Cold Bats Drop Phillies From First

howard 0426 2010.jpgWhat has happened to the Phillies lately?

They started the season 8-2, but are 3-7 since. Is it the pitching? They had a 3.94 ERA in their first 10 games, which ranked 12th in baseball. They have a 4.19 ERA in their last 10, which ranks 19th.

But pitching is not why the Phillies are not in first place in the National League East for the first time since May 29, 2009.

It’s the offense. The Phillies led baseball in runs (77), on-base percentage (.400) and slugging percentage (.535) through their first 10 games. They ranked second in batting average (.315). But they have experienced a dramatic drop since. They rank 27th in runs (30), 29th in batting average (.219) and slugging percentage (.320) and 30th in on-base percentage (.282) in their last 10 games.

They went from being the best offense in baseball to one of the worst.

Shane Victorino is hitting .194 (7-for-36) with four RBIs in his last nine games, Placido Polanco is hitting .152 (5-for-33) with one RBI in his last 10, Chase Utley has hit .182 (6-for-33) with three RBIs in his last nine, and Ryan Howard is hitting .185 (7-for-40) with two RBIs in his last 10.

“That’s life,” Charlie Manuel said. “I’ve seen the greatest hitters in baseball be 0-for-30, 0-for-40, 1-for-54.”

“That’s baseball,” Howard said. “That’s what happens. You go out, put up a bunch of runs early. You have your hot streaks and your cold streaks, and right now it’s just not going the way we want it to. We’ve just got to keep swinging.”

The good news? They get Tim Lincecum in the series finale today at AT&T Park.

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I will be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes & Noble in Rittenhouse Square. I’ll also be signing books beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, on the Main Concourse behind Section 111. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

5 Comments

If tonight was proof that a strong arm on a rightfielder named Shierholtz can change the tone in a game, Werth’s worth more than his bat alone. I never take issue with umpires, but certain crews are not that good. This one specifically. CB Bucknor is a terrible umpire and Edding’s strikezone was all over the place. No excuse though because some of our hitters just looked lost. It is April.

Your starting pitching can pitch 8 shut out innings, if the bullpen doesn’t hold or the offense doesn’t hit, it won’t matter, thats why it’s a team game. The offense needs to come alive against Lincecum to give Hamels and the Phillies a shot at salvaging at least 1 win in San Fran.

-peter
Phillies Outside

Obviously, that’s why thousands read “Phillies Outside,” for those fascinating insights into the game.
I’ll take “The Bloody Obvious” for 100, Alex.

This has been a common thing with this team over the past few years – at times they look horrible. Right now nothing is clicking, the one time they get offense in Arizona and the pitching doesn’t come through. I think most of the bats will eventually wake up (after today), but I’m not so sure about Ibanez – his second half swoon from last year continues this season. Has age finally caught up with him? Also, is Shane coming back to earth? Anyway, the major concern with this team is pitching.

muleman – “Bloody Obvious” is about all you can handle, since you rarely comment on baseball and just seem to comment on other peoples comments I am assuming you even struggle with the “Bloody Obvious”, but that’s okay everyone is entitled to comment on something.

-peter
Phillies Outside

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