The Phillies wrapped up their four game series in San Diego by dropping three to the Pirates, losing only their second series, ever, at PetCo Park.
Gee, guys, thanks.
Kyle Kendrick started off in his usual fashion, with two walks and a hit in the first, but strangely, no runs allowed, thanks to catching Cory Spangenberg in an attempted steal of second. Kendrick would finish his night with three runs allowed over five innings, on six hits and five walks, against only two strikeouts. Not a great outing for the K-man.
For the Padres, Robbie Erlin was very sharp, allowing only a single run over six innings, with no walks and five scattered hits, while striking out four. The Phils' lone run off Erlin came in the fourth, when Darin Ruf struck a one out double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a Domonic Brown single to left to tie the game at 1-1.
The Padres would answer back immediately, when Alexi Amarista hit a bases loaded sac fly. The Phils managed to get two outs on the play, as while Yasmani Grandal was scoring, Seth Smith unwisely attempted to take third and was gunned down by Brown.
San Diego would add insurance runs in the fifth, chasing Kendrick; and in the sixth off Antonio Bastardo. Into the eighth, then, with the score 4-1, the Phillies had a golden chance to close the gap. Ben Revere led off with a single to center, and stole second. Freddy Galvis then singled, moving Revere to third. The Pads' Dale Thayer rebounded quickly, striking out Marlon Byrd, Ruf and Maikel Franco to end the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, then, the Padres lit up Cesar Jimenez for three runs, breaking the game open.
The Phils mounted a brief rally in the ninth, with Brown's leadoff double and an RBI single by Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez was later driven in by a Revere single. That would be it, though, as Lean Cuisine Stauffer induced a strikeout of Grady Sizemore and got Chase Utley to ground out weakly ending the game.
Taking a step back, in the third inning, Jedd Gyorko (apparently pronounced Jerko?) laced a liner to left that Brown was just able to grab, making an outstanding catch in the process. Watching the replay, it's almost a wonder he didn't break his arm, the way he rolled over on it.
Between that and the throw to third, Brown made some very good defensive plays tonight, and seems to be turning a corner. He still isn't hitting well, but, to my eye, at least, his defense is much improved.
Tonight's punchless performance was, incidentally, the 75th time this year that the Phils have been held to three runs or less. They have played 153 games. That's very nearly half the time that they are unable to break the three run barrier. Surprisingly, though, that dismal-sounding stat is good for a four-way tie for 12th most in baseball. Teams that have more? The Braves, Mets and Marlins, for three, at 86, 76 and 76 respectively. Anyone want to guess who had the most?
The Padres, at 92.
With the loss, the Phils' record falls to 70-83, three games behind the Mets for last in the NL East. Tomorrow night, the Phils go to Oakland, sending David Buchanan to the hill against Jon Lester, in a 9:35PM ET start time. Oakland has seemingly fallen off a cliff, and will be looking to salvage a seemingly lost season despite having doubled-down with some major trades. CF Larue has offered to take tomorrow night's recap, so I want to thank you folks for staying up late with me this week.
Good night everybody.