Slumping Phillies are ‘starving for offense’

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Pete Mackanin walked out from his office and up onto the podium after the Phillies 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday.

He sat down and summed up an ailing problem as best as he could.

“We’re starving for offense,” he said.

That’s as accurate of a statement as one can make when describing the Phillies lack of scoring. It’s been an increasingly evident problem ever since they scored two or fewer runs in four of their first five games this season.

This past stretch, though, has really cast a spotlight on their ineptitude. The Phillies were on the brink of being in first place in the division not that long ago. Since itching into a tie with Washington, they’ve plummeted thanks to a 2-8 stretch since the Atlanta series.

During this slide, the Phillies are averaging 2.7 runs per game. Take away their two wins, which saw them put up 13 runs in two games, and that average sinks to 1.7 in their last eight losses.

“We need more offense,” Mackanin said. “Once again, another one-run game.”

The question now becomes whether or not the cure to this problem is on the roster.

The team’s top hitter, Odubel Herrera, is doing his part with a .319 average entering Tuesday. After that, the next everyday starter behind him is Freddy Galvis with a .257 average. That’s followed by Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco at .255 and .253, respectively.

Right now, Galvis is hitting at a better clip than his career average of .244. Hernandez is about 10 points shy of where he regularly hits. Franco is the one who should turn around the most being he’s nowhere near his .280 figure from last year.

That being said, though, the individual players in this lineup aren’t going to dramatically improve because, as history shows, they’re right around where they should be from an average standpoint. Sure, the RBI totals need to improve. There’s only one player with over 20 RBI this season.

Outside of Franco and Herrera, there’s not much pop to the lineup. Ryan Howard is a shell of a shell of his former self. He’s fallen off a cliff with his average in .150 territory. A turnaround doesn’t seem to be in the books.

There’s hope Tommy Joseph can bring some power into the lineup. So far, he’s been a nice addition with three home runs and a .278 average in 12 games. As long as Howard blocks him from being an everyday player, however, there’s only so much he bring to the lineup.

The Phillies start to the season was all because of their pitching and defense with the hope that the offense can only go up from there.

So far, there’s still that same optimism … but it’s waning with each loss now.

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