The Philadelphia Phillies entered the weekend series with the Boston Red Sox on a six-game winning streak but proceeded to lose two of three games to a team that has been vastly disappointing in 2012.
What This Means: The Phillies (21-21) are still in last place in the NL East, five games back of the Atlanta Braves and 3.5 back of the Washington Nationals. The New York Mets and Miami Marlins are each 1.5 games ahead of the Phillies.
Grading the Offense: The Phillies averaged four runs and 9.33 hits per contest, although they still dropped two of the three games. Saturday’s game was especially frustrating, as the Phillies collected 15 hits but mustered just five runs in the 7-5 loss. Jimmy Rollins and Juan Pierre didn’t give the Phillies much production from the top of the lineup, with Rollins going 2-for-11 and Pierre at 0-for-8. Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence played well from the middle of the batting order, going 4-for-10 with three walks and 5-for-10 with three walks, respectively. Freddy Galvis’ performance was the most pleasing, as he got four hits, including two home runs, in the series. Grade: B-
Grading the Pitching: Cole Hamels had a typically strong outing in his start, although Joe Blanton and Cliff Lee were uncharacteristically hit hard. The three combined for a 5.91 ERA, although in typical Philly pitchers’ fashion, they did combine for 19 strikeouts against just two walks. The bullpen used seven different pitchers, allowing just one run in 8.1 innings, giving up just four hits and two walks while striking out 10. Grade: C
What’s Next: The Phillies begin a difficult stretch, playing 20 consecutive contests against teams with records over .500. The Nationals are first on that list, as the Phillies host them for a three-game series starting Monday night.