It was supposed to be the series to get us Phillies fans excited again. Coming in on a bit of a hot streak, while the Braves were struggling. Well, the Phillies pitching was the prescription the Braves’ bats needed, but the Phils’ did rebound in power hitting fashion to take game three, 9-4.
The first two games of the series were a lopsided affair. The Braves had scored 24 runs to the Phils’ 9, exposing a bullpen that’s already struggling to find an identity.
Give credit to the Braves, they made the Phillies pay for their mistakes. If the Phillies issue a walk, the Braves seemed to drive him in. Errors in the field by the Phils turn into runs for Atlanta. The Braves never seem to quit, unlike the Phillies. More on that in a minute.
Losing the Fans’ support
Phillies fans by nature are an understandably negative group. However, in this case, it may be warranted. Fans have flocked to social media and the radio waves to voice their displeasure from the President, Andy MacPhail to the GM, Matt Klentak and of course the manager, Gabe Kapler. Normally I try to give the benefit of the doubt, but in this case, I may just have to agree.
Kapler was heavily criticized for giving up on game one of the Braves series. Most notably WIP’S Jon Ritchie. So the question is, in your mind, did Kapler give up?
Management group taking their lumps
Credit the management group for going out and getting players they want. Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, Jay Bruce, and Andrew McCutchen were excellent additions to the ball club. However, the glaring issue was pitching. The moves Klentak made didn’t work this year. Dave Robertson is a bust for the season and he made no moves to bolster a horrible pitching rotation. That is the same rotation that crapped the bed last year.
During the season Klentak has addressed the issues by going out and trading for Drew Smyly, Mike Morin and most recently, trading for left-handed starter Jason Vargas. However, these trades lack the power punch of that amazing offseason. Fans are losing patience and are ready to turn on Klentak and MacPhail.
The Phillies kicked off a series with the Giants by garnering a win with the help of Smyly. I am excited that the Phillies can sweep them, however, I am not optimistic. Here is to holding out hope that the lineup can put up 7 runs a game. One thing is for certain. We have found out that although the Phillies can make the playoffs, they aren’t built to make a deep run. Klentak needs to make a move or two for pitching and relegate Vince Velasquez to the bullpen. However, Klentak can’t be too aggressive and give up top prospects for rental players.
The Phillies are a playoff team. Once the 3,4,5 hitter gets going, there is no doubt that they will make the playoffs. Let’s just hope this happens sooner rather than later.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports