It was the Freddie Freeman show tonight at Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies fell to the Braves 4-2.
Freeman was responsible for all four of the Braves' runs this evening. The first three scored on one swing of his (mighty? no) bat in the first inning, putting the Phillies in a deficit just 10 pitches into the ballgame. Kyle Kendrick's first inning curse was back with a vengeance. In the second inning, Freeman hit a double that scored Andrelton Simmons all the way from first base. The Braves were up 4-0, and that's all they'd need to win the game.
For his part, Kendrick righted the ship after those two rocky innings. He'd allow just four more hits in the next five innings, and no runs. He set a new career high in pitches (123), but also tied his career high for strikeouts in a game (8). He went seven innings, giving the bullpen some much needed rest after last night's extra-innings awesome-fest. And then there's this:
Kyle Kendrick has 9.00 ERA (16 er in 16 ip) in 1st inning this year. He has 3.34 ERA (32 er in 86 1/3 ip) in all other innings combined.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 28, 2014
That's... bad. But also good? It's both. Make sense, Kyle!
The Phillies limited their scoring to just one inning, the fourth. They managed to string a few hits together and score two runs, one of them thanks to a missed catch from defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons. I don't think Simmons misses often, so at least the Philies got to benefit from one of his rare miscues. It wasn't enough, though. After facing Julio Teheran for seven innings, the Phillies ran into the Braves bullpen. That is never good news. Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel shut the Phillies down, and that's all she wrote.
That Freeman home run, by the way? It sailed directly into the glove of TV announcer Tom McCarthy.
Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs, and McCarthy were broadcasting from section 148 tonight, taking in the sights and sounds of the plebeians who sit in the stands. It was a truly strange broadcast. They were either talking about McCarthy's home run catch (he threw the ball back on the field because the fans in the stands around him would have throttled him otherwise) or awestruck by their new vantage point in the ballpark. It was endearing yet annoying and slightly pretentious, all at the same time. And that, in a nutshell, are your 2014 Phillies.
Phillies have lost 5 of 7 since five-game winning streak last week. They're hitting .148 (8-for-54) with RISP in last seven games.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 28, 2014
These are your 2014 Phillies.