Cloyd struggles as Phillies fall in the rain

Cloyd struggles as Phillies fall in the rain

September 21, 2013, 11:30 pm
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Tyler Cloyd gave up five runs in five innings Saturday night in a 5-4 loss to the Mets that was called after 6 1/3 innings. (AP)


If the Phillies want to avoid finishing the home portion of their 2014 schedule with a four-game losing streak, they will need to beat the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon.

The Phils lost their penultimate home game of the season, 5-4, on Saturday night (see Instant Replay). The game was ended in the top of the seventh inning after a one hour, 28-minute rain delay.

“Tough way to take a loss,” interim manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Sandberg won’t be the interim manager for long. He could be named manager for 2014 any day now.

The Phillies are 18-16 under Sandberg. On the season, they are 43-37 at home. Cliff Lee gets the ball on Sunday afternoon as the Phils try to snap a three-game losing skid and end their home schedule with a win. After Sunday’s game, the Phils end the season with seven road games at Miami and Atlanta.

Tyler Cloyd will start one of the remaining road games. He, too, will be looking to snap a (personal) losing streak, which stands at four games. The right-hander was clubbed for five runs in five innings Saturday night. He allowed two home runs, including David Wright’s 32nd against Phillies pitching. Nineteen of those homers have come at Citizens Bank Park.

Cloyd has had a rough time since moving into the Phils’ rotation earlier this month. He has given up 17 runs in 13 innings in three September starts.

It is a good thing Cloyd’s next start (and final one for 2013) will come on the road. His career numbers at Citizens Bank Park are not good: 0-6, 6.86 ERA in eight games. He is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA in nine career games away from home.

Cloyd opened Saturday night’s game with three scoreless innings and four strikeouts before the Mets got him for one in the fourth and four in the sixth.

“The third time through the lineup he seems to struggle at times,” Sandberg said.

Cloyd does not have power stuff. His sinker and cutter have to be located perfectly or he gets in trouble.

“Balls were getting too much of the plate and they got some good swings,” Cloyd said. “I have to work on consistently being down in the zone.”

The Phils trailed 5-1 entering the bottom of the sixth and rallied for three runs on the strength of consecutive doubles by Cesar Hernandez, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. They had some momentum cooking, but the rains, which were steady for a few innings, became too intense.

The umpires delayed the game longer than expected in a game involving two dead-end teams in the final days of the season. Finally, it was called after nearly 90 minutes.

“Who knows what would have happened if we kept going,” Cloyd said.