Athletics 4, Phillies 1
Game 78 - Saturday Night, June 25th in Philadelphia
One Sentence Summary: A lack of offense doomed the Phils against the A's, 4-1.
What It Means: Yet another loss that can be summed up with dreaded four words - "A lack of offense." Their record fell to 48-30 and if the Braves hang on to win tonight in San Diego, they'll have a four game lead in the East.
What Went Wrong: The Phils tallied four hits - two singles and two doubles - in a losing effort against the A's. Cole Hamels (9-4) missed out on another opportunity to secure his 10th win of the season based on a complete lack of offensive support. Hamels took the hard luck loss despite pitching eight solid innings and allowing just two runs on eight hits. The A's tacked on a few insurance runs against reliever Michael Stutes in the ninth.
Trevor Cahill (8-5) and Andrew Bailey (5th save) combined to handcuff the scuffling offense.
Featured Card: You're not going to win many games when you score only one run, as the Phillies have the past two nights. At the end of July last season, with the offense unable to produce to everyone's expectations, the Phillies fired hitting coach Milt Thompson and brought in former Phillie and pinch-hitter extraordinaire Greg Gross to assume the hitting coach duties. (This is Gross' first official Chachi card, unseen by the masses, or at least the nineteen of you reading this, until now.) The official word from the club was that the offense just needed a new perspective in order to snap out of a season long funk. By all accounts, Gross didn't make any wholesale changes, but he did tinker with a few guys. I'm not going to go back through the offensive splits before and after the Thompson era ended, but it seemed as if the offense was just a bit more productive under Gross' watch.
Now here we almost a year later, and the offense again is not performing to anyone's expectations. It's certainly not the fault of Gross, but I just can't help the feeling that the offense just needs a good old-fashioned kick in their collective keisters.