Phils Let One Slip Away In Houston – Phillies Nation
2012 Game Recaps

Phils Let One Slip Away In Houston

Tyler Cloyd could only give three innings tonight, setting up the Phillies for a tough road to victory. Photo: AP

As our own Eric Seidman outlined earlier today, facing the Astros in a late-season series has presented more than a few disappointments over the last decade. From the puzzling to the downright agonizing, the Phillies have found many ways to allow the ‘stros to beat them in recent history. Those bad memories undoubtedly caused a bit of trepidation as the Phils entered this crucial series in Houston. Winning the first game would be paramount to calming nerves. Instead, the Phils would compound the tension, falling to Houston 6-4, blowing a late lead, and squandering an opportunity to gain some ground in the standings.

Cloyd On Short Rest

– The Phillies were in a pinch with their starting pitching tonight. With a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins on Sunday, Manuel and Dubee were forced to start rookie Tyler Cloyd on three days rest. For three innings, Cloyd pitched well, even working out of a jam in the third. Then came the fourth inning.

– The frame started with two straight bloop singles. They were promptly followed by a three-run home run, the fourth Cloyd’s allowed since his call up a couple weeks ago. Nursing a one-run lead, Manuel quickly came up the dugout stairs to pull Cloyd. With two bloop hits and a bomb, his night was over after 65 pitches. It was on the bullpen to get eighteen outs.

Bullpen Can’t Finish It Off

– The biggest reason for the rapid ascent in the standings for the Phillies has been excellent pitching, particularly out of the bullpen, which seems to finally be stabilizing after months of torment. Tonight, though, the ‘pen would be asked to go above and beyond their regular duties, forced to pitch six innings nursing a slim lead. For a while, it looked like they just might pull it off. B.J. Rosenberg threw two innings of one-hit baseball. Josh Lindblom pitched in another scoreless frame. Antonio Bastardo let the tying run get into scoring position, but managed to get out of the inning.

– Then came Phillippe Aumont, who was pitching for the fifth time in five days. The heavy workload seemed to affect him, as he ran a three-ball count to the first three hitters he faced, hit a batter and wasn’t nearly electric as he has been. He did get two outs, but he had to be lifted with two on and two outs. It may be time to give him a day off. It was up to Jake Diekman to finish off the inning. He was not up the task, allowing the two-run double that would seal the Phillies’ fate. He’d allow another run to score for good measure, and suddenly the Phils went from eking out a tight victory to letting one slip away.

Offensive Disappearance

– The Phillies’ bats came out slugging loudly tonight. For three innings, they looked like they might put up ten runs. As quickly as they got started, they faded into silence.

Erik Kratz got the scoring started when he doubled in Domonic Brown in the second inning. After leading the team in OPS (.864) during the month of August, Kratz has cooled off a bit in the month of September. Coming into tonight, he had posted just a .458 OPS since September 1. The RBI was also the first for Kratz in more than a week and was a very encouraging sign. It’d be nice to see him start slugging again. He finished the night 1-for-4. The Phillies tacked on three more runs in the third, but they would shut it down after that. It most definitely cost the team, which was looking for some help from the offense tonight.

Please Not Again

– For Phillies fans, tonight’s loss had to feel all too familiar. This has been the script against the Astros. Throughout the game, I felt very tense, but was confident they’d be able to hang on. As soon as Diekman allowed the two-run double, all those old bad feelings came rushing back. Losing the first game to Houston is particular damning, as the Phils are now forced to win three straight if they hope to keep in this race. Anything less has to be considered unacceptable.

Game Notes

Jimmy Rollins recorded his career 400th stolen base in the eighth inning.

– The chase for a wild card spot continues tomorrow night in Houston when Cole Hamels (14-6, 3.03) takes on Edgar Gonzalez (2-0, 1.74).

Click to comment


  1. Jeff

    September 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Dominic brown sucks. Mayberry is average. Pen is horrible

    6-0 comeback by the Astros. Are you kidding me.

  2. Ken Bland

    September 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Tough loss. Hard to believe the score stayed put from the 4th into the 8th. Aumont pitched 5 straight days. Big, strong, young, but that’s a tall order. Not sure what the solution was, but can’t help but wonder if there might not have been a place for Horst in the mix.

    All I can say is when the Rox won 21 of 22, it wasn’t the 22nd game that they lost.

    When Bill Walton hit 21 of 22 from the floor against Memphis State, it wasn’t the 22nd shot he missed.

  3. DavidE

    September 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    The pitching staff is tired even with the expanded rosters. Just too much work given to Aumont this week. Cloyd was on 3 days rest. Papelbon has pitched four times in the past four days so he wasn’t really an 8th inning option.

