Yesterday’s 10-2 loss against the Miami Marlins, the second worst team in baseball, confirmed what many Philadelphians already know — the Phillies are awful.
The loss capped off a series sweep for the Marlins and put the abysmal Phillies at 17-34 for the year, by far the worst record in baseball.
The Phillies aren’t just bad, they’re historically bad.
Remember, we’re talking about the franchise with the most total losses in MLB history. The team’s 6-22 May record is the team’s worst since 1928, and the 17-34 start is the worst since 1945.
The loss on Wednesday also meant the 10th straight series defeat for the Phillies who haven’t won a series since April 27th against the Marlins. The last time they lost more than ten series in a row was in 1941.
The Phillies in 2008 vs The Phillies now pic.twitter.com/b9Pgb95ErP
— Drew Davis (@drewdavis71) May 29, 2017
At the end of that series, the Phillies were 11-9 and looked like they could be a decent team, or at the very least a team that could improve upon last season’s 71-91 record.
Fast forward to the end of May and things could not be more different. The Phils are on pace for 56 wins, and they haven’t won consecutive games since April. They team is ranked 27th in runs scored and is considering sending one of its best players to Triple A.
“I’ve been associated as a player, coach and manager with winning teams and losing teams and this is as bad as it gets,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said in an interview with 94WIP. “We’re at the end of our rope and we have to just keep climbing up, keep pushing forward.”
After a promising April, the Phillies’ May performance was probably the worst we’ll ever see.
Early on in the season the Phillies clear weakness was their bullpen. Now fans can’t decide what the team’s biggest weakness is. They’ve been awful in every aspect.
The Phillies starting pitchers are some of the weakest in the league. Phillies starters have a combined ERA of 5.33, officially making them the second worst starting core in all of baseball.
The injury to Vince Velasquez and Triple A demotion of struggling Zach Eflin thins out the Phillies pitching core to a measly three starters: Jeremy Hellickson, Jerad Eickhoff, and Aaron Nola. And while these three are the Phillies’ best starters, they’ve been below average this season, boasting ERAs of 4.45, 4.74, and 5.06 respectively.
Managing just three starting pitchers is already hard, but it gets worse when you realize the Phillies starters are only pitching 5.3 innings per game.
When you have weak starters who can’t pitch deep into games, a strong bullpen is a must. Unfortunately, the Phillies bullpen sucks too. In fact, when you look at Phillies pitching as a whole, they are the worst in the MLB with a combined ERA of 4.95.
Yes, the bullpen pitching is better than it was in April, but being slightly better than horrible is still awful.
Phillies relievers own the 10th highest bullpen ERA in the league at 4.42. The four core relievers, Pat Neshek, Hector Neris, Joaquín Benoit, and Edubray Ramos have had decent seasons, but the rest of the pen has been miserable.
In case you’re a masochist, here’s Bryce Harper absolutely smacking a Ramos fastball to win against the Phils earlier in May.
For some unknown reason, Joely Rodriguez and his 5.96 ERA have the most innings pitched of anyone in the bullpen. The left-hander’s resume this year includes blowing a game against the Rangers by giving up 7 runs in less than an inning. Also, he’s 0 for 2 on save attempts, and generally pretty tough to watch.
Rodriguez’s claim for worst pitcher on the team is facing a big challenge in Jeanmar Gomez. Gomez, the guy who was demoted from the closer role after the first three games of the season, is sporting an ERA of 7.63 in 15.1 innings pitched.
The Phillies’ bats have been ice cold as well
That’s definitely been a cause for concern. The Phils currently rank 27th in runs scored and 23rd in batting average.
To make matters even worse, the struggles at the plate are led by last year’s standouts: Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco.
Herrera was the team’s lone All-Star last year, when the 25-year-old center fielder led the team in hits and was second among starters in batting average at .286. He was poised to once again be the team’s best player.
But Herrera is struggling mightily this season.
His average is down to .218 and he was benched against the Marlins for poor play. He has to slip out of this funk if the Phillies want to be a competitive team.
And the Phillies’ alleged biggest bat, Maikel Franco, is also in a hitting rut. Last year’s RBI and home run leader has seen his average drop from .255 to .216.
The Phillies are currently being kept afloat by the unlikely tandem of 26-year-old Aaron Altherr and Tommy Joseph. Altherr is having an All-Star-level year, batting .299 and leading the team in homers and RBIs. Joseph is becoming a power swinger as well. He’s tied with Altherr at eight homers and is second in RBIs. In the bullpen, Pat Neshek continues to dominate with an ERA of .93.
But other than that, the Phillies have been just dreadful.
Here’s to June.