The first half of the season came to a merciful end. The Phils finished the same way most of their season has gone thus far, on a long losing streak. Other than Jonathan Papelbon, the rest of the team can go home and think about how they will spend the rest of the summer. What? Oh, apparently they need to actually play the 2nd half of the season. And we have to continue to write about them. Not sure which is a tougher task.
23 runs in 7 games. Not much more to say. Many teams could actually make that work for them. Unless…
…your pitching staff allows 50 runs in those same 7 games. Starter or bullpen, it didn’t much matter. Almost everyone was equally ineffective preventing the Phils from even reaching 30 wins through 91 games.
Around the N.L.East
Nationals– Bryce Harper led the Nats to a 48-39 first half. After trailing much of the season, they overtook the Mets and finished up leading the way. They did fall off in the final week, however. Harper is in the top 5 in most of the major offensive categories in the NL. With max Scherzer matching that in the pitching department, the Nats will look to hold on once the All-Star break is over.
Mets– The Mets crept back into the race picking up 2.5 games over the final 7 days. Having won 7 of 9 and 5 of 6 to wrap up the first half, the Mets (47-42) let the pitching staff carry them. They did take a hit as Steven Matz went on the DL but the rest of the staff combined to allow just 11 runs over the last 7 games, including 3 straight shutouts at the beginning of the week. As they head into the back end of the season, they are showing no signs of running away and could very well make a race out of the East.
Braves– Not a good ending to the half. The Braves (42-47) dropped five in a row to slide into the break 7 games behind the Nats. Having fallen under .500, the Braves are going to be following the Marlins and Phils into the depths of meaningless baseball for the remainder of the season.
Marlins– The Marlins (38-51) head into the 2nd half on a bit of a high note having won 3 of 4. However, without Giancarlo Stanton for a few more weeks and the possibility of losing MLB hits leader, Dee Gordon for at least a little bit, things aren’t likely to get much better.
If there is a bright side to the Phillies moving forward…hey, at least they only have to play/we only have to watch 71 games in the 2nd half. Moves will be made. Players will be dealt. New faces will get a chance. It’s going to be a long 71 games though.