The Philadelphia Phillies dropped a second straight game in Chicago, losing to the host Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Watching the repeated futility of the 2016 Philadelphia Phillies lineup is growing tiresome for fans of the ball club. Today’s 4-1 loss to the host Chicago Cubs provided more evidence that there are no answers to be found on the current roster.
The Cubs sent out perhaps their least imposing starting pitcher in this one in 26-year old Kyle Hendricks. But what the right-hander lacks in overpowering stuff, he more than makes up for in competitiveness.
Hendricks (3-4) held the Phillies to just five hits and allowed a single earned run on a fluke play in the 9th inning, tossing a seven-strikeout complete game, just the 2nd CG of his career.
The Chicago lineup spread out their four runs off Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff across six innings, getting to the righty for eight of their own hits, four of those for extra bases.
The Cubs upped their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Addison Russell and Hendricks each singled with one out. When Heyward followed with a double, Russell scored. Hendricks attempted to score as well, but was thrown out at the plate.
The hosts tacked on a final run against Eickhoff (2-7) in the bottom of the 6th inning when they loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, with Kris Bryant, who had the first of the base hits, racing home on a ground out by catcher Miguel Montero to make it 4-0.
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The Phillies finally got to Hendricks in the 9th inning when Freddy Galvis led off with a double, and moved to 3rd base on a ground out. Ryan Howard then struck out, but Montero lost the ball in the dirt, fired to first to retire Howard, and Galvis hustled home on the play.
Much has been made of the offensive futility from Phillies batters this season. In this one the 3-4-5 hitters: Maikel Franco, Ryan Howard, and Cameron Rupp each took an 0-4 collar. It marked the 11th time in 49 games that the lineup produced one or fewer runs.
Over their last eight games, a stretch in which the Phillies have gone 2-6 to drop to just three games over the .500 mark, the club has managed to score only 22 runs, a feeble 2.75 runs-per-game average.
The Phils get one more shot at taking a win home from the Windy City in Sunday’s series finale. They will have to do so in order to avoid an actual losing streak for the first time since the opening week of the season.