The First Inning Is Killing the Phillies
Through 11 regular season games so far, the Phillies have a 5-6 record. Perhaps not coincidentally, their number of loses corresponds with the number of games that Phillies pitchers have allowed 1st inning runs. They may not have lost those exact same 6 games, but the statistic that the Phils get themselves into an early hole 54% of the time is significant.
In fact, the last 5 consecutive games were part of the 6 game get-behind-early disaster. That means that every pitcher in the Phillies starting rotation has had a hand in this.
When an offense is struggling like this Phillies team is, you simply cannot afford to dig a hole before the game is barely 10 minutes old.
Likewise, not taking advantage of the other team’s errors early in the game is also a very bad idea. That is what sunk the Phillies offense against the Giants on Tuesday night. Two Giants errors put 2 men on base for the Phillies in the 1st inning with nobody out. But Jimmy Rollins then grounded into a double play and Hunter Pence swung at the first pitch he saw and popped out. Potential rally? – DOA.
The Giants screwed up and the Phillies did not make them pay for it. Then Joe Blanton spotted the Giants 2 runs in the second half of the 1st. Right there, the game was basically over…before the 1st inning had ended no less.
Of course, they had 8 innings to come back, but the way this team is going, that was unlikely to happen. And sure enough, that is exactly how it turned out.
So what is the 1st inning slump-fest all about? It is not like these guys rolled out of bed and landed on the field. They practice, warm-up and all that good stuff. So why do they tend to bomb in the 1st inning? Believe me, if I had the answer, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops.
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