Phillies get thumped; Brown, Lannan ailing

Freddy Galvis rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off the Reds' Justin Freeman in the eighth.
Freddy Galvis rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off the Reds' Justin Freeman in the eighth. (AP)
Posted: April 19, 2013

CINCINNATI - The sound of five clubhouse attendants scraping dirt from red cleats into two trash cans echoed through the room. The few Phillies who sat in the visitors' clubhouse at Great American Ball Park nibbled on chicken and tapped on their smartphones. There was nothing to say, not after a dismal six-game road trip that concluded in most miserable fashion.

The Phillies twice lost on Wednesday. The first defeat - 1-0 in the resumption of a suspended game - lasted all of nine minutes. The nightcap, an 11-2 demolishing by the Reds, was prolonged pain. When it ended, two Phillies were injured.

They all, mercifully, headed home afterward. They scored 10 runs in the six-game road trip. They did not score a run before the sixth inning during  those six games  . Their batting average was .205.

They went 41 batters without an extra-base hit until Raul Valdes, a relief pitcher, doubled to left. They did not draw a single walk during their three games in Cincinnati. They scored Wednesday when Justin Freeman, making his major-league debut, served up a two-run homer to Freddy Galvis in the eighth inning.

"We have guys who have been good hitters," manager Charlie Manuel said. "They are still good hitters. We have to do better."

The Phillies served as a panacea for this Cincinnati team that had lost five in a row. The Phillies' 6-9 start is their worst since 2007.

Because the ignominy of a rout was not enough, both Domonic Brown and John Lannan suffered injuries and will be examined Thursday morning by a team doctor. Brown injured his back when diving for a ball in the first inning. Lannan tweaked his left knee in his last start  , and the pain resurfaced while facing his first batter Wednesday  .

Both players downplayed the ailments, although the true extent is unknown. Brown said he felt a "pop." He will require an MRI. Lannan said he experienced this pain before while with Washington, and it did not cost him a start.

"I tried everything to get the ball down," Lannan said. "I couldn't really drive the ball down in the zone."

What comes next? Manuel has few options for a lineup shuffle. He could expel Ben Revere from the leadoff spot. Revere, whose batting average is down to .194, has not hit a ball out of the infield in his last 10 at-bats. He is hitless in his last 14.

 "It seems like ever since the season started, we're out of whack," Manuel said. "Things are not working well for us."  

Without a semblance of offense, pitching kept the Phillies alive during this trip. It cracked Wednesday night. A hurting Lannan could not finish the second inning; the Reds sent 10 men to the plate.

In the span of five batters, Cincinnati hit for the cycle. Todd Frazier, the former Little League star with Toms River, smashed a leadoff homer, and the inning devolved from there. Mike Leake was the first opposing pitcher to hit a triple against the Phillies in six years. Lannan walked a batter and hit another.

Lannan faced 14 batters and 10 reached base. Phillies starters posted a 1.66 ERA in the previous seven games while the offense wilted. Perfection is required for anyone who takes the ball for the Phillies these days given the way the lineup is performing.

"We have to play better," Brown said. "We're missing a lot of pitches, as a team. It's going to come around."

By the sixth inning, Manuel pulled Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley from the game. The manager raised the white flag, and the Phillies reluctantly wore it back to Philadelphia on a late-night charter flight.


Contact Matt Gelb at mgelb@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @magelb.

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