Thursday, June 22, 2017

Phillies on pace to lose 111 following total meltdown against Cards

Philadelphia Phillies fall to the Cardinals; Odubel Herrera thrown out in ninth
It seems nearly every night, especially over the last month, the Philadelphia Phillies find a new and excruciating way to stumble late and lose a ballgame. Whatever happens moving forward, though, it'll be tough to top Wednesday's madness at Citizens Bank Park.

This was ugly, blowing a five-run lead in a 7-6 loss to the Cardinals. The miscues magnified almost if they came straight from the pages of a fictional classic.

Act I. Ahead 5-3 in the eighth, reliever Joaquin Benoit served up a homer to Jose Martinez to trim the Phillies lead to a run. Hector Neris then blew his second save opportunity in three games, surrendering a game-tying homer to Tommy Pham on a fastball.

Act II. The Phillies had the potential winning run nailed at the plate on an inexplicable base-running gaffe before Edubray Ramos put together a 10th inning to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. First, he surrendered a leadoff double to Jose Martinez, then balked him to third before airmailing a pickoff throw to first base allowing the go-ahead run to score. Yadier Molina added an RBI-single in the frame to push the Cardinals ahead by two.

"We let that five-run lead get away from us," manager Pete Mackanin said. "Real disappointing night. [Nick] Pivetta did a really good job for us, gave us six good innings. And we had 16 hits; you have to win a game when you get 16 hits. We couldn't push any more runs across until that 10th inning. Very disappointing.

"The mistake we're making is giving the other team too many pitches to hit. Those are our mistakes. Especially late in the game."



Pivetta was the lone bright spot on the night for the Phillies, surrendering three runs on six hits while collecting a career high 10 strikeouts.

"All I can do is go out and give us a chance to win," Pivetta said. "I tried my best to do that today."

Back to that base-running gaffe.

Odubel Herrera ignored an obvious stop sign in the ninth inning by third base coach Juan Samuel and nearly collided with him before being nailed at the plate by at least 10 feet.

"I think since I've been here that was the first time anyone ever ignored a stop sign," Samuel said. "It's a first for me."

Herrera took responsibility for the mistake, claiming he had his head down and didn't pick up Samuel until it was too late.

"I was playing aggressive," he said. "I wanted to win the game. So when I was rounding third, I put my head down. I kept going to home plate. I saw [the stop sign]. But I saw it late. I put my head down. That's my mistake."

The loss puts the Phillies on pace to match a franchise record of 111 losses, a mark set in 1941.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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