Jun 15, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood (37) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
We all remember what happened on Mother’s Day: Closer Jonathan Papelbon was mysteriously unavailable to pitch, so Antonio Bastardo filled in, and performed poorly. On Father’s Day, it didn’t matter who was going to serve as closer, because the Phillies never had a lead. Heck, for about the hundredth time this season, they couldn’t even score a run, and suffered an uninspiring 3-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Citizens Bank Park was home to a sizeable crowd for the first time in a while. It was Father’s Day, the weather was beautiful, there was a hat being given away, and people were still pumped from seeing Jimmy Rollins‘ record-breaking hit the day before. The crowd was ready to cheer, but the Phillies gave them absolutely nothing to celebrate about.
They managed only three hits against Cubs starter Travis Wood, and the one inning they actually appeared to be getting something going, their three and four-hole hitters popped up to end the threat. Manager Ryne Sandberg wasn’t especially complimentary of Wood’s shutdown performance, and seemed to imply that the Phillies’ problems were more self-induced:
"“The guy was pitching up in the zone and we were hitting flyballs. For us not to make an adjustment and not get on top of some of those balls, those are hittable balls.”"
For anyone who might have gained a sense of optimism after the Phillies swept the Padres earlier in the week, the series against the Cubs should have killed all of those hopes nicely. Winning only one out of three at home against a lousy Cubs team is proof that this team is going nowhere.
It’s especially galling considering how poorly the Cubs had played on the road before this weekend. They were 0-9-3 in road series this year, and hadn’t won a road series since 2013.
And now, the task gets tougher for the Phillies. They’ll be heading to Atlanta to take on the Braves for three games. If the Phillies can’t win more than one out of three against the last place Cubs, what will they do against the first place Braves?
The good news is, the Phillies won’t have another chance to ruin a holiday until Independence Day. And they’ll be on the road for that game, so fans will at least have the option of just turning off the television and watching fireworks.