The Phillies start out their six game road trip in typical Phillies fashion.
In the first game of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phillies’ bat’s were cold as ice as they dropped game one of the three game set to the worst team in baseball in front of 7,796 fans in the desert.
Kyle Gibson turned in a quality start on Tuesday night. The sinker cruised through the four innings. That efficiency came to an end in the fifth when Diamondbacks shortstop Josh Rojas hit his third knock of the night to score Daulton Varsho on an RBI double.
Despite tying the game up, it always felt like Arizona still didn’t have a chance. And they sure did as Josh VanMeter beamed a two-run home run in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead that they would never give up.
Gibson’s night was over after six innings, disappointing considering his hot start out the gate.
Once again the Phillies’ bats fell silent. Apart from a Bryce Harper solo shot that was sent into orbit in the third inning, the rest of the offense was a disappointment.
The Phils faced Taylor Widener to start and he was sporting a 4.98 ERA entering the game. Despite the fact he was dealing the Phillies, Widener was pulled after five innings and 68 pitches.
If you thought that the Phils would find more offensive success against the D-backs bullpen, which is the second-worst in all of baseball, then you were very wrong.
The Phillies had their best chance to get back into in the seventh when both Travis Jankowski and Odubel Herrera had found their way on base via walk. It set up a perfect opportunity for Jean Segura to earn back a run or two while also flipping over the lineup. Except, he ended the inning by flying out to shallow left. One would expect a batter with Segura’s descent to have found success against a bullpen sporting an ERA of 5.37. But, Segura has been in a slump over the last few games and even playing Arizona wasn’t a cure.
Segura is actually in a 1-for-21 funk right now. Hard to believe.
Despite the outcome, it is worth noting JD Hammer’s performance in which he pitched two scoreless innings. He has really set himself up well down the stretch and has proven to be an asset for the bullpen.
However, it goes without saying it is incredibly embarrassing for the Phillies offense to disappear against a team who’s fiercest competition this season is battling the Baltimore Orioles for being the worst team in baseball. This lineup misses Rhys Hoskins. This lineup is also missing the spark it needs to play the role it is designed to do which is make up for the holes on defense and in pitching.
Something will have to change, and quickly, if they wish to play postseason baseball for the first time in a decade. A good start would be playing competitive baseball against a team with a .325 winning percentage.
That said, the Phils were unable to set the tone and gain momentum in the first game of this road trip. They entered play on Tuesday night trailing the Atlanta Braves 1.5 games back in the NL East, they are now 2.5 games back.