With 19 hits and 13 runs allowed, the best that can be said is that the pitching was not there last night for Harrisburg Senators.
Every Reading position player had a hit, with five players collecting three or more, as the Phillies dominated the first three Senator pitchers until Hassan Pena finally silenced them for the last five outs of the game.
Starter Ryan Tatusko labored through three innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts to take his third loss of the season. He threw 80 pitches, 51 for strikes. Though some of his pitches were left up in the zone, it was uncanny how they seemed to guess fastball and get it — even when he switched up and started throwing mostly offspeed in his second pass through the lineup.
Jimmy Barthmaier’s luck and results were much the same. A leadoff bunt that he appeared to field and tag the runner was ruled safe. A hit-and-run set up a 1st-and-3rd situation. The next batter tapped to Tyler Moore who both hesitated and dropped the ball, eliminating both a play at the plate and a double play opportunity.
A hit batsmen, a wild pitch, a double, a walk, an opposite-field single and suddenly the game went from 5-3 to 10-3 in the space of maybe ten minutes. Pat McCoy would follow Barthmaier and would get roughed up in his first and last innings of work, allowing two HRs and four runs total over three and a 1/3rd innings before yielding to Pena.
As the 5-3 score suggests, for a brief moment, the Senators were in this game. Archie Gilbert singled with one out in the bottom of the second, the first of his four hits on the night, took second on a groundout by Steve Lombardozzi and went to third on an infield single by Tyler Moore that both the pitcher and the shortstop got a glove on. Jesus Valdez scorched a single to left that was misplayed into a two-RBI double as the fielder tried to snare the sinking liner and failed to touch it. After one full inning, it was 2-0 Harrisburg.
Strange as it may sound, the Senators managed to get a baserunner in eight of the nine innings and did not hit into any double plays, as they managed a respectable 13 hits. On most nights, that would be more than good enough. Tonight, it was like getting 100 yards rushing when the opposing QB had toasted the backfield for five TDs.
The loss dropped Harrisburg to .500 at 14-14, good for second place in the E.L. West while Reading improved to 18-10 and took sole possession of first place in the E.L. East. Brad Peacock will take the hill tomorrow afternoon, going for his fifth win and a chance to prevent a Reading sweep.