The Phillies took a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning Wednesday, but were unable to hold on as Minnesota surged back to win the ballgame 4-3.
The Phillies have now lost a season-high five straight games as they fall to 31-35 on the season.
Wednesday’s game was the same type of nightmare they experienced the day before. Their starting pitching was okay, but labored and could not go deep enough. The offense got the team out to a lead but fell silent in the middle and late innings, and the bullpen just could not get the job done with the lead.
Bullpen woes continue
Who can you count on? There seems to be a finite number of pitchers that keep getting opportunities to pitch in big spots and none can ever get the job done. With Cloyd leaving after five innings, the Phillies needed help from the bullpen and did not get it.
Joe Savery allowed a run in the sixth to make it 3-2, and in the eighth the wheels fell off. Antonio Bastardo allowed three straight hits to lead off the inning, including two doubles, which allowed the Twins to tie the game. Justin DeFratus entered, and after recording one out he threw a wild pitch with a runner on third, which gave Minnesota the 4-3 lead.
You almost knew it was going to happen. The Phillies’ 4.48 ERA from relievers is 28th of 30 teams, and they cannot seem to get the big outs when they are needed the most. It is especially discouraging to see Bastardo giving up so much to lefties, when he is really the only guy in the pen that can be used as a lefty specialist.
Offense goes silent again against poor starter
In Milwaukee the Phillies basically faced two relievers making starts, and a struggling Kyle Lohse. Yesterday they faced P.J. Walters, who was making just his fourth start of the season with the Twins. Today the faced Mike Pelfrey, owner of a 3-6 record and 6.40 ERA entering the game today.
The Phillies failed to muster even a respectable offensive attack against any of these pitchers. Tonight, Pelfrey allowed three runs in seven innings and struck out seven.The eighth inning was a microcosm of the offense’s struggles as Ryan Howard struck out looking and Domonic Brown popped out with runners on first and second and a chance to give the Phils some insurance.
The Phillies were retired in order in six innings, and continue to make mediocre pitching and mediocre teams look much better than they are.
Salvaging a game in the series is the best the Phillies can do now as they try to end their losing streak. There is no better guy to send to the mound to go deep into a game and give the Phillies a chance to win than Cliff Lee, who will get the ball tomorrow. he will be opposed by Kevin Correia, who sports a 4.11 ERA and 5-4 record. Game time is at 7:10 CT, 8:10 ET.