Silence of the Lambs ... er, Phils

Hiroki Kuroda?

Teams desperately trying to gain ground in heated pennant races are not supposed to lose games to someone named Hiroki Kuroda.

Coming off a three-game sweep of the league-leading Padres in San Diego, the Phils headed north last night for a stint in Chavez Ravine. It looks like they threw their bats into them instead.

Kuroda, who entered the game with a 9-11 record and an ERA of 3.56, blew away the Phils, who once again saw their bats go silent.

Silent? Maybe coma is more like it.

Kuroda no-hit the Phils into the eighth inning, when Shane Victorino slapped a sharp single to right.

That was the extent of the Phils’ offense. Reliever Hong-Chi Kuo got the last four outs of the game without giving up a hit. Dodgers 3, Phillies zippo.

One hit. That’s what the Phils mustered in the loss. In the process they saw another loss tagged to ace Roy Halladay, who deserved better.

Halladay was not at his best, but he wasn’t bad either. He scattered 10 hits and gave up three runs over seven innings.

But it’s tough to win when you don’t score. And it’s tough to score when you don’t hit.

The Phils did neither last night. Against Hiroki Kuroda.

In the process they fell three games back of the first-place Braves.

Luckily the Giants lost, so the Phils wild-card lead remains a game and a half. Don’t look now, but that is the Dodgers who closed to withing five and a half of the Phils.

The Phils remain consistent only in their inconsistency, especially at the plate. They seem to get good pitching every night, but too often fail to cash in on offense. They have all the appeal of the Eagles’

red-zone offense at the plate.

The get swept at home by the Astros, then sweep the Padres in San Diego.

They didn’t leave their hearts in San Francisco. But they apparently left their bars in San Diego.

They need them to show up tonight, before the Braves pull away for good.

For once, we might have gotten a break. Most people probably did not stay up to watch the Phils’ futility.

Speaking of inconsistency, Kyle Kendrick goes to the mound tonight in L.A.

Might be another reason to go to bed early.