In the fourth inning, I looked at the screen and said “Okay, Zach Eflin. The score is 1-0. I can’t allow you to allow any more runs. This Phillies offense can’t handle it.” On the very next pitch, a San Diego player sent a ball over the fence, giving the Padres a 2-0 lead.
If I had shut up, would the Phillies have won? Who knows. It doesn’t matter, because they lost 2-0 and it was depressing.
The Phillies faced a rookie making his major league debut tonight, a guy named Jacob Nix. And in the first few inning, it looked like they were getting to him. He allowed two singles and a walk in the first inning, and a single and a walk in the second. But after that, he settled down and held the Phillies to four hits and no runs.
The Phillies actually managed to hit the ball around somewhat, getting some hard whacks to various parts of the field, but they were almost always hit right to a fielder.
Their best chance to score came in the seventh. Maikel Franco singled, and then Jorge Alfaro walked. They had two on with no outs, but two straight strikeouts and a ground out ended that scoring chance. In fact, almost the exact same thing happened in the ninth inning. The first two hitters in the inning singled, and it looked like the Phillies could maybe tie or win or maybe just score a single run. But two strikeouts and a ground out ended the game.
I don’t even want to talk about poor Zach Eflin, who struck out eight and had a pretty good outing, but had nothing to show for it. Allowing two runs over six innings is a great start, and he could have gone at least another inning. When he was replaced by a pinch hitter during that ultimately futile seventh inning scoring opportunity, he’d only thrown 90 pitches.
Games like this are so tough on pitchers. Eflin, Adam Morgan, and Luis Garcia all did great. But because the Phillies couldn’t score, it was all for naught.
The Phillies have been shut out in two straight games. Going back even further, they haven’t scored a run in 19 straight innings. The Braves won tonight, so now they’re now tied for first place.