The Philadelphia Phillies inability to score runs has been quite evident already this season. Through their first nine games, they have scored a dismal 22 runs.
In Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Mets, who completed the three-game sweep, the Phillies’ offensive problem wasn’t getting baserunners, though. It was getting them to actually cross home plate.
They had nine hits, including four of the extra-base variety, and drew four walks. However, only of those 13 baserunners managed to score as the team was 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.
Sure, Jerome Williams was mostly ineffective on the hill – allowing four earned runs on 10 hits in five innings – but the lack of clutch hits was the team’s downfall in the series finale and the main culprit they dropped their fourth straight game.
And no one could blame Ryan Howard, who had the night off.
On the positive side, rookie lead-off hitter Odubel Herrera is starting to heat up and had two doubles and a triple and scored the lone run in the first inning. Cody Asche continued his blazing hot start by going 3-for-3 with a double to raise his batting average to a robust .500 (12-for-24).
Reliever Dustin McGowan, claimed off waivers just before the season started, remained effective with a pair of scoreless innings. In four appearances this season, the right-hander and former Blue Jay has allowed just one earned run and has a 1.50 ERA.
Jonathan Niese went 6 1/3 innings and fanned four to earn his first win of the year. For the second straight night, Lucas Duda hurt the Phillies. The Mets first baseman, who had a three-run double on Tuesday, hit a solo homer in the fifth and added an RBI double late in the game. Travis d’Arnaud also homered for the Mets, who improved to 6-3.
It doesn’t get any easier for the meek lineup as the Phillies open up a four-game set against the pitching-rich Nationals in the nation’s capital. Cole Hamels toes the rubber for the Phillies in the opener on Thursday against Doug Fister.