SAN DIEGO -- The Flyers won a big game Sunday so maybe no one noticed how bad the Phillies were.
On second thought nah this one was so ugly there was no hiding from it.
Talk about a team effort. The Phillies were bad on the mound, in the field and at the plate in suffering a 6-1 loss to the San Diego Padres (see Instant Replay). They ended up losing the final two games of the series to the Padres by a combined score of 11-2. These are the same Padres that entered the series with the worst record in the NL.
The last two nights we had bad games, manager Charlie Manuel said. Its been a while since we played this bad.
The two straight losses dropped the Phils to 3-4 on the 10-game roadtrip, which continues Monday night in Phoenix. Sixteen games into the new season, the Phils are 7-9, last place in the NL East. They are averaging 2.7 runs per game, second-worst in the league. Sunday was the 10th time in which they scored two or fewer runs.
Theres a whole lot of season left, Manuel said. But at the same time, when I look at what happened the last two days, we have to play better than that.
If your vision was clouded by an orange and black haze Sunday afternoon, we offer these lowlights on the action in San Diego.
The Phillies first three runners of the game reached base on a combination of walks and errors. One of them (Juan Pierre) was picked off and two died on base.The Phils got a leadoff double from Jimmy Rollins who had been 0 for 16 previously in the third inning and could not get him in on their way to going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The last two outs in that frame were strikeouts. Phils hitters struck out 11 times. They left 10 on base.The Phils made three errors. Pitcher Joe Blanton muffed a potential double-play ball in the first inning and both of the runners that he likely would have erased eventually scored, one on a ball that was misplayed into a double by rightfielder Hunter Pence. Pence actually misplayed two balls that resulted in runs. Jim Thome made an error at first that led to another run.Blanton allowed a pair of two-out walks that led to four runs. Both two-out walks were followed by extra-base hits. Two-out walks, Blanton said. I thought I made a couple of good pitches that didnt go my way, but the fact is I still walked a guy with two outs and gave up a triple and a homer and that accounted for a big part of the day right there.San Diego starter Anthony Bass struggled with his control early, but the Phils could not find the big punch to put him away. They let Bass stick around for six innings and had just three hits against him. The Phils had just five hits against San Diego starters in the final two games of the series.
While Rollins showed some signs of life with a pair of hits he is still just 3 for 26 on the trip Pence remained in a funk. In addition to his poor day in the field, he was 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 15 at-bats.
I owe a lot more to my teammates, Pence said. These last three games I had no hits and did a whole bunch of hurting the team. I have to do better than Im doing now and I will. Theres going to be a day when I catch fire and whole lot of guys will catch fire and when it happens youll see good things.
On Saturday night, Rollins said he had sensed frustration in the dugout over the teams lack of offense.
Sunday, Manuel said he sensed players were pressing.
Manuels strength is player relations and building confidence. After the game, he walked around the clubhouse and spoke to players in an attempt to raise spirits. This, he said, isnt the time for a stern talking-to.
This is a test for the manager, the coaches and the players -- everybody, Manuel said. I see guys trying too hard. They need to relax. Maybe we just need to get back to square one, and relax and totally enjoy playing like we can.
The best way to enjoy the game is to score runs and win consistently.