In the first game of the Phillies – Cubs series last night, it started well for the Phils with a two-run homer from Ryan Howard in the first inning. But right away, pitcher Jamie Moyer gave those runs back. By the end of 3 innings, Moyer gave up 6 runs on 5 hits and had to be pulled from the game.
The Phillies wound up using 7 different pitchers in the game. The worst of those were Jose Contreras, allowing 5 more runs and Danys Baez adding one more to the thumping. The offense did nothing after the Howard homer until the 9th inning.
By that time, the Phils were down 12-2 so the 4 runs they scored in the 9th made little difference. Although, Howard hit bookend homers in the game; the 2-run shot in the 1st and another 2-run shot in the 9th.
Coming into today’s game having lost the first, Howard tried again to spark his team. After Shane Victorino homered in the 4th, Howard hit another 2-run bomb in the 6th, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. But as was the case the day before, the starting pitcher gave those 2 runs right back again.
Joe Blanton looked like he might have a good outing until in the 5th, with the bases loaded, he walked the opposing pitcher. And then in the 6th after the Howard homer, Blanton gave up a 2-run homer to former Phillie Marlon Byrd to tie the game. And to make matters worse, all 3 of those runs scored with 2 outs in the inning.
Ryan Madson ran into the same 2-out trouble in the 8th inning. Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer, giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead. The Phillies did nothing to help themselves in the 9th. Jayson Werth struck out looking for the 3rd time in one game and he has no hits in the series so far. Ben Francisco also struck out looking 3 times. As a team, the Phillies struck out fourteen times! Disgusting.
The Phillies offense, except for Howard, looks pathetic right now and the pitching has not been good. While we are only 2 games out of the All-Star break, this is very concerning. The good news is, Cole Hamels pitches tomorrow and Roy Halladay on Sunday. But as far as the good news goes, that is it.
So let us have a little fun for a moment. Is it just me, or did anyone else think that the Cubs catching gear looks a bit like R2D2?