Vince Velasquez started strong, but faltered in the sixth, allowing five runs in a 6-3 loss in the City of Bridges. He struck out six, but allowed two walks and seven hits, including a home run.
Velasquez is troubling to watch—he clearly has good stuff, but he has yet to figure out how to be more economical with his pitches. Perhaps he is destined for the bullpen before too long, but in the meantime, his starts are always an adventure.
The Phils struck first, with Aaron Altherr driving in Cesar Hernandez on a groundout in the top of the first. The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen evened the score in the third; and a David Freese home run in the fourth gave them a 2-1 lead.
It was in the sixth, then, that the wheels fell off. With one out, Velasquez walked Freese, and allowed a single to John Jaso. Cameron Rupp then tried a pickoff but hit Freese in the back, allowing both runners to advance. Francisco Cervelli then singled in both runs, spelling the end for Velasquez.
Mark Leiter Jr, the first man out of the bullpen fared little better, walking everybody, and allowing Adam Frazier to drive in two more. 6-1 Pittsburgh.
The Phils got single runs back in the seventh and eighth, with RBIs from Rupp and Altherr, respectively, but it was too little, too late.
This team is frustrating, right now, and there’s just no way to sugarcoat it. Silver linings and lights in the tunnel and so on, but right now, on May 20, this team has generally played terribly.
Pro-tip, folks: don’t go rafting on the river of shit without a paddle.
With the loss, the Phils are now 15-25, a .375 winning percentage. This means they’re looking at a 61-101 season. I have to think things will turn around, but they’re not giving us much evidence for that theory, so...