Anyone who might have taken a look at my TBOH MLB Power Rankings yesterday and wondered why the Arizona Diamondbacks were ranked as highly as tied for the 13th slot among 30 teams and ahead of some playoff clubs, and wondered why the hot Phillies were still ranked at the bottom, need only check out the games of the last two nights.
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The Dbacks are now 56-56 and just 6.5 back in the NL West. The Phillies again have baseball’s worst overall record at 45-69, and have been beaten so thoroughly these last two nights in the desert as to have erased all memory of their surge out of the MLB All-Star break.
The host Snakes crushed the Phils by 13-1 last night at Chase Field, that following a 13-3 stomping in the series opener on Monday night. The win was one of 15 on the night around MLB by home teams, making it the first time in history that all 15 home teams won on the same day.
This time around it was Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan who was bombed to the tune of 11 runs in an incredible 2nd inning Dbacks barrage. Buchanan (2-7) allowed the 11 earned on 11 hits and 2 walks. This was his 2nd straight shelling, and marked the 5th time in 10 starts in which he has allowed at least 5 earned runs while lasting fewer than 6 innings.
The Phils actually had a brief lead in this one. With two outs in the top of the 1st, sensational rookie 3rd baseman Maikel Franco was drilled with a pitch by Dbacks’ starter Jeremy Hellickson. Franco was removed from the game, though x-rays later came back negative, and he should be able to return this weekend.
In the bottom of the 2nd, 7 of the first 8 batters reached against Buchanan, resulting in 4 Arizona runs, and leaving the bases loaded. That brought the hot David Peralta to the plate, and he proceeded to remain hot, driving a first pitch outside fastball deep over the wall in left center for a grand slam that broke the game open at 8-1.
Unfortunately for the Phils and Buchanan, it still wasn’t over. Three batters later, Aaron Hill crushed a 2-run homer to left, and it was a 10-1 lead for the inhospitable hosts. Guess what? Still not over. Chris Owings then doubled, and came around to score on an RBI single by Hellickson.
That hit by the opposition pitcher was finally, mercifully the end for Buchanan on this night. Of course by then, the game was virtually over. Hellickson (8-8) would scatter 7 hits across 8 innings while walking none.
The Phillies can say that they are 16-7 since the MLB All-Star break, and not be lying. But after being completely outplayed on the field and dominated by 26-4 on the scoreboard the last two days, that would be misrepresenting their situation.
This is a ball club that has proven nothing. They began the season with a miserable 3 1/2 months, and a hot 3 1/2 weeks will not erase that fact. They may not be as good as they had been playing before hitting the desert. But they could really use a nice outing from rookie Aaron Nola, and a solid team game, to show that perhaps they really weren’t as bad as the last two nights either.