PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' postgame clubhouse was as quiet as, well, as quiet as the team's bats had been all game.
Ace right-hander Roy Halladay tossed his fifth quality start in as many outings this season. Once again, that wasn't good enough. The Cubs beat the Phillies, 5-1, Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Coming off a road trip during which they'd scored 20 runs in their last 19 innings in Arizona, manager Charlie Manuel was upbeat before the game, talking about how he thought his lineup might have turned the corner.
Instead, left-hander Paul Maholm, who came into the game with an 8.36 ERA, pitched out of some early trouble and then got on a roll. The Phillies have scored two or fewer runs in 11 of their 20 games this season.
"We had a chance in the first inning to knock a runner in from third. It seemed like it definitely went downhill from there," said Manuel. "Once [Maholm] got out of the first-inning jam, he really got going. He changed speeds well. He was throwing a little slider to the right-handers and getting to them. Once he got ahead, he threw some high fastballs and got away with it. We didn't do [anything] with it and chased some. Actually, that's kind of how we've been on left-handers so far this year."
The Phillies had runners on first and third with nobody out in the first and came up empty. Then, Carlos Ruiz doubled with one out in the second. After that, however, Maholm retired 15 of the next 16 batters he faced until Ty Wigginton knocked him out of the game with a solo homer with one out in the seventh.
It was the third time this season the Phillies have scored just once in a Halladay start, and each time the run came in the seventh inning or later. That puts a strain on the starter, although Halladay continued to insist that he only concerns himself with the part of the game that he can control, getting hitters out.
Asked about his overall concerns for the 9-11 team, he did hint at some urgency.
"Well, we need to win more games. That's the bottom line, really," Halladay said. "How we go about doing that is going to have to be a team effort. We're going to have to pitch as well as we can. We finished strong in Arizona. We were swinging the bats well, and hopefully we can continue that.
"This was obviously a tougher night at the plate, but we need to look at the positives and the things we did well in Arizona and try to continue to do that and try to do it as consistently as we can. I'm a terrible hitter, so I can't tell you what guys felt in Arizona and what they felt other times. But it's just a matter of really trying to build on the positive things.
"And we need to start doing it as soon as possible."
Manuel liked the patience his hitters showed against the Diamondbacks, but that was missing against the Cubs. No Phillies hitters walked. Reliever Rafael Dolis came into the game in the eighth -- he'd walked eight batters in 10 1/3 innings this season. After Placido Polanco led off with a single, he got Jimmy Rollins out on two pitches and Hunter Pence out on one.
"We definitely talk about [approach at the plate]. We talk all the time about that when we see things we don't like," Manuel said with a sigh. "We haven't set them down as a group, but individually we talk every day about that. Really. I mean, those are the things we talk about."
While it probably didn't affect the outcome of the game, Manuel was also unhappy with the way Pence played a line drive by Reed Johnson with two outs and a runner on first in the ninth.
Instead of making sure he got in front of the ball, Pence tried to make a sliding catch. The ball got past him, Johnson ended up with an RBI triple and scored when David DeJesus followed with a single.
"That ball can't get by you," the manager said. "The situation dictates what you do. There's two outs, and that ball can't get by you."
The first two runs Halladay allowed came after speedy Cubs center fielder Tony Campana reached on an infield single.
"I felt like we made good pitches the whole night," Halladay said. "They're scrappy. They obviously have some speed and were able to capitalize on it. It's one of those games where you control what you can, try to get them to put the ball in play and put it on the ground."
Halladay was charged with his second straight loss. He dropped back-to-back starts only once last season, at Florida on May 10 and at Atlanta on May 15.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.