Pettibone, offense struggle in finale vs. Brewers
Quintero's solo homer only offense Phillies muster vs. Lohse
MILWAUKEE -- Well, that turned fast.
The Phillies used a season-high five-game winning streak last week to improve to 31-30 and give them a sliver of hope they could accomplish what they have maintained they could since the end of last season. But Sunday's lifeless 9-1 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park dropped them to 31-33 as they extended their losing streak to three games.
Above .500 for the first time all season on Thursday.
Two below and back in third place in the National League East by Sunday.
"The sky is not falling," Michael Young said. "We had a little rough stretch here. We definitely didn't play our best baseball, without a doubt. We have to make a quick adjustment here on this road trip. ... If we're going to get where we want to be, and be right in the middle of this thing in the stretch drive, we're going to have to find a way to make adjustments during the game, not after the games. That's what good teams do. A lot of the guys in this room have been there and done that. We have to make more in-game adjustments, not after the game, when the guys have a chance to talk about it."
The last 10 games for the Phillies sent conflicting signals. The winning streak, which included three wins against the Marlins, created quiet optimism in the clubhouse. But sandwiching the winning streak were five losses to the Brewers.
The Phillies went 5-5 against teams in last place in the NL East and Central.
"I thought we were kind of hitting a stride," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We had been playing better. I don't know what to tell you. It's just kind of the way it goes."
The three losses this weekend to the Brewers also reemphasized the Phillies' shortcomings. Namely, the offense and bullpen.
Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse entered Sunday 1-6 with a 4.39 ERA, but kept the Phillies in check throughout the afternoon. He actually allowed three singles in the first inning, but Brewers right fielder Norichika Aoki threw out Young at the plate for the second out and Domonic Brown grounded out to end the inning.
Lohse retired 20 of 21 batters from the final out in the first to Humberto Quintero's two-out solo home run to right field in the eighth.
"I think the biggest thing for us is not always capitalizing, but just making sure we're getting guys out there," Young said. "The thing that is most disappointing is we didn't get anybody out there after that [first inning]. You want to have more opportunities."
Phillies right-hander Jonathan Pettibone struggled early. He could not field a ground ball in the second, allowing Carlos Gomez to reach on an error to start the inning. He then hit Martin Maldonado with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases with no outs. Four runs ultimately scored to hand the Brewers a 4-0 lead.
Pettibone later allowed a two-run home run to Gomez to make it 6-0.
"I wasn't doing the little things on my part," he said. "I didn't field my position, letting the leadoff guy on. I was way ahead of the catcher and hit him to load the bases with nobody out. So that's a disaster waiting to happen. I obviously have to limit those little things and limit the damage there."
Pettibone allowed four hits, six runs (four earned), two walks and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings. He has a 4.96 ERA (nine earned runs in 16 1/3 innings) in his last three starts, but the Phillies' rotation has been pretty good as a whole. Since Roy Halladay threw his last pitch for the Phillies on May 5, Phillies starters entered Sunday seventh in baseball with a 3.41 ERA.
The bullpen has been an entirely different matter. It entered the afternoon with a 4.39 ERA, which was third-worst in baseball. Left-hander Jeremy Horst put a couple runners on in the seventh, and Justin De Fratus allowed them to score to make it 8-0. Jonathan Papelbon allowed a solo homer in the eighth.
The Phillies do not play Monday before they resume their 10-game road trip Tuesday in Minnesota. They will try to turn around things against the Twins, who have been playing better baseball recently, winning seven of their last 11.
"We've done that a couple times, haven't we?" Manuel said of the team's inconsistent play. "That's kind of the way we play. We won five, then all of a sudden we lost three. We've got to stay with it though."