Yesterday the Phillies took a six run lead into the eighth inning and blew it. They were the first team to blow a lead that large that late this season.
But here’s the crazy thing: it wasn’t even the fault of the Phillies’ bullpen. At least, not entirely. The majority of the Braves’ hits were, in the words of the guy on Sports Center, “a collection of bleeders, bloops and choppers.”
In other words, the Phils were unlucky.
Now, I’m not trying to make excuses for the Phillies. They have terrible pitching. Everybody knows it.
But yesterday’s loss was much more disheartening than your typical blown save.
We know the Phillies are going to win despite their pitching, not because of it. And if they make the post season, it will be on the strength of Ryan Howard’s bat, not Adam Eaton’s arm.
We know the Phillies will have to overcome a bullpen that is the worst in baseball.
But yesterday it wasn’t just Jose Mesa’s arm that betrayed the Phils. It was fate. It was destiny. And if you’re Ryan Howard, you’ve got to be thinking to yourself, “How do I overcome that?”
Speaking of the Phils offense…wow. They’re just silly good right now. And that sheds some light on just how bad Philadelphia’s pitching has been.
Among the offensive highlights:
- The Phillies have three candidates for NL MVP — Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.
- Utley has a legit chance at the batting title. He’s hitting .341 with a .421 OBP.
- Howard leads the league in RBI and is second in homers, despite a terrible start to the season and a DL stint.
- Jimmy Rollins ranks first in the NL in runs (120). He’s raised his AVG nine points in the last 10 games (.296). And he’s got rediculous power for a leadoff hitter (25 HR).
- After compiling the second lowest AVG in baseball during the first have of the season(.215), Pat Burrell has one of the highest in the second half (.329). Not to mention his .405 OBP.
- Jayson Werth, who is filling in for the injured Shane Victorino, is hitting .323 with an OBP of .422. He’ll be starting for somebody next season.
- Aaron Rowand, who everybody thought was a first-half fluke, continues to hit .313 with 23 HR and a .381 OBP. Two words: contract year.
All of this is to say that, no matter how awesome your offense is, it’s hard to overcome bad pitching. And after a game like yesterday’s, I’m starting to think that the Phillies, despite prolific hitting, won’t be able to do it. That’s why I’m stepping up and making the bold prediction that next year, finally, will be the Phillies’ year.
You heard it here first.