Phillies September struggles continue with 2-1 loss to Cubs in Chicago
The Phillies kicked off their pivotal 10-game road trip with a whimper, in a 2-1 loss to the Cubs in Chicago on Tuesday night.
Cubs (68-86) Beat Phillies (83-70)
- Winning Pitcher: Marcus Stroman (5-7, 3.66)
- Losing Pitcher: Connor Brogdon (2-2, 3.48)
- Save: Manuel Rodríguez (3, 3.00)
No, I am not going to sit here and blame Connor Brogdon for the loss tonight. Should he have been pitching in a crucial 7th inning? Probably not, but with the recent injury to Brad Hand, manager Rob Thompson was forced to reach deeper into his pen and therefore we were forced to watch Brogdon, who has struggled to a 7.00+ERA since August 21st give up the go-ahead run.
I think the first topic of discussion has to be the total ineptitude of the Phillies offense. Only 5 hits tonight and the continuation of what has certainly been a troubling trend this month. Despite ranking in the top-5 of batting average in the NL in September the Phillies have been anemic at the plate.
The Phillies have score 4 runs or less in 8 of their last 11 games and in 15 of 22 games overall in September. It’s just not good enough for a playoff team and in any of the past years where only 4 or 5 teams from each league qualified for the playoffs, the Phillies would certainly be the first team left out.
The Phillies are now just 10-12 in September, their only month below .500 since the team let go of manager Joe Girardi after stumbling to a 10-18 record in May.
Yet, even with the loss the Phils magic number was reduced to 7 games after St Louis took care of Milwaukee 6-2. That means the Phillies will take the field tomorrow maintaining their 1.5 game lead over the Brewers and 2 games behind the Padres in the wild card standings.
I said after the loss to the Braves on Sunday that the Phils would need to go 5-5 to make the playoffs. After tonight’s performance they may be lucky to go 5-5. I don’t see any reason to maintain optimism after they couldn’t cash in against a shitty Cubs team and their ace on the mound.
Cristopher Morel takes Zack Wheeler deep for a solo home run with two outs in the 3rd inning to give the Cubs the lead.
Nick Castellanos makes a great outfield assist to get Wilson Contreras trying to leg out a double in the 4th inning.
Bryce Harper brings in Bryson Stott from first base with a line drive to the gap that is just out of the reach of a diving Cristopher Morel. Let’s go!
Yan Gomes hit the Cubs back the lead with a two out RBI double in the 7th inning.
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies take on the Cubs on Wednesday night in the second game of a three game set in Chicago at Wrigley Field.
Aaron Nola (10-12, 3.28) will toe the rubber facing off against Hayden Wesneski (2-1, 2.45) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:40 pm.
NBC Sports Philadelphia will carry the broadcast of the game.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Philadelphia Phillies