The offense was shut down by a Dodgers team that is really good at home, but that’s not the worst part of the day.
Spencer Howard got hurt.
You can look at the box score and pretty much guess how the night went. Howard went down in third inning, having only given up a run, but let’s step out of the simulation and talk about real life for a second.
<record scratch noise>
What would happen if the team did have something like this?
Early in the simulation, Zack Wheeler went down with a season ending injury. Not a great thing at all, but at least there is Howard to step in the rotation in case such a thing happens. In real life, there is also that possibility, Howard being comfortably ready to step into the rotation at the first sign of injury/ineffectiveness.
But if he gets injured, this puts the team into a bind. There isn’t any close to his pedigree on the farm that could step in and make the theoretical impact that he can make. This is due to a farm system that hasn’t been able to produce to young, talented, inexpensive arms that teams like the Dodgers and Braves (to an extent) are able to produce to establish winning. This is probably the biggest failure of the Klentak era - the weak farm. It’s ticked up a bit at times, but it’s never gotten to the point where young talent can replenish the roster at will. Is that a drafting problem? Is it a player development problem? Whatever the answer is, THAT is probably the thing that could, someday, cost the general manager his job.
Back to the sim.
The Phillies have now dropped 5 out of their last 6. They’re still in first by a few games thanks to a lackluster division. Cole Irvin has been recalled from Lehigh Valley to take Howard’s spot in the rotation.