Some of these games, you just wonder, what are we doing. Maybe it was the twenty minutes of rain delay, maybe it was the bad team-on-bad team action in the hot sun, or maybe it was the losing that occurred for the last three innings, but this one felt way less productive. Somehow.
The offense, while not completely absent, was supplied by Jimmy Paredes, a player who matters less to the Phillies future than possibly anyone. And the Braves’ double-dip was brought to you by Jeff Francoeur.
Real nail-chewer, this one.
"Definitely unfortunate," Jerad Eickhoff said of his afternoon, which lasted for only 51 pitches. The start had an abbreviated feel to it, as Eickhoff went only five innings, despite allowing only two hits, no runs, and striking out one. He faced the minimum number of hitters through four innings and only giving up a pair of singles.
It was the beleaguered Andrew Bailey who surrendered the Francoeur dinger in the seventh, following a Nick Markakis single. Things appeared to be getting worse as Bailey allowed a single and a walk with two outs, but a coaching visit to the mound seemed to give him the courage to get Jace Peterson to ground out with the score only 2-0.
Only 2-0; as if that’s a lead the Phillies are known to be able to overtake late in games. Paredes gave it a shot, though, by leading off the eighth with a home run to right center. His BA improved to .216 from the outburst. The bisection of the Braves’ lead was followed by - you guessed - three quick outs.
The Phillies produced four other hits on the day; three singles from Odubel Herrera, Freddy Galvis, and Cesar Hernandez (I mean, he deflected a bunt off Chas d’Arnaud), as well as a double from Tommy Joseph. None of these led to runs. Their last at-bat in the ninth saw Joseph lead off with a walk, only to have Aaron Altherr ground into the one double pay he is allowed to ground into before we start being mad at him all the time. Chooch K’d to end it.
At this point in the season, no one is even interested in outcomes of games, just the health and production of guys who are about to be traded. How did Jim Johnson do last night? Did Jeremy Hellickson survive the evening? These are the things that matter now. So in a way, this loss didn’t even happen. Thank you, the trade deadline.