Nothing has been pleasant in Philadelphia since the Phillies fell out of first place in the NL East. No more are the times when “Gotta Fly Now” would ring out in the streets. Businesses couldn’t keep Phillies merchandise on the shelves.
Now there is just a strong feeling of ‘meh’. The overwhelming dullness has even kept the Always Sunny in Philadelphia cast away since Mac fulfilled his dream of having a catch with Chase Utley.
The Phillies looked like they could right the ship during a 25-game stretch against the NL East, but that’s not what happen. In 6 games against the Braves, the Phillies went 2-4. In 6 against the Nationals, they went 1-5. Most surprisingly in 6 games against the Marlins, the Phillies only managed 1 win. Only the Mets prevented the Phillies from total disaster, as the Phillies won 5/6 games in 2 series.
Lately, though, the sun seems like it’s trying to peak through the dark clouds over Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies split a 4-game series against the powerful Dodgers and won a 3-game set against the Pirates who have the highest batting average in the National League.
Now the Phillies head to Detroit to face the Tigers in a 2-game set.
The Phillies must win both games, plain and simple. The Tigers are fighting the Orioles for the top pick in the 2020 MLB draft. Their current 30 wins are the fewest in the entire MLB.
Since June 1st, the Tigers are 8-33, absolutely horrendous. Not only has the team been bad, but Phillies have gotten frustrated. Nick Castellanos recently came out with comments calling the Tigers stadium “A Joke”.
Top trade target Matthew Boyd (who the Phillies face in the first game) has a 6.08 ERA in 8 games since June 2nd. Winless Jordan Zimmerman opposes the Phillies in game 2.
Phillies fans would remember Zimmerman from his Washington Nationals days when he had a 3.32 ERA in 1094 IP. In 453 IP since, Zimmerman has sported a 5.52 ERA with the Tigers, including a 7.51 ERA in 2019.
The Phillies will send Aaron Nola to face Matthew Boyd and Vince Velasquez to face Zimmerman. Since June 1st, the Tigers pitching staff is sporting a 5.89 ERA on which the Phillies need to capitalize.
This series is directly followed by another meeting with the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies need to beat up on the lowly Tigers and form some momentum. The Braves are going to be playing against another one of the weakest teams in the AL, the Royals. If the Phillies want to avoid falling further behind the Braves, they have to take both games.
These are the kind of games the Phillies need to win.
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports