2013 Game Recaps

Braves Hammer Phillies

Hamels has been a victim of poor run support all season. (Photo: AP)

The Braves had plenty to celebrate tonight. (Photo: AP)

The Phillies are the most unpredictable team game-to-game. Sometimes they come out and play well, like last night, and sometimes, well, they look like they don’t belong anywhere near a Major League baseball diamond.

Tonight’s game was an example of the latter. The Phillies combined a bad start with absolutely no offense, a bad effort from the bullpen, and a laughable performance in the field to put together a ghastly 13-4  defeat at the hands of the Braves.


– During tonight’s broadcast, they showed a graphic indicating that the Braves are just 5-36 when they fail to homer in a game. I thought to myself, “Huh. If Kendrick can keep these guys from going deep, we have a pretty good shot here.” Easier said than done. Like clockwork, Chris Johnson, leading off the game, sent the next pitch into the left field seats to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. It was an early indication that it was the dreaded Lyle Kendrick–the ill-equipped doppelganger of Kyle Kendrick who throws a flat sinker and makes getting outs about as difficult as landing a human being on Mars–that was pitching for the Phils. The Braves would tack on two more with a two-run dinger in the second from (Guess who?!) Dan Uggla.

– Kendrick was being tagged early and often. Even the hits that weren’t home runs were well struck. As good as he’s been against Atlanta in his career, he just didn’t seem to have it tonight. Not only was the ball hit hard consistently off him, he struggled to get guys out quickly. Runners reached base in every inning. Through two innings, he had thrown 44 pitches. Through four, he’d thrown 81. By the time the end of the fifth came around, he had fired 100 pitches and allowed 6 runs, 11 hits and 2 walks. It was then that Charlie Manuel mercifully removed the ailing pitcher from the ballgame.


– As bad as Kendrick was tonight, the bullpen wasn’t exactly setting them down with relative ease. After pitching a scoreless sixth, Joe Savery allowed four runs in the seventh, including the Braves’ third home run of the game to Jason Heyward, a three-run shot to make it 10-1. That brought on Phillippe Aumont, who I guess felt 10-1 wasn’t embarrassing enough. The Braves would score another one off him. Jake Diekman, not wanting to be left out, also allowed a run in the ninth.


– After a quiet first and second, the Phils finally scraped out a run in third on a Jimmy Rollins single, set up by back-to-back seeing eye singles from Chase Utley and Ben Revere. Domonic Brown struck out with runners of the corners to end the threat. Those two sentences: those are the only things of note that happened with the offense tonight. That says how pathetic the Phillies offense was tonight better than I ever could.

– I take that back. One other cool thing did happen with the offense tonight. Darin Ruf made his 2013 debut, and singled in his first at bat. It was a grounder that just squirted through the right side, but it’s a hit all the same. He came around to score after a passed ball, a ground out and a fly out.  Let Ruf mania begin!

Michael Young homered in the ninth to make it 13-4.  The Phils would still lose by two possessions.


– After Brian McCann lead off the fifth with a double, the Phillies ran a pick off play on himand caught him sleeping off of second base. On a timing play, Rollins sneaked behind McCann, Kendrick wheeled and fire, and if Rollins had caught the ball, they would have had the long-time Braves catcher by a mile. Unfortunately, Rollins couldn’t catch the ball and the play wasn’t executed. It was ruled an error and McCann came around to score an unearned run.

– The Braves scored their sixth run in the same inning after M. Young booted a ball hit to third to allow Justin Upton to reach. Upton, in the ultimate symbolism, ended up scoring on another ground ball that glanced off the glove of Young. Both plays were inexplicably ruled a hit, but both were clearly balls Young should have had. He also failed to get to a couple other balls that were within his range that were ruled hits earlier in the game. It was an all around bad night at the hot corner for Young, even if the score book won’t reflect it.

– Utley also had a groundball go through his legs in the seventh. That one was correctly ruled an error. Not a great showing by the Phillies defense tonight.


