As seen on Phillies Nation.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have nothing to play for. Being in last place (19 games under .500, 19 games back), the Pirates can only play spoiler. The Phillies swept the Pirates in July, but the Pirates wanted redemption. They welcomed in the reigning World Champs, and embarrassed them.
The Phillies had an excellent opportunity to knock around Charlie Morton right from the chute. The Phillies only had one run to show in a bases loaded, nobody out situation. Ryan Howard’s RBI ground out put the Phillies on the board, but Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez each popped out to end the threat. The Phillies added another run in the second inning on Paul Bako’s (2-2, 2 BB) homer.
Andrew McCutchen greeted J.A Happ with a lead-off home run. After that, Happ didn’t allow anything– until the eighth inning.
The Phillies learned about Garrett Jones at Citizens Bank Park, when he homered in each game of a three game series. With two outs in the eighth, he struck again. His two-run homer to center field gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
Other than the two homers, Happ pitched well. He pitched eight innings giving up three runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four.
With a struggling closer in Matt Capps, the Phillies had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth. Matt Stairs represented the go-ahead run, but he’d have to snap an 0-for-24 streak . The last time he had gotten a hit was on July 11, when he homered against Capps. It wasn’t meant to be, because although he swung for the fences, he struck out.
Jimmy Rollins grounded out to end the game. The offense struggled all series long. When the Phillies bats are hot, they’re on fire. When they’re cold, they’re frozen. The offense has been very streaky and they’ve become too reliant on the home run.
Expecting to sweep, the Phillies learned they can not take the Pirates lightly. With the 3-2 loss, the Phillies now have a record of 9-13 at PNC Park since 2002. The Phillies have a history of falling to bad teams, but they still have a comfortable lead in the division.