Phillies Lose 3 of 4 to Astros – Phillies Nation
2012 Game Recaps

Phillies Lose 3 of 4 to Astros

No one here at Phillies Nation is shocked by this turn of events, especially if you read Eric Seidman’s article on Thursday, accentuating the Phillies/Astros rivalry of the past few seasons. Again, the struggles continues on Sunday as the Phillies fell to the Astros, 7-6, to lose three of four games. The Phillies find themselves 3 1/2 out in the wild card standings. (As of this writing, the Dodgers and Cardinals are tied at 2-2).

What had once been a strength, and very recently, the bullpen again blew up in the later innings. Antonio Bastardo and Phillippe Aumont combined to give up four runs in the seventh, blowing a 4-3 Phillies lead.

Roy Halladay wasn’t great, but was good enough to keep the Phillies in it. He allowed three runs in six innings, but labored by throwing 111 pitches.

With the sticks, six runs should have been more than enough. Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-4 and both Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown knocked in a pair of runs.

So, after another disappointing series against a Houston team that pretty much owns the Phillies, there is much work to be done – and a lot of hoping. There are just 16 games remaining, they’ve slipped one-game under-.500, and they need help from several teams. The Phillies cling to hope, but their pulse is becoming more and more faint.

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  1. Ken Bland

    September 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    If people aren’t sick of talking about this series, I believe this article offers at least some fair consideration of why the Astros have had some September success against the Phils when you wouldn’t expect it based on the talent differential.

    • George

      September 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      I’m not sure I agree with this article. 35 bad players isn’t much better than 25 bad ones. And Manuel, too, was using leftie/rightie matchups the entire series. The only thing helpful might be that there’s no “book” on all those Astros newcomers, and the opposition doesn’t quite know how to handle them. It might also be that the Phils bullpen is inexperienced and bound to blow a couple of games, or that Kendrick was due for a mediocre outing and that Halladay still isn’t 100%.

      • Ken Bland

        September 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

        “And Manuel, too, was using leftie/rightie matchups the entire series”

        Case in point, yesterday, when I couldn’t believe Houston walked RyHo in the ninth to face Chooch, putting the winning run on, and there wasn’t anybody left to pinch run for Howard.

        Maybe I missed something, but that was 1 strange scenario.

      • George

        September 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Strange, perhaps, but that has nothing to do with leftie/rightie matchups. Unless, of course, switching pinch-hitters based on matchups used up all the available speedy base runners.

        It proved to be a moot point, anyway. No one got a hit so Howard didn’t have to run.

  2. Chuck A.

    September 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    @Devin – You said on the gameday thread at 4:40 PM: ” Where’s ChuckA? He needs to come on out and admit that he doesn’t understand football, statistics, and probability”

    Uhhhhh….. Devin… check your facts, bud, before you start calling people out. What I said earlier in the week on the “Not the Astros….Not Now” thread was: “I am going on record as saying that I think the Eagles and Michael Vick have a better chance of beating the Ravens this Sunday than the Phillies making the postseason.”

    You responded by say that that was a “meaningless statement” and then I further responded with this: “How is that meaningless? The Eagles sucked against the Browns, had no business winning that game and Vick looked terrible. The Ravens are a good team, a better team than the Eagles. But the Eagles have a BETTER chance of winning that game than the Phillies do of making the playoffs.”

    Last I checked Devin, the Eagles did win their game today but just barely (wouldn’t have surprised me if they lost) and the Phillies lost 3 of 4 from the Astros which, for all intents and purposes, makes it even MORE unlikely that they make the playoffs. And that’s just what I was alluding to the other day when I said that the Eagles had a better chance of winning than the Phils making the playoffs. Not sure what you think I don’t understand….???…..

    • Ryne Duren

      September 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

      i got your drift chuck when you podted on thurs. and a good reply to devin also!

  3. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    September 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    @Ken: Thanks for the article, it was a very interesting argument to how they attacked the Phils this series.

