In season with 162 games, there will be games where an offense explodes, a defense plays incredibly, a team’s pitching will be lights-out and the team will win 8-0. Sometimes, teams will play against other teams that have those types of games and lose 8-0. But then, there are games where a team pitches poorly, is unable to get anything going offensively, botches multiple plays in the field and, to make matters worse, plays a bad team that gives them ample opportunities to score. It’s games like these that are the worst and it was a game like this that the Phillies played in their last of a four-game series with the Padres, a game which the Phillies lost 6-1, dropping their record to a disturbing 7-9 against a group of teams that have been nothing but average.It started in the first inning, as Juan Pierre was picked off of first base, a mere two pitches after being walked by Padres starter Anthony Bass. After another walk, a Padres error and a stolen base, the Phillies had runners on second and third with two outs– base-runners that the Padres had basically handed them. But, in recent Phillies fashion, Hunter Pence grounded out, unable to advance the runners, and Jim Thome struck out, still without an RBI for the year.
From there the game just got worse. The Padres would score two runs in the bottom of the first and would never relinquish their lead. The Phillies’ only run would come in the second inning, an unearned run that the Phillies cannot even really be proud of. The team would give up four more runs– all off of Joe Blanton– though three were unearned due to three team errors. To make matters worse, the Phillies were a disgusting 1-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base. Hunter Pence went 0-4, stretching his hit-less streak to three games and dropping his batting average to .258. Jim Thome went 1-3, raising his average to a still disgusting .158. Thome, the sure-fire hall-of-famer, still has not driven in a run all season and nine of his 16 at-bats have been strikeout, not exactly what Ruben Amaro Jr. and company expected when signing him to a contract this off-season.
During the first few games of the season, it was hard to justify panicking or even really showing any concern. But now, nearly 20 games into the season, the Phillies have shown few signs of a functioning offense, bad pitching on multiple occasions, and a defense that can be very, very bad. There is no reason to think that this situation can’t get better, but there is certainly reason to believe it can get worse or stay the same. A slow April is no huge problem for a truly talented team, but a streak like this continuing through May or in the worst case June? Yeah, that could be a problem. Let’s hope it stops soon.