Phillies same team that scored plenty all season

Following the Giants' blanking of the Phillies in Game 3, you might be wondering something along the lines of, "What's wrong with these Phillies? They're supposed to have this great lineup, and they can't score any runs? If it wasn't for Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, they'd be even worse off than they are!"

Well, it's true that the Phillies haven't scored as many runs as we might have expected. But they haven't been terrible. They've scored 22 runs in six games, or nearly four runs per game. They've scored seven runs in one game, and six runs in another.

Meanwhile, the Giants have scored 19 runs in seven postseason games, roughly three per game. Now, the Giants have faced tougher starting pitchers than the Phillies have faced. But this is roughly what we would have expected, that the Phillies would score more runs in the postseason than the Giants have. Even in the current series, the Phillies have outscored the Giants (9-8).

Not that it really matters. And the Phillies certainly have had some issues. Their cleanup hitter (Ryan Howard) hasn't driven in a run yet. Raul Ibanez, who hit so well in the second half of the season, is 0 for 11 with five strikeouts against the Giants (he didn't do much against the Reds, either).

Howard and Ibanez are better than this, as are the Phillies generally. Despite missing Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley for big chunks of the regular season, the Phillies finished second in the National League in scoring. Considering just the players they're using now, they probably have the best and most balanced lineup in the league.

Which isn't any guarantee. Especially against the Giants' outstanding rotation. But there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the Phillies. They're just going through a bit of a rough patch, thanks mostly to bad luck and good pitching. They might come around in time, or they might not. But you know everybody will be picking them again next spring.