Phils Drop Series, Wild Card Chances are Bleak – Phillies Nation
2012 Game Recaps

Phils Drop Series, Wild Card Chances are Bleak

Just two hits by the offense and some lackluster defense led to another loss on Sunday, as the Phillies dropped the series finale to the Braves, by a score of 2-1.

Roughly a year following the Phillies contributing to Atlanta’s historic collapse down the stretch and missing the playoffs in 2011, it seemed to be the Braves that did in the Phils this time around, as the team that is primed to lock down a Wild Card spot took two of three games this weekend in south Philly.

While they are not completely done, the Phils now sit 4 1/2 games out of the second National League Wild Card spot with just nine games remaining on their schedule.  And as you’ve heard endlessly for weeks, with three teams (St. Louis, Milwaukee and Los Angeles) in front of them for that coveted post-season berth, much cooperation will be necessary if the five-time defending NL East division champs are to make the playoffs once again.  Atlanta is nine games ahead of  St. Louis, who currently rank third in NL Wild Card standings.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee surrendered a run in the second inning, when outfielder David Ross slugged a homer to deep center.  In the top of the 3rd, two singles and a fielding error by Lee loaded the bases with no outs.  This set the stage for Atlanta to pad their lead, but they mustered just a lone run on a sacrifice fly by Dan Uggla.

The Phillies plated their run in the 7th frame, when Chase Utley drove in Jimmy Rollins with a sac fly of his own.  Lee’s sacrifice bunt that pushed John Mayberry Jr. to second base in the third inning was the only other Phillie runner to advance past first base in the contest.

Following the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel acknowledged that the team still had life, although not much.

“The noose is getting tighter, but we’re still there.  We’re still breathing,” said Manuel.

Nothing for Howard-

With a chance to become the fifth Phillie ever to slug a homer in five consecutive games, Howard stepped to the plate with two outs in the 9th inning, but fell victim to Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, fanning to post a 0-for-4 day.

Can’t handle Hudson-

Moving to 3-1 in five starts against the Phils this season, Hudson dominated on the mound, scattering two hits and a walk over 7 1/3 innings in the contest.  The right-hander earned his 16th win of the season.

Lee sets record-

With his effort on Sunday (8 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, , le11 K, 0 BB), the lefty Lee set a big league record by going 15 straight starts with at least six innings pitched and one or fewer walks allowed.   Additionally for Lee, it marked the 23rd time in his  career that he recorded double-digit strike outs.

Last year’s Braves collapse-

Leading the Wild Card standing by 8 1/2 games through September 5th last year, Atlanta lost 18 of their final 27 contest, including a three-game sweep by the Phils to close out the schedule, and were overtaken byeventual World Series champion St. Louis on the final day of the season.

Next up-

Following a day off on Monday, the Phils will close out the regular season home schedule as they host playoff-bound Washington for a three game set beginning Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider.  You can read more from Jay by checking out his site,

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  1. Ryne Duren

    September 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    although i couldn’t watch the game today. after reading this article i could just feel and picture the scene of them not getting hits all day! it’s been this way for the most part for a couple of years now ! score a bunch in one game then struggle scoring runs for a few games afterwards.
    even though they’re not mata mathamatically out, lets face it! they’re done. shut doc down, play ruf, just do it, don’t kid yourselves. it was a good run boys! thanks, lets go get em next year.

  2. Lefty

    September 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    It’s a great day isn’t it? 5 games back and If the D-backs win they go in front of us. And to make it all perfect we get the revenge of Kolb too. Someone please just shoot me.

  3. Cs

    September 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Pretty sure my comment got lost, but basically a sad sunday.

  4. Cs

    September 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Pretty sure my comment got lost, but basically a sad sunday. Not to mention a sad weekend!


    September 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Let’s face the facts, the Phils stink and they will stink next year unless some widespread changes are made.

    They need to completely retool the outfield. Mayberry is NOT a starter but simply a reserve. Brown should be given some time in the field next year but with a short leash. They need a centerfielder.

    They need a third baseman. Utley is not the answer.

    Pitching is needed , especially relief pitching. Kendrick looks like he will be really good in the futer . Halladay is hurt and hopefullywill be ready for next season. Same is true for Worley. But we will see keep our fingers crossed.

