Embarrassed Phillies in Milwaukee, lose ground to Atlanta in NL East race

Embarrassed Phillies in Milwaukee, lose ground to Atlanta in NL East race originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

A day after gorging on 16 hits, including six homers and 12 runs in a Labor Day shutout for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Phillies looked like a whole different team on Tuesday night.

Aaron Nola failed to shake off his September demons, Ramon Rosso was terribly out of the paddock, the attack was poor from start to finish and the defense still left something to be desired.

When the dust settled in the evening, the Phils lost 10-0 to the Brewers just a day after checking them out, 12-0.

The loss came at a cost for the Phillies, who lost ground to Atlanta, first in the NL East. The Braves beat Washington in Atlanta. The Phils are trailing the Braves by 2½ games with 24 remaining. The Phils entered the second day of the wildcard race.

A day after their offensive blowout on Monday, the Phillies were limited to just five hits and all of them were singles. They only had one hit in the first five innings against Milwaukee southpaw Eric Lauer.

Manager Joe Girardi stacked his roster with right-handed sticks – he even beat JT Realmuto in the lead – against Lauer. Lauer was unfazed. He threw seven white innings. The Phillies are 20-25 against left-handed starters this season. They are sure to miss the right-handed presence of Rhys Hoskins.

“This is what we have,” manager Joe Girardi said after the game. “We have to find a way to do it with the guys we have. We can’t say “If we had this guy” or “If we had this guy”. We don’t. We have to find a way to do it. “

Lauer scattered four singles, walked one and struck five at bat in his seven innings of work. He entered the game with a 3.26 ERA in 15 starts this season. Lauer graduated from Kent State University and was a first-round pick (25th overall) by the Padres in 2016, the same draft in which the Phillies selected Mickey Moniak for No. 1.

Nola had a mixed start for the Phillies. He pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just six hits. But five of those hits came in the third inning as the Brewers rallied for three runs. Nola just couldn’t fend off the Brewers in this round. The five hits he gave up in the frame came with two catches. Three of the hits came on curve balls, one on a pellet and one on a change.

“I thought I made some decent shots this round, they just found some holes,” said Nola. “It’s baseball. All season, for the most part, it’s been a round (it hurts).

Defense, a weakness all season for this team, didn’t help Nola in the third set. Shortstop Freddy Galvis didn’t play on what turned out to be an infielder shot by Lauer.

“He left a few balls in the air with two hits that hurt him, but I thought he threw the ball well tonight,” Girardi said of Nola. “We haven’t played in this round and it leads to three points. If we do, it’s two outs and nobody over and maybe it’s a whole different set and he goes through six or seven tonight.

Nola’s struggles in September are well documented. As of 2019, he has an ERA of 5.38 at the start of September 13. The Phillies have won just three of those games. Nola pitched nine innings and allowed nine runs in two starts in September.

Nola’s season ERA is 4.57. The Phils are just 13-15 in their 28 starts. They’ll have a hard time catching up with the Braves if Nola doesn’t turn around quickly. His next start is scheduled for Sunday against Colorado at home.

Milwaukee was leading 3-0 early in the sixth inning and increased the lead to 6-0 when Rosso allowed three runs – all after a wild pitch on a two strikeout strikeout that extended the inning. Rosso allowed two singles and two walks after that.

Kyle Gibson gets the ball in the series finale on Wednesday night. Freddy Peralta will leave for Milwaukee.

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