Two games after the offensive explosion against the Pirates, a game which the Phillies saw Jimmy Rollins return to the lineup since April, it seems as if the team forgot how to swing the bat against left handed pitching.
After Zach Duke hypnotized the Phillies with his 5.56 ERA coming into the game on Tuesday night, Tom Gorzelanny of the Chicago Cubs came in last night and made them look silly. Gorzelanny threw 6 2/3 innings, giving up zero runs and just three hits. And the only reason why he left the game was because he took a Ruiz liner off of his hand.
Chalk this game up to missed opportunities by multiple players on the team, most notably in the 8th and 9th innings. In the eighth, with the Phillies down 2-0 and runners on first and third with one out, Ryan Howard could only muster an RBI grounder to the pitcher for the second out. Jayson Werth was called out on a great play by the Cubs’ rookie shortstop Starlin Castro, who was able to nab Werth’s groundball up the middle and throw to first in time.
In the 9th inning, much maligned Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol was shaky at best. After Rollins made the first out, Marmol issued a walk to Raul Ibanez and hit Carlos Ruiz in the back with a fast ball. With two on and one out, Marmol recovered and got Ross Gload and Shane Victorino to strike out to end the game.
There are always bright sides to games like these, and Jamie Moyer certainly provided the light on an otherwise awful game for the Phillies. Moyer threw seven solid innings of work, giving up 2 runs on four hits, while walking one and stiking out 7.
The most disappointing thing about the past two games is that the team has wasted two great outings from their starters. One from Roy Halladay on Tuesday, and Moyer last night. Halladay’s effort was to be expected, but for the team to not get a win during a Moyer start like last night is a wasted opportunity.
The good news is that they finally get to see a righty this afternoon with Ryan Dempster going for the Cubs against Big Joe Blanton. The bad news is that Dempster’s record (2-4) is deceiving when you consider his solid ERA (3.49) and WHIP (1.09) so far this year.
With the way Big Joe has been pitching so far this year, if they get a solid effort from him and can’t capitalize at the plate, it’d be a terrible thing to waste.