the end result was still the same.
Buchanan was sharp early as the Giants bats just couldn’t seem to produce any runs. He went 5 strong innings, surrendering just 1 earned run while giving up 8 hits and striking out 3.
Before turning the game over to the bullpen, the Phillies chased Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong from the game after home runs from Ryan Howard, his 15th of the year, and left fielder Cody Asche, his 5th of the season.
That’s when the flood gates opened.
With a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 6th inning, it took four Phillies relievers to get through the next 2 innings as the bullpen gave up 7 runs.
The Phillies would notch another run in the top of the 9th, but in the end lost by the score of 8-5. Reliever Luis Garcia took the loss after giving up 3 of the earned runs allowed by the bullpen, falling to 3-4 on the year.
On Sunday, Chad Billingsley took the mound against Giants starter Chris Heston.
Billingsley was reasonably sharp early, allowing just 3 hits through the first 3 innings. Things went downhill in the 4th though as the Giants plated 4 runs on 4 hits off of the Phillies starter, including a 3-run home run off the bat of Giants catcher Andrew Susac.
Billingsley was pulled from the game after going just 5 innings and giving up the 4 earned runs on 10 hits.
While the bullpen failed to keep the lead on Saturday night, they were sharp on Sunday afternoon. Relievers Jake Diekman, Luis Garcia and Ken Giles combined to go three innings, allowing just 1 hit while striking out 5.
The Phillies offense, however, just couldn’t get anything going against Heston. First baseman Ryan Howard drove in both a run in the 7th and another in 9th, but it again wasn’t enough as the Phillies were swept in the weekend series by the Giants losing 4-2.
The weekend sweep is the third that the Phillies have suffered this season, the last coming June 12-14 when Philadelphia was swept in Pittsburgh.
With the weekend sweep, the Phillies fell to just 2-10 in the month of July and 10-29 since the start of June.
The Phillies now will go on a much needed 4 day break for the midsummer classic. They’ll be back on the field next Friday, July 17 as they start a 6-game homestand against the Miami Marlins.