The Phightin’ Phils are 4.5 games behind Atlanta. What a turn of events from the beginning of August, but as Phillies Phans know all too well that this is to be expected from this team.
Moreover, the titular crux of this article is “The Biggest Week of the Season For The Phillies,” which holds many things to evaluate and unpack. Specifically, the Phillies schedule this second half of the season is supposed to be one of the easiest, but this team is blundering.
The Phillies have been marred with injury after injury, to the point of losing star first baseman Rhys Hoskins. The entire infield and bench are going to be turned upside down with players switching from catching to first base cough cough J.T. Realmuto.
To the point, the Phillies are playing the Nationals and the Marlins over the next week. Both teams are at the bottom of the NL East and the Phillies should beat them. The old adages of the “Phillies can’t beat bad teams,” or “Phillies will implode,” are always phrases that come to the minds of Phillies Phaithful. Why shouldn’t they?
This Phanbase has waited for over a decade to see more consistent success and especially October baseball!
The Phillies have an opportunity to seep the week and take some ground back from Atlanta. Atlanta is playing the red-hot LA Dodgers and the sneaky-clutch Colorado Rockies this week which will be a challenge for this Atlanta team.
Yet again, the stars are aligning for the Phillies to take hold of their future and it really is up to them whether or not they can overcome the Nationals and Marlins. The Nationals and Marlins are two teams the Phillies have not totally figured out.
The injuries are tough when considering Zach Eflin and Rhys Hoskins are not back nor coming back this season, but there is always hope.
Kyle Gibson has performed remarkably as well as Matt Moore in certain situations. Ranger Suarez is killing it in the starting role, but again the Phillies need to give their starting pitching run support. Suarez pitched a great game this week against the Rays and the Phillies could not take advantage of the Rays’ starters. The Phillies could have avoided Tampa’s relief core if they struck earlier. The offense and the bullpen need to work harder in scoring runs and preventing late-game implosions.
Now that Rhys is done for the year, J.T. will be moving to first base and probably split time with Brad Miller. If Realmuto is permanently there for the rest of the season, bringing up Rafael Marchan will be exactly what the Phillies need to have any hopeful push. Marchan is a defensive wiz and can hit, which is already better than Andrew Knapp, who should still be a back-up to Marchan. Now that Knapp is on the Covid-IL, Marchan is the Phillies’ main catcher outside of Realmuto. The rest of the season is going to need to be a lot of fun and selfless baseball.
Segura staying at second, Didi and Galvis at shortstop platooning, and Torreyes and Williams platooning third will be great if need be. There is going to be a lot of flexibility and rotation, but the Phils could realistically win this division based on their schedule and cohesiveness. The outfield is pretty set with McCutchen, Herrera, and Harper which is good, but better fielding is needed by Herrera and Cutch. The resurgence of Cutch at the plate will be the key to the Phillies’ offensive success.
This team is still functional and can make an impact in this division. Atlanta has a hard week and the Phillies need to take advantage of that, pure and simple. The Phillies are in an opportune position this week to create a bigger chance, that being, the 2021 playoffs. Let’s keep up the high hopes and Go Phils!
Photo: Matt Slocum/AP Photo