Carlos Gomez hit his 11th home run of the season against the Phillies in a blowout Sunday. Photo: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
Allow me to go back to Friday morning for a brief moment.
Hey, it's June 7. There is a lot of baseball to be played and the Phillies are currently in the mix. As I said yesterday, a winning road trip followed by a home series victory against the Washington Nationals is an absolute must for me to take them seriously as a playoff contender. Last night was a solid start to the road trip and with Cliff Lee taking the mound tonight the odds appear to be pretty good the Phillies will leave Milwaukee with no less than a split. Considering how lowly the Brewers are right now, that is not great but I would take it if the rest of the road trip goes well.
Yeah, about that...
Cliff Lee had a 4-0 lead Friday night as the Phillies looked to be set to put the weekend road series on cruise control. Instead the Phillies saw that 4-0 lead vanish and it turned in to a deflating loss when Aramis Ramirez hit an RBI single to left field for the 5-4 win for the Brewers. OK, fine. That's baseball sometimes. Little did I know that loss would lead to two more, even more brutal losses over the rest of the weekend.
The Phillies took another lead early on Saturday thanks to yet another home run by Domonic Brown, and Kyle Kendrick labored through six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out six batters. Despite a decent enough outing, this was another case of the Phillies bats not having nearly enough in them. The Brewers took game three of the series with a 4-3 victory, holding off any late rally attempt by the Phillies. On Sunday it was all Brewers in an embarrasing 9-1 setback. On top of it all, Erik Kratz landed on the 15-day disabled list after trying to leg out a single, because the Phillies are so deep on major league catching depth right now.
On Friday I also said this, following Thursday nights victory:
I wanted to see the Phillies pick up seven wins on this ten-game road trip. One down, six to go.
Off to a dismal 1-3 start, the Phillies will have to sweep three-game sets in Minnesota and Colorado in order to reach seven wins before they return home for a series against the Washington Nationals. Considering the Phillies are not equipped for and struggle in interleague play, especially on the road, this seems as likely as a blue banana. In fact, it is fair to say already, before the second two of three stops, that this road series has been a complete failure.
When the Phillies left town following a sweep of the Miami Marlins they had won four straight games and finally clawed their way back to the .500 mark. A win on Thursday night with Cole Hamels on the mound sent a positive vibe that lasted until jumping out to a 4-0 lead Friday night. Now the Phillies move to Minnesota two games under the .500 mark and have lost a season series to the Brewers 2-5, being outscored 25-36. Keep in mind the Brewers, today, are 25-37 and sitting in the basement of the NL Central and are the third worst team in the National League according to wins and losses.
There is still a lot of baseball to be played this season, but if nothing changes soon there will be a lot of mediocre at best baseball to be played this season in Philadelphia.