Following an hour and 48 minute rain delay, the Phillies took the field and got to doing what they do best–losing baseball games. This time, it was 6-3, but the score hardly matters. Another notch in the loss column, making it 19 losses in their last 24 games.
In a game that also featured a stoppage for bats and an injury delay within the first two innings, the only unremarkable thing on the field was the Phillies effort. They’ve been flat-lining for weeks, and a revival doesn’t seem to be coming. Hapless and uninspired, your 2013 Philadelphia Phillies delivered once again tonight.
LANNAN EXITS EARLY
– John Lannan has seen better starts to a month. In his first two starts since the calendar flipped to August, he’s surrendered 10 earned runs in 9.1 innings pitched. Perhaps it was pitching on three day’s rest, which he did last week, that has thrown Lannan off, but he has quickly lost it after having a very productive July (3.38 ERA over 32 IP). Though he did struggle in his two starts before that as well.– Still, pitching on three day’s rest can be asking a lot. Perhaps that contributed to Lannan’s apparent knee injury, which forced him out of tonight’s game after an ugly 1.1 innings. Wild and ineffective would be the two best adjectives for describing the 28-year old lefthander’s performance, and his inability to get batters out put the Phils in a hole too deep. He’d leave the game with the bases loaded, having already allowed two runs. His final line is a train wreck: 1.1, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K. No word as of yet on what Lannan’s condition is, but the injury is to the same knee (his left) that landed him on the DL earlier in the season.
– The bullpen didn’t waste any time in picking up where Lannan left off. Long man Zach Miner came on in Lannan’s wake, allowing all three of the inherited runners to come around to score. He’d actually pitch pretty well after that, holding the Braves scoreless for two more innings. After that rocky second, the bullpen limited the scoring to one for the Braves, but the damage had been done.
– Last week, in the recap of another Phillies defeat, this one at the hands of the Nats, I wrote that fans should focus on Domonic Brown for the rest of this season. Brown appears to be a budding star, and it’ll be interested to see how he handles these final two months with this being his first full season in the bigs. I’m sticking with that theme tonight. After a brief slump following a stint on the DL, he continues to produce. He went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. He was one of two highlights in the Phillies offense tonight. The rest of the lineup went 5-for-30. He also made a nifty diving catch, as seen in the photo above.
– The other plus for the bats tonight came from Darin Ruf, who hit a solo home run in the ninth. The homer is the fifth for Ruf in the month of August, and his OPS is approaching .900. The young corner outfielders were the only pulse in this game.