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Recap: A season on the brink

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Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Phillies wanted this doubleheader.

They needed this doubleheader.


They didn’t get this doubleheader.

Game one: Nationals 5, Phillies 1

When your game begins like this:

you know the game is doomed from the start.

It’s not exactly fair to blame Mickey Moniak for the game. That ball, even though it was hit hard, has to absolutely be caught. And of course, as this wonky game is wont to do, that error that put Juan Soto on second, would come around to score later, making it 1-0 against Aaron Nola.

In the third, the Phillies loaded the bases with two out against Mr. 7+ ERA Austin Voth, but they could not push a run across, sending all of the momentum to Washington, which they pounced on immediately. In the bottom of the frame, back-to-back double by Andrew Stevenson and Trea Turner gave the Nationals another run to open things up. Soto was wisely intentionally walked, which was followed by a double stea, Turner to third, Soto to second. Asdrubel Cabrera grounded out to Nola, who flipped home and got Turner for a huge out, but left runners on the corners. Brock Holt would step up, hit one into the corner, which turned into this.


Luis Garcia singled home Holt to make it 5-0, the Phillies got a meaningless run in the fourth on a Jean Segura home run,

but this game was put out of its misery by a surprisingly stingy Voth. He’s no more than a mediocre starter at best, but on this day, he stymied the offense with some stuff that they just couldn’t hit. That pushed the team to the bring of season collapse, but a second game was in the offing.

Game two: Nationals 8, Phillies 7

Look, I’m trying to come up with words. I truly am.

The Phillies made a game of it.

Came all the way back and tied it up thanks to a hustling, possibly costly, single by J.T. Realmuto that tied it at six in the sixth inning. In the seventh, they took the lead, 7-6.

Had bases loaded with one out, couldn’t push another across, but still had the lead.

But let’s be real, folks. There’s no more beating around the bush.

Brandon Workman has been bad at pitching since arriving in Philadelphia. His 2019 season was a fluke that got a team to bite when it came to trading for him. Unfortunately for Phillies fans, that team was the Phillies. Since he has arrived in Philadelphia, Workman hasn’t been good, he hasn’t been bad, he hasn’t been terrible.

He has been an absolute trainwreck of a pitcher that has likely cost the team the playoffs.

  • August 22: came into a game in the 8th ahead 4-3 with runners on the corners, one out. Allowed two runs to score, then after his team tied it in the ninth, he allowed the winning run to score.
  • September 10: came into the 8th inning, bases loaded, two out, team ahead 6-3. Promptly allows a game tying double. In the ninth, allows Marlins to win the game by allowing a single, stolen base, then game winning single
  • September 17: enters tie game in top of 9th inning. Allows a leadoff home run, single, strikeout, triple, home run. Mets score another off of Garrett Cleavinger, but damage is already done.

If Workman were not on this team, they would be sitting comfortably in a playoff spot, needing only to win another game or two to clinch it instead of having to hope and pray other teams lose as well. His poor performance since arriving in Philadelphia has been the leading the reason the team is in the position they are in today, a team on the brink of missing the playoffs.

Has there been bad luck? Absolutely. Has this team had to battle injuries at the absolute worst possible time? Of course. Have they been dealt a bad hand schedule wise, having to play the amount games in the amount of time they have, ultimately looking like a team that is simply worn down, running on fumes? Yes, yes, YES!

But they are a resilient team that has continually come back, almost game after game, finding ways to scratch, claw, play through muscle pain, aches and bruises, only to continually be let down by the same batch of mediocre pitching at the back end of the bullpen seemingly night after night after night. It speaks volumes of leadership in the clubhouse that the team has gotten back up off the mat as many times as they have to actually still be thought of as a team that could possibly make it to postseason.

Yet it always seems that the relievers let them down again and again and again. Tonight was a microcosm of it all, Workman the main culprit as it seems he usually is. If the team truly is to scrap together enough wins and get just that little bit of help to actual continue playing next week, they would be wise to not let Workman see the mound again.