June 26, 2019
What a difference a little bamboo makes.
After losing seven straight — and nine of their last 10 — the Phillies bounced back with a pair of wins over the self-imploding Mets this week. But the damage has still been done, both in the standings, where they've fallen to 5.5 games behind Atlanta, and in the power rankings, where the freefall that began last week picked up even more speed this week.
On average, the Phillies fell 4.25 spots this week, including an eight-spot fall in CBS Sports' power rankings. That's obviously not great.
But with two straight wins, maybe the Phillies (41-38) are about to turn things around as the MLB season nears its midpoint. When the season opened, the Phillies were near the top of everyone's power rankings, and were ranked No. 1 by several outlets, following a hot start. Now, half a season later, the Phillies have found themselves solidly in the middle of the pack, with just one outlet ranking them in the Top 10.
And that's not where anyone expected this team to be heading into the most important part of their season.
Let's take a look at the rankings...
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|8 (-1)||If you're new to these rankings, you should know they're fairly forgiving of teams' recent cold stretches and tend not to over-analyze hot stretches. That said, the Phillies are free-fallin' like that Tom Petty song, and it has not been pretty. They're 6-16 in their last 22 and were just swept by the Marlins.|
|9 (-5)||Bryce Harper, the $330 million slugger, now getting a run in the leadoff spot.|
|7 (-8)||The Phillies were tied for first place on June 11. Going to June 24, they are 6 1/2 games out. That's pretty tough to do.|
|9 (-6)||It’s been a frustrating season for first-year Phillie Bryce Harper, at least by his usual gaudy standards, but perhaps he’ll get a jolt from hitting out of the leadoff spot, a part of the lineup he rarely occupied during his seven-year run in Washington. Jay Bruce has feasted in his return to the National League, going deep seven times in just 17 appearances since arriving in a trade from Seattle...|
|10 (-6)||Leadoff hitter wanted. The loss of Andrew McCutchen to a season-ending knee injury has crippled Philly's already underachieving lineup, with middle infielders Cesar Hernandez and Jean Segura struggling in the role, and even Bryce Harper getting a chance. McCutchen scored 45 runs in 59 games, setting the table for others. Who is next? Scott Kingery and Roman Quinn are fast but not exactly disciplined at the plate. The search continues.|
|12 (-5)||What happened to the Philadelphia Phillies? A brutal 0-6 week that included series sweeps at the hands of the Nationals and Miami Marlins sent them tumbling five spots in the rankings for the second week in a row. They're now 2-11 in their last 13 games with a minus-43 run differential during that span. They were two games up in the NL East standings at the beginning of that slide and now sit 6.5 games back.|
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game(s) into account.]