Phillies Offense Continues to Struggle, Lose to the Cardinals 5-2
The Phillies offense continued to struggle last night in St. Louis. Cards pitcher Carlos Martinez pitched two-hit ball into the eight inning for his first win as a starter since 2018. Martinez allowed two runs, one of them earned, in 7 1/3 inning. It was his first win in his last 12 starts and the Cardinals evened the series against the Phillies with a 5-2 victory.
Zach Eflin (1-1) pitched better than what was listed in the box score. Two of the five runs were scored in the first when left fielder Brad Miller missed a line drive on a sliding attempt in left field. Two more of the runs scored in the seventh inning when Sam Coonrod allowed a double off the top of the right-field wall. The Phillies number three pitcher gave up five runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked zero. Eflin, who continues to pitch well, has gone at least six innings in all five starts this season.
The Phillies offense was a mess yet again and desperately needs some contributions outside of Harper, Hoskins, and Realmuto. There’s a ton of conversation about how Girardi should be moving players in the lineup to generate more production, but I’m not so sure that is the answer to the problem. If you slide Realmuto up in the order, there’s no protection behind Harper. The rest of the lineup needs to step up and contribute.
Alec Bohm is now hitting .198 with a .538 OPS. We all know Bohm is better than the numbers show, but look no further as to why the Phillies are struggling to keep their heads above .500. The team hasn’t won back-to-back games since their 4-0 start to the season. Reason being, they can’t get consistent production at the plate.
Not having a leadoff hitter has proved to be a huge problem for the Phillies. McCutchen, who was held out of the lineup for the second game in a row, is batting .154. The Phillies’ centerfielders are slashing .106/.200/.165 with 30 strikeouts in 95 plate appearances.
At the end of the day, this is a 162 game baseball season. There is plenty of time for the offense to figure things out. They will undoubtedly hit and score runs. The only silver lining is the slow start from every other NL East team. The Phillies are currently 11-12 and tied with the Braves for second place, with the New York Mets still hanging around in first with a 9-9 record.
Up Next: St. Louis will send Johan Oviedo (0-0) to the mound tonight at 7:45pm. The Phillies have yet to name a starter but we will likely see Vincent Velasquez on the mound instead of Matt Moore, who is getting back into the swing of things after missing time on the COVID protocol list.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY