The Phillies’ slow start is reaching a snails-jogging pace with an opening series loss to the Reds.
Nick Lodolo pitched seven shutout innings with twelve strikeouts against the Phillies last week and the vibes made it seem like he would inevitably have a repeat performance.
However, the Phillies attacked early with Trea Turner taking a first-pitch fastball to right center. Kyle Schwarber fell behind 0-2 and even took what should’ve been strike three but drew a walk.
Coming into this game, the club ranked just 19th in batting average and 20th in wRC+ with runners in scoring position. Nick Castellanos doesn’t care and takes a down-and-away fastball to right, driving in Turner for an early 1-0 lead.
Bailey Falter also had a solid outing against the Cincinnati Reds last week, going 5 innings and only allowing a Spencer Steer home run.
It’s a different night sadly and Jonathan India proved that, hitting a line drive to left for a leadoff double. With Steer behind in the count 2-0, India gets a late jump stealing third but Edmundo Sosa couldn’t catch JT Realmuto’s throw, the ball easily goes down the third base line and India could walk home.
Jonathan India is a menace on the base paths! pic.twitter.com/4BFg65ItOG— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) April 13, 2023
The Phillies had plenty of chances to break their ineptitude with runners in scoring position. With one out, Edmundo Sosa hits a seeing-eye single between the third baseman and shortstop. Cristian Pache sort of proves Rob Thomson right with a single to right but was nearly caught in a run down before Tyler Stephenson tried to get Sosa out at third.
Turner walked to load the bases but it was all for not when Schwarber hit a 106.4 mph grounder to first.
Curt Casali starts the bottom half of the third with a single to left off a Falter fastball. Jose Barrero would hit into a fielder’s choice. With 2 outs and Barrero on second, Steer continues to dominate Falter with a single into left to give the Reds the lead.
The damage wouldn’t stop there, Stuart Fairchild hit a line drive to left to put runners on first and second. Stephenson inside outs an up and in fastball to right for an RBI. With runners on first and third, Wil Myers takes a hanging changeup to left and made it 4-1.
Kyle Schwarber typically struggles in April but is always a threat to homer, taking Lodolo deep to cut the deficit down to 2 in the top of the fifth.
After a Steer single in the fifth, Trea Turner flashed a little leather and saved a hit from Stuart Fairchild.
After that, Falter just couldn't get out of the fifth, allowing a Stephenson single to put runners on first and second. Thomson went to Andrew Bellatti to face Myers but he hung a slider for an RBI single to make it 5-2.
McKinley Moore had an outing to forget. He hit Kevin Newman, allowed an RBI double to Barrero, hit India, and walked TJ Friedl. He got out of a bases-loaded jam but just didn’t have the command on any of his pitches tonight.
The Phillies’ offense couldn’t battle back the rest of the night. Alex Young pitched two scoreless innings in relief and Derek Law almost finished the ball game before walking Brandon Marsh and allowing a Bryson Stott bunt single.
In a fitting tribute to the fans, Alexis Díaz came into face Trea Turner with runners on first and second with two out. The RISP struggles continue when Turner strikes out on a down-and-away slider to wrap up a snooze fest.
Taijuan Walker gets the ball versus Connor Overton tomorrow night at 6:40. Catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia.