The Phillies have lost 14 of their last 22 games and four in a row, including three against a Washington team that would need a miracle to make the postseason.
Philadelphia’s doubleheader loss Tuesday dropped them out of the top eight in the NL playoff race. It means they will now need to play perfect baseball, while getting some outside help, to get into the eight-team postseason field. As recently as Sunday morning, the Phillies had an 87% chance of making the postseason, according to Fangraphs’ math. After Tuesday night’s sweep, their odds had shrunk to 35%.
Bryce Harper is Lazy
Overrated Bryce Harper had two miscues Tuesday. For whatever reason, Harper fielded a ball flat-footed and on the second hop while in the middle of a playoff berth hunt. Had he charged the ball, gloved it after the first hop, and thrown home, Harper could have had Soto, who is not a fast runner. Harper then booted a ball that plated a second run on a Brock Holt RBI double in the third inning. He was charged for an error for this play.
“It definitely feels like a bad dream,” said J.T. Realmuto. “The bottom line is we have to play better, and we have to play better in a hurry. We’re still in it. We’re not eliminated yet. We still have a chance to make the playoffs. We just have to play better baseball, all around. We’re running out of time a little but mathematically it’s possible. We just have to play better. Sometimes it only takes one play to get on a roll.”
In 1964, a Cincinnati Reds rookie from Cuba named Chico Ruiz stole home and detonated the most painful collapse in franchise history. Fifty-six years later, another rookie from Cuba delivered another blow to the Phillies’. Yadiel Hernandez, a 32-year-old career minor-leaguer playing in just his seventh big-league game, clubbed a two-run home run, the first of his career. Hernandez’s home run came in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday night as the Washington Nationals rallied to beat the Phillies, 8-7, in extras of the second doubleheader.
The 27-29 Phillies needed to clean up in the final game of this series against the 23-32 Nationals to end their eight-season playoff drought. Philadelphia sits 1 1/2 games behind the Marlins for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot. Philadelphia is also one game behind the Brewers for the NL’s No. 8 postseason seed.