– The Braves had a season-high in hits (19) and season-low in strikeouts (4). Truly, a terrible effort from Phillies pitching.

– The  grudge match is tomorrow at 1:35. Jonathan Pettibone (4-3, 3.99) takes on Kris Medlen (6-7, 3.11)



  1. Ken Bland

    July 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    That’s a good job by the respective parties naming the right 2 Phillies to the AS team. I’d say it’s a special achievement for Dom Brown, but a wise person don’t never take these accomplishments for granted, so in many ways, it’s an equal achievement for Cliff. Neither Papelbon or Utley would be an embarrassing addition due to a late scratch, but it’s nice to see Marco Scutaro get some appreciation, and it’d be pretty funny if Puig squuezes a berth leaving Papelbon to study trade rumors. It’d be a different kind of funny if Pence squeezes that final berth.

    Now if only the damned thing inspired care.

  2. George

    July 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    After a game like this, anything would be considered coming back well, David.

    I think the official scorers on this one should be flogged unmercifully with Michael Young’s glove. And the bullpen should stand before a firing squad.

    There’s no hope for any team with such shoddy defense and a relief corps that can’t consistently hit the corners but does consistently hit bat barrels.

    And no, Ryan Howard is not going to heat up in the second half.

  3. Double Trouble Del

    July 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    RAJ saw all he needed to see tonight. Start workin’ the phones Mr. Amaro.

  4. DavidE

    July 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Depressing performance. A true team effort. Kendrick pitched poorly, M. Young boots a few ball at third base, Utley lets one go through his legs and the bullpen gave up 7 runs. The team doesn’t get any extrabase hits unitl it doesn’t mater.I guess the big question is who plays first base now. Frandsen might be the best option but maybe Ruf will surprise. L. Nix has generally been a disappointment this year. Anyway, the good news from tonight is that it only counts as 1 loss. Phillies have actually come back well after these really bad games.

  5. Bruce

    July 7, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Depressing is one feeling; resignation is another for this forlorn team. Those are my feelings tonight as the Phillies were an embarrassment before a National TV audience. Bad ratings for Fox Sports network tonight (wink, wink).

    This loss is another sign; exhibit A, B or whatever, that this team no longer seem to have life as their morale takes a deeper plunge with the news that Ryan Howard goes to the DL with chronic inflammation of his knee and scheduled for an MRI in a few days.

    As the Phillies fall deeper in the standings (8 and a half games back of the Braves), I think GM Amaro is at the crossroad in making a crucial decision that will decide the fate of this team for this season and possibly longer as the trade deadline approaches.

    Unless this team makes a miraculous turnaround inspite of all the issues in the next three plus weeks, I think Amaro will become a partial “seller”; certainly nothing drastic. I can see Michael Young or Delmon Young as likely candidates to go in return for a few prospects to replendish the farm system. If and when that happens, it will be a long hot summer as the “dog days” are upon the Phillies BEFORE the month of August.

    • jobang

      July 7, 2013 at 6:48 am

      Nothing drastic! Take off those rose colored glasses. What r u going to get for the Youngs? Squat. Drastic times call for drastic measures.0

  6. Chuck A.

    July 7, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Forget last night. Win today and it’s 2 of 3 against the Braves….following 2 of 3 from the first-place Buccos. That’s how they have to look at it from now on in. One game at a time, one series at a time. 74 games left.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

      I agree Chuck… this is just one loss… lets wait til the deadline to blow it up

  7. Brooks

    July 7, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Depression, resignation – hey, what about some hope here guys?
    Dig deep, I know.
    I suppose if Ruf takes advantage of HIS time here at the end of the year there could be some value – maybe.
    Anyway, where do you start? I have thought in the past that these mid-year trades (for the Phils anyway) were all part of a boost to get them to the promised land – well, that ain’t gonna happen so where do you start?
    Who would possibly want to take on that silly Papelbon contract?
    Who would possibly want to take on Howards contract?
    Who wants an aging catcher (Pugs was the exception to that rule)?
    Who wants any of our BP??
    And what needs to be our starting point? So many questions!

