The Phillies look really, really bad right now. But relax. Anyone who has followed this team over the years knows that it happens every year—to every team, for that matter. That's part of playing a 162-game schedule.
As much as the media would like you to believe otherwise, the MLB standings on June 4 are MEANINGLESS. Totally MEANINGLESS.
PLEASE READ: The quotations on the following slides weren't actually said by anyone. They are just along the lines of what a typical Phillies fan who is high on passion and low on perspective would probably have said following each game.
The "Author's thoughts" section of each slide is what yours truly was thinking about the Phillies at the given time...if you really care.
Please enjoy, stay calm, stay positive, and remember...
There are still three months of regular season baseball left. Much better days are ahead. Besides, the Phils have a long reputation of being a second-half team, while the Braves and Mets are never known for fading in June...
Scott Hatteberg’s homer off Tom Gordon with two outs in the ninth ties the game as the Reds go on to win 2-1 in 10 innings. Phillies are 4-11 in the early going, in last place in the NL East, and 6.5 games behind the red-hot Mets.
“Jimmy Rollins...team to beat...what a loser...sure, he talks a big game, but he and this lousy bunch of chokers can never back it up....”
Author’s thoughts: The Phils aren’t this bad. They can’t possibly be. But they’ll remember these early losses when they eventually miss the playoffs by a game or two...again.
The Phillies lose their third straight home game to the Mets, 8-3. The Phils had been playing better as of late but are now just 41-40, in third place, and six games behind the front-running Mets.
“This is embarrassing...the Phils had a chance to make a statement...they blew it...plus, Mets fans have totally taken over Citizens Bank Park!!!!”
Author’s thoughts: The Mets are the NL’s best team.
Padres score two runs in the ninth off Brett Myers in a 4-3 San Diego win. Phils have now lost four straight at home and are just 66-62 on the season.
They are now seven games out of first place for the first time since June 5.
“Yeah, these Phillies had us going for a while...but they stink...Ryan Howard is no Carlos Delgado...Charlie Manuel is no Willie Randolph...and Jimmy Rollins is no Jose Reyes!"
"Plus, Cole Hamels...our 15-game winner...will miss a whole month with an injury...we now have no pitchers!!!"
Author’s thoughts: Phillies host the Mets for a four-game series next week. Who really cares?
One game after blowing an 8-2 eighth-inning lead in a crushing loss to Atlanta, the Phillies fall at home to Florida, 6-3. It’s the Phillies' fifth loss in six games, as they are now just 73-67 and back to six games behind New York.
“After sweeping that home series from the Mets last week, we were just two games out of first...now we’re way behind again...I hate this team and these losing, choking players...fire everybody...especially that bumbling buffoon of a manager!”
Author’s thoughts: Season’s over.
The Phillies finish interleague play 4-11 after a disheartening 5-1 loss in Arlington. Phils are 44-39 and just a game up in the NL East.
“Reigning NL East champs? Well, not this year...only a matter of time before the Mets start kicking ass...no way in hell we’re making the playoffs, not to mention the World Series...."
"But if we do make the playoffs than these recent games prove there’s no way we can compete against the American League...not against Boston...not against the Angels...not even against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays...no...the Rays...who should be fading anytime now...."
“Wait, I’m not done...Howard’s hitting .215...still striking out a ton...opposing pitchers have totally figured him out...bring back Jim Thome!!!”
Author’s thoughts: This team hasn’t hit for two whole weeks—reason to worry.
Dodgers complete a four-game sweep of the Phillies. 3-1 setback leaves Phillies at 64-57, one game behind the red-hot Mets for first place.
“At the trade deadline the Dodgers picked up Manny...just look at what he’s done for the Dodgers in such a short time...look at what C.C. Sabathia’s doing for the Brewers...instead of snagging C.C. or Manny last month, we picked up some guy named Joe Blanton...Joe who?...are you kidding me?...nice job Pat Gillick...."
"Phils won’t make it to the playoffs now that the Mets are for real...but even if we do make it somehow, there’s no way we can beat the Brewers or Dodgers in the postseason...no way.”
Author’s thoughts: This team hasn’t hit a lick for two whole months. Stick a fork in these Phillies. They’re done.
After taking two of three from the Mets at Shea over the weekend, a 7-3 home loss to the Marlins leaves the Phils at 79-67 and 3.5 games behind New York.
“Brewers are coming to town for a four-game series this weekend...good thing C.C. isn’t pitching in any one of those games...the Phillies will never be able to beat that guy in a big game....”
Author’s thoughts: Cautiously optimistic.
The nine-game interleague home stand marks the return of:
1) Terry Francona
2) J.D. Drew
3) Rod Barajas
4) Scott Rolen
With these guys coming back, there are lots of reasons for Philly fans to boo the opposition. But the Phillies’ terrible performances give fans a lot of reasons to boo the home team too.
The Phils lose to the lowly Orioles on Father's Day, 2-1, to conclude a miserable 1-8 home stand. Phillies are 36-31, and their lead in the NL East is down to two games.
“Have you seen the Phillies' record at Citizens Bank Park this season???...It’s 13-22...what a disgrace!!!...we’re paying our hard-earned money to watch this slop...this team stinks...and no...I’m not giving them a pass just because they won the Series last year...no way.”
Author’s thoughts: Being swept at home by Toronto and the Orioles is embarrassing. But it’s still only June. No reason to panic. Lotta baseball left.
The 2009 Phillies hit rock bottom. Atlanta scores three in the eighth to win, 5-2, and complete a three-game sweep. The Phils are now tied for first, and the top four teams in the NL East are separated by a TOTAL of TWO games.
“This is a joke...the only way we’re winning this division is if we acquire Roy Halladay from Toronto right now!!! Kyle Drabek? Dominic Brown? TRADE THESE GUYS!!! They’re only prospects...they’ve never done anything meaningful.”
Author’s thoughts: The Phillies will win this division but need one more starting pitcher to make it back to the Series.
Not a fan of the proposed Halladay deals. If only there were a pitcher (or two) we could acquire without totally giving up the whole farm system...hmmm.
Hamels roughed up in final tune-up before the playoffs as Phillies fall, 4-3. Unlike years past, the Phils have not played well down the stretch, winning just five of their last 13 games.
“Things aren’t looking good...hitting never, ever wins championships...pitching does...right now we have no ace and no closer...Cliff Lee has struggled in his last few starts...Cole has been miserable all season...and as great as Brad Lidge was last year, he’s been almost as bad this year....
“Sports Illustrated is predicting the Rockies to beat the Phillies in four...back in April, SI predicted the Mets to win the World Series this year, and the Mets would be on their way to a World Series win if it weren’t for all their injuries...Phillies have no ace and no closer...and no chance of beating Colorado.”
Author’s thoughts: The Phillies will beat the Rockies in five games. After that, well, I don’t know. But I do know that way too many people around the country have underestimated these Phillies over the past few years. Honestly, it’s tough to keep on doubting this club.