The Phillies squandered several key scoring chances, and ended up on the wrong end of a 3-0 score Monday in their first of four straight games against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies continue to struggle to reach two games above .500, which they have not achieved since the end of the 2012 season.
Offense lacked timely hitting
Despite facing a pitcher who had not started a game this year, and a bullpen ranked among the worst in the majors, the Phillies failed to score a run in their series opener with the Blue Jays. They were not bereft of chances, but could not come through with runners in scoring position.
In the sixth inning Marlon Byrd got on with a leadoff triple, but was thrown out home trying to score after Ryan Howard lined out to right. One inning later, the Phillies had runners on first and second with one out, but consecutive strikeouts from Freddy Galvis and Chase Utley ended any chance of scoring. They finished 0-for-6 with RISP, and left 11 men on base. Both Galvis, who was hitting in the two-hole, and Howard left four men on base apiece.
Kendrick not sharp, but battled hard
Things got off to a rocky start for Kyle Kendrick after he allowed a leadoff homer to Jose Reyes, and allowed two more runs before getting out of the second inning. But, to his credit, he left the game after seven having allowed just those three runs. It could have been much worse. In that seventh inning, Kendrick allowed a walk, single and hit by pitch, bringing Edwin Encarnacion to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. But to Kendrick’s credit, he induced a double play to get out of the inning. Kendrick finished with seven hits, three walks and a hit by pitch in those seven innings. It is one of the positive signs in Kendrick’s game of late that although he might not have had his best stuff, he still managed to keep the team in the game.
Diekman throwing fire
Jake Diekman came on in the eighth and went six up, six down for the Phillies through the eighth and ninth, while stirking out three. He routinely hit 97 on his fastball, and even had a couple of pitches at 98. He threw 18 strikes and 11 balls, but many of those balls were sliders or high fastballs to get the batters to try to chase. He was a bright spot in an otherwise unimpressive day from the Phillies.
Cole Hamels, who was pushed back because of the flu, will start tomorrow for the Phillies. Opposite Hamels will be the right-hander Drew Hutchison, who is 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.