The Phillies were shut out for the fourth time this year losing Tuesday night to the Pirates 2-0. In perspective, the Phillies were only shut seven times all of 2012. Cole Hamels pitched 8 strong innings allowing 2 runs while striking out 6 and walking only 1 batter. Hamels’ counterpart, left-hander Jeff Locke pitched 6 shutout innings of 2 hit baseball making the Phillies offense look feeble which is not hard to do these days.
That’s not saying the Phillies did not have their chances to score. They wasted a leadoff triple by John Mayberry Jr. in the fourth by running on contact with no outs on a Ben Revere ground ball. It was said in the post-game press conference that it was Charlie’s decision to run on contact in that situation which I wholeheartedly disagree with. Then with 1 out and Domonic Brown on second and Ben Revere on first, Erik Kratz hits into an inning-ending double play to thwart the Phillies threat.
The Pirates scored their runs in the fourth and eighth inning. In the fourth, Neil Walker singled and scored on Brandon Inge’s double. Gaby Sanchez homered in the eighth to widen the gap to 2-0. The Phillies had another opportunity in the eighth to get some runs. Pinch hitter Laynce Nix singled to lead off the inning, and moved up to second on a Michael Young single who extended his hitting streak to 14 games. With 2 out’s and 2 on, Ryan Howard steps up to the plate against right-hander Mark Melancon. After swinging at 2 pitches out of strike zone, Howard grounds out to end the inning. The Phillies go down 1-2-3 in the ninth against Bucco’s closer and former Phillies minor leaguer Jason Grilli. The Phillies fall to 9-12 on the season and the Pirates move to 11-9.
Once again, the Phillies offense struggled to put up any type of effort against a very hittable left-hander in Locke. The great thing about baseball is that they are right back in action today against another left handed hurler Wandy Rodriguez. He is opposed by Roy Halladay who is looking for his third straight victory after pitching poorly in first two starts of the season. Winning this game is important in order to guarantee a .500 home stand but a series victory of the Pirates is essential to gain some ground in the NL East.
As always, keep Phighting!
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