It’s over. The four wins were a thing to behold for a team that went 6-for-May, but the Braves brought the idea of the Phillies breaking off 15 straight W’s, cracking .500 by the All-Star break, and sneaking into a playoff spot on the last day of the season down quite resoundingly on Wednesday night.
To be honest, you were probably a little overzealous to consider that a possibility in the first place.
Pete Mackanin said he and bob McClure had a serious talk with Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff recently, claiming that both knew the honeymoon period was over and they’d have to start pitching like big leaguers. Nola answered the challenge, albeit against the Braves, one of the National League’s 11 bad teams, but still, he was the first Phillies hurler to go eight innings this season, which in June is still a remarkable stat to report.
Eickhoff got the ball tonight, and he did not fare as well. Not as poorly as the score would suggest, but, you know. Very poorly. He went five innings, allowing three earned runs, four hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. Things started okay; he nailed down ten straight batters to open the game and picked off a base runner. Maikel Franco and Howie Kendrick both misplayed a grounder that got past the former and caused the latter to slip, and that was the beginning of the end for young Jerad. Dansby Swanson, the Braves’ slippery-handed shortstop, touched Eickhoff with a three-run dinger in the fifth that pretty much brought an end to his evening.
From there, Adam Morgan took the mound, and [HORRIFYING HOWLING NOISE, LIKE A HOT CHANNEL OF WIND ESCAPING FROM A PORTAL TO HELL] 8-0 lead. No Phillies reliever could get through a single inning from there on out; not Joely Rodriguez (who walked in a run that was awarded to Morgan), Luis Garcia, or Andres Blanco.
Yeah. There is no bullpen.
Blanco came in for mop-up duty as the veteran position player with the most dignity to sacrifice and gave up a two-run shot to Matt Adams that made it [HORRIFYING HOWLING NOISE CONTINUES]. The Phillies did not win.
You know who had a terrific night? Odubel Herrera, who hit two more doubles to bring his season total to 21, surpassing Nolan Arenado for the league lead and just being an all-around terrific-looking hitter. He worked a walk, too. And he scored the Phillies' run on a Daniel Nava single in the ninth.
What a guy.
Odubel Herrera has doubled in five-straight games. Only two Phillies have doubled in six-straight. Bobby Abreu in 2000 & Heinie Sand in 1925— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) June 7, 2017