The three guys the Phillies were counting on to anchor the offense in the absence of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard went a combined 0-for-12, took stupid at bats and made fatal flaws in the field in a 5-1 loss to the Cubs.
Jimmy Rollins, Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino - hitting out of the three-four-five holes for most of the season - have generated a .253, .300 and .292 on-base percentage, respectively so far this season, with no signs of taking the type of disciplined, veteran at bats the Phillies allegedly urged this spring. If Charlie Manuel does nothing else, he must get J-Roll out of the three hole for the love of Pete. Rollins, who went 3-for-33 (.091) on the road trip, has been hitless in eight of his last nine games. He's not alone in this slump. Victorino, who has quietly been sliding, is hitless in four of his last six games. And Pence's big sin Friday night was letting a ball get by him in right field that turned a would-be single into an RBI triple, continuing a trend of shaky, fundamental defense from the Phillies' outfielder.
Pitching-wise, Roy Halladay unraveled late, and Michael Scwimer's fatal mistake was walking Geovanny Soto with two outs in the ninth after he had gotten ahead.