Against the Padres Saturday night, Roy Halladay put forth another great effort. Through 7 innings, he allowed only 2 runs while working in and out of trouble. This was the Halladay we are all used to seeing.
Unfortunately, the Phillies offense was also the one we are all used to seeing recently. John Mayberry Jr. and Freddy Galvis teamed up in the 2nd to score the Phillies only run. Shane Victorino had 3 hits and a walk, but little to show for it as he kept getting stranded on base.
The Phillies loaded the bases a number of times in this game and got nothing out of it. Hunter Pence was one of the worst offenders; he struck out once and popped up when there was only 1 out in the inning and a sac fly would have scored a run. Ty Wigginton was just as bad. He came up to bat twice with the bases loaded; he flew out once and grounded out once.
Pence, who hit .314 last year, has been awful in 2012. When asked about it, Charlie Manuel told reporters, “Now, what we do about it, I don’t know. You wouldn’t call him a disciplined hitter. He’s unorthodox. He’s the kind of guy who, if he sees it and thinks he can hit it, he swings at it. Right now you’ve got to kind of accept that and hope he gets good balls to hit.”
Really? The answer is to accept that he swings at crap pitches and pray he stops getting crap pitches? At this point, pitchers do not ever have to throw Pence a strike…ever. He will swing at anything. If someone tossed a pitch to the top of City Hall, he’d probably swing at that too.
Tonight, the Padres even walked Victorino to load the bases with one out and face Pence instead. Pence did not disappoint the Padres as he popped up the first crap pitch he saw.
If Manuel is looking for answers. here is one: bench him. I like Pence; he seems like a quality guy. But if he is hurting the team, he needs to sit until he learns some discipline. Put Juan Pierre and Mayberry at the corners and give Pence time to think about it.
So it came down to a 2-1 deficit in the 9th, which for this team, has seemed to be almost impossible to overcome, especially late in games. Could the Phillies pull off a come from behind win in the 9th against one of the worst teams in baseball?
Imagine asking that question just last year. No problem, right? This year, not so much. So as expected, the Phillies went down in the 9th and took the 2-1 loss. And you will never guess who struck out for the last out with a man on 3rd…Hunter Pence.
Game 3 with the Padres will be at 1:35pm Sunday and I will return with photos. I’d also like to wish all the Mom’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day! I am hoping the Phillies can make our day with a win! If not, I suppose flowers will have to do ;o)
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Pence photo by Jenn Zambri Photography