Worse, the Phillies wasted a chance to gain a game on the Atlanta Braves in the NL East standings. At 49-51, the Phillies are seven games behind the Braves and one game ahead of the Nationals in the division. Yes, with 62 games left in the season, the Phillies have plenty of time to cut into the Braves' lead. However, 100 games into the season and the Phillies appear to be just what they've shown thus far.
Meanwhile, as the Phillies continue to take a step forward and two steps backwards, the Cardinals continue to roll. The Cardinals won four of their last five and nine out of their last 12 to take the lead in the NL Central away from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they've done it with veteran Matt Holliday on the disabled list.
Young players like Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams have stepped in for the Cards with 28-year old outfielder Allen Craig showing off his bona fides. With Holliday out, the Cardinals have just one player in Tuesday night's lineup over the age of 30. The Phillies, on the other hand, had four players aged 34 or over.
But it goes deeper than that. After knocking the Phillies out of the playoffs in 2011 on the way to their second World Series title in six years, the Cardinals reshaped their roster. Just eight players remain on the Cardinals' roster from the '11 World Series team, while the Phillies have nearly twice that many players on the roster from the 2011 NLDS.
Simply shaking up the roster isn't the main reason why the Cardinals are better than the Phillies. After all, Jonathan Pettibone, the first Phillie born in the 1990s turned in five innings in Tuesday's loss and 25-year old Dom Brown went to the All-Star Game. Plus, even with those old guys in the starting lineup, the Phillies have the fifth-best batting average in the National League and third-most total bases.
If they could only score some runs.
Chase Utley went 3 for 4 for the Phillies, but every other player went 4 for 29 with nine strikeouts and an 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Against 22-year old righty Shelby Miller and the Cardinals, one run isn't going to cut it. That's especially the case against a hard-hitting team like the Cardinals that leads the league in hitting, on-base percentage, slugging and runs. The two-run fourth, spurred by doubles from Craig and Molina, was a veritable onslaught.
The Phillies will try to stop the bleeding on Wednesday night when lefty John Lannan (2-3, 3.76) takes on 13-year veteran, Jake Westbrook (6-4, 2.88)