"You look up there and we have no runs," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Any time they want to, we can start hitting the ball and scoring some runs. I'm not panicking or anything. If we're going to win, we need to play. We have to put our game together."
He said those words before the game, and he could say them again after.
This is a comatose offense. The Phillies have not scored a run before the sixth inning in their last five games. During that span, the Phillies are batting .207 with 10 extra-base hits and 34 strikeouts.
Jimmy Rollins is 0 for 15. Ben Revere is 2 for 16. Reds pitching recorded 16 straight outs from the fourth to the ninth innings.
The Phillies, at least, can boast quality pitching. Kyle Kendrick mastered a formidable lineup for seven innings. He lowered his ERA to 3.38 in three starts.
"You know what was good?" Manuel said. "Kendrick was matching him. They didn't hit either. Now we have a tie game going into tomorrow."
Lefties crushed Kendrick before Tuesday, hitting .480 (12 for 25) with an astronomical 1.239 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in two starts. Three of Cincinnati's best hitters - Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce - are lefthanded. But in the first inning, Kendrick allowed two hits to righties and retired all three lefties.
Kendrick induced 10 groundouts in the first five innings. In the sixth, Zack Cozart grounded out, Votto struck out swinging on a cutter, and Brandon Phillips struck out swinging on a change-up.
Those lefthanded hitters went 0 for 11 with one walk against Kendrick. He carried a career 5.00 ERA against Cincinnati in seven outings. He threw 106 pitches in seven innings and never permitted a Reds runner to reach third base.
Everyone had to wait longer for baseball Tuesday. A 1 hour, 20 minute rain delay held off the first pitch. The tarp stayed on the field even during a prolonged period without rain. When it was removed, the rain reappeared, and the field was promptly covered again. A steady rain fell for much of the night until it intensified in the ninth.
There was no avoiding Reds pitcher Homer Bailey. He tied a career high with 10 strikeouts. Bailey did it on 89 pitches, which is especially economical with so many punch-outs. He was removed only when Cincinnati needed a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. The Phillies never reached second base against Bailey.
The Phillies will hope for better luck Wednesday, when the fates of two games are decided.
After all, the last suspended Phillies game occurred on a rainy October night five years ago. When it resumed, they went on to win the World Series.
Contact Matt Gelb at email@example.com.
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