Not even Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, a former hitting coach, has the answer to the hitting woes.
"That's baseball. That's the way it goes," Manuel said. "It's hard to explain. If I had the answers for why we don't hit, that'd be pretty good. I don't think we'd lose very many games. I don't think there's been a guy who's ever managed or coached that can answer that."
The Phils are hitting .193 (36-for-184) with a .281 on-base percentage, a .326 slugging percentage and just 15 runs scored in the previous six games. Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka almost threw a no-hitter against the Phillies on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park and Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield threw eight shutout innings against them Sunday. Mets starter R.A. Dickey threw six scoreless innings to set the pace in New York's 8-0 victory Tuesday.
Maybe pitching is the answer Manuel is looking for?
On Wednesday, the Phillies will send Joe Blanton to the mound. The Mets, seeking their fourth win in a row, will counter with Hisanori Takahashi.
In his previous start, Blanton allowed five hits and three runs in seven innings in his club's victory against the Cubs. He threw just 54 pitches through six innings.
"They were being really aggressive," Blanton said. "I worked with that."
In what was characterized as an audition for future starts, Takahashi blanked the Yankees over six innings in 101 pitches on Friday at Citi Field in his Major League starting debut. He has faced the Phillies once before, allowing one run in 1 1/3 innings of relief earlier this month in Philadelphia.
"I knew these guys from the TV," Takahashi said through his interpreter after facing the Yankees. "But it's kind of scary to watch them face-to-face. So I didn't watch their faces."
Phillies: Clutch hits lacking
The Phils went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position Tuesday and left 13 men on base. During their past seven games, the Phillies are hitting .188 (9-for-48) with runners in scoring position. ... Jamie Moyer's five-inning outing Tuesday was his shortest of the season.
Mets: Wright ties Straw
David Wright's fourth-inning double was the 1,025th hit of his career, moving him into a tie with Darryl Strawberry for seventh place on the franchise's all-time hits list. ... Mets starting pitchers have a 0.93 ERA during their past eight games. The starters are 4-0 over that span. ... Right-hander John Maine will remain in New York while recovering from a bout of right rotator cuff tendinitis, and hopes to be back on a mound by next week.
On Tuesday, Jose Reyes picked up the 1,000th hit of his career in the 833rd game of his career. He is the fastest in games played to accomplish the feat in franchise history. The shortstop is hitting .375 (9-for-24) during his past five games, with multiple hits in three straight and four of five games.
Wed, 5/26 7:10 PM ET
All-around effort pays off for Mets
From Hisanori Takahashi's solid start to four stolen bases to Jose Reyes' long-awaited homer, the Mets outplayed the NL East leaders to creep up in the standings, keeping the Phils on their toes in the Big Apple.
|Francisco, B, LF||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.226|
|Valdez, W, SS||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.236|
|Figueroa, N, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Reyes, Js, SS||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.238|
|Castillo, L, 2B||2||0||0||0||2||0||2||.246|
|Davis, I, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.283|
|Wright, D, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.261|
2B: Francisco, B (2, Takahashi).
TB: Victorino; Polanco 2; Utley; Francisco, B 3; Valdez, W.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Valdez, W; Werth 2; Ibanez.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 7.
E: Utley (7, throw).
2B: Davis, I (9, Blanton), Wright, D (12, Blanton), Barajas (8, Blanton).
HR: Reyes, Js (1, 3rd inning off Blanton, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Reyes, Js 5; Davis, I 2; Wright, D 2; Pagan 2; Barajas 2.
RBI: Barajas 3 (27), Reyes, Js 2 (15).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Takahashi; Pagan; Davis, I; Bay 2.
Team RISP: 4-for-13.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Castillo, L 2 (7, 2nd base off Blanton/Schneider, 2nd base off Blanton/Schneider), Pagan 2 (7, 2nd base off Blanton/Schneider, 2nd base off Blanton/Schneider).
IBB: Francoeur (by Blanton).
Pitches-strikes: Blanton 99-58, Durbin 8-6, Bastardo 14-7, Figueroa, N 8-6, Takahashi 94-65, Mejia 19-12, Igarashi 16-10, Nieve 14-9.
Groundouts-flyouts: Blanton 5-8, Durbin 2-0, Bastardo 0-2, Figueroa, N 2-0, Takahashi 3-7, Mejia 2-1, Igarashi 1-1, Nieve 1-0.
Batters faced: Blanton 27, Durbin 3, Bastardo 3, Figueroa, N 3, Takahashi 23, Mejia 4, Igarashi 4, Nieve 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Durbin 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Mike Everitt. 1B: Andy Fletcher. 2B: Adrian Johnson. 3B: Tim McClelland.
Weather: 87 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 8 mph, Out to RF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media