    Give Ruf a shot a left fiefield. we have nthing tolose

    • Jaron B

      September 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Brown + Mayberry = platoon. Amaro needs to make an effort to improve and I’m sure he will. I agree that Ruf needs a start. C’mon, Cholly!

      • Devin

        September 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm

        Platooning Brown hurts the team’s future. I’d rather ditch Mayberry entirely than platoon him with Brown.

  6. arc

    September 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Like i said in an earlier post, If Amaro is not seriously blamed for the destruction of this organization there is not much I can say. Every move this man has made has proven to be disastrous. His Miami heat style of managing does not work in baseball. You build a team gradually. Halliday is finished, this last two year push has destroyed him. Cliff Lee is an Enigma. When hes on hes ethereal, when hes not hes horrific. Please, no more studs, just give me some players with heart and hunger. If your going to do it like the Yankees, then do it like the Yankees.

    • terry

      September 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      first of all learn how to spell. the phillies are a great team. I have been following the phillies since 1972. i fell you don’t even know the stats of the players. you just bark. you are not a real baseball fan. you just complain. get to know the stats of the players. then do some talking.

      • terry

        September 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm

        sorry i spelled feel wrong. my bad. i just get so upset when people bash a team and players. when they no nothing about a team. just band wagon players instead of being real fans who follow a team thru good and bad like a marriage.

      • arc

        September 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm

        yeah, and capitalize the first letter in your sentences!!! I guess I wasnt so hott when I wrote what I wrote either! or maybe im human like you

    • Whatever

      September 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      Cliff Lee is rarely horrific. He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball with some of the worst luck. Look at his peripherals. They are awesome this year…about the very same as Hamels.

      • Jaron B

        September 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        Cliff Lee’s seaon is an extended metaphor for the 2012 Phillies. His ups and downs follow the Phillies’.

      • Nick

        September 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        Jaron, agree to a point. But unlike the Phillies, who will finish the year (hopefully) slightly above average, by almost any measure Lee will finish the year as one of the best pitchers in the NL.


    September 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Terry….. I have been following the Phils since 1959….attended games in Connie Mack Stadium, TheVet and CBP.. This year, they stink and don’t be a fool and say otherwise. Then people will think you are truly a dumb ass. My spelling is indeed a little off because of a broken left hand. I attend about 40 games a year and pay dearly for my seats. So you can root for the Phils like a Stepford Wife and I will root for the Phils my way. With my money and the truth. They stink this year. I am just glad they hit the 500 mark.

    So you can stick this message where the sun does not shine, you dumb ass.
    And I know Phils stats all the way back to the early 1960’s, but that means very little except for little minds like yours.

    • frank

      September 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      What’s wrong with you being so mean and insulting. Its people like you that makes me glad the phillies are done. You pretty much just admitted that you are just a frustrated old man. Let people have opinions.

    • Ryne Duren

      September 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      there ya go BART! tell em! you’re dead on right pal! i feel the same way. to me it was a moral victory they even got to.500 benn following them since 62 senn some pretty good teams in the span but a lot of bad also! i root either way. i know a stinky team when i see one and this years team was stinky! end of story.


    September 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Terry….. I bet you really are a junior high schooler. Sorry if I hurt your feelings. Also, you might want to brush up on your grammar and your spelling. I’m retired now, but if I were your English teacher, I would give you a D.

    • George

      September 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      I believe Terry was responding to arc, not to you, Bart.

      It figures that everyone would be disgusted now that the Phils are pretty much done. But I really see no excuse for name-calling.

      I also see no real reason to say the team stinks. Teams that play .500 or better baseball don’t stink, they just have some issues to address. There are ample reasons why the Phils shouldn’t even have reached .500. Yes, I know injuries are not an excuse. Especially when they only affect your key hitters, three of your starters, half of your bullpen, and a bunch of players brought in to play for the guys already on the DL.

      Amaro is paid to address those issues; I believe he will, and next years team will be even better than the team has been in the second half this year, when they managed to get within three games of a playoff spot after being written off earlier.

      I’m not happy with today’s results, either. But I refuse to let my disappointment get in the way of civil discussion. Maybe my opinion isn’t shared, but I don’t care enough about that to stoop to playground tactics in expressing it.

      • frank

        September 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm

        Put very well. Sports should be enjoyable without stress because normal everyday life has enough stress. That’s the great thing about sports.

