Instant Replay: Dodgers 5, Phillies 0

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Instant Replay: Dodgers 5, Phillies 0

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LOS ANGELES – The Phillies began a killer stretch in which they face three of the top pitchers in baseball in consecutive games with a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

Lefty Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ three-time Cy Young winner, overpowered the Phillies' hitters in pitching his first shutout of the season. He scattered eight hits, walked none and struck out 13.

Meanwhile, Phillies rookie Adam Morgan lasted just four innings.

The Phillies dropped to 29-58 overall and 11-33 on the road. Both are the worst in the majors.

Starting pitching report
Morgan (1-2) gave up six hits, including two homers, and five runs over four innings. All the runs came on homers.

Morgan did not help himself by failing to start what might have been an inning-ending double play in the third and Jimmy Rollins followed with a three-run homer.

Since June 1, Phillies starting pitchers are a majors-worst 3-19 with a 6.76 ERA. They have pitched just 185 innings over that span, the lowest in the majors.

Kershaw (6-6) raised his NL-leading strikeout total to 160.

He has allowed just two runs over 23 innings in his last three starts. The Dodgers lost the previous two by scores of 3-2 and 2-1.

Kershaw preserved his shutout with a pair of strikeouts with a man on third to end the game.

Bullpen report
Hector Neris, Jake Diekman and Justin De Fratus pitched scoreless ball after Morgan departed.

It was all Kershaw on the Dodgers’ side.

At the plate
Freddy Galvis and Domonic Brown had two hits each for the Phillies. Brown and Carlos Ruiz doubled.

A.J. Ellis smacked a two-run homer for the Dodgers in the second inning. Rollins hit his three-run homer an inning later.

Health check
Right-hander Jonathan Pettibone hit a roadblock in his recovery from shoulder surgery and will have another surgery later this month, the team announced. Pettibone first had surgery in June 2014. Wilmington surgeon Craig Morgan will perform a procedure known as an interval closure on Pettibone. Morgan had a similar surgery in January 2014.

Up next
The assignment gets no easier for the Phillies in the series finale Thursday night as they face right-hander Zack Greinke. He is 7-2 and leads the majors with a 1.48 ERA. Severino Gonzalez (3-2, 8.28) goes for the Phillies.

The Phillies face World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner in San Francisco on Friday night.

Pete Mackanin: Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was 'a helluva pitcher'

Pete Mackanin: Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was 'a helluva pitcher'

NEW YORK — The clubhouse mood following the Phillies17-0 loss to the Mets Sunday was somber, in part because of the disastrous game that had just wrapped up, but also because of the tragic news of Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death in a boating accident early Sunday morning.

“It was rough. People are devastated. I didn’t even know him and I was crushed,” Phillies starter Jake Thompson said. “I can only imagine how that clubhouse feels. That’s something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, to deal with something of that magnitude.”

Both teams paused for a moment of silence before Sunday’s game and the Mets taped a jersey bearing Fernandez’s name and number onto their dugout wall.

“This morning, that was quite a surprise,” manager Pete Mackanin said of the atmosphere of the day. “I don’t think it affected the players once the game started. It was such bad news this morning that everybody was kind of melancholy.”

Fernandez had built a strong track record against the Phillies in his young career, amassing a 2.88 ERA in six starts.

“It’s kind of cliché to say but you look at the start of his career and he could have been a Hall of Famer,” Thompson said.

Asked how he would remember facing Fernandez, Mackanin was succinct.

“He was a helluva pitcher,” he said.

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Phillies suffer worst shutout loss in modern era to Mets

Phillies suffer worst shutout loss in modern era to Mets

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NEW YORK -- Jake Thompson faced the issues that a 22-year old starter in his 10th career appearance usually does Sunday against the Mets.
 
Thompson struggled with his command at times, walking the bases loaded in the fourth inning before escaping his self-induced jam with a flyout. He hit a batter and surrendered a home run to Curtis Granderson on a pitch that caught too much of the plate.
 
The righty departed after four innings in what manager Pete Mackanin declared postgame to be Thompson’s last start of the season.
 
But perhaps neither he nor the rest of the Phillies expected the extent to which his struggles would ripple through the bullpen. The Phillies’ relievers surrendered 14 runs, hit three batters and gave up a grand slam in a 17-0 loss, the franchise's worst shutout defeat in the modern era (see Instant Replay).
 
“Obviously the bullpen has scuffled for a while now,” Mackanin said. “That shows you how much the game is about pitching. It keeps you in games, gives you an opportunity to win like it did the first couple of months of the season for us. Now, the last month, it’s not keeping us in games or it’s losing games.”
 
The Phillies’ relievers were charged with 28 runs over the course of their four-game swing in New York. Their collective 4.69 ERA is the fourth-worst in the National League.
 
Sunday, Phil Klein — who hadn’t pitched since he was recalled from Lehigh Valley on Sept. 10 — and little-used Colton Murray and Patrick Schuster — who had combined for three appearances in the past two weeks — took the brunt of the damage.
 
Klein walked two batters, surrendered two singles and hit Mets catcher Rene Rivera in the left hand to force in a run. He left the bases loaded for Murray, who allowed an inherited runner to score on a wild pitch. Murray was pulled in the seventh having gotten into a bases-loaded jam of his own. His replacement, Frank Herrmann, allowed all three runs to score on a walk and a grand slam by Asdrubal Cabrera.
 
Schuster was assigned five runs in the eighth after he was tagged for three hits, walked a batter and hit Gavin Cecchini.
 
Which pitchers — if any — out of the Phillies’ cadre of middle relivers will return next year is an open question and Mackanin made it clear that he will use the remaining six games in the season to evaluate his team’s arms.
 
“It’s another audition.” Mackanin said. “We want to see who might fit in.”
 
Thompson can clearly stake a claim to his role in the Phillies’ rebuilding effort. Despite the hiccup in his final outing, he has come a long way in just two months from being the pitcher that surrendered six runs to the light-hitting Padres in his Aug. 6 debut.

His changeup — a pitch that hitters had connected on for six home runs this year, according to data from Fangraphs — was particularly lively Sunday. Cabrera chased it out of the zone in the first inning for Thompson’s only strikeout.
 
“I think the changeup’s probably been my best pitch up here,” Thompson said. “I’ve given up a lot of homers on it, too. That just shows whenever you don’t execute it, it’s a tough pitch to throw in the zone. As far as the swing-and-misses that I was getting with it, it’s kind of night and day.
 
“At this point last year I pretty much had no changeup, so that’s a big thing for me.”
 
Only 23 on Opening Day next year, Thompson has plenty of room to improve.
 
The Phillies’ bullpen does, too.

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