Phillies

This has not been a productive Thursday for the Phillies

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This has not been a productive Thursday for the Phillies

If you're looking for the stat to define the Phillies' season, it's this one leading into Thursday's series finale against the Braves. This is how the Phils have played over the last month.

Last 2 games: 1-1
Last 4 games: 2-2
Last 6 games: 3-3
Last 10 games: 5-5
Last 12 games: 6-6
Last 14 games: 7-7
Last 16 games: 8-8
Last 18 games: 9-9
Last 20 games: 10-10
Last 22 games: 11-11
Last 24 games: 12-12

The essence of mediocrity.

The Brewers won their seventh straight game Thursday afternoon, completing a sweep of the Marlins.

The Mets won their fourth straight game, completing a sweep of the Diamondbacks.

The Cubs, losers of five of six through Thursday, beat the Padres.

As the Phillies prepare to play their 146th game of the season, they trail the Brewers and Cubs by 2½ games and the Mets by a half-game for the second wild-card spot (see standings). The D-backs have faded from the picture and are a game behind the Phillies.

This is where remaining schedules come into play. The Cubs begin a 10-game homestand on Friday: three vs. the Pirates, three with the Reds, four with the Cardinals. After that, it's another three-game series against the lowly Pirates.

The Brewers have a tough series this weekend in St. Louis, followed by a seven-game homestand against the Padres and Pirates, then a road trip to Cincinnati and Colorado. All four of those teams are playing out the string.

The Mets' road is a bit tougher. They have three at home this weekend against the Dodgers, followed by three in Colorado and three in Cincy. Then comes a four-game series vs. the Marlins before a season-ending set against the Braves.

The Phillies' schedule is by far the hardest. After the Braves series, they face the Red Sox twice at home then have an 11-game road trip to Atlanta, Cleveland and Washington. They will face a lot of good pitching on that trip: Dallas Keuchel, Mike Soroko, Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin. 

After Saturday's Aaron Nola-Eduardo Rodriguez pitching matchup, the Phillies could very well be the underdog in 12 consecutive games.

It's getting late. The projection systems don't like the Phillies' chances and nor does the fanbase, apparently. The Phillies have drawn an average of 24,000 fans in the first three games of the Braves series. They've been the weakest home crowds of the season, in mid-September, in a divisional series. Telling.

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Nationals poised for trip to World Series ... so fans are celebrating Bryce Harper's absence?

Nationals poised for trip to World Series ... so fans are celebrating Bryce Harper's absence?

The Washington Nationals are now one win away from a trip to the World Series thanks in large part to Stephen Strasburg's admittedly amazing performance on Monday night over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Nationals fans should be stoked about their team. And it's likely, in some ways, that they are. But it's also somewhat bizarre what some Nats fans have chosen to celebrate.

This photo and tweet have been making the rounds this morning and caused a bit of a buzz in Philadelphia.

Tickets - $35, Beer - $10, Bryce Harper watching from home - Priceless

Let's just ignore the fact you can get into a NLCS game for $35 in DC for a second.

Your team is poised to celebrate a league title and you're celebrating the fact that a guy who used to be on your team is... no longer on your team? Okay.

The person in the replies who said it's like going to your own wedding and being most excited about the fact that your ex wasn't invited to the party makes a solid point. It's weird.

I suppose it's worth cutting Nationals fans some slack in this situation because they don't know what it's like to actually make it to the World Series and you've got to learn how to react to things by actually experiencing them.

So, if they end up making it to and losing in the World Series to the New York Yankees or Houston Astros, Nats fans will know how to react to that. They're used to losing in the playoffs.

I wonder what they'll celebrate then?

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Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

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