Phillies Labor Towards 100 Losses


17. Final. 2. 6. 7

As was highlighted in our series preview here at TBOH, the Phillies are a really bad baseball team. But as we also highlighted, the visiting Atlanta Braves have been almost as bad.

If Monday night is any indication, what was shaping up as a titanic struggle for the top pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft could prove to be a mismatch. The Braves entered the series having lost a dozen straight games. That streak is now over thanks to a 7-2 victory in the opener.

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What is also apparent from Monday night is that fans have completely surrendered on this season as well. With a gorgeous Memorial Day having driven many to the Jersey shore or the Poconos, with the first day of school looming on Tuesday, and with the miserable play of the team, a record-low crowd of just 15,125 paid for tickets, and that many were definitely not in the stands.

“It’s really different. It really makes a difference. Let’s put it this way…It’s more fun when you win. You win, you pack the house. We’ve got to just keep moving forward,” said Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin, per Todd Zolecki and Mark Bowman of

Atlanta rookie starting pitcher Williams Perez had been getting consistently hammered all year long. On a warm, late summer night in a hitter’s ballpark, Perez (5-6) dispatched the weak-hitting Phillies with ease. He allowed just 2 earned runs on 6 hits across 7 innings, striking out 7 and walking none in what was easily his best outing of 2015.

The Phils got no such consistency from the far more veteran Aaron Harang, who continued a recent habit of being shelled by the opposition. The Braves banged Harang (5-15) around for 5 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks across just 5 innings.

In now losing five straight games, and 7 of their last 8, the Phillies have received just one Quality Start from the pitching rotation. That one came from rookie Jerad Eickhoff in a 3-1 defeat in New York a week ago. So this miserable effort from Harang has been the norm.

Perez was spotted a 2-0 lead right off the bat thanks to a 2-run 1st inning homer from Freddie Freeman, his team-leading 16th of the season for the Braves. The Phils got one back in the bottom of the 3rd when Cesar Hernandez led off with a double, and then scored on a sac fly.

In the top of the 4th, the Braves received a pair of run-scoring doubles to break it open. First, Andrelton Simmons doubled home Jace Peterson, who had led off with a single, to make it a 3-1 game. Later in the inning, Cuban import Hector Olivera, in the Major Leagues for just a week, smacked a 2-run double to center to bust the lead out to 5-1.

Brian Bogusevic, making his first big league appearance since 2013 after playing all year in the minors at AAA Lehigh Valley, was sent up to lead off the bottom of the 5th as a pinch-hitter for Harang. Bogusevic gave himself a nice moment, taking out on a line drive to right center for his first homer of the season, his first since going deep for the Cubs at Milwaukee on September 19th of 2013.

That would end the Phillies offensive production for the day, but not the Braves. In the top of the 9th, Olivera blasted his first Major League home run deep to left field, a 2-run shot that created the final 7-2 margin.

With the loss, the Phils opened up a 2-game advantage on the Braves in the race for the bottom of the MLB standings, and that accompanying top 2016 MLB Draft slot. With 24 games left to play, the club would need to go 10-14 to avoid losing 100 games for the first time since 1961 . That is a .417 pace, and the are currently playing to a .384 clip. It doesn’t look good.