Friday, October 24, 2008

Phils' bats tied up in knots

All even.

And no one should be surprised.

If you’ve watched this Phillies team this year, then the fact that they have trouble manufacturing runs in lieu of hitting home runs should not come as a surprise.

The fact is they’re probably lucky to be coming home after stealing a win in Game One at Tropicana Field.

Last night they weren’t so lucky.

Small ball is not their forte. They live and die with the long ball. Last night they died.

This team continues to get runners in scoring position. And fails to deliver a clutch hit.

They’ve scored five runs in the two games, and as usual three of them came courtesy of a home run.

The math is pretty simple. Last night the Phils again were unable to deliver with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-15. That makes them 1-for-28 for the Series. Not good.

At times all they needed to do was put the ball in play. But with a runner at third, designated hitter Greg Dobbs struck out. It wasn’t a good night for Dobbs, who fanned twice with a runner at third and less than two outs. Jayson Werth also did it once.

In the seventh, with a chance to tie the game, Ryan Howard struck out with two men on board. Howard did have two hits in the game, but didn’t deliver at crunch time.

The team’s spark plug, the guy who sets the table and makes this offense go, is not exactly hitting on all cylinders. Jimmy Rollins is now 0-for-the-Series in the leadoff spot. That makes him 0-for-10 with three strikeouts in the Series.

Simply put, the Phils’ bats are ice cold. They’ll be in good company Saturday night when they return to their home in South Philly. The forecast calls for rain and more cold temperatures.

The Phils will need to deliver some heat. So far they’ve been unable to do so, particularly with runners in scoring position.

But enough of the negative. Let’s look on the bright side, and no, we’re not talking about the weather.

The fact is the Phils did what they had to do. They went into Tampa and won a game. That shifts home-field advantage to the Phillies. They play very well at Citizens Bank Park.

But they will need to pull out the lumber. Saturday night would a good time to start.

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