Cardinals 4, Phillies 1
Game 100 - Tuesday Night, July 23rd in St. Louis
Record - 49-51, 2nd Place, 7 games behind the Braves
One Sentence Summary: The Phils never even really had a chance in this game as Shelby Miller and the Cardinals bullpen easily handled the offense on the way to a 4-1 Cardinals win.
What It Means: After looking so promising the first game back after the All-Star break, the Phillies have now dropped three in a row. The phrase "slipping away" comes to mind.
What Went Wrong: The offense managed three hits through the first six innings and went 0 for 6 overall with runners in scoring position.
Featured Card: Entering tonight's game, three N.L. East teams were fighting for last place in team batting average - the Nationals (.239), Mets (.236) and Marlins (.231). The Phillies are surprisingly 5th in the league in team batting average (.257), but not surprisingly 11th in the league in runs scored.
The Nationals decided to try to shake up their stagnant offense by firing hitting coach Rick Eckstein, and hiring Phillies Room (and Shlabotnik Report) favorite, Rick Schu. Schu had previously served as a Major League hitting coach with the Diamondbacks in 2004 and from mid-2007 to mid-2009.
The Phils tried a similar tack in July 2010 when they fired hitting coach Milt Thompson and brought back Greg Gross in an attempt to jump start the offense. It didn't really work, as there wasn't much of a difference in the team's offense pre and post Thompson. Gross was let go after last season's dismal performance and the Phils decided to go with two hitting coaches - Steve Henderson and his "assistant," Wally Joyner for 2013.
So who knows if this move will work for the Nationals? I do know that as much as I'd like to see Schu succeed professionally, I'd prefer he find success in a division other than the N.L. East.