Chase Utley, who is by far the Phillies' best hitter this season, deserves a better fate than the last place Phillies are giving him. Credit: Getty Images Chase Utley, who is by far the Phillies' best hitter this season, deserves a better fate than the last place Phillies are giving him. Credit: Getty Images

The Phillies honored Jim Bunning by inviting the club’s former ace to throw out the first pitch to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his perfect game.

How ironic considering how imperfect the Phillies were Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs, who blanked the Phillies 3-0 to take the three-game series.

The team with the worst road record in the NL had a no-hitter going for five and a third innings until Ben Revere singled against Travis Wood. The Phillies could only muster three hits against the Cubs.

 

“We’ve been hot and cold and inconsistent on the offensive side,” Ryne Sandberg said. “We haven’t been able to put up the numbers consistently. But our pitching has kept us in games.”

A.J. Burnett pitched well. He scattered eight hits in eight decent innings.

“I threw a couple of pitches I’d like to have back,” Burnett said.

But it wasn’t Burnett’s fault. The offense simply didn’t get it done.

“We had chances with runners in scoring position,” Marlon Byrd said. “The bottom line is that we didn’t get it done.”

That’s been the story for much of the season. The offense has come up short and it’s not going to get any easier. The Phillies will go on the road to face the NL East division leading Braves and the defending National League champions, the St. Louis Cardinals this week

“We have to win some big games on the road,” Byrd said. “It’s going to be challenging but we’re not that far out (the Phillies are six games behind the Braves). We have the talent to put it together. We just haven’t done that yet. We’re due to go on a hot streak. We need to do it sooner than later.”

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