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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.

Phillies COVID testing reports no new positives

Phillies COVID testing
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Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.

It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.

All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.

UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: