The Phillies dropped another series, this time at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. Only, this loss was a four-game series whooping that not only dropped the Phillies out of the last wild card spot but allowed the surging Mets to take over 3rd place in the division. The start of the season that had so much problem is in the rearview mirror as the Phillies continue to tailspin.
The Phillies are 3-7 in their last ten games. The road ahead doesn’t get any easier as they prepare to play the Cubs, Padres, and Red Sox. The question all Phillies fans are asking ourselves is “what comes next?”
Alex Rodriguez absolutely ripped Kapler on last night’s ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Telecast. After Nick Pivetta grooved a 3-1 fastball that Kevin Pillar turned into a go-ahead triple, A-rod had some not so kind words for Kapler. “And there’s no need for the hot Pillar to get a pitch this good in this situation. Walk him. Pitch to Crawford. That’s a mistake by Gabe Kapler. And now you walk Crawford and now you get to face Panda. Careless managing. Even more careless pitching for the Phillies.”
A-rod is not wrong. Kapler all too often has made decisions based on what the numbers say. It seems as though he has no feel of the game. So the question has to be raised, is his job in jeopardy? The short answer is that I don’t think so. The front office appears to be loyal to Kapler. There is no reason to dispute that as Jon Middleton has already made the mistake of extending the underperforming Matt Klentak. Phillies fans are growing restless.
The main problem I have with Kapler is that he fails to see what is right in front of him. Kapler fails to see that he as the manager needs to act and cut ties with some of his coaches. Kapler mentality where he seems to think they can just work harder and the ship will right itself shows just how disconnected he is. Maybe it’s time for the change. Is Joe Girardi still available?
John Mallee and Chris Young’s jobs should be in jeopardy.
John Mallee’s hitting philosophy is just not making sense. The Phillies want to get into the bullpen by making the starter throw more pitches. I had a friend of mine, who pitched in the Phillies’ minor league system, ask me if this made sense? To him it didn’t, thinking that if you continue to hit the ball, the opposition will take out the starter thus getting the Phillies to their desired result of getting into the bullpen. I agree wholeheartedly. Also how often do we see the Phillies hitters look at the grooved 94 MPH fastball, end up deep in the count only to strike out on a two-strike breaking ball? I would like to see Mallee replaced by a Charlie Manuel-style hitting coach.
There is no doubt that Chris Young is over his head. In his first coaching job, Kapler promoted the former scout to pitching coach of a staff riddled with underperformers and injuries. The Late Great Johnny Podres couldn’t get this staff pitching well. However, Young isn’t getting the most out of his pitchers. Whether it is coaching, lack of talent or a combination of the two, something needs to be done. The fact is the Phillies had a pitching coach in Rick Kranitz, who is now the Braves pitching coach. Did Kapler make the change due to his love of all things analytic?
It is time for the Phillies fans to get this winning tradition back. Someone needs to step up and be a leader in the clubhouse, and the front office and give us back winning baseball.
Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports