Philadelphia Phillies fans knew what this season would be. We knew it would be a rebuilding year. We knew roster changes would come. And we hoped front office changes would come. The question, though, is: did we expect the 2015 Phillies to be this bad?
On the offensive side, the Phillies are 23rd in batting average (.245); 28th in runs scored (299), RBI (284), on-base percentage (.296), slugging percentage (.361), and OPS (.657); 29th in home runs (56); and 26th in extra-base hits (219). They are dead last in runs per game (3.40).
These statistics are coming off the heels of the Phillies suffering two straight shutouts at the hands of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. But the good news for the Phillies is that they get some relief on Friday night, when they travel to San Francisco to face off against … Madison Bumgarner.
Carlos Ruiz has been non-existent all year, other than the occasional rally-ending double play ball. When Chase Utley returns from the DL, he won’t be the Phillies starting second baseman. Freddy Galvis is playing shortstop. The offensive production from the outfield is a joke. I could go on and on. Maikel Franco is the only offensive bright spot, but one player cannot turn a team around.
On the pitching side, the Phillies are 29th in ERA (4.66), earned runs (401), and walks (284); 27th in quality starts (34), and K/BB (2.23); and tied for last in WHIP (1.47).
If you subtract Cole Hamels from the rotation, as the Phillies are actively pursuing, this team has a 6.02 ERA. A 6.02 ERA! The good news for Phillies fans is that the front office is, reportedly, thinking about calling up Aaron Nola shortly after the All-Star break. He won’t miraculously save the team, but getting him some big league experience before the start of next season could be a very good move.
Now you, dear reader, may wonder where this history I alluded to comes into play. Well, here it is: the Phillies are on pace to lose 109 games in the 2015 season. That would be their most since 1942, when they also lost 109 games. The Phillies franchise record is 111 losses, set in 1941.
After going 29-59 in their first 88 games, the Phillies would have to go 34-40 in their final 74 games to avoid having a 100 loss season.
The question remains in my mind however: can the Phillies go 21-53 in their last 74 games to set a franchise record with 112 losses in one season?
The Phillies finish up the first half with a series in San Francisco, where they will face Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, and Chris Heston. The Phillies will be lucky to get one of those games, as they are throwing David Buchanan (0-5) and Chad Billingsley (1-2) over the weekend. The good news for the Phillies is that, of their last 74 games, 36 of those games are against teams currently under .500.
I find myself in the same position I was when the 76ers were on the brink of breaking the NBA’s consecutive loss streak. I am rooting for history. I wanted the 76ers to break that record, and I want the Phillies to lose 112 games this season. If we’re chalking this season up to a lost season, and we are certainly doing that, give me something to remember.
I don’t want to just look back and remember the awful play, awful decisions, and awful management. I want something to show for just how bad the Phillies are. I want the Phillies to make history.