Sputtering Offense

The offense continues on a roller coaster.  Only trouble, the ride doesn’t seem to be going up. 

Kuroda was brilliant last night with a near no-hitter.  He certainly has our number: two earned runs in 26.2 career innings (regular season).  He even had his first base hit of the season (46th at-bat) in the seventh, which was more than the Phillies had at that point in the game.

Then, there’s another Phillie killer, his batterymate, Barajas. He has nine hits against the Phillies this season, four being home runs.

Doc pitched well.  He’s lost 10 games during which the Phillies have scored 20 runs.

The 3-0 loss marked the 11th time in the last 12 games that the Phillies have scored three or less runs.  Not too long ago, we scored four or more in 18 of 24 games.

It is understandable that Chase and Ryan would struggle as they try to get their rhythm, timing and balance as hitters.  They missed a considerable amount of playing time on the DL. But, it is a real puzzle why the offense overall continues to sputter.

A year ago, we scored 820 runs; Two years ago, 799.  This year, 597, which puts us in sixth place in the NL.

For three straight years starting in 2007, we were the only NL team with 200 or more homers and 100 or more steals.  This year: 126 and 74.    If we hit 200 home runs this season, we’ll be in great shape.

Minor League Notes
The Phillies entry advanced to the Gulf League Championship Series which begins this afternoon at Bright House Field in Clearwater.  They play the Rays in the best-of-three series.

Regular seasons end on Labor Day for Lehigh Valley and Lakewood; the day before for Clearwater and Williamsport and September 7 for Reading.  Lakewood won the first half to qualify for the postseason.  Williamsport is on the bubble.

Special Birthday Wishes
Former Phillies Von Hayes (52) and Bill Nahorodny (57) are celebrating birthdays today. 
But, the day belongs to OF Danny Litwhiler, who turns 94.  He played for the Phillies from 1940-43 and is the first outfielder in franchise history to finish a season without an error.  He handled 317 chances in 151 games in 1942.

Other Phillies outfielders without an error for a full season: Tony Gonzalez (1962), Don Demeter (1962), Johnny Callison (1968), Jim Eisenreich (1995), Doug Glanville (2002) and Shane Victorino (2006).  None come close to the number of total chances Litwhiler fielded.

We’ve sent a birthday present to Danny in Clearwater…a Phillies jersey with his name and number (4, the number he wore in 1943.


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