Imagine for me a giant hole filled with quicksand.
Now add to that quicksand a tire fire, a volcano, and a mega shark. And then put a Phillies uniform on that. That clusterfuck is where we are right now.
The Phillies' best chance to score tonight against the Marlins was in the first inning. Ben Revere and Jimmy Rollins led off the game with two straight hits, all of a sudden there were runners on second and third with no outs. In straight succession, Chase Utley and Marlon Byrd both struck out, and Ryan Howard grounded out. After that, Marlins starter Tom Koehler sat down 15 straight Phillies before Tony Gwynn Jr. walked to lead off the sixth inning. The Phillies had just five hits all night, and two each belonged to Rollins and Revere.
It should be mentioned that Ryne Sandberg tinkered with the lineup tonight, or he did what passes for tinkering. He decided to switch Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd around, so Byrd was batting clean-up and Howard was batting fifth. That worked out well, didn't it? /runs away screaming
Over on the mound Cole Hamels struggled, allowing three runs over five difficult innings. He walked four and only struck out three, which shows just how off his game he was tonight. In the first inning, Hamels threw 34 pitches (but allowed no runs). He'd need 63 more to get through the rest of his outing. But this is how good Cole Hamels is: his crappy starts are what we typically expect from Roberto Hernandez. Hamels had an outstanding June, and so he's allowed a dud every now and then. This start ends the string of 10 consecutive starts of seven innings or more for Cole.
Five innings from Hamels means four innings from the bullpen. By and large, they continued to be excellent. Rosenberg threw a surprisingly scoreless inning, Bastardo ended the game with a scoreless inning as well, and in between the two came Ken Giles.
Ho hum. Ken Giles has a 1.00 ERA over his first nine major-league appearances.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) July 3, 2014
I kind of love him, guys.
I'm not being entirely honest about tonight's relief pitching. There was one more RP that appeared, between Giles and Bastardo. It was Mario Hollands, who with a swing of the bat (well, several swings of several bats) saw his 19-game, 18-inning scoreless streak come to an end.
Hollands' 19-game scoreless streak was a franchise record for a rookie reliever. Took a line drive off the leg before that hit.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 3, 2014
Hollands' success has been unexpected and hugely fun to watch, and I'm sure after he gets that probably-grapefruit-sized bruise iced he'll be right back at the awesomeness.
They're just bad, folks. Just really, really bad. We know the Phillies can be good when everything is working in tandem, but right now the offense is soul-crushingly awful. The Phillies have lost 17 of their last 23 games with NL East teams. They're 10 1/2 games out of first, and 12 games below .500. Tonight was their sixth loss in a row, and their 11th shutout loss of 2014. But my favorite Phillies Unfun Fact of the night was courtesy of Scott Franzke on the radio broadcast. Out of 84 games played, the Phillies have scored two runs or less 32 times, and scored three runs or less 43 times. 43 times, which is more than half of the games they've played.
They're bad. The only thing we can do is buckle in and ride out the storm.
And drink a lot.