Once again, the Phillies had a chance to go two games over .500.
Once again, they lost.
The Phils' 3-0 defeat to the Blue Jays Monday night was their fourth this year in four attempts to go two games over .500 for the first time since Oct. 1, 2012.
They lost April 1 in Texas after leading 2-1 through six innings. Instead of improving to 2-0, the Phillies fell to 1-1.
They lost April 6, when A.J. Burnett walked six Cubs a day after Cliff Lee shut them down. Instead of 4-2, 3-3.
They lost April 29 to the Mets after winning the final two games of the West Coast road trip in Arizona. Cole Hamels walked five. Rather than 14-12, 13-13.
And then Monday night, they were shut out by J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers, Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil.
Here are four more things to know about Tuesday's game:
Hamels on the hill
Hamels (0-2, 6.75) makes his third start of the season and first in exactly a week. He lost to the Mets on a cold, rainy night last Tuesday, allowing six runs and 13 baserunners in 4 2/3 innings.
Hamels missed his scheduled start this past Sunday with the flu.
In two starts against Toronto, Hamels is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. The Blue Jays hit .333 off him, but those games were in 2009 and 2010. That feels like an eternity ago.
Still, current Blue Jays have hit .355 off Hamels. Jose Reyes is 22 for 56 (.393) with six doubles. Melky Cabrera is 6 for 15 (.400) with a double and a homer.
But Hamels has handled Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion for the most part, holding them to just four singles in 17 at-bats.
Scouting Drew Hutchison
Toronto's 23-year-old right-hander enters Tuesday's game 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 33 innings.
Hutchison has bona fide swing-and-miss stuff. He's generated whiffs on 10.6 percent of his pitches this season, a better rate than Justin Verlander, Justin Masterson, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Julio Teheran, Jon Lester, Cliff Lee and James Shields, among many others.
The 6-3 righty throws a four-seam fastball about 52 percent of the time, and almost evenly distributes his sinker, changeup and slider. The slider is the pitch that hitters flail at the most.
Hutchison struck out nine Indians and nine Orioles in two of his last three starts.
Ryan Howard went 0 for 4 Monday night and is now back down to .239 with a .310 on-base percentage.
The most frustrating thing when watching Howard is his insistence on swinging in hitter's counts no matter where or what the pitch is.
On counts of 2-0, 3-1 or 3-2, Howard is 2 for 22 this season. Those are three prime hitter's counts where he expects a fastball but rarely sees one because opposing pitchers know that they can get him to chase a changeup or breaking ball.
That's the difference between a Ryan Howard and a Jose Bautista. In hitter's counts, Howard more often than not gets himself out. In hitter's counts, Bautista more often than not forces the pitcher to come into the strike zone, or he'll happily take a walk.
Freddy Galvis is 2 for 36 on the season and continues to look lost at the plate.
Jayson Nix is hitting .176 with 14 strikeouts in 34 at-bats.
John Mayberry has one hit since April 4.
Teams don't win with benches like this. The Phillies desperately need Darin Ruf's bat. Ruf strained his oblique March 21 and faced a recovery time of 4 to 6 weeks. We are just past the six-week mark.