Clouds loom as Phillies open quick series in Seattle with Mariners

Philadelphia visits Seattle for a two game set.
The Philadelphia Phillies arrive in Seattle after losing 12 of their last 15 games, including three of four in Arizona. At their current pace, the club is looking down the barrel of a 110 loss season, a mark not reached since World War II.

"We keep playing good teams tough, but it doesn't break our way," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. "We need to do better."

At 24-51, the Phillies have the worst record through 75 games of any National League team in eight years. There really isn't any one particular reason why the losses continue to mount, but rather it's a culmination of so many things.

The starting pitching enters Tuesday with the fourth worst ERA in the majors (4.97) and the fifth worst K/9 rate (6.83). The bullpen is tied with the most losses in the majors (19) and the fourth highest BB/9 rate (3.97).

The Phillies issues are even more evident at the plate, ranking 29th in runs scored (285) and 28th in wOBA (.299).

"In spring training, if you told me we were going to have this record, I wouldn’t believe it," shortstop Freddy Galvis said following Monday's loss to the Diamondbacks. "I believed we had a good team. But we just can’t put anything together. We play well for five or six games and then we go to another six- or seven-game losing streak.

"It’s hard. It’s hard to see. It’s hard to believe it. (Bleep) it. We have to (bleeping) play harder every single day. We need to try to do better."



Turning things around in Seattle will be tough. The club faces lefty James Paxton tonight before going up against right-hander Felix Hernandez on Wednesday. The Phillies counter with Aaron Nola and Mark Leiter Jr., respectively.

Nola is coming off his best start of the season, allowing one run on four hits over 7 1/3 innings with a season-high eight strikeouts in a win over the Cardinals. The 24-year-old right-hander is 4-5 with a 4.32 ERA in 10 starts this season. Leiter is making his start in place of Jerad Eickhoff who remains on the disabled list with a strained back.

The Phillies stay in Seattle is short as the clubs play a matinee finale on Wednesday. The Phillies then wrap up the current road trip with a three-game series against the Mets in New York before returning to Citizens Bank Park next Monday.

"This stretch hasn't been fun," Mackanin said. "We need to keep going out and hopefully the direction changes."
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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