Phils' offense unable to back Moyer in finale

Phils' offense unable to back Moyer in finale

MIAMI -- Lost in the midst of a Saturday night perfect game by Roy Halladay was a Phillies offense still struggling to consistently score runs.

But there was nothing to distract from that point on Sunday, a day when Jamie Moyer was nearly unhittable for six innings, but got no support from his team's bats in a 1-0 loss to the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.

Philadelphia still took two of three from Florida in this series, but an ongoing problem persists: The Phillies' high-powered offense hasn't been a threat in more than a week.

The Phils came into this series riding a three-game scoreless streak and proceeded to muster just four runs in three games. Two came courtesy of small ball on Friday, and one came on center fielder Cameron Maybin's error on Saturday.

None came on Sunday.

"We're not scoring runs and we're not hitting," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said after his team was stifled by Anibal Sanchez. "Things are not clicking for us. That's just about all you can say.

"I thought the perfect game would really make us come out today and put together some offense, and Sanchez gets credit for stopping you, too. That's basically what happened."

The Phillies have dropped six of their past eight games and now hold just a half-game lead over the Braves in the National League East.

Philadelphia has scored just three earned runs in its past 54 innings, while being shut out in five of its past eight games. The Phillies are batting a collective .186 while going 7-for-55 with runners in scoring position since May 22.

"It's one of those things," said first baseman Ryan Howard, who's driven in just one run in his past eight games.

"It's baseball," added Moyer, who couldn't have put himself in a much better position to win in the series finale. "It can happen. I hate to keep using that phrase, but what can you do? It's not for lack of effort. Guys are working hard. It's just a phase we're going through right now."

Nobody's going through a worse phase than Jayson Werth.

When the Phillies had their grandest opportunity to score on Sunday -- with runners on first and third and two outs in the top of the eighth -- Werth struck out looking to give him four K's on the afternoon and zero hits in his past 19 at-bats (with 11 strikeouts in that span).

An evidently dejected Werth declined to speak with the media after the game, but Manuel had an answer as to why his right fielder hasn't had a hit since Tuesday.

"He's striding quick, he's opening up, his head is over in the dugout and he's underneath everything," the Phillies' skipper and former hitting coach said. "We've got quite a few guys doing that."

The Phillies -- homerless in their past 54 innings -- were without the left side of their infield for the third consecutive game, as Placido Polanco (left elbow) and Jimmy Rollins (right calf) continue to nurse injuries.

Polanco is expected back in the lineup Tuesday or Wednesday, and the plan is still for Rollins to be activated from the disabled list as early as next Sunday. When Rollins does return, Manuel believes things can pick up.

"Jimmy's absence definitely hurts us," Manuel said. "We have a different lineup with Jimmy, if you stop and think about it. Jimmy goes at the top, everybody follows down, and then all of a sudden, [Shane] Victorino is hitting seventh, [Carlos] Ruiz eighth and the pitcher ninth. That's a different lineup. But at the same time, we've never used excuses in the past.

"What we've got is what we've got."

What the Phillies have right now is a problem, and the root of it -- offense -- is the last thing that's expected from the NL leaders in runs scored since 2007.

After Sunday, you can throw Sanchez's name in a list of starting pitchers that have quieted the Phillies recently -- a list that includes Josh Johnson, Mike Pelfrey, Hisanori Takahashi, R.A. Dickey, Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Sanchez, who came in with a 2.35 ERA in five May starts, scattered just three hits and three walks while hurling 6 2/3 shutout innings.

"He mixed it up," Howard said after his 0-for-2, two-walk day. "He threw the ball well. We had a couple of scoring opportunities and what-not, but just didn't come through. Simple."

If only it were.

Meanwhile, Moyer -- a thorn in the Marlins' side throughout his long career -- was solid. He extended the Phillies' perfect-innings streak to 10 with a 1-2-3 first, then gave up a one-out double to Dan Uggla in the second. After that, the 47-year-old left-hander retired seven consecutive batters and was cruising until the sixth inning, when he threw 26 pitches and gave up his only run on a two-out, seeing-eye single by Ronny Paulino -- the same hitter who grounded out for the final out of Halladay's perfect game the previous night.

Paulino's latest slow roller resulted in a loss for Moyer.

"I can't control the run support," said Moyer, whose ERA is at 4.26 through 10 starts. "I think if we all go out and do our jobs to the best of our ability, good things are going to happen. One game, one day doesn't make a season. And we'll be ready to play tomorrow."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.