I was considering skipping the recap of Sunday’s Phillies game. After all, the story of the game was basically the same as the previous two games against the Pirates: The Phillies starting pitcher gave up some runs in the first inning and a punchless offense was unable to make up the deficit. The end result was a 6-2 Pirates win and a series sweep.
But there was a bit of nuance to this loss. The Phillies received contributions from two players who used to be Pirates before leaving this past offseason. And at this point in time, it’s worth wondering if both players are regretting their decision.
Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett pitched very successfully for the Pirates the past two years. He was opposed by Jeff Locke, a man who Burnett helped mentor while the two played together. In today’s game, Burnett pitched well (seven innings, three runs), but Locke was better (eight innings, one earned run). It certainly didn’t help that Burnett, like the two starters who preceded him, put the Phillies in a hole after the first inning.
The Phillies offense was mostly supplied by another man who used to be a Pirate. Marlon Byrd drove in both Phillies runs, the second coming on a solo home run. He didn’t get much help as the rest of the Phillies could only manage two hits.
Things won’t get much easier for the Phillies. They’ll head to Milwaukee to face the first place Brewers. The last time the teams played, the Brewers won all three games.
So brace yourself, Phillies fans. As ugly as this season has been, it has a chance to get even uglier this week.