Phillies Snake-Bit in the Desert


3. 6. 13. 8. Final

The Phillies wandered out to the desert of Arizona, and were bitten hard by the host Diamondbacks in a 13-3 drubbing at Chase Field in the opener of a 3-game set on Monday night.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Phils’ starter Aaron Harang was roped around again, yielding a dozen hits and 8 earned runs before being chased with one out in the 6th inning. Since being activated from the DL on July 20th, Harang (5-13) has allowed 28 hits in 15.1 innings, with just an 8-7 K:BB ratio.

This was actually an even ballgame through its first half, with the two teams tied at 2-2 heading to the bottom of the 5th. The Phils got on the board first with a Chase Utley sac fly scoring Carlos Ruiz in the top of the 3rd. The Dbacks immediately tied it up in their half on an RBI single by Paul Goldschmidt, who we highlighted here at TBOH earlier in the day.

In the bottom of the 4th, Yasmany Tomas, a Cuban import who was heavily rumored to be coming to the Phillies back in the winter only to see the club pass on him, led off with his 7th homer of the season to put Arizona up 2-1. But in the top of the 5th, Utley singled with 2 outs, and came around to score the tying run on a Cesar Hernandez double.

That would be the last time that the Phillies were close in this one. Dbacks starter Ruby De La Rosa (10-5) scattered 8 hits and a walk across 6 innings, allowing those 3 earned runs. They would be the last that the Phils would get on the night.

The game was settled over the next three innings, as the hosts exploded for 11 runs, spreading them out with 3 in the 5th, 6 in the 6th, and a pair in the 7th. The three in the 5th came courtesy of a Goldschmidt sac fly, an RBI double by David Peralta on a play that he was ultimately thrown out trying to stretch a triple, and finally a solo homer from catcher Welington Castillo.

In the top of the 6th, Maikel Franco led off with a solo homer, his 13th of the season, to pull the Phillies back to within 5-3, but the Dbacks blew it open in their half of the frame.

With one out in the bottom of the 6th and the game still competitive, Arizona reeled off three consecutive hits to score a run and chase Harang. That brought on reliever Adam Loewen for his Phillies debut. The former 4th overall draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles all the way back in 2002 had last appeared on a big league mound back in 2008. After striking out the first batter he faced, an intentional walk and a single made the game 7-3 and ended his night.

Next up from the Phillies bullpen was Justin De Fratus. The 27-year old who was such a key part of the pen the last two seasons, and who was expected to help make it a team strength this year, continued his abysmal 2015 campaign. Castillo greeted him with a bases-clearing triple to blow the game open at 10-3. Tomas followed with an RBI single, and it was up to 11-3, and over for all intents and purposes.

And yet De Fratus’ ugly night was not yet over. Brought out again to start the 7th, he hit the first batter, then uncorked a wild pitch. That ugly sequence was then punctuated by A.J. Pollock, who drove a 2-run homer to left field making it a 13-3 game. It capped a big night for the Dbacks leadoff hitter, who had 3 hits on the night and scored 3 runs.

De Fratus’ ERA is now up to an unacceptable 5.69, his WHIP at an unsightly 1.557, and he has allowed 71 hits in 61.2 innings. His 7 home runs allowed is equal to the number of longballs that he surrendered over the last two seasons combined.

On Tuesday night it will be a pair of struggling righthanders, David Buchanan for the Phillies, and Jeremy Hellickson for the Diamondbacks. It appears that the Phils are going to need to bring their bats if they want to keep pace with this Arizona attack, and get back into this series.