Probably only a coincidence, but the Phillies, who are in town for a weekend series that begins tonight at Sun Life Stadium, have gone into a hitting and scoring funk in the wake of suspicions they were stealing signs. You might remember that story, which came to light after the Phillies' bullpen coach, Mick Billmeyer, was spotted using binoculars at Coors Field in Denver. On May 12, the commissioner's office warned the Phillies and ordered Billmeyer to stop using binoculars. Even the Marlins have wondered openly about the Phillies.
Prior to May 12, the defending National League champions were scoring an average of 5.44 runs per game, which ranked second in the league.
Since putting away the binoculars on May 12, they are averaging 3.79 RPG, good for a mediocre 12th.
Before May 12, the Phillies were batting .272 as a team, third-best figure in the NL.
Since May 12, they are hitting .251 -- 10th best.
Before May 12, the Phillies were averaging 1.22 home runs per game -- 2nd in the NL.
Since May 12, they have averaged 0.79 HRPG -- 8th.
The Phillies enter tonight's contest after being shut out three straight games by the Mets. Yes, those would be the very same Mets the Marlins piled up 26 runs against when they swept the New Yorkers here in a four-game series from May 13-16. The Phillies hadn't been blanked three straight games since 1983. Overall, the Phillies have been shut out in four of their past five games. They have scored only four runs over their past six games, and 15 over their past nine.
Probably only a coincidence, though.
(Photo: Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, via the Associated Press)