One pitch. That’s all it took for Mike Adams to serve up a line drive home run to Miguel Montero in the eighth inning of a 2-2 game. The bomb down the rightfield line would be the difference in tonight’s game, as the Phils dropped their second straight to Arizona and third straight overall losing.
In a lot of ways, the homer seemed inevitable. After the Phils started fast, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, the bats went cold. From riches to rags in an instant. And while the pitching did its part, desperately trying to nurse a one-run lead as it became apparent the offense had nothing more to contribute, the ominous feeling that eventually the bottom would drop out crept over the Phillies dugout. When Montero tagged Adams, destiny had been fulfilled. The Phils are now five games under .500 for the second time this season. After tonight’s 3-2 loss, they’ve lost three one run games in a row.
ROLLINS SPARKS THE BATS…BUT NOT FOR LONG
Jimmy Rollins jumpstarted the offense in a hurry tonight when he sent the first offering from Ian Kennedy over the wall in right center for his 44th career leadoff home run. It looked to be the start of a big inning when Chase Utley hit one off the wall in center, but he was gunned down trying to stretch a double into a triple for the first out. The play seemed to sap a lot of the energy from the inning. However, the Phils would continue to battle, getting another run when Domonic Brown drove in Michael Young. It marked the first time the Phils managed two runs in the first since April 21. The good times would not last.After that first inning, the Phils fell back into their usual routine, working bad at bats and generally failing to produce positive outcomes at the plate. They chased out of the zone on a lot of balls and bailed a wild Ian Kennedy out. He had no business pitching deep into this game, but the Phils let him. When they made contact, they got under the ball. John Mayberry and Ryan Howard both hit long outs to the deepest part of the yard, just missing hittable fastballs up in the zone. They only had (three) hits after their four-hit first inning. Merriam Webster couldn’t define ineptitude more accurately than what the Phillies did on offense tonight after the first.
In one final kick in the teeth, The Phillies would get runners on second and third with one out in the ninth inning. But you already know how this scenario ends. Two outs on the infield, and the game was over.
CLOYD DEBUTS TO POSITIVE REVIEWS
With Roy Halladay on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the Phillies are looking for someone to step in and give them quality performances in the rotation over the long haul. Whether that will be Tyler Cloyd or not remains to be seen. Tonight, he took a step in the right direction.
Cloyd started the game with a four-pitch walk, and things didn’t get much better when he allowed a run on a two-out double. It looked like he might be in for a rocky night. He settled in from there, however, throwing five clean innings, including inducing an inning-ending doubleplay in the fourth and sixth innings, before allowing a hit to leadoff the seventh when he was lifted for Antonio Bastardo. Cloyd’s final line: 6.1, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.
Stuff wise, Cloyd wasn’t fantastic. He was a little wild, and the Diamondbacks missed on some mistakes. But he battled and found ways to get outs. The three walks weren’t great, but he limited the hits to keep his WHIP under 1.00. Early in this process to see if Cloyd can be the guy, that’s something to be encouraged about.
BULLPEN CAN’T HOLD THE LEAD
In relief of Cloyd, and trying to protect a 2-1 lead with a runner on base, Antonio Bastardo was unable to get the job done, allowing Cody Ross (God, I hate him!) to score on a two-out double by Martin Prado to tie the game. The Phils would catch a break when Prado was caught stealing during the next at-bat to end the inning. After what happened with Adams, that break would prove meaningless.