Velasquez stumbles again, Phillies drop series opener to Cardinals

Vince Velasquez struggles continue
Vince Velasquez again failed to record an out in the fifth inning on Monday night as the Phillies fell to the Cardinals in St. Louis, 6-0. It's the second consecutive time the right-hander encountered issues with a high pitch count and poorly located fastballs.

Despite not allowing a hit through the first four innings, he departed having surrendered five runs on five walks and four hits, including a pair of homers.

“I think Vince had good stuff,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said afterward. “Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to put hitters away again, and I think the thing that stands out to me is the walks. That was the biggest difference between the two starting pitchers. I don’t think Vince got beat with the home runs, I think Vince got beat with the walks.”

Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas kept the Phillies potent offense in check, surrendering just three hits over seven innings. He struck out five.

The two clubs continue their three-game set on Tuesday as Aaron Nola squared up with Dakota Hudson.

Harper's Struggles Continue
Bryce Harper finished 0-for-4 last night at the plate with a pair of strikeouts. He's hitting .226 with six homers, 20 runs scored, 21 RBI and one steal across 151 plate appearances this season. He says he's fine and it's just a matter of making better swings and selecting better pitches to go after.

Making His Debut
Edgar Garcia made his big league debut for the Phillies last night, tossing an inning while surrendering one run on two hits.

“I thought his slider was good,” Kapler said of Garcia. “His fastball command needs to be a little bit better in order for him to establish himself as a Major League weapon for us.”

Phillies Probables
Tuesday: Aaron Nola (2-0, 5.06) vs. Dakota Hudson (2-2, 4.80)
Wednesday: Jerad Eickhoff (1-1, 2.05) vs. Jack Fleharty (3-2, 4.17)
Thursday: OFF DAY
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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