Frustrations Mount with Shoddy Defense and No Timely Hitting

Frustrations Mount with Shoddy Defense and No Timely Hitting

"We didn't deserve to win the game," Charlie said after Tuesday night's 6-2 loss against the Dodgers. "We didn't play good."

Charlie speaks the truth.

Roy Oswalt's recent dominance of the Dodgers came to an end, and while Roy's velocity continued to be a bit down, he wasn't particularly bad on the evening overall. The ball was going L.A.'s way in this one, which allowed plenty of Dodger base runners. A real rough series of plays in the third is what really cost him. After walking the Dodgers rookie pitcher to start the inning, Dee Gordan singled, Casey Blake singled, and then Roy Oswalt threw a ball to first base in a pickoff attempt. The only problem was, Ryan Howard wasn't holding the runner on -- a real cringe-inducing play.

"I had one inning that got kind of out of hand. Had a couple balls that got thrown away, had some signs mixed up," Oswalt said after the game.

Roy wasn't particularly worried about his stuff, and said that he feels fine, "We had some plays here and there that could have been one or two runs, and nothing would have been said about [baserunners]."

While Oswalt seemed to brush tonight off as just another loss in which he had some bad luck, Charlie Manuel says he's noticed a difference in Lil Roy this season.

"He's not as sharp as he was," Manuel said. "When we got him last year, when he came over here after his first game, he was pretty sharp," Manuel said. "His changeup was a pitch he had been working on and he really used it a lot last year. He was very aggressive, pounding the strikezone. His velocity is a little different, but I think his arm is still sound."

The real downer from Tuesday night's game was the team's inability to capitalize on Dodgers' wild starter Rubby De La Rosa.

"Some of the credit has to go to their guy," Utley, who had an RBI triple, said after the game. "But we had some pitches to hit and we didn't. Didn't work out for us tonight. We're going to turn the page and come out ready to go tomorrow."

It was just a bad night for timely hitting from the Phils. With the bases loaded and no outs in the second inning, the Phillies only managed one run off a De La Rosa walk.

Oswalt wasn't great, but he kept the team in it, despite a couple of errors from the defense. Utley made a couple of throws that were way off target, and when asked if there was anything to it, Utley said there was not.

"Ryan is throwing me a good target over there," Chase said. "He's a big guy."

He may be a big guy when standing on first base, but he hasn't been living up to his Big Piece nickname at the plate (0-4 on the night with 2 Ks). The Phillies as a whole have been lacking power, with their last home run coming in the month of May. Wednesday is June 8th for those checking their calendars.

Without really being asked a particular question towards the end of his presser, Charlie offered up a soliloquy of sorts for anyone willing to listen to the frustrations that have been building.

"This is a game -- I say over and over and over, you guys here the same old story from me -- but this is a game you don't take nothing for granted," Manuel said. "Just because you did something last year or yesterday, doesn't mean you're going to do it tomorrow. We gotta play better baseball, we gotta hit better, we gotta run the bases better, we've got to score with two outs, we've just got to play the game much better."

It was some uncharacteristic angst from the Phils skipper, perhaps trying to send a message to his team.

"Our performance this year lately, especially against the pitching we've seen I think we should be hitting it, really. From Washington all the way through Pittsburgh and now tonight."

"We've just got to play better, that's the bottom line," Manuel continued. "It was a very bad ball game for us."

The skip wasn't the only guy one showing a bit of steam. While not really addressing the media lingering around the clubhouse after the game, Shane Victorino was visibly peeved.

"We're frustrated," Shane said. "Write that."

It seems losing frustrates everyone.

TicketIQ: Affordable seats available to see Sixers face marquee opponents

TicketIQ: Affordable seats available to see Sixers face marquee opponents

Editor's Note: The following is sponsored content written by TicketIQ.

The improvements have been obvious for the 76ers this season. Just months removed from a franchise-worst 10-72 record, the Sixers have begun to see return on their rebuild with rookie Joel Embiid leading the charge.
 
