PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies accomplished something pretty remarkable in the past 18 days.
They scored seven runs in the first three innings against Dodgers ace Zack Greinke on Aug. 6. Greinke entered the game with a 1.41 ERA, nearly three-quarters of a run better than any pitcher in Major League Baseball. The Phillies then scored seven runs in 2 2/3 innings Monday night against Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, who entered the night with a 1.98 ERA, which was second in baseball only to Greinke.
But two dominant offensive performances against two of the best pitchers in baseball is not the remarkable part. The remarkable part is the Phillies lost both games. They lost to the Dodgers on Aug. 6, 10-8. They lost Monday night to the Mets, 16-7, as the Phillies and Mets tied a National League record with a combined 11 home runs.
"It's tough," Phillies right-hander Justin De Fratus said. "We did that to Greinke. We did that to deGrom, two of the best pitchers in the National League, if not all of baseball."
De Fratus exhaled before he continued his thought.
"Everybody knows you've got to shut it down," he said. "We know we've got to put zeros up there, especially when we're putting up so many runs against such quality pitchers. We had them by the throat and just couldn't keep the ball in the yard. That's the biggest thing right there. Like I said, the same thing happened with Greinke. It's definitely frustrating for all of us. It's just been a frustrating year on all accounts."
Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin had little to say about the pitching other than the obvious.
"The pitchers who pitched tonight are more disappointed than anybody," Mackanin said. "They feel terrible. It had to break some kind of record."
Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan had the best start of his career last week against the high-powered Blue Jays, but the Mets knocked him out after just 3 2/3 innings. He allowed five runs and four home runs. Hector Neris allowed four runs and two home runs in 1 1/3 innings. De Fratus allowed five runs and one home run in two innings. Adam Loewen allowed two runs and one home run in two innings.
It wasted a great offensive performance from the Phillies. Ryan Howard ripped a three-run home run to left field in the first inning. Cameron Rupp crushed a solo home into the visitors' bullpen in center field in the second. Domonic Brown hit a three-run home run over the right-field wall in the third.
The three homers handed the Phillies a 7-2 lead and shortly thereafter they knocked deGrom from the game in the shortest and worst start of his career. But the Mets began their assault in the fourth with a pair of homers.
"It doesn't make me feel any better," said Morgan, when asked about every other pitcher giving up home runs, including deGrom. "Seeing other guys do poorly shouldn't make anybody feel better."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.