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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.
Rhys Hoskins' Saturday afternoon just opened up 😳 pic.twitter.com/RnCQnh1Lcc
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 31, 2019
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.
Of course, Bryce Harper also delivered his 29th homer of the season to lead off the sixth inning:
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 31, 2019
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.