After a dismal, 12-inning, 2-1 loss to the Pirates last night, the Phillies are now a frightening 12-31 lifetime at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. They simply cannot win in this ballpark. Could it be cursed? This place is like a haunted house of horrors for the Phils.
Even with the entire line-up together for the first time all season, the Phillies still looked like zombies out there. Shane Victorino came off the DL and with the whole gang all together again, one might think it would break the sleep spell on this dreadful offense.
That simply did not happen.
The biggest victim of the night was pitcher Cole Hamels. This poor guy left it all on the field, pitching eight innings of one-run ball. And what did he get to show for it? Nothing. His team left him hanging.
The offense came out of 12-innings of play with a measly six hits. And two of those six hits were courtesy of the pitcher, Hamels. So they gave Cole only four hits and one run to work with. This should be a criminal offense ;o}
Let us count the 0’fers: Victorino, 0-for-5. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Domonic Brown, Carlos Ruiz…all 0-for-4. As a team, they complied 40 at-bats, six hits and left seven men on base. Disgusting.
Last year, in a similar slump, the Phillies fired hitting coach and all around nice guy, Milt Thompson. So is Greg Gross next to go? Because if this keeps up, the team is going to be looking for another fall guy. But they only one to blame are the players themselves.
No one seems to be getting too worked up over all this as they are still in first place, thanks to the pitching. But the Marlins and Braves are creeping up closer and something is going to hit the fan when the Phillies drop out of first because they cannot score more than one or two runs in a game. As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see the disaster coming.
But the disaster can easily be averted. This team need to get back to the basics. Stop swinging for the fences, stop swinging at bad pitches and for heaven’s sake, would someone please inform this line-up that they need to adjust their swing when a pitcher is tossing all kinds of off-speed crap at them? They cannot just stand up there and pray for a fastball. Pitchers have this teams’ number now and they need to adjust.
In the league, the Phillies rank #2 in fly-ball outs. If there was a stat specifically in short pop-ups, I am pretty sure they would be #1 in all of baseball. Also of note, they rank 19th in the majors in runs scored and batting average. For a first place team, this is pathetic.
So the house of horrors continues tonight. Kyle Kendrick will start and game time is 7:05pm. Bust out your four-leaf clovers, rabbit’s foot (artificial, of course), horseshoe, crucifix, #7 pendant, voodoo doll, lucky jersey or whatever you have and start praying for the curse to be lifted!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography