Not the Start the Phillies Were Hoping For

24 Jul

They started with a bang but since their 13-8 win against the Mets, the Phillies have now lost three straight.  They are seven games behind the first place Atlanta Braves and seven and a half games behind in the Wild Card race.

This is not the start we were hoping for.

The Phillies inconsistent offense is still, well, inconsistent.  After that offensive outburst against the Mets, the Phillies have scored only one run in their last two games.

This is not the start we were hoping for.

What makes it even worse is that the teams ahead of the Phils are almost trying to hand them the division.  The Braves are 2-3 since the Break and the Washington Nationals are 0-5!  Yes, the Cardinals have the best record in baseball but it was critical for the Phils to win at least 2-3 from a not-so-good Mets team.  And, by the way, teams that need to play at an above .600 clip to make the play-offs need to beat the good teams, too!

This is not the start we were hoping for.

And it doesn’t get any easier for the Phillies on this critical road trip.  They have two more games against these Cardinals and then a series against the first place AL Detroit Tigers, and interleague play has historically not been this team’s strong point.  They have a total of six games remaining before the 4 p.m. Trade Deadline next Wednesday.  If the Phillies can’t find a way to win at least four of them, this team could look a lot different a week from today.

This is not the start we were hoping for.

And if you really want to hear some bad news, in the nightmare scenario that has many fans seeing red, the Phils iconic second baseman Chase Utley could be one of those Phillies not wearing red real soon.  He had three hits last night and is eight for his last 16.  He has raised his average to .286 and his troublesome knees have just not been an issue this year.  In short, he has been one of the most productive offensive middle infielders in the game.  He’s also in the final year of his contract all of which make him a big target for a team looking for some help down the stretch.  Would they, could they, trade the beloved second baseman?

This is not the start we were hoping for.

But…this Phillies team does have a habit of making their runs when everyone has counted them out, when their backs are against the wall, when all they’ve got is each other and their will to win to stay together as a team.  But every year they get a bit older and those runs are harder to find.  Does this team have one more run left?  Can they at least win enough in these next six games to stay together just a little longer?

This is not the start we were hoping for.

Well, I for one am, not a bandwagon fan.  Yes, the losses and inconsistency frustrate me but I am always a fan win or lose.  Yes, deep down I know whether it’s now or later this team must make some changes to keep up with a league getting ever-younger. But I’m hoping for a min-run starting tonight so we can watch the Utleys and Rollins play together just a little bit longer.

Call me sentimental but I’ll be at the ballpark August 1st, when the Phils will  honor Brad Lidge who has chosen to retire as a Phillie.  The night will surely bring back memories of that great 2008 team, you know, the “World F-ing Champions.”  It sure would be a shame if I’m there but the man who uttered that famous phrase is not.

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