The bad news is there might be.
It was looking pretty simple a couple of days ago. The Phils led the division by 2 1/2 games and were set to send their top two starters to the mound against the 69-88 Atlanta Braves. Two games later, it’s the 71-88 Atlanta Braves and the Phillies could start their next game with their lead in the playoff hunt cut to a single game.
Wild, ugly night at the yard last night. It featured a bomb scare, a bench-clearing incident and the Phils getting absolutely pounded. Through all of it, though, it was hard not to notice Brett Myers. Myers was hammered for his second straight outing. Over his last two starts, he has allowed 16 runs on 19 hits over 8 1/3 innings.
The game was mostly over after Myers, Durbin, Eyre and a throwing error by Howard all helped the Braves score six runs in the fifth inning, putting Atlanta up 9-3.
The Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves last night, falling 10-4 to drop to 89-70 on the season. They have lost two in a row. They lead the Mets in the NL East by 1 1/2 games. The Mets are tied with the Brewers for the Wild Card. The Brewers and Mets both play today while the Phillies are idle — the Phils will lead each of them by either one game or two games by the end of the day.
Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on ten hits and two walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out three.
Josh Anderson led off the first and doubled to right on a 1-0 pitch. Kelly Johnson reached on an infield single to second that moved Anderson to third. Martin Prado was next and hit a 3-2 pitch back up the middle for a single. Anderson scored to put Atlanta up 1-0 and Johnson went to third. Myers struck out Brian McCann for the first out as Prado stole second. Casey Kotchman was next and he singled to right. Johnson scored and it was 2-0. With men on first and third and two outs, Myers got Omar Infante to hit into a double-play back to the mound to end the frame.
Brandon Jones singled to right with one out in the second. Myers struck out the pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes for the second out before Anderson moved Jones to second with a single. Myers struck out Johnson to leave the runners stranded.
Myers started the third down 2-1. Prado led off with a single. McCann was next and ripped a 1-2 pitch down the first base line for a double. The ball bounced off the stands and into the middle of right field. Werth ran after it and made a great throw to nail Prado for the first out of the inning. McCann took third on the play at the plate. Kotchman was next and he grounded to first for the second out. McCann scored to make it 3-1. Infante followed with a double before Jeff Francoeur grounded to third for the third out.
Myers threw a 1-2-3 fourth.
He started the fifth with the game tied at 3-3. Prado walked with one out and McCann followed with another double, this time Werth dove for it and missed it, that scored Prado and made it 4-3. Myers walked the lefty Kotchman intentionally to put men on first and second. Infante was next and hit a ground ball to Howard. Howard threw to second and hit Kotchman with the throw. The ball went into center field, McCann scored to make it 5-3 and the Braves had runners on first and second with one out. Howard was charged with his 18th error. Durbin struck out Francoeur for the second out before Brandon Jones blooped a single to left that scored Kotchman (6-3) and moved Infante to second. Switch-hitter Chipper Jones hit for the pitcher Buddy Carlyle and Eyre came in to pitch to him. Chipper hit a 2-1 pitch out to left. 9-3. Eyre struck out Anderson for the third out.
A day after Hamels’ throw at third hurts the Phils, Howard’s throw to second helped blow up the fifth last night.
Eyre came back for the sixth. McCann doubled yet again with two outs, but Kotchman grounded to first to leave him stranded.
Seanez got three fly balls in a 1-2-3 seventh.
Romero started the eighth with the Phillies down 9-3. Anderson walked with one out and stole second. Romero struck out Johnson for the second out before Prado singled to left. Anderson scored to make it 10-3 and Prado took second on the throw to the plate. McCann grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.
Even with the day off today, I don’t think I would have put Romero in the game with the Phils down six runs in the eighth.
Condrey pitched the ninth. He allowed a two-out single to Francoeur before Greg Norton hit for the pitcher Julian Tavarez and grounded out to first.
