Let’s talk about this game and what it means in the grand scheme of things.
First, we’ll recap: the Phillies sucked tonight. Their starting pitcher showed why they need to upgrade the rotation, their bullpen showed why they need to add some quality relievers and not continue to run out the quadruple-A dreck that is bottom feeding on the end of the 40-man roster. The offense could barely muster a pulse until the game was well out of reach, punctuated by a bases loaded, nobody out situation in which they scored exactly zero (0) runs. It was a miserable night that gave people the perfect excuse to go out and enjoy the warm night in the city doing quite literally anything else but watch this game.
Now, how does it affect their plans at the deadline? In short - it shouldn’t do anything to affect it.
I can already feel the people cracking their knuckles to get ready to offer up their dissent, but the Phillies were buyers coming into this game, they were buyers during this game and they absolutely should be buyers after this game. Nothing about tonight should move the needle toward “sell” mode.
Up north, the Mets had a winnable game against Toronto. Even if they win (they are losing as of this writing), they would only be five games ahead of the Phillies. They have shown no real reason to believe they are going to run away from the rest of the division and in fact are dealing several injuries that they may not have the depth to cover. The holes that were exposed tonight in the rotation and bullpen were holes that we already knew about and were hoping would be covered by deals at the deadline. Why would a blowout change that? Would it have been better to lose in the top of the ninth on a blown save? Would that make people feel more of reason to improve the bullpen?
Instead, this game should only underscore the need for this team to improve via deals at the trade deadline. Maybe they aren’t going to be swing a deal for the lockdown closer from Chicago, maybe they’ll only be able to get a few middle relievers. Is that the worst thing in the world? Would you rather they trade for someone like, say, Richard Bleier from Miami, or would you rather they keep running out Cristopher Sanchez and Enyel de los Santos? I know which action I would prefer that they do.
So yes, this game was terrible. Vince Velasquez should probably be the one supplanted by a trade acquisition. His time in the rotation, as should his time on the team after the season, should be at an end. There is no real reason that someone like de los Santos should be on the roster. They need to add and add soon. Otherwise, whatever hope is still flickering around their playoff hopes will be extinguished by their own inability to improve the team.