Philly Sports Live

Reeled In

The Phillies came into tonight’s game at Citizens Bank Park hoping to win a series from the Miami Marlins for the second time this season. The Fightins’ have found success against both the Marlins and the New York Mets, going 9-2 against them, but a horrendous 5-14 against everyone else they’ve played.

The worst part is, they have not yet faced real top tier pitching in the National League or Interleague play that now occurs every day in Major League Baseball.

Tonight they were up against Marlins youngster Jose Fernandez, who they faced several weeks ago in Miami. They would lose that game 2-1, managing only two hits against Fernandez in six innings that night.

Tonight was an encore performance, as the 20 year old Fernandez retired 17 Phillies in a row at one point. They had just one hit against him tonight, going a combined 1-19 as a team.

The Phillies struck out 12 times tonight against Marlins’ pitching. Freddy Galvis and Jimmy Rollins were the team’s offense tonight, with Galvis recording a single and a walk. Rollins would walk in the ninth inning.

That was it.

This offense has been inconsistent and maddening all year. Earlier this week they were swept in a short two game series against the Cleveland Indians in which they were outscored 20-2 and out hit 31-8. Then they turnaround against the woeful Marlins and 11 runs in two games.

And then, most often, there have been games like to night. They can’t figure out opposing pitchers, no matter how marginal or respectable, they’re not patient at the plate, and as one fan stated on Sports Radio 94WIP put it, “They just don’t scare you anymore.”

Cole Hamels took to the mound tonight looking to improve on his 1-3 record. He was mostly flawless on the night, but did allow two solo home runs tonight. Marcell Ozuna and Justin Ruggiano each took him deep for their first home runs of the season, and a 2-0 Marlins lead.

Other than those two hits, Hamels struck out six in eight innings, and did not walk a batter. He deserved better than one hit and two walks from his offense tonight. For that matter, every starting pitcher this year has.

With tonight’s 2-0 shutout, it marks the fifth time this season that the Phillies have been shutout. It wasn’t so long ago that people spoke of how rarely this team was shutout.

Hamels’ record for the year drops to 1-4 and his earned run average sits at 4.34. His ERA is higher than it should be, and he has allowed a fair amount of home runs. But, when a guy pitches as well as he did tonight, the bats have to give him something.

For whatever reason, this team just cannot find the spark. Or at least can’t find it for long periods of time.

The Phils look to take the series tomorrow, as Roy Halladay looks to rebound from a horrid start last Tuesday in Cleveland. The Marlins counter with Kevin Slowey.

Please note: Due to the Broad Street Run, tomorrow’s game will start at 2:35 as opposed to the usual 1:35 start.

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