Offensive Struggles Weighing On Phillies
I thought Jimmy Rollins had a telling comment following last night’s 7-1 loss to the Rockies.
“Everybody knows what’s going on,” he said. “We’re struggling to score runs. We’re not getting a lot of hits. It’s kind of weighing on everybody.”
The Phillies have lost five of six games. They have not scored more than three runs in a game since last Friday. They have not had more than six hits in a game since last Friday. Charlie Manuel is beyond frustrated. He has four spots in his lineup that rank in the bottom half of baseball in production: catcher (26th in baseball with a .578 OPS), second base (25th with a .574 OPS), left field (17th with a .674 OPS) and right field (25th with a .693 OPS). Those are the 5, 6, 7 and 8 spots in the lineup. Combine them with Phillies pitchers and it has been nearly impossible to get rallies going once Ryan Howard hits.
But now figure in Shane Victorino‘s trip to the DL, Placido Polanco cooling off (he’s hitting .230 in May), Rollins cooling off (he’s hitting .184 in his last nine games) and Howard’s 0-for-20 slump and it’s even worse. Nobody is hitting, and there is no immediate solution. They simply have to hope the top of the order gets back on track, Chase Utley returns next week, Domonic Brown continues to hit to force a promotion and the 5, 6, 7, 8 hitters improve just enough to allow the Phillies some chances at extended rallies.
“We are still in first place, and that’s the mentality you have to have,” Rollins said. “That after all this, this bad stretch of injuries, we still have a chance to hold on and push some games up.”
The Phillies have the best record in the National League, but to stay there they have to start hitting. No pressure.