So, this is what rock bottom looks like.
The Phils dropped their third straight interleague series and eightth of their last nine games last night and now move on to Toronto where they've never had success. In the process, they surrendered their four game lead over the Mets and fell into a tie for first place in the increasingly inept NL East. The Marlins are only a game back. If the trend continues, the Phils could be in third place by the end of the weekend.
The relentless losing is bad enough but the way the Phillies are losing is particularly depressing and, frankly, galling. Runners are getting inexcuably doubled off, ending rallies. Usually reliable fielders are making bonehead plays. Veteran hitters aren't. Relief pitching isn't. For the last month or so the Phillies haven't been fun to watch; in the last ten days they have been painful to watch.
The press keeps waiting for Charlie Manuel to throw a fit. Lot of good that'll do! As the saying goes, he can't pitch or hit for them, especially when they can't hit or pitch for themselves. The few good starts the staff put together over the last week, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton come to mind, were wasted.
The injury bug has certainly hurt. Any time you take your leading hitter in every offensive category out of the lineup the results are going to suffer. Still, the loss of Raul Ibanez is hardly the whole story. The Phils bullpen just can't get anybody out any more and the alleged brain trust is unable to come up with a solution. Sergio Escalona is the poster child for all that ails them. He's been up and down to AAA Lehigh so many times already he's probably used up half his remaining options.
If they bring Kyle Kendrick back we'll know the white flag is next.