Last night, the Phillies scored eight runs off of Diamondbacks pitching, aided by the free-falling Josh Collmenter, whose ERA rose to 9.82—deception will get you only so far. Hunter Pence, who had been suffering from a bruised left rotator cuff, homered, as did Shane Victorino and Laynce Nix.
Note that despite pounding three pitchers, the Phillies drew no walks. Even with last night’s scoring, the Phils are second-to-last in runs scored per game (3.1) in the National League, in part due to being second-to-last in walks drawn as well.
Sure, any team that had Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the disabled list would struggle to hit, but the Phillies have compounded that problem by becoming an extremely impatient ballclub. You can pitch as well as the Phillies do and not fall apart completely, but if you don’t score, you’re not going to win.
Think back to the 2003 Dodgers—league-leading staff ERA of 3.16, terrific bullpen, league-worst offense in every category. They won 85 games and went home in October.
Thus, for today’s This Date, we memorialize what happened to the Phillies 58 years ago, on April 25, 1954. The Phillies played a doubleheader against the Giants that day. In Game 1, the Giants whitewashed the Phillies 3-0 in a duel between two excellent pitchers, Curt Simmons and Sal Maglie. In Game 2, Giants southpaw Johnny Antonelli, who was really, really good that year (21-7, league-leading 2.30 ERA), shut them out on a three-hitter, winning 5-0. He was backed by a two-run homer by future Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. Other Hall of Famers on the field that day: Willie Mays and Richie Ashburn.
So here’s to the Phillies, their eight runs in Arizona last night and their zero runs in two games at the Polo Grounds back in the last century. If they don’t get healthy and find some patience, there are going to be more days like than the latter than the former.