Embarrassing. Absolutely embarrassing loss for the Philadelphia Phillies to the Boston Red Sox.
The Phillies are under .500 for the first time since May 3, when they were 14-15 but in the process of sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in a four-game series.
Here’s three takeaways:
Doomed by ugly defense
With the game tied in the fifth inning, Phillies starter Aaron Nola faced a tough lineup for a third time, but he was also hurt by his defense. He struck out the first two hitters he faced and had two strikes on leadoff hitter Danny Santana when he was taken deep to right field.
The inning didn’t end there. Alex Verdugo singled, J.D. Martinez walked, Xander Bogaerts singled, and the Phillies made another mistake in the field. Verdugo scored on Bogaerts’ single and the Phillies appeared to have Martinez caught too far off of second base after a relay throw to Alec Bohm. The inning should have ended right there, with the Phillies down two runs. But Bohm’s throw to Jean Segura at second base was wide and nicked off of Segura’s glove into the outfield, allowing Martinez to score and Bogaerts to reach third. The play was more so on Bohm, but Segura also laid on the ground after missing the throw rather than chasing after it.
Bohm committed another error in the seventh inning, throwing wide of first base on a routine groundball that pulled Rhys Hoskins off the bag. It was Bohm’s seventh error of the season and 11th since his call-up last summer. That is tied for the most among all National League third basemen, and keep in mind, Bohm did not come up until the third week of the season last year.
They had a third error when Andrew McCutchen kicked a ball in left field, allowing Hunter Renfroe to advance to second on a single.
Through 45 games, the Phillies have committed 26 errors.
Nola continues to pitch uncharacteristically
Nola has not pitched up to his standard lately. He has a 5.20 ERA in his last five starts and has averaged 5.5 innings. The Phillies are 1-4 in those games. He hasn’t been the same since his complete game on April 18.
Nola gave up two runs in a 24-pitch first inning Friday before settling in to retire 12 of the next 13, eight via strikeout. Then came that ugly fifth.
Vince Velasquez and Chase Anderson, the Phillies’ four and five starters as of earlier this week, both pitched in relief after Connor Brogdon allowed three runs (one earned). Velasquez retired all four batters he faced with three strikeouts. Anderson allowed three runs in his inning of work on a bases-clearing double by Christian Vazquez.
Segura blast followed by slow offense
The Phillies’ runs scored on Segura’s two-run shot to left-center in the third and Bohm’s RBI single in the sixth. All three came with two outs. Segura had a three-hit night and is batting .327.
Bryce Harper had another silent night, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He has not had good at-bats this week. In his last six games, he’s 2-for-20 with 10 strikeouts and just one walk.
The three-game series continues Saturday night with Spencer Howard making his first start of the season against hard-throwing Red Sox right-hander Nate Eovaldi. The Phillies will have to make a roster move Saturday afternoon to officially promote Howard.