"I had two golden opportunities in my first two at-bats," a dour Dobbs said after the 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the World Series. "I didn't put the ball in play. That's disappointing. If I put the ball in play, maybe it's 4-3, or better."
The night before, Chris Coste fared no better. With men on first and second and none out in the second inning, Coste flied out to rightfield. Same situation in the fourth inning - this time, a groundout to first base. Coste later popped out to second with a man on first.
Last night, Dobbs managed a dying single with a man on first and two out in the sixth, but designated hitters are supposed to produce, not choke and poke.
Eric Bruntlett - who pinch-hit for Dobbs in the eighth - finally drove a pitch. His team down, 4-0, Bruntlett's so-what homer off David Price helped the Phillies avert a shutout.
"Dobbs and Coste have gotten a lot of at-bats for us this year," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Dobbs is a .300 hitter this year. Coste is a .300 hitter against lefthanders this year. We just haven't been able to knock runs in."
The Phillies' mediocre hitting with runners in scoring position during the season became poor through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Now, it is wretched.
They are at .175 (18-for-103). That includes a 1-for-16 performance last night that made them 1-for-28 in the Series.
"They've been making some good pitches with runners in scoring position," Dobbs noted.
"[The hits] will come," said shortstop Jimmy Rollins, 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. "We've done this before, unfortunately."
Indeed, the Phils' situational struggles should not come as a surprise. They often flailed in that category during this season's struggles. They finished the year hitting .262 with runners in scoring position - especially remarkable, since their 799 runs tied for second in the National League. The Cubs led the NL hitting .278 with runners in scoring position.
Then again, the Phillies led the league in runs last season, and were second-to-last in RISP.
So, they have hope.