• May 24, 2022

Phils In Trouble, But Far From Finished

The month of June hasn’t been kind to the Phillies. After fighting to go 27-25 in the first two months, and stay within three games of first place in the National League East, the Phillies are now a putrid 4-12 since the calender has flipped to the third month of the baseball season. They’ve fallen all the way to nine games back in the division. The pitching staff is in shambles. The offense is inconsistent at best. The team as a whole has played an ugly, uninspired brand of baseball during the last three weeks.

And yet, its still too early to write this team off just yet.

The Phillies are still very much in play for the playoffs. While nine games may seem like too large of a hole to climb out from (especially with the roster’s current makeup), don’t forget that the Phillies were seven games out of first place on July 23rd of 2010, and were able to swoop down to claim their fourth straight division crown in the final two months of the season.

Next, ask yourself the following question. Are the other four teams in the division that much better than the last-place Phillies?

The Miami Marlins have won just two more games than the Phillies all year long, and have been completely healthy. They have a world of talent, but they haven’t meshed well as a team yet.

The Mets and Braves both have 35 wins, and both teams have limited ceilings. No one expected the Mets to be as competitive as they’ve been this season, and no one expects them to sustain even their current level of play. Atlanta is the same team they’ve been in recent years; a good team with a deep pitching staff, but they lack offensive firepower.

That leaves the Washington Nationals, the current division leader at 38-26. They’re clearly the most impressive team in the N.L. East, and have a world of young talent that has allowed them to blossom from bottom dwellers into contenders. However, “young” is the key word in that description. The Nats look great right now, but will they be able to keep up this pace over the grind of a 162 game schedule?

Not convinced that the Phillies can still make a run at the playoffs through the division? Then how about as a wild card?

Baseball’s controversial decision to add a second wild card this season could be the Phils’ ticket to Red October this year. The wild card field is wide open in the National League, and the gap between the Phillies and the logjam of teams in contention for those two spots isn’t large at all. The San Francisco Giants currently have the lead for the first spot at 37-30, and seven teams (Atlanta, New York, Miami, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia) could all be viewed as contenders for that final wild card.

Of course, these reasons for optimism are all irrelevant unless the Phillies can dramatically improve upon the product they’re currently putting out on the field. They can’t keep playing at such a miserable level while waiting for their injured stars to return. Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee need to pitch like aces, and guys like Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence need to step their games up to help keep the team within striking distance.

If the Phillies had just been able to play .500 ball in June like they had been doing all season, they’d be tied up with the wild card leaders, and only five games out of the division. Right now, they’ve caught a bit of a break with the entire division struggling over the last weekend. They can’t worry about their poor record, they’ve got to focus on what they can still accomplish in the long-term. If they can just keep things close, and at the very least not lose much more ground between now and the All-Star break, they’ll still be in position to make a run in the second half of the season, a time of year in which Charlie Manuel’s teams traditionally do their best work.

Ultimately, its going to come down to what kind of impact Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley can make on the team once they return from the disabled list. All three are major question marks because of their health concerns, but each one of them also has the ability to make a dramatic impact on the team that could push them into the top five records in the National League by the year’s end.

There’s still a chance for the 2012 Phillies, but they need to start playing like it.

 

Denny Basens

Read Previous

Former Flyers Lift The Cup

Read Next

Joe Banner Couldn’t Help But Reveal Battle With Reid

8 Comments

  • What the heck, are you exactly watching? THEY ARE DONE! This is the most non-talented, listless, undisciplined, stupid baseball team, that I’ve seen in 10-15 years. Not to mention, that they are an ancient M*A*S*H* unit, with ZERO incoming, young position prospects. If anyone is still counting on Halladay, Howard & Utley to be the saviors, are morons! They will be 15 games out, before they even sniff the field! Give me a break, with all these false hope articles. It’s insulting & nauseating. REBUILD TIME! PERIOD, END OF STORY!

  • I stated this Team was in Trouble when they were still down in Florida and everyone scoffed and said I was a hater and nuts and don’t know jack about baseball etc,etc.. and If I hear that this Phillie Team won 102 Games last year in 2011 (in a very poor NL East and which absolutely means zilch this year in 2012) .. Just like in every sport, each Season is unique into itself even when you have some of the same players..your competition is different, your schedule, injuries, players failing to perform, surprise players overperforming.. Coaches.. I still thought this Team would play better than they have and felt they would battle for a Wild-Card Spot with about 84-85 Wins.. Right now, I am not sure this Team can win over 80 Games and has become one of the bottom 1/3rd worst Teams in the NL
    This Season is toast and has been for a couple weeks now
    With a 31-37 Overall Record and in last place in the NL East and 10 Teams in the NL with Better Roecords than them, the Phils would have to go 54-40
    which is playing .575 winning ball over their remianing 94 games to finish with 85 Wins.. Possible, yes, anything is possible, likely, no, it is not likely at all with their Poor bullpen, Lack of Team Power and with Manager Manuel at the helm.. This Season was over before it started for I did not like the make-up of this team to begin with and thought they be slighty above average this Season but I did think they would be better than this…

  • The Team is in Denial, the local Media and many Fans still can’t believe how
    average this Team really is.. I hate to say I told you so, but when you look around other teams and competitors of the Phils, they have younger, hungrier talented Players and Coaches than the Phils do.. Teams like the Nats,Braves,Reds,Dodgers,Cardinals,SF Giants, and even teams like the Pirates,Astros,Mets are seem to be on the right track for future teams

    Phils,Brewers are NL Biggest Bust Teams of the Years while the Tigers and Red Sox are probably the AL Busts of the Year..

  • Paul, it gets tiring, beating a dead horse, but we seem to be the only 2, that have any common sense with this team. This team was doomed, from the pop of Howards achilles, & Amaro’s genius, just was the icing on the cake.

  • Being in company with Paul should tell you a thing or two about your assanine opinions.
    You’ve never made a real decision about a player in your life negative second guesser. You are 162 and 0 and then 16 and 0 etc
    Paul at least tries to be funny and say crap to be funny you are serious and agree with his lunacy

  • hac, first off get hooked on fonics. THIS IS HOW YOU SPELL **ASININE** In which defines your stupid @$$. Second WTF are you smoking? STFU & GTFO already! You are wrong, have been proven wrong & ain’t worth my time. Take your head out of your @$$ & come back to reality. Don’t get mad at me, because they stink, are finished, & you can’t face the truth.

  • Like I said you are frustrated by your failure so you yell at successful people. Are you happy day in and day out? So in your opinion the only good times in Philly were 80 and 83 and 74 and 75? In your eyes all our coaches stink, all our players stink…
    That’s because you were picked last on the sandlot… Either that or you were picked first but didn’t make it to the big time

  • Dude, WTF ARE YOU CLUELESSLY RAMBLING on about?!? You don’t know me, who I am, & what I do. LOL! I never said any of the $#!T you just said. You are an immature, bitter, sore loser. It’s getting quite comical now. Keep up your hysterics, I’m ROFL!

Comments are closed.