For the first time since Terry Francona was manager, the Phillies are sitting on an eight-game losing streak as a doubleheader against the Mets that played more like a pair of split-squad spring training games went south, by a score of 2-1 this afternoon and 6-3 in the nightcap.
Game one of the doubleheader bore an eerie similarity to this game, where R.A. Dickey outdeuled Cole Hamels to the tune of a one-hit complete game shutout, with that one hit coming off Hamels’ bat. In this afternoon’s game, Dickey was perfect through five and hitless through six, but in the top of the seventh, Shane Victorino (batting right-handed against the knuckleballer) doubled with one out and was singled home by Ryan Howard on the next pitch.
But Hamels, who was himself excellent through six innings, allowed a game-tying home run to something called Valentino Pascucci in the bottom of the seventh, and in the next inning, Ruben Tejada and David Wright combined for a single, a double, and two stolen bases off of Brad Lidge, and while the Phillies made some noise off Mets reliever Manny Acosta in the top of the ninth, Acosta retired Carols Ruiz to end the game with the tying run on second and the winning run on first.
In Game Two, things started off well, as the Phillies, despite loading the bases with no outs in the first and coming away empty-handed, tagged Mets started Dillon Gee for two runs in the second and another in the third, thanks in part to–believe it or not–two doubles by Ross Gload, who had hit for extra bases only six times in 115 plate appearances coming into today. Joe Blanton struck out the side in the second and was lifted up 3-0.
Then the wheels fell off. David Herndon, in for Blanton, who was scheduled only to throw two innings or so, had a runner on second and two out when Hunter Pence ran down a fly ball and booted it, then ran into the outfield wall. Two runs scored and Herndon walked David Wright before being lifted for Kyle Kendrick, who allowed both inherited runners, plus one more, to score before striking out Josh Satin to end the inning. All told, five unearned runs scored with two outs.
If you’re looking for a silver lining, it’s that Michael Schwimer, Mike Stutes, and Justin De Fratus, the three headline members of the class of young, hard-throwing righties who will make up the bulk of next year’s bullpen, combined for four perfect innings to close out the game.