The Phillies were unable to come through in the single most important game the Phils have played this season, and possibly the last decade. This was more than a disappointment as they lost to the Atlanta Braves 7-2 to fall to 4.5 back in the NL East on Wednesday night.
In the first inning, Austin Riley and the Braves scored two runs out of what some might consider pure luck. A bloop single and a groundout turned it into a 2-0 game. The Phils got one back from a Ronald Torreyes infield single. On that same play, Ozzie Albies spiked the throw and allowed Didi Gregorius to advance to third.
Honestly, every aspect of the game was a struggle.
Offensively, the Phightins recorded just five hits and produced only two runs. You cant win games like that. No questions asked. Their two, three, four, and five hitters in Jean Segura, Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, and Andrew McCutchen combined for a whopping 0-16 with six strikeouts. By no means was Wednesday night a good offensive performance from the Phillies.
Aaron Nola wasn’t terrible, but he’s certainly been far better. His fastball command was miles more impressive than previous starts, but he left his curveball over the plate and the Braves hitters were picking it up out of the hand. Overall, he surrendered three runs over six innings of work. Nola’s last start of the season was an accurate summary to how his 2021 campaign has gone as a whole: unsuccessful.
Heading to the seventh, the Phillies cut down the Braves lead to one following an RBI groundout that plated Odubel Herrera. Unfortunately, things went south real fast. Jose Alvarado could only record one out in the inning and ended up allowing two earned runs. Hector Neris struggled with his command and also allowed two earned runs. Next man up, Sam Coonrod, allowed Neris’ inherited runners to cross the plate and this game was nearly out of reach following what ended up being a four-run seventh inning.
With all this said, it is important to mention Herrera’s error in centerfield. he booted a ground ball that allowed runners to advance. Did this make a big difference? No, not really. But, it would have been a less-pressure situation for Jose Alvarado.
The Braves’ magic number is down to one with four games remaining.