The Phillies offense has been held to five hits or less for five straight games, tying the 1969 Phils (63-99) for the second longest streak of five hits or less in the franchise’s 128 years of existence. And if history is any indicator, that streak may continue.
Tonight the Phils take on Jhoulys Chacin. The 23-year-old Venezuelan pitcher (who happens to share my exact birthday — look it up) holds a 4-2 record with a 2.89 ERA for the Rockies this season. More importantly, the Phillies hitters have found little success against him. Here’s tonight’s lineup, and how they’ve fared against Chacin. Note: PA = plate appearances.
1. SS Jimmy Rollins: 5 PA, 0 H, 2 BB, 1 K
2. CF Michael Martinez: No PA
3. 3B Placido Polanco: 4 PA, 1 H
4. 1B Ryan Howard: 3 PA, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K
5. RF Ross Gload: No PA
6. LF Raul Ibanez: 4 PA, 2 H, 1 RBI, 2 K
7. C Carlos Ruiz: 1 PA, 0 H
8. 2B Pete Orr: No PA
Only Polanco and Ibanez have managed a hit, while three reserves (starters tonight) have never faced the Rockies starter. But hey, it could be a fast game in this lousy weather!
For those in need of a pick-me-up, there is a silver lining. Chacin can get wild, and will walk batters if they’re patient.
Chacin has 12 walks in his last three starts, only winning once, and 21 walks on the season. He won his first three starts of the season in which he didn’t walk more than two batters in a game. The formula to beat him seems to center around patience.
If the Phillies offense can work the count, their chances are a whole lot better than if they go up there hacking. After all, that strategy hasn’t worked too well as of late.