This time, it was Chase Utley, who’d been instrumental in setting up the ninth-inning comeback against closer Heath Bell, that provided Ryan Howard with the opportunity to drive in the game-winning runs in extras.
The Phillies struggled against starting pitching once again as Brandon McCarthy scattered seven hits over eight strong innings, allowing no earned runs. In the four-game series against Arizona, the Phils were only able to muster four runs off of starting pitchers over 26.1 collective innings contributed by the Diamondbacks starting staff.
If Philadelphia did not mount a comeback today, Kyle Kendrick would have been the most recent Phillies’ pitcher to earn a quality start and the loss. Kendrick only allowed two earned runs over seven innings pitched, recording his seventh quality start in a row. Fortunately, he did not suffer the same fate as Cole Hamels, and the Phillies were able to salvage a series split with late-inning heroics.
Arizona has been a quality team so far this season and especially tough to beat at home. Their collective ERA is second best in the National League at 3.44. All that being said, Arizona has been a place where the Phillies’ bats have flourished, and this past weekend presented an offensive performance that was as dry as the desert air.
The Phillies cannot continue to throw up goose eggs inning after inning while their starters are giving them quality start after start. Teammates try to be as supportive and optimistic as possible, but blood will start to boil if this trend continues.
People can say what they want to the media, but the fact of the matter is factions can and will form between teammates. More often than not, the feud is between pitchers and position players over the most important thing in the game — runs.