DENVER – General manager Matt Klentak collected his thoughts and said, “There’s no other way to say it, the last six weeks have been awful.”
And that was before the Phillies’ first eight hitters struck out Wednesday night, before the moribund team suffered its seventh straight defeat in an uncompetitive 14-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Even usually upbeat manager Gabe Kapler couldn’t come up with anything positive after the team’s latest embarrassing loss.
“It was just a sh---y performance all the way around,” he said. “From a pitching standpoint to approach at the plate, we didn’t do anything very well tonight.
“We’re playing really bad baseball right now. Really bad baseball,” he said. “There’s no excuse for it. None at all. We all have to look ourselves in the mirror individually and collectively and figure out how to be better. We have to do it right now."
The Phillies are 6-18 in September.
It sure looks like they've quit.
“I don’t believe there’s a man in that room that’s quit,” Kapler said. “I think we can fight harder. I think we can grind harder. I think we can push each other harder.
“I feel like there’s more fight in us. I feel like there’s more energy. There’s more grit. I’ve seen it. I know it’s in there. I believe in these guys. I believe in their ability to bring it out and I believe in their ability to bring it out tomorrow. But that doesn't take away from the fact that we have been playing really, really bad baseball for quite some time. No excuse for it.”
Three games into this four-game series at Coors Field, the Phillies have been outscored, 34-4. It is the first time since 1958 that they have given up at least 10 runs in three straight games.
And to think, this was a first-place team, 15 games over .500, in early August.
The Rockies are thanking the schedule makers for sending the Phillies their way in the final week of the season. The Rockies are in a dogfight with the Dodgers for the NL West title. If the Rockies win the division, they might want to send the compliant Phillies a portion of their postseason shares.
The Phillies are 0-7 on this eight-game trip. It began with four losses in Atlanta and elimination from postseason contention.
The Phils had an 0-8 trip in June of 2015. That ultimately led to manager Ryne Sandberg’s resignation. Kapler isn’t going anywhere (see story).
The Phils’ worst road trip ever was an 0-9 showing in 1883. Only by the grace of the schedule makers will they not equal that mark on this trip.
The Phillies are 78-80 with four games left in the season. They need three wins to finish .500 and avoid a sixth straight losing season.
After Thursday’s game, the Phils open their final homestand of the season Friday night against the NL East champion Braves. It’s likely Jerad Eickhoff will start Friday followed by Aaron Nola on Saturday night.