It has been a disappointing season for Bryce Harper, the Phillies, and their fans. Photo by Wayne Terry, TPL.

After this weekend, we saw the same recurring theme for this Phillies’ season: the Phillies dropped a series they should have won and continue to hold themselves back from a hot streak. Sunday’s loss to the Marlins was the ninth loss of the season to Miami. For a team that is hanging on for dear life to make the postseason, dropping series to teams like the Marlins is completely unacceptable. Situations like this weekend are a big example of why the Phillies have cost themselves this season. 

Missed opportunities 

One thing the Phillies have needed badly this season is a hot streak that got them back on track and back to looking like the Phillies that kicked off the season. Late in this season, they have had multiple opportunities to launch themselves forward and start making some noise again, but they continue to drop the ball. One big example is two weeks ago with the Cubs series.

The Cubs came into town, and it looked like the Phillies were going to get exposed by one of the NL’s top dogs at home, but they shocked everyone and spectacularly swept the Cubs. Bryce Harper completing the sweep with a walk-off grand slam is a special kind of moment that could or should have completely turned their entire season around.

After that sweep, it looked like the Phillies found a much-needed spark, and we were going to see the Phillies’ hot streak that we have been begging for. But the response after that series sweep was dropping two of three to the San Diego Padres at home. The Phillies showing up to play their best baseball against the league’s top teams and then treating games against poor teams like a day off has been a bad look and could cost them an opportunity to play in the postseason this year. 

Ugly cold streaks 

Another thing that cost the Phillies the season is that the team went on some bad stretches against some teams that they should not have. Back in June, the Phillies had a stretch where they were swept in back-to-back series against the Nationals and the Marlins. There is no excuse for not taking at least one game in each of those series. Cold streaks like that can kill the morale of a team, especially when it is against two teams in the division. 

Amidst all of the things that happened to the Phillies this season, they still have managed to keep themselves in the hunt to squeak into the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, there have been far too many times in this season that they have not looked like they want it. 

In late July into early August, the Phillies dropped three straight series to the White Sox, Diamondbacks, and Giants. The Phillies should have beat all of those teams, and two were right on their heels in the Wild Card hunt, so dropping those games just dug them a bigger hole to get out of.

Unmet Expectations

When the Phillies went out this offseason and signed Bryce Harper and traded for guys like JT Realmuto and Jean Segura, they looked poised to be one of baseball’s top teams. This season is starting to look like a wash, and the blame should go all around.

This Phillies roster, even after all of the injuries it has seen, is way too talented to lose almost double-digit games to the Miami Marlins this year. Dropping multiple series to teams that they should have blown out of the water has been frustrating to see and something that should never have happened. All of those games cost them valuable wins that could have landed them in a division race and not a Wild Card race. All of these missed opportunities could sadly leave the Phillies on the outside looking in come playoff time.