Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Phillies haven’t scored first in a game since May 20

7 Comments

Things are not going well for the Phillies. Things haven’t been going well all year, but the Phillies’ last month in particular has been one long nightmare. Heralded cornerstones Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco have been abysmal at the plate. Veteran additions like Michael Saunders and Clay Buchholz haven’t worked. Young pitchers Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, and Aaron Nola have been inconsistent at best. The bullpen has been largely unreliable.

It’s no shock, then, that the Phillies entered Wednesday afternoon’s action with baseball’s worst record at 17-33. Wednesday’s 10-2 loss to the Marlins gives them exactly twice as many losses as wins, an ignominious feat. The Phillies’ -58 run differential doesn’t offer any hope, only putting them a couple of wins better than they have been.

How bad have things been? The Phillies have held the lead exactly five times in their last 12 games spanning 110 innings. They haven’t scored first in a game since May 20, when they visited the Pirates.

  • May 31 @ MIA: Fell behind 3-0 after the first inning (lost 10-2; never led)
  • May 30 @ MIA: Fell behind 2-0 after the second inning (lost 7-2; never led)
  • May 29 @ MIA: Fell behind 2-0 after the third inning (lost 4-1; never led)
  • May 28 vs. CIN: Fell behind 1-0 after the first inning (lost 8-4; led 4-2 until the third inning)
  • May 27 vs. CIN: Fell behind 2-0 after the first inning (won 4-3, walkoff; led 3-2 until the sixth inning)
  • May 26 vs. CIN: Fell behind 2-0 after the first inning (lost 5-2; never led)
  • May 25 vs. COL: Fell behind 1-0 after the fourth inning (won 2-1, walkoff; never led until 11th)
  • May 24 vs. COL: Fell behind 7-0 after the third inning (lost 7-2; never led)
  • May 23 vs. COL: Fell behind 2-0 after the third inning (lost 8-2; never led)
  • May 22 vs. COL: Fell behind 3-0 after the third inning (lost 8-1; never led)
  • May 21 @ PIT: Fell behind 1-0 after the sixth inning (lost 1-0; never led)
  • May 20 @ PIT: Went ahead 1-0 after the first inning (lost 6-3; led 1-0 until the third inning)

On the bright side, the rebuilding Phillies weren’t expected to be competitive this season, and finishing with baseball’s worst record will net them the first overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. But Phillies fans are growing impatient. While the fans may not have been expecting to watch a winner, they did expect to see somewhat competent baseball and the Phillies have provided very little of that, particularly in the month of May. The Phillies closed out the month of May with a 6-22 record after an 11-12 April.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

Getty Images
3 Comments

The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.