Not a good game for the pen. They went 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. Durbin actually pitched fine. He faced three batters. One reached thanks to the Howard error, the next he struck out and the third hit a soft single to left. Eyre gave up the big home run to Chipper. Romero allowed a run on a hit and a walk. Eyre threw 26 pitches in the game, Romero 17 and Durbin 16. I’d guess they will all be available on Friday.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Jo-Jo Reyes went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Feliz at third against the lefty. Coste behind the plate.
Down 2-0, the Phils went in order in the first.
Burrell doubled with one out in the second. Victorino was next and hit a ground ball to second that Johnson didn’t handle for an error. Burrell went to third. Feliz singled into center and Burrell scored, cutting the Atlanta lead to 2-1 with Victorino going to second. Coste hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Utley hit an 0-1 pitch out to right with two outs in the third. It cut the Atlanta lead to 3-2. Werth flew to center for the third out.
Howard hit a 2-0 pitch out to center to start the fourth, tying the game at 3-3. Burrell was next and he doubled to right on the first pitch of his at-bat. Victorino flew to right for the first out with Burrell tagging and moving to third. Righty Buddy Carlyle came in to pitch to Feliz and stuck him out swinging for the second out. Coste grounded to short for the third out.
Feliz can’t bring the runner in from third with one out. Phils don’t score after Burrell doubled with nobody out.
Rollins walked with one out in the fifth and the Phils down 9-3. Utley flew to right for the second out before Rollins stole second. Werth grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.
Burrell walked with one out in the sixth. Victorino followed with a ground ball to short and Burrell was forced at second. Victorino stole second before Feliz flew to right for the third out.
With righty Jorge Julio on the mound, Jenkins hit for Seanez to start the seventh and doubled. Ruiz was next and struck out. Rollins moved Jenkins to second with a walk. Utley was next and he ripped a ball down the first base line, but Kotchman made a nice diving play to take extra-bases away from him for the second out. The runners moved to second and third. They were left stranded there when Werth struck out.
Down 10-3 in the eighth, Burrell drew a walk with one out. Victorino was next and doubled to right, moving Burrell to third. Dobbs hit for Feliz with the righty Tavarez on the mound and struck out swinging for the second out. Stairs hit for Romero. With nobody holding third, Victorino danced way off the bag and Tavarez ran off the mound to chase him back. Victorino made it back to the base easily. Tavarez returned to the mound and he and Victorino began talking and then moved towards each other. Benches cleared, no punches thrown. Stairs struck out to end the inning.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Rollins was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game. 1-for-11 with two walks in the series. 276/346/435 for the year.
Utley was 1-for-5 with his 33rd home run, which is a career-high. 4-for-11 with two doubles, two walks and a home run in the series. 289/378/534.
Werth was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-12 in the series. 2-for-his-last-26. Doesn’t have a walk in his last 30 at-bats. Will be interesting if we see Stairs or Jenkins in right the next time the Phils get a righty. I think we should. Lefty John Lannan goes for the Nats on Friday, though, so Werth will likely be back out there. 270/362/493 for the year.
Howard was 1-for-4 with his 47th homer. 3-for-10 with a triple, a home run and two walks in the set. 248/337/537. He’s a really bad defensive player.
Burrell was 2-for-2 with two doubles and two walks. 4-for-9 with three doubles, a home run and three walks in the series. Burrell and Werth both came in slumping badly. Burrell looks like he broke out. Werth didn’t. Burrell is hitting 250/367/509 for the season.
Victorino 1-for-4 with a double. 4-for-12 with a double and a triple in the series. 290/350/445 for the season.
Feliz 1-for-3 with an RBI. 2-for-10 with two RBI in the series. 249/301/401 for the year. Dobbs 0-for-1 in the game and 1-for-2 in the series. 300/333/489 for the season.
Coste 0-for-2. 1-for-3 in the series. 266/326/428 for the year. Ruiz was 0-for-3 in the game and 0-for-9 with a walk in the series. 223/324/306 for the season.
No game today.