Things did not get better: Philadelphia Phillies lose to Washington Nationals 7-0


Jun 3, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan (55) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After a poor showing in a five-game series against the New York Mets, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg called for a team meeting on Tuesday afternoon. If the Phillies were particularly inspired by whatever Sandberg had to say in the meeting, they didn’t show it on the field. They were blown out 7-0 by a Washington Nationals that had been enduring some struggles of its own.

There were a multitude of problems. The Phillies were (once again) shut out by a pitcher (Jordan Zimmermann) who hadn’t been pitching particularly well lately. In some recent games, the Phillies have gotten runners into scoring position and failed to drive them home. In this game, they never even really made Zimmermann feel uncomfortable. They didn’t get more than one runner on base until the eighth inning when the score was already 7-0.

David Buchanan was the starter for the Phillies, and he showed what can happen when a team is forced to use a pitcher who was about ninth on the depth chart heading into Spring Training. To his credit, he managed to last six innings, providing a little bit of relief to a worn-out bullpen.

If you’re looking for silver linings, Ethan Martin made his season debut and pitched two scoreless innings. And that was about it.

Maybe Sandberg’s words just needed a day to sink in. Maybe the Phillies will come out fired up tonight and score a ton of runs against Nationals’ starter Stephen Strasburg.

But I wouldn’t count on it.