Failures In Houston May Doom Phillies For GoodBREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies Monday, September 17th, 2012
After going on a seven-game winning streak and pulling within three games of the second Wild Card, the Phils fell flat on their faces when they went to visit the worst team in baseball, claiming just one victory and letting at least two winnable games slip away.
In a way, it’s very fitting. All year the Phillies have always seemed to stumble whenever they begin to gain some real momentum. They were feeling good about themselves, and had an opportunity to pick up even more ground in the Wild Card standings with the Dodgers and Cardinals playing each other in four-game series over the weekend, and couldn’t defeat what is essentially a Triple-A ballclub.
In the first game of the series, Charlie Manuel and Phillippe Aumont were at fault. Aumont had been leaned on heavily in the eighth inning during the seven-game winning streak, and Manuel tried to lean on him one more time to protect a one-run lead. Although he recorded the first two outs, he was pitching on fumes and didn’t have enough to make it through the inning. Charlie should have known when the right time to take his young pitcher out was, and Aumont needs to understand what his limits are and tell the team when he isn’t available to pitch.
The offense let the team down in Saturday’s loss. Although Kyle Kendrick and the bullpen didn’t have a very good game, how could the bats fail to generate a single run against a team this bad? The Phillies weren’t exactly up against an ace in that game; Houston starter Dallas Keuchel was just 1-7 with a 5.35 ERA entering that game.
The bullpen suffered another implosion on Sunday with Antonio Bastardo and Aumont combining to allow four runs while recording just one out. Starer Roy Halladay also wasn’t great himself, giving up three runs over six innings, including two home runs.
It’s simply inexcusable, the Phillies needed to take at least three games from this series. These were victories that this team absolutely had to have. Now their margin for error is just about gone, and they need to play almost perfect from here on in. It would be foolish to rule them out after seeing them defy great odds just to force their way back into the picture, but after a disaster like this its hard to be optimistic about them.
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