The Phillies surged to National League supremacy because of their collection of All-Star bats, headed by former MVPs Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins and five-time All-Star Chase Utley. But their offense disappeared for long stretches throughout the 2010 season.
After a productive first two weeks of the season, their batty bats are rearing their ugly heads yet again. The Phils were shut out by Randy Wolf and the Brewers in a 9-0 loss Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
It was the first shutout of the season for a team that had been blanked 11 times in 2010.
"We have to improve our hitting," manager Charlie Manuel said of an offense that has gone cold since the Phillies took two out of three games in Atlanta a week and a half ago. "We have to have the guys who are capable of hitting to hit better. If we're going to have a big offense, that's what is going to have to happen.
"We've got some guys we're depending on to come through. We've got some guys who are coming off down years, and we have to have those guys bouncing back. That's what I see."
The Phillies have one extra-base hit in their last two games, and just two in their last 29 innings. Ryan Howard is 3-for-22 (.136) in his last six games; all three hits have been singles.
The Phils have scored three runs or fewer in four straight games and haven't scored more than four runs since April 9, a span of eight straight games.
"We came out and got hits when the season started, and now we've gone into a little deal here where we can't get out of it. It seems like we can't get anything going," Manuel said. "I look it in a positive way. I'm sure our guys are going to get better. We're going to swing, and we're going to come out of this."
The Phils have scored 23 runs in their last eight games after scoring 56 in their first eight to start the season.
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