It was already safe to say that the Atlanta Braves had the Phillies’ number this season. But if you didn’t think that before tonight’s game, you saw it for sure.
The Braves put up a crooked number early and didn’t look back from there. Throw in the part-good, part-lucky pitching of Ben Sheets, a shaky Vance Worley, and all the usual that has followed the Phillies this season, and it brought on a familiar result.
In the third, the Braves got the scoring started with a two-out, two-run double by Freddie Freeman. The ball just barely stayed fair and Martin Prado was just barely safe to score the second run.
A third run scored on a wild pitch by Worley.
Worley allowed an RBI single to Michael Bourn in the fourth before being pulled with two outs. He allowed four runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.
John Mayberry Jr. got the Phillies on the board with a solo home run in the fourth, but the Phillies could trim the gap no further.
The Braves added another run in the seventh on an RBI single by Brian McCann and one more in the ninth on a solo shot by Jason Heyward to cap the scoring.
Sheets meanwhile was dominant despite looking very hittable. He allowed seven hits but only one run while walking one in 7 1/3 innings. He improved to 4-1 on the season as a result as the Braves went on to cruise to a 6-1 win.
The 2012 Phillies you know and love were out in full force tonight. The lifeless bunch let the Braves have this one from the start.
It’s no secret that the players so familiar with winning are frustrated with this season. October can’t come fast enough.
What the Phillies really need is a clean slate, a fresh start. But, this roster will also not get it done. They need to find out what they have. And they certainly won’t do that by playing lifeless baseball.
But, to note what they do have right now, let’s look at tonight. Vance Worley is battling bone chips. It’s clearly affecting him. It might not be a good idea letting him pitch for the remainder of the season.
On offense, most of the lineup had a hit. Six of the first seven hitters in the lineup had a hit, including Kevin Frandsen who had two. But the hits were scattered, leaving little chance to make an impact. And Ryan Howard struggled again, going 0-for-4.
So, another day, another forgettable game. This one may hold a little more meaning for what happened off the field. The attendance tonight was 41,665. It was the first time the Phillies did not have a sell-out crowd at a home game since June 6, 2009. That stretch lasted for 257 games (273 if you include the Postseason).
Additionally, a team that won 102 games last season, a new franchise record, thus losing only 60 games just took their 60th loss of the season. The Phillies didn’t slowly fall from supremacy. They made a crash landing.
So, this is now the end of an era. Familiar faces are slowly starting to leave this team. The franchise that looked like they were becoming the Yankees of the National League is starting to come back to Earth.
There is much more to talk about, and there will be more about the sellout streak ending and other topics tomorrow. But for now, what else can Phillies fans do but flip over to something else to distract their attention after another loss is marked on this forgettable season.
L: Vance Worley (6-7)