Chris Coste is absolutely certain he tagged out Jose Reyes before he touched home plate last night at Shea Stadium.
But while Coste, Charlie Manuel and others were upset at home umpire Ted Barrett's call in the 12th inning in a 4-3 loss to the Mets at Shea Stadium, Manuel also couldn't help but think of the countless opportunities they had to win. The Phillies were 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position. They get just one or two hits in those situations and maybe they don't need extra innings.
"We've got to pick our hitting up," Manuel said. "Our hitting has got to get better. Our hitting has to get more consistent. We've got to get better driving in our runs. ... We had a lot of opportunities to score. We couldn't get the big hit at the right time. We got enough big hits to tie it up, but we just couldn't finish it off."
Offense is the one thing the Phillies could rely on this season, but so far it hasn't delivered:
The Phillies are 10th in the league in runs scored (42).
They are 11th in the league in hitting (.243).
They are eighth in OPS (.746).
It's early, of course. The Phillies have proven to be slow starters, and it appears they're off to another one. They haven't had a winning record after 10 games since 2001 when they were 7-3. They were 5-5 in 2002 and 2003. They were 4-6 in 2004, 2005 and 2006. They were 2-8 last season, and they are 4-6 this season.
Lost in the shuffle last night, is how well the Phillies pitched. Adam Eaton had his second-straight quality start. Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, Brad Lidge, Rudy Seanez and Tom Gordon threw the ball well. Gordon gave up the run in the 12th to take the loss, but he threw very well -- especially after coming out to start a second inning of work. Gordon threw 1 2/3 innings. He hadn't pitched more than that since he threw two innings Aug. 11, 2006.
In the Phillies Notebook: look for Brett Myers to be more aggressive tonight against the Cubs, Ryan Madson wants to be careful, Jimmy Rollins' sprained left ankle feels a little better and Billy Wagner doesn't fear the Phillies.
Frank Fitzpatrick offers suggestions to the Phillies in Morning Bytes.