Man, what in the world is going on out there in Philadelphia? Is this normal? Was this expected?
To be fair, the Phillies are 25-16, which is the best record in the NL and second best in all of baseball behind only Cleveland, so it's not like they're in a ton of trouble. But man, it's frustrating watching them lose a lot of those 16 games when surrendering three runs or less.Right now, they just aren't hitting. They've lost four games in a row now, and in the last three, their pitchers gave up 3, 3 and 2 runs. In all 8 losses they have this month, they've scored three runs or less. In 5 of those 8, their pitchers have only given up 3 or less runs, yet they still lost. Everyone is in a funk at the same time. Not good.No, this is not normal. The team going in a slump is normal, but not this bad. Of course, it's a combination of things. Chase Utley has been out all season. Shane Victorino is hurt. Carlos Ruiz just came back. Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez simply aren't getting it done.Once this team gets healthy, they should be fine as far as scoring is concerned, and this pitching isn't going anywhere. But man, it's rough right now.As far as was this expected, well, to an extent. We all knew there would be a drop-off with Jayson Werth's departure. This team has no real right-handed power threat right now, and no one to protect Howard. Then when Chase went down, you knew the offense wasn't going to be the same as it was.But I don't think anyone quite saw a slump this bad. No one expected Ibanez to be a world-beater, but you expect more out of him. Looks like his age may be catching up. And we knew Francisco is no Werth, but nowadays he's useless.The good news is Chase seems to be on his way. Victorino will be back soon. Ruiz is back now. John Mayberry has been swinging well and should get more time. And the team's top prospect, Domonic Brown, will be up here at some point, hopefully ready for the majors.In the meantime, it's gonna be rough. Thank god they have the pitching they do right now. But once the bats do get going, the Phils will be scary good.