Apparently the Phillies bats have decided they can’t win without Bryce Harper, so they aren’t even going to try.
Since Harper received his platelet-rich plasma injection on Sunday, the Phillies have lost 4 of 5. They have scored just eight runs across those five games. They are hitting just .202.
Tonight’s loss was not quite as pathetic as the two times the Phillies were shut out by the Padres, since the Phillies were facing Julio Urías and the excellent Dodgers bullpen, and because they did manage to score one run. That being said, it was still very, very frustrating.
The top three hitters in the lineup (Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, and Nick Castellanos) went 0-for-11. The bottom of the lineup performed much better, with 7 hits in 23 at-bats — including three doubles — but it wasn’t enough to make up for the top three batters coming up short.
On a positive note, it seems like Kyle Schwarber is heating up again, which is a very welcome sign. After struggling mightily for several games, he started to pick things up in the final two games of the Padres series. Tonight, he hit two excellent doubles, one of which led to the Phillies only run in the ninth inning.
On the pitching side of things, Ranger Suárez struggled, but the bullpen really picked him up, throwing six scoreless innings in relief. Nick Nelson and James Norwood threw two innings apiece, getting the job done against the toughest lineup in baseball.
Suárez did not look good, throwing 84 pitches in just 3 innings, but after he pitched so well in L.A. last week, I’m not ready to get worried about him quite yet. Yes, he struggled, but he didn’t let the game get out of hand, and he managed to strike out Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Chris Taylor. Five strikeouts in three innings is good stuff, especially against hitters of that caliber.
That being said, he’ll have to pitch better than this going forward. The Phillies bullpen isn’t going to be capable of delivering six scoreless innings on a regular basis.
The Phillies have been hard to watch this week. There’s really not much more to say than that. But as bad as they get, we’re all going to keep tuning in, so all we can do is hope that Bryce Harper returns to the lineup tomorrow and Aaron Nola continues to pitch as well as he has. Fingers crossed.