The Phillies have had a lot of trouble staying over the .500 mark so far this season. Just when it looks like this team has turned the corner, just when it looks like they might start winning more consistently, they disappoint us. Whether the offense spoils a brilliant outing by a starter, or the bullpen blows a late lead, the Phillies have struggled to win consistently.
Last weekend’s series against the Nationals got most fans excited because the Phillies made a statement, and it looked like they might be ready to go on a hot streak. Unfortunately, this week’s four-game series against the Blue Jays has been a major let down. Carrying the momentum from the Nats series, the Phillies looked poised for another potential series win against a struggling Jays team. That has not been the case so far, as the Phillies have lost three straight games. The offense has been the main problem so far in this series, as they have only scored five runs in the three games, and have been shut out twice. Last night’s game was defined by a nightmarish 7th inning where the Jays scored nine runs after Cliff Lee had been cruising; kind of a metaphor for how the Phillies’ season has gone so far.
If the Phillies want to return to the playoffs this season, they will need to start winning more consistently. Luckily for the Phillies, no team in the NL East has ran away with the division early in the season. An important thing for the Phillies to do is to get over .500, and stay over .500. This is something that they have struggled with recently, and it’s beginning to frustrate fans such as myself. Players like Ryan Howard (8 hits in his last 10 games) and Chase Utley (8 hits in his last 10 games) will need to pick up the slack, and Cody Asche will need to swing the bat like he did against the Jays on Tuesday night. The rest of May will be a huge test for the Phillies as they play six games agains the Mets, three games against the hot Marlins, three games against the Dodgers, Reds, and Rockies, and two games against the Mike Trout-lead Angels. The Phillies will need to beat some good teams down the line in order to find their consistency, and the fate of their season could depend on it. The great teams find ways to win games day in and day out. The Phillies will need to start finding ways to win games consistently if they want to contend this season.