Bases-loaded strikeouts doom Phillies' chances
Rupp, Ruf, Revere fail to convert in critical seventh inning
PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Revere had never matched up against Brooks Brown before Sunday. Now he wants another try.
Brown came in for the Rockies in relief with no one out and a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Cameron Rupp walked up to the plate with the bases loaded for the Phillies. Rupp, who doubled home a run in the second inning, struck out on three pitches. Rupp was followed by pinch-hitter Darin Ruf. Brown struck Ruf out on five pitches. Next up was leadoff hitter Revere. He swung and missed at three changeups.
"I wish I could face him again," Revere said after Sunday's 4-1 loss. "You get ticked off about going down like that."
Since Revere had never seen Brown, his preparation was based off the tape he had watched on the right-hander and the Rupp and Ruf strikeouts. From the tape, Revere said he knew Brown had a dominating fastball, so he went to the plate expecting to be challenged. But Brown didn't challenge Revere so much as he fooled him. Three times.
"To get triple-double changeups like that that really kinda surprised me," Revere said. "But I was up there being aggressive, trying to drive something. And he did the right pitches in the right counts."
Revere's aggression was characteristic of the Phillies as a whole over the past two series. Dating back to May 26, the Phillies are 1-for-28 with runners in scoring position, with the only hit coming in the seventh inning. All that hit did was move the runners and load the bases to set up the back-to-back-to-back strikeouts.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg stressed the importance of that exchange after the game, remarking that it was one of the best opportunities the team had to score. However, he also said that the incident was not isolated and has developed into a trend the past few games.
"That was a disappointing half of an inning for us," Sandberg said. "I think pitchers are coming at us with strikes. You have to swing the bats and create some offense by swinging it to get some base runners."
Because of the point in the game it came in, Revere's strikeout resonated most with the fans, as he left the field to a chorus of boos. But it wasn't just Revere who stranded runners in scoring position Sunday. The Phillies left men on second base in the first, second and fifth innings and aside from a first-inning single by Chase Utley, the top five hitters in the Phillies order went 0-for-18.
Revere said he thought that Sunday's 1-for-19 showing was indicative of how well the Rockies prepared for this series.
"However I look at it, the Rockies had a good game plan against us, especially the main hitters of me, Chase, Howie, especially the top of the order," Revere said. "They had our number. You have somebody's number, that's how you wind up [winning] games."