Are the Phillies doomed? Nah, don't panic

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The Phillies are reeling right now, having lost eight of ten and the division lead.  AOL’s Ed Price makes an astute observation, however:

Is the Phillies 2-8 slide a disaster? They had six 2-8 stretches in 2008, five 2-8
stretches in 2009 and a 1-9 stretch in 2009.

Good point. No team with as much talent as the Phillies should be judged by their worst moments, and while overreacting seems like a lot of fun right now, it’s pretty misguided business.

But I will offer one mild rebuttal, however: while the Phillies did have such stretches in 2008 and 2009, the NL East wasn’t as strong a division in those years as it is this year.  Sure, the Mets were in it until the end, but there were a ton of easy games against the Braves and Nats that year. Same goes for last year too.

This year? No one in the division is a total pushover, and there will be less room for error if the Phillies want to win it again. So like, any time you want to come out of the nosedive, felllas . . .

Report: Mariners have interest in Reds’ Jay Bruce

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds waits to bat prior to hitting a three-run homer in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.

Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.

Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.

The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, tying an NL record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 16:  Adam Rosales #9 of the San Diego Padres hits an RBI single during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 16, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.

The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.

As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.