Joe Girardi didn’t mince words after his Philadelphia Phillies lost 5-4 to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon — the third time in a four-game series that they lost to the lowly NL West side.
“It stunk,” the manager said. “It stunk. It stunk. There’s no other way to describe it. It stunk.”
“Stunk” still might be too kind of a word to use.
Entering the four-game set against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the Rockies were one of the worst road teams in baseball having won just 18 of 68 games away from Coors Field.
But they treated Philadelphia like East Denver, scoring 20 runs in their three wins against the Phillies.
Now Girardi’s men find themselves in dire straights with less than three weeks remaining in the 2021 season.
They sit 4.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East and are looking up at the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals, who trail the Cincinnati Reds for the final Wild Card spot in the National League.
The Phillies’ deficit for the Wild Card is just 2.5 games, but the surging division-rival New York Mets are just a game behind them after winning two of three from the Yankees over the weekend. The two meet for a three-game set later this week after the Phillies play the Cubs and the Mets host the Cardinals.
“You still look at the division but the bottom line is you have to win games,” Girardi said. “We have to win games and we have to play better.”
That hasn’t been happening for the Phillies as of late, losing seven of their last 10 games after sweeping the Washington Nationals.
The schedule can’t really be blamed, either. Philadelphia had one of the easiest second-half schedules in all of baseball, which makes their September swoon all the more disturbing.
“It’s go time. We don’t have any more time to waste,” Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto said. “We can’t have anymore splitting series, losing series. We have to go. We have to win every series the rest of the season. We have to sweep a couple of them to be able to catch the Braves.
“We can’t sit around and play .500 baseball and expect them to come back to us.”