    The Phillies have some how been getting by. If you look at today’s starting lineup, 4 of the starters (Kratz, Frandsen, Brown, Cloyd) were in Triple A in June. The Phillies used at least 8 players today who were Lehigh Valley IronPigs at some point in the season. (Orr, Aumont, Rosenberg and Diekman are the others.) WIth this roster, they have somehow made a run.

    Just have to win tommorrow. Probably 14 wins is the minimum it will take for the Phillies to tie or win the wildcard.

  4. toddfromfairmount

    September 13, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I felt they should have kept the slop in the 7th then bring Bastardo in the 8th ect…

  5. Scruf

    September 14, 2012 at 12:09 am

    This loss sucked but nothing else we can do but come back and win tomorrow. I’m a frustrated fan right now, but things are far from over yet. Cole gets us back on track tomorrow.

  6. Andrew from Waldorf

    September 14, 2012 at 1:07 am

    They are not winning them all.

    2 more losses are acceptable

    • George

      September 14, 2012 at 8:32 am

      I totally agree. This is the sentiment we all need to have. No team wins every game. With the tired bullpen and a rookie starter on short rest, this is the loss that shouldn’t have surprised anyone.

      • Chuck A.

        September 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

        And I’m not surprised. In fact, I kinda called it. Win the next 3 and have the Dodgers beat up on The Cards and we have a net GAIN in the standings. I still think it’s a long shot…but I am hopeful.

      • Ken Bland

        September 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm

        And you were no doubt thinking of all those things when the Phils had a 4-0 lead.

        I don’t care if you win 2,000 games in a row. You lead 4-0, you give it up, then have at least 2 innings in a row where you have 2 men on (loaded, one of them), after, you can justify it anyway you want, it was a failure to take advantage of a terrific, much needed opportunity.

        You move forward, but the Phillies already depleted their savings account of rationalizing losses some time back. It’s not as simple as an oh, well type reaction. Forward march.

  7. Cs

    September 14, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Please use ruf as more then a bench cusion.

  8. RatBastardNJ

    September 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I agree with the pitching staff showing their wear. I typically try not to second guess the coaching staff but I was certainly questioning using Aumont again. He has been terrific for the team and I am hopeful he can carry it through to next year and stay with the big club…but he is still on a learning curve and to use him that many days in a row just has to be seen as a red flag. I am not sure why all of a sudden Horst has become a forgotten man or even Bastardo has not thrown as much but maybe Charlie was saving them for the 9th. Disappointing loss as they have been holding these leads but we have three studs throwing the next three games…a new winning streak starts tonight!!

    • George

      September 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Aumont did get two outs, and when he showed he wasn’t really as high octane as usual, he was pulled. I can’t really question that, because no one else has been as effective, and almost all of them have been used a lot lately.

      I will agree, though, that Horst may have been a better option than Diekman. But maybe not.

  9. Craig

    September 14, 2012 at 10:16 am

    come on cards keep winning. i want this team to suffer like they did to me all year

    i want charlie to leave. ruin to leave. jimmy to leave. polly to break legs. ryan to finally earn
    his money. big dookie. this team needs to be overhauled.

    • Chuck A.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Yup. They had you personally in mind with each and every loss they endured.

      • schmenkman

        September 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

        Chuck, I admire you. That’s about the nicest response one could possibly have.

      • Chuck A.

        September 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

        Yeah, maybe I should have really ripped him because I doubt he even gets the sarcasm in my response.

  10. Stuart

    September 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I have been trying to stay confident to all my friends here in NY when they would through the Yankees in my face and it seems like the tides are turning. The past couple years the team that gets hot and gets in via wildcard goes on to win and this year I think it could be the Phillies. With 3 aces it plays right into our hands having a play in game.

    Check out some these great deals and help me out!!!! Thanks!!

  11. Brain

    September 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Calm those nerves folks. The Phils need to be Aiming for a record of 87-75: completely doable considering how hot theyve been. Anything extra is gravy as far as Im concerned.

    Was it disappinting to drop game 1 and break the streak? Yes. But realistically, they werent going to go and win every game from here on out. They really can stand to cushion as many as 3 more losses considering how the other teams are playing. a close out record 15-3 is the math for the post season.

  12. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    September 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    You can’t fault Aumont, he has to be tired and not used to five consecutive games. We cannot expect them to win every game either. Let’s restart the streak today. Although, I am not sure why they didn’t use Horst. He has pitched well all season.

  13. Ken Bland

    September 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    In response to the story that Larry Bowa interviewed with the Houston club today, “about baseball matters”, no less, here’s what one fan offered as a reaction…

    “Dating back to the 1980 NLCS when Bowa was SS for the Phillies, I’ve found it difficult to find any redeeming qualities about him. My disdain for Pete Rose and the city of Philadelphia probably has a lot to do with this”.

    They say everyone in the world has a twin.

    Perhaps I am the only one with a polar opposite.

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