Phillies Continue to Frustrate

Phillies Continue to Frustrate
If the Phillies don’t make the playoffs, one of their reason could be their record against sub .500 teams, especially the Florida Marlins.
 
After sweeping two games against the Red Sox in Boston, the Phillies appeared to have some serious momentum heading into this past weekend’s series in Miami against the seemingly overmatched Marlins.
 
Then again, against the Phillies, the Marlins look like the 1927 Yankees (only a slight exaggeration). The Phillies are 7-9 against the Marlins. Miami is 38-75 against the rest of its opponents entering the week.
 
Just last weekend the Phillies lost two of three at home to he San Diego Padres, a team that began the week nine games under .500.
 
What is amazing is that the Phillies remain very much alive in the wild card race. Thanks to the Chicago Cubs being swept by Washington, the Phillies entered the week just 1.5 games behind the Cubs in the race for the second wild card spot.
 
What has kept the Phillies alive has been their three-game sweep of the Cubs Aug. 13-15.
 
While many people suggested the Phillies were cooked after Friday’s 19-11 loss to Miami in a game the Phils led 7-0, there was a comeback the next night, a 9-2 win.
 
With Aaron Nola on the mound and a 2-0 lead it appeared the Phillies might be having a potential turnaround game on Sunday.
 
Nola then gave up three runs in the sixth inning and the Phillies couldn’t come back.
 
At least in Sunday’s game Rhys Hoskins ended a serious slump by hitting a home run, his 25th of the season. Before Sunday, Hoskins had been hitting .116 for the month of August.
 
He is a streaky player and it’s possible that home run could be the beginning of a hot streak.
 
If it isn’t then the Phillies could be in trouble because they need Hoskins to hit the way in order to contend for a postseason berth.
 
As for the pitching, the Phillies only reliable starter is Nola, who despite the loss, pitched well enough to win, if only he had some run support.
 
It was announced last week that Nola will pitch every fifth day. The problem for the Phillies is finding out who is going to take the mound the other four days.
 
Zach Eflin may have bought himself at least another start with his strong performance on Saturday (2 earned runs in six innings).
 
Eflin, Vince Velasquez, Jered Eickhoff and Jake Arrieta (out for the season due to bone chips in his elbow), have all been major disappointments.
 
Of al the areas that have let the Phillies down, starting pitching comes to mind first.
 
The Phillies also haven’t been a consistent offensive team and their bullpen has been up and down, but the lack of a starter besides Nola giving the team a consistent performance start in and start out, has been the biggest reason for such a disappointing season.

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And that said, the playoffs are very much in the Phillies grasp. The fact that there is still time to turn it around shows the Phillies aren’t alone in playing inconsistent baseball.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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