Phillies week in review: The inconsistent week of 7/17-7/23

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Phillies Bryce Harper
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper walks back to the dugout after lining out against Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Colin Rea during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Phillies bookended their past week of baseball with some impressive wins. It was the games in between, however, that were less than ideal.

This week, a three-game home series against the Milwaukee Brewers and a three-game series in Cleveland against the Guardians was the challenge for the Phils. They would drop both series, with some abysmal offensive performances sprinkled in.

It wasn’t all bad for the Phils, but a better week could have had them sitting pretty with a week to go until the MLB Trade Deadline.

Phillies Results for the Week

Tuesday: 4-3 Win vs Brewers

Wednesday: 5-3 Loss vs Brewers

Thursday: 4-0 Loss vs Brewers

Friday: 6-5 Loss @ Guardians

Saturday: 1-0 Loss @ Guardians

Sunday: 8-5 Win @ Guardians

Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm (28) congratulates Jake Cave, right, after winning a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Sunday, July 23, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Crowded at the Playoff Party

There is a big battle going down for the Wild Card spots in the National League.

The Diamondbacks, Giants, Reds, Marlins, Brewers, and Phillies are all fighting for the three last Wild Card spots in the National League and the Reds/Brewers will see one of the two teams take the National League Central.

This week could have been huge for the Phillies, as they saw the Marlins lose eight straight games, the Giants lose five straight games, the Diamondbacks drop four, and they faced the Brewers head-on.

Instead of taking charge like the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies lost some ground. While they are still in the heart of the race, their deadline outlook is going to be very important. They will be competing with these teams on the field and in the front office, trying to battle for a postseason spot.

Cleveland Guardians’ Jose Ramirez watches his RBI fielder’s choice off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola with Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 23, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Bad Time To Go Cold

The Phillies top hitters picked a really bad time to get ice cold.

Kyle Schwarber had a great weekend against the Padres last week, but really slowed down as this past week progressed. Trea Turner has just not been himself this season and has hurt the Phillies in the #2 spot. All-Star Nick Castellanos has come back from the break in a real slump and has seen his average dip from above .300 to the .280 range. Bryce Harper has been good but still not the hitter we all know and love and JT Realmuto has just been ice-cold for the bulk of this season.

The Phillies were shut out twice this past week, once in a 4-0 loss to the Brewers, and once in a 1-0 loss to the Guardians. In games where their pitching staff gave them a chance to win, a lineup with this caliber of talent should never go scoreless.

Rob Thomson said after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Guardians that this team won’t win if their top players don’t hit. Calling them out publically in an effort to light a spark. They responded well, putting up 8 runs on Sunday, even though four of them came in extra innings.

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper fields a ground ball hit by Cleveland Guardians’ Steven Kwan for an out in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 21, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

First Base Bryce

In Cleveland, Bryce Harper made his Major League Debut (at first base).

Harper played in two games at first this weekend and did an amazing job for someone who has never played the spot before.

In his first game back, Harper was tested early and even made a crazy catch in the camera well that scared everyone.

A Look Ahead

In a long season, you are bound to have games like the Phillies did this past week. Upcoming, however, they have to start winning some series.

They will host the Baltimore Orioles from Monday-Wednesday. The O’s are arguably the best team in all of baseball and currently are in first place of the entire American League, and second in the entire MLB.

Baltimore will be no easy task, but for the Phillies, they have to take advantage of being the home team in this series.

The Phillies will then head to Pittsburgh for an inter-state battle with the Pirates starting on Friday.

In recent seasons, the Phillies have had some success in Pittsburgh, and with the Pirates expected to sell some of their talent by the deadline, the Phillies could take advantage.

I’d like for the club to go 4-2 in this stretch. Going 2/3 in both series would be a nice touch, but if they drop the series to the Orioles, they have to sweep the Pirates on the road.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum