Nick Pivetta shoved, the offense did next to nothing, and for the fifth time since July 28th the Phillies lost a game in which their starting pitcher allowed two runs or less.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
The Phillies lost for the fifth time in seven games because this was their only offense of the night:
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 15, 2018
They also lost because Tommy Hunter, as he often has this season, buried his team once again by allowing this ill-timed nuke off the bat of Brock Holt:
Brock Holt pinch hit (424ft) BOMB! pic.twitter.com/okzNXq0Vu9
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) August 15, 2018
Here’s a thought. Imagine if the Phillies acquired a legitimate late-inning reliever at the trade deadline so they wouldn’t have had to use a guy who has been largely ineffective for four months in one of the season’s most important games. Wouldn’t that be cool? I can’t say I blame Gabe Kapler for not feeling the vaunted Aaron Loup in that spot.
Hey, wait. That’s not fair. Tommy Hunter has been better lately!
Meh. I know Hunter had allowed only five earned runs in 19 IP since July 1 before tonight. I also know he had allowed only one home run to the 100 left-handed hitters he had faced this season entering tonight. I care not. The outcome of that inning remains completely unsurprising.
Still, I can’t even bring myself to feel max hate on Hunter when the offense continues to sputter like this. The Phillies struck out 13 more times tonight, had only two hits (two god damn hits), and have now scored 39 runs in 11 games this month. The offense continues to strike out far too much and remains too home run reliant. It has been, I don’t know, what’s the word I’m looking for here?
Heath Hembree, Filthy 84mph Slider. 😨
I'd like to think Will Little was pointing at him and laughing. pic.twitter.com/RaBwXFJtYq
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 15, 2018
Embarrassing. Ah yes, that’s it.
Is it time to panic? Who knows? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult for even the most optimistic of observers to believe that an underachieving lineup is suddenly going to turn it on.
Unless, of course, you are an authentic fan.