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The Phillies haven’t scored first in a game since May 20

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Things are not going well for the Phillies. Things haven’t been going well all year, but the Phillies’ last month in particular has been one long nightmare. Heralded cornerstones Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco have been abysmal at the plate. Veteran additions like Michael Saunders and Clay Buchholz haven’t worked. Young pitchers Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, and Aaron Nola have been inconsistent at best. The bullpen has been largely unreliable.

It’s no shock, then, that the Phillies entered Wednesday afternoon’s action with baseball’s worst record at 17-33. Wednesday’s 10-2 loss to the Marlins gives them exactly twice as many losses as wins, an ignominious feat. The Phillies’ -58 run differential doesn’t offer any hope, only putting them a couple of wins better than they have been.

How bad have things been? The Phillies have held the lead exactly five times in their last 12 games spanning 110 innings. They haven’t scored first in a game since May 20, when they visited the Pirates.

  • May 31 @ MIA: Fell behind 3-0 after the first inning (lost 10-2; never led)
  • May 30 @ MIA: Fell behind 2-0 after the second inning (lost 7-2; never led)
  • May 29 @ MIA: Fell behind 2-0 after the third inning (lost 4-1; never led)
  • May 28 vs. CIN: Fell behind 1-0 after the first inning (lost 8-4; led 4-2 until the third inning)
  • May 27 vs. CIN: Fell behind 2-0 after the first inning (won 4-3, walkoff; led 3-2 until the sixth inning)
  • May 26 vs. CIN: Fell behind 2-0 after the first inning (lost 5-2; never led)
  • May 25 vs. COL: Fell behind 1-0 after the fourth inning (won 2-1, walkoff; never led until 11th)
  • May 24 vs. COL: Fell behind 7-0 after the third inning (lost 7-2; never led)
  • May 23 vs. COL: Fell behind 2-0 after the third inning (lost 8-2; never led)
  • May 22 vs. COL: Fell behind 3-0 after the third inning (lost 8-1; never led)
  • May 21 @ PIT: Fell behind 1-0 after the sixth inning (lost 1-0; never led)
  • May 20 @ PIT: Went ahead 1-0 after the first inning (lost 6-3; led 1-0 until the third inning)

On the bright side, the rebuilding Phillies weren’t expected to be competitive this season, and finishing with baseball’s worst record will net them the first overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. But Phillies fans are growing impatient. While the fans may not have been expecting to watch a winner, they did expect to see somewhat competent baseball and the Phillies have provided very little of that, particularly in the month of May. The Phillies closed out the month of May with a 6-22 record after an 11-12 April.

Aaron Altherr has hit three-run homers in three straight games

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The Phillies are playing the Mariners this afternoon. In the third inning, Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr hit a three-run homer. Neat! Even neater, though, is that Altherr did that yesterday too. And the day before.

It’s not too common for guys to it three-run homers three games in a row. It’s the first time a Phillies player has done it since Mike Schmidt did in 1981. I couldn’t immediately find the all-time record for most three-run home run games in a row, but it can’t be much more than three, right?

Either way, a nice week for Altherr. Those three dingers. Eight extra-base hits in his last eight games. At the moment he’s hitting .347/.434/.708 and is on a 30-homer, 100-RBI pace.

That Ruben Amaro sure knew what he was doin’ when he was building this team, eh?

 

Phillies place Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club placed outfielder Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right abdominal strain, retroactive to April 16. The Phillies called up pitcher Mark Leiter from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Kendrick, 33, sustained the injury over the weekend attempting to make a diving catch. The veteran was acquired by the Phillies from the Dodgers in November and is in the last year of his two-year, $20 million contract. Kendrick was performing well for the Phillies, batting .333/.395/.487 with four doubles and a triple with five RBI in 43 plate appearances.

Aaron Altherr, Daniel Nava, and Brock Stassi are all candidates to get increased playing time while Kendrick is out.

Leiter, 26, yielded just one run in 5 1/3 innings at Triple-A. He’ll likely work in low- and medium-leverage situations for the Phillies.