Whatever the Phillies did on their day off yesterday they left their bats at home.
They came back and dropped the first game of the series to the Cubs, 5-1. You could put some blame on home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, who called a terrible game like usual but in the end the bats didn’t show up when it counted most.
Starting in the 1st inning, the Phils squandered a prime scoring chance off Cubs starter Paul Maholm.
Juan Pierre led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and got to third on a Placido Polanco single. But back-to-back pop-ups by Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence and a ground out by Shane Victorino ended the early scoring threat, setting the tone for the offense.
It enabled Maholm (2-2) to get into a grove, and that he did. Maholm went 6 1/3, allowing a run on five hits while striking out one. The lone run he gave up was a solo homer to Ty Wigginton in the 7th inning.
Roy Halladay (3-2) pitched his second straight quality-start loss due to getting squeezed by Bucknor as well as an absence of the offense. He went seven, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five.
The Cubs struck first in the 4th inning on a Starlin Castro RBI single to center. But an inning filled with Halladay trying to battle the strike zone allowed two more runs to score in the 6th inning on an Alfonso Soriano RBI single to left field and an RBI double to right from Ian Stewart to make it a 3-0 game.
Wigginton’s homer was the only offense the Phillies could manage. They stranded six and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, the lone hit not scoring a runner.
2B: Ruiz (4). HR: Wigginton (2).
WP: Maholm (2-2). LP: Halladay (3-2). SV: Dolis (1).