In the season's first 42 games, a Phillies batter has hit with a runner on third and less than two outs 75 times. That's more than eight other major-league teams.
The Phillies have scored a run in a mere 37 percent of those plate appearances. That is the worst rate in baseball.
We're not talking about "small ball" here. We are talking about situational baseball and a total failure at it. The Phillies are scoring 5 runs per game in May after posting 3.03 per game in April. But it should be much, much better.
Who are the worst culprits?
Hunter Pence's rate is mind boggling. He is tied with Tampa's Carlos Pena (also 4 for 14) for the worst percentage with at least 10 chances. John Mayberry Jr. is the worst in baseball for any player with at least five chances.
The Phillies were 3 for 21 with runners in scoring position in their last two losses. The argument for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard is that all the team needed was one or two big hits. The lack of success with runners on third and fewer than two outs gives credence to that.
Still, beyond the ultra-hot Carlos Ruiz, it's a system-wide failure.
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