It felt like this one was over early. After the Braves scored 10 runs in the top of the second inning, fans could have been excused if they chose to switch the channel to the (gulp) Flyers game.
It was nice of Jake Arrieta to allow us to concentrate all of our focus on the Flyers— The Smarty Jones (@TheSmartyJones) August 30, 2020
But the Phillies’ batters weren’t content to go quietly into the night. At one point they cut the deficit to one run, but ultimately couldn’t overcome the struggles of the pitching staff, and lost 12-10.
Coming off a solid start against the Nationals, Jake Arrieta was awful on Sunday night. He couldn’t seem to locate any of his pitches, and the final seven batters he faced reached base. This prompted the first ever appearance by David Hale in a Phillies uniform...and he allowed hits to the next two batters. He managed to record an out before Austin Riley ended the rally with a two-run home run.
425-foot shot from Austin Riley pic.twitter.com/sdA7xh3y2S— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) August 31, 2020
Didi Gregorius homered in what seemed like a “cosmetic” run in the bottom of the inning, but the third is when things got serious. Facing the Braves’ brand new starter Tommy Milone, the Phillies went to work. Eleven batters reached the plate, and the Phillies scored six runs, prompting Braves fans to question if there was a return policy on their new trade acquisition
Can we send Tommy Milone back to Baltimore? Asking for a friend. #ChopOn— John (@section7guy) August 31, 2020
The teams traded runs over the next two innings, but then things surprisingly got quiet for a few innings. Perhaps the most surprising thing was that Vince Velasquez gave the Phillies two scoreless - if not particularly clean - innings.
In the eighth inning, the Phillies got two more back thanks to back-to-back shots by Roman Quinn and Andrew McCutchen.
Andrew McCutchen goes back-to-back with Roman Quinn. #Phillies within a run in the 8th... #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/uRwyWZiS2a— Justin Groc (@jgroc) August 31, 2020
Unfortunately, that was all the Phillies had in them. Despite getting the leadoff hitter aboard in the ninth, Mark Melancon was able to retire the side and preserve the win.
It was a disappointing end to the series, as Arrieta didn’t even give them a chance to complete the sweep. While this outing may have bloated it a bit, his 6.49 ERA is worrisome. Scoring ten runs is a good formula for victory most nights, but not if the starting pitcher is going to get knocked out of the game in the second inning.