Phillies fall two games below .500 with 4th Straight Loss, lose to Boston 4-3
Spencer Howard was on the mound for the Phillies last night. He lasted three innings in the Phillies 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Howard, who started in place of Chase Anderson, was on a 70-75 pitch count. He ended the night throwing 68 pitches.
Howard was impressive in his first two innings. In the first, he struck out two and seven of his nine fastballs were at minimum, 96mph. He then came out in the second inning and struck out the side after hitting a batter.
The third inning is where we saw the huge drop off that we have seen in the past from Spencer Howard. His fastball topped out at 93 mph and fell to as low as 90-91 mph. He walked three batters in the frame, including the pitcher, and allowed two runs. Of course, any time there are runs scored you have to ask what happened in the field. Bryce Harper attempted to make a diving catch, missed it, and Rafael Devers was awarded an RBI double.
Phillies Spencer Howard Highlights
That was the end of the night for Howard, who was lifted in the fourth inning after walking the leadoff batter. Howard attributed the loss in velocity to not giving himself time to get his heart rate down after running to first base on a groundout in his only at-bat. It was the first bat of his major league career, so maybe that’s an accurate assessment from the Phillies’ No. 1 prospect. However, in 10 games and seven starts with the Phillies over two seasons of light work, Howard has a 6.25 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. Not great.
As for the offense, Brad Miller got the Phillies on the board with a triple in the fourth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly from Odubel Herrera. Rhys Hoskins hit his 100th career home run last night. It was a solo home run in the sixth inning and his first in 97 plate appearances. The other run came across the plate when Hoskins was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh. Brad Miller, left them loaded, and struck out to end the inning.
Bryce Harper went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, one of which came with the bases loaded during the seventh inning. Harper is now 2-for-25 with 13 strikeouts and one walk over his last seven games. The Phillies themselves have only managed to score seven runs total in their last four games. They have now lost four in a row and are a season-worst two games under .500 at 22-24. They have struck out at least 10 times in eight of their last nine games.
Zack Wheeler (3-2, 2.52 ERA) will be on the mound today trying to salvage the weekend series against the Red Sox. He will face Eduardo Rodriguez (5-2, 4.70 ERA). Good news for the Phillies is that they have won each of Wheeler’s last three starts. Wheeler has allowed two earned runs in 22 innings with 25 strikeouts and one walk. You couldn’t ask for anyone else better to stop the bleeding.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer