Phillies Seeing Red After Cincy Sweep


2. 6. 5. 61. Final

If the Phillies players, coaching staff, and front office aren’t angry following this afternoon’s latest defeat, a dispirited 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds that gave the hosts a sweep of this 3-game series, then something is even more seriously wrong than it appears on the surface.

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The team was given little hope by pundits and fans entering the season, but the players and coaches talked confidently. Of course, as professionals and competitors with a full 162-game season to play, they pretty much have to take that attitude. After all, some fairly unexpected things have happened over the long history of this game.

Almost a month ago now, the team set out on a 6-game winning streak that pulled them within 6 games of the .500 mark. They were playing spirited baseball, getting solid pitching, playing with confidence, coming up with key hits, finding ways to win. While no one was suddenly predicting playoffs, the possibility that it wouldn’t be a totally lost season was emerging.

The last few weeks have made that brief hopeful stretch in mid-May seem like an eternity ago. Today’s defeat was the Phillies 6th in their last 7 games, and their 16th in the last 21 going back over three weeks since the end of that winning streak.

Jun 10, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA;

Cincinnati Reds shortstop

(Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports)

The Reds gave the Phils no room to breathe today. They jumped out with a 4-spot in the very 1st inning against Phillies starter Jerome Williams, who has quite simply been awful, and whose job, or at least his spot in the starting rotation, has to now be considered on the line.

Williams (3-6) allowed 4 earned runs on 9 hits over his 6 innings. In that 1st inning, a 2-out RBI single by Brayan Pena was followed by a 3-run homer to left-center by Ivan DeJesus Jr, and the Phillies and Williams were in that 4-0 hole. They would never dig out of it.

The Phillies hitters did try to scratch their way back into things. In the top of the 2nd, Cameron Rupp‘s 2-out RBI single scored Ryan Howard, who had singled himself earlier in the inning, to make it a 4-1 game. However, Cesar Hernandez was thrown out at 3rd on the play, costing the Phils a chance to get more.

In the top of the 4th it was Rupp again, doubling to score Hernandez and make it a 4-2 ballgame. That was as close as the Phillies would get. Reds 23-year old starter Jon Moscot (1-1), in just his 2nd big league start, would scatter 6 hits and 2 walks across 6 innings to earn his first career victory.

In the home 7th, Todd Frazier doubled and came home on an RBI single from Pena to provide the 5-2 final margin. Reds closer Aroldis Chapman came on in the 9th inning to retire the Phils in order, earning his 12th Save of the season.

The Phillies will have an off-day on Thursday before beginning a 3-game weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Will there be any significant changes to the team on that off-day?

I’m not sure that any move the club could make now would make any substantive difference in the 2015 season. But right now, there is very little for any but the most rabid fans to watch.