The Phillies played a decent nine innings against the Cubs on Saturday, but nine innings weren’t enough to get it done. The offense went silent behind All-Star snub Zack Wheeler, and the wheels came off in the tenth inning. A couple of players deserve blame here. Free agent flop Nick Castellanos stranded Matt Vierling on third in the eighth, and the recently reliable José Alvarado fell apart in extra innings. However, the biggest culprit here is Alec Bohm, who suddenly forgot how to field his position.
Bohm had a brutal top of the tenth inning, blowing three straight plays that could’ve gotten the Phillies out of their jam. The Phillies played their defense in with Nico Hoerner on third base with one out. Frank Schwindel rolled one over to third base, and Bohm fielded it on a hop. He fired home to cut down Hoerner, but his throw was wide, forcing J.T. Realmuto to catch it on the right side of his body, and come back the other way to make the tag, by which point Hoerner was safe. This gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
On the very next play David Bote laced a grounder to third base where a diving Bohm had it deflect off of his glove and into left field, putting runners on second and third. Then, two plays later, Nelson Velazquez hit a grounder to Bohm at third base. In his usual statuesque form, Bohm decided not to move to place his body in front of the ball, but tried to pick it on a hop to his left. Of course, this led to the ball skipping right under his glove into left field, scoring another two runs to put the game out of reach at 5-1.
It didn’t matter what happened after that, as the wind was completely out of the Phillies’ sails. They came into the All-Star break riding high off of a three-game sweep, but have been completely overmatched in two games since. This doesn’t look much like the team that clawed its way into a playoff spot despite Bryce Harper’s broken thumb. Instead, it looks much more like the woefully inept squad that Joe Girardi tried his best to torpedo in April and May. Even after tonight’s loss, they’re right in the thick of the wildcard hunt. There’s still plenty of time, and the Phils have a decent shot at making the playoffs. However, if they want to keep themselves afloat, they’ll have to do a hell of a lot better than they have this weekend.