      • arc

        September 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm

        you are an insane philly fan

      • Ryne Duren

        September 25, 2012 at 12:06 am

        george i agree and disagree! i agree on your point that teams that are .55don’t stink. but i disagree also with you on this particular team because compared to last years team that won 102 this team stinks! the bueaty of it gearge is with a few changes here and there and a little better luck we don’t stink next year! and i’m lookin forward for our boys to come back strong.

    • Stuart

      September 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Are you a senile old man who does not even know who Terry was talking to? He responded to arc, not you so I don’t know why you need to just get all grumpy and angry. If you are going to be a negative Phillies “fan” please do it somewhere else.

  9. Bob in Bucks

    September 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    The Phillies are flawed but do not “stink”. Some of the flaws are obvious and some are more subtle. Amaro won’t say and I am not even sure he understands it but 2013 should be a bridge year. The window has closed on the Rollins/Utley/Howard era. They are still good players but not what they were years ago. This is the Hamels/Lee/??? era and for that we need to reinforce the bullpen and correct the offensive deficiencies. Phillies need to play off the strength of pitching and need just a few pieces for a decent (but not dominant) offense. Problem is FA market is not good for 2013, no significant minor leaguers will be ready next year and cash will be tight. I truly hope Amaro waits for 2014 for some big moves. He can then get flexibility by ditching Utley and Doc. I loved these guys but they are not part of the future. With that $35 million we can add some new blood in the infield and get one starter if necessary (depends on whether Kendrick can keep it up).

    But I fear that Amaro will go for a second tier Free Agent and tie up the money again. We do not need or want Upton or Bourn. These guys have already peaked. Target for 2013 should be a decent team winning about 85 games. Not enough for post season but a decent team. Everything should be targeted towards 2014-2015.

  10. Ken Bland

    September 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

    That’s pretty funny. George stated yesterday that he saw no excuse for name calling, but then arc decided to regurgitate his baseball views a second time, and George dug deep in his arsenal and…well, to be original, the rest is history.

    Re Bart Shart saying the Phils stink…stink is just another word for nothin’ left to lose, but while Sir Shart is but a stranger in this here paradise, I find it interesting that a man of his veteranship uses that word. Not that it matters, of course. But to belabor a semantic point, I considered that word as an appropriate adjective many times during the bad stretches, but never felt it quite right. After an improved, but still a little overrated 2nd half, it seems further distant.

    Let’s see if the club can win close to out just for the hell of it now, and make for a little more positive atmosphere as we head into Sign Cody Ross Season.

    • George

      September 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

      There are times when one absolutely has to use the word “moron.” Mr. Shart merely seemed upset and very disappointed, and I can certainly relate to that. Names don’t apply in such a case. I also believe that he has the intelligence and spirit to calm down to a more rational level. “Stink,” after all, can be interpreted in a number of ways, and some aspects of the Phils do, perhaps, smell a bit.

      But when a person trashes the team for reasons he can’t back up with facts, and when his few so-called facts are incorrect or are merely others’ baseless opinions magnified, that person is clearly a fool, and deserves the names he gets called.


    September 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    You are absolutely correct. I am a grumpy old man . And I am loving it. Love the Phils and am a bit frustrated. I got used to winning from2007 to 2011. They were magical days for me as a fan. I hate to see it go up in smoke. Our farm team is NOT very good in terms of future hitters and position players. And those we have, like Ruf, may never play for us because they are blocked or management won’t gamble on them learning another position.

    Anyway, I do apologize for my passion and my grumpiness. Have a wonderful day.

    • George

      September 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Never apologize for passion unless it leads to crime.

      • frank

        September 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

        George I’m sorry but apologizing is one of the most important things you can do for someone. Apologizing shows strength which a lot of people have a hard time doing. Apologizing does show a compassionate side of a person. This was not that big of a deal but I felt important to say.

      • George

        September 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

        I agree to a point, Frank. But as far as I’m concerned, passion is, in most cases, a good thing, and is not something that requires an apology. (Unless it leads to crime). Most things in life are accomplished by passion; DaVinci was certainly passionate about science; Picasso about art; Salk about eliminating polio.

        If Mr. Shart is decent, and as you put it, strong enough to come clean about his grumpiness, I more than respect that. But without passion, he wouldn’t be much of a fan.

      • frank

        September 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        You are right and I agree.

      • Ryne Duren

        September 25, 2012 at 12:15 am

        hey fellas the one thing we all have in common is we love the fightens. and let me tell ys if i say something