Phillies ancient veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer pitched his best game since his May 7th complete game shutout of Atlanta. But the Phils offense continued in a moribund state on Sunday making Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins bullpen look like world-beaters. For the 5th time in 8 games, the Phillies were shut out again in a 1-0 loss to Florida in their series finale.
With the loss, the 2nd place Atlanta Braves crept to within 1/2 game of the NL East division leading Phillies with their win over Pittsburgh. The 2 teams are slated to meet in an early-season 3 game confrontation beginning Monday in Atlanta with the division lead on the line. The Mets picked up a game on the Phils by beating Milwaukee and now trail by 3 games. Washington and the Marlins are now tied 4 games off the pace.
Unfortunately, the Phillies offense is still moribund. Even after Halladay’s perfecto, the Phils let 47 year old lefthander Jamie Moyer’s 2nd best outing of the season go for naught for lack of any offense. This is not a power-shortage, its a power outage. The Phils have hit for a paltry .186 average since May 22 and have gone 54 innings through Sunday’s game without a homer. Check these stats out: The Phils 3 Big Boppers, aside from leftfielder Raul Ibanez who is in a season-long slump, 1st baseman Ryan Howard (1 HR, 2 RBIs in last 10 games, 4 homers, 10 RBIs for May with 52 strikeouts in 215 plate appearances for the season - 49 games), 2nd baseman Chase Utley (1 HR, 2 RBIs in last 10 games, 4 homers, 9 RBIs for May), rightfielder Jayson Werth (1 HR, 2 RBIs in last 10 games, 49 strikeouts in 192 plate appearances over 49 games — a strikeout ratio worse than even Howard’s).
For his part, Moyer retired 14 of the first 16 hitters he faced, while getting the first 2 outs in the fifth inning before hitting a batsman and surrendering a single to opposing pitcher Sanchez.
In the sixth, …Florida finally got to Moyer.
The Marlins had runners on first and second with none out, before Jorge Cantu lined into a double play. But two batters later, [Ronny] Paulino’s grounder found a hole and bounced into right field, giving [Hanley] Ramirez—who had stolen second after Moyer threw over to first repeatedly in an ultimately failed effort to keep him close — plenty of time to come around.
During the three-game series, the Phillies outscored the Marlins 4-3, Florida getting its other two runs of the weekend on a throwing error Friday night. According to STATS LLC, it was the first time since April 2009 that teams combined to score seven or fewer runs in a three-game set; the Giants and Diamondbacks played three straight 2-0 games, San Francisco winning two, last April 17 - 19.
He was good. The way the Phillies are flailing at the plate, perfect might not have been enough.
Moyer threw 96 pitches in six innings while giving up the run on 4 hits and walking 2 while striking out a pair in suffering the loss. Reliever David Herndon threw 2 fine innings giving up a hit in each inning.
Winning pitcher Sanchez (5-2) threw 104 pitches in 6 2/3 innings holding the Phils to 3 hits while walking 3 and striking out 7. The Florida bullpen held the Phils to 2 baserunners the rest of the way.
To view the scores of all of Sunday’s MLB games, click here.
The Phils now head for Atlanta for a 3 game series with the Braves, with the NL East division lead on the line, to end the 9 game road trip. Joe Blanton goes in Monday’s opener opposed by Tommy Hanson for the Braves.
The Phils have Thursday off before heading home for a 7 game stand at Citizen’s Bank Park.
To view all of Monday’s games, click here.