Phillies’ offense goes stale yet again, lose game one to Rays 3-1
The Phillies were back home last night after having Monday off. Before that, they just took 2-of-3 from the Padres in San Diego. Ranger Suarez was on the mound at Citizens Bank Park to open up a six game home stand that started with the Tampa Bay Rays. Like we have seen time and time again with the Phillies this season, they let another perfect opportunity slip away, losing 3-1 to the Rays, as they remain 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East division race with just 37 games to play.
Ranger Suarez was fantastic on the mound yet again. He allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings. It was his longest start of Ranger Suarez’s career and he was dominant, striking out seven and walking just one.
Again, the offense was a problem for the Phillies. Over the last 16 games, they are batting a combined .195 with .640 OPS. During that stretch, they are only averaging three runs per game. The lineup misses Rhys Hoskins. After hitting two home runs in the series finale against the Padres on Sunday, Hoskins was left out of the lineup last night.Yes, even with the Phillies off on Monday, Rhys Hoskins was left out of the lineup. Girardi stated that Hoskins’ injury would prevent him from starting back-to-back nights and thanks to everyones favorite thing in the world, analytics, Hoskins sat last night because Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough is left handed.
Without Hoskins, the lineup is just flat. There’s no other way to describe it. He protects players like JT Realmuto and Bryce Harper. He is a power bat in the center of the lineup. Without him, the Phillies are screwed because Didi Gregorius has proven to be extremely unreliable in the middle of the order.
Andrew McCutchen also has a banged up knee and was held out of the starting lineup last night. Not having Cutch or Hoskins is really bad news for the Phillies during the final stretch of the season, but hopefully we will see both tonight for game two against the Rays.
Luckily for the Phillies, the Braves lost last night but the Phillies need to gain ground, not maintain their current standing. They have lost 9 out of their last 13 games and are just one game over .500 on the season.
Zack Wheeler is on the mound tonight, hoping to split the two game series against the Rays, with a terrible D-Backs team awaiting the Phillies later this week.
Mandatory Credit: Rich Schultz | Getty Images