Friday, March 23, 2012

Bats falter once again in 2-0 defeat

With the regular season less than two weeks away, the Phillies are still struggling at the plate. Their Achilles heel the last two seasons, pun intended, have been silent bats. They haven't been all the loud this spring either.

The Phils managed just four singles in yesterday's 2-0 loss to Toronto. Carlos Ruiz, who is batting. 478 this spring, had two of them. Shane Victorino (.238), Hunter Pence (.275), Ty Wigginton (.237), Laynce Nix (.208), Juan Pierre (.257) and Freddy Galvis (.255) all went hitless; and those are some pretty brutal batting averages.

Cliff Lee tossed six strong innings, allowing a run on five hits, no walks and seven strikeouts. Jose Contreras made his second appearance of the spring and allowed one run in one inning.

But back to what is sure to be a hot topic all season: the offense. Hunter Pence, Jimmy Rollins and Hector Luna lead the team in home runs with two. Pence hit his two in the first two games of the spring and hasn't hit one yet, and also has a team high 14 strikeouts compared to one walk. Rollins is only batting .256 to accompany his two dingers and Luna isn't likely to make the team.

Amazingly, Galvis leads the team in RBI with eleven. The closest to him of players expected to make the team is John Mayberry Jr. with six.

Scott Podsednik leads the team with five stolen bases, and could beat out Pierre for that last spot. Podsednik is batting .378 with five doubles and has yet to been caught stealing. Pierre is batting .257 with no extra base hits, two steals and has been caught stealing three times. If the better play decides who gets a spot, Podsednik is clearly in the lead.

Fortunetly, Placido Polanco, who is batting .529 this spring, took batting practice and is close to returning.

The red hot Vance Worley takes the mound this afternoon when the Phillies host the Yankees. Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Stutes and David Herndon are also scheduled to pitch.

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