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.