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Los Angeles, The Phillies Are Yours : Dodgers 6, Phillies 0

The Phillies get two hits. Zack Greinke is a good pitcher. Death consumes us all eventually.

The Phillies' only hit off of Dodgers starter Zack Grienke
The Phillies' only hit off of Dodgers starter Zack Grienke
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Death is frequently slow and painful. Societally, we often express envy for those who die quickly, painlessly, peacefully. As Phillies fans, we have endured a slow, painful death of our team. From the height of a World Series Championship in 2008 and an MLB best 102 wins in 2011, the Phillies' decline has been gradual.

Tonight's game--as well as many games this season--was a microcosm of that. In some ways, these past two games against he Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in particular would have been easier to watch had the Dodgers put up 5 or so runs on the Phillies in the first couple innings of each game. Instead, the Phillies starters--Adam Morgan last night, Severino Gonzalez tonight--pitched well enough to offer the fan hope.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, Greinke was having (almost) none of their feeble attempts to reach base on him and absolutely none of their assumed efforts to score. He pitched 8 innings and allowed only one hit--a Ryan Howard single to lead off the second inning.

Although by no means dominant, Gonzalez held the Dodgers scoreless through three innings and looked on pace to make it four. After getting two groundouts--Howie Kendrick, Adrian Gonzalez--to start the inning, he walked Yasmani Grandal and followed that by hitting Andre Eithier. Yasiel Puig followed with a double to left field that should have probably only scored one run, but recently-converted-outfielder Cody Asche struggled to field the ball off the wall, opening up the possibility for Eithier to score from first. Gonzalez then got Jimmy Rollins to pop out to third baseman Maikel Franco and the Dodgers strolled back to the dugout.

While Greinke continued to confound the Phillies lineup, the Dodgers scored again in the 6th.  Howie Kendrick led off with a single and Adrian Gonzalez followed with a dinger that hit the right-most portion of the right-field foul pole. Severino remained in the game and got both Grandal and Puig out with a walk to Eithier sandwiched in between. After a Rollins, two-out double to put runners at 2nd and 3rd, Pete Mackanin chose to bring Elvis Araujo in to replace the Pasta Man. Araujo quickly got Alberto Callaspo to ground out to end the inning.

Severino Gonzalez pitched as well as one can expect a non-Hamels Phillies starter to pitch. He left with a line of 5.2 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 SO. 84 P (56 S, 28 B). That doesn't suck. And for the Phillies, not sucking is good.

After pitching a scoreless seventh, Araujo came back out for the 8th. After Yasmani Grandal hit a leadoff single, Mackanin brought in righty Hector Neris to face righty Scott Van Slyke who was pinch-hitting for Eithier. After he struck out Van Slyke, the recently bat flip-less Yasiel Puig hit a home run to left field to extend the Dodgers lead to 6-0.

That was pretty much it for the action. As I noted above Zack Greinke dominated the Phillies. Despite throwing only 94 pitched through eight innings, he wasn't permitted to throw a complete game, he held the Phillies to one hit and struck out 8. Some fun Greinke facts:

  • With 8 shutout innings, Greinke extended his scoreless innings streak to 35.2.
  • Greinke became 6th pitcher in live ball era with 5 straight scoreless starts, via ESPN Stats & Info, joining the likes of Orel Hershiser, Don Drysdale, Ryan Dempster, Brandon Webb, and Bob Gibson.
  • After a Howard single to lead off the 2nd, Greinke retired 21 straight Phillies. The ineptitude was great.
Joel Peralta came on for Greinke in the ninth and, after retiring Cameron Rupp and Odubel Herrera to make it 23 straight Phillies outs, gave up a single to Ben Revere. That single, like the introduction of life support, only served to delay the inevitable as Cesar Hernandez struck out to end the game.

Facing the likes of Ian Thomas, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Joel Peralta, the Phillies have now failed to score a run in their last 20 offensive innings. Facing two of the best handful of pitchers in baseball in Kershaw and Greinke will do that to teams more offensively adroit than the Phillies. That the Phillies trot out the lineups they do certainly doesn't help matters though.

Tomorrow night, they travel north to San Francisco and are stuck facing Madison Bumgarner, so odds are that their scoreless innings streak will grow even more. It's a fun time to be a Phillies fan indeed.

On the bright side, tonight's game only lasted two hours and 14 minutes. Temporarily relief is what that is.