Yes, folks, BABIP! The Musical, featuring the much-loved hits: Nearer My BABIP To Thee, Oh What A Beautiful BABIP, What I Did For BABIP, Suddenly BABIP, and The BABIP Of The Night! Get your tickets today!
That really was the story tonight. The Phillies are hitting balls hard, but they always seem to find fielders. Cliff Lee went seven innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on 11 hits, throwing 120 pitches. While three runs is uncharacteristic for Lee lately, it's by no means an unreasonable number of runs to give up. The Phillies just couldn't get anything going offensively, notching only three hits on the night. Against Ross Detwiler. Who? Who, indeed.
Also uncharacteristic? Three errors on the Phillies tonight. And they errors weren't on members of the Phillies JV team, either. Chase Utley couldn't handle a ball at second on a forceplay, and Jimmy Rollins was the author of a throw to first that took Mayberry off the bag in a ballet-worthy fashion. And of course, there's Chooch's error, which happened to be throwing the ball sort of at Jayson Werth during a pickoff play. (Werth left the game after that.)
Justin DeFratus had his second straight scoreless, hitless outing for the Phillies, which is nice to see during a time of relative bullpen stress/unrest. David Herndon pitched a scoreless ninth.
After tweaking his knee this afternoon (which may or may not be a big deal, and could be from sliding and/or "stuff") Hunter Pence sat out his first game since joining the Phillies on July 30. That's 48 straight games. On the bench, Pence looked both forlorn and bored, sitting with his arms resting against the seats in front of him, as if their presence was the only thing preventing him from running out onto the field and joining his teammates.
The Phillies have now lost four straight games for just the second time this season, the first time since May 14-17. They have lost four straight games at home for the first time since they were swept by the Astros in 2010. These last several games haven't been pleasant to watch, but seriously, though, how lucky are we? Some teams have their unlucky periods and low BABIP stretches when their games really count. Like Boston, who is battling Tampa Bay for the Wild Card. They are trying to compete while dealing with the complete and utter disintegration of their pitching. The Braves can hear the Giants and the Cardinals at their heels. They're fighting off the meltdown, hot breath on their neck. But the Phillies? They have only their second questionable period of the season when they've already sewn up a playoff spot. And they manage to clinch the NL East during it. The Phils are due for a big game, and I don't envy the pitcher on the receiving end of that beating. I hope it's John Lannan.
Fangraph of I Hate Danny Espinosa And His Stupid Stupid Face: