Even though they lost 4-3 to the Cardinals on Monday night, the Phillies still managed to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs thanks to the Braves losing to the Cubs. This team is so good, it seems they can literally do nothing and succeed.
However, this series with the Cardinals also showed that the Phillies have some work to do on offense. They clinched the NL East title against the Cards, but lost the other three games. On Monday night, Roy Halladay did not have his best stuff and the Phillies bats did nothing to help him out.
Halladay wound up spotting the Cards two runs in the first inning as his pitch location was off. He gave up two more runs for four total over eight innings. Halladay also walked four batters, which is unusual for the potential Cy-Young candidate.
While it was not Roy’s day, it was not a good day for the bats either. The Phillies only run through eight innings was basically handed to them after a Cardinals error. They left the bases loaded with less than two outs…again. In total, 10 men were left on base.
The Phillies attempted a rally in the 9th inning, which was nice to see, but they still fell short. A double from Carlos Ruiz followed by a triple from Jimmy Rollins led to two more runs. The triple was the 100th of Rollins’ career.
But the rally ended after Hunter Pence grounded out with Chase Utley on first. The fact that the team did not give up until the final out was refreshing, but there are still some lingering questions about this offense being unable to score with runners on base.
Ryan Howard is out of the line-up, probably for most of the week after getting a cortisone shot in his ankle. Shutting him down now instead of in the playoffs is wise. Hopefully, he come back rested and feeling better after dealing with bursitis in his foot and ankle all year.
Howard’s return should be a boost for the offense, but the Phillies really have nothing left to play for. The division is wrapped up, home field is wrapped up and they have 10 games to go. However, it would be nice to see them win 100 games and even better if they can break the franchise record of 101 wins in a season, set in 1976 & 1977.
The Phillies could reach 100 games today with wins over the Nationals in the doubleheader. Game 1 begins at 1:05pm.