Domonic Brown: 'We got our ass whooped'

Domonic Brown: 'We got our ass whooped'
September 15, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Domonic Brown, who made his return to the Phillies' lineup on Sunday, scored one of the Phillies' pair of runs in an 11-2 loss to the Nationals. (USA Today Images)

WASHINGTON – The change of season can be felt in the cooling air and seen in the passions of Philadelphia sports fans.

While the Eagles played to rapt attention back at the corner of 11th and Pattison on Sunday afternoon, the Phillies finished a three-game series in the nation’s capital that barely stirred interest back home.

Maybe that was a good thing.

“Excuse my French, but we got our ass whooped,” Domonic Brown said after the Washington Nationals laid an 11-2 beating on the Phillies. “It was tough on us. It felt like everything we were throwing they weren’t missing. It’s tough when a team does that.”

The Nats out-hit the Phils, 18-8. Ten of the hits came against starter Tyler Cloyd, who did not get an out in the fifth inning (see Instant Replay).

“More disappointing than pitching badly is not giving the team a chance to win,” said Cloyd, who has been hammered for 19 hits and 12 runs over eight innings in his last two starts.

It will be interesting to see whether Cloyd gets another start as this dispiriting season winds down. There are two weeks left.

Then again, the Phillies have pretty much run through all of their starting pitching depth, so they might have no choice but to give Cloyd another couple of turns.

Since the all-star break, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee have ERAs of 2.54 and 3.25, respectively. Every other Phillies starter has combined for a 7.58 ERA since the break.

Interim manager Ryne Sandberg isn’t sure whether he’ll be around next year – aside to Ryno: you will be – but he knows the starting pitching has to get better.

“Those are some things that have to be addressed and have to show improvement,” Sandberg said. “The game starts with starting pitching. I think the bullpen has been somewhat of a bright spot with some answers there, but still, the rotation needs to be addressed and it will be.”

Sandberg is right. Relievers such as Jake Diekman, B.J. Rosenberg and Justin De Fratus have shown promise recently. Most of the relievers that came out of the ‘pen Sunday did not.

The Phils and Nationals both hoped to challenge for the NL East title this season, but neither did. Atlanta is running away with the division while the Nats are barely alive in the wild-card race.

The Phillies? They died long ago.

They finished the season 8-11 against the Nationals and were just 2-7 in Washington.

The Nationals have won seven of their last eight games and are 4 1/2 games back in the wild-card race with 13 games to play.

“They’re playing good baseball over there,” said Brown, who doubled in his return to the starting lineup after nursing a sore Achilles tendon for two weeks.

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos played well with seven hits and eight RBIs in the series.

Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann improved to 3-1 against the Phils this season with seven innings of two-run ball Sunday.

And Bryce Harper had another big game. He had his third assist of the series from left field – he came within a whisker of having four in the series – and added two doubles, a single and scored three runs.

The fiery Harper received some high praise from Sandberg after the game.

“His assists were all on balls that looked like routine doubles off the wall,” Sandberg said. “He’s impressive. He plays it hard and plays it hard all the way through. He’s an all-star this year and has a bright future playing the game that way.”