On April 15, Bronson Arroyo dominated the Phillies for eight innings in Cincinnati, allowing just two runs and five hits in a deflating 4-2 defeat. Today’s ballgame felt eerily similar to the one that took place at Great American Ballpark last month, only this time the Reds more than doubled their output, while the Phillies didn’t bother scoring any runs–though they did equal their five hits–in an 10-0 defeat. The damp weather was a perfect accompaniment to the sleepy feeling this game had, a long and painful loss.
The game got away from the Phils quickly. The Reds went up early, and the bats never had an answer for Arroyo. It was the perfect formula for a dull drubbing, the Reds asserting their will over an overmatched Phillies team.
KENDRICK’S STREAK COMES TO AN END
Kyle Kendrick hadn’t allowed more than two runs in any start since he allowed five to the Royals in his 2013 debut. That streak swiftly came to an end today when he served up a second inning meatball to Ryan Hanigan, who sent it into the seats in left to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. The homer looked to be a portentous sign of how things would go for Kendrick today.
He would calm down, though. And while Kendrick didn’t pitch a great game–the Reds hit a lot of balls hard off him–he did manage to limit the runs after Hanigan’s long ball. In fact, I’d even argue that the fourth run Kendrick allowed was more on bad managing than Kendrick himself.
It looked like he’d be lifted for a pinch hitter after five when he had over 90 pitches, but Charlie Manuel inexplicably let him hit with a runner on first and two outs in the fifth. Kendrick struck out to end the inning, and went on to allow another run in the sixth. There was absolutely no reason to let Kendrick pitch in that spot and it cost the Phils a run–not that it would matter in the end. Kendrick’s final line looked like this: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. It was no doubt a battle for KK, as he failed to record a single 1-2-3 inning. A definite throwaway game.
BLAME STALE OFFENSE ON THE RAIN…
…or bad at-bats and a complete lack of power. Whichever you decide is the culprit (it’s the latter), one thing is for sure: This Phillies offense has not been getting the job done, and it’s become quite a nuisance. So far this season, the Phils have been shutout a whopping six times–as many as they had all of last season. That’s simply not acceptable, especially because in three of those shutouts, the other team scored four runs or less.
Arroyo is the latest pitcher to find success later in his career by becoming a softballer, and it’s a technique the Phils really struggle with. For the second time this season, he dominated them deep into the game, unleashing a plethora of curveballs and sliders to keep the fastball-inclined Phillies off balance. It wasn’t as though Arroyo was unhittable– he threw strikes, but the Phils just couldn’t square any balls up. The hardest hit ball of the day came from Domonic Brown–who went 2-for-4, making him the only Phillie with multiple hits–on a double down the right field line. Brown was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple. That was about as exciting as it got for the offense.
The Phillies one through five hitters went a cool 3-for-15 with two singles and a double. That statistic pretty much speaks for itself.
BULLPEN LETS REDS PILE ON
A combination of B.J. Rosenberg, Phillippe Aumont and Chad Durbin would be the bullpen goats on this day, combining to allow six runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, respectively. The extra runs were painful to watch, the bullpen clearly not capable of consistently getting outs. Today’s loss was a complete team effort, every facet pitching in to ensure a negative outcome.