Tough pitchers contributed to Phils' bad offense

Tough pitchers contributed to Phils' bad offense
August 4, 2014, 11:45 am
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Slumps from key bats and tough opposing pitching have led to the disappearance of the Phillies' offense. (USA Today Images)

After scoring 10 runs to win the first game of a four-game weekend series with the Nationals, the Phillies’ offense disappeared.

In the three subsequent games, the Phillies' offense mustered 16 hits and two runs. However, those two runs both came in the second game, as the team was shut out in back-to-back games to conclude the series.

It was the second time the Phillies have been shut out in consecutive games this season (May 14 vs. the Angels and May 16 vs. the Reds). They have not scored a run over their last 21 innings.

“The run support for the Phillies’ pitchers has been bad the last three games. But why?” CSN's Ricky Bottalico asked after a 4-0 loss Sunday. “Well, let me put it this way. When you face [Doug] Fister, you face [Stephen] Strasburg, these guys are very good pitchers. I think this is not only a little bit of bad offense, but I think you’re also facing tough pitchers. That’s the situation the Phillies ran into in Washington.”

Fister held the Phillies to two runs on six hits Friday, while Jordan Zimmerman and Strasburg combined for the two shutouts.

Also contributing to the anemic offense were struggles from Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Utley finished the seven-game road trip in a 1-for-20 slump, while Howard has one hit in his last 25 at-bats and is hitless over his last 14 (see story).

Despite scant offense over the last three games, the Phillies were able to split the four-game series with the Nationals, finishing their short East Coast trip at 3-4. The Phillies head into an interleague series with the Astros beginning Tuesday at 49-63 on the year, 12.5 games back in the NL East.

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