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Phillies eliminated from postseason contention

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The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals 4-1 in the first game of today’s double header. The nightcap won’t matter a bit for Philly, though, because with today’s loss they have officially been eliminated from postseason contention.

As the 2019 Phillies play out the string, their management and their fans will have a lot to think about. Injuries, mostly. While the Yankees have been an amazing story about a team enduring tons and tons of injuries and still prevailing, the Phillies are a good example of what usually happens when you lose multiple key players to the injured list. Andrew McCutchen, who was on pace for an excellent year, was one of the biggest individual injuries but the sheer volume of injuries to their bullpen arms was just way too much to overcome.

Still, as John Stolnis of the Phillies’ blog The Good Phight pointed out recently, the Rays, Astros, Dodgers, Twins and those Yankees all had major injury issues of their own and they’ll all be playing in October. The larger issues for the Phillies was one of lack of depth, lack of offensive production, a poor rotation, and overall underachievement. Basically, if you gave a worst case scenario for every aspect of the team’s performance ahead of time, the Phillies pretty much fulfilled it. The team had a big, splashy offseason with the signings of Bryce Harper and McCutchen, they had a decent enough plan on paper, and they had a lot of talent on board, but they simply did not execute.

With so many commentators thinking the Phillies were heading to the postseason, expectations were high. Now it’ll be interesting to see who, if anyone, pays for failing to meet such high expectations. And how the Phillies will address their multiple shortcomings this offseason.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.