The Phillies continued their pathetic post-All-Star break play on Sunday, getting swept by the Chicago Cubs. The 4-3 loss puts a cap on a miserable three game set to open the second half.

Spot starter Bailey Falter put the Phils in an early hole, giving up two runs each in the third and fourth innings. They clawed their way back to make it a one-run game by scoring one apiece in the fifth, sixth and eighth, but couldn’t make it over the hump. For a third straight day they just looked outmatched by a terrible Cubs team that’s destined to sell off key pieces at the trade deadline. 

There were a few bright spots on offense, as Rhys Hoskins, Garrett Stubbs and last night’s villain Alec Bohm all had multi-hit efforts. However, they couldn’t get much going outside of those three, with the rest of the lineup combining for only two hits and one walk. Another silver lining is the bullpen, where Nick Nelson fired two scoreless innings, followed by two more shutout frames from Corey Knebel and Jeurys Familia. But, Falter had already dug a bit too deep of a hole for this struggling lineup to dig out of.

It was a tough day made even tougher by the fact that the game was streamed only on Peacock, meaning the vast majority of fans couldn’t watch unless they paid for yet another streaming service. Commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners’ boundless greed and complete unwillingness to do anything to grow the game has been on full display this year, and it hurt Phillies fans in particular this afternoon. 

The stupidity of Major League Baseball aside, the Phillies are making things more difficult on themselves. By the grace of God the Cardinals lost on Sunday, meaning the Phils are still only 1.0 game back of the final wildcard spot. However, their current roster just isn’t enough to get them where they need to be. They clearly need some help on offense, seeing as they only scored seven runs the past three games. The questionable health of both Zach Eflin and Ranger Suárez means they should look to add at least one starter. And, despite how good the bullpen has been the past two months, they could stand to make a few upgrades there, too. Suffice it to say, getting swept by the Cubs put the Phillies’ flaws on full display, and they’ll need to make some big changes if they want to play serious October baseball.

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