Despite an ugly World Series Game 4, the Phillies shouldn’t be counted out yet.
The performance of the Philadelphia Phillies during Games 3 and 4 of the World Series can be described as polar opposites. A promising 7-0 win at Citizens Bank Park was followed by Rob Thomson’s squad becoming just the second team in MLB history to be no-hit in a World Series game. That was, of course, the first since Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1956. The only other no-hitter in postseason history was thrown in 2010 by none other than Roy Halladay.
It was deflating to see the Phillies get dominated on their home field. The reality, though, is that this loss counts the same as a low-scoring nail-biter would have. With the series tied at two apiece, Philadelphia is now playing a hypothetical best-of-three series.
The offense is far too inconsistent for anyone to predict how they will do the rest of the way. They can dig themselves into the deepest holes, yet somehow get out of them at times. Phillies fans must be on their toes every time they play. Despite all of the flaws the team often has, they have outscored opponents 72 to 47 in this postseason.
Pitching has not been a strength thus far, besides Ranger Suarez’s strong Game 3 performance. The bullpen has struggled and starting pitching has been iffy. Aaron Nola’s terrific start to the postseason has been derailed by three consecutive unsatisfactory starts. Zack Wheeler is battling an injury and struggled greatly in Game 2. And other starting pitching options — such as Noah Syndergaard — simply are not good enough to match the Astros rotation.
No matter what happens in the next two or three games, it is apparent that the Phillies’ offense will have to win them this series. Players like Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Kyle Schwarber have to come up with some big hits to ignite the fire.
Although it would’ve been ideal for the Phillies to finish the series in South Philadelphia on Thursday, the Astros are still a tremendously talented team that is hard to beat. A red-hot team coming into the Fall Classic, the Phillies have flickered their light switch quite a few times in these four games. They need to keep it permanently on for the next three games. Flashes of the team that came back from a 5-0 deficit in Game 1 are what they need to exhibit — a team with immense heart, passion, and fight.