It was natural that the game would end like this. With Howard entering as a pinch hitter with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The result is just what you I or anyone with a brain thought it would be: not a home run, but weak contact and an out at first. (At least it wasn't a strikeout, right?)
Even though the Phillies lost to the Brewers 6-3, there was hope at one point in this game. The Brewers scored first, but the Phillies answered in the second inning with three runs. No, seriously! Tommy Joseph homered off of Junior Guerra, Tyler Goeddel tripled, and the Cesar Hernandez homered (YES HE TOTALLY DID). All in the same inning! That was Cesar's first homer in over a year, since May 30. And Twitter was, of course, at its best.
Cesar Hernandez just did a thing he's never done before. pic.twitter.com/bbGt4VbUes— Corinne (@crashlandrey) June 4, 2016
Franzke -"The Phillies have turned the game around, a multi homer inning"— Franzke & LA (@FranzkeLA) June 4, 2016
As a pitcher, Cesar Hernandez taking you out to dead center is an early indicator that retirement is near, no matter your age— Paul Boyé (@paul_boye) June 4, 2016
And here's one about Tyler Goeddel.
Really surprised that the Phillies announcers didn't celebrate Tyler Goeddel's triple with "Dude! You're getting a Goeddel."— Michael Clair (@clairbearattack) June 4, 2016
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. (Just kidding, Michael Clair, you're great.)
A word about Tommy Joseph and Ryan Howard. Well, more than a word. Unless Joseph makes several mental mistakes at both the plate and first base on Sunday, I see zero reason to start Howard over Joseph no matter who is pitching. Left handed, right handed, I don't care. Tommy Joseph has earned it, and it's time for Pete Mackanin to actually, seriously put Howard on the bench.
Back to the game.
Jeremy Hellickson wasn't at his best today. He threw 108 pitches in five innings, which is never good. 64 were for strikes, but those that weren't really made the difference. He gave up three runs, one homer, and he walked three.
Hector Neris has Not Been Good lately. Not including his appearance today, his ERA over his last three outings is 10.13. And that doesn't include today, where he gave up a solo home run! His ERA is now 2.27, almost a whole run more than it was on May 29. Not good, people.
Andrew Bailey's one inning of work was also pretty tragic. He gave up two runs (though the didn't make the difference in the loss), which took his ERA from 2.30 to 3.24. In one outing. Yikes.
The late runs killed the Phillies chances again, and they just couldn't make them up. The game ended, as I said, with Ryan Howard pinch hitting off the bench and hitting a weak grounder to the pitcher. Would this game have been better if Howard hadn't ended it? Probably not. But I think we all could have done without the symbolism.