Before the season, I expected the Philadelphia Phillies to be putting the final touches on a sixth straight NL East division title by the time late September rolled around.
In reality, the Phillies were finishing off another series loss – this one to the Washington Nationals – with Tyler Cloyd on the mound and what seemed to be half the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs team making appearances.
The lineup consisted of Kevin Frandsen, John Mayberry, Jr., Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, and Erik Kratz, with Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman, and Jeremy Horst making appearances out of the bullpen.
The Phillies lost this one, 7-3, falling to 78-78 on the season. For those that want to calculate the Phillies’ playoff chances, here you go:
They’re six back with six games to go. So one St. Louis Cardinals win or one Phillies loss means the Phillies are done. Considering the Phillies have played at or below the .500 mark all season, I don’t think they’re even going to win four or five games.
Nationals phenom Bryce Harper torched the Phillies in this series, putting the final touches on what was year one of 15 in which he will dominate the Phillies (unless the New York Yankees get to him in free agency). In the three-game series, Harper went 6-for-13 (.462) with three runs scored, six RBIs, a triple, and two home runs. And the Phillies got to see former Phillie Gio Gonzalez win his 21st game in 2012, all but cementing himself at least the winner or runner-up in the NL Cy Young race.
The Phillies have fallen to 40-41 in front of their home crowd after winning 66 percent of their home contests last year. In fact, the last time the Phillies have ended with a home winning percentage under .500 was 2000, the year the Phillies finished tied for the worst overall winning percentage in major league baseball.
I’ll address in a future article whether I think the Phillies have what it takes to bounce back and contend again in 2013 but for now, 2012 will go down in history as a season to forget.