Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five games this season where the Phillies lost due to costly mistakes, and boneheaded errors.
Monday night against the Nationals was another one of those nights.
Tonight it was base running.
The Phillies made a bunch of base running mistakes in this game, one more brutal then the next, but the worst one came in the sixth inning when Placido Polanco failed to tag at third on a line drive to center field. Polanco appeared to think the ball would fall in front of Rick Ankiel, who has a great arm. However, it didn’t, and Polanco was a third of the way down the line when Ankiel made a diving catch. Polanco had to retreat back to the bag, and wasn’t able to score.
Had he read the ball right off the bat, and tagged up, he most definitely would have scored.
Polanco acknowledged this after the game.
“I should have been closer to the bag,” he said. “I didn’t do it the right way.”
He’s right. He didn’t, and a few moments later was thrown out at the plate. (See picture)
All these little mistakes continue to pile up. It’s not necceearly errors, more so not thinking, and getting away from the fundamentals of the game. AKA Bad baseball.
Charlie seems to be thinking a bit of the same.
“I think it’s a little of everything,” he said. “I definitely think we’re trying too hard. Like I’ve said before, we make mistakes that don’t show up in the box [score]. I think that comes from trying too hard or maybe being a little afraid of messing up. We’re not aggressive when we see something. We need to be more alert. Things like that. We don’t take advantage of things we can.”
“We need some guys to get hot, and start hitting the ball for us. It’s hard sometimes in a Major League lineup if you have just one guy hitting, that’s not good enough. That’s where the consistency part comes in, of your lineup, and your balance. The guys in your lineup gotta pick one another up. So you have to get some guys hitting regular. You cannot afford to not score runs. If you’re gonna scream small ball, and little ball, and stuff like that, we got to score those kinds of runs.”
What they need to take advantage of is runners in scoring position, as in their last three losses the Phils are 4 for 31 with runners in scoring position in those games. They were 1 for 10 on Monday, but the hit didn’t score a run because Mayberry read it wrong, and held up at third. Although he did eventually score.
And that’s just the thing, they’re honestly not getting beaten that badly, they’re just looking really bad while losing.
This is the second outing that Kyle Kendrick has had this season against the Nationals where he pitched well enough to win, this time his team really owes him one.