This isn’t so much a game recap as it is a three-game rant, because we’ve witnessed some ugly, ugly baseball over the past few days.
Usually when the Phillies lose, there is something positive that you can glean from the game as proof that the Fightins’ troubles are short-lived. Maybe the pitching was solid, but the bats couldn’t get it done or vice-versa. But you would be hard pressed to find a silver lining in the Phillies’ state of play as of late.
Since Friday night’s victory over the Red Sox, there hasn’t been any facet of the Phillies’ game that resembles the baseball we know they are capable of playing. Three runs in 27 innings won’t win you many ball games, and in the Phillies’ case, it doesn’t win you any ball games. Phillies’ pitchers have given up 21 runs on 32 hits and nine walks over the past three games, with starters combining for a paltry three strikeouts during that time. Even the team’s defense has been poor. I’m still shocked that the fly ball gold-glover Shane Victorino missed last night in the fourth inning wasn’t scored as an error.
Last night’s game was particularly frustrating as the Phillies would twice come up empty with the bases loaded. Mets’ pitcher R.A. Dickey threw six shutout innings and struck out seven, matching a career high from 2006. Apparently the knuckleball is to the Phillies’ offense what kryptonite is to Superman, or what blog-steroid rumors are to Raul Ibanez.
Jose Reyes ran over the Phils defense all night with infield singles and two stolen bases. Rod “Olé” Barajas continued his assault on his former team with two hits and a run, and Jeff Francoeur, who had been so cold offensively that he was moved down the lineup to the eight hole, even had two hits and two RBIs. To add more insult to injury, relief pitcher Raul Valdes hit an RBI double off of Nelson Figeroa in the bottom of the eighth. And we wondered why Figgy had been MIA for so long.
The Phillies lead the Marlins by three games in the NL East. They continue their series with the Mets tonight at 7:10. Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.06 ERA) will try to be the stopper against Hisanori Takahashi (3-1, 2.53 ERA).
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