The Phillies lost.
They’re now 30-43.
Note: This post was written before the Phillies lost 14-10(!) to the Twins last night.
The Phillies are now 30-41 and have been in a free fall that even Felix Baumgartner would be concerned about. Their badness is actually accelerating. Looking at the three previous 13-game swaths:
May 10th – May 23rd
May 24th – June 6th
June 7th – June 20th
They’ve gotten worse in every single statistical category above, every time. In Phillies’ history, they’ve never had a lower batting average through 71 games (.225). They’re second only to the 2014 team in most strikeouts through 71 (568), and they have the lowest OPS at this point in the season since 1968.
Early on, they won in spite of their run-differential. But now that the pitching has collapsed, they’ve become victims of it. Opponents have outscored the Phillies by 103 runs. They’re 8-24 since starting the season 24-17. Worse: Maikel Franco stinks, Aaron Nola is getting shelled, and Vince Velasquez, maybe the most exciting prospect just two months ago, is hurt. They’re flailing and falling into the molten core of the Earth, with only the upcoming All-Star Break seemingly offering sweet, sweet relief.
Kyle Scott - June 20, 2016
I have no idea how to solve a problem like Maria, but hot damn am I disappointed that the nun drinking a beer and taking selfies at the Phillies game right now is not a nun, but an actor from the play Sister Act:
Just no one tell the guy behind her, because I’m pretty sure every fantasy he’s ever had was playing out in this video. Oh, sir, the Lord says I shouldn’t allow myself to succumb to the temptations of gluttony, but boy am I tipsy. Let me put my hair down and partake in vanity just this once. Do you like what you see? I like how I feel.
Alas. The women danced on the dugout an inning later and ultimate buzzkill Tom McCarthy informed us that they are merely actors. The guy behind them may want to swing by confession on his way home. Few Hail Mary’s should do.
UPDATE: Seems the chubby guy is not the only one let down:
yo for real that blonde nun has me all hot and bothered I am in love
— FGSB (@FlyGoalScoredBy) June 20, 2016
— Dan (@moyni0421) June 20, 2016
The Phillies – mayday! – are crashing and burning. Since their high-water mark, seven games over .500 on May 20, they’ve gone 6-20. 6 AND TWENTY. SIX AND 2zero. SIX ONES COLUMN, TWO TENS COLUMN. SI-X AND TWEN-TY. SIXANDTWENTY. SISDIASDITWERTY.
It’s bad. Here’s how bad. Since May 20:
That’s compared to their first 41 games, where they went 24-17 with a 3.79 team ERA, 1.21 WHIP and only slightly better (less bad?) offensive stats. Their run differential wasn’t good, but it was a less awful -28. In hindsight, they… weren’t good.
Things are even worse over their last eight games. They’re 1-7 with a 7.47 – mayday! – team ERA, 1.78 WHIP, .194 batting average, and a .581 OPS. Their run differential is -36, and that’s including a seven-run win. Just to put that .581 OPS in perspective, if it belonged to a player, it would be 170th best in the league, just behind Freddy Galvis. So, yeah, as a team, over their last eight games, the Phillies are hitting worse than Freddy Galvis, who is batting .217 this season.
They’re now 30-37. THIRTY AND THI… kidding. They’re done. They were never truly a contender this year, but at seven – SEVEN – games over .500, they were shaping up to be competitive throughout the summer and potentially in the thick of a Wild Card race. But, the pitching redlined, the offensive never got out of park (sort of literally), and rookie mistakes are beginning to pile up. 💥
Odubel Herrera did that thing again. That thing he does once per game– something dumb.
With the Phils trailing 10-1 in the eighth and continuing to do their best impression of a Malaysian airliner – everything started out fine, but quickly took a turn south* – Herrera caught a routine fly for the second out of the inning… and then tossed the ball into the stands:
The best part may of that – using the radio broadcast – may be Scott Franzke, who was presumably nodding off between pitches, not knowing the outs either. And that’ll do it for the Jays… pardon? He and LA had a nice chuckle about it. Go Phils.
*I asked Jim if it was “too soon.” He said depends on the joke. Blame him.
OK this guy is a wizard, but I don’t understand how someone can be so cool, so calm when a ball is coming at them and they’re holding a child. When I’m holding my son I turn into a protective cacoon, absorbing every glancing blow from a passerby or rogue wall. I move around like we’re on a moon bounce, turning life’s edges into soft ripples. It’s similar to the move I used in my post-collegiate years, The Tuck and Tumble – not a sex move, not even close – where I would curl my beer-carrying hand and allow my shoulder or elbow to absorb all blows in a crowded bar, creating a steadicam effect with the beer, to minimize or reduce spillage. That’s how I hold my son, only it’s a full-body protective shield. So if there was a foul ball coming at us, I’d tuck him under my seat, stand up proudly and scream wildly, while one-handing the ball like Tanaka in Major League II…
… or probably just turn my back and take a devastating kidney shot.
Anyway, credit to this guy. So cool under pressure.
Jim Adair - June 16, 2016
Alec Asher, most recently with the Iron Pigs, has been suspended after testing positive for Dehydra… Dehyrochla… Zo?
RHP Alec Asher suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a PED.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 16, 2016
Asher came over in the Cole Hamels deal last year and made his MLB debut soon after, going 0-6 with a 9.31 ERA in 7 starts in 2015. Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (brand name Oral Turinabol) is taken as a pill and is an anabolic steroid. After the Blue Jay’s Chris Colabello got popped for using it, the team SB Nation site described it as “one of those PEDs that’s mainly responsible for all those Communist gold medals handed out from then until tests were developed to detect it.” Basically, it’s a steroid that is only a steroid and you can’t really argue that you didn’t know you were taking a steroid. As an anabolic steroid, it’s also a Schedule III controlled substance, so this isn’t good for Asher.
Jim Adair - June 15, 2016
Zach Eflin had a bad debut. Horrible. One of the worst. After the game it didn’t phase him, and God bless the guy for putting it all aside and just basking in the fact that he achieved his dream. But oh man, it was not good.
Zach Eflin the first pitcher in the majors to allow 8+ earned runs in fewer than 3 innings of MLB debut since Padres' Cesar Carrillo in 2009
— Corey Seidman (@CoreySeidmanCSN) June 14, 2016
I thought to myself, well, it can’t be that bad. I am sure some other pitcher had a similarly bad debut and went on to a decent career. I was kinda right:
But Game Score is the issue here. A Bill James creation, here’s how Game Score is calculated:
Eflin’s Game Score was 5. In his debut, Garza’s was 14. Taking away innings pitched and runs scored limits, only five pitchers had a Game Score worse than Eflin in their debut. The White Sox’s Arnie Munoz put up an impressive -7 in his debut in 2004, and he never started another professional game in his career. John Stephens put up a 3 for the Orioles in 2002. He started ten more games that season, went 2-5, and never made it back to the majors. Other names around Eflin’s on the ranking include such forgotten (or never known) players as Mike Busby, Sergio Mitre, Kyle Denney, and the Phillies’ own Severino Gonzalez.
There is a positive here though: Steve Avery had a Game Score of 9, 2.1 IP, and 8 ER in his first start in 1990. He later went on to win 18 games twice in his career, before having his name notoriety taken by a guy who might be a murderer. So Eflin’s got that to look forward to.