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Offense Sputters As Padres Even Series With Phils

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, May 12, 2012 10:02 PM | Comments: 9
2012 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Shane Victorino had three hits and a stolen base tonight, but the Phils offense could only muster one run. (AP)

In tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Padres, the Phillies found themselves in a situation that’s become all too familiar this season: They watched their starting pitcher throw a gem, only to have the offense fail to capitalize on the opportunity to win the ballgame.

DOC PULLS HIS WEIGHT, OFFENSE DOESN’T

- Roy Halladay did everything in his power to get the Phils the win tonight, but the bats once again weren’t there to back him up. He allowed just two runs over seven innings, and recorded a season-high ten strikeouts (his first double-digit strikeout performance of the season). He allowed runs in the third and the seventh, but was more than good enough to deserve a win.

- Say what you want about Halladay’s velocity/control/stamina/performance, the guy has still pitched like a bona fide ace this season. If you take away his one disastrous start in Atlanta, his ERA would stand at 1.76. The peripheral stats (BABIP, LOB%) that suggested Doc’s decline earlier this season have started to level out, and the guy just keeps getting it done. The Phillies may have lost his last five starts–a streak so rare, it’s the first time a team has lost five straight Halladay starts since 1999–but four of those losses are not on the pitcher, including tonight’s game.

PENCE’S NEW APPROACH

- As David Hale wrote earlier today, Hunter Pence has decided to take a new, less-anxious approach to hitting after slumping for the last week or so. Early on, it seemed like the new mindset was working, as Pence worked two walks in three plate appearances. But when Pence came up with the bases loaded, one out, and a chance to tie the game or give the Phillies the lead in the seventh, he reverted back to his old form, hacking away at the first pitch and popping out weakly to second base.

- These high pressure RBI situations are exactly where Pence needs to be more patient. With the bases loaded and a tight ball game, taking a few pitches increases the odds of working a walk or even of a ball getting by the catcher to allowing the tying run to come home. Pence is hitting .316 this year with RISP, but I’d be willing to bet that number would be even higher if he’d wait for a pitch to hit from time to time instead of hacking away.

- Pence did take some pitches in the final at-bat of the game. But he struck out on a fastball up and out of the zone to end the game. Swinging at the first pitch and chasing high heat are Pence’s two weaknesses, and both were on display in his final two at-bats.

VICTORINO WITH THREE HITS

- The 2012 campaign has not been pretty thus far for Shane Victorino. Coming off a year in which he was probably the Phillies best hitter from start to finish, Victorino has struggled to get on base regularly this season. Tonight was a bright spot, however, as he collected three hits and was on base four times. It marked just his second three-hit game of the season. To put that in perspective: Victorino had nine three-hit games last season (though, much like this season, he only had two through May 12th). When discussing why the Phillies offense has the potential to perform better than it has, Vic’s name comes up a lot as a guy who has underperformed. Tonight aside, the offense has been better in the month of May, and Victorino has had something to do with that. He’s now hitting .326 with six extra-base hits since May 1st. He would miss out on the opportunity for his first four-hit game of the season when he was intentionally walked in the seventh and when he struck out with Rollins on second in the ninth.

- It was unfortunate to see Vic strike out in the ninth because that could overshadow the rest of his game, but when you get a base four times, you can hardly be blamed for your team’s one-run output.

GAME NOTES

-The Phils will look for the series victory tomorrow when Cole Hamels returns from his suspension to take the mound against Jeff Suppan.

- The Phillies have won just one series at home this season, and that came back in the opening series against Miami. Beating a team like San Diego two out of three is imperative if the Phils want to gain ground in the standings.

- Mike Fontenot was added to the 25-man roster before tonight’s game and Erik Kratz was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In 15 games with Lehigh, Fontenot had a slash line of .300/.364./.400. He can play several infield positions and is expected to provide Manuel another bat to insert in the lineup. He is a career .263 hitter, and has been known for his patience at the plate–something the Phils could sorely use.

Avatar of Ryan Dinger

About Ryan Dinger

Ryan Dinger has written 125 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ryan stated writing for Phillies Nation in 2012.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    The Phils are in playoff form in May.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Either they cant hit or the bullpen fails. This team is like a gear with 2 broken teeth. Put Chooch in the clean up spot…

     
  • Posts: 3084 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I flipped to CSN twice to see what was happening and both times it was when the Phillies had the bases loaded and could not score. Normally, a 1-run game would have me on the edge of my seat but….

     
  • Posts: 3371 Tracey

    Avatar of Tracey

    Bacardi’s comment hints at another positive to take away from this game: The bullpen didn’t put it out of reach. Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 inning in a high pressure situation, and Qualls gave up only one hit.

     
  • Posts: 0 shawnmac

    Phillies have the worst clutch hitting in MLB as well as the least disciplined players. Rollins is tragic as a leadoff hitter with his .230 BA and he ranks 80 out of 91 NL players in OBP. Complete failure for leadoff. Does the team have any leaders? The answer is NO. Any heart? Looks again like NO.

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Maybe Kid Cole could intentionally bean J-roll and wake him the hell up from his zombie-like play. That is what Ed Delahanty would have done even in his worst year, his rookie year: 1888 20 years old PHI NL 74 games PA= 303 AB= 290 R=40 H= 66 2B=12 3B=2 HR=1 RBI=31 SB=38 BB=12 SO=26 BA=.228 OBP=.261 SLG=.293 OPS=.554
    Rollins:
    2012 G=34 AB=135 R=16 H=31 HR=0 RBI=5 BA=.230 OBP:.276 SLG:.267 BB=9 SO= 25 SB=7
    Ed’s rookie year was the worst of his career, and then he went on to all around hitting greatness. Maybe Jimmy should follow his hard-nosed competitive play and drinking that made erased his rookie year blemish.
    Put your heart where your mouth is Jimmy – for once.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    I think that putting Chooch in the three or four hole should be seriously considered. Chooch is the kinda guy that won’t let the move change his hitting approach. There is something to be sad for riding the hot hand I think. The guy is really hitting.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 hk

    In fairness to Pence and his approach, the pitch that he swung at with the bases loaded was a hanging curve that should have been a power hitter’s dream. I don’t have a problem with him swinging at the first pitch when it is hittable. Unfortunately, he did not square it up properly and popped it up.

     
 
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