December will be a big month for the team as it looks to rise in the Eastern Conference. Attending an upcoming game won’t come attached with big ticket prices, either. With several marquee opponents headed to Wells Fargo Center over the next four weeks, including the Lakers, Celtics and Raptors, fans can find relatively inexpensive ticket prices on the resale market all month long.
 
On TicketIQ, a ticket search engine that pools tickets and data from over 90 percent of the resale market, the average resale price for 76ers tickets in December is just $58. That makes December among the cheapest months to see the Sixers this season.

 
With the Lakers in town for a December 16 game, it will be the only 76ers home game this month that commands an average resale price above $100. On TicketIQ, 76ers vs Lakers tickets own a $112 average and the most inexpensive are listed from $27 each. It will be the Lakers’ sole visit to Philadelphia this season.
 
The Celtics will be the Sixers’ second most expensive opponent this month, but their December 3 visit is currently averaging nearly half the price the Lakers are seeing when they’re in town two weeks later. As it stands now the average resale price for tickets against the Celtics is $69 with a get-in price of $13.
 
The Nets, Pelicans and Raptors are all generating similar demand for their respective stops in Philadelphia later this month. With all three teams visiting over a six-day period between December 14 and 20, no game will average over $55 on the secondary market. Tickets start from as low as $7 each to when Anthony Davis and the Pelicans come to town on the 20th.
 
For those fans with interest in attending the most inexpensive games at Wells Fargo Center this month, the struggling Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets will serve as the most affordable opponents to see in action in December. The Magic play the Sixers on Friday night, where last-minute 76ers vs. Magic tickets are averaging $43. Their next home game against the Nuggets have an average resale price of just $35.

Instant Replay: Magic 105, Sixers 88

Instant Replay: Magic 105, Sixers 88

BOX SCORE

One way to try to win a game: Go up by six early in the first quarter and look to build on that lead.

One way to lose a game: Squander that advantage and give up a 16-0 run to the opponent. 

The Sixers' effort to beat the Magic ended almost as quickly as it began. The Magic outscored the Sixers 21-14 in the first and put the game out of reach in the third with a 21-point lead going into the fourth.  

The Sixers fell, 105-88, to the Magic in spite of increased playing time for Joel Embiid (26:56).

Inside the stats
Joel Embiid recorded a double-double with 25 points (10 for 21 from the field) and 10 rebounds, as well as four assists. Jahlil Okafor did the same with 16 points (8 for 10 from the field) and a season-high 13 boards.

Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 20 points (9 for 14 from the field).

Nikola Vucevic also had a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double with five assists off the bench.

The Sixers shot just 6 for 26 (23.1 percent) from the field in the first quarter.

Embiid, Okafor play together
As anticipated, Sixers head coach Brett Brown paired Embiid and Okafor together against bigs Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo. 

They shared the court for 5:29 in the second quarter, during which the Sixers outscored the Magic, 12-9. The duo scored all of the Sixers' points during that span and combined for five rebounds. This combination allowed the Sixers to stretch the floor; Embiid made two threes in this spurt. 

Brown gave them another look in the fourth for over seven minutes when the Magic already had put the game away. This time they totaled 12 points and four rebounds, as the Sixers and Magic both scored 19 apiece during this stretch. Toward the end, Okafor was matched up with swingman Jeff Green. 

Injury updates
Robert Covington left the game in the fourth quarter with a left knee sprain after colliding with T.J. McConnell in front of the Sixers' bench chasing for a loose ball.

Jerryd Bayless (left wrist soreness) missed his third straight game. He is questionable for Saturday against the Celtics.

Familiar competition 
Before Embiid and Biyombo faced off in the NBA, they got to know each other before Embiid entered the league. The two bigs became friends in 2014 when they met training in Los Angeles while Embiid was preparing for the draft.

“He’s still the same guy,” Biyombo said. “Nothing’s changed with his goofy personality.” 

Up next
No rest for the Sixers. On Saturday they will host the Celtics for the back end of a back-to-back. Two days later, they play the Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday.