After demolishing the Milwaukee Brewers on Labor Day, the mood amongst most Phillies fans was cautiously pessimistic. While we enjoyed seeing the Phillies administer a butt-kicking to a first place team, many fans fully expected the team to follow it up by falling flat on their faces.
You're not a real Phillies fan unless your first reaction after seeing they are winning 12-0 is "they are getting shut out tomorrow"— J.T. (@JohnT41845158) September 6, 2021
Sometimes you can predict baseball. One day after they did just about everything right, the Phillies’ pitching sucked, the defense sucked, and a day after putting up 12 runs, the offense put a grand total of zero runs on the scoreboard. The result was a 10-0 loss that was easy to see coming.
In my series preview, I predicted we’d get a good start out of Aaron Nola. He didn’t necessarily pitch poorly on Tuesday, but I don’t think anyone would call what he did “good” either. In the third inning, he did that thing he’s done too often this year: Give up strings of hits.
Leadoff hitter Lorenzo Cain led off the inning with a single, and even though Nola was able to pick him off, he still gave up hits to the next four batters. I’m not smart enough to be able to identify what’s wrong with Nola, but it seems that part of the problem is Nola’s belief that his curveball is an effective put-away pitch.
Two things Aaron Nola should have less faith in:— Smarty Jones Esq. (@TheSmartyJones) September 8, 2021
1. His body’s natural immunity to COVID
2. His curveball
Ramon Rosso entered the game in the sixth inning, and came REALLY close to pitching a 1-2-3 inning. He got the first two batters, and then struck out the third. The problem was that strike three was also a wild pitch that catcher Rafael Marchan didn’t have a chance of catching.
Given extra life, the next four Brewers reached base - including a bases loaded walk to pitcher Eric Lauer - and the game was quickly reaching “out of reach” territory. Cam Bedrosian and Enyel de los Santos made absolutely sure of that by allowing four runs over the next two innings.
Speaking of Lauer, he kept the Phillies offense in check. A day after treating Brewers pitching like batting practice, the Phillies had only five hits, and didn’t really come all that close to scoring a run.
The good news is that just as Monday’s success only counted for one win in the standings, this one only counted as one loss. And since momentum means absolutely nothing to the Phillies, it’s very possible that they can rebound to win the series finale on Wednesday.