Phils Go Quietly Out of First Place in NL East – Phillies Nation
2010 Game Recaps

Phils Go Quietly Out of First Place in NL East

You can chalk it up to the law of averages if you want. Or you can say they’re just not hitting early in the season, like just about every other season the past decade. Maybe you’d rather blame the absence of Jimmy Rollins. There are a multitude of excuses for the way the Phillies have played the past 10 games, but they certainly don’t look like the dominant team fans expected would go wire to wire to the NL East title.

In fact, after they struggled to do much of anything against the previously scuffling Todd Wellemeyer in a 6-2 loss to the Giants on Tuesday night at AT&T Park, the Phillies fell out of first place for the first time since May 29, 2009.

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Jayson Werth double and a Raul Ibanez sacrifice fly, but the inning could have been more productive if not for Ryan Howard getting thrown out at second in a combination of embarrassingly bad baserunning by Howard and a laser throw by right fielder Nate Schierholtz. Because the Phils obviously weren’t paying attention, Schierholtz (who had 10 outfield assists last season) would later throw out Chase Utley on a bullet throw from right-field that never touched the turf – making the night a microcosm of how the 2010 Phillies have not been the same team on the basepaths as in recent seasons.

The Giants quickly took the lead in the bottom of the inning on a pair of solo homers off Jamie Moyer, who allowed four runs on 10 hits. His counterpart, however, didn’t give up much of anything after the second. Ryan Howard got the only hit off Wellemeyer after that inning, a single. And to top it off, the bullpen added to its recent struggles as Chad Durbin gave up a pair of runs in the seventh. But with the Phillies not being able to consistently hit any pitcher wearing a Giants jersey (a trend likely to continue Wednesday afternoon against Tim Lincecum), it was moot.

About the only positive to take from the night was that J.C. Romero – who is returning from left elbow surgery – pitched a scoreless eighth. The outing went much better than his first appearance of the season Friday at Arizona, when he allowed a home run and a walk without retiring a batter.



  1. Ed R.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Not sure what is worse, the Phillies not hitting and not pitching, on the verge of being swept and losing 4 in a row…or…the fact that the Mets are in first place right now?

    May the Met’s trolling begin.

  2. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    No one said this Giants series would be easy. But….logic would have pointed to Halladay getting a W on Monday night and the Phils beating up on Wellemeyer last night.

    Neither happened. And now we’re staring at a potential sweep.

    Cole needs to step up and REALLY show us what he’s made of today. He truly IS in the position to be The Stopper. Get the team a win for the long flight home….and a date with those Mets.

    4-5 on the trip sounds a whole lot better than 3-6. And it will put the team into a better position heading into the Mets series…..psychologically more than anything.

    These slumps suck!!

  3. Ed R.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Cole needs to find his balls and pitch like his life depends on it.

    Thank God they play at 3:45 today so I can actually see the game.

    I am actually glad the Met’s are relevant. Makes the Phillies and Met’s game more meaningful.

  4. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I don’t know what’s worse….10:15 game and I’m fading by 11:30….or 3:45 and I’m right in the middle of my work day. Guess it’s the radio today. Or I could DVR it and pretend it’s live at 8PM.

    Yeah, this Met’s series is now something that will re-ignite the rivalry. Fun stuff for sure!

  5. Keith E

    April 28, 2010 at 7:58 am

    September is a long way off. This team needs to stay close to the top and when they get the DL cleared they will be fine.
    Keep an eye on the Mets. They have an ax to grind after what has happened to them the past few years. They have talent and if they get the clubhouse in order, which hasn’t been the case in the past, we could have our hands full.
    Our starters need to quit leaving the front door open! It puts too much pressure on the back end of the game. I said it before and will repeat it now, “the ‘quality start stat’ is a poison pill”. Moyer should realistically be retired. Every time he starts a game he needs 4-5 other pitchers to finish his work.
    As for Mets’ trollers; like the schoolyard bully, if you ignore them they will go elsewhere. Let’s show some discipline and give no response to their trash talkers.
    GO PHILS!!!

  6. Stuart

    April 28, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Yeah I am not too worried. This Phillies team is dealing with a lot of injuries. Keep that in mind when panicking.

    Also anyone see that Lidge had a good outing in the minors? 4 K in 2 scoreless
    Thats a little bit of light and hope

  7. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Blame Moyer all you want. But this offense….as a whole… right now. I mean, seriously, the Phillies should have DOMINATED Wellemeyer last night. They have had his number repeatedly in the past. To his credit, he showed last night why he won 13 games for the Cards a few years back.

  8. Ed R.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I don’t know that I particularly blame Moyer for the lose…4 runs in 6 innings is not an awful start, he is the 5th starter but should the offense need to put up 5 runs to win games?

