Results tagged ‘ offense ’
Not sure what else can be said about the Phillies’ offense at this point.
They’ve scored nine runs in 10 games, which is why they’ve fallen from first place in the National League East for the first time since May 1. The Phillies had a season-high five-game lead in the NL East following a 12-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 17. They had the second-best offense in baseball at the time, averaging 5.73 runs per game. Only the New York Yankees (5.76) had averaged more.
But entering tonight’s game against the Braves, the Phillies rank 12th in baseball, averaging 4.69 runs per game.
Quite a fall.
The Phillies have gone 63 innings without a home run. It’s their longest home run drought since a 73-inning streak in 1999.
Who breaks the streak?
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what I’ve watched the last five games. I’m sure you are, too.
The Phillies lost last night to the Mets, 3-0. It was their third consecutive shutout loss and the fourth time they have been shut out in five games. It is the first time they have been shut out in three consecutive games since May 20-24, 1983, making the 2010 Phillies the 87th team since 1920 to be shutout in three consecutive games. (The ’83 Phillies are the last team to be shutout in three consecutive games to make the postseason. The 14 teams since the ’83 Phillies have not played in October.) It is the first time the Phillies have been shut out four times in five games since Aug. 23-27, 1974.
Thank Ramon Ramirez for allowing three runs in the ninth inning Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, otherwise the Phillies would have been shut out five consecutive games.
The MLB record since 1920 is four, which has been accomplished eight times. The last team to suffer that feat? The 1992 Chicago Cubs.
What you have watched has been remarkable. The Phillies have not scored a run in 27 consecutive innings, and have not scored a run in 46 of their last 47 innings. And while the Phillies say this is just baseball – every team goes through slumps – offenses as good as the Phillies don’t struggle quite like this.
The Phillies ranked fourth in baseball and second in the National League in runs (224) through last Friday, when they beat the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park, 5-1. Only the Yankees (239), Diamondbacks (226) and Rays (226) had scored more. And the Phillies had played two or fewer games than the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rays, meaning their 5.46 runs per game ranked second in baseball. Yes, the Phillies were the second best offense in baseball through last Friday. But these past five games have been a killer. They have since dropped to 10th in baseball and fifth in the National League in runs (227), and ninth in baseball in runs per game (4.93).
Only six runs separate the Phillies from ranking tied for eighth in the league in runs.
It’s got to turn around eventually. The Phillies are going to score a run again. But I thought it would happen last night. And before that I thought it would happen Wednesday night. And before that I thought it would happen Tuesday night.
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.
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.
The Astros held ”Turn Back the Clock Night” last night at Minute Maid Park to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first game at the Astrodome, which featured the Phillies. Houston’s grounds crew commemorated the event by dragging the infield wearing astronaut outfits.
The Phillies wore replica 1965 road uniforms, which got thumbs up from Charlie Manuel and Ryan Howard. (If you liked them they apparently will be auctioned off. I’m not sure where, but keep an eye open on the Internet. They have all sorts of things on sale there.) The ’65 Phillies scored 654 runs (4.04 per game) in 162 games, which ranked sixth in the 10-team National League. It’s safe to say the 2010 Phillies have a more potent offense.
The Phillies have scored 41 runs (8.2 per game) through five games. That pace can’t possibly last, but where will the Phillies finish? Let’s take a look at how the Phillies offense has ranked in the National League since Manuel became manager in 2005.
2009: 820 runs (5.06 per game), first in the league.
2008: 799 runs (4.93 per game), second in the league.
2007: 892 runs (5.51 per game), first in the league.
2006: 865 runs (5.34 per game), first in the league.
2005: 807 runs (4.98 per game), second in the league.
The Phillies’ franchise record for runs is 944, which they set in 156 games in 1930. The Phillies would need to average 5.83 runs per game to break that record.
So where do they finish this year? What’s the magic number?
Manuel let Jamie Moyer hit in the sixth inning because he needed to give his bullpen a break. As well as the Phillies have played the first week of the season, the bullpen had pitched a combined 12 innings the previous three games because Cole Hamels went five innings Wednesday, Kyle Kendrick went four innings Thursday and J.A. Happ went five innings Friday.