There are several different Phillies teams. There’s the team we saw in the first week of the season. There’s the team we saw in the rest of April and May. There’s the team we saw in June, the first month they won less than half their games. The team we saw in July was different from all of those. And there’s the team we saw in August, another below .500 month.
This September team doesn’t seem like it’s going to be much of an improvement on things.
The Phillies lost 8-1 today, another offense-weak loss in a string of them. What made it even worse is that Aaron Nola, who has been called upon to save the Phillies countless times this season and has done it with aplomb, couldn’t do it today. He’s been literally the only reliable player the Phillies have, and today wasn’t his day. Well, let me clarify. He’s the only reliably good player the Phillies have. There are other reliable players on the Phillies, but they’re, uh, reliably bad.
Today, Nola was Nola, but he also wasn’t Nola. In 5.2 innings, he gave up five hits and four runs, all but one from solo home runs. But then he walked just two and struck out 11. It was a weird day. Maybe a different Phillies team could have found a way to lift him up, but not this one.
The Cubs weren’t done at four runs, though. And the Phillies bullpen wasn’t done either. Luis Garcia came in to pitch the eighth, and in just a third of an inning he did what it took Nola nearly six innings to do. He gave up four runs on three hits and doubled the Cubs score. It was not pretty.
There was plenty of traffic on the bases today. They got eight hits off Jon Lester, and had 10 total on the day. They just couldn’t get any of them to score. The Phillies did manage to score one run, but it was the most meaningless run possible. In the ninth, Scott Kingery hit a one-out single. Then Jorge Alfaro hit a two-out double which allowed Kingery to score. With two outs in the ninth inning and a seven-run deficit, the run was useless. There was no comeback on the horizon. The run was just a reminder that there was no way the Phillies could make up what they had spent 26 outs losing.
After a loss like this, I don’t really want to go into detail and do a blow-by-blow postmortem. The game was dumb and frustrating and now it’s over. Thank the Lord. There’s another one tomorrow, and hopefully a different Phillies team will show up.