One of the more noticeable problems for the Philadelphia Phillies over the past few seasons has been capitalizing with runners in scoring position. It happened again on Thursday night, even during the team’s 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the second and third innings, the Phillies had runners in scoring position with one out or less. Each time, the offense failed to bring them across. That second inning — in which Philadelphia had runners on the corners with no outs — featured three straight strikeouts by Freddy Galvis, Cody Asche and Kyle Kendrick. Philadelphia hung a three spot up on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, but it probably would have only been one run if not for an Adrian Gonzalez error at first base to keep the inning alive.
Surprisingly, the Phillies — when compared to the rest of the majors — don’t leave a lot of runners on base. But considering they are towards the lower end of the league when it comes to runs scored, all that means is that they probably aren’t doing enough offensively in the first place. If the Phillies gets runners into scoring position early on in innings, it’s imperative that they execute and push them over.
In the six games prior to Wednesday on the current west coast road trip, the Phillies left a total of 38 men on base. In two of those, capitalizing on the runners in scoring position could have titled the scales in favor of the Phillies when it was all said and done.
With how poor the bullpen has been this year, it’s critical that the Phillies score runs early in games when they have the opportunity. Philadelphia was able to push two across in the ninth to secure the victory, but they can’t continue to rely on late rallies for much longer.