The Phillies lost for the sixth time in a row today, 2-0 to the last place Atlanta Braves. The offense was once again anemic - totaling 5 hits, for a total of 29 over the course of the 6 game home stand.
But rather than re-live this game, let's focus on the silver linings, because there are always silver linings, right?
- Jake Thompson had his second straight excellent start. He gave up 1 run in 7 innings, walking 4 and striking out 6. Unlike his last outing (2 earned runs in 7 innings), Thompson was inducing ground ball after ground ball today - 12 ground balls compared to only 3 fly balls (last outing was 9 ground balls to 15 fly balls). This is a great sign for the young right-hander.
- The Phillies were once again stingy when the Braves had runners in scoring position. Last night, the Braves were 0 for 12 with runners on. Today, they were 0 for 9. That's 0 for their last 21, which is horrendous. The flipside is that the Phillies pitchers were great when they had baserunners. Unfortunately, both of the Braves' runs were on solo home runs today (Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp).
- The bullpen allowed only 1 run in 2 innings (1 from Michael Mariot, 0 from David Hernandez). That's not good, but it's much better than the 7 in 6 innings combined on Friday and Saturday nights. Small victories....
- The Phillies went 52 years between being swept for a home stand by more than 1 opposing team. Before this year, the last time the Phillies were swept in a 6 or more game home series was during the collapse of 1964. Unfortunately, this year it's happened 2 times, including the last six games. How's that a silver lining? Well, the 52 years in the middle - that's pretty good!
- Pete Mackanin showed that he is a man of his word, finally sitting Ryan Howard and giving Tommy Joseph an opportunity to start at first base. Sure, it's the third game after Mackanin said Joseph would be pretty much the everyday starter, but let's give Mackanin some credit here for finally coming through. If I were a betting man about who starts tomorrow against the Marlins' right-hander Jake Esch, well, I wouldn't.
- The Phillies picked up 3 games against the NL-worst Braves in the race to the bottom. They're now tied for 9th in the standings, but are only 6.5 games behind the second-place Braves. They started the series 9.5 games behind them. Progress!
- Though he had no hits, Cesar Hernandez got on base twice in four plate appearances (a walk and a hit-by-pitch), raising his on-base percentage to .351.