By: Matthew Mack
The Phils started their road trip this weekend by visiting the Atlanta Braves. After sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers. They got Jean Segura back as he returned from the injured list, along with pitcher Matt Moore. The Phillies had won some very close one-run games coming into the series. To add to the momentum they were in first place in the National League East. Then the series started.
The Phillies lost the series with one win coming on Friday night. In that game Zach Eflin was masterful going six innings, striking out eight while walking only one. The bullpen did their job not allowing a run while the win streak was pushed to five with a 12-two win.
Game two started off well. Jean Segura started that game with a two-run shot to put the Phils in front in the 1st inning. Add an Andrew McCutchen RBI in the 6th and it was a three-one lead. Going into the ninth is where things got dicey. Hector Neris gave up a game-tying 2-run home run to Pablo Sandoval with two outs and a runner on. Then the game went to extra innings, where the back and forth ensued. In the top of the12th, the Phillies had the bases loaded with Bryce Harper at the plate. A comebacker was hit to pitcher Jacob Webb. Who committed an error and two runs were scored on that play. The Phils took a two-run lead in the 12th. J.T. Realmuto later singled in the next at bat to bring Andrew Knapp home for a 7-4 lead. You would think that a lead like this would be safe, right? Not in this MLB. The Braves returned the favor with a four-run inning in the bottom of the 12th inning to end the game.
Then, Mother’s Day rolled along and Andrew McCutchen started the game with a first pitch lead off home run to get things going. Aaron Nola started for the Phils only to give up 5 runs in his outing. The Phils didn’t have an answer as they lost this game and the series.
The Phillies are now in second place in the NL East behind the Mets. They go to Washington to play the Nationals in a three-game series starting on Tuesday. This team lacks consistency on both sides of the diamond. What the Phillies need to get it together quickly, before things get out of hand. The offense is there, the pitching is ok, and that’s the identity of the team right now. Joe Girardi cannot goof up the lineup like he did on Saturday afternoon. He must get his troops together and get them to play sound defense, get a good pitching performance from somebody, and play Phillies baseball. Everything is there, but consistency. And yes it is May, but this level of play cannot go on for too long. With the division the way it is right now, the Phillies still have a chance. The question is how much of a chance do they have.
Remember, it is early May and the panic button should not be pushed just yet.