Given what happened today, it seems apt to start off with the Shane Victorino drama. This is what we know: Victorino was in the original lineup, and then he wasn't. He was scratched at the last minute and replaced by Jason Pridie. Initially, there was speculation that he was injured or traded. But as the estimable Todd Zolecki just reported, it was neither of those things. It turns out that Victorino is just down on himself about how badly he's been playing, so Charlie Manuel pulled him from the lineup. And...yeah, Victorino has been less than good. Hopefully the break will help him get right. I wonder if he'll be spending any time in Hawaii. I hear he's from there!
The Phillies got to work early against a resurgent Jair Jurrjens, scoring two in the second on a Jason Pridie home run. Pridie also knocked in Hunter Pence with a double in the fourth. No one else had much luck against Jurrjens, though. Just six hits off of him, one each for Mike Fontenot and Chase Utley, and two each for Pridie and Carlos Ruiz. Pridie knocked in all three Phillies runs.
Vance Worley wasn't bad today, he just threw too many pitches (104) in a short time (six innings) and walked too many batters (four). The Braves walked twice in the first inning, but didn't have a hit until a two out single from Michael Bourn in the top of the 3rd. With two outs in the fourth, Freddie Freeman hit a double to left field. Dan Uggla and his inappropriately tight uniform followed that up with a home run to tie the game. The inning didn't get better from there. Andrelton Simmons singled up the middle, and while Pridie took his sweet time getting the ball back in, Simmons turned that single into a double. Worley intentionally walked Juan Francisco before getting Jurrjens to ground out to first.
The fifth was just as difficult, as Prado got a hit on a ball the Utley couldn't quite barehand. Jason Heyward doubled, and then Brian "Stupid Face" McCann singled to score Prado from third. With two outs and the game tied, Uggla walked to load the bases. Eric Hinske pinch hit for Simmons (who left the game with a broken finger), and the crowd was loud and supportive as Worley struck him out looking. McCann and his stupid face broke the tie with a solo home run to center in the seventh off of Raul Valdes. That was all the Braves would need, as Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel would keep the Phillies' bats quiet in the eighth and the ninth.
So where are we at the All-Star break? The Phillies are 37-50. Last year, the Phillies won their 37th game on June 8, and didn't get to their 50th loss until September 12. September 12! They're 14 games out of first place, and 13 games under .500. The Phillies also just got swept by the Braves, something that hasn't happened since April of 2007. I could go on, but if I do I'll get electrocuted when my tears get the keyboard of my laptop wet . Safety first!
This team desperately needs something. Hopefully, the All-Star break is that thing. If not, then we'll all just have to spend the second half drunk and yelling at the Nationals.
Fangraph of Pridie and Prejudice: