Another early deficit dooms the Philadelphia Phillies in 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh Pirates


Jul 5, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan (55) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After Friday’s loss, the Phillies talked about avoiding falling into early holes. Ryan Howard summed up the situation:

"“You need that momentum on your side. It puts the other team on their heels a little bit…With the way things have gone this year, it’s even tougher, there is no dancing around it. It’s a tough situation to be in when you are scratching and clawing and trying to win games.”"

Seems that was easier said than done. In Saturday’s game against the Pirates, Phillies starter David Buchanan gave up two runs in the first inning and another in the second. Considering the state of the Phillies’ offense, that was enough to send them to yet another loss.

For the second straight game, the Phillies had early opportunities to score, but couldn’t take advantage. Pirates starter Edinson Volquez walked two batters in the first inning, but the Phillies couldn’t get either of them home. In the third, they loaded the bases on two walks and a single, but a Marlon Byrd strikeout ended that threat.

If the game had started in the second inning, the Phillies would have been in good shape. Buchanan settled down to pitch six innings, and the Phillies didn’t give up a run after the second.  They later scored two runs of their own on solo homers by Cody Asche and Marlon Byrd.

Unfortunately, the first inning counts. And unless the Phillies can find a way to stop giving up runs in it, they’re probably going to lose a lot more games in the future.