Phillies learn valuable lessons from a tough series in L.A.
This Team Isn’t Clutch
The Phillies have allowed four walk-offs already this season, but haven’t had any walk-off wins of their own. The offense has had some clutch moments, and the bullpen has had its clutch moments, but they can’t seem to put them together in the same game.
Saturday night was a great example as Bryce Harper hit a game-tying homer in the eighth (clutch), but Hector Neris gave up a walk-off homer in the ninth (not clutch). A team needs to be clutch to win the playoffs (think of Boston’s obscene two-out numbers last postseason) and right now, this team isn’t that.
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The Phillies offense is high-powered but hasn’t lived up to its potential thus far, ranking 15th in the majors in runs scored and 23rd in homers. This weekend, they were shut down by an admittedly good Dodgers pitching staff. They managed a total of six runs this weekend, but the Dodgers eclipsed that total in one inning on Sunday.
The offense has had their share of clutch situational issues as well.
I already mentioned they don’t have any walk-offs, and in extra innings, they’re slashing a puny .204/.291/.408 with four runs scored in 11 total innings.
The bullpen, while mostly solid, has had a concerning number of unclutch moments itself. They’ve given up a lead or tie in the eighth inning or later nine times, and have only converted 76 percent of their save opportunities. Some of the blame here falls on Kapler again, as Neris is 10 of 10 in save opportunities, while the rest of the team is six of 11.