How about we stop calling it a slump? Let’s just call it how we see it. These are the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies. Forget April and early May, the thought of that quick start is long gone in the rear view mirror. It’s now June and the Phillies are a third place club. After tonight’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees on a night in which Roy Halladay was very hittable, this season is on its way to being a very, very long one.
Halladay went six innings and allowed six earned runs, but he also gave up three home runs, something he’s done only nine times in his career. One of those homers -Mark Teixeira’s solo shot in the fifth inning – would be a long fly out in many other ballparks. Not tonight. Not at Yankee Stadium. Not against the Phillies. On this evening, against one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, Tex got that ball inside the foul pole and over the 314-foot wall. Nick Swisher’s broken bat home run sums it up as well. The Phillies are in full snowball mode.
Offensively speaking, the frustrations continue to run deep. All three Phillies runs, and four of their five hits, came in the fourth inning against C.C. Sabathia. In that inning, they were able to string together a bunch of singles and turn them into a crooked number. Still, they left the bases loaded as Raul Ibanez softly grounded out to second base. Once again, they were unable to build on a successful inning.
Following that outburst, if you will, the Phillies managed one more hit; a Chase Utley single in the fifth.
In previous seasons, that three run inning would have been a six or seven run inning, perhaps with a long-ball thrown in. That six or seven would become 12 or 13 by games end. That’s no longer the case with this team. Soft ground balls have become the norm while explosive innings filled with home runs and rallies are a distant memory.
As we long for the days of yore – when scoring runs in bunches was in fashion, when slapping the opponent into submission was chic, when Roy Halladay actually won games (wasn’t that long ago, really) – understand that this might be the year in a nutshell. Hope and pray for better days, but brace for more of the same.