Posts for Phillies Category

No Drama: Phillies Roll Over for Braves

BWanksCB - September 21, 2018

If a baseball team’s season dies at SunTrust Park and no one is around to watch it, does it make a difference? I didn’t think so.

Those who did, for whatever reason, check in to see if the Phillies could at least make things interesting in Atlanta this weekend instead saw a team play a willing victim to a thorough beatdown delivered by the soon-to-be NL East champion Braves. In an absolute had-to-have game, Gabe Kapler’s team could not: execute routine plays, reach base, get out Braves hitters in key spots, or bother to show any urgency with its season hanging in the balance. I don’t know how to recite the same old story yet again, so let’s keep this simple. I stand not amazed by any of the following that occurred. Continue Reading

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A Look at the Long Odds Facing the Phillies in Atlanta

BWanksCB - September 20, 2018

Let’s not wax poetic over the Phillies’ last stand that begins in Atlanta tonight. The odds are stacked against them as they attempt to erase a 5.5 game deficit with only 11 games remaining. If they are to pull off the miraculous, they will need to win at least three of four games this weekend, but if we’re being honest, they are probably done-zo with anything short of a sweep.

I think I know how this story ends, so I’ve been trying hard this week not to be lured in by the faint signs of life they’ve shown after winning back-to-back series for the first time since late July.

Still, since the Phillies have “a chip and a seat at the table,” as Gabe Kapler said last week, I suppose we can look at what exactly the Phillies are up against in Atlanta because screw it, why not?

I imagine a scenario in which Gabe Kapler and one of the Phillies’ team analysts have a conversation that closely mirrors the one had by Lloyd Christmas and Mary Swanson in Dumb and Dumber.

Gabe Kapler: What are the chances of a team like mine and October baseball…ending up together?

MIT Grad/Baseball Computer Data Guy: Not good.

Gabe Kapler: Not good like one in a hundred?

MIT Grad/Baseball Computer Data Guy: I’d say more like one in a million.

Gabe Kapler: So you’re telling me there’s a chance?!?
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Sports Betting Updates

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Here’s Why the Phillies Can’t Master the Mets

BWanksCB - September 19, 2018

According to FanGraphs, the Phillies enter play today with a 4.4% chance of winning the National League East.

I think we all understand at this point that – barring a miracle – the Phillies will miss the playoffs. When that inevitability comes to fruition at some point next week, their inability to beat up on “inferior opponents” like the New York Mets will be frequently cited as a reason why. With a disappointing 7-11 mark against the Mets this season, and only tonight’s game between the two teams remaining, the Phillies have already guaranteed themselves a losing record to the LOLMets for the seventh-straight year. It might be hard to believe, but they are what feels like an impossibly bad 49-82 against this bum ass team since 2012. Obviously, the Phillies were going through a transition and the Mets briefly flourished during this period, but the story was supposed to be much different this season.

The upstart Phillies spent much of the spring and summer as a viable postseason contender, while the Mets have been a fourth-place afterthought. How could the Phillies let a team they were so comfortably ahead of in the standings own them again? We asked ourselves this question in mid-August when they lost three of five at home, last weekend when they dropped two of three at Citi Field, and again on Monday night when the bullpen imploded late to lose the series opener.

It’s time to handle business against bad teams. Lesser teams. It’s the Mets, for fuck’s sake! What gives? I mean, how many times did we ask ourselves this question after each wasted opportunity?

Well, I think I’ve finally found the answer. A troubling thought: what if the Phillies can’t beat the Mets because the Mets are (gasp!)better than the Phillies? Let the repugnant stench of that statement waft gently from your screen directly into your face. Let it plague your being.

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Crossed Up: The Blame Game

JoyOnBroad - September 18, 2018

Anthony and Bob breakdown the Phillies’ rotation issues ahead of the 2019 season and discuss who’s most at fault for the team’s late-season collapse.

Please subscribe to the show ([iTunes] [Google Play] [Stitcher] [RSS]), leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter: @AntSanPhilly @BWCrossingBroad

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Phillies Fans: Do You Actually Want Gabe Kapler Fired?

BWanksCB - September 13, 2018

On the morning of August 7, the Phillies were comfortably positioned 15 games over .500 as owners of the National League’s second-best record.  Even then, the flaws of Gabe Kapler’s team were obvious and the warning signs were clear, but faults (and logic) be damned, it seemed like the Phillies were destined for seven late-season showdowns against the Atlanta Braves with a division title on the line. Of course, we know now that those games will serve as nothing more than a reminder of what could have been.

In the wake of this late-season death spiral, most followers of the Phillies feel what I would term as a blend of anger, disappointment, and acceptance. Whatever the emotion, Phillies fans are a resilient bunch and have already begun to look ahead at what should happen next. And what a question it is.

What happens when a team plays its worst when the games matter most? What happens when it goes 2-9 in September, ­­6-17 over its past 23 games, and 40 days without clinching a series win? When it loses 8.5 games to the young and imperfect Braves in the division standings in just over a month’s time? What happens is that some fans become angry, some apathetic, but almost all will move to assign blame.

Yes, it’s true that there exists a faction of fans and media members who are willing to agreeably deem this season a success simply because of an improved record, but that party shrinks daily as the Phillies’ prolonged freefall has jeopardized what not so long ago seemed like a certainty that the team would finish north of the .500 mark.

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A Short Rant As This Phillies Season Approaches Its End

Tim Reilly - September 12, 2018

I’m not sure how I came by my Phillies pessimism. Was it a product of nurture or nature? On one hand, one of my earliest enduring memories as a young Phils fan was watching Joe Carter launch a Mitch Williams offering into orbit. It was an abrupt and brutal ending to what had been a dream season for the upstart ’93 Phillies, and a bitter pill to swallow for a seven year old who was still unaccustomed to the fickle whims of the baseball gods.

The wound caused by Carter’s home run left a scab that would rip open as one lost season followed another. Curt Schilling’s dominance notwithstanding, the Fightins offered little in the way of hope that a return to the playoffs was on the horizon through the rest of the ’90s and well into the next decade.

On the other hand, I was introduced to the game by men who had internalized its hard lessons long ago. My grandfather, Mick, a Massachusetts transplant whose South Bostonese accent was almost as stubborn as his fervent devotion to the Red Sox, had learned how to cope with the constant disappointment of baseball fandom: he came to expect failure. It was a lesson he would pass down to his son, who shared it with me.

Mick died in September 2004, just one month before the Red Sox would improbably break the Curse of the Bambino and claim the World Series title. In one of his last moments of lucidity, Mick happened to be watching a Chicago Cubs game in his hospital room. He stared in disbelief as Nomar Garciaparra (whom he called Gaparra- he could never quite get that name right) took his place at shortstop for the Cubs. It would be the final in a long string of indignities his hometown baseball team imposed on him.

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The Phillies Have Broken All of Us

BWanksCB - September 12, 2018

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.”

Gross.

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. Continue Reading

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Crossed Up: Many Questions, Few Answers

JoyOnBroad - September 11, 2018

Bob and guest Phil Keidel (Crossing Broad FC) discuss lessons learned and takeaways from the Phillies’ disappointing finish and what it means heading into this winter.

Please subscribe to the show ([iTunes] [Google Play] [Stitcher] [RSS]), leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter: @BWCrossingBroad @PhilKeidel

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