Philadelphia Phillies: It was all good just a week ago

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Man oh man, it is amazing how quickly things can change throughout a Major League Baseball season; just ask the Philadelphia Phillies.

Following a big 3-0 shutout win against the New York Mets back on August 8th, the Phillies were amidst an eight-game winning streak and sat two games ahead in the National League East. Now eleven days later, and the Phillies find themselves in a brutal 2-6 stretch and now 3.5 games behind the surging Atlanta Braves.

To rub salt in the wound, it is arguably the worst team in baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are beating up on the Phillies. Arizona entered this current three-game series with a record of 38-81 and has managed to win the first two games, which the Phillies have basically sleepwalked through. Not great for a team who as recently as a week ago had legitimate postseason dreams.

Now, the bigger concern may just be stopping the bleeding before it is too late.

Eleven days ago, the Philadelphia Phillies were primed for a postseason berth.

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The biggest culprit to the Philadelphia Phillies’ struggles at the moment is the horrendous offensive play we have seen in this stretch. With Rhys Hoskins still on the Injured List and Alec Bohm essentially being benched, the Phillies lineup has become Bryce Harper and just a bunch of guys. Every single player has gone cold, and teams have flat out refused to pitch to Harper, evidenced by his nine walks and .394 OBP over his last eight games. Not a recipe for success for this Phillies team.

Over the last eight games, the offense has managed just 44 total hits to go along with 19 runs (2.37 runs per game). It is safe to say that is simply not going to cut it, even against the worst teams.

To make matters worse, the Atlanta Braves are absolutely scorching right now, having won six in a row and 13 out of their last 15 games. This has pushed them from two games under .500 to a season-high nine games over .500, and from third place to comfortably sitting in first place. If things don’t change soon, they may very well run away with the National League East altogether.

With 42 games to go on the season, we are certainly in the stretch run at this point in time. While the Phillies have some tough series looming, such as the Padres in San Diego this weekend and then at home against the Tampa Bay Rays early next week, the schedule is rather soft the rest of the way. 28 of the final 42 games for the Phillies are against teams currently under .500, with 18 of those 28 games at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phils’ are 36-25 on the year.

While an easier schedule is certainly nice, the Phillies still need to win those games for them to mean anything, and if the last few nights are any indication, that may be harder than we once thought. Additionally, with only six total games remaining against the Braves and Mets (three apiece), it is even more important for the Phillies to take care of their own business.

Next. Don’t let this golden opportunity slip away. dark

The silver lining in this all is that the last couple of weeks have shown how quickly things can change throughout a baseball season. It was all good just a week ago. Now it is up to the Philadelphia Phillies to recapture that lightning in a bottle or disappear back into mediocrity.