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Means to an end: Orioles 2, Phillies 0

If this is the best they can do, the Phillies might as well give up now.

Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies made John Means look like Max Scherzer on Monday night
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When the Phillies fell behind the Orioles 2-0 in the first inning, fans began to panic.

It seemed that many fans had convinced themselves that the Phillies’ history of crapping the bed against bad teams was going to repeat itself, and the team was destined to suffer a deflating defeat.

As it turns out, they were right. While the pitching stabilized, the Phillies’ hitters did absolutely nothing against Orioles starter John Means and a couple of relievers. They had just four hits, one walk, and no runs as they suffered an inexcusable 2-0 loss to the team with the worst record in baseball.

Ranger Suarez had a shaky first inning as the Orioles apparently had a plan to jump on him early in the count. Four hits led to two runs, and put the Phillies in an early hole. But Suarez rebounded nicely. He didn’t allow any more runs over the next five innings, and did his best to keep the team in the game.

A two-run deficit should not be insurmountable, especially against a bad team. Unfortunately, the Phillies showed almost no life at the plate, and the few balls they hit hard were either right at fielders, or not hit quite hard enough.

John Means is a rarity on the Orioles’ staff in that he is a quality pitcher, but the Phillies’ performance at the plate made him seem like a genuine ace. Bryce Harper has unfortunately cooled down a little, and was 0-3 with two strikeouts on the night. (He did manage the team’s only walk.) The Phillies will need someone else to step up, but nobody seems in a hurry to do so. Over the past couple of games, the Phillies haven’t bunched any hits or hit for power, which is a bad combination if your goal is to score runs.

The hitting was so bad, that Means actually hit a ball harder than any of the Phillies did:

Once Means was out of the game, the Phillies had two cracks at a weak Orioles bullpen. There may have been a couple of “loud” outs in there, but in the end, the Phillies went 0-6 over the final two innings.

The Phillies have two more games against this awful team, so they could very well rebound to win the series. But given their history, and their performance on Monday, is anybody truly confident that they will actually do that?