    • George

      July 7, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Ruiz is actually one of the Phils’ better trade chips, because there is almost no available catching out there. He’s not paid exorbitantly, and a team needing a push now would only be committed to him untile the end of the year. The problem, though, is that there is no one currently who is ready to replace him in Philadelphia, and probably no one will be ready in 2014, either.

      There is always hope, but as games grow fewer and the team doesn’t appear to be improving at all, hope will rightfully be disappearing. While it would be easy to discount last night’s game as just a fluke, the trouble is that it hasn’t been just a fluke; the team has had games like this every week, sometimes twice a week. They’re playing somewhat better lately, but it still hasn’t been enough.

      Perhaps it’s time to transfer our hope from a possible decent finish this year to the hope that some of the team’s pieces can help supply some much-needed new talent. It’s sometimes surprising what some of those high-salaried players can bring back.

      • hk

        July 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

        I agree that catchers are in relatively low supply and they’re also in demand. Throw in that there’s no way the Phils will make Chooch a qualifying offer and Chooch should be a lock to get traded. Chooch would surely be an upgrade for the Yankees and Tigers among others.

      • Ken Bland

        July 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

        That’s not a bad mention of Detroit, but for them to go after Chooch, they’d pretty much have to write off Alex Avilla. Tough to imagine Alex feeling at home there for any possible future if they disfavor him for the rest of the year. Now back up depth, that might be different.

      • hk

        July 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm


        Avila’s batting .177, which is why I mentioned the Tigers. I could see Detroit renting Chooch for 2 months, then going back to Avila next year.

      • Ken Bland

        July 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        I know Alex has had a rough go offensively, and he’s not been consistent. But the idea of going Chooch for a couple months then going back just doesn’t seem too likely. Just my guess. Certainly an interesting mention. Out of the box thinking is good winning strategy a lot of the time.

    • Ken Bland

      July 7, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Oh, yeah, MORE than wholeheartedly agree that Ruiz is like a diamond trade chip. Relatively cheap, expiring contract, he’s a tremendous target to go for. He could easily be a defensive differencemaker.

      The starting point question is a really good one. Honestly, I wouldn’t begin to even guess how much it matters, let alone where to start.


      • Double Trouble Del

        July 7, 2013 at 9:05 am

        Its a shame that Tommy Joseph is playing so poorly in the minors. He really doesn’t seem to have recovered from the concussion he suffered earlier this year. A plus performance from Joseph would have made moving Ruiz a much easier decision.

  8. Ryne Duren

    July 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Right now I would trade both Youngs. Get a bullpen piece for one and a prospect for the other. Take your choice of who for what. Move brown to right where his good arm can be utilized, put Ruf in left, bring up Asche to play third and Murphy to Play first. Then see what happens. Can they be any worse than what we have? D. young is a losey RFer, M young is a losey third basemen and he doesn’t do much offensively, yeah his BA is decent but look at his production. what’s he got 23 rbi ? he’s on a pace for less than 50 for the year? D young has been hitting of late but I think Ruf would do better. If they fall out 10 plus games before the 31st then Rollins and Utley should go also, and papelbon. You don’t need a closer if you aren’t close to winning games or in contention. see what you can get for them. If utly won’t bring you anything because of pending free agency then let him play it out and see if he can stay healthy. sign Ruiz for a 0ne year with an option, same with Utley. If they don’t sign then you get draft picks for them and bring up the closest thing to a major league catcher you got Rupp! yea he’s young but he’s got good instincts. let the young ones play. They’ll see more enthusiasm from the fan base than they would with this underperforming group of aging stars.

    • George

      July 7, 2013 at 11:39 am

      They can only get draft picks for Utley and Ruiz if they make qualifying offers. It might be okay in Utley’s case, although there’s still some risk, but I doubt seriously if they’d risk a $15 million offer for one year of an aging catcher.

  9. bacardipr

    July 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Rupp profiles as a back up to me. The other catchers havent impressed.

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