It was not the series that anybody in the Philadelphia Phillies organization wanted to see, and it could not have come at a worse time.
For the Phillies, the trade deadline came and went without a peep heard from the Philadelphia clubhouse. Sure, GM Ruben Amaro claimed to be manning the phones, listening to offers, making offers and doing the general job of the general manager, but by the time the clock struck 4 p.m., Michael Young, Cliff Lee, Carlos Ruiz and every other member of the current 25-man roster were still with the team.
It shot question marks through the media as people wondered why Amaro and the Phillies stayed pat at the deadline. But those questions, still vastly unanswered, disappeared a bit as the Atlanta Braves arrived to Citizen’s Bank Park for a do-or-die series for the Phillies.
Before the Braves series began, the Phillies were already in serious trouble and in the middle of a horrible downward spiral. But even with how badly the team had been playing, there was still hope hanging by a thread that if the Phillies swept the Braves, there was still the slimmest of possibilities that this team could make a run at the playoffs.
Well, if people were holding on to this hope, it has now been completely wiped away as the Braves swept the Phillies for their 13th loss in the last 14 games. It was Atlanta’s 10th consecutive win. While the loss was devastating, it left one to wonder what exactly the Phillies are playing for at this point.
The team has dropped below the New York Mets for fourth place in the NL East, and are dangerously approaching the cellar. However, with the way the team has been playing, the comments to the media and the nonchalant attitude on the field, fans have to wonder if this team really cares about finishing in last place.
It begs the ultimate question: are the Phillies even still playing for pride?
There are still games left to be played and a .500 record possibly to be chased. Only time will tell if this team is still playing with heart, or if it has already been dumped in the cellar, waiting for the team’s record to join it.
Marilee Gallagher is a baseball writer for RantSports.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MGallagher17 like her page on Facebook, or join her network on Google.