Phillies Offense Cooler than Cool.


0. 6. 2. 3. Final

To paraphrase a 2003 song by the group Outkast, the Philadelphia Phillies offense is now cooler than cool – they’re ice cold!

The New York Mets shutout the Fightin’ Phils 2-0 this afternoon in what was the 2015 season home opener for the hosts.

Jacob deGrom, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year, picked right up where he left off last season. In evening his personal season record at 1-1, de Grom went 6.1 innings today, scattering 7 hits and a walk, and striking out 3 Phillies batters.

The continued poor hitting wasted a 2nd consecutive stellar outing from new Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Harang, who went 6 innings himself, scattering 4 hits and a pair of walks. 

More from That Balls Outta Here

The lone dent on Harang by the Mets came with two outs in the home half of the 4th inning. Daniel Murphy had hit a 1-out double, and advanced to 3rd base on a fly out. Murphy scored when center fielder Juan Lagares delivered a two-out single off Harang’s glove to put the home nine in front 1-0.

The Phillies, meanwhile, got a pair of hits in the 4th, but a Chase Utley double play hindered that opportunity. They got another pair in the 5th, when both Cody Asche and Freddy Galvis singled with one out. But deGrom weasled out of that jam, staying ahead by the 1-0 score.

Apr 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA;

New York Mets starting pitcher deGrom (48) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citi Field

. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In the top of the 7th, Asche and Galvis again delivered one-out hits, finally chasing deGrom. Again, the two were stranded when the best pinch-hitter for Harang available to manager Ryne Sandberg was the weak-hitting Cesar Hernandez, who promptly grounded into a force out. Ben Revere then stood looking at a called third strike from Mets’ reliever Carlos Torres to end the threat.

The hosts tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th thanks to an Utley fielding error on a grounder by Murphy. After Cuddyer picked up his 2nd hit with a one-out single off Jeanmar Gomez, Utley’s error allowed him to go to 3rd and left Murphy safe at 1st. Travis d’Arnaud made the Phils pay for the 2nd baseman’s miscue with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

In their last chance against new Mets closer Jeurys Familia, the Phils started the top of the 9th promisingly. Carlos Ruiz drew a leadoff walk, often a killer for any pitcher. But Grady Sizemore, who had a beer thrown at him by a Mets fan while patrolling right field in the 6th, followed with a pitcher’s best friend, a nifty 3-6-1 double play grounder. Chance gone. Game gone.

The Phillies slipped below the .500 mark on the young season, dropping to 3-4, and if they don’t start hitting more consistently soon, they just might never get to that mark again this year. If anything, it gets even more difficult tomorrow when Mets ace Matt Harvey takes the hill.

It’s just a matter of time with Chase. I have no worries there. He gives quality at-bats. No worries there.” ~ Sandberg, on Utley

The Phils have now scored just 16 runs and have 43 hits in 6 games. That’s an average of fewer than 3 runs scored, and just over 7 hits per game. That simply won’t get it done. Utley is batting .105 in 22 plate appearances. Ryan Howard is hitting .150 in 20 appearances at the dish. In 26 plate appearances, Revere is hitting for just a .167 average. Ouch.

Meanwhile, the stellar effort from Harang added to the fine numbers put up by the pitching staff. Phillies hurlers have allowed just 45 hits in 56 innings, with a collective 52-26 K:BB ratio and a 3.38 team ERA. But the hitting is seriously letting them down.

Manager Ryne Sandberg tried to stay upbeat following the game: “It’s just a matter of time with Chase. I have no worries there. He gives quality at-bats. No worries there. Chase will be fine.

Maybe he will. But he’s not now. Very few of the bats are “fine” in any way. The club is batting for a collective .214 average, and slugging to just a .284 mark. Many predicted a long season for this 2015 version of the Phillies. A few scrappy first week efforts aside, we’ve seen nothing from this lineup to say those prognosticators will be wrong.