Phillies drop finale against the Mets 3-2, with the Orioles coming to town tonight
A decade-long playoff drought awaits the Philadelphia Phillies if they fail to capitalize on their last homestead of the 2021 MLB season. This week, they will face the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates, two of Major League Baseball’s worst teams, at Citizens Bank Park before heading to Atlanta for what is shaping up to be a season-defining series against the National League East leading Braves.
The Phillies won two games against the Mets before dropping the series finale yesterday 3-2. They are two games behind the Atlanta Braves (3 in the loss column), and 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, tied with the Padres and a half game behind the Reds, chasing the Cardinals. Despite losing yesterday, the Phillies finished their season series against the Braves with a 10-9 record. Against the National League as a whole, the Fightins are 40-30, which is the exact same record as the Braves.
Over the final 13 games of the season, the Phillies will send Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Ranger Suarez to the mound eight times. Suarez will start tonight against Orioles pitcher John Means, with a bullpen game likely on Tuesday before Zack Wheeler takes the mound on Wednesday. The Braves will head to the desert to open up a four game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight.
Over his last 30 games, Bryce Harper is slashing .364/.470/.785 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI. The NL MVP candidate is slashing .313 on the year with a 1.052 OPS. He has 33 home runs and 80 RBI. Although sometimes it feels like he could, Bryce Harper certainly cannot do it alone and the rest of the Phillies lineup needs to really step it up over the last 13 games if the Phils want a shot at the postseason. Jean Segura has been doing his part. JT Realmuto would be the first guy on that list and has played better as of late, batting .321 with nine hits, one home run, and six RBI over his last 28 at-bats.
As Andrew McCutchen and Didi Gregorius continue to struggle, Freddy Galvis has turned it on as of late and has provided some consistent offense over his last 15 games, with four home runs and eight RBI in 44 at-bats.
Regardless, the Orioles are one of the worst teams in baseball with a record of 47-102 record. They are last in the AL East and are 2-8 over their last 10 games. The Phillies have a tendency to play down to their opponents, which can’t happen this week. Following the Orioles, they will play three games against the Pirates, who are 56-93 and in last place in the NL Central.
We have arrived to the end of September and the Phillies still have a fighting chance to make the post season for the first time in nearly a decade. They must handle business before traveling to Atlanta eight days from today.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Phillies