Ryan Howard struck out in 8 of 11 at-bats against the Braves in this series. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
For the second series in a row, the Phillies were involved in a sweep. Unfortunately, as they have been many times throughout this arduous season, they were on the receiving end of the brooms.
With the struggling, lower velocity version of Roy Halladay on the mound, this game started off poorly. Halladay gave up a deep bomb to Jason Heyward, allowed two more baserunners, and then gave up a double to the Braves' hard to look at first baseman, Freddie Freeman. After an odd attempt by the umpires to further Halladay's suffering, the score was 2-0 after 1. Then, in the 3rd, Chipper Jones hit a deep fly ball to right field and it was 3-0. From there, Halladay was actually very good. He finished the third through the sixth giving up just one more hit.
Unfortunately, the offense failed to muster up much of an effort for the third straight time. A Victorino home run and a pair of singles from Ruiz and Victorino got the game to 3-2, and chased Tim Hudson, but after two pitching changes, the Braves' Chad Durbin got John Mayberry to pop up and end the threat.
From there, the Phillies' bullpen did what they've done so many times during this season. Jake Diekman gave up three hits and had an error on a play that would've ended the inning without giving up a run. Even with the run-preventing machine that is apparently Kyle Kendrick coming in to relieve him, the score stood at 6-2 after the 7th, and that's where it would end up.
Whatever has been causing Halladay's struggles, be it injury or something else, did not abate today. Hopefully, he'll be back to being Roy @$%#ing Halladay soon, but this start will do nothing to ease concerns.
And as for the outfield, with the trade deadline just two days away, we may have just watched our last at-bats by Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence in a Phillies' uniform. If so, especially for Shane, may I just say, "So long, and thanks for all the .gifs."
Fangraph of lethargy below the jump.