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The Phillies Need To Stop This Trend

The Philadelphia Phillies comeback then lose regularly lately. Four times in recent weeks, the Phillies have hit game-tying or go-ahead home runs in the eighth innings or later and have lost those games. Most recently, this happened during a game against the Atlanta Braves on September 12. Trea Turner hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Then, the Phillies had runners at first and second with no outs and failed to score the game-winning run. The Braves would go on to win the game in extra innings. This also occurred during the first game of the September 11 doubleheader against the Braves. In that instance, Bryce Harper hit the game-tying home run just for the Phillies to lose in extra innings.

This is a worrying trend for a team likely heading to the playoffs. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the Phillies are tied for the third most losses this season after taking the lead in the eighth inning or later. The Phillies rank third in comeback wins this season with 40. Furthermore, the Phillies are tied with the Miami Marlins for the most ninth-inning comebacks this season with eight. The Phillies rank 23rd in blown leads this season with 28. Three of those 28 blown leads have taken place in the ninth inning. Additionally, the Phillies are currently 25-25 in one-run games this season and are 7-7 in extra-inning games this season.

Some Players Are Struggling Lately

Two members of the Phillies young core have not been playing their best lately. Bryson Stott and Brandon Marsh are going through a bad stretch right now. For Stott, in his last seven games, he has a .160/.276/.320 line with one home run and four RBI. Stott has more strikeouts than hits during this stretch. Going back to the start of September, Stott has a .274 wOBA and a 68 wRC+ in 5o plate appearances in games before September 13.

Meanwhile, Marsh has a .182/.217/.364 line in his last seven games with one home run and four RBI. Marsh has struck out 15 times during this stretch. During September, Marsh had a .300 wOBA and an 85 wRC+ in 36 plate appearances in games before September 13.

The Phillies pitching staff also has its fair share of probability. Aaron Nola has a 0-2 record in two September outings, along with an 11.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts. During that stretch, opponents have a .366 batting average against Nola. Given that the Phillies have playoff aspirations and this is a contract year for Nola, better performance should be expected. Taijuan Walker has a 1-0 record, a 7.84 ERA, and nine strikeouts in two September outings. While Walker has been better than Nola in September, it is concerning that two players who are supposed to lead the rotation are struggling down the stretch. The Phillies need more from their starting pitching come playoff time.

Phillies Comeback Then Lose Hurting Them In Standings

As the Phillies return, they lose the game, hurting themselves in the standings by failing to win those games. The Phillies sit at 79-67, 2nd in the NL East. They hold a 1 1/2 game advantage over the Chicago Cubs for the top NL Wild Card spot. In addition, the Phillies hold a 3 1/2 game advantage over the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds, who are tied for the last NL Wild Card position. A half-game relative has narrowed these advantages to September 8. This is a direct result of two instances where the Phillies failed to take advantage of their comeback. If this continues, the Phillies will likely fall out of the top NL Wild Card spot.


Main Photo Credits: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


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