Phillies’ Punchless Week No Reason to Fret

The Phillies were taken out behind the shed and beaten with a stick tonight, dropping the series finale in Cincinnati 11-2, running their consecutive scoreless innings streak to 17 before an eighth-inning two-run home run by Freddy Galvis. Matt Gelb has an even more interesting bit of trivia about the Phillies’ anemic offense:

twitter.com/magelb/status/324686320188399616

On the entire six-game road trip, through Miami and Cincy, the Phillies managed to score a grand total of ten runs. Ben Revere is striking out way more than he usually does; Jimmy Rollins was on an 0-for-15 skid; Chase Utley hasn’t had a multi-hit game since April 7; Domonic Brown‘s bat, since ending the Mets series with a bang, has been conspicuously absent; and the Phillies’ catching corps is one of the worst in baseball at the moment.

Every team has offensive droughts throughout the season, though. The 2008 Phillies had an ugly stretch in late June. During a six-game losing streak from June 17-24, they scored 11 runs. If you move the six-game focus down a couple days, they scored 11 between the 20th and 26th in a 1-5 stretch as well. The 2009 team scored seven in six games from August 29 through September 4. The 2010 Phillies were shut out four times in a five-game span May 22-27. In the 12-game span between May 18-30, they scored a total of 19 runs. The 2011 team scored nine runs in six games between May 17-22.

Each of those teams enjoyed success — playoff appearances, in fact — despite a frustrating part of the season in which they were barely hitting. This is not to say that the 2013 iteration will have similar success, but a six-game sample size, which amounts to 20-25 plate appearances per player if they’re getting regular playing time, tells you very little about a team’s actual skill.

Additionally, focusing entirely on the Phillies’ offensive struggles takes away credit deserved by the opposing pitchers and defenses. The Phillies faced Ricky Nolasco, Jose Fernandez, Kevin Slowey, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, and Mike Leake. Though, with the exception of Fernandez and arguably Bailey, it’s not a group of names you’d ever expect to see in the Cy Young conversation, they are pitchers capable of twirling a gem on any given night. Remember when 47-year-old Jamie Moyer tossed a two-hit shutout against the Atlanta Braves on May 7, 2010? Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opposing pitcher and his defense on a job well done.

The Phillies will start scoring runs again soon. As the season goes on, their average runs scored per game will be within a few tenths of a run compared to the league average 4.3. And this awful week will be a forgotten footnote as more pressing and interesting narratives arrive.

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21 comments

  1. amarosucks

    April 17, 2013 09:01 PM

    The everyday lineup has been this team’s biggest issue since losing to the Yanks in the WS. You would think that the GM would have a plan to fix it by now.

    Gonna be a long summer

  2. kuvasz

    April 17, 2013 09:08 PM

    Baer, stop shilling for a shitty team, you sound like Joe Isuzu.

  3. Bob

    April 17, 2013 09:37 PM

    Those are all bad pitchers and you should feel bad for defending them.

  4. dahammer755

    April 17, 2013 09:58 PM

    The gist of this article is what, exactly? Not to worry? You do understand a couple of facts (I hope). To wit:

    The Phillies gave up a ton, a TON of runs in spring training. That trend has continued. In fact, they have given up more runs this season than any team in the NL.

    Second. Offense is done. Finished. You know it, I know it, and anyone watching this team knows it. Do you think D. Brown and Ben R. and Mayberry are a MLB outfield? Of course not! Do you think Howard is going to magically transform into a MLB middle of the order hitter? Of course not. Please, for the love of gawd, deal with this like a man. Thank you for your time.

  5. GB

    April 17, 2013 10:14 PM

    Bill, you make some valid points, but this offense has steadily lost over the last few years the focus on working pitchers, plate discipline, walks and power that made it so deadly with players like Abreu, younger Utley, younger Howard, Werth, Burrell etc.

    Amaro has recently brought in guys that have no plan at the plate and little OBP ability while also watering down the defensive skill of this team.

    The mis-allocation of resources is coming home to roost, the farm is largely bare, the team is aging and/or mediocre, the manager has no clue how to utilize bench/pen assets and everyone is hanging on hoping the TV deal saves them before the crowds melt away, having finally realized the emperor has no clothes…

    Oh, and this first half schedule should be the easy part, playing the Mets and Marlins quite often…if they cannot get over .500 during the easy part they have no chance in the second half unless they get lucky…

  6. EricL

    April 17, 2013 10:28 PM

    For those looking for a possible silver lining: As bad as Revere has been, Worley’s been much worse for the Twins.

  7. Andrew Cleveland Alexander

    April 17, 2013 11:24 PM

    Also, Trevor May has allowed 23 baserunners in 14 innings. Small sample size, but that’s not great.

  8. pedro3131

    April 18, 2013 01:10 AM

    Man you post one silver lining article and everyone forgets about every other article that’s all doom and gloom.

  9. TomG

    April 18, 2013 04:18 AM

    Another silver lining: both Durbin and Horst pitched without giving up a run last night in a situation where the middle relief was tasked with taking a bullet for the team – which they did. This was more a surprise re: Durbin, but, to be snarky, there were no inherited runners for him to let score, which so far seems to be his specialty.

    With the arguable (albeit, not very arguable) exception of the Royals, the teams they lost series to were not part of the easy part of this easy first half. The Phillies took the series from the Marlins and the Mets, which latter is more than they did last year at this time.

