As torrential rains pelted the field at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies were both literally and figuratively drowned out in the finale of a 10-game homestand.
The visiting Saint Louis Cardinals captured two out of three games in the weekend series, winning the finale on a rainy Sunday afternoon by a 9-0 final score.
The Phillies were thus shutout for the first time since July 26th in Miami, and for just the 5th time all season.
Vincent Velasquez took the loss for the Phillies after throwing six innings over which he yielded five earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking two batters.
Velasquez (8-6) once again demonstrated the inconsistency and lack of control that have been the overwhelming hallmarks of his first full MLB campaign, throwing just 65 strikes across his 106 total pitches on the day.
The Cards’ hitters got to him for a pair of home runs, one by Brandon Moss in the top of the 4th that made it a 2-0 game in favor of the visitors, and another off the bat of Stephen Piscotty in the top of the 5th that upped the lead to 5-0 at that point.
In between, a big two-run single by opposing pitcher Mike Leake helped blow the game open a short while after Moss’ blast.
Leake (9-9) would go seven effective innings on the day, scattering seven hits while striking out eight and walking just one Phils’ batter.
The Phillies got multi-hit games from both 3rd baseman Maikel Franco and center fielder Odubel Herrera. But the offense continually killed any hope of a rally by hitting into twin-killings, with three double plays disrupting those scoring chances.
That’s a bit misleading of the skipper, however. The Phillies went just 2-4 in the homestand against two winning clubs, the Dodgers and Cardinals, after sweeping the Rockies.
The club was outscored by a 41-19 margin in those final two series, demonstrating that they have a long ways to go before they can consider themselves capable of matching up with the better teams in the National League.
The Phillies will now head out on the road for a quick two-game Interleague series with the Chicago White Sox of the AL Central, and then travel to Citi Field to take on the NL East rival New York Mets next weekend.