The Philadelphia Phillies must have missed the memo that today was Fan Appreciation Day at Citizens Bank Park.
Hans Crouse, the prospect that was included in the Spencer Howard trade with the Texas Rangers, made his major league debut today.
He started the game for the Phils, donning #51 and sporting a light blue glove. And in typical Phillies fashion, the first pitch of his major league career was a homerun off the bat of Cole Tucker.
Crouse needed 26 pitches, but the damage was limited to just one run in the first inning. His final line was 3.0 IP, one run on two hits, four walks, and four strikeouts. He did his job, now it was time for the offense to wake up.
It remained a one run game until the seventh inning when Ke'Bryan Hayes came off the bench to face Jose Alvarado and hit a two-run double to make it 3-0.
And despite only being down by a small margin for a majority of the game, the Phillies were unable to capitalize, stranding nine runners and striking out 11 times.
The Pirates, who had nothing to play for, showed more urgency than the entire Phillies lineup today, who are supposedly in the middle of a division race.
Pittsburgh extended their lead to five runs in the eighth inning after Yoshi Tsutsugo hit a two-run single to right off of Adonis Medina.
Ramón Rosso pitched the ninth and balked to allow Hayes to score. It was 6-0 Pirates, and the Phillies looked beyond lifeless.
Pittsburgh starter Max Kranick was handed the win, pitching five scoreless innings, allowing four hits, three walks, and five strikeouts.
The Phillies are now two games back in the standings, and should the Atlanta Braves win tonight, could be 2.5 back. They have an off day tomorrow before taking on the Braves on the road. One loss against Atlanta could very well be the season. Philadelphia is 81-75.
Hopefully Phillies fans felt appreciated today.
Final Score: Pirates 6, Phillies 0