The Offense Stalls ... Again

Back to Ground Zero.

The Phillies have been shutout five times this season, including yesterday's 5-0 loss to the A's at McAfee Coliseum. They were shutout just three times last season, and just three times in 2006. Obviously, that's not good. The Phillies have lost seven of their last eight games and 11 of their last 15. They have hit just .181 and scored just 15 runs in their last eight games. They have hit just .229 and scored just 60 runs in their last 15.

“We’re not playing well,” Chase Utley said. “We’re getting some decent starting pitching and we’re not swinging the bats. That will change."

That's about as bold a statement as you'll hear from Utley.

“Our bats are silent,” Charlie Manuel said. “We come, we practice, we play the game. The effort is there. It seems like we can’t get going. We didn’t get it done, and we’ve got to find a way to get it done. Good teams get it done. We need to work on it. We need to be more focused or something. Whatever it is we need to get it because we’re a better hitting team that that.”

Remarkably, the Phillies remain in first place in the National League East.

The Phillies should feel fortunate that none of their rivals have taken advantage of their poor play. Or maybe they should be upset that they've wasted an excellent opportunity to really pull away from the Marlins, Mets and Braves. That could come back to haunt them in September.


In the Phillies Notebook: Adam Eaton does his job, Kris Benson pitches Sunday for triple-A Lehigh Valley, Tom Gordon returns to action and Manuel laughs at the contention the Phillies might have stolen signs last week from the Boston Red Sox.


Looking to buy stocks? Follow the Chris Coste model.


Pitching match ups for this weekend's series against the Texas Rangers.


If you can't laugh at yourself ...

... one of the things that makes the baseball beat a grind is the travel. Case in point: today I have a 6 a.m. flight from San Francisco to Denver, where I hopefully will make my connection to Dallas-Fort Worth. Should everything go as planned, I should get to my hotel and to the ballpark with some time to spare before the clubhouse opens 3 1/2 hours before the game.

So I set the alarm on my cell phone for 3:45 a.m., which should get me up and to the airport in plenty of time. The alarm goes off, I get up, shower, pack up a few things and take the elevator to the lobby. I get out and ... the hotel bar is packed. I mean, packed. I'm like, "Huh, I didn't think the hotel bar would be open at 4 in the morning." Then it hit me. It's 1 in the morning. My cell phone remained on East Coast time, so my 3:45 a.m. alarm actually woke me up at 12:45 a.m. I had been asleep for only 1 hour, 45 minutes. Now if that's not the dumbest thing you've ever heard, I don't know what is. And in case you're wondering why I didn't just set a wake up call with the hotel, I did. But I also set the cell phone alarm in case I slept through one of them.

I took the walk of shame back to my room and slept for another couple hours.

But I distinctly remember packing up my things in my room and saying, "Man, I can't believe the hotel didn't give me my wake up call."

They did. At 3:45 a.m. Pacific like I had requested.

Enjoy your day.