Phillies Shut Down and Swept Out by Braves

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Sep 3, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) at bat during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) at bat during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Philadelphia Phillies were shut out by the Atlanta Braves on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, giving the visitors a sweep of the weekend series.

The Atlanta Braves may indeed have the worst record in the National League, but the fact of the matter may now be that the Phillies are the league’s actual worst ball club.

The visiting Braves shut out the weak Phillies lineup by a 2-0 final score on Sunday afternoon to gain a sweep of the weekend series between the NL East rivals at Citizens Bank Park.

With the win, the Braves pulled to within 6.5 games of the Fightin’ Phils in the division standings. With just four wins in their last 17 games, the Phils are sinking fast in the overall NL standings as well.

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran, the 25-year old ace of their staff, put up a strong-looking final line: six shutout innings over which he allowed five hits while striking out seven and walking two.

However, the Phillies had a chance to knock him out and create a different outcome. They just couldn’t come up with the big hit when they needed it most, leaving the bases loaded in both the 5th and 6th innings.

It turned out that the Braves got the only run that they would really need when Matt Kemp crushed his 28th home run of the season out to left-center field off Phils rookie starter Jake Thompson in the top of the 2nd inning.

Thompson would toss his 2nd straight strong outing, allowing just four hits over seven innings, striking out six batters. He did walk four on the day, with 61 of his 100 pitches going for strikes.

In the top of the 8th inning, Freddie Freeman continued to emerge as a new-generation Phillie-killer when he ripped his 29th homer of the season off reliever Michael Mariot to double the Braves lead and provide a little insurance.

“We’re striking out too much. We don’t have a good two-strike approach,” said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin per MLB.com contributors. “I keep preaching about plate discipline; we’re not showing a lot of plate discipline. It looks like we’re behind fastballs and not putting the ball in play with two strikes.”

The Phillies will head out on the road, where they will try to improve that approach over the next week on a seven-game trip through NL East rivals Miami and Washington.

Next: Phils Lose But Velasquez Ends 2016 on a High Note

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