Howard, Utley Struggling
He went 1-for-4 with a double and three strikeouts Friday in a 3-2 loss to the Marlins. He is hitting .175 (7-for-40) with two doubles, two RBIs, one walk and 18 strikeouts in his last 10 games. He struck out with runners on first and second with one out in the eighth inning against Marlins left-hander Reynel Pinto – the runner on second represented the tying run – to drop his average with runners in scoring position to .160 (4-for-25) with no home runs, six RBIs, two walks and 15 strikeouts since July 11.
He is hitting .180 (29-for-161) against left-handers this season.
But it just isn’t Howard. Chase Utley is hitting just .150 (3-for-20) with one double, one RBI, one walk and five strikeouts in his last six games. He is hitting .000 (0-for-10) with one RBI since July 23 with runners in scoring position. He also is hitting just .214 (6-for-28) with one homer and seven RBIs with runners in scoring position since July 7.
Utley and Howard have hit .136 (6-for-44) with two RBIs in the previous six games, in which the Phillies are 2-4.
“Of course, when the middle of the lineup doesn’t hit it becomes tough on us,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Joe Blanton (7-6) allowed eight hits, three runs and one walk and struck out four in 6 2/3 innings, which actually were the most runs he had allowed since June 30 against the Braves in Atlanta. Blanton has a 1.87 ERA (nine earned runs in 43 1/3 innings) in his last six starts. He has a 2.46 ERA (24 earned runs in 87 2/3 innings) in 13 starts since May 21.