When Will the Phillies lose?


The Philadelphia Phillies have been on a tear in the playoffs as of late. They barley snuck into the tournament, edging out the Milwaukee Brewers for the third wild card spot in the NL. The team finished with a eighty-seven win record, and were running out of steam heading into the postseason. No one (except the Philly Faithful) expected them to even sniff the NLCS.  Well the Phillies have had a fun resurrection in the playoffs while playing behind their star players and big sluggers.

In the wild card round, they cruised to a two game series sweep over the stout St. Louis Cardinals. They shut down both of St. Louis’ star players, with Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt  hitting a combined 0.66 in the series.  Much of Goldschmidt’s and Arenado’s struggles can be attributed to the pitching of both Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola. They were both excellent, going deep into their respective starts and giving the offense some much needed slack. In the first game of the series, the Phillies snatched a win from the mouth of defeat. They were down 2-0 heading into the top of the ninth, when all of the sudden the dormant offense woke up. RBI’s from Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh pushed the Phillies to a come from behind win. In the second game, the offense did just enough to secure the win. A solo homer from reining MVP Bryce Harper, and a sac fly from NL homerun leader, Kyle Schwarber powered the Phillies to a 2-0 win behind a stellar pitching performance from Aaron Nola. It was off to the NLDS.

The Phillies had a daunting task ahead of them. They had to face the 101 win Atlanta Braves, in their home stadium. The Braves were coming off a first round bye and were locked and loaded for their series against Philadelphia, or well they thought. The Phillies took one out of two in Atlanta, and were eager to fly home and play in front of 45,000 Philadelphia faithful. The two games in Atlanta were fun to watch, but overall the Phillies had to turn it up at home if they wanted to take the series. Well, that’s exactly what they did. They scored nine runs in their first home game of the series and eight runs in the following game. They had beaten the youthful and star studded Braves.

At the time of this piece, the Phillies are coming home from a road split against San Diego in the NLDS. The first game of the series illustrated a masterful pitching performance from Zach Wheeler, going seven scoreless innings. In the second game, the story was completely different. Aaron Nola gave up six runs in four and a two third innings pitched.  Then came the bullpen woes. Lefty Brad Hand, who had been a reliable piece for the Phils this year, came in and allowed three inherited runners to score. This erased a four run Philadelphia lead, which proved to be the final nail in the coffin for game two. The Phils fly back to their home turf on a sour note, but a split was probably the most realistic option in San Diego.

The Phil’s look to keep the Bats going tonight (Friday October 21), behind a good performance from Venezuelan born lefty Ranger Suarez. Some slumping Phillies, such as Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm HAVE to step up in this four game stretch or the Phils could be sent packing.