When Andrew McCutchen led off Wednesday afternoon’s game with a double, and then scored as part of a two-run first inning, it looked as if the Phillies’ offense had picked up where it left off on Tuesday night. The Phillies seemed poised to terrorize the Red Sox pitching staff for the second straight game, and extend their winning streak to five.
But McCutchen’s hit was one of only three the Phillies tallied all game. The offense largely dried up after the first inning, and the result was a 6-3 loss to the Red Sox that halted the winning streak at four games.
Despite being staked to a two-run lead, starting pitcher Jake Arrieta was unable to hold onto it. The Red Sox tied the game in the third thanks to a two-run home run to Rafael Devers.
Absolute missile off the flag pole by Devers pic.twitter.com/fGGixo5kpd— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) August 19, 2020
When I previewed the series, I mentioned Devers’ struggles this season. He certainly didn’t struggle the past few days, going a combined 6-9 with four RBIs. My bad.
Arrieta wasn’t helped by the severely inconsistent strike zone by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, but he wasn’t sharp either. He walked four batters and couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning.
Not that you needed to see this if you're watching the game, but Phil Gosselin should be upset at this called third strike in the eighth. Not close. pic.twitter.com/9Nr6OzYJaj— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 19, 2020
Facing one of the worst pitching staffs in the majors, the Phillies should have been able to overcome Arrieta’s struggles. But the two-run first inning aside, they couldn’t get much going against Boston starter Kyle Hart nor the four relievers who followed him.
The game ended the Phillies’ win streak, but it also put an end to a nine-game skid by the Red Sox. You figured they were due for a win at some point, but it would have been nice if that could have waited until the weekend.
The Phillies will head to Buffalo for a quick make-up doubleheader against the Blue Jays. The Jays’ pitching has been solid this season, so the Phillies’ offense will need to re-awaken if they want to begin a new winning streak.