Phils handed 10,000th loss
Right-hander Eaton allows six runs in four-plus innings
PHILADELPHIA -- Many of the Phillies' bags were packed and sitting by their lockers before Sunday's game against the Cardinals.It's a standard practice of every road trip, but the Phillies were probably more anxious than normal Sunday to slip away quietly after a 10-2 loss to the Cardinals. The loss was Philadelphia's 10,000th as a franchise, a much-ballyhooed mark that several Phillies have expressed apathy toward. Philadelphia became the first American professional sports franchise to 10,000 'L's, but it was also the first to 9,999, 9,998 ... "We were so stressed out about it," starter Adam Eaton said, in the most sarcastic tone he could muster. "Most of us didn't hear about it until we reached it." Let the record show that Eaton was the losing pitcher, Adam Wainwright the winner and that the Phillies have now put it behind them. They tried to put it off as long as possible, though. Michael Bourn led off the ninth inning with his first career home run and Chris Coste reached on an error. With two outs and an 0-2 count on Chase Utley, the crowd got loud behind the Phillies' All-Star. He laced a two-out double to score Coste and keep the inning alive. But Ryan Howard struck out to end the game. There were a few scattered boos but nothing else of significance to let anyone know the loss was different. "I try to concentrate on wins," manager Charlie Manuel said. "[10,000 losses is] something we haven't really talked about. Our players don't talk about it. ... I don't really care about that really. I'm serious." The Phillies loss came on a day during which National League East rivals New York and Atlanta both won, but it was a successful home series for Philadelphia, which took two of three from the defending World Series champion. Eaton lasted four-plus innings, giving up 10 hits and six earned runs. Wainwright shut down a Phillies squad that combined for 23 runs over the first two games, pitching seven scoreless innings. Two days removed from racking up their most hits in a game since 1990, the Phillies bats were quieted by what Manuel said was good offspeed stuff from Wainwright. Utley was the only Phillies starter with multiple hits Sunday. "Any time we don't score [against a starter], it's going to be hard for us to win the game," Manuel said. The Cardinals turned the tables with six home runs Sunday, four of which were served up by Phillies reliever Brian Sanches, who was optioned to Triple-A Ottawa after the game to make room for closer Tom Gordon, who was activated from the disabled list. The Phillies used five pitchers, getting everyone in on a piece of history. Manuel said Eaton was struggling with his command, but Eaton said it was just the opposite, that he was leaving balls over the plate and getting crushed. Eaton was out of the first inning with relatively little trouble, but gave up three doubles and uncorked a wild pitch over the next two innings. Albert Pujols hit two home runs in a game for the fourth time this season, with each falling on a Sunday. He became the 21st player in big-league history to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first seven seasons.
The Cardinals hit six home runs, the first time a team had hit that many against the Phillies since the Giants did it on Aug. 13, 2004.J.T. Snow hit three of the home runs nearly three years ago, a number Pujols nearly matched in the eighth inning. His long fly came up short, but he had already done enough to send the Phillies packing. The team took its bags and boarded a plane for Los Angeles, where it begins a seven-game West Coast swing Monday. Maybe the distance will help the Phillies avoid the short-term bonanza. "Last year, we had our stride about this time," Aaron Rowand said. "It's time to go to work. It's crunch time." They'll take the field Monday against the Dodgers with five games between them and the NL East-leading Mets. But they have Gordon back and should have Brett Myers back soon after. It wasn't much consolation, though, after experiencing what the Cardinals felt Friday and Saturday. And facing questions about the big number didn't help much. "After 125 years in existence as an organization, by far more than anybody else in professional sports, I think you should be the first team to get to a great milestone like that," Eaton said.
Stephen Fastenau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.