The Phillies lost to the Miami Marlins 8-4 Tuesday night. It sucked. Another sold-out crowd that left frustrated. Whether it was the team’s play on the field that dropped them to 4-7 to start the season, or the total fiasco of Dollar Dog Night that led to ridiculously long lines and an eventual food fight down the right field line, or a combination of both, it’s irrelevant. Fans are ticked off.

Driving home after the game, they were in full-on panic mode about the Phillies. I was getting tweets that the team stinks and they aren’t going to be good.

It was classic Negadelphia.

While there are valid concerns, they should remain just that for the time being – concerns. That’s because baseball is not a sport that allows for instant overreactions to age well. From one day to the next, things can change, including outlooks.

For example, if the Phillies win the finale against the Marlins on Wednesday, they will have won the series. That will make two straight series wins against teams you’d expected to take out. In fact, it will mean that three of four season series will have gone as expected, with the only outlier being the season opener in Texas.

Sanity and rationality still need to prevail.

It doesn’t mean the concerns should be dismissed, because they shouldn’t. They are understandable and are at one of these pivot points where they can either correct themselves, and end up being just a blip on the radar, or they can manifest themselves and turn into a three-alarm fire.

Let’s look at a few here:

1. “Aaron Nola stinks”

O.K. the rational folks among us know that’s not true, but there is reason to question Nola’s start to the season.

He pointed out that he’s only had two bad innings so far in three starts – including a 3-run, 5-hit confidence-sucker in the sixth inning against the Marlins. And while he may be right, and there are only two bad innings mixed in with a bunch of good ones, that’s not O.K.

Because bad innings happen, but hey need to be fewer and more far between than two in three starts. The reality is, the Phillies lost both those games. And in neither instance was it solely because of Nola, but in both instances he was a contributor to the defeat.

He was pitching fine Tuesday until the sixth inning when things started to unravel. He got the first out but then yielded a triple to Luis Arraez and a double to Jorge Soler, and suddenly it was 2-0. He got the next batter to strike out, but with two outs and two strikes on Yuli Gurriel, he wasn’t able to put the veteran hitter away:

When you watch it again, it’s not a bad pitch. In fact, it’s a ball away that somehow Gurriel still pulls for a single. But the location is just a touch off. If that ball is a couple more inches off the plate, it’s either a strikeout or a weak ground out. It’s hits like these that sometimes snowball on Nola.

That leads to the Jean Segura at bat that both Nola and catcher J.T. Realmuto thought was over before it actually was:

Pitch No. 5 was the killer. That was easily strike three and should have ended the inning. It didn’t. Segura fouled off the next pitch and, as you can see, pitch No. 7 was not where Nola wanted to throw it, and Segura drives in the fourth run.

Nola faced one more batter, gave up a hit, and was pulled. What was looking like a good outing went sour fast. It was a combination of missed locations, bad luck, and not being able to stop a snowball from turning into an avalanche.

Some of those things you can’t control, others you can. Nola has to focus on the ones he can control and the others will level out.

Three starts into the season isn’t a time to say he won’t do that, and in all likelihood, he’ll be fine, but the added pressure point for Nola is he’s pitching for a new contract, which he’s never had to do before. Time will tell if that ends up being more of an albatross than we all could have imagined.

2. “You can tell the Phillies are dumb because of how bad they are running the bases”

This is probably more chronic than it should be to start the season:

In case you missed it, the Phillies were rallying in the bottom of the sixth, and this hit by Stott cut it to 4-3. Unfortunately it also cut short the rally:

Rob Thomson keeps saying the problem is the Phillies are trying to do too much. That the players are being over-aggressive. O.K., but at some point they have to pump the breaks a little bit. You know, time and place. Like, it’s okay to be a bit risky if you are ahead, or even if the game is tied, but when you are down, most times you have to err on the side of being conservative.

The Phillies have yet to show they have that in their DNA:

He’s right. There is a fine line. But here’s the thing, It’s just as easy to get back on the other side of that line as it is to cross it. These are simple fixes. Maybe you don’t recognize them as something that you need to be more cognizant of until it happens repeatedly. Now that it has, and it has cost the Phillies a few times, maybe this is the sobering they needed.

If not… oh boy.

3. “Once again, the bullpen blows”

It’s easy to look at the stats and say this confidently.

After all, the Phillies bullpen so far has a 7.08 ERA and a WHIP of 1.893. Opposing teams are hitting .283 off the bullpen and getting on base at a clip of .403.

None of that is good.

But the two guys from Tuesday have been mostly reliable in their appearances thus far.

Connor Brogdon gave up a solo homer to Arraez that, you have to credit the hitter on, because it wasn’t a bad pitch:

A 95 MPH fastball on the paint on the outer half to a guy who doesn’t hit for power is a good pitch. So, credit Arraez on that one.

As for Andrew Bellatti, dude had been excellent in the first 10 games of the season. But Game 11 was one to forget.

Bellatti gave up four hits and a walk. The two that were killers were a single by Jon Berti and a triple by Jazz Chisholm, Jr. Both with two strikes and two outs. Neither pitch was where he wanted it either.

On the whole, Bellatti has been good this season, so it’s hard to kill him for his first bad outing, even if it allowed the game to get away from the Phillies.

As I mentioned, Brogdon has been mostly solid. Gregory Soto came in and got out a jam for Nola in the sixth, marking another successful outing after a couple of ugly ones early on. Jose Alvarado has been tremendous.

There are good signs still in the bullpen.

The concerns have to be the righties on the back end. Seranthony Dominguez has not looked like himself and Craig Kimbrel might not have it anymore (although he did fine in a low-leverage inning late Tuesday).

Ideally, both of them would right the ship, and they still can, but the Phillies do need one of them to figure it out. Because if you have 3-4 arms rolling at once, the bullpen ultimately will be fine.

But, this isn’t an automatic either.

4. Other Observations from the loss:

  • The Phillies have only had a starter complete six innings once this season, and that was Nola’s start in New York last week. They need to start getting some length from their starters, or the bullpen will be shot early.
  • Arraez became the first Marlin to hit for the cycle in franchise history. He’s hitting .537 to start the season. It’s the ninth-best start for a batter in baseball history since 1901 through 12 games.
  • Bryson Stott had another two-hit game. It’s his eighth multi-hit game of the season, tied for the major league lead with Arraez. He also extended his hitting streak to 11 games to start the season. If he gets a hit Wednesday, it will be the longest hitting streak by a Phillie to start the season since Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones in 1950.
  • Josh Harrison had two hits for the Phillies. It was needed after he started the season 1-for-10.
  • Cristian Pache extended his hitting streak to three games. That’s only notable because, well, it’s Cristian Pache! Kevin Long might be a Hall of Fame batting coach if he gets Pache to even be a passable major league hitter.