The Braves and Mets are still in front of the Phillies, and neither team looks like they are going away. They both have strong starting rotations; rotations that have given the Phillies problems this season.
In order for the Phillies to pass both teams, the offense needs to play like they did against the Blue Jays and Indians. They need to be patient, work the pitch count, and get runners on base. On Monday against the Reds, they fell back into the old bad habits of last month.
It was only a matter of time before the Reds got to starter Kyle Kendrick, and having fallen back into bad offensive habits, once the Phillies fell behind, there wasn‚Äôt much hope they would be able to recover.
Another problem has been the constant flow of injuries. The Phillies haven‚Äôt had the original opening day roster and line up since 2 weeks into the season.¬† Jimmy Rollins‚Äô calf injury has already been a lingering problem causing him to miss 2 long stretches of time, and it‚Äôs an injury that could easily recur.
Placido Polanco‚Äôs elbow has also been a lingering issue since he was hit by a pitch in early May. Polanco has also missed stretches of time due to the injury, and has needed several cortisone injections to try and quiet the injury. There is now talk that he may require surgery in the offseason to get it fixed.
Now Chase Utley has just injured his thumb as well. How many more setbacks can this lineup endure?
The offense as a whole just hasn‚Äôt been consistent enough throughout the season. And when the offense struggles, it only magnifies the other major issue on this team which is a lack of pitching depth. The Phillies don‚Äôt have the depth in the rotation or the bullpen to win many tight games. Pitchers like Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer, and Joe Blanton need a decent amount of run support in order to have success.
The Phillies will struggle to win games against the better teams in the league unless their offense finds that consistency it‚Äôs been missing all season, and gets healthy.