Time is running out for the 2019 Phillies

This year's Phillies squad faces a tough road ahead if they hope to squeak into the postseason.

On+a+blazing-hot+September+15th%2C+2019%2C+the+Philadelphia+Phillies+fall+to+the+Boston+Red+Sox%2C+6-3.
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Time is running out for the 2019 Phillies

On a blazing-hot September 15th, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies fall to the Boston Red Sox, 6-3.

On a blazing-hot September 15th, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies fall to the Boston Red Sox, 6-3.

Andrew Shinkle

On a blazing-hot September 15th, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies fall to the Boston Red Sox, 6-3.

Andrew Shinkle

Andrew Shinkle

On a blazing-hot September 15th, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies fall to the Boston Red Sox, 6-3.

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They were the team to beat.

  But now, as the 2019 MLB regular season winds down, the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves essentially eliminated from playoff contention. Following one of the best offseasons in franchise history, in which the club acquired some of the game’s top players, the Phillies now stand at a record of 77-72.

  Projected as early World Series favorites by many, they find themselves four games out of the second Wild Card spot with 13 left to play.

  As the Phillies have their backs up against the wall, their passionate, enthusiastic fanbase is collectively asking two questions: “How did this happen?” and, more importantly, “Is there any hope left?”

  Even in the bleakest of circumstances, I try to be optimistic and find the positive in any situation. While things don’t look great right now, the Phillies have to keep their heads up, and do everything in their power to win ball games.

  It all starts with pitching and defense. Entering September 16th, the only Phillies starter with an ERA under 4.00 was staff ace Aaron Nola, but even his 3.62 ERA isn’t lighting the league on fire. If the starting five had their ERA’s just a half-point lower, the Phillies might have a few more wins on the ledger. 

  It will be imperative for them to shut down the opposition’s offense if they hope to make a run.

  Moving on to offense, look for superstar acquisition Bryce Harper to lead the charge for a playoff berth, if there will be one. During his days in D.C with the Nationals, Harper was known as one of the most clutch players in the game, and could carry a team on his back. As long as he takes the field, the Phillies always have a chance to win.

  That isn’t to say that other members of the starting nine will not contribute. During the month of August, 2017 breakout first baseman Rhys Hoskins was as cold as ice, batting an anemic .161. After such a terrible month, there’s nowhere to go but up, so look for him to make these last fourteen games count.

  Additionally, All-Star catcher J.T Realmuto has been the most reliable and consistent Phillies player the entire season, and looks to continue his hot streak into the final days of September. A defensive mastermind who also has a great swing, Realmuto has been universally praised by his teammates as MVP of the 2019 Phillies.

  While the road ahead will be tough, with away series in Atlanta, Cleveland, and Washington, the Phillies are no stranger to overcoming the odds; perhaps most famously in 2007. Seven games behind the New York Mets in the division with seventeen left to play, the Phillies managed to win the NL East in one of the MLB’s craziest finishes ever.

  With the lofty expectations placed upon them at the season’s beginning, it is almost certain that someone in the front office will be fired if the Phillies fail to make the postseason. But the executives don’t play on the field; they can only do what they think is best for the team. Matt Klentak, General Manager of the Phillies, shouldn’t be fired for constructing a World Series-worthy roster.

  To many, the stadium lights for the 2019 Phillies have gone dark for the winter. But until it’s over, there’s always a chance.