    In the series with the Reds, Lee pitched well and KK pitched exceptionally well. Lannan’s outing speaks for itself, although his first two outings were really good.

    Sooooo … if the offense ever comes around, this team might not be a total train wreck. And it looked to me like there were quite a few balls they hit to the wall for long fly outs. Maybe a few will start flying out …?

    This sounds pollyannaish, I know, but it’s the story that, for now, I’ll continue to tell myself so I can continue to watch. You have to find reasons. In ’72, Carlton every 4th day was reason enough and this team has more going for it than the ’72 team did. On paper, at least, they’re a better team than last year’s.

    I’m just going to hope that plays out on the field more often in the upcoming games.

  10. Dave R

    April 18, 2013 06:46 AM

    After Galvis’ home run last night, he now has as many HR as our $25 mil “clean up” hitter through 15 games. To put that in perspective, Howard has been payed 2.3 million so far for his 1 HR while Galvis has earned 23,000 (estimating his salary at 250,000). Plus Galvis can play defense. Anybody wants to look whats wrong with our team, look no further. RAJ overpaid for a mediocre clean up hitter that can hit bad pitchers mistakes far, relegating less money to the other position players (Utley the exception), so the rest of our linep has names like Kratz, Revere, Mayberry, etc. Add that to a manager that can’t manage a bullpen to save his life (and I thought he was this great hitting professor…never showed with the King Howard of the low and outside K. This is going to be a long season where they are barely (maybe) over five hundred and we see RAJ destroy what’s left of the team by trading Utley in July. Maybe if Howard were forced to pay back the portion of his salary he didn’t actually earn…I’ll be kind and say $20 mil/year), they can keep Utley and look at rebuilding with that wasted money.

  11. Lefty

    April 18, 2013 06:58 AM

    EricL – Who cares how bad Worley’s been, he doesn’t play for the Phils anymore. I’m sick of that showboater in Centerfield that can’t hit a ball out of the infield. I think he’d rather be on Sportcenter highlights than win. All this Willie Mays over the shoulder crap, just play the ball off the dang wall, and hold the runner ( the pitcher!) to a double.

    Bill, I know that what you’re writing is true, but in order for that to happen, the leadoff hitter must either be put in the eight hole, or be shipped out completely. Meanwhile Shane was 3 for 3 again last night, scored two runs and made a nice catch. And we’re stuck with the Showboater.

  12. jake

    April 18, 2013 07:01 AM

    Prob. need to go back to stealing signs. (Not joking either).

    Revere’s strikeouts are astounding. MAybe he’s feeling some special pressure. Rollins can’t hit anymore. That’s not a surprise. But what are you going to do?
    Too soon to hold a fire-sale. Just grin and bear it until July. If they are under 500 at that point, sell it all for whatever you can get. Hire Ed Wade (really, it was under his tenure that the WS winning core of Hamels, Utley, Howard and Rollins were drafted and developed) to be in charge of player drafting and development. Hire a saber-guy as the GM and reboot.
    After 5-6 years of awesome baseball, I’d sign up for that.

  13. hk

    April 18, 2013 08:13 AM

    TomG,

    In ’72, Carlton every 4th day was reason enough to watch that team every 4th day.

  14. TomG

    April 18, 2013 09:05 AM

    @hk,

    Hey, I was 12 at the time – what did I know? So I watched every day, even though I knew Carlton wasn’t going to pitch every day.

    More to the point, with the current team, you have Utley virtually every day, Lee, Hamels, Doc every fifth day, the promise of the return of Chooch to the every day line-up soon, though that can’t happen soon enough …

    They may well end up being a .500 or even sub-.500 team, but getting to watch those guys will be enough for me. I’ll take more, if they can give it, but that will be enough.

    I’ll also add my voice to that of those who have noted with alarm Revere’s strike out rate. Some of his swings make him look as though he’s trying out for the part of Ryan Howard’s personal mini-me. But I think he’ll come out of it, start making contact, and start getting on base a lot, as we know he can.

  15. Phillie697

    April 18, 2013 09:18 AM

    I’m trying to decipher if BB is being dead serious with the article or is this a clever attempt at trolling…

  16. Phillie697

    April 18, 2013 09:33 AM

    “RAJ overpaid for a mediocre clean up hitter that can hit bad pitchers mistakes far, relegating less money to the other position players (Utley the exception), so the rest of our linep has names like Kratz, Revere, Mayberry, etc.”

    Seems to me people realized this a few years too late. Should have been your reaction in April of 2010.

  17. Dave R

    April 18, 2013 09:59 AM

    I did…just never on this forum. My fb friends hate it though because it’s a nightly rant.

    I am an advocate of trading him (I understand we’ll need to eat a lot of his contract) so we could get some talent for him while he’s still semi-productive. He’s just eating an out in our line-up anyway…no faith WHATSOEVER in his ability to come through in the clutch…so why not get some talent while paying for a portion (probably $20 million/year) of his salary anyway.

  18. Phillie697

    April 18, 2013 10:08 AM

    We’ll have to find another Anaheim Angels to trade this joker away.

  19. Sawyer3193

    April 18, 2013 11:35 AM

    I still have hope for this season, but I do think building from the farm system up is the best way to go about winning. That is basically how we got where we were in 08. Howard/Utley/Hamels/Burrell/Ruiz/Rollins just to name a few all were from our organization. We can’t keep trading away our prospects.

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