It Sure Feels Like This Season Has Gotten Away From the Phillies

PHOTO CREDIT: JAMES LANG-USA TODAY SPORTS

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It was quite the afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Let’s recap this instant classic.

I guess we can start with Rhys Hoskins getting ejected after he took a called third strike that appeared to be out of the zone.

That was fun. Some other highlights included:

  • Phillies starter Jason Vargas failing to complete five innings after allowing 13 of the 25 batters he faced to reach base. He surrendered nine hits and three walks. He also hit a batter on his way to allowing five earned runs. Of note, It was the 32nd time this season that a Phillies starter failed to last five innings.
  • Chants of Let’s go Mets! filled the stadium after Joe Panik’s double that made it 5-1. Those chants overpowered the half-hearted boos mustered by Phillies fans in attendance.
  • Speaking of boos, Sean Rodriguez received another healthy dose of them.
  • The Phillies went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Good times.

Of course, Bryce Harper also delivered his 29th homer of the season to lead off the sixth inning:

The opposite field blast temporarily gave the Phillies some life as they loaded the bases and cut the deficit to three after Andrew Knapp walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. The momentum was short-lived though as Mets reliever Luis Avilan induced a double-play off the bat of Adam Haseley to kill a bases loaded rally.

That’s what happened. So what does it mean?

Look, I don’t want to overreact after a 6-3 loss to the Mets ensured yet another squandered home series for the Phillies against an opponent that had come into town playing bad baseball. I really don’t, but I gotta say, as the calendar turns to September, it sure feels like this team’s season is done.

After waiting and believing that something might finally click for the Phillies through 134 games, I have arrived. This latest loss felt especially disheartening.

Maybe it’s that the Phillies managed to score a grand total of four runs in the innings that actually mattered over the last two days.

Maybe it’s that we got yet another reminder of how the patchwork additions to the Phillies’ rotation, necessary only because of the organization’s gross miscalculation of its starters beyond Aaron Nola, simply aren’t good enough.

Maybe it’s that the bullpen isn’t good enough. Maybe it’s that the offense is too inconsistent. Maybe it’s all of the above.

Whatever the reason or reasons, the Phillies came into the day with only a 5.1% chance of reaching the postseason, per FanGraphs, and they certainly didn’t increase those odds after this latest performance.

The task isn’t quite that impossible.

They’ll wake up tomorrow still only 3.5 games out of the playoffs with 28 games to go because the Cubs lost today. Still, the reality is that the Phillies haven’t won more than four games in a row at any point this season, and nothing about the look or feel of this team even remotely suggests that it is capable of going on the type of run they keep talking about.

Ultimately, we will see what the final month of the season brings-crazier shit has happened. True enough. But as I listened to the enthusiastic cheers of Mets fans take over Citizens Bank Park in the ninth inning to close out the month of August, I couldn’t help but feel like this season has slipped away from the Phillies.

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9 Comments

  • Dean Domino August 31, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Deport Kapler back to Planet California after the season.

    Reply
  • Karen Hepp is Hot August 31, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Bob – this team is dead men walking. I am now rooting for losses, because I think an under .500 finish is the only way to insure that Gabe won’t be back. His woeful mismanagement by leaving Vargas in to let this game get out of hand (while once again the National TV guys were calling what was going to happen before it did) was the latest fireable offense. I don’t care how bad the. Ullpen is – you can let a washed up out of shape has been who throws in the low 80’s get exposed like that. You may as well bring back Cole Irvin – at least he is younger and may get lucky.

    Reply
  • Booooooooooo September 1, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Golly, was it only two weeks ago you were rubbing everybody’s nose in that 5.1 IP of shut out ball from the bullpen?

    Look, I know you guys gotta play ball if you want access to the manager, but come on, the writing was on the wall with this team since the all Star break.

    Reply
    • Bob Wankel September 1, 2019 at 7:55 am

      I don’t believe it’s the manager’s fault. I do believe the front office is at fault. No playing ball—call it like I see it. Pretty simple.

      Reply
      • Booooooooooo September 1, 2019 at 9:13 am

        You don’t think it’s on the manager that he let Morin stay in Friday night? He couldn’t find the strike zone, rather than have Chris Young go out there and tell him to, I assume, go out there and throw strikes he probably should’ve gone out there with the hook. Then your boy Hughes goes out there and let’s the game get broken wide open and now he’s got the bullpen on speed dial? For what?

        Reply
        • Bob Wankel September 1, 2019 at 10:03 am

          I mean, that’s exactly the point. His best options in that situation were Mike Morin and Jared Hughes. At the end of the day, even if you can navigate through an isolated situation like Friday night, that’s not going to play long-term.

          Reply
          • Booooooooooo September 1, 2019 at 10:24 am

            An isolated situation? What? You mean completely bungling a late inning, high leverage situation? It’s on the manager to stop going to the guy who has gives up a homer for almost every inning pitched. It’s on the manager to find anybody more qualified than Jared Hughed, who once struck out Mookie Betts on 5 pitches, to face the remaining heart of the Mets lineup once he’s loaded the bases in a tied game.

            This isn’t Pete Mackanin era good enough, this season is a colossal failure on Klentak and Kapler as leaders of this organization. Or do you need to see Sean Rodriguez mash more lefties for proof of that?

  • Sean Brace September 1, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Yo yo yo what up ? It’s yo boy!!!!

    Shady just reunited wit Big Red in KC!!! Y’all heard it here first!!!

    Philly in flu encer baby !!!! Keepin it mad real !!!

    Reply
    • Anyone remember the jon & Sean snow day September 1, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      Andy loves high character guys

      Reply

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