With the Phillies 9-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies dropped to second place in the National League East. While the Phillies offensive struggles have been frustrating, it’s not time to press the panic button — yet.
Part of this loss can be blamed on defensive mistakes by Ross Gload and Ryan Howard. Gload, who played in place of Jayson Werth, dropped a fly ball. However, the most costly error was by Howard, who completely missed a ground ball that potentially could have been two outs. The miscues led to two unearned runs, and if not made, the outcome could have been much different.
The Phillies were held scoreless until the seventh inning. Tommy Hanson cruised along, allowing just three hits. He was lifted in the seventh inning after allowing a two-out double to Raul Ibanez. Pete Moylan came in relief and gave up three straight doubles as the Phillies were able to cut the lead in half. Unfortunately, Troy Glaus broke the game wide open at the bottom half of the inning. Glaus’ three-run home run off Chad Durbin put the game in the books.
There were some positives though. Brad Lidge returned from the disabled list (Nelson Figueroa was designated for assignment) and tossed a 1-2-3 inning. His slider was impressive, as he struck out one batter. The other positive? They weren’t shut out.
Today, the offensive struggles carried over defensively. There is no question that the Phillies need to snap out of this slump, but it is still very early in the season. In previous seasons, the Phillies have gone through similar woes. This series with Atlanta is key, however, and they must win if they want to get back into first place.