    Pitching has been the issue all season the difference is that the Phils were scoring 7-8 runs a game and bailing out our pitchers poor performances(minus Halladay). Now they aren’t hitting and instead their biggest flaw is being exposed even more.

    But at the same time, our pitchers have got to stop putting this team in a hole early. They can’t expect their offense to bail them out every game, clearly that is not happening.

    It’s sad that this team wasted such a hot April start and when the month ends it will be no better than April of last year.

  9. Morris Buttermaker

    April 28, 2010 at 9:51 am

    The Phillies need to get their heads out of their asses. Everybody on the team looks horrible right now.

  10. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Very succinctly put, Morris.

    Slumps are part of the game. Hopefully, with Blanton, Lidge, Happ and J-Roll coming back soon and Romero already back…..that will help the team immensely.

  11. Bruce

    April 28, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Phillies are now chasing the 1st place mets?! Wow! Who would ever thought that here (chuckles). The Phillies are stone cold and the Mets are hot. Bad combination with the upcoming series vs the mets on the horizon. The Phillies better get their act together or they will be chasing more than one team in the division. Let’s go Phillies!

  12. Mrs. Pine

    April 28, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Mets fan here, not to gloat, but to say to my Philly friends RELAX, you have nothing to worry about yet. The division is still yours to lose. The back of the Mets rotation is putrid, and the bullpen is in great danger of being burned out. All the Mets streak proves is that the Dodgers, Cubs and Braves suck worse. Just call me a realist. Three years of being kicked in the gut doesn’t go away with one winning streak.

    That being said, yes I am thoroughly enjoying our rare day(s) in first place, and can’t wait for the series this weekend. Battle for first place? Who would have thunk it!

  13. The Original Chuck P

    April 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Our rotation right now…

    Halladay, Hamels, Moyer, Kendrick and Figureoa

    Putting it on paper helps put it into perspective. I give those guys credit for pitching better than expected but it doesn’t dismiss the fact that our rotation is pretty awful and our guys know it. It’s difficult to play your hardest when you you’re feeling sorry for yourself… this team is definitely playing with a “woe is me” mentality right now. The extra fight is not there… that’s what happens when you start piling on injuries. You start feeling like things can’t go right and when you don’t have confidence, it shows.

    It looks like we’ll get Blanton and Lidge back by next week (latest). Blanton provides a huge boost to the rotation and the bullpen… Figueroa slides back into the pen to give those guys some support. I know that most people are waiting for the wheels to fall off with Lidge but if he can get it together, it would provide a HUGE spark to this team.

  14. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Yeah, and I’m not asking for nor expecting Lidge to be the 2008 version. Just someone who can come into games and get some outs when needed is a great place to start. Just having him back will lift the spirits of this team.

    I would slide Kendrick back to the pen until Happ returns. If Figgy needs to make another start, that’s ok with me. Just my opinion.

  15. Mets2010NLChamps

    April 28, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Badabapapa I’m lovin it ! The Freak is gonna own your asses today and we will kill you guys this weekend.I will sit back and laugh as the Phillies and Braves battle it out for last place.Even the Nats are playing better than these bums.

  16. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Troll season has begun.

  17. Don M

    April 28, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I thought the unwritten rule of sportsblogs.. was that your team had to have won a meaningful game in the past 5 years before you could talk smack on the oppositions website?

    Any Mets fan talking trash is just a nerd.. talk baseball, that’s fine.. Mets are playing well right now.. but trying to bash a Phillies team that has OWNED the Mets lately is just dumb

  18. The Original Chuck P

    April 28, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Mets fans know better than anyone what a few injuries can do to a team… as long as our guys don’t try to do too much (don’t attempt to play through things that they shouldn’t be playing through), we’ll be fine. It’s a long season… no one expected the pennant on a silver platter but it has been a rollercoaster ride so far and hopefully that tones down. Can’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows… keeping an even keel is very important.

  19. Grrrumpy Miner

    April 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Sorry,had family issues going on in my end the last 2 months and baseball was the last thing on my mind hence why I haven’t been here.Still don’t expect my Amazins in the playoff run without a viable #2 starter (An ace on a team already dead) but the addition of Ike Davis and some players with chips on their shoulder has helped the Amazins thus far.This weekend should be a really good barometer on how this season is gonna go Esp with the Johan and Doc pitching this weekend.Hope to be back on a constant basis soon.All The Best.And I still say Omar and Jerry must go.

  20. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Grrrrumpy….you sure you’re really not a Phils fan? Good to have you…and your honesty and integrity…back.

  21. BurrGundy

    April 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    We need a solid performance from Cole. I hope he delivers. Let’s cross all appendages and hope for the best.

  22. Morris Buttermaker

    April 29, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Mark me on the list of those glad to see Grumpy Back. Always good to see another curmedgeon who loves baseball on these boards.

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