The Phillies aren't alone as a defending divisional champion with less offense than a bad high school soccer team.
The San Francisco Giants are averaging 3.46 runs per game - nearly a run below their 4.30 average from last season. And like the Phillies, the Giants are contending on the arms of an outstanding effort by their bullpen.
"No question it's been our starters and our bullpen, and that's what has to happen when your offense hasn't clicked," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Until it does, you'd better throw the ball well."
The Giants are 12-3 in one-run games, a testimony to the bullpen's ability to close out games.
The Mets placed third baseman David Wright on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back and called up first baseman Nick Evans from triple-A Buffalo.
Wright had an MRI on his ailing back on Monday. A second opinion confirmed the results. Surgery will not be required.
Wright suffered the injury against Houston on April 19, when he tried to make a diving tag on Carlos Lee.
The Braves said righthander Peter Moylan underwent surgery for a bulging disk in his lower back. He's expected to be out two to three months.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, on the injection he received for his ailing right knee:
"That cortisone is a beautiful thing," the 39-year-old said. "It doesn't feel so good the first 10 or 12 hours, but it feels wonderful after 24 hours."
Houston optioned struggling lefthanded reliever Fernando Abad to Oklahoma City. . . . The Reds activated third baseman Juan Francisco from the 15-day disabled list (strained left calf) and optioned him to triple-A Louisville. . . . The Cubs sent outfielder Tyler Colvin to triple-A Iowa.
Arizona's Kirk Gibson and Washington's Jim Riggleman will be coaches for San Francisco's Bruce Bochy, the NL manager, at the All-Star Game in Phoenix on July 12.