With a rather "interesting" gesture and seven-game suspension looming over the team the last 24 hours, the Phillies have made more headlines this late in the season than anyone had anticipated. A series against the Padres may not be the most interesting matchup happening the next few weeks, but the Phillies have been successful in San Diego the past few seasons. With a rare series coming up next against the Athletics in Oakland, taking three or four games from the Padres could be the springboard the Phillies need to play a major spoiler role moving forward. It all started tonight with the newest Philladelphia starting pitcher, Jerome Williams, taking the ball for the visiting team. They would be in a tough spot, though, as the Phillies would have to battle the Padres best starter, Andrew Cashner, in the first game. Having already swept San Diego this season, could Philadelphia get off on the right foot out west?
The Game: Through the first eight innings of play, it is fairly easy to say that Andrew Cashner did it all. After just three innings, Cashner had collected three strikeouts and induced four ground ball outs. Domonic Brown collected the first hit for the Phillies, a bunt single toward Alexi Amerista. After that, the K's and rolling balls continued to flow. Hit number two did not occur until the eighth, in the form of a single off the bat of Marlon Byrd.
Meanwhile, on offense, it was...Andrew Cashner. While Jerome Williams was on a path to redeem himself for his last couple of outings, he ran into his biggest trouble in the second. Rene Rivera led things off with a double into left field, his fifteenth of the season. He'd move up to third on an Alexi Amerista ground out. A line out and a walk set up a runners on the corners, two out scenario with Cashner stepping in. On an 0-2 count, the Padre ace bounced a ball toward Cody Asche at third. The ball took a spinning hop and bounced off Asche's glove. The official scorer called it an error, and San Diego collected an unearned run with Rivera crossing the plate. A pop up ended the inning, and the Padres held an early 1-0 lead.
Jerome Williams was solid from that point forward, racking up six strikeouts and allowing just five baserunners over 7.2 innings of work. Cesar Jimenez and Luis Garcia helped close out the pitching line for Philly, but the one-run combined effort wasn't enough. Cashner pitched into the ninth, and a 1-2-3 performance cleared the inning and secured the complete game shutout, his second of 2014. It's the fourteenth time the Phillies have been shutout this season, and are now twelve games under the .500 mark.
Notable Offensive Performances
None. Just embarrassment.
Impact: Now without much momentum, the Phillies go into the final three games against San Diego having to salvage some bit of offense. However, as was mentioned earlier, Philadelphia has been notably successful against the Padres.
Up Next: A.J. Burnett gets to take the mound for the Phillies in tomorrow night's contest. He'll face off against Ian Kennedy in the 10:10 PM eastern time matchup.
Andrew Gillen, Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com