Phillies’ Offense Slumps Again in Tough Shutout

Bryce Harper
Jim Rassol – USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, the Philadelphia Phillies (37-35) lost a tough 1-0 pitchers duel to the Padres (45-28) in San Diego. This is a heartbreaker for the Phillies who have become a great all-around team in the National League East.

Let’s take a look at why this loss holds immense weight.

The Climb

Over the past several years the Phillies have attempted to get back to a relevant status by acquiring a ton of talent.

Since the 2017 offseason, the Phillies have acquired catcher JT Realmuto, shortstop Didi Gregorius, outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, and most importantly Bryce Harper, the 2021 MVP.

With offensive pieces as powerful as this, the Phillies looked like one of the most dangerous teams in the NL East. Despite struggling early in the season they went on a nine-game winning streak where they pushed their record above .500 to bring in some much-needed recognition.

Unfortunately, even with their great offensive pieces, they still haven’t put up many runs in some important close games.

Woes Against the West

Friday night was the first of a four-game weekend series between the Phillies and Padres in San Diego. This was poised to be an intense series. It was extra important to the Phillies because in their first series in the middle of May there were three shutouts, two of which saw the Phillies on the losing side.

After a big 6-2 victory for the Phillies on Thursday night, game two was much worse for their offense.

The Padres came away with an intense 1-0 win, their third shutout in the season series. The Phillies went 0-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men on the bases. This includes the top of the 9th where Schwarber made the final out to strand the bases loaded.

Schwarber and Harper each went 0-4 and individually left five men on base. It is tough to win big games when the best players struggle to get going.

To the dismay of the Phillies, this is the second time this season they have lost a heartbreaking 1-0 pitchers duel. The first time was at home on April 23 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It is important to look back to see just how frustrating these occurrences are.

Rare Shutouts

Through the first 72 games of the 2022 season, the Phillies have two 1-0 losses. It has been many years since they last had a season where it happened once.

The last time it occurred once in a season was way back on May 21, 2017, to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Going even further back, the last time they had a season with multiple 1-0 losses was 2015 when they lost four games in this fashion. Two of the losses came in one series to the Pirates and the other two came against the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.

Additionally, they have been shut out seven times so far this season. The last season they had seven or more shutouts through 72 games was the 2015 season when they had eight in only 65 games.

That 2015 team finished with 13 shutouts which the 2022 team is well on pace to match unless their offense wakes up.

The Phillies are built to be successful with tons of talent both in the batter’s box as well as on the mound. The NL East is usually pretty tough and this season has seen plenty of potential from the Phillies, Atlanta Braves and the current leaders in the East, the New York Mets. If the Phillies can get their bats going with some consistency they can be serious contenders for a playoff spot.

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