Zack Wheeler masterclass wasted, Phillies lose fourth straight thanks to a costly mistake in shallow right
The Philadelphia Phillies lost yet another uninspiring game in Cleveland last night, losing 1-0, marking their fourth straight loss.
Cleveland scored the only run of the game thanks to a costly miscue in the bottom of the sixth inning where a pop-fly hit by Jose Ramirez landed in between Brandon Marsh, Bryson Stott, and Nick Castellanos in shallow right field that allowed the Amed Rosario to score from first-to-home.
Marsh, Stott, Castellanos lost in shallow right
Amed Rosario went from first to home to score the only run of the game
No doubt about it. That moment was painful and the knife was twisted given the fact that it was the only run of the game and handed the Phillies their fourth straight loss while Zack Wheeler put together one of his best starts of the 2023 season.
Wheeler tossed seven innings, allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out eight.
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Side Note: How that wasn’t ruled an error is beyond me but that’s not really of concern right now.
The Phillies were held to just two hits on the night for the second time in three games. Tanner Bibee matched Wheeler’s impressive start, tossing seven innings, allowing two hits, and a walk while striking out eight.
The lineup looked completely lost at the plate and the top 5 specifically was a complete mess.
Phillies Top 5 Struggle vs Guardians
- Kyle Schwarber: 0-4, 2 K
- Trea Turner: 1-4, K
- Nick Castellanos: 0-4, K
- Bryce Harper: 0-3, K
- JT Realmuto: 0-2, K
Obviously, you are not going to win many baseball games with your top five putting up performances like that and Phillies skipper Rob Thomson called out his guys after the game when speaking with the media.
Rob Thomson on Phillies Lineup Struggles
The massive highs and crushing lows of a Major League Baseball season are truly fascinating and really, almost romantic.
Like clockwork, after a string of four straight losses, whether we realize it or not, fans unfairly make sweeping judgements on a stretch of games happening in late July.
The Phillies Phaithful have taken to social media and criticize players while demanding that there are lineup changes to be made just a week removed from taking 3-of-4 from the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park.
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While I definitely understand the frustration, it’s important to realize that these things happen over a 162 game MLB season and really, the same exact thing is happening to pretty much every team in Major League Baseball right now.
Welcome to the “Dog Days of Summer”
- The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost 3 straight.
- The San Francisco Giants have lost 4 straight.
- The Miami Marlins have lost 8 straight.
While the Cincinnati Reds have won 4 straight games, they are coming off a stretch where they lost 6 straight games. Point being, even with the Philadelphia Phillies looking completely lost on the baseball field and losing 4 straight games, they still remain a game out of a Wild Card spot and we still have a week before August 1st and the MLB Trade Deadline.
National League Wild Card Standings
Obviously, this trend can’t continue and while everyone else is losing baseball games, it’s better to win. Everyone knows and agrees on that point but that certainly doesn’t mean all is lost.
Returning from the All-Star Break, the Phillies have 43 of their final 73 games at home, including a stretch of games in August where they will play 19 of 24 at Citizens Bank Park.
You have the MLB Trade Deadline coming on August 1st and all things considered, the Phillies will be buyers, looking to add a power-hitting right handed bat and some pitching help before rolling into the month August.
Phillies Toughest Opponents vs Weakest Opponents in Second Half
|Toughest Opponents||Weakest Opponents|
|Atlanta Braves (7 games)||Kansas City Royals (3 games)|
|Baltimore Orioles (3 games)||Washington Nationals (7 games)|
|Miami Marlins (7 games)||St. Louis Cardinals (6 games)|
|Toronto Blue Jays (2 games)||Pittsburgh Pirates (6 games)|
|San Francisco Giants (3 games)||New York Mets (7 games)|
|Milwaukee Brewers (3 games)||San Diego Padres (3 games)|
The Phillies didn’t hit the “10 Games Over .500” mark until August 1st last season and managed to sneak into the postseason at the very last chance possible in the regular season in the end of September.
This season is far from over.
Aaron Nola (9-6, 4.27 ERA) is on the mound for the Phillies today at 1:40PM facing Xzavion Curry (3-0, 2.86 ERA). From there, the Phillies will head home to face the hottest team in Major League Baseball in the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park.
Win today. Avoid the sweep. Come home cleansed and ready to face the Orioles. That should give fans a peace of mind as we inch closer to the MLB Trade Deadline and the month of August.