John Kruk is basically every Philadelphia Phillies fan right now.
Once again, the Phillies are collapsing in September, fresh off a Tuesday night doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Washington Nationals to put their postseason dreams very much in danger of not coming to fruition.
And it seems to be weighing on the former Phillie turned analyst as he went on multiple tirades during the team’s 6.5-hour trainwreck that was Tuesday afternoon into evening.
Following the Phillies’ 5-1 loss in the first leg, Kruk went off on the team’s motivation and will to grind out the final games of the regular season.
“If you’re tired now this time of year, then you don’t deserve to be in the playoffs because if they’re tired now, they’ll be even more tired when the playoffs start,” he said. “Fighting for your playoff life? Your a— better be on fire when you go out there and right now it’s not for this team.”
He also rued the team’s change in philosophy, longing for the days of small ball rather than the nosedive being witnessed this month.
“When they were playing National League baseball, taking extra bases, stealing bases, moving runners, being aggressive, that was baseball,” Kruk said on Phillies Postgame Live between games. “What we’re watching now is closer to Little League with errors and senseless errors.”
“This is not a playoff team the way they’re playing right now. This is not a team that deserves to be in the playoffs the way they’re playing.”
His pep talk didn’t work. The Phillies’ league-worst bullpen with their 7.21 ERA imploded yet again to gift the Nationals an 8-7 extra-inning, walk-off win.
Entering Wednesday night’s slate of games, the Phillies were one game back of the final National League playoff spot — a swift drop from their perch on Sunday morning that saw them have an 87% chance to make the postseason.
But that’s what four losses will do, as the Phillies are dangerously close to coming up empty during a year in which the playoffs were all but guaranteed for them.
For general manager Matt Klentak’s sake, the Phillies better find a way in or else his job will somehow be on thinner ice than it was last offseason.