    However, somewhere hidden in the team’s vault is a sacred curse penned by Nolan Ryan and the entire 1980 Houston Astros after game five of NLCS versus the Phillies. I think the curse was signed in blood by the entire team, and has instructions for its invocation each time the future Astros’ teams would play the Phillies in important games in September.

    Or, we could just go with the simpler version: The Phils just $hit the bed on their playoff chances, plain and simple.
    Despite our hunt for the second wildcard painfully coming to its end, I’m still hoping against the odds….

  4. Art

    September 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    It should not be a surprise to see the Phillies lose to the Astros. They are not a good team, and they need so much help in so many areas. Nice to see Charlie and his troops make the effort to be presentable, but that’s about as far as it goes. Needing help from others is no way to go about getting into the playoffs.

    While I would like to see Charlie remain, I think the team would be advised to find new talent in management – specifically pitching coach and hitting coach. If the team’s performance is a true measure of their influence, we’d be best served with no one in those positions.

    Rubin needs to be active in the off-season. Not wait until Spring training or the trading deadline as he has in the past, but early on.

    • schmenkman

      September 17, 2012 at 7:56 am

      Even after the disaster in Houston, the Phillies are 36-24 since the all star break, when they’ve been at close to full strength. I don’t really see how they are “not a good team”.

      • George

        September 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

        I hope all the whiny “fans” read this comment.

        The Phils have a couple of holes, but they are not as bad as people think.

  5. bacardipr

    September 17, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I agree with you Art. The big problem for Rube is going to be 3rd base and also acquiring more talent with the payroll they already have. The Phils have to find the next Shane or Werth for cheap as well. Using them as example but they going to have to fill some of them holes with cheap talent.

  6. bacardipr

    September 17, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Ps…they also going to have to find another bonafide 8th inning guy. At least for a year until they can sort out which of there recent bullpen call ups are MLB pitchers and which are AAA-A types.

  7. schmenkman

    September 17, 2012 at 7:50 am

    This was an extremely frustrating series, but not completely shocking. One week earlier these same Astros went into Cincinnati, who was 83-55 at the time, and took 2 of 3 from one of the best teams in baseball.

    • Chuck A.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

      For this young Astros team this is their season. Knocking off contending teams like they are. They have something to prove and to play for in that they are auditioning for full-time jobs for next season and beyond. Those two kids Altuve and Maxwell are gonna be good players. Dominguez, too. I’m not at all shocked by the weekend. A little surprised that it wasn’t at least a split, though.

      • Ken Bland

        September 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

        I’m inclined to agree with everything you said, player potential, too.

        But I still am bummed out.

        Tough reconciliation.

      • Ryne Duren

        September 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

        i agree on all your points chuck and also i am bummed like ken is.
        on another subject, i’d like to say that charlie over the years has given us lots to cheer about with going to the series 2 times and 5 div titles and i give him kudos for that. but also over those years his deficiencies were glossed over by a very dominant team. with the direction the phils are going now and i don’t mean losing, but the changing of the guard so to speak player wise. there’s onlyi think 7 players left from the 2 series we were in. i think it’s time to move on with the coaching staff to accomidate the younger players that are going to be coming up the next few yrs. cholly is not a proponant of playing younger guys until they prove themselves, yet he rarely gives them a chance. i know we’re in the hunt for a 2cd wildcard birth but i’m looking at the reality of the situation not my feelings of what i want them to do. i also think the phils brass are operating on the feeling aspect and not the reality.

        let me put it this way. if we lose 2 of 3 to the stinkin mutts. they have to face reality and go forward. changes have to be made. we’re all banking on them fixing their problems in the offseason. i’m hoping that too. but if we don’t try to find out what we have here that would help us, it only makes it harder in the offseason. buying players is a crapshoot. just because they’re willing to spend doesn’t mean it’s gonna work.

