"It was just bad," Cloyd said.
Jason Heyward smashed the first Cloyd offering of the game into the right-field seats for his first of five hits Thursday. Atlanta batted around in the first inning. Two doubles and two walks to begin the second finally forced manager Ryne Sandberg from the dugout.
Cliff Lee starts Friday. The Phillies would prefer he pitch all nine innings. There is no named starter for Saturday. He will come from the overtaxed bullpen corps. Zach Miner will make his third spot start Sunday.
The offense is almost as awful as the pitching. The Phillies have not hit a home run in eight games, the franchise's longest streak since 1996. They have scored 19 runs in those eight games, seven of which were losses.
"There was some sloppiness out there," Sandberg said.
Cloyd's numbers are appalling. He has permitted 24 earned runs in 14 innings this month. That equates to a 15.43 ERA. He has allowed five or more runs in five straight starts, which is one shy of tying the franchise record.
Whether he ever starts another game for the Phillies is another question, although they could retain the righty on the 40-man roster for depth.
Sandberg could have hugged Mauricio Robles for easing the blow. The stocky Venezuelan lefty, an anonymous waiver claim from Seattle last winter, threw 66 pitches in three innings. That amounts to a victory these days.
Praise for Selig. For a third time, commissioner Bud Selig announced his retirement - scheduled for after next season - and Phillies president David Montgomery, a longtime friend and confidant, celebrated his legacy.
"I have unwavering admiration for Commissioner Selig's many years of service to baseball and his track record of achievement," Montgomery said in a statement. "He is a gifted leader who compelled this industry to modernize in the ways that fans wanted. The combination of his leadership skills and love of our game make him an outstanding commissioner."
Extra bases. Chase Utley did not start Thursday. He is hitting .347 in 21 September games. Freddy Galvis was at second base. . . . The Phillies are 6-22 in their last 28 road games.