Back to normal: The Philadelphia Phillies resumed their losing ways in their weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds
By Mike Lacy
Roberto Hernandez. Image Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
I hate being right.
After Friday night’s 8-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds, I was worried that it was a “get it all out of their system” win. A “get it all out of their system” win is when a team is slumping, but plays one game in which they manage to look like a good baseball team. Often time, they’ll win that game by a rather lopsided score. The problem with these types of wins is that they often go back to their slumping ways the very next day.
Sure enough, after Friday’s brief respite, they lost two straight games to the Reds.
This past week, the Phillies lost five out of six games against the Nationals and Reds. Keep in mind these were two teams that were struggling immensely heading into their series against the Phillies. Apparently, facing the Phils is a great way to cure what ails a team.
The weekend games summed up what’s wrong with the Phillies: They simply find a way to lose.
On Saturday, they got a poor start by Roberto Hernandez. This is understandable because while Hernandez has probably exceeded expectations this season, he is not an especially good starting pitcher. He’s a fifth starter type who unfortunately has been pushed into the fourth spot due to injury.
John Mayberry Jr. Image Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Phillies actually provided him with some run support, scoring five runs. However, in true 2014 Phillies fashion, they squandered several good potential scoring opportunities. First, John Mayberry, Jr. – a player who has actually thrived in a bench role this season – couldn’t come through in a key pinch-hitting opportunity. Later, the Phillies had two runners thrown out at home plate. The Phillies lost the game by one run, so I’ll let you do the math.
On Sunday, David Buchanan – who was about ninth on the team’s depth chart heading into the spring – gave up four runs in six innings. That isn’t awful, and a good team might find a way to overcome that. However, the Phillies are not a good team and they had another afternoon of limited offense. The one run they scored was pretty much manufactured by Ben Revere.
I still believe the Phillies are a better team than what they’ve shown thus far. I still believe their talent level falls somewhere around the “mediocre” level rather than the “worst team in the National League” area where they find themselves now. But more and more, this is looking like a team that simply doesn’t know how to win games.
The good news is that the Phillies are off on Monday, giving the fans at least one day in which they don’t have to endure another Phillies loss.