Manuel: 'It's been a while since we've played this bad.'

Manuel: 'It's been a while since we've played this bad.'

It's been tough to watch the Phillies lately. The offense has been anemic. As Larry Andersen joked yesterday, Roy Halladay is walking three straight batters. Cole Hamels is balking twice during one game. And the Phillies defense is putting up three errors in one game. These things aren't supposed to happen to the Phillies.

With the Flyers being incredibly exciting to watch over their playoff run, it's been easy to put the Phillies struggles on the back burner. But for the team itself those problems are still front and center.

Here's what they're saying about it :

"It's been a while since we've played this bad. I look at it like this is a test. We've got to stay with it and we've got to come and get 'em." -Charlie Manuel

"It's baseball. You don't like it. And you certainly want to correct it as quick as you can and move forward and keep doing your work and believing in the fact that it will turn around." -Jim Thome

"These last three games I've had no hits. I've done a whole bunch of hurting the team. But there's going to be stretches where that goes on and we've got to pick each other up and we will. There's going to be a day that comes when I catch fire and a lot of us are gonna catch fire. When we get a couple of these bats hot at the same time, you'll see good things." -Hunter Pence

Temple surrenders late lead in 81-74 loss to No. 20 Cincinnati

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Temple surrenders late lead in 81-74 loss to No. 20 Cincinnati


CINCINNATI -- Kyle Washington scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, rallying No. 20 Cincinnati to its ninth straight win, 81-74 over Temple on Wednesday night.

The Bearcats (16-2, 6-0 American Athletic) trailed by six points before Washington made two one-handed shots during a decisive 17-5 run that put them ahead to stay. Cincinnati led by as many as 13 points.

The Bearcats extended their best winning streak in three seasons and completed a series sweep of the Owls (10-10, 1-6), who were sloppy with the ball.

Troy Caupain had 18 points for the Bearcats, including seven free throws in the closing minutes.

Shizz Alston, Jr., led Temple with 25 points for the second game in a row, matching his career high.

Obi Enechionyia made a 3-pointer, a dunk and a 15-foot jumper as Temple opened a six-point lead at the start of the second half, its biggest of the game. Washington then led the decisive run by scoring on two shots near the basket.

Big picture
Temple: The Owls have been prone to bad first halves, but that wasn't the case this time. They led 28-26 at the break despite having nine turnovers and no offensive rebounds.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats have won their last 19 home games, their longest such streak since taking 19 in a row from March 2, 2013 through Feb. 15, 2014. Their last home loss was 77-70 to Temple in their league opener last season.

Poll implications
A ragged win over a struggling Temple team won't much help the Bearcats. They don't play a currently ranked team until next week, when they host crosstown rival Xavier, which is ranked No. 22.

Up next
The Owls have a week off before hosting Memphis next Wednesday. They split their series last season, with each team winning at home.

The Bearcats play at Tulane on Saturday. They beat Tulane 92-56 at home on Jan. 1.