The Phillies got behind early in last nights 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and they never picked up the runs they needed to make it a close game. Adam Eaton allowed twelve hits while the Phillie offense slept, and the result of such a combination was as could be expected.
The damage began early when Garrett Anderson doubled and Vladimir Guerrero, perhaps on the rebound after a subpar personal performance this year, scored him with a home run. The next inning was marked by further damage when Chone Figgins singled, Eaton moved him to second by allowing a base on balls, and Anderson drove him in.
All the while, the Phillies were busy being confounded by Angels starter Ervin Santana, who is having an impressive year. After Shane Victorino singled in the first, Santana seemed to shut down their batters, and the three-run lead loomed ever-increasingly large. Despite the lack of run support, Madson settled down a bit after the second, working out of some jams and not allowing any runs until, on a short leash, he let Guerrero single in a fourth Angel run and was replaced by Ryan Madson.
This failed to stop the bleeding, however. Madson allowed two more runs on hits by Casey Kotchman and Howie Kendrick before getting out of the inning. Despite the six run defecit they now faced, the Phillies threatened in the sixth. They manufactured a run when Jimmy Rollins walked, stole second, reached third on a throwing error, and scored on a Chase Utley sac fly. Shane Victorino also walked and stole second, but a potential rally was killed when Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell both demonstrated their respective well-precticed strikeout skills one after another.
It was all they would get. Clay Condrey allowed the Angels yet one more insurance run, and they took it home 7-1. It has come to be expected that for whatever reason American League teams will, on the whole perform better than National League teams in interleague play. Even taking that into account, however, the Phillies have been unimpressive against their American League opponants so far. The Red Sox and Angels aren't the only challenging teams they will have to face, an dit is important that they are better prepared to create close contests when they meet that challenge -- especially if they want to keep playing after the season ends.