June 12, 2024

Phillies drop series opener against San Diego Padres as bats go cold

Padres at Phillies, May 17th 2022; the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t get off to the start manager Joe Girardi would have hoped for against the San Diego Padres. The Phillies entered the three-game series on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park chasing the New York Mets in the National League East.

By the end of the night, the Phillies had fallen 3-0 to the Padres and slipped further behind the Mets with 6.0 games now separating the long-time NL East rivals. San Diego’s back-end of the rotation had little difficult corralling the Phillies’ bats as Bryce Harper missed the second consecutive game for the home team.

Right-hander Mike Clevinger started the game for the Padres throwing five innings of nearly perfect baseball. Philadelphia tallied a mere one hit off of Clevinger while the Padres’ pitcher struck out five. Padres manager Bob Melvin brought on lefty Mackenzie Gore in the sixth and the reliever continued to baffle the bats of Philadelphia. Although Gore gave up three hits, the Phillies didn’t trouble the hurler.

Zach Eflin off the COVID-19 list

Girardi started pitcher Zach Eflin, who was fresh off of the COVID-19 list. Eflin went into the game with a record of 1-2 and picked up the loss in game one of the three-game series with San Diego. Despite falling to a third loss of the season, Eflin gave up just one run on five hits in 6.0 innings. The disappointing part for Girardi was the excellent effort Eflin exhibited. The pitcher nearly matched Clevinger, but he couldn’t get the run supported needed to post a ‘W’.

The Padres led 1-0 going into the top of the seventh inning when Girardi went to the bullpen as James Norwood took the mound. Norwood’s introduction surprised onlookers as the reliever has struggled to get outs in 2022.

Norwood’s struggles continued as the Padres scored two runs off of one hit. After walking the first batter he faced, Norwood, gave up a single. An error by Kyle Schwarber allowed the Padres to double their lead. Norwood lasted a mere third of an inning.

Brand Hand followed Norwood and immediately gave up a double. The runner he inherited came across home plate to make it 3-0 in favor of the Padres. Although Hand has a 1.80 ERA, he has allowed six of 14 inherited runners to score. His ERA is misleading and shows the issues the Phillies must address in their bullpen.

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Padres 3, Phillies 0

While the Phillies offense struggled with just five hits and two of those belonged to DH Nick Castellanos. Castellanos is currently second in hits with 38 this season, two behind the currently injured Harper. The DH was signed in the offseason as one of the two big bat additions made by general manager Dave Dombrowski. Unfortunately, the Phillies’ focus on big bats may lead to more games like this.

On May 13, Harper’s injured elbow was upgraded to a “tear”. Harper has missed the Phillies’ last two games against NL West teams the Los Angeles Dodgers and Padres after undergoing a platelet-rich plasma injection to help the injury heal on Sunday.

Harper hopes to return to the Philadelphia line-up on Wednesday or Thursday versus the Padres. The team’s offensive struggles against San Diego in game 1 showed that Harper is needed for the Phillies to have success this season.

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