O, Where Art Thou?

Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins steals second base last night. But the steal didn't lead to a run. (Steven M. Falk / Philadelphia Daily News)

It's hard to explain.

The Phillies have scored 563 runs (4.90 runs per game) this season, which are the second most in the National League. Only the Chicago Cubs have scored more (618). But people who see the Phillies every day often don't see that high-powered offense at the top of the stat sheet, especially recently. The Phillies haven't had more than nine hits in a game in August. They're also hitting .192 (44 for 249) and averaging just 2.43 runs per game this month. And they also have been shutout in back-to-back games after last night's 2-0 loss in 12 innings to the Pirates.

That's 23 consecutive scoreless innings.

And think back to Tuesday's 8-2 loss to the Marlins, when Shane Victorino hit a two-run homer that clearly was a foul ball. Remove the phantom homer from the equation and the Phillies have scored in just four of their previous 39 innings, and could have been shutout in three of their past four games.

"We left 12 men on base," Charlie Manuel said. "We had all kinds of chances to win the game, and we couldn't get it done. I don't have to say nothing to them on a night like this. I don't have to say a word."

The Phillies have hit .240 and averaged 4.13 runs per game in 46 games since June 13. They hit .265 and averaged 5.41 runs per game in their first 69 games of the season. To put those numbers into perspective, the 5.41 runs per game is better than the Cubs (5.33) have averaged this season. Only the Texas Rangers (5.57) have been better than that. But the 4.13 runs per game the Phillies have been averaging for the last nine weeks would be the fourth-worst mark in the NL, better only than San Francisco (3.84), Washington (3.79) and San Diego (3.75).

It's hard to explain, but the Phillies need to find a solution soon.


In the Phillies Notebook: Scott Eyre arrives, J.A. Happ leaves, Tom Gordon's Phillies career seems finished and more on injuries to Pedro Feliz and Rudy Seanez.