Phillies fall to Cubs, power outage continues

Hunter Martin/Getty IMages

The questions keep flying like discarded shotgun shells at the OK Corral.

When is the offense is going to turn it on? How can the Phillies score runs without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard anchoring the order?

After Sunday’s latest disaster — a 5-1 loss to the dismal Chicago Cubs — the Phillies’ clubhouse looked like a tomb. There was no music blaring. There were no high-fives. They didn’t even have the Flyers-Devils game on the TV’s.

“We didn’t get nothing going,” skipper Charlie Manuel said. “I think [Matt] Garza had a lot to do with it but, at the same time, our hitting, as we’ve talked about just about every day, our hitting is inconsistent and we’ve got to be more consistent with our hitting.”

Garza (2-1) pitched a gem for the Cubs, limiting the Phillies to one run on two hits while striking out 10. He retired a season-best 18 straight batters after Jimmy Rollins’ lead-off single in the first inning. That was it until Hunter Pence legged out an infield single in the ninth.

“It’s tough, especially with the makeup in the past of the Phillies, from being an opposing guy,” said Juan Pierre. “You just always had that thunder in the middle of the lineup and now you just have to create more runs. You have to be on base, number one.”

Pierre, who went 0-for-3 against Chicago, has been one of the Phillies’ better hitters this season. The veteran has been in lineups built around power. He’s also been in those built to manufacture runs. Right now, this offense is still trying to find its identity. Until it does, expect the questions concerning Utley and Howard to keep coming.

“I think everybody knew what it was from the outset, even coming into spring training,” Pierre said “You’re missing those two guys and, as a team, we realize it doesn’t matter what we do, we’re going to have to answer questions about Utley and Howard not being in the lineup. Those guys are just very impactful like that. As a team, I don’t think we’re concerned with it.”

Kyle Kendrick (0-2) took the loss, which dropped the Phillies to 10-12 on the year. They are stuck in fourth place in the NL East, 4.5 games behind the Washington Nationals. No panic, though. Not yet.

“It’s early. We’ve been through struggles like this before and the bats came through,” said Kendrick. “It’s a long season and we got to start swinging it and we’ll be fine.”

Kendrick bounces back

Kyle Kendrick had a wry smile on his face following Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Cubs. The right-hander was far from perfect, but he battled and did what a good starter gets paid to do. He kept the Phillies in the game.

Kendrick allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings before being pulled for a pinch-hitter. It was quite a reversal of fortune from his last start. The emergency starter/long reliever was called into action last week after Cliff Lee was placed on the disabled list. Kendrick was rocked for 11 hits and seven runs in just three innings in that one.

“I was excited to pitch at home, felt pretty good today and I really was just trying to give us a chance to win,” said Kendrick, who tied a career-high with seven strikeouts.

Kendrick struggled to find his spots early Sunday, keeping quite a few pitches up in the zone, then he settled down. He worked out of a key jam in the third after overthrowing Laynce Nix at first base and allowing one run to score.

“I’ll take the blame. I threw a sinker over there,” Kendrick said. “But those things happen, the ball just moved. You never want to give up runs like that.”

Especially not when your offense can’t get on base. The Phillies only had six players reach base all afternoon, and they stranded four of them. It’s hard to believe an epic power outage can’t play on a pitcher’s mind, yet Kendrick quickly shot down that notion.

“I just try to give us a chance to win the game, keep us in the game, let the offense do their thing,” he said. “If you go out there worrying about that [the offense], then you have problems and it makes it tough to pitch.”


Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.


Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.


Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…


NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…


10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."


Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…


Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…


Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.


3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.


Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.


College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU


Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.


5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…


Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…


Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…


Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.