Sports talk radio shows are flooded with callers complaining about the lack of run production.
With one-third of the Philadelphia Phillies' 2012 season in the books, let's analyze what's gone right and what's gone wrong so far for a team that many expected would return to the World Series for the first time since 2009.
Twelve Phillies either have been or are on the disabled list, including stars Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay. Howard and Utley are only now healthy enough to play in rehab games and Halladay is in shutdown mode, trying to give his right lat strain time to heal. He could be out until late July. Don't expect Howard or Utley back before July.
The days of the Phillies being a threat to hit home runs have seemingly come and gone — or at least they're gone until Howard returns. They've struggled to hit with runners in scoring position (.257) and when there's a runner on third with less than two outs (.247).
Those factors make it tough for the Phillies to come from behind late, especially when they face a deficit larger than three runs. So far this season, they're 0-22 when trailing after seven innings.
"I'm going to tell you something, when we get down four, five, six runs, yeah, it is hard for us to come back," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We used to come back much easier because we could hit the ball out of the yard more consistently."
The bullpen, except for closer Jonathan Papelbon, who is second in the National League in saves with 15, is a wheel of misfortune most nights. Phillies relievers have the third worst ERA in the league (4.37) and are tied for the second most home runs allowed (18) despite being tied for having thrown the fewest innings (140).
It hasn't all been bad, though. Carlos Ruiz, who entered Tuesday with a .368 batting average, is having a career year. With eight home runs, he's just one shy of his career high and he's only 22 RBIs away from tying his career-high of 54, set in 2007.
Cole Hamels (8-2, 2.81 ERA) is staying on track for a huge free-agent deal if the Phillies don't give him a contract extension.
And 22-year-old Freddy Galvis has played better defense at second base than anyone could have expected (he entered play Monday with the third-best fielding percentage in the league at .996). Offensively, he's held his own. He is tied for the league-lead among rookies in RBIs (24) and leads in games (56); he's second in extra-base hits (19) and is tied for second in doubles (15).
Maybe the midseason report card at the break will be more promising.
•Phillies catchers at the plate. Carlos Ruiz is hitting .371; Brian Schneider is hitting .276.
•Freddy Galvis has surprised everyone defensively and has come up with clutch hits.
•Hunter Pence's power and his arm. The right fielder is tied for fourth in the NL with 13 home runs and is tied for second in outfield assists with five.
•Placido Polanco. The reigning Gold Glove winner leads all major league third basemen in fielding percentage (.991), he's hitting .336 in his last 31 games, raising his average from .196 to .294, and he is the fourth hardest player to strike out in the NL (1 SO/12.38 PA). Prior to committing his first error of the season Monday, Polanco had gone 59 consecutive games at third base (510 innings) without an error (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).
•The castoffs — aka Hector Luna (9 RBIs in 27 ABs), Mike Fontenot (.409 BA in 13 games) and Juan Pierre (.340 BA and .378 OBP) — have done more than their fair share.