September 17, 2019
After being swept by the Red Sox over the weekend, the Phillies are currently five games back of the second National League wild card spot with just 14 games left to play. With a tough schedule remaining that includes 11 straight road games against teams that are all at least 15 games over .500, it's probably finally safe to say this Phillies season is over.
Of course, stranger things have happened. But it doesn't seem like the 2019 Phillies, who came into the season with lofty expectations after a busy winter that saw them add four All Stars to the lineup and spend more money than any team has ever spent in one offseason, will be reaching their stated goal of making it back to the postseason for the first time since 2011.
In order to pass the Brewers and ultimately the Cubs, who currently hold the NL's final postseason spot, the Phillies (76-72) will likely need to go at least 11-3 over the final 14 games — do you really see that happening against the above-mentioned teams? — which would get them to 87 wins. But if that were to happen, they would still need Milwaukee (81-69) to go just 6-6 over their final 12 games and Chicago (82-68) to go just 5-7 over their final 12.
That would then put all three teams into a wild, three-way playoff scenario just to get to the one-game wild card matchup against the Nationals, who currently have a half game lead over the Cubs. Of course, the Phillies could also catch the Nationals (82-67), who would need to go 5-8 in their final 13 games. But the Phils could actually help themselves here with five games left against Washington.
But all of those pieces falling into place seems like a tall task, and if the Phillies are able to muster one last push, it will likely be too little, too late — they currently have just a 0.8% chance of making it to the postseason, according to baseball-reference.com. And that means the Phillies will close the 2010s without a trip to the World Series, marking the first decade since the 1970s in which they failed to reach the title series.
The 2010’s are going to be the first decade where the Phillies don’t go to the World Series since the 1970’s.— Jack Fritz (@JackFritzWIP) September 17, 2019
Also not helping the Phillies cause is the fact that the team announced on Tuesday that outfielder Corey Dickerson, who is hitting .304 in 260 at-bats with 42 extra-base hits this season between the Pirates and Phils, suffered a broken foot and is done for the year.
Corey Dickerson's season is over. He has a fractured foot. Edubray Ramos is activated for bullpen help.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 17, 2019
Since joining the team at the trade deadline, Dickerson has hit .293 for Philly with 34 RBI in 34 games (133 ABs). Not bad for a guy who only cost the Phillies some international signing money and a player to be named later.
The Phillies season might be over (for all intents and purposes), but that's not going to stop us from checking in on the where currently stand in various national power rankings as they head down the stretch. We've been doing it all season, so why stop now?
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|14 (--)||Perhaps the most surprising thing about the disappointing Phillies is that they have a -7 run differential at this point in the season. After everything we heard about that lineup! You have to have pitching too.|
|15 (+1)||The Phillies got swept in a two-game weekend set against the Red Sox and are five games back of the second National League Wild Card spot entering Tuesday night's series opener against the National League East-leading Braves. It's probably over, but this team can still make some noise -- and perhaps play spoiler -- given the following rest-of-season schedule: 3 @ ATL, 3 @ CLE, 5 @ WSH, 3 vs. MIA. That five-gamer in Washington looms large, mostly for the Nationals. Bryce Harper would probably take great pride in knocking his old team out of the NL Wild Card picture.|
|15 (--)||After winning on May 29, the Phillies were 11 games over .500 and had a three-game lead in the NL East. They've gone 43-50 since.|
|15 (--)||They play 14 games in 13 days to end the season.|
|12 (-3)||Philadelphia's issues in 2019 go way, way beyond Gabe Kapler, but it feels like a 50/50 proposition whether he returns in 2020. With the window open now, the Phillies are going to have to take a long, hard look to be sure Kapler is the guy to win a World Series as Phillies skipper. By the way, Charlie Manuel breathing down Kapler's neck doesn't exactly feel like a vote of confidence.|
|16 (--)||Scott Kingery was one of the worst players to qualify for the batting title a season ago, producing a ghastly .605 OPS over 484 PA. His second season has gone considerably better, with more than 50 extra-base hits and an OPS more than 200 points better. He has done this despite starting 30 or more games at center field and third base, neither his primary position. Kingery is not drawing walks as once expected, but this more aggressive version rakes at pitches in the strike zone, and he is a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman should the Phillies move him there. This is a future All-Star.|
[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.]