Maybe it was relief after weeks of trade speculation climaxed in the acquisition of defending AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. Maybe it was the dry desert air. Or maybe it was just inevitable regression to the mean after winning 19 out of 22 games. But whatever the reason, the Phillies came out flat Wednesday night in Arizona and never got it together as they ended their three-game series against the Diamondbacks with a 4-0 loss.
Pitching for his job, D'backs starter Yusmeiro Petit turned in an improbably superb start: six-plus innings, four hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts, tied for a career high. The win, his first of the season, lowered Petit's 2009 ERA to 6.75. The Phils only even threatened once when, trailing 2-0, Ryan Howard led off the seventh with a single and Raul Ibanez followed with a fly ball to center that bounced under the glove of Arizona's Chris B. Young, rolling to the wall to put men at second and third with no outs. Petit gave way to Juan Gutierrez, who used 97 mile-an-hour heat and sharp breaking stuff to strike out Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs. Carlos Ruiz walked, but pinch-hitter Pedro Feliz flew out to center field as both runners were stranded. This was a night-long problem, as the Phillies went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
J.A. Happ was a hard-luck loser in another strong start, surrendering only a two-run first-inning homer to Justin Upton. The Snakes added single runs in the last two innings against Scott Eyre and Tyler Walker.