The Phillies Aren’t Worth Our Time Right Now

The Phillies have been absolutely abysmal over the first two months of the 2023 season. There’s no sugarcoating it anymore. “It’s early.” “They lost Rhys Hoskins.” “José Alvarado, Darick Hall and now Alec Bohm are on the shelf.” We’ve heard all those excuses and more, and yet, no amount of lipstick can cover up this pig. Yes, they could still rip off a big winning streak and get back on track just like they did last summer. And yet, as the Phillies sunk to a new low by joining the Washington Nationals in the National League East cellar on Friday night, they proved that they are simply not worth our time right now. 

Friday’s performance was utterly infuriating. They went down 6-0 in the first two innings to a miserable Nationals team. Then, they came charging back from a 7-1 deficit to knot things up at seven apiece. Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, a two-out walk from Connor Brogdon came around to score on a bloop single to put the Nats up 8-7. That score would hold as the Phillies would drop their fifth straight contest, with their season-long record now sitting at 25-32, tied with the rebuilding Nats. 

This team has been utterly pathetic. Trea Turner, the marquee free agent signing, has been absolutely disgusting to start the season, posting a .648 OPS to this point. Co-aces Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler have ERAs of 4.70 and 4.33, respectively. The team went 3-12 with runners in scoring position on Friday, continuing a season-long trend of failing miserably in golden opportunities. 

There’s truly been nothing good about this Phillies team to start the season, and they just aren’t worth our time anymore. I’m not giving up on them. I can’t give up on a team this talented. They’re (almost) the same squad that took us on a magical ride last October. And yet, I find myself turning the television off over and over again this season. 

The Phillies specialize in losses like this. They put up seven and the Nats put up eight. Three days earlier, they scored zero when the Mets scored two. The Phillies are masters of the heartbreaking loss, and the 2023 season has been full of them. In a spectator sport, the most important thing is putting out a product worth investing in emotionally, and the Phillies have failed to do that thus far.

I could make a big deal out of the bright spots from this game. The bullpen was spectacular other than Connor Brogdon. Nick Castellanos had four hits, including two homers. The offense clawed back from a massive hole. But what’s the point? It’s consistently been one step forward, two steps back with this team. Bryce Harper and Trea Turner both struck out with two men on in the first. Brandon Marsh and Kyle Schwarber had brutal misplays on fly balls that led to multiple runs scoring. Lifetime scrub Drew Ellis got picked off first in (hopefully) one of his very few major league games. Even when some guys show up, the rest of the team drags them back down. This story has a different villain every night.

I know this treatise has been all doom and gloom. I’m sorry to say, things probably won’t get better in the near future. Saturday afternoon will see the Phillies resort to a bullpen game since they have no fifth starter. Dylan Covey, who has the highest ERA in major league history of any pitcher with at least 250.0 innings to his name, is set to throw a few frames. Alec Bohm is out for at least ten days nursing a sore hamstring, with his roster spot going to the aforementioned little leaguer Drew Ellis. Josh Harrison still has a roster spot despite holding an OPS of .489 on the year. None of the team’s four starting pitchers has an ERA below 4.00. 

This team has been trash and there’s no other way to put it. As baseball fans we want to enjoy the product on the field, not be constantly bludgeoned by a ballclub not worth our time. I hope I’m overreacting. I hope that a month from now I look back on this article while the Phillies sit comfortably in a playoff spot and realize how much of an irrational doomer I was. Unfortunately, it’s up to the Phillies to make me look stupid, and they seem to have no intention of doing that.

Leave a Reply