The Phillies could not figure out Trevor Bauer. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports
If you wanted a good definition of “total team failure,” the Phils’ two games in Cleveland this week would be a pretty good place to start looking.
For the second night in a row, Phillies pitching made the Indians murderer’s row of Mark Reynolds, Carlos Santana and Ryan Raburn look like Jim Thome, Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez, allowing the trio to go 7 for 14 as Cleveland knocked out 14 more hits in an uncompetitive 6-0 win over the Phils. Last night, Cliff Lee was the recipient of some bad luck, the victim of three infield hits in a three-run third that, with this offense, put the game out of reach early.
In all, Lee gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits in six innings. It wasn’t a terrible performance, but it wasn’t very good either.
Baseball is weird.
Meanwhile, the offense could not take advantage of the wildly erratic youngster Trevor Bauer, who walked the leadoff hitter FOUR TIMES, and walked SIX Phillies hitters in just five innings of work.
And he didn’t give up a single run.
That’s because the Phils could manage only two bloop hits off the bat of Domonic Brown in Bauer’s five innings, making him just the latest in a string of rookie pitchers the Phillies have had trouble solving over the years.
It appears as though Phils hitters don’t realize they’re allowed to both walk AND hit in the same game, at the same time. You’d think one of their two hitting instructors might let them in on that little fact.
"“It would’ve been nice to cash a couple in for sure,” Phillies third baseman Michael Young said. “We had some walks, but it was kind of tough to really get locked in on one certain pitch. He had good velocity, good breaking ball, threw his offspeed stuff over. Any count, really, there were no patterns. Like I said, we would’ve liked to cash in on a couple. If we could get some of those opportunities back, it’d be nice.” – quote per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki"
Once again, hitting with runners in scoring position proved to be too monumental a task for this bunch, going 0 for 10. And while Crashburn Alley’s Bill Baer is correct that the Phils’ .251 batting average with runners in scoring position is a respectable number…
…a deeper dive inside the numbers reveals a much bigger failing in this area.
If you remove three games in which the Phillies went 6 for 13, 6 for 11 and 5 for 11 with runners in scoring position (two wins and a loss), the team has hit a combined 39 for 188 (.207).
In their 16 losses this year, the Phillies have hit 25 for 121 (.206) with runners in scoring position. If you remove one game in which they went 6 for 13, their batting average with runners in scoring position is .176.
Of course, by removing three games from an already small sample size, it’s not totally fair to judge the Phillies as being a terrible team with runners in scoring position…
Which means I now have a larger project to tackle. Yippee.
And yes, of course, the offense has had a hard time getting on base in the first place, mainly because they haven’t drawn walks.
Last night, however, they did. And they did absolutely nothing with them.
So far, the return of Carlos Ruiz and Delmon Young hasn’t helped much. Sure, it’s just two games in which the Phillies have had Ruben Amaro‘s dream lineup in place, so it’s too early to draw any conclusions. But getting outscored 20-2 sure does leave an impression.
Luckily, the Phillies are set for a four-game series with the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park starting tonight. The Phillies are 7-2 against the Marlins and Mets this year, and 5-14 against everybody else.
Anything less than taking three out of four from the 8-20 Miami Marlins, a team with an NL-worst -45 run differential, should be regarded as a complete and total failure.
Where It All Went Wrong
When the Indians got three infield hits in the third inning, in addition to a line-drive double to left, scoring three runs in the inning to make the score 4-0. Against the Phillies, that’s basically a 20-run advantage.
Ben Revere, who got a hit to the outfield last night. I would post the highlight, but it’s not worth your time or mine.
How about Ryan Raburn, who is the hottest player in Major League Baseball right now.
Also, honorable mention to interleague play, something the Phillies historically have been TOTALLY AWESOME at. In five interleague games this year, the Phillies are 1-4. Really enjoying the AL Central, guys.