Is Phillies offense really this bad?
by Scott Butler 4/9/12

14th in the National League with two runs per game. One home run and just 4 extra-base hits in four games. A .190 average with runners in scoring position. It doesn't take a math genius to see that this is not a winning formula.

Why is the offense this bad?

Has Ryan Howard's achilles injury created an offensive coronary? Do the Phillies lack the power to score runs? Are they not a small ball team? Or do the Phillies hitters just plain stink?

The answer is none of the above. As horrifying as it may be to watch, the Phillies are not as frightening an offense as they appear. The answer is as simple as this: the Phillies are in a hitting slump.

Through the first four games, most of the offense is hitting well below their career averages. Polanco is hitting 147 points below at .154, Pence is hitting 25 points below at .267, Rollins is hitting 12 points below at .250, and Pierre is hitting 74 points below at .222. In addition, Mayberry is hitting 23 points less than last season at .250, and Galvis is hitting .077 (he can't possibly be that bad).

My point here is that the Phillies just aren't hitting as a team right now. It can and will happen throughout the season, and it just so happens the time is now for the Phillies. Maybe we are witnessing a dead offense, but it's too early to make that diagnosis just yet.

One thing is clear, though. The Phillies need to hit much better and very quickly. The Phillies don't need home runs to win ball games with this pitching staff, but they have to improve dramatically in other areas. If the Phillies can work a few more walks and hit .280 with runners in scoring position, this terrible start will turn around in a week. The question is, are they capable doing that?

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