The 2021 Phillies are an odd team. Sometimes they look like world-beaters, sometimes they don’t. They win a couple, then they lose a couple. They have taken this act to first place for a few days, then just dropped out of a tie for first yesterday. Sometimes the team hits, sometimes it doesn’t. The Reds even have their manager ejected and Nick Castellanos get thrown out of the ballgame in the 1st inning, still doesn’t help the Phillies. Phillies lose 2 of 3 against the Reds with Sunday’s Phils loss. Aaron Nola‘s 7th loss on the year.
A complete surprise to this past couple of days of baseball was the way Zack Wheeler got hit around the other night. He is sporting a 6.1 WAR which leads the Phillies, then goes out and gives up 4 ER, of which included 2 HR. Phils get slammed 6-1 in that one. The Cincinnati Reds are playing the same way, they have been doing very well this season and are 64-55 after taking 2 of 3 from the Phillies, they have a 35% chance of making the playoffs.
There is just no glue that holds this team together, no one ‘carries’ the offense, even Bryce Harper doesn’t do that. He hasn’t really taken the reins of this team either, he prefers to sit in the background each day. Maybe he might make a statement every now and again, but he doesn’t ‘walk the walk’ of a leader of this team.
Now the Phillies go out on the road, to Arizona, and then San Diego all followed by an off-day today. The Phils should have a little pow-wow with one another and decide if this is a winning team or a losing one which happens every other couple of days. The 8-game winning streak happened for this team, but it has disappeared so easily.
Still, they are hanging around at 61-57 just 1.0 game from the top spot. What they need is that winning consistency back, but where do you find it? Getting base hits and moving runners is how, but it isn’t easy. Could’ve this team done so much better with a splash of bigger names in the frenzy of the hot stove? We kept hearing the checking account was open, no bars held. Then the Phils go out and add a little bit here and a little bit there.