We have arrived. It is the stretch of the Phillies season where they start falling into their deserved place. That place is called last place, and we are nearly there. We are battling with the Miami Marlins for last place in the division, and soon we could be falling into last place in the overall MLB standings. Right now, our only competition is the Marlins, and the San Diego Padres who have 15 wins compared to our 14, but have played a few more games.
I took a few days off, but now I’m back. Remember when I said that taking breaks are good when dealing with rebuilding, or struggling teams, well that’s what I did. I still watched some games, including the doubleheader on Sunday, but I didn’t write, tweet, or podcast about them. Now I’m back with a clear head, as clear as it’s going to get, and I am itching to talk some baseball again.
Let’s just ease back into this with a quick blog about some recent news about the Phillies from this past week.
First, we suck. I guess that’s not really news as we all should have expected this type of performance, but I didn’t expect so many winnable games to be lost by one run. If anything, I expected more games like last night’s which ended in a 5-1 Rangers victory. Our pitching is likely to blame here. Our offense has been there in most games, even with a struggling Maikel Franco, but our starting pitchers aren’t good enough to hold our opponents to low run totals, or our bullpen comes in and blows the game. Pitching will be a key investment this offseason.
Speaking of pitching and of the Texas Rangers, Cole Hamels talked to the media about a possible return to Philly. Hamels could be a free agent after the 2018 season if the Rangers decline his option. Hamels was asked if he would consider returning to Philly if he becomes a free agent.
“I never leave the door closed,” Hamels said. “It’s a special place and will continue to be a special place. There’s always those opportunities.”
Would I be upset with this? Absolutely not. I love Hamels and think he is a great pitcher, but do I want the Phillies to bring back a pitcher who will be 34-years-old in 2018? It depends on his price. I don’t want the Phillies to burn through their funds and sign players to huge contracts. That’s what got us in trouble last time. If Cole can come back and we still have enough money to offer to the big name free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, then I’m fine with it, but I don’t want them to get in over their heads rather than working on bringing up young, homegrown talent.
There’s not much more news floating around, but if something comes up there will definitely be a blog post about it, and possibly a podcast.
Tonight’s game against the Rangers starts at 8:05 and features Zach Eflin as our starting pitcher. I want to start posting my picks, so here we go.
Phillies 5, Rangers 3
Let me know your picks in the comments, and thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter @JakeDunderdale.