Although San Diego is home to one of the most pleasing ballparks in the MLB, the Philadelphia Phillies could not wait to leave and return home.
As the worst team in the league, the Phillies hoped for a productive series against the San Diego Padres, a team which has the worst offense in the majors.
The only thing the Phillies left town with were three more losses, including a 3-0 shutout on Wednesday.
The Phillies faced Padres left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard, and somehow managed to make him seem like he was Clayton Kershaw.
“A very disappointing series here,” said manager Pete Mackanin. “We couldn’t get the job done.
“We only got three hits today. I’m not happy about the stolen bases. It’s embarrassing to me. We didn’t execute [defensively] on a double-steal, which we should have. All in all, it was a bad series.”
In the series, the Padres outscored the Phillies 18-8 and only managed to earn one win against the Padres, after facing each other six times this season.
Currently, the Phillies are 43-75 on the season, with a 19-44 record on the road.
Many are saying the Phillies are on pace to earn 103 losses by the end of the season. The team has not ended a season with triple digit losses since 1961 (107 losses).
The silver lining to an overall atrocious season could be in the form of the top pick in the upcoming 2018 MLB draft.
Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta has demonstrated that he is certainly a potential building block in the team’s starting rotation.
In Wednesday afternoon’s loss, the 6-5 righty used a knee-buckling curveball to strike out eight of the first nine batters and a career-high 11 overall which is the most by a Phillies rookie since Cole Hamels did it on September 16, 2006.
However, some negatives in his performance were the fact that he walked three batters, committed a balk and was on the mound for five San Diego stolen bases. Pivetta also did a fairly poor job of holding runners on, especially Wil Myers.
“I wasn’t mixing my holds, I guess, enough,” Pivetta said. “Something I need to work on. Something I can learn from. For the most part, it was they ran a little bit extra today and that was the difference in the ballgame.”
After the game, the Phillies sent Pivetta down to Triple A Lehigh Valley.
At first, many were surprised by the move, however, after further analysis, the move makes sense.
The Phillies are looking to add a position player as they monitor Odubel Herrera‘s sore hamstring for a couple of more days. A possible candidate to take Pivetta’s roster spot could be Brock Stassi.
The Phillies can even add a 26th man for Tuesday’s doubleheader against Miami, and Pivetta could make his return to the majors in no time.
“It just kind of works,” Mackanin said. “He pitched well today. I like what he did, other than the stolen bases. That’s part of the game he needs to work at. Other than that, I thought he was really good.”
Among his fellow teammates, catcher Cameron Rupp was thoroughly impressed.
“He made pitches,” Rupp said.
For the Padres, Richard (6-12) entered the game carrying some ugly numbers — a 1.596 WHIP, 188 hits allowed (the most in the majors) and a .323 opponents’ batting average (the highest in the majors).
Richard capitalized on a weak Phillies lineup which struggled, mainly due to the absence of Herrera and Aaron Altherr. He held the Phillies to three hits and a walk in pitching his first shutout in five years.
“We had a bad series swinging the bats as a group,” Mackanin said. “But he pitched well today. I give him credit. He mixed it up. He pitched inside, outside. He changed speeds. He did a good job.”
“We hit a lot of balls hard, but right at people. It’s a tough part of the game, but you have to deal with it. We didn’t get the big hit,” said Rupp.
Photo: Ian D’Andrea (via Flickr)