The four-game sweep of the Mets had the excitement buzzing. The Phillies did exactly what a team of their caliber is supposed to do, crush those who are struggling. Now the games weren’t runaways as one would hope. In fact, they had to take two in walk-off fashion. The offense worked yet the pitching still struggled. However, the Phillies won 4 in a row.
Next up were the Marlins, the worst team in the national league according to their record. Well, nobody told them that as they took the second straight series from the struggling Phillies.
Bring on the Braves….no wait, don’t. The Phillies started off the series by taking the first game, only to get smashed in the next two. Now, game three started off as good as one could expect. 4 runs on 6 hits as they batted around in the first? A strat that should have had starting pitcher Zac Eflin ready to rock. Well, the Braves are good and simply don’t quit. They get to pitchers and put both bad and well-placed pitches over the fence. Now the Phillies sit 6.5 games out of first place and have dropped to third place behind the Nationals.
Is Klentak able to turn this around?
The question is one that has to be asked, is Klentak able to turn this around? Klentak has shown he can acquire talent, but he has overvalued a mediocre at best pitching staff. The fact is that this same staff had fallen apart last year. This staff is on pace to allow the most home runs in major league history. What has Klentak done to make you comfortable that he has the ability to acquire a strong arm? Where do they Phillies and Klentak go from here?
There was the ability to acquire pitching that could have helped out. Both Dallas Kuechel and Craig Kimbrel were available and the Phillies balked. The injury bug really crushed the bullpen. That can’t be an excuse. The fact that injuries happen and the GM has to be capable of acquiring replacement players that can play at the major league level. Both Keuchel and Kimbrel would have only cost the Phillies money. Now in order to right the ship, Klentak will have to part with prospects.
Good News: NOLA is back
Judging Nola’s last three starts, it may be safe to say that he is back to his 2018 form. This is great news for the Phillies as now every 5th start can be dubbed WIN DAY.
In his last three starts, Nola is 1-1, having pitched 23 innings. During that span, he has let up only 2 runs, 11 hits, struck out 28 and surrendered only 5 walks. The fact is that he should be 3-0 in those starts, however bullpen issues and lack of run support are keeping these games from being dominant performances.
Minor League Report
Let’s start with Alec Bohm who is starting to tear it up in Reading. Bohm started a little slow in his switch to AA. He had three hits in his first five games, going 3 for 20 for a .150 average. Since then he has started hitting the ball, 10 for 31 for a .323 average. Bohm is continuing to improve has hit at every level. After a tough start to his professional career, Bohm has settled in nicely and should be fighting to take over for Mikael Franco next season. Bohm will also be in Cleveland as part of the futures game.
Mickey Moniak was taken out of a game last week in the 5th inning and Twitter and Facebook groups alike were wondering if he was traded. Turns out he suffered a hamstring injury that has him on the injured list. I was disappointed to see all the fans who wanted him traded. Yes, I am a believer in the first overall player being in the majors by now, however, Moniak was a high school player and I would hate to see him dealt away too soon.
It appears that help is not on the way. The Phillies need pitching and the cupboard seems bare in the minors. Our only hope is that Klentak can get it done without selling the farm.
Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports