This game could have ended after the first inning. With Jerome "2014 Was All A Dream" Williams on the mound, the Reds scored four runs on four hits in the first inning. The game could have ended there but it didn't, because that's not how baseball works. So we had to watch another 8 innings of feeble, futile, fruitless Phillies baseball, which ended with them losing to the Reds 5-2.
It's tempting to pin this loss on Jerome Williams alone. Especially since he was, once again, pretty putrid out there. (Three singles and a home run in the first inning definitely equals putrid.) But the only good thing about a first inning meltdown is that theoretically the offense has another eight innings to make up that deficit. But if you know these Phillies well, as many of us do, you know that eight innings isn't nearly enough time for them to do that. They made it halfway and could do no more.
It's not like they didn't try. They had 10 hits today. 10! In fact, this is their fourth straight game with 10 or more hits. But since they've lost three of those games, it's obvious that simply hitting the ball isn't enough. You either have to hit the ball very far, or right after several other dudes have hit the ball. The Phillies don't seem to be grasping this concept, since they left eight men on base today, were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and didn't hit a single home run during this entire series with the Reds.
Jerome Williams wasn't the only low light of today's game. Chase Utley has earned himself a mention, though to be fair he's been a low light in many games this season. Utley is mired in yet another slump -- this time, he's just 1-for-25 over his last eight games. Utley's seventh inning fly ball with men on the corners ended the best scoring chance the Phillies had since the fourth inning, and the last one they'd get for the rest of the day. Utley wasn't the only player who left men on base (both Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez left two each), but he *was* the only starting position player without a hit today. To recap (in the middle of this recap): The Phillies had 10 hits today, and none of them were off the bat of Chase Utley.
At this point, I don't even want Utley to get better to benefit the Phillies. I just want him to get better so I don't have to watch him take those terrible, terrible, at-bats anymore. It hurts my soul. I didn't want to write that paragraph about Utley being bad any more than you wanted to read it, believe me.
Thankfully (so, so thankfully), things that were not bad also happened in this game. In fact, you could even call them good things if you were feeling charitable. Chooch replacement (Chooch-placement?) Cameron Rupp got two hits, and continued to handle the ball well behind the plate. He's young-ish, he's nimble, and I desperately want to see more of him and less of the reanimated zombie corpse of Carlos Ruiz. Ben Revere had a two-hit day himself, and his average keeps on climbing upward (it's now at .270). Jeff Francoeur notched two hits as well, but that's a mixed bag since his continued success will probably keep Domonic Brown down in AAA. And also because it's Jeff "GIANT TEETH OF DEATH" Francoeur. Seriously, have you seen his teeth? They deserve their own spot in the lineup. And lastly, there's MAIKEL FRANCO, who I cannot stop spelling in all caps. MAIKEL FRANCO had another hit today, extending his hitting streak to nine straight games, and giving him the highest batting average of all Phillies starters by nearly 20 points.
He is MAIKEL FRANCO, and he will not be stopped.
I'm sorry, I think you're feeling too good right now, too positive about the eventual future of this team. I can fix that.
The Phillies lost, 5-2, their 23rd loss in 30 road games. They have not won away from Citizens Bank Park since May 23rd.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) June 10, 2015
The Phillies have got to get better on the road. They have to, or my eyes are going to start bleeding and my brain will start falling out of my ears. You don't want to be responsible for that, Phillies. Do you? DO YOU???!?!?!