This was about as ugly as it can get.
Less than 24 hours after one of their best wins of the season, the Phillies turned in an absolutely embarrassing performance in losing, 24-4, to the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday.
The Phillies made four errors in the ballgame and allowed 11 unearned runs, the most since they allowed a club-record 12 in a game during the 1923 season.
Things got so ugly that the Phillies had to use two position players, Roman Quinn and Scott Kingery, to pitch the final three innings.
Quinn, who has a long injury history, got through 1 2/3 innings and 42 pitches healthy, but he was tagged for six hits, two walks and seven runs.
Kingery allowed two runs in the ninth inning. He lobbed the ball so slowly that it did not register on the stadium radar gun. Mets hitters dug in and teed off. Players in the Mets’ dugout giggled. Fans, who had booed earlier in the day, also giggled as the game was reduced to a comic act. The whole thing was an embarrassment to the sport (see Gabe Kapler's reaction). And to think, it came one day after the Phillies came back from three runs down to beat the Boston Red Sox, 7-4. Boston is far and away the majors' best team.
The Mets pulverized Phillies pitching for 25 hits. The Mets had 11 extra-base hits, including three homers.
Rookie lefty Ranger Suarez was called up from Triple A to start the first game of the doubleheader. He was hit hard to the tune of 11 hits and eight runs in four innings. Half of the runs Suarez allowed were unearned.
Mark Leiter Jr., also recalled earlier in the day from Triple A, was tagged for seven runs in the fifth inning. All the runs were unearned.
Maikel Franco made a pair of errors at third base. Catcher Jorge Alfaro made a throwing error and Rhys Hoskins dropped a ball in left field for another error. All the errors set up runs — multiples of them.
Poor defense is nothing new for these Phillies. They entered the game ranked second to last in the majors in defensive runs saved (minus-85), according to Fangraphs. Only Baltimore at minus-95 was worse.
The four errors gave the Phils 92 on the season, tying them with St. Louis for most in the majors.