Pathetic, absolutely pathetic.
Desperately in need of wins, the Phillies could not have found themselves in a better place than Arizona these last three days. The Arizona Diamondbacks have the worst record in the National League. Coming in, a series win would have been the minimal accepted outcome for the Phillies.
The Phillies’ visit to the desert could not have gone worse.
Instead of winning the series, instead of getting that sweep, it was the Phillies who were swept, beaten in all three games by the lowly D-backs.
Looking to salvage at least a win in the series, the Phillies had their ace, Zack Wheeler, on the mound Thursday afternoon. He could not rescue the team’s punchless offense and the Phillies suffered a 6-2 loss in front of 7,165 fans.
The Phillies, who led the NL East by two games after a win on August 8, have lost seven of their last nine games to slip four games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves, who are 13-3 in August and might end up running away with their fourth straight division title.
The Phils are now 61-60.
Since starting the month with eight straight wins to move into first place, the Phillies’ offense has gone missing.
The Phils had just 14 hits in the three games in Arizona and scored just six runs.
Bryce Harper went 1-for-11 in the series. J.T. Realmuto went 0-for-11. Andrew McCutchen went 1-for-11. Ronald Torreyes was 2-for-11. Didi Gregorius was 2-for-10.
Jean Segura led off Thursday’s game with a double against Madison Bumgarner. After that, the Phillies did not have another hit until the eighth inning. They had seven hits in all and six of them came in the final two innings, after they were already trailing, 6-0.
Madison Bumgarner, relying on a cutter and a 89-90 mph fastball that he located well, pitched a season-high eight innings and gave up just three hits and one run. He allowed just one hit and no runs through his first seven innings of work.
Wheeler was very good for the first six innings. He did not allow a hit until David Peralta doubled with two outs in the fourth. The D-backs turned that into a 1-0 lead on a bloop single by Christian Walker.
Wheeler didn’t allow another run until the seventh when the D-backs rallied for five after a blown third strike call led to a leadoff double by Walker. The blown call wasn’t the story of the game. The Phillies’ awful offense was. It was the story of the whole series.
The Diamondbacks entered the series with a 38-81 record.
The Phillies now move on to San Diego for three against the Padres starting Friday night.
The offense could get a boost as Rhys Hoskins is expected to come off the injured list Friday. He leads the team in homers and RBIs.
The Phils may have suffered another injury, though. Odubel Herrera was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Bumgarner in the eighth inning and had to leave the game.