Well that sucked.
What else can you say when your high-powered, league leading offense can only scrape up one lousy run against the worst pitching staff in the majors? Or when your top-ranked defense commits three errors? Or when your ace is inexplicitly sent out to throw 132 pitches in a complete game loss on his own bobblehead night?
The Phillies went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on a very cold, frustrating evening at Citizens Bank Park tonight. Zach Duke (3-4, 5.08 ERA) would pitch four innings of one-hit ball before giving up the lone run on a Juan Castro double that would score Ryan Howard.
Ben Francisco, who got his first start since April 26, was 0-for-3 and stranded six runners. The only offensive bright spot of the night was Howard beating the shift with three singles to right. (And off of a left-handed pitcher, no less.)
But the biggest shock of the night happened when manager Charlie Manuel sent Roy Halladay (6-2, 1.67 ERA) back to the mound for the ninth inning after he had thrown well over 100 pitches. Even though Roy would strike out two in the frame, it hardly seemed necessary to keep him in the game. Roy has been a workhorse this season, having thrown eight innings or more in five of his nine starts, including four complete games. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the best defensive effort behind him, as the Phils have committed seven errors in his last three starts.
The Phillies begin a two-game series against the Cubs tomorrow at 7:05. Ageless Wonder, 47-year-old™ Jamie Moyer (5-2, 4.57 ERA) faces Tom Gorzelanny (1-4, 3.60 ERA) at the Bank.
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