It's a lot easier to beat a team with both crappy pitching and crappy hitting, turns out. Milwaukee only has the latter of the two, and while the Phillies were able to scrape together four runs early off sub-starter Alfredo Figaro, they missed on a couple opportunities to add to their lead, and the Brewers clawed their way back to even off Cliff Lee. A little too much Jeremy Horst in the late innings, and it seemed all but inevitable that the Brew Crew would win it in the ninth--which they did, scoring Jean Segura on a walk-off Aramis Ramirez base hit. Final score: Brewers 5, Phillies 4.
Tough loss, mostly because the Phils had been on such a roll lately--a win would have been their season-high sixth in a row, and left them two games over .500 for the first time all year. And it seemed like a pretty likely outcome, with a four-run lead and our best pitcher on the mound, but Cliff wasn't really on his game tonight--he was lucky to get away with just letting up two runs through six, as the Brewers knocked him for six hits and drew three walks (matching a season-high), before Jean Segura blazed an RBI triple that turned into an inside-the-park home run with a lousy relay to the plate from Freddy Galvis. Lee got out of the inning from there, but the damage was done.
The really disappointing thing about the loss wasn't Lee's performance, or the Phils' inability to pad their lead in the game's final five innings, but that Charlie Manuel decided to pitch Jeremy Horst in the bottom of the ninth, featuring the super-dangerous top of the Brewers' order, when nearly all of their bullpen was still available for the high-leverage situation. You could say that Charlie was saving Jonathan Papelbon for the save should it come up--though even that is kind of a suspect decision--but going with the imminently sinkable Horst over Mike Adams or even Antonio Bastardo seems almost like a waving of the white flag to me. Disappointing, though I'm skeptical they would've gotten outta there with a W regardless.
Some positives to talk about on offense, at least. Erik Kratz hit his eighth round-tripper of the season, a two-run shot to deep left-center, which moves him into second place on the team in homers. The dude in first didn't go yard tonight, but Dom Brown still had a pretty good game at the plate, going 1-3 with a double and an impressively patient walk, as well as manufacturing a run on the basepaths. Delmon Young also went 2-4 with an RBI single, though his eighth-inning-ending double-play grounder--on the first pitch he saw off a new pitcher, no less--basically killed the last chance the Phils had at taking back the lead in this one.
Oh well. Sometimes you eat the Horst, and sometimes the Horst eats you. Another chance to move back above .500 tomorrow, with another replacement-level Milwaukee starter in former Pittsburgh ace-by-default Tom Gorzelanny, opposed by our Kyle Kendrick. Our actually decent relief pitchers should be good and rested, at least.