BAD VIBES IN D.C.
Zack Wheeler started last night’s game laboring through a 34-pitch first inning. The Phillies offense failed to hit Anibal Sanchez and his ERA that was north of 7.50 and the Phillies lost a crucial game last night to the Nationals 5-1.
The offense mustered only 1 extra base hit. The Phillies notched 2 errors in the first 2 innings. Joe Girardi and starting center fielder Roman Quinn were both ejected.
…Hey Roman, I know the umpires absolutely stink and can’t keep a consistent strike zone, but with the injuries and lack of depth we’re currently dealing with, maybe just take it on the chin and go back to the dugout?
Urgency was the biggest concern last night. There didn’t seem to be any for the Phillies. Only 6 total hits, 3 errors, and 1 run scored on a balk in the 5th inning. The ball club did not look like a team fighting for a playoff spot.
The Phillies lose and fall to the 8th seed in the playoffs. The Rockies took care of the Giants last night and saved the Phillies from falling even further down the standings to 9th and out of the playoff picture.
Philadelphia lost to the defending World Series champions for the first time in seven games this season. The Nationals are last in the NL East at 21-32.
The Phillies are back at it today in what are basically must win games for the rest of the season. They will send Aaron Nola to the mound in game one to right the ship before yet another classic “bullpen game” tonight.
Just last week was the first time that the Phillies swept a double header since 2012. Hopefully that’s the start of a new trend.
The Phillies lined up their rotation so that Wheeler could pitch Monday and Aaron Nola could pitch in Game 1 of today’s doubleheader. That will allow Wheeler to pitch on Saturday and Nola to close out the season Sunday against the Rays.
Here’s the likely pitchers as we close out the season:
9/22 at WAS: Aaron Nola
9/22 at WAS: Phillies’ bullpen
9/23 at WAS: Zach Eflin
9/25 at TB: Vince Velasquez
9/26 at TB: Zack Wheeler
9/27 at TB: Aaron Nola
WE DO NOT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN.
The Phillies need to clinch before the final game of the year, ideally two, so that Nola and Wheeler will be available to start off the post season.
Losing Monday increases the likelihood that the Phillies will need to pitch Nola and Wheeler this weekend just to make the postseason.
Since winning 3-straight games against the Blue Jays, the Phillies have now dropped two in a row.
The Phillies could still make the postseason if they finish 3-3, but going 4-2 or better down the stretch would certainly put them in a stronger spot.
Ring that bell, baby.
Mandatory Credit: ESPN