The Phillies maintain a multi-game Wild Card lead entering Wednesday.
Interim Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson’s squad can surely determine their own destiny for a postseason spot — but other teams are sparing them some time to get back on their feet amid a treacherous, five-game skid.
The Toronto Blue Jays came to Citizens Bank Park and put on an offensive clinic in Tuesday’s series opener. An embarrassing display of Phillies pitching allowed 18 Blue Jays to touch home plate. In the end, the Phillies put up lots of runs too, but fell 18-11.
J.T. Realmuto strung together a miraculous 5-for-5 stat line, which included two doubles and a solo home run. Kyle Schwarber’s three-run shot extended his home run count to 40. According to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Schwarber is the 14th player in Phillies history with 40 homers and the first since Ryan Howard hit 45 in 2009.
The bats were clearly not an issue in the blowout loss. There is not much more an offense can do after spotting 11 runs.
Toronto’s rout included 12 hits off of starter Kyle Gibson. In fact, every pitcher that appeared in the game allowed some form of a run to score — except catcher Garrett Stubbs who came in the ninth inning:
This lackluster performance was anything but ideal for the Phillies, who only play five more games at Citizens Bank Park in the regular season. The Milwaukee Brewers, though, had an even more heart shattering loss.
The only competitor that could prolong the Phillies postseason drought another year, the Brewers had a commanding, 4-0 lead over the New York Mets. Star shortstop Francisco Lindor hit a timely grand slam in the seventh, giving them a 7-4 lead. Closer Edwin Díaz struck out three to close out the game.
Entering Wednesday, the Phillies are still far more likely to reach the playoffs than the Brewers. Despite their current collapse, there is optimism the club can improve before October and leave their worst baseball behind them. A few wins would be a pleasant sight for fans.
As long as the Brewers continue to struggle, they will not overtake the Fighting Phils.