Phils-Reds game halted because of rain, to resume Wednesday

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Phils-Reds game halted because of rain, to resume Wednesday

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CINCINNATI -- Before batting practice Tuesday night, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel talked about his team’s struggling offense.

He tried to be diplomatic, but it didn’t work.

So he resorted to some plain talk.

“When you cut right to the chase and through the BS, we have to hit,” he said.

It didn’t happen Tuesday night. The Phillies ran into a formidable pitcher in Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey, who allowed just two singles and struck out 10 over eight shutout innings.

The Phils, meanwhile, received a strong start of their own from Kyle Kendrick, who pitched two-hit ball over seven shutout innings.

So which team finally cracked through and won the game?

Neither.

With the score knotted at 0-0, the game was suspended because of rain in the bottom of the ninth inning. It will be resumed Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. before the teams’ regularly scheduled game starts at 7:10 p.m.

Tuesday night’s game was delayed one hour, 20 minutes at the start. After it was suspended, Manuel sat in the visiting manager’s office and was reminded of his pregame thoughts on the offense.

“It didn’t work out,” he said. “We haven’t hit on this road trip. We scored six runs in three games in Miami, two last night, and right now we’re hanging on a zero.”

This is the first time the Phils have had a suspended game since their World Series clincher in 2008.

When the game resumes Wednesday night, reliever Phillippe Aumont will be on the mound to start the bottom of the ninth. Zack Cosart is the scheduled Reds’ hitter. Aumont had just entered the game when the skies opened.

The Phillies wasted a strong from Kendrick, but Bailey had something to do with the their struggles at the plate.

“KK was matching him,” Manuel said. “They didn’t hit him either.”

Phillies starting pitchers have delivered seven quality starts (six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs) in a row.

“That’s good,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, we need to get them some runs.”

Chase Utley and Michael Young had the Phillies’ only hits Tuesday night. Leadoff man Ben Revere was 0 for 4. His average has dropped to .207. Jimmy Rollins was 0 for 3. He is 0 for 15 on the trip and is down to .226.

After Bailey exited, Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the top of the ninth. In all, Phillies hitters struck out 12 times.

The Reds had a couple early threats in the game. They put runners on the corners in the first inning, but Kendrick struck out Jay Bruce to get out of the jam. Two innings later, rightfielder Laynce Nix made a diving grab of Joey Votto’s sinking liner to save a run.

Aumont is scheduled to face Cozart, Votto and Brandon Phillipps in the bottom of the ninth. They are the Reds’ Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters.

John Lannan (0-0, 3.86) and Mike Leake (0-0, 6.00) are the pitchers in the regularly scheduled game.

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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