Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies Vs. Orioles: Phils Shut Out by MLB's Worst Team

The Phillies, with lots to play for, suffered one of their most damaging losses of the season to an Orioles team playing for nothing more than pride and the top pick in the draft.

Phillies suffer bad loss as baseball’s worst team comes into town and shuts them out originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Before you ask ...

It's baseball.

And these are the 2021 Phillies.

That's how it happens. 

That's how the worst team in baseball, the 55-games-under-.500 Baltimore Orioles, can come into Citizens Bank Park and steal the Phillies' lunch money in one of their most crucial games of the season.

A superior team on paper and in the standings, the Phillies, with lots to play for, suffered one of their most damaging losses of the season Monday night when they were beaten, 2-0, by an Orioles team playing for nothing more than pride and the top pick in next year's draft.

The Phillies (76-74) were held to four hits, all singles, by an Orioles club that is now 48-102.

The loss was the Phillies' second in a row and had them in danger of falling three games off the pace in the NL East with 12 games remaining in the season.

The first-place Atlanta Braves were playing a late game at Arizona against a Diamondbacks team that has the worst record in the NL. 

The Braves will have 14 games remaining after Monday night. If they win Monday night's game and simply play .500 ball over their final 14 games, the Phillies would need to go 9-3 over their final 12 to tie. 

From offensive inconsistency to poor defense to shaky bullpen work, this Phillies team has had its share of shortcomings this season. 

The team's performance against left-handed starting pitching is another weakness. Baltimore lefty John Means, who pitched a no-hitter against Seattle in May, held the Phillies to just four hits over 6⅔ shutout innings. He walked one and struck out six.

The Phillies are 21-27 against left-handed starters this season and 1-5 against them this month. Clearly, the Phils have missed Rhys Hoskins' right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup.

The Phillies sent their own lefty, Ranger Suarez, to the mound and he pitched six innings of two-run ball, certainly good enough to put his team in position to win.

Suarez had command issues early in the game and allowed four singles and two runs in the first inning. He settled down nicely and did not allow a run the rest of his stay, but the bats couldn't overcome the early deficit.

The Phils had just one hit through the first five innings. Bryce Harper, who has carried the team in recent weeks and become one of the favorites for the NL MVP award, went hitless for the second straight game. He has gone hitless in two straight games for the first time since August 18-19.

Harper led off the bottom of the ninth and hit a skyrocket to the wall in dead center. It died in Cedric Mullins' glove, 400 feet from home plate.

The attendance was just 21,440. Clearly, many Philadelphia fans have inoculated themselves against playoff fever.

The two teams play again on Tuesday night. Neither has named a starting pitcher and both intend to use their bullpens to get through the game.

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