Life support

Phils hope for resuscitation after Atlanta loss – NBC10 Philadelphia

Phillies dying on life support after weak Atlanta offense originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The biggest streak the Phillies have played in a decade got off to a promising start on Tuesday night when Odubel Herrera and Jean Segura led the top of the first set with a pair of singles against Atlanta Braves starter Charlie Morton.

Everyone knocks!

Not so fast.

As quickly as the Phillies built that first threat, it’s gone. Bryce Harper relied on the choice of a defensive player, JT Realmuto was struck out and Brad Miller was sent off.

It was that kind of night for the Phillies. The kind of night they’ve had way too many times this season and it has come at the worst possible time.

After those two hits to open the game, the Phils had just one more for the rest of the night as they started a do-or-die streak against the Braves in first place with a 2- loss. 1 in Atlanta.

The Phillies were within two strikeouts of a shutout in a second straight game. Didi Gregorius scored an unearned run with a sacrificial volley in the ninth to make it a one-run game and broke a 20-game scoreless streak for the Phillies’ offense.

The loss brought the Phillies (81-76) closer to a 10th straight season without qualifying for the playoffs. They are 3½ games behind the Braves with just five to play. The Braves’ magic number for winning their fourth straight title in the NL East is three.

Phillies ace Zack Wheeler started a terrific ball game with seven two-run innings and seven strikeouts.

Morton, the 37-year-old Braves right-hander, was just a little better. He delivered seven scoreless innings, limited the Phils to three hits and struck out 10 strikes.

Two of Morton’s strikeouts came against Bryce Harper, the Phillies’ MVP candidate.

Herrera and Segura were the only Phillies with hits and all of them were singles. Herrera had two.

The Braves came into the game scoring 4.92 points per game, the seventh best in majors. Wheeler did a great job controlling this attack with the exception of one end.

After opening the game with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, Wheeler gave Travis d’Arnaud a brace in the bottom of the third. Dansby Swanson then chose a single and rode on Morton’s two-stroke decay. Jorge Soler then jumped on a Wheeler’s first-pitch fastball and left it aligned for the only two points of the game.

That was all the support Morton and the Braves’ paddock needed.

Luke Jackson threw a scoreless eighth and left-hander Will Smith survived Harper’s hitting tee and left fielder Eddie Rosario’s error in the ninth to earn the save. Smith took out Freddy Galvis at bat with runners in the corners to end it.

With their season on life support, the Phillies will send Aaron Nola to the mound in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday night. Lefty Max Fried will pitch for Atlanta.

A victory for the Braves would put them in a position to eliminate the Phillies on Thursday night.

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