3 Struggling Phillies who need to prove themselves by season’s end

Sep 12, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) reacts after allowing a three run home run against the Colorado Rockies during the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) reacts after allowing a three run home run against the Colorado Rockies during the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Hector Neris needs to stay strong for the Phillies to the end of the season

I know he’s been lights-out lately, just keep reading.

Hector Neris has had one of the most turbulent seasons I’ve ever seen. He reached 500 career strikeouts and blew his seventh save of the season in the same week – tying a franchise record, by the way – which is quintessential Phillies behavior.

Neris has a 3.45 ERA over 65 appearances this season, but that hardly tells the story of his season. Take a look at his ERA each month:

April: 1.54 (13 games)
May: 2.38 (11 games)
June: 8.22 (9 games)
July: 6.94 (11 games)
August: 0.61 (15 games)
September: 3.18 (6 games)

Talk about a roller coaster.

The Phillies have also led MLB in blown saves for almost the entire MLB season, and Neris is a significant portion of their now-30 blown saves.

32-year-old Neris has been with the Phillies for his entire eight-year career, but is only signed through the end of this year. If he can find his form for the last two-plus weeks of the season, there is a chance they’ll bring him back in 2022. If he regresses to his midsummer form, he’ll be joining several other Phillies pitchers in the shark-infested waters of free agency.

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