Phillies’ September slide continues as Nora struggles and offense fails originally on NBC Sports Philadelphia
CHICAGO – Just when you thought it was going to be a memorable September for Aaron Nora, the old demons resurfaced.
A bad game. A bad loss.
A 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night was a terrible loss for the Phillies. Struggling to secure their first playoff berth in a decade, you now have to wonder if they can do it.
The Phils have lost nine of their last 12 games and are halfway to their final NL wild card spot.
It’s not exactly what you’d call the finisher, as they trailed 10-13 in September with eight games remaining.
Nora was flagged for a four in the second half of the fifth inning, but that was only part of the reason the Phillies lost.
In back-to-back losses to the Cubs, the offense produced just three points. In this most recent loss, the Phillies went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and 12 on base.
Did the pressure of the playoffs keep these hitters to the fullest?
“I don’t know,” manager Rob Thomson said. “I think they try to do too much at times. I’m not sure if it’s pressure, but I think at other times of the season they’re trying to do too much. We got a lot of base runners. We just didn’t pass the big hits. We’ve had stretches like this before. We’ll get rid of it.
“We have to get over this and move on. That’s what this group usually does. We’re going to stay positive, keep it simple and get back to basics. Get good pitches and use the entire field when we’re on the plate.
“Hit with runners in scoring position, we’re the best in the league (MLB-best .274 going into Wednesday) in a year. We just don’t do it now, But my feeling is we will.”
A pair of Cubs rookies brought it to the Phillies on Wednesday night.
In his third major league start, right-hander Hayden Wesnerski gave the Phillies the win in five or more innings. Christopher Morrell’s 3-run homer in the fifth inning was the big blow for the game.
Nora has had some well-documented issues this past September. He had a 6.19 ERA in six games last September and a 6.51 ERA in five games in September 2019.
He appears to be rewriting the script this September. He allowed just five of his 21⅔ innings in the first four games this September and opened Wednesday’s game with four scoreless innings before the Cubs dished out nine players , and scored four runs in the fifth inning. In this inning, the potential double was unchanged, with Nora hitting a batter. After one out, he attempted to ride an all-out fastball from Morell, and the rookie wagon threw the ball off the left field wall to break a 1-1 tie.
“I got him swinging at 3-1 and missed (on a fastball), so I went all-in and pitched again,” Nora said. “I just missed the position.
” This is frustrating. I was feeling good, but the fifth inning was gone. “
Morrell, 23, is becoming a notable killer for the Phillies. In five games with the Phillies this season, he has three doubles and two home runs Hit and seven RBIs. Morrell hit a solo homer against Zach Wheeler on Tuesday night to help the Cubs beat the Phillies 2-1.
The Cubs shot a 69-86, beating the Phillies in all five meetings between the teams this season. They are the new Miami Marlins, wreaking havoc on the Phillies Team’s playoff chances.
The Phillies and Cubs close out their season series on Thursday afternoon. Another loss for the Phillies would put them tied with the Brewers , in the final NL wild-card berth a week later. The Phillies did have a tiebreaker against the Brewers, but the champagne would be flat if they made the playoffs.
The Phillies haven’t won September since 2017. They suffered some ugly meltdowns at the end of September as their game ff drought reached a decade last year.
Last season, the Phillies lost six of their last seven games.
In 2020, they lost seven quarterfinals.
In 2019, they lost 9 of their last 12.
In 2018, they lost 9 of their last 11.
This pattern continues this September. The Phils have eight games to stop it and save their season.
“We didn’t have today Get it done,” Kyle Schwaber said. “We have to learn from it and try to win tomorrow.
” Obviously we’re not happy with what’s going on. We want to score. The most important thing is we have to stay positive. Just because we’re on our last road trip and fighting for A wild card point, we can’t let these thoughts creep into our heads. We have to have the same thought process that we have throughout the year. Hit, grab, grab, win a baseball game. Don’t look too far. It’s a tough one Games, if you don’t enjoy those times, it makes the game harder. Just go there and try to have fun like it’s open house or mid-July.”
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