The Phillies lost again, guys.
PLEASE CONTAIN YOUR SURPRISE.
These late season games are tough, and they’re even tougher when you see winnable games turn into one-run losses, despite the welcome efforts of a starter on the rebound and an offense lacking even the ability to imagine a base hit.
“Six innings of Adam Morgan” isn’t how most Phillies fans would have described their wildest fantasies several months ago, but with the pitching staff’s inability to go too terribly late into games, it’s about the best we can hope for. Besides, Morgan is good now, having compiled three straight starts of six innings or more, allowing no more than two earned runs in each—and two of them coming against the eternally first-place Nationals.
Morgan used 87 pitches to trim his season ERA down to a still bulbous 5.73, struck out two, walked two, and allowed three hits, one of which being a Daniel Murphy home run in the first inning. Beyond the solo shot hit by that terrible man, not a whole lot occurred again until the seventh. Baseball! Sometimes, it’s just nothing.
Unfortunately, Morgan’s already poor back-up failed to back him up yet again, due partially to them facing a familiar foe.
Adam Morgan 8/31 vs Nats: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, lost to Gio Gonzalez— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) September 11, 2016
Adam Morgan today vs Nats: 6+ IP, 3 H, 2 R, in line to lose to Gio Gonzalez
Gonzalez is a tough nut for the Phillies to crack, and he remained intact throughout the entirety of this contest.
Well, hey; there were attempts made, at least. Tommy Joseph laid into his 18th home run of the year in the seventh to tie the game at 1-1. The next inning, after Edubray Ramos allowed a lead-off walk to Bryce Harper and an obnoxiously-struck double by Anthony Rendon, the Nationals took a new 2-1 lead. A passed ball that whizzed by A.J. Ellis allowed a third run to score, and the deficit entered “insurmountable” territory at 3-1.
But once again, the Phillies summoned their holiest of holies and actually managed to cut the lead to 3-2 in the eighth on a second home run, this one off the bat of Freddy Galvis; another power source in this lineup who no one had really anticipated.
Seeing that the Nationals had pushed a third run across the previous inning, however, the Phillies offense shut down, needing to conserve their energy if they were going to provide anywhere from 0-2 runs per game through the rest of the season. Morgan took the L after Mark Melancon came out and dispatched of everyone the Phillies threw at him in the ninth. It was actually pretty brutal. He struck everybody out (except for Maikel Franco, whose sudden appearance after such a prolonged absence was enough to throw everybody off for a few seconds and allow him to knock a last gasp single with two outs. Then Cody Asche struck out).
And so, the Phillies shuffled out of D.C. having been only almost swept to death, set to return home for four games against the Pirates. Who knows which starter will be the most let down throughout this series? Jeremy Hellickson? Jerad Eickhoff? This is why we watch the games!!