There was a barbeque in Canada this week and the Phillies were the main course. In 4 straight losses to the Blue Jays, the Phillies were fried up like a plate of Canadian Bacon. You could smell the greasy smoke from Toronto all the way to Philly.
And the Phillies did not just lose four games; they were slaughtered unmercifully. The 0-3 and 5-6 losses in the Philly half of the series were bad enough, especially after they lost on Tuesday despite a Cody Asche grand slam to tie the game. But in the Toronto half of the series, the Phillies went down in spectacularly bad fashion by scores of 0-10 and 6-12. It was ugly.
And the ugly parts were, unfortunately, in every facet of the game; pitching, offense and defense were all horrible. The worst defensive play of the series by far was from Ben Revere in Wednesday’s game. In the 7th inning, he gave up on a fly ball to center that I supposed he thought was a home run. It turned into a triple and Cliff Lee, after seeing his teammate bail on a catchable ball, appeared to unravel. Lee is usually very calm and collected so anything that rattles him has to be serious. That inning turned in NINE runs for Jays. Wow.
Then last night, A.J. Burnett, who has been the best starter recently, was tagged for 6 earned runs. Luis Garcia came in for the last two innings after his call-up from Triple-A. It was said when he was called up that Garcia was outpitching everyone in the minors. He had not allowed a run in 11 games. So what happened last night in his first game back to the majors? He was eaten up by the Jays like an evening snack, allowing 3 runs on back-to-back homers in the 7th. 2 more runs scored in the 8th after a lead-off walk and an error by Jayson Nix.
Some of the Phillies veteran players, like Cliff Lee, are probably beginning to realize this season may be a lost cause…again. The fans have already figured that out as evidenced by 6,000 fewer season tickets sold compared to last year and a 7,070 tickets per game decrease. The Phillies are losing fans, money and pretty soon, their players. Because if this continues, you can bet Cliff Lee will be campaigning to move on at the trade deadline. And who could blame him?
It is time for the Phillies to step out of the frying pan. And they had better do it quickly before they burn.