For the most part, the Phillies’ pitchers were good in Tuesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The problem is, due to the continued struggles of the offense, the pitchers would have had to be almost perfect. Alas, they were not, and the Phillies lost by a score of 3-1.
Ranger Suarez got the start for the Phillies, and he delivered a quality start, going 6.2 innings, allowing only one run while striking out seven. Aside from allowing three straight singles in the fourth - resulting in the Rays’ first run - he was able to limit the Rays’ high-scoring offense.
Unfortunately, the Phillies hitters were having even more trouble against the Rays’ pitchers. A Didi Gregorius single and Brad Miller double got the Phillies a run in the fourth, but they only managed to record three base hits - all singles - the rest of the way.
A combination of Drew Rasmussen, Adam Conley, J.T. Chargois, and Andrew Kittredge held the Phillies in check. Kittredge was particularly impressive, throwing his first 17 pitches for strikes, and (despite a long foul ball from Brad Miller that looked promising for a split second) was able to work around a ninth inning single by J.T. Realmuto to record a two-inning save.
Without any run support, the Phillies’ relievers didn’t have any margin for error, and that proved costly when Archie Bradley ran into trouble in the eighth. He allowed the first three batters to reach base, and combined with an error by left fielder Odubel Herrera, the Rays established a two-run lead which would prove sufficient for victory.
The Phillies are now 0-3 against the Rays this season. They’ll have Zack Wheeler on the mound on Wednesday to attempt to avoid the sweep. Wheeler hasn’t been perfect lately, but unless the offense can find a way to come to life, he might have to be.