The Philadelphia Phillies entered Thursday just three games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League wild card race, and set to square off with the MLB-worst Houston Astros in a four-game series.
The Phillies couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to gain even more ground in the standings. And then they lost the first game, and although they did win Friday night, they lost again today. The Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers are playing their game right now, and if the Cardinals lose that, the Phillies are still only three back.
But they could have been breathing down the Cardinals’ necks, and they’ve squandered games at the hands of one of the worst teams in recent years.
The Phillies have been done in by poor pitching – first by a horrific bullpen on Thursday night that managed to blow a 4-0 lead. The job was collectively done by Phillippe Aumont and Jake Diekman, although Tyler Cloyd didn’t help the team with a three-inning, three-run outing.
The second game was much better, as the Phillies exploded for 12 runs – although the bullpen did give up another two runs – one by Justin De Fratus and one by Jeremy Horst. And in tonight’s humiliating 5-0 loss that saw the fans start chanting E-A-G-L-E-S midway through, Kyle Kendrick was awful as a starter (seven hits and four earned runs allowed in five innings pitched) and then Josh Lindblom gave up another run and three hits in relief.
The Phillies went just 2-for-9 and 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in their two losses, and that puts the Phillies at 3.5 games back and really needing some help around the league if they still want to make the postseason.