On Sunday, in the key rubber match between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Miami Marlins with significant playoff implications on the line, Phillies reliever Seranthony Domínguez was brought into the game in the eighth inning, hoping to help preserve the 3-3 tie. However, Domínguez would promptly give up the go-ahead two-run homer to outfielder Bryan De La Cruz, as the Phillies would wind up falling just short in a 5-4 loss to the Marlins. In doing so, the Marlins closed to within four and a half games of the Phillies as of Sunday, taking two of three in the weekend series.
The sub-par outing by Domínguez marked the second consecutive game in which he cost the Phillies the win, as he also blew the save last Friday to the Marlins. For someone who had been a key member of the Phillies’ bullpen last year, helping them reach all the way to the World Series, he has certainly been struggling mightily so far this year. For the 2023 season, Domínguez has pitched to a 4-4 record, with a bloated 4.25 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, giving up 20 earned runs including six home runs, 19 walks and 41 strikeouts in just 42.1 innings pitched. More importantly, he has only tallied 12 holds all season, while blowing seven saves, with opponents hitting at a .269 clip off of him at the same time.
With other members of the bullpen such as Jeff Hoffman, Matt Strahm, Craig Kimbrel and José Alvarado stepping it up for the Phillies this year, the usually reliable Domínguez has yet to find his game this season. As a result, it poses the question of whether or not he still deserves a spot on their postseason roster if they manage to make it in the end.
If Domínguez can somehow turn things around in these last three weeks of the season and show everyone once again that he can be trusted in high leverage situations, then of course he should be part of the postseason lineup. However, if he continues his inconsistency and wildness as seen throughout the season, along with costing the Phillies critical games down the stretch like what was witnessed this past weekend, his spot on the postseason roster could be in jeopardy.
The Phillies certainly hope Domínguez can find his mojo back before the end of the year, as being a key cog in their back end of the bullpen, it could potentially be the difference between success and failure for the ballclub when playoff time rolls around.