Phillies Might Have Already Sealed Their Own Fate

Written By Bob Cunningham On Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rollins' hit was one of very few offensive bright spots.



I don't think I'm going to surprise or shock anyone when I say the Phillies' offensive production has been pathetic during the postseason. It's pretty clear to anyone paying attention.

But just to rub salt in the wound with stats, chew on the fact that the Phils have hit only .194 three games into the NLCS and have just seven hits overall, including only one extra-base hit, in 44 at-bats with runners in scoring position during the postseason.

The lone extra-base hit was Jimmy Rollins' three-run double after an ill-advised decision by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy to walk the bases loaded in Game 2.

So other than the opportunity that was basically bottle-fed to them, the Phillies' offense has come up short much more often than not.

The slow start has caused them to fall into a 2-1 deficit to the Giants after getting shut out Tuesday night. Cole Hamels started the game and gave up three runs, but two of those runs were a direct result of Chase Utley's inability to play the ball and, overall, pitched well enough for the team to win.

At the end of the day, it rests squarely on the eight other guys to make some plays moving forward in this series.

But, if history tells us anything, it could already be too late.

From 1986-2009, one team in the NLCS has had a 2-1 advantage 19 times with exceptions coming in 1994, '95, '98, '99, and 2007. In those 19 series, the team falling behind has only one four times. One of those teams was actually the 1993 Phillies who went on to win the series 4-2.

Then there was the World Series and Joe Carter and #*%(!.

Deep breath. And we're back.

History tells us the Phils have about a 21 percent chance of coming back in this series. But if they can't even get their team batting average that high, 21 percent might be a bit generous.

Manager Charlie Manuel is showing faith in his offense by sticking with Joe Blanton for Game 4 rather than going with Roy Halladay on short rest, but that could prove costly. It's hard to imagine the Phils bats get moving this late, but they've done crazier things.

This team has kept things very interesting all year long, so nothing they do in the rest of this series would surprise me in the least. We can all just hope they do what they do best, which is make an entire city hold its breath and come to the edge of giving up hope, only to watch the Phils kick things into gear and start rolling.


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