You know when you smush an insect and it dies, but its limbs still twitch? That’s pretty much what the Phillies’ five-run fifth inning during the second game of tonight’s doubleheader was like.

“I’m pretty sure it’s dead. Oh, shit. It moved. Maybe it’s not dead? Nope. Definitely dead.”


Where do we begin? Discussing the hows and whys of two more losses is utterly pointless, so let’s focus on the big picture. The Phillies are now 2-8 in September, 6-16 over their past 22 games, and 0-10-1 over their past 11 series. In the process, they have managed to completely obliterate any lingering positive feelings regarding their “progress” this season. Personally, give me the 66-win 2017 Phillies all day. That team had some spark over the final two months a season ago. There was good reason to feel encouraged about the team’s overall direction. This current group? It isn’t fun to watch, it isn’t fundamentally sound, and it is at least reasonable to wonder about where this mess is heading.

Since August 11, the Phillies have transformed a one-game division lead into what currently stands as a six-game deficit. In recent weeks, the starting pitching and bullpen have taken poorly-timed turns collapsing. We should at least credit the Phillies’ offense for its consistency–it has been what I will generously term as “ass” from the jump. Some have been out on this season for weeks. Some have held out hope that a team which was somehow 15 games over .500 as late as August 7 would regain its footing and win a wide-open NL East, but that changed tonight. The Phillies have officially broken us all.

They are not wrong. But forget what I think. Forget what anybody else thinks because that’s not what matters. What matters is what John Middleton thinks as he watches his team implode and hears the remaining few who are still paying attention unanimously declare it dead.

Should be an interesting offseason.