Thanks to their current six game losing streak, the Phillies are now 20-40 over their last 60 games. That's a terrible .333 winning percentage.
Over the course of this stretch, you may have flippantly said to yourself, "I can't remember the Phillies playing this bad." Well, if you're under 25, you probably can't. And even if you're over 25 and have a great memory for Phillies' lost seasons, you probably don't want to. Though maybe there's some good to draw from this....
The last time the Phillies had this terrible a record over 60 games was at the end of 2000. That year, the Phillies finished in 5th place, 30 games behind the Atlanta Braves. The Phils' 65-97 record gave them a .401 winning percentage for the year.
The roster wasn't all bad. Bobby Abreu (6.2 bWAR, 143 OPS+) and Scott Rolen (4.5 bWAR, 129 OPS+) paced the offense, which also consisted of Mike Lieberthal, Pat Burrell, Mickey Morandini, Desi Relaford, Ron Gant, Doug Glanville, with Jimmy Rollins making his major league debut in a mid-September call-up. Robert Person (3.8 bWAR, 129 ERA+) and Randy Wolf (3.2 bWAR, 108 ERA+) led the starting pitching staff, which also had Curt Schilling, Andy Ashby, Bruce Chen, and Paul Byrd as members. Jeff Brantley saved 23 games as the closer, with Wayne Gomes as his main set-up man.
Through the team's first 91 games, they were bad, but not horrific. They were 42-49 which is a .462 winning percentage. Again, that's not good and doesn't put them in contention for anything, but it's also not terrible.
But then a series of deals left the team with several holes. On July 12, Andy Ashby was traded to the Braves. On July 26, Rob Ducey went to the Blue Jays. That same day, Curt Schilling was traded to the Diamondbacks. On July 29, Ron Gant went to the Angels. On August 4 and 5, the middle infield combo of Mickey Morandini and Desi Relaford were sent to the Blue Jays and Padres, respectively. The only significant players the Phillies received in return were Bruce Chen (for Ashby) and the doomed quartet of Travis Lee, Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, and Vicente Padilla (for Schilling).
With some of the team's top players gone, the bottom fell out. Over the course of the remaining 71 games, the Phils won just 23 games, for a truly terrible .324 winning percentage. Within those 71 games, the Phillies had several 60 game stretches of just 20 wins.
Between that stretch and the current one, the Phillies' worst showing has been 22 wins over 60 games. They have done that twice - in the sixty games leading up to July 25, 2006, and the sixth games leading up to August 17, 2013.
The hope here is that this stretch in 2015 is the nadir, just like 2000 was for the Phillies. 2000 was the Phillies worst record since 1972 (.378 winning percentage). After that year, the Phillies had an uphill trajectory that resulted in the World Series of 2008. It wasn't an uninterrupted path up from 2000 to the glory of 2008, but it was close.
That year also was a major year for all-time great Phillies. 2000 was Pat Burrell's rookie year, saw the late-season major league debut of Jimmy Rollins, and was the year Chase Utley was drafted. Though the record on the field was horrible, looking back, the franchise had a pretty good year that year.
Only time will tell if we can say the same about 2015. But, it wouldn't be a stretch to think that we will one day look back favorably on this year as Maikel Franco's rookie year, Aaron Nola's and maybe even J.P. Crawford's late-season major league debut, and the year the team drafted Cornelius Randolph.
Rock bottom is not fun while you're there, but if we are going to stay sane this year, we have to always be thinking of the view looking up. Remembering the depths of 2000 helps.