Sloppy Times, Sign of Times?
It’s doubtful actually. The Phillies are on the field before every game, working on fundamentals. They’re constantly talking to their pitchers about how to attack hitters. But their last three games have been a nightmare for a manager that stressed fundamentals and clean play throughout Spring Training. The Phillies have allowed 10 unearned runs in their last three games to fall to 3-5. They lost their home opener Tuesday, 10-3, and their second home game last night, 9-4.
Elias Sports Bureau said it is the first time the Phillies have lost their first two home games allowing nine or more runs in each game since 1929 at Baker Bowl.
A closer look at some ugly numbers:
- The Phillies lead baseball with 10 unearned runs. No other team in baseball has more than seven (Padres and Marlins).
- Elias Sports Bureau found it is the first time the Phillies have allowed 10 or more unearned runs in three consecutive games since they allowed 10 from July 26-29, 2008. Interestingly, the Phillies went 3-0 in those games while they went 0-3 in these three.
- They are fourth in baseball with nine errors. Only the Dodgers, Marlins and Rangers have more with 11.
- Since they scored 14 runs on Opening Day, the Phillies are averaging 3.57 runs per game, which is 21st in baseball.
- They are 25th with a .197 average with runners in scoring position since Opening Day.
You hate to say the ninth game of the season is a must win, but if the Phillies lose tonight with Cliff Lee on the mound, A.J. Burnett will be asked to outpitch Marlins ace Jose Fernandez tomorrow night. Fernandez went 1-0 with a 0.50 ERA in three starts last season against the Phillies, striking out 16 batters in 18 innings and holding them to a .359 OPS. Fernandez has been dominant in his first two starts this season: eight hits, one run, two walks and 17 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. If the Phillies play anywhere close to the way they’ve played the last three games against Fernandez tomorrow night they’ve got no chance.
“It’s possible early-season stuff, but we’re still in the process of ironing that stuff out and continuing to work at it and stress it, that’s for sure,” Ryne Sandberg said.