      • George

        September 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

        I totally disagree with your statement that Manuel doesn’t give young players a chance. I’ll give some examples of some young players he has used and, except for the injured ones, continues to use:

        Kratz (not exactly young, but still it’s his first full year)

        These are just some of them. If you wish to go back a few years, you can add Hamels and Kendrick, who were both put in the starting rotation as soon as they were called up, proven or not.

  8. The Original Chuck P

    September 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Look on the bright side… the Astros will be in the American League next year so they won’t have the opportunity to do this again (hopefully ever).

    This stings big time. Should have won 3 out of 4… have to get back on track and stay there.

    • Chuck A.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      See….this doesn’t sting for me. Even in the middle of the surge last week I said that I didn’t think they would make the postseason. This isn’t their year and that’s ok. Think where they were just a few weeks ago! Finish at .500 with some momentum going into the off-season when some serious re-tooling can happen. They’ll be back in 2013.

      • The Original Chuck P

        September 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm

        A lot of people had written them off… rightfully so. It would be very fitting if we ended this season one game back but I continue to believe in this team. I always have believed in this team. I had one momentary lapse (the Chipper Jones game) of frustration where I said that they were cooked but the resiliency of this team doesn’t surprise me – I’ve come to expect it. Regardless, this is invaluable experience for a lot of young players but I’m hoping that they can claw their way into the playoffs… somehow.

      • George

        September 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

        You’re right in saying this isn’t their year. Look at some of the things that have happened. Utley was out; his replacement broke his back. Schierholtz was acquired and almost immediately broke his foot. Frandsen took the injured Polanco’s place, and developed a stress fracture of the tibia.

        These were all in addition to Utley, Howard, Lee, Halladay, Worley, Polanco, and Ruiz (all key players) being on the DL at some point in the season.

        I know that injuries are no excuse and that other teams have had injuries, too. But let’s face it, when the guys you get to cover for your regulars get injured, too, it’s a little beyond most teams’ injuries, and you aren’t going to get very far.

        Oh, I forgot the DL stints of about half the bullpen, and bench guys Nix, Schneider, and Martinez.

  9. Lefty

    September 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Oh what great timing to have to face RA Dickey tonight. We have one player besides Chooch that has good career numbers against him, and he wasn’t even here until the Pence trade.

    I have faith that Charlie is paying attention, and when the lineups come out, he’ll start Schierholtz tonight. 7AB’s, 3 hits, 2 HR’s

    For the most part Dickey has dominated everyone else.

  10. The Original Chuck P

    September 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I started off the comments on that Seidman post by saying, “I hope that you don’t regret writing this.” The reality is that when you write a post like that – suggesting that your team is about to lose a heartbreaking series – you cannot win. If your team wins, you feel good about that but you have a lot of readers that are ultimately going to come back and call you an idiot. If your team loses and you get to say, “I told you so” then you have to face the reality that you may have just called the demise of your team. I didn’t feel good about that series, at all. I don’t see how anyone could. The series played out the way a lot of people expected it to… starting Cloyd on short rest on a travel day across time zones was a bad idea. His 3 inning dud set the tone. We should have wasted Papelbon in that one (for two innings) because Friday was a gimme with Hamels on the mound. Kendrick came back down to Earth and Halladay looked like he has looked all year… good but not great. I mean, that’s a great start for most pitchers but for Halladay… he labored through six against a young Astros team.

    We will probably look back on this one as the one that did us in but the Cardinals were 4.5 games back on this date last season and we’re only 4 games back. We can pick up a 1/2 game tonight. 15 games left… let’s win ’em all and see where we end up.

    • George

      September 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Starting Cloyd may have been a bad idea, but there was no one else available. It would likely have been his day to throw a “bullpen session” anyway, and he (unlike all the other starters) hadn’t thrown very many pitches in his previous outing.

  11. bacardipr

    September 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I want to add one thing about using (giving young players a shot) young players or not using them. I think this is more on Rube than Cholly. Rube is the one that will go out and sign a 39 yo catcher for example. Cholly cant use the so called player if Rube doesnt call them up.

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