Phillies end homestand with a stinker, fall to Braves 10-1


Vince Velasquez struggles continue
The Phillies came home to Citizens Bank Park for the start of a 10-game homestand and performed incredibly. Unfortunately, the momentum popped for good on Sunday in a 10-1 drubbing by the Atlanta Braves.

Vince Velasquez struggled again, surrendering seven runs while lasting just four innings. His ERA for the season ballooned to 5.70 while his ERA over his last two outings rose to a disappointing 10.38.

“You’re going to have some starts that aren’t perfect and that was one of them,” manager Gabe Kapler said (see video below). “It’s something we will discuss. We asked him to go out there and attack and he did. … He just didn’t have his best stuff.”



After starting the homestand with a four-game sweep of the Pirates, the Phillies dropped four of six to the Diamondbacks and Braves. Compounding matters, the Phillies have dropped six-of-nine to Atlanta this season. A rough start to open the year against a divisional opponent.

"I think very directly they have just played better than us in the games that we have played them," Kapler said. "Not much more to say about it. They have gotten big hits, they have pitched a little better and they have been the better teams in the games we have played against them."

As for Velasquez, he'll face more scrutiny if these lackluster starts continue. He now has a 4.55 ERA over 52 career starts and has pitched six innings or more just 24 times.

"You're going to have one of these days and you shouldn't beat yourself up because it's just going to add up," Velasquez told reporters afterward. "I'll look back at some film and reflect back and go back to the actual first outings and maybe even reflect back to a couple years ago and how I was successful in a couple of games. This is the process of getting better and you utilize stuff like this to better you."

Did You Know
Odubel Herrera worked a walk in the first inning on Sunday, extending his on-base streak to 29 games. It's the longest for the Phillies since Cesar Hernandez had a 29-game streak from Aug. 24 to Sept. 24, 2017.

Starter Named
With Ben Lively on the disabled list, it'll be Zach Eflin getting the nod on Tuesday as the Phillies face the Marlins. The 24-year-old right-hander has struggled at the big league level, posting a 5.85 career ERA over 22 starts. He was 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in four starts this year.

Up Next
The Phillies travel to Miami to open a three-game set on Monday. Jake Arrieta will be on the mound for the Phillies. He'll be opposed by Dan Straily.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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