Week 3 In Review
- Updated: April 19, 2014
There’s really just one word needed to review week three for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phils were coming off a three game sweep of the Miami Marlins and were finally back at .500.
Speaking of .500, that was Chase Utley’s batting average coming into this week’s first series against the Braves. The bullpen had made leads stand up, and the starting pitching has been respectable.
Now the problem has shifted to getting everyone on the same page.
Monday night gave fans a glimpse into the past and also showed what this team is truly capable of.
Despite a respectable outing by starter Roberto Hernandez, the Phillies found themselves down 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth.
What ensued was a five run outburst that put the Phils ahead 6-5. Tony Gwynn, Jr., Jimmy Rollins and Utley started the inning with three straight singles.
After a whiff by Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd singled home two and cut the deficit to two. Dom Brown then put one in the right field seats to give his team the lead in dramatic fashion.
The Fightin’ Phils were seemingly back to stay…not quite.
Manager Ryne Sandberg tapped lefty Jake Diekman to pitch the ninth, as Jonathan Papelbon was not available.
Diekman simply could not locate his fastball, and walked two men in the inning. Before long the bases were loaded for Dan Uggla, who hit a hanging slider over the fence in left field.
The Braves retook the lead 9-6, and that’s how it ended.
The Phillies were brought back to reality in an instant, reminding fans where this team really is.
The next two games brought both frustration, and yet a win.
Cliff Lee took the mound Wednesday night in search of his second win of the season. All he did was throw nine innings of one run ball, striking out 13 Braves in the process. His only blemish was a fourth inning solo home run hit by catcher Evan Gattis.
The Phillies mustered just three hits against Atlanta starter Julio Teheran, en route to a 1-0 loss. This has been an all to familiar occurrence for Philadelphia the last few years. A great start wasted by little or no offense.
Lee was credited with the loss despite his brilliant effort.
The next day saw the Phils turn the tables, beating the Braves this time by the same 1-0 score.
Starter A.J. Burnett turned in seven innings of shutout ball, and the game’s only run came in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ben Revere singled Brown home to put the Phils on top for the win.
The starting pitchers, for the most part, have done the job this season. In the Braves series they went a total of 22 innings pitched, and allowed only three runs.
Last night’s game at Coors Field was a different story, as starter Jonathan Pettibone was lit up for eight runs on nine hits in just four innings of work. The Rockies crushed the Phils 12-1, putting Philadelphia two games below .500 at 7-9.
Still, the starters just might be the most consistent cog to this otherwise inconsistent team.
The bullpen failed to make Monday’s eighth inning comeback stand up, with Diekman blowing the game and being charged with all four Atlanta runs in the inning. The Phillies’ pen is the chief culprit in the team earned average being 26th in the Majors at 4.70.
Not to be forgotten was the lack of punch at the plate this week.
Put aside the five run eighth on Monday night, and the team has scored exactly two runs this week. One on Thursday and one last night.
The thin Colorado air usually provides the perfect atmosphere for breaking out of hitting slumps, and the Phillies have two more chances this weekend to do just that.
Stats Courtesy of Phillies.com
Photo Courtesy of Philadelphia.CBSLocal.com