Monday, June 2, 2014

Phils' again go extra innings in slow, agonizing descent

By now the Phillies should be getting used to these extra-inning affairs.

Unfortunately, they also are getting used to losing them.

For the third consecutive day, the Phils and Mets went into extra frames Sunday on a gorgeous sunny day at Citizens Bank Park.

But even Mother Nature can't hide the dark clouds forming around this team.

The Phils have now lost two of three of these affairs. If it were not for a dropped fly ball, the Phils would be in the midst of a horrid losing streak.

After splitting 14-inning affairs on Friday and Saturday nights, the Phils squandered another good effort from Cole Hamels as they went into extra innings deadlocked at 2-2 yesterday.

That's in part because they continue to do some things that just are fundamentally bad baseball. Dom Brown turned a positive into a negative in the seventh inning when he followed a leadoff bunt single by Cesar Hernandez, who then moved to second on a sacrifice. Brown then pinch-hit for Hamels and singled to left, but he overran the play and was tagged out in a rundown. Plus, he failed to stay alive long enough to allow Hernandez to score the go-ahead run.

That's the way it seems to go with this team these days.

Then there is the matter of the Phils and Mets being 'tired' after all these extra innings. They played more than five hours Saturday night, after another 14-inning marathon Friday night.

I'll spare you all the pain of how I would really like to respond to that, other than this.

It's baseball. Enough said.

In the meantime, the Phils continue to slowly slide out of view at the bottom of the NL East. They are now 24-30, six games back of the Braves. Only four teams in baseball have hit the 30-loss mark.

Columnist Jack McCaffery believes manager Ryne Sandberg's patience with this crew has yet to pay off. Can't say I disagree.

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