Dodgers blank Phillies

STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Clayton Kershaw blanked the Phillies on two hits in six innings.
STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Clayton Kershaw blanked the Phillies on two hits in six innings.
Posted: May 25, 2014

ALTHOUGH PLAYERS are still occasionally suspended for PEDs, the steroid era is long over. Home runs have been down, speed has been up.

Players such as Ben Revere are welcomed in today’s game. Elite speedsters such as Cincinnati rookie Billy Hamilton and Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon are celebrated.

Gordon worked his magic right off the bat last night, leading off the game against the Phillies with a single, then stealing both second and third and scoring on a Yasiel Puig single. Gordon’s father, 2008 World Series champion Tom “Flash” Gordon,” approved from his view in the press box.

But speed only kills if you reach base … and then combine it with smart baserunning when you get there.

With the bases loaded and no one out in the seventh, Phillies pinch-hitter Domonic Brown smoked a line drive to leftfield. Carl Crawford got to the ball, made the catch and fired back to the infield.

Revere, who broke home on contact, was retreating to third base. He didn’t tag up. He didn’t score when the inning ended, and neither did the two runners behind him on the bases.

“There were no outs, I was going, no matter what,” Revere said. “I thought the ball was going to be down for sure off the bat.”

Roberto Hernandez and the Phillies hung in with Clayton Kershaw all night, but they failed miserably to capitalize with runners in scoring position and dropped a 2-0 defeat to the Dodgers. The Phillies finished the night with three hits.

They went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Frustrating loss?

“Every time that we get a loss, you guys use the word frustrating,” Marlon Byrd said. “It’s not about that. It’s about coming in tomorrow and getting a win. Kershaw did the job when he needed to, and we didn’t.”

“That’s the luck of baseball,” Revere said of the Phillies failures with runners in scoring position. “It’s tough, having that many guys in scoring position and not getting anything in. It’s tough. But guys are still going to be fighting, no matter what. … There’s not much more you can do than that.”

Last night was the sixth time in 45 games this season that the Phillies (20-25) have been shut out. They were blanked for the fourth time in their last eight games at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

If that last sentence sounds ridiculous, try to digest the next four paragraphs.

With the Dodgers up, 2-0, after Gordon’s baserunning theatrics and a solo home run from Carl Crawford, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz led off the fourth inning with a walk and Chase Utley followed with a double. But Ruiz remained on third and Utley on second after Byrd, Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf became consecutive strikeout victims of Kershaw.

Two innings later, Jimmy Rollins led off with a double and Ruiz followed with a walk. And then: an Utley flyout, a Byrd foul out, a Howard strikeout. Two more runners stranded.

The Phillies managed to top themselves in offensive ineptitude in the very next inning, when Kershaw was replaced by righthander Brandon League. Revere, pinch-hitting for Ruf, singled; Cesar Hernandez walked; Tony Gwynn Jr., pinch-hitting for John Mayberry Jr., used his speed to force a bad throw on a bunt.

Bases loaded, no outs. No problem, eh? The seventh inning then turned very, very ugly: Revere didn’t tag up on Brown’s line drive, Rollins bounced into a fielder’s choice with the lead runner, Revere, nabbed at home; Ruiz flew out.

Revere’s failure to tag up loomed largest in the offensive ineptitude. He said had there been one out, he would have tagged up.

“From my angle, that’s a tough call,” Sandberg said of the play. “It looked like a sure base hit, it was so shallow. I was surprised he made a catch on that. That was a tough call. I don’t know if it’s a shoestring catch, if he scores or not, if he does catch the ball. Definitely a big play.”

And that was about the size of a game that was briefly interrupted by a rain delay and ended with a sea of blue seats. The fans who remained of the announced 27,254 were all out of boos as they made their way to the exits.

Another game in South Philly, another shutout performance from the home team. The Phils have been blanked five times in 21 games at Citizens Bank Park.

“Can you [explain it]?” Byrd said. “If you can explain it, please tell me.”

It probably has something to do with the constitution of the roster that’s scored a National League-worst 72 runs at home, where the Phillies are 8-13 this season.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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