Making matters worse, Freddy Galvis was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game with a back injury. The quest to tread water with a depleted roster continues as the Mike Fontenot Era at second base begins.
Manager Charlie Manuel was despondent when his team fell to 12-18 at home. The Phillies are six games behind division leader Washington, and the possibility of a last-place finish is becoming reality by the day. This season, only 58 games old, may have reached a critical point.
"I can say this: Don't expect us to be in first place right now. I can tell you that," Manuel said. "That's kind of how I look at it. We're definitely trying our best. I can't get upset about that. I know our guys are trying. We're just not getting it done."
The manager sounds as if he is resigned to life with an average team. Hope for a late-inning comeback is all but eliminated; the Phillies have not staged one since the final day of the 2011 regular season. So the departing fans had their reasons.
Even in the ninth inning, when the Phillies showed life by scoring once and putting the winning run on first base, they fell short. Had rookie Jake Diekman not thrown a wild pitch when he struck out Juan Rivera or walked two others - one of which forced home a Dodgers run - the rally would have mattered.
"We should still be playing," Diekman said. "It feels terrible."
The Phillies hit three home runs and even held a lead in the sixth inning until Kyle Kendrick and Raul Valdes coughed it up. Once trailing, the Phillies fell asleep yet again on offense. Each night, there is a toxic feeling of resignation when the opposition jumps ahead.
"It's gotten bad right now," Manuel said.
Kendrick threw 112 pitches, the fourth-most in his career, and the final one was costly. He had not walked five batters since 2008. The fifth walk - on his final pitch - forced home a Dodgers run. Valdes entered and threw a first-pitch curveball to Dee Gordon that landed as a two-run single. Los Angeles had the lead.
"It was frustrating," Kendrick said. "I was one pitch away."
When it unraveled in the sixth, the Phillies had no one warming up until danger was imminent. Kendrick intentionally walked Gwynn to face Jerry Hairston Jr., a pinch-hitter. Six pitches later, his night was over.
As if losing weren't enough, there was concern about Galvis, who appeared to injure his back when fouling off a pitch in the fifth. He ran up the first-base line and stopped, in visible pain. Head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan did not emerge from the dugout until Galvis winced his way back to home plate.
He remained in the game, fouled off two more pitches, then decided the pain was too much. The rookie took himself out of the game. He threw his bat down the dugout tunnel in anger and later landed on the DL.
Galvis was not the lone injury scare Wednesday. Hunter Pence crashed into the wall and hurt his left wrist on a Gwynn third-inning triple. Sheridan and Manuel jogged to right field. After a lengthy examination, Pence proclaimed himself fit and stayed.
So there he was, with the tying run on first base in the eighth, to produce a rally-ending double play. Predictably, that sent even more disgruntled fans home. Those who remained started a wave in the ninth inning of a one-run game, and that was enough commentary on the current state of Philadelphia baseball.
Contact Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @magelb.