The easiest way to put it is to say that the Phillies just did not look well today. They did not pitch well. They did not hit well. They did not defend well. They did not appease Mother Nature well. They definitely didn't orchestrate a comeback very well. And each facet of the loss could be epitomized by a key miscue (as well as many other side-miscues).
Pitching: Adam Morgan walked Reds pitcher Dan Straily with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, making it 4-0 and indicating that this game was about to go off the rails.
Having already thrown 35 pitches and shouting into his glove in frustration, Morgan was struggling with his spots all day. He seemed fully capable of getting two strikes on hitters, but couldn't quite get that third, highly necessary strike across the plate.
Tyler Holt followed the walk with an RBI ground out to first that could have ended the inning, but Ryan Howard grabbed it and hesitated, missing a chance for a twin killing. Eugenio Suarez came next with a three-run blast that made it 7-0 and ended most genuine interest in this game across the region. Those who stayed with the action were finally rewarded with the game's first 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh.
Hitting: Ryan Howard having a home run robbed by Reds center fielder Tyler Holt, after earlier being robbed of another home run by the wind.
Cesar Hernandez was also robbed of a grand slam by some aggressively anti-Phillies wind gusts, and in the ninth as the Phillies attempted a rally down 9-4, all David Lough could do was stand with his hands on his hips as he watched the second phantom grand slam of the game soar just foul.
Maikel Franco had an encouraging day, reaching on an error in the third, singling in the fifth, and knocking in two runs in the sixth with an RBI double that could have probably been called an error on Suarez. Coming up again in the eighth, Franco singled in Odubel Herrera to make it 7-3. Franco's efforts were nullified by a pinch hit, two-run single from Zack Cozart in the ninth off Elvis Araujo.
Defense: Morgan successfully picked off a runner in the troublesome fourth, but as he headed for second base, Howard heard loud circus music in his head and, as has often become the case, couldn't throw the ball down there in a timely fashion.
This was one of many instances in which the Phillies granted Cincinnati an extra out or three.
In between these moments, other things happened.
"That may be the ugliest five shutout innings I've ever seen." Reds starter Dan Straily threw 109 pitches through five innings, stranding ten Phillies base runners. The Phillies had a runner on third four different times while Straily was in the game, being persistently foiled by a combination of poor at-bats and menacing maelstroms swirling above the stadium, which prompted an unimpressed Larry Andersen to utter the above phrase.
Adam Duvall killed the Phillies in this series. He came to Philadelphia hitting .245, so naturally he reached four times today, making him 7-for-10 over the last three days. He's also the guy who reached base due to Carlos Ruiz's catchers' interference in the seventh. This game had everything!
Vottomatic out. When Joey Votto struck out in the top of the eighth, he became 0-for-10 for the series. Frustration boiled over in the sixth when he pretended to toss a ball to some fans, then rolled it into the Reds dugout instead. He was booed for this, and will spend the rest of the week recovering.
Loudest cheers here all day were for booing votto. Ha— Casey Landman (@ChickPhilA) May 15, 2016
Just before the ninth, Votto faked out fans with a ball again as he jogged off the field. Already, Philadelphians had been terrorized over the weekend by Duvall and that bear who ambled into the Wissahickon; now, Votto was doing his best to make sure no one felt comfortable. Eventually, Ben Davis took the kid Votto had denied, twice, a baseball. "[Ben will do] anything to get on TV," Scott Franzke explained.