The Phillies lost to the Braves 1-0 today to complete a three-game sweep in Atlanta. That's right. The Braves, the team the Phillies have been battling for the worst record in baseball, swept the Phillies. The Phillies now have a four-game lead on the Braves for the worst record, and if this series didn't cement the Phillies as the worst team in baseball for 2015, then nothing will. A total of nine runs were scored this weekend. TOTAL. BOTH TEAMS COMBINED SCORED NINE RUNS. I MEAN COME ON.
Through most of the game today, the Phillies were utterly confounded by Braves pitching. Braves' starter Julio Teheran was perfect through six innings, and he came within two outs of pitching a complete game shutout. The Phillies squared up a few balls against him, but they always found gloves. Freddy Galvis broke up his perfect game in the seventh, and let's throw him a parade because I think Teheran could have done it today.
Today's game also ended a tough luck series for Phillies' rookie starters. Despite stellar pitching from all of them, all three will walk away without a win, one with a loss, and two with a no-decision. The only blemish on Nola's scorecard today came in the first inning. Michael Bourn, on the first pitch of the game, did this:
It's obviously an error and not a double. The official scorer is either drunk, not watching, or an enormous homer idiot. Because seriously, that's an error. Bourn would come around to score after two more singles, so that "hit" turned into an earned run. I can't imagine that won't be overturned in the future, because otherwise that's a travesty of the highest order. OK, it's not, but so little happened today that I'm going to turn this into a thing.
Odubel Herrera got himself pulled from the game before the bottom of the fourth, and as of right now (4:45pm), there's no official reason why. But there is some speculation.
@yolacrary He threw his bat towards the on deck circle in disgust after popping up.— Corinne (@Ut26) September 20, 2015
Corinne also made a few very good points:
It's incredible it took until September 20th for Odubel to get himself pulled from a game.— Corinne (@Ut26) September 20, 2015
@LONG_DRIVE I'm all for guys showing emotion, but Herrera dances on that line so frequently that it was only a matter of time.— Corinne (@Ut26) September 20, 2015
I hadn't thought of this, but it's true. It's one of the reasons I love Odubel Herrera -- he's so full of passion and emotion toward the game that he can't possibly keep it all inside. It can be risky, as today demonstrates, but I just can't imagine him changing. He's marvelous just the way he is.
In the eighth, the Phillies again got their lead-off man aboard when Andres Blanco walked. Darin Ruf singled, and suddenly the Phillies had two . Cameron Rupp bunted one in the air not far from home plate and the third baseman grabbed it out of the air. He turned around and spotted Blanco wandering too far off second base, and a quick throw had Blanco doubled off. Cody Asche singled, but with two outs you knew that everyone would be stranded with no runs scored.
The Phillies actually mounted a comeback (if you can comeback when you're down just 1-0) in the ninth inning, and chased Teheran from the game when they managed to get two baserunners on at the same time with only one out. Peter Moylan came in to shut it down and FAILED. HE FAILED. HE LET ANDRES BLANCO HIT A SINGLE AND AARON ALTHERR SCORED. BLANCO JUST HAD TO HIT THAT BALL AND MAKE THE GAME GO LONGER.
Thankfully I didn't have to watch much more baseball, as the Phillies managed to extinguish their own flame of hope the very next inning. Luis Garcia came out of the bullpen got one out, but gave up a single and a walk right after. A single from A.J. Pierzynski (of course) brought the winning run home for the Braves and the game was finally over. I really didn't want to watch these teams play more baseball against each other. Can you blame me?
The Phillies have an off day tomorrow before reappearing in Miami on Tuesday. 12 more games!