Phillies Lose To Marlins, Lose Series, But This Is Good

Last night, after the Phillies lost to the Marlins 3-2 in Miami, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki tweeted this…

 

Gosh, he said that like it’s a bad thing!

In truth, the Phils’ recent struggles are very good for both their near-term and long-term future. By losing two of three to the Marlins this week, the Phils “improved” their standing among The Bottom 10, increasing their odds of landing that coveted protected first round pick for the 2014 MLB Draft.

Team W L PCT GA
8 Colorado 72 87 .453
9 Philadelphia 72 86 .456
10 Toronto 72 86 .456
11 San Francisco 73 85 .462 1
12 NY Mets 73 85 .462 1
13 San Diego 74 84 .468 2

As you can see, the Phils now hold the #10 spot all by themselves, one game clear of the Giants and Mets and two games ahead of the Padres.

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

And now, the Phillies head to Atlanta for a four-game series against the integrity kings of baseball, Brian McCann and the Braves, as that team tries to secure home field advantage for the playoffs. Needless to say, the Braves will be trying. And that’s good news for the Phils.

Just don’t flip your bats, guys. Or else Brian McCann and his pals will pistol whip you.

The only sad thing about last night’s loss is that it was another great performance from Cole Hamels that got wasted. That’s happened a lot this year. Hamels pitched 220 innings this season, the fifth time in six that he’s gone over 200 IP. He also went over 200 strikeouts for the third time in four years and, despite an 8-14 record, posted a 3.60 ERA on the season.

Certainly, Hamels had his struggles early in the year. And while this certainly couldn’t be considered a “bad” season for Hamels, he did get off to a legitimately rocky start as he struggled with his control.

Through the first two months of the season, Hamels posted an ERA of 4.86 and allowed opponents to post an OPS of .781 against him. He gave up 10 HRs in 74 innings, struck out 66 and walked 25, a high number for him.

However, once the calendar hit June, he became the dominant ace he’s always been, posting a 2.96 ERA in 140 IP, giving up an OPS of just .655 with 130 strikeouts and 23 walks. It’s important to note that his BAbip was virtually identical in both those stretches (.302 in April/May, .300 June-September).

In 66 more innings over the last four months, Hamels gave up just two fewer walks than he did the first two months. That was the difference.

Last night, he gave up just two runs in six innings with six strikeouts and two walks, but failed to notch his 100th career win. All in all, though, it was another quality start in another quality season from Hamels, one in which he didn’t let the frustrations of the first two months of the season overwhelm his final four.

“Just being accountable, knowing I’m going out there and giving it everything I have. You want to pitch deep in every ballgame, from the very first game of the season to the end, but you know it can be quite complicated, the ups and downs, and you have to know how to balance it.

“I did everything I could have. That’s ultimately the learning lesson of staying within yourself and trying to keep a good constant rhythm, and don’t get carried away with the things that you can’t affect.”

Our little boy is all grown up.

Offensively, this team will need a lot of work before next season rolls around. Yes, they’re counting on a healthy Ryan Howard (which is something no one should ever do) and Ben Revere to help, but it’s clear they’re going to need a corner outfielder to give the lineup some more punch or production.

 

Yeah, definitely going to need a little more power.

Still, while last night’s weak offensive showing may have been bad for Hamels, it was a good thing for the Phils.

I hate to say it, but this team needs to lose these last four baseball games. Getting that protected draft pick opens a world of opportunities for the Phils this off-season that will enable them to field a better team in 2014, and continue to bolster the farm system.

So yeah, let’s keep running out Kevin Frandsen at first.

Topics: Philadelphia Phillies

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