More of the Same
More than three hours before Red Sox left-hander Franklin Morales threw his first pitch to the Phillies tonight, Charlie Manuel took a seat in the Phillies dugout at Citizens Bank Park and told reporters Morales is a pitcher his players definitely should be able to hit.
“We can go up there and look for fastballs,” he said before the 9-2 loss as the Phillies failed to reach .500 for the third time in the past week. “I feel that way. Just because he throws a curveball or a changeup over (for a strike), that doesn’t mean that we’ve got to panic and start swinging at them. He will give you some fastballs.”
Morales threw his share of fastballs, but after Delmon Young hit a two-run home run in the first inning they managed just four hits the rest of the night. The Phillies have been held to two or fewer runs in 21 of 54 games (38.9 percent) this season.
“It’s kind of the same thing every day,” Manuel said afterward.
It certainly is. I’ve been getting tweets from fans expressing their frustrations with Chad Durbin and Jeremy Horst, but the Phillies lost tonight because the offense is bad. They lost Monday night to Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who entered the night with an 8.20 ERA. They lost tonight because they could not hit Morales.
“We talk about the same thing every night,” Manuel said. “That’s where that .245 (team) batting average comes into play. This is a game of percentages, averages, that’s what happens. We didn’t muster enough offense. … I’m sure they look at our lineup and look at it as we’re not at full strength. I’m sure they do. I’m not aking anything away from the pitcher, but they threw him instead of (Jon) Lester. They wanted Lester against against the Yankees.
“It’s a battle for us. To win games, it’s a battle. Even when we have Cliff Lee or (Cole) Hamels or whoever, (Kyle) Kendrick, throwing a real close game, it’s still a battle for us to win at times. We haven’t blown too many people out. We don’t knock the cover off the ball. That’s what I’m talking about, too. In order for us to run off a winning streak or do better, we’ve got to score more runs of course. We were in the game tonight until they got four ahead of us. They kept adding. We couldn’t get enough base runners and we couldn’t get big hits.”
The Phillies had the bases loaded with one out when Erik Kratz bounced into an inning-ending double play.
“The game is sitting there for us and we couldn’t do nothing to take it,” Manuel said.
The Phillies keep talking about getting on a lengthy winning streak, but the longer this continues the more difficult it is to expect it will happen.