For the Phillies, the operative hope has been, Get Them On Base And The Runs Will Come. Such was the theme after last night’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

They scored just three runs on 13 hits, left eight runners on base and went 3 for 9 with men in scoring position. They've now stranded seven or more in 8 in 16 games (1-7 record).

What happened their next times out? They scored two runs or fewer in all but one, when they put up four in their home opening loss, and stranded an average 6.5 per.

In fact, their top four left on base counts (10, 9, 9, 8) all came in games after stranding seven-plus.

They’ve won 2 of 7 of such day-after games this year. No. 8 comes tonight in Game 2 vs. the Cards.

Some History

The Phillies haven’t walked in 4 games, a feat gone unseen in baseball for 93 years. They’ve plated 3 or less in 7 straight games, which hasn’t been done in the majors since 1976.

It was the first time they’ve plated 3 or fewer despite 13 hits or more since 2009, and marks their worst start to the season (6-10) than their 5-11 start to the 2007 campaign.

If this was football, they’d be in the mix for Jadaveon Clowney in 2014.

Halla-who?

Roy Halladay was serviceable his last time out. Not a typical Roy Halladay post-game grade. But, such are times for the Phillies 35-year-old righthander.

Still, it’s exactly what the Phillies needed from him: eight innings, one run on five hits. He struck out only two, but walked just one, getting 14 groundouts and 12 pop ups.

Of course, circus-size champagne bottle for win No. 200 or not, this was against the Marlins.

It it sustainable?

Tonight, watch Halladay’s use of his changeup and curveball. He used them far more his last time out than he did in his first two, taking away from his usage of cutters and two-seamers.

Those are the pitches that have gotten him into trouble this and last year. Opponents are hitting them, again, the pitches he’s used more than most, .583 and .429 this season.

Batters are hitting just .067 against his curveball, .167 against his changeup.

That could be huge. Or, it could just be the Marlins.

Of note, Halladay will be going on six days rest tonight. In years prior, he was at his best on normal rest (50-21, 2.77 ERA), but had a career 23-13 mark and 3.35 ERA with an extra day.

Last year, Halladay went 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in two starts with six-plus days rest, if you exclude his first start after seven weeks on the DL. (Even then, he surrendered just two runs in five innings.)

In two career postseason starts against St. Louis, in Games 1 and 5 of the 2011 NLDS, Halladay’s 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA and two quality starts. But let’s crawl before we run here.

For his most recent regular season work against them, Halladay in 2012 had very different results in his two starts, and didn’t last long enough in the first for PitchFX to tell us much of a story.

All we know? He turned it around for the rematch in August, when he served only one run on two hits over eight innings with eight strikeouts, after getting lit up for four runs in two frames in May.

Carlos Beltran (15 for 46, 3 HR, 11 RBI) and Ty Wigginton (7 of 22, HR, 2 RBI) have handled Halladay in his career, while Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, David Freese, Daniel Descalso and Allen Craig (10 for 75) are a combined .133 against him, with no one player hitting over .215.

The Other Guy

Jaime Garcia has been solid so far. He’s also a lefty, which, for the Phillies, is less than ideal.

The 26-year-old Garcia has a 1-0 mark and 1.86 ERA in three starts, all of which could’ve been wins.

He got the W after surrendering just one run in 5 2/3 in his debut against the Diamondbacks, but picked up no-decisions in his next two, the latest a seven-scoreless gem vs. Milwaukee last week.

Garcia works four pitches – fastball, cutter, curve, change – without remarkable speed, variance or movement. He doesn’t get batters to chase, but has the third-highest GB% (64.2%) in baseball.

The Phillies own the eighth-highest ground ball rate, 47.1 percent.

The Phillies got to Garcia their only time against him in 2012, plating the deciding runs over six innings of a 4-0 win on May 26. That aside, he’s 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA against them in four starts.

Save for John Mayberry, the Phillies are hitting .160 (9 for 56) against Garcia lifetime. Ryan Howard is 2 for 15 with eight strikeouts, Jimmy Rollins is 3 for 18 and Chase Utley is 1 for 10.

Mayberry may start in right today. He’s 4 for 12 (.333) against Garcia lifetime.