Phillies fall short, but show fight in 4-3 loss to the Cardinals

For the seventh straight game, the Phillies offense has failed to score in the first five innings of a game.  In addition, they also have not scored 3 or more runs in any of those games either.  Another stat that I find disturbing is that they have not drawn a walk in 4 straight games.  The last team to accomplish that feat was the Chicago White Sox in August of 2011.  Now, let’s get to the game which was more exciting than any Phillies game I have watched in the last week so there’s that.  Take that for what it’s worth.

The first three innings were ho hum as both Cole Hamels and Adam Wainwright were settling in for another pitcher’s duel which is all too familiar for the 2013 Phillies as they have scored 2 or less runs 8 times in their first 16 games including tonight.

In the 4th, a leadoff walk to Matt Holliday brings Allen Craig to the plate to the second unluckiest play of the inning when he hits a fly ball into right center field and as John Mayberry runs in to make the play on the ball he slips and falls allowing the ball to drop in for a double.  The next batter, Yadier Molina hits a first pitch fastball down the right-field line for a two run double or so we think, as video replay clearly showed the ball landed foul. If the Phillies didn’t have bad luck, they would have no luck at all.  My want for instant replay for fair-foul calls, and plays at the plate grows more and more as umpires need help to make more accurate calls that alter the game significantly.  The Phillies show some fight in the 6th with back to back doubles by Jimmy Rollins and Freddy Galvis along with a single by Chase Utley tie the game up at 2. 

The Cards answer right back in the 7th with a leadoff double from David Freese, a sacrifice bunt by Jon Jay moving Freese to third and then scored on a Pete Kozma sacrifice fly.  The Phillies once again battle back and tie the game up when a leadoff single by John Mayberry, a sacrifice bunt by Ben Revere, and a wild pitch by Wainwright sets up Erik Kratz’s RBI single past the drawn in infield.  Kratz must have had some turkey bacon before the game today by going 2-4, and maybe they read my article because the Phillies catchers have really been struggling this year.  The game would not be tied for long as Carlos Beltran (PHILLIE KILLER) took a Mike Adams pitch just over the left field wall for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning home run.  The Phillies on this night though would not go down without a fight by putting runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs with Frandsen, Rollins, and Galvis all set up to get a shot to drive in the game-tying or winning runs.  They however were not able to do that and the Cardinals held on for the victory.  The Phillies are back in action on Friday where Roy Halladay looks for his second win in a row after winning number 200 in Miami last week.  He will be opposed by left hander Jaime Garcia who is coming off his second straight no decision.  

Full Box Score

My opinion on the 9th inning:  After Revere and Kratz both singled to get on base, the approaches the next three hitters took were atrocious.  Frandsen hit the first pitch he sees to the shortstop with the infield pulled in and is unable to score the run.  Rollins then proceeds swing at a 2-2 splitter in the dirt that he had no business offering at and strikes out.  Galvis grounds out to end the game.  I like the fight that they have shown but these players need to realize that a guy like Mujica is not going to throw you a fastball or anything in the zone.  He threw splitter after splitter and with better approaches at the plate and not having the proclivity to swing at everything can help ease the problem the Phillies offense currently has.  Put this one in the very frustrating category for me as this was a game that they should have won and didn’t.

Noteworthy:  Ryan Howard contributed 3 hits in this game but still sits at 1 home run and 5 rbi for the year.  The Phillies need his bat to heat if they want to have a shot this season. 

As always, just keep Phighting!

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