The Philadelphia Phillies should be very happy to get away from home.
Leaving behind the boo-birds at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies will try to halt their longest losing streak in four years when they open a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Philadelphia’s playoff hopes—and possibly manager Larry Bowa’s chances of keeping his job—have taken a big blow following a 1-9 homestand, the team’s worst since going 1-9-1 in 1941 at Connie Mack Stadium.
Thursday’s 12-10 loss to Houston, in which the Phillies blew a five-run lead and were victimized by a triple play, marked the club’s seventh straight loss. They have not had a losing streak of this length since an eight-game skid from Aug. 29-Sept. 6, 2000.
Among the favorite targets of the Philly fans’ jeers Thursday was reliever Roberto Hernandez, who gave up the tying two-run homer in the seventh inning before allowing a walk and a single. Rheal Cormier relieved and promptly served up a three-run homer.
“Nobody in their right mind thought we’d go 1-9 at home,” said Hernandez, who had thrown 7 2-3 scoreless innings in August before taking the loss Thursday.
Bowa’s job status is in serious doubt after general manager Ed Wade recently declined to give him an endorsement. However, Bowa said he had no inkling his job was on the line Thursday after a pregame chat with Wade.
“It doesn’t matter who we bring in,” a glum Bowa said. “It gets demoralizing when you do put up runs and they come right back.”
Milwaukee’s bullpen had no such problems the last two days, throwing 7 1-3 scoreless innings, but starters Ben Sheets and Chris Capuano had sub-par outings as the team lost both games to the Chicago Cubs.
The Brewers wasted a four-run lead against Greg Maddux on Thursday in losing 9-6. They’ve lost 11 of 15 overall, including seven of nine at home.
“We’re trying to get the job done, we’re just not getting it done right now,” manager Ned Yost said.