ATLANTA — Fredi Gonzalez isn’t concerned about another September collapse.
The Braves manager is worried about his offense.
Atlanta turned in another feeble offensive performance, held scoreless over seven innings by Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee in a 5-1 loss to the Phillies on Saturday.
“We’re just not swinging the bats at all,” said Gonzalez, whose team has scored only 10 runs in the past five games. “It’s easy to say the pitchers are better than us, but enough
Jimmy Rollins hit his 16th homer for the Phillies, who got off to a good September start after a strong August.
The wild card-leading Braves are heading in the opposite direction with three consecutive losses and only four wins in their past 14 games, rekindling memories of their meltdown last season.
Gonzalez hinted that he might shake up the lineup, pointing to the call-up of speedy Jose Constanza and Lyle Overbay from the minors and Friday’s acquisition of Jeff Baker from Detroit.
“We’ve got to get something going offensively to compete,” the manager said. “We’re at a point now where our pitchers give up two or three runs, and it’s a good chance they’re going to lose. It’s not fair to them.”
Lee (4-7) came in with a record that was hardly indicative of the way he’s pitched this season. The Phillies had been held to three runs or fewer in 14 of his 23 starts.
A little offensive support was all he needed.
“It looks like he enjoyed pitching,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He had a four- or five-run lead and he started feeling comfortable and feeling like he could pitch the way he wanted to. “
The Phillies jumped on Tim Hudson (13-5) right away, going ahead in the first and blowing the game open with two runs in the sixth.
Hudson took his first loss since July 1, snapping a streak of seven straight wins.
He gave up nine hits, walked three and was charged with all five Phillies runs.
“I just wasn’t very good today,” he said. “That’s probably the worst stuff I’ve had all year. It was a battle all the way.”