Let's Look At Why The Phillies Suck Right Now During An Ugly 1-5 Road Trip

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Let me preface this with a warning that this is an extremely nerdy blog. I just need to diagnose why this team sucks so much right now. Not all heroes wear capes.

Pete Mackanin is our manager and there is nothing we can do about that for now, unfortunately. We’ll have to deal with his momentum shifting lineup changes, his ineptitude at managing the bullpen, and his severe lack of stamina to keep his team in ball games. It also seems abundantly clear that management has no desire to call up any of our top prospects for the time being. This is something I am actually ok with for now. I’ll make a fuss here and there about Jorge Alfaro, but if you really dig in deep and research the Phillies catchers defensive and offensive metrics, they are actually quite decent. So this is the team we have to deal with for now.

As Larry Anderson, king of the idioms said last night, “How many times can you grab defeat in the jaws of victory?” Of the 24 games they have played this season, 12 of them have been decided by 1-run. They are 5-7 in those games. Of the 14 losses they have this season, the bullpen accounts for 6 of them. Here is a quick list of the stats that the bullpen is dead last in the entire MLB in.

WAR: -0.8. Very Ryan Howard-esque

HR/FB – 20% – This is absurd to me. If one of our bullpen arms gives up 5 fly balls, it will leave the ball park 1 of those times.

HR – 20 – In 84 2/3 innings of work, they have given up 20 home runs! That’s 2.13 HR per 9 innings. The major league average this season is 1.18.

I need to present some bullpen numbers during this recent road trip too. In 17 1/3 IP, they have a BB/9 of 4.16. WHIP of 1.62. K/9 of 6.24. You don’t need to be a stats junkie like me to understand how bad that it is. Yet, the bullpen’s LOB% is 80% this season, which is 3rd best in baseball! How?

And for my last anecdote about the bullpen, what in the living fuck is Pete Mackanin doing with Pat Neshek? Hindsight is always 20-20, but we could all see that Contreas for Montero move a mile away. Joely hasn’t been the most trustworthy dude with RISP and yet, Pete tosses him in there anyway. And then he goes to Edubray Ramos next! Of the 6 games Ramos has come in with a lead, he has 2 loses and 2 blown saves. And yesterday, he just let the game get out of hand. Meanwhile, Neshek with his 0.00 ERA is sucking his thumb hoping his name get’s called.

The bullpen can’t take all of the blame. So far during this road trip, the offense is 11-51 with RISP. Especially Odubel, who can’t be striking out with runners on like he has been all week.

To Pete’s credit, he has gotten the most out of a team in his 2 years that shouldn’t be in the same conversation as the Cubs or the Dodgers. He has turned nobody’s like Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez into All-Stars. But when the shit hits the fan and it’s time to play manager in the spotlight, he is a turtle hiding in his shell. Outside of early bullpen struggles, everything about this team is a significant improvement to last season. However, all of that means nothing if they still can’t learn from their mistakes.

Eflin v. Lackey today at 2:20 ET. Let’s even the series vs. this denture wearing hack. Gain some momentum for what will be a scary weekend series against the Nats. Go Phils.