Bad, in a general sense: "Just one game, but that loss was pretty telling. Starting pitcher does a good job, but you have to remove him for a PH an inning early because you get a rare opportunity to score. Take a lead into the late innings but the other team has better relievers so the offense stops scoring, and meanwhile you start the seventh inning with Michael Stutes, the eighth inning with Kyle Kendrick, and the ninth inning with David Herndon. To be sure, there was a key error and a couple of wretched at-bats from Jimmy Rollins in big spots thrown in the mix, but the reasons why they came up short are more general than specific. The way the plan was drawn up Sunday is more often than not going to result in a late-inning loss." - RSB
Silver linings: - "The Phillies will improve on the 4-21 RISP they hit this series. Seems every year this team can't buy a clutch hit in Pittsburgh. This year was no different. There won't be many series where the opposing teams have two walk-off wins in the ninth inning or later. Vance Worley looked good and arguably pitched better than Cliff Lee. Finally, no more trips to Pittsburgh. The Phils are 14-24 there since PNC Park opened." - MG
Beerleaguer series take: At risk of sabotaging the poll, here are some sideline observations (joined at the sidelines by $50 million closer Jonathan Papelbon). The Phillies' 5-9 hitters combined for a 1-for-34 in the two losses. The team banged out six extra-base hits total. The 1-2-3-5-7-8 hitters all squared to bunt at one point this series. We saw an extremely discouraging offensive debut by Freddy Galvis (0-10), and poor performances overall by Ty Wigginton (1-8) and Jimmy Rollins (2-12). Turning to the bullpen, Chad Qualls was reportedly unavailable Sunday due to soreness in his heel, adding to the mounting concerns (Bastardo's sluggishness, etc.). To me, only one Pirates hitter should force the Phillies to take pause and that's Andrew McCutchen. You can't pitch to him there.
On a positive note, the starting pitching turned in 20 innings of two-run ball. It just doesn't get any better than that for an opening series in early April conditions.