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Offense Blanked Again; Slip Continues

And the groaning continues.

The Phillies offense failed to show up again, getting shut out by Joel Piniero and the Cardinals, 2-0. Piniero lasted 6.1 innings, striking out three and walking three. He wasn’t overly dominant by any stretch, but he made Phils hitters swing weakly at a lot of things. Nothing looked particularly hard-hit, unless it was coming off Pat Burrell’s bat. Burrell went 2-for-3, including a huge double in the second inning. After a Jayson Werth strike out, Pedro Feliz walked to load the bases. Next up was Carlos Ruiz. Anyone who didn’t see this game should know what happened. 6-4-3. Inning over. Threat over. Momentum murdered.

That was the big chance for the Phils to stomp Piniero and give Cole Hamels a nice lead. Instead it was the usual outcome. When outcomes become so usual that you can predict it in the beginning of an inning, it’s time for a change. Starting with “Chooch” wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Hamels pitched well aside from two mistakes that were drilled into the seats. Professional power hitters Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel did the deeds. But Hamels struck out eight while walking zippo — he should’ve been granted a win, but this offense plain stinks right now.

Back to that offense — I questioned why Charlie Manuel favored Jayson Werth against a right-handed pitcher. Wasn’t this the right spot for Geoff Jenkins? Piniero is a low-ball pitcher and Jenkins is coming off a huge pinch-hit home run. What the heck was that, Charlie? Was there a scout in the crowd watching Werth? Is Jenkins hurt? What’s the reason? Anyone? By the way, Werth went 1-for-4 and left four on base.

Whatever the case, it’s just another night of questions about this offense. Meanwhile the Mets creamed the Giants. Here they come, just 1.5 back with the Marlins.

Associated Press photo

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