PHILADELPHIA -- During a stretch of offensive struggles last season, former Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt described his pitching mentality thusly:
"You've kind of got to dance between raindrops out there."
In other words, he needed to be close to perfect because he had little room for error. Cole Hamels, who is no stranger to a lack of run support, got another blast of reality in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Hamels allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings, but it must have felt like 20, because the Phillies are hitting just .198 and have scored only eight runs in four games.
"Things aren't going to be easy every year," Hamels said.
But who knew rallies would be "Mission: Impossible?" The Phillies are 1-3 for the first time since 2009. They won the National League pennant that season, so they are not panicking. But they also have enough self awareness to understand a team with legitimate offensive concerns entering the season is causing plenty of panic outside the clubhouse walls.
"They were panicking at 1-1," Jimmy Rollins said. "They've seen us go through this before. They understand that it's a long season. Just as we're veterans in this clubhouse, they're veteran fans of this team. They understand that regardless of how we start, we will win some games -- and we will score some runs."
"There's no reason for us to be in a state of panic," Shane Victorino said. "Everybody, I think, is in a panic because we don't have the big boys [Ryan Howard and Chase Utley]. We all understand that and we all know that. We've overcome adversity throughout the years. There's no reason to press. I've got  at-bats. I'm going to end up with 600, I hope. If you can dictate what I'll do after  at-bats, I might as well just give you my bat and have you go play for me."
Offensively, nothing is working for the Phillies. Manager Charlie Manuel only needed to watch the Marlins hit balls hard throughout the afternoon to notice the difference. Miami had six extra-base hits Monday. Philadelphia has four in four games.
"We haven't been hitting the ball hard," Manuel said. "That's the bottom line. Can we? We'll find out."
The Phillies also have had their leadoff hitter reach base just six times in 37 innings. They did not have a runner reach base with less than two outs until the seventh inning Monday, when Victorino hit a leadoff single. It was Philadelphia's first leadoff hitter to reach base since the seventh inning Sunday in Pittsburgh.
It's tough to score like that.
Hamels, whose 4.38 run support average since 2008 is 73rd out of 91 pitchers in baseball, allowed back-to-back singles to Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio in the first inning. Reyes scored on a fielder's choice to make it 1-0. Hamels retired nine consecutive batters at one point -- striking out five -- before Hanley Ramirez doubled and scored in the fourth to make it 2-0.
Omar Infante hit the first of his two home runs in the fifth to make it 3-0. An error on a bunt play led to an unearned run in the sixth to make it 4-0.
Hamels was asked if he looked at pitching as a greater challenge with so little offensive support.
"I've kind of been doing that for four years, so, no, it's no different to me," he said. "That's why I have the same mindset no matter what we do. I have to go out there and try to bear down and pitch deep into the game, and that obviously wasn't the case today."
The Phillies finally scored in the seventh. With Victorino on third and Carlos Ruiz on first with one out, Freddy Galvis doubled to left-center field to clear the bases to make it 5-2. Galvis snapped a 0-for-12 start to his career.
"As soon as I got to second, I could breathe," Galvis said. "I was feeling much better. After the second game, I was like, 'Wow, when am I going to get it?'"
Maybe it is a sign of things to come.
Or maybe it is an indicator of just how much the offense is struggling that the rookie No. 8 hitter has knocked in a quarter of the team's runs this season.
"I've got a day to work on [the lineup]," Manuel said of Tuesday's off-day before the series resumes Wednesday night, with Roy Halladay facing Miami's Josh Johnson. "When I look there, I still come up with the same names. That's all right. We've got to stay at it. We're just having a hard time coming out of the gate here."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.