It should have been obvious from the start that this game was a loss. After the Phillies failed to score in the first inning after having runners on first and second with one out for the 1582nd time this season --at least this time there were no bunts involved--the Cardinals knocked Kyle Kendrick 2.0 around in the bottom half, scoring two runs before the Phillies could even record an out and three before the inning ended.
That should have been it. No way were the Phillies going to score more than three runs to come back and win this game, regardless of who was pitching for the Cardinals. We've watched enough of this team to know, rationally, that the Phillies, having already suffered that first inning, were overwhelmingly likely to lose this game. According to Fangraphs' nifty win-probability graph--you know, the one that ends up at the bottom of all these recaps that you sometimes glance at just to make sure it doesn't look like something funny--the Cardinals had an 80% chance of winning after the first inning.
But the Phillies made me pay attention to this game just a little longer as Cesar Hernandez scored on an Odubel Herrera single in the 2nd, and then tacked on two in the third, one coming on a leadoff home run from Vanilla Thunder Darin Ruf and the second as the result of the laborious process necessary to advance Ryan Howard around the bases. They even got Cardinals starter Tim Cooney removed from the game. The Phillies were doing offensive things, and not in the way that involves poorly called bunts with even worse execution. They were scoring runs and ended their half of the inning tied, with a 45% chance to win the game. Hope was alive.
But then, all of a sudden, it wasn't. With two outs in the bottom half of the third, Matt Adams hit a two run home run that put the Cardinals up for good. The Cardinals got one more run off of David Buchanan in the 5th, before Sandberg pulled him for ROOGY/set-up man/mop-up man Jake Diekman. Diekman pitched well enough, but did allow the runner he inherited to score. According to baseball, though, that run isn't his problem, so, job well done Jake!
Really, after the third inning, the Phillies offense just stopped. From the 3rd inning to the 8th inning, Cardinals relievers combined to retire 14 straight Phillies batters. Darin Ruf broke that up with one out walk in the 8th, but then the next 4 Phillies went down without a fight. All in all, 19 consecutive Phillies stepped to the plate from one out in the third inning until two outs in the 9th without a single hit entering the official record of the game. That's not good, but it seems about right for these Phillies.
Sometime during that offensive disappearance, baseball Twitter found out about Microsoft's new face-detection and age-estimating software over at how-old.net and had some fun. Since the Phillies were doing nothing on the field to prevent me from entering the latest internet time-suck, I plugged all nine Phillies starters into the application. The results cast serious doubts on the listed ages of the Phillies players.
Odubel Herrera (Real age: 23):
Freddy Galvis (Real age: 25):
Why hello, Fair Labor Standards Act.
Darin Ruf (Real age: 28):
Ryan Howard (Real age: 35)
Jeff Francoeur (real age: 31)
Cesar Hernandez (real age: 24)
Cody Asche (real age: 24)
Cameron Rupp (real age: 26)
David Buchanan (real age: 25)
That's all I've got for this game. Like the Phillies offense, this recap was over after the third inning or so. I hope you enjoyed my participation in the latest internet thing more than you miss having a detailed recap for the last 5 or 6 innings of this game. I have no regrets.
Comment of the game: "The Cardinals' offense would be a lot better if it weren't for all these unproductive walks." --bay_area_phan
Fangraph of How-Old: