After winnings the first two games against the Washington Nationals, the Philadelphia Phillies got beat convincingly Saturday night. Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon was a triple short of hitting for the cycle by the fourth inning and the Nationals brought ten men to the plate in the same inning.
Phillies starter A.J. Burnett did not get off to a good start. Through the first 1.2 IP, Burnett allowed three hits, two walks, and five runs (only one earned) to go with one strikeout. Throughout those first two innings, Burnett made it a point to be chippy with the home plate umpire about the strike zone. Following a called ball, Burnett clarified where the pitch missed – outside. The following pitch was intentionally outside and when Burnett gestured after the pitch, the umpire didn’t hesitate to eject him from the game. Manager Ryne Sandberg came out to argue the call and was promptly sent to join Burnett for an early night.
Phillippe Aumont came in to pitch two innings following Burnett and allowed eight hits, six runs (all earned), one walk and had a strikeout. The outing brought Aumont’s ERA to 19.06 and hopefully bought him a ticket back to the minor leagues. Cesar Jimenez, Mario Hollands and Antonio Bastardo finished the game – and the bleeding – pitching the final 3.1 innings with only three hits, one walk and four strikeouts. All told, the Phillies allowed 14 hits, 11 runs and four walks over eight innings pitched.
The bats didn’t fair much better against Jordan Zimmermann. The outfield has been producing significantly better since Sandberg figured out that Ben Revere, Grady Sizemore and Marlon Byrd were his best three hitters. The three outfielders combined for five of the Phillies’ seven hits. The other hit came from Andres Blanco after the Phillies pulled most of their starters.
Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Byrd also contributed two strikeouts each, helping the Phillies reach 11 total on the night. Howard’s slash line has fallen to .218/.300/.370. He looks awful at the plate and likely won’t be wearing a Phillies uniform in 2015 if he keeps the pace up.
The Phillies will look to bounce back with the red-hot Cole Hamels on the mound Sunday at 1:35pm ET. Hamels will be opposed by Stephen Strasburg.
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