The Phillies have hit their first rough patch of the new season. They were blown out, 15-1, by the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.
The Phils have lost two in a row for the first time this season and have been outscored 24-1 over the last 14 innings. Ouch.
The Phils, who blew a 6-1 lead in a 10-inning loss to Washington on Tuesday night, were never in this one. Starting pitcher Nick Pivetta was tagged for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Things got so bad for the Phillies that reserve outfielder Aaron Altherr had to pitch the ninth. He allowed a run but struck out two, flashing an 89-mph fastball.
Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson held his former club to three singles over six innings to get the win.
The Phillies are 7-4.
Washington is 6-5. The Nats have taken three of five from the Phillies this season.
• It was clear that Pivetta was in for a rough night when he needed 39 pitches to complete the first inning.
• Pivetta walked a batter with two outs in the fourth inning then gave up an infield hit to load the bases. Anthony Rendon then cleared them with a three-run double as the Nats took a 6-0 lead. Rendon is 8 for 15 with nine RBIs in his career against Pivetta.
• The Phillies’ offense was anemic. They were out-hit, 17-3.
It was not good. He allowed seven hits and walked three. He threw 94 pitches and failed to get out of the fourth.
Much is expected from the 26-year-old right-hander this season, but so far little has been delivered. In three starts, he has been tagged for 24 hits and 14 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings. His ERA is 9.45.
Pivetta’s struggles go back to last season. He has an ERA of 6.16 in 19 starts since June 29 and he’s averaged less than five innings.
Pivetta was originally drafted by the Nationals and traded to the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon. He is 1-5 with a 10.93 ERA in six games, five starts, against Washington.
Sights and sounds
Pivetta walked off the mound in the fourth inning to a fair of amount of boos.
The Phillies are off on Thursday. They travel to Miami for a three-game series against the rebuilding Marlins on Friday night. The Marlins are 3-9. General manager Matt Klentak warned that the Phils must approach the series with some urgency.
“I think this weekend is a little bit of a trap series for us,” he said. “I think the environment will be a little bit different and I think we really need to make sure we keep our same level of focus.”
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