It's likely the last two nights, with nary a single Major League baseball game being played anywhere in America, left you hungry for the unofficial start of the second half of the 2014 season, even if that meant watching the Phils continue to struggle.
Well, you got what you asked for, and it was much like what you saw in the team's first 95 games.
With scouts on hand to watch Phils starter A.J. Burnett, things probably could have gone a little better.
There are scouts at Turner Field, and they will report that A.J. Burnett did not have his best night. #TradeTalk— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) July 19, 2014
Burnett lasted just five innings and gave up 6 earned runs on 10 hits with 5 strikeouts and one walk, with one of those hits a home run to Atlanta's Jason Heyward. Heyward (please, dear baseball angels, please find a way to make Jason Heyward a Phillies in 2016) had himself a ball game, going 2-for-4 at the plate and made a terrific diving catch of a Ryan Howard liner in the top of the 8th.
Burnett had trouble putting Atlanta hitters away all night, a troubling sign for any team looking to pick him up this month. Atlanta recorded nine two-out hits and four two-strike hits on the night. Plus, there was this fun, encouraging development in the dugout after Burnett departed.
Ah yes and now Burnett is yapping at Cameron Rupp, life is good— Paul Boyé (@paul_boye) July 19, 2014
Always good to see a teacher instructing his pupil. That clubhouse chemistry is really coming along.
The Phils took an early 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Cody Asche and an RBI single by Cameron Rupp. However, Atlanta answered right back in the bottom of the inning, with Heyward's homer getting Atlanta on the board. That was followed by an RBI double by B.J. Upton and an Andrelton Simmons two-run single that gave the Braves a 4-2 lead.
They would push that advantage to 6-2 in the 5th, with RBI singles by Heyward and Tommy La Stella plating two more. The Phils would get two runs right back in the 6th on a two-run, opposite-field bloop single by Howard, making it 6-4.
And that's where it would stay.
Oh, and a fan ran onto the field in the top of the 9th as the Phillies were trying to scratch out a couple runs against Craig Kimbrel.
Don't tase me bro https://t.co/O6aZnoHtex— Dave Janik (@DaVetTurf) July 19, 2014
Neither the fan's antics nor the Phils' top of the 9th lasted very long.
With the loss, the Phillies fell to 11 games out of first place in the National League East. Just waiting on that 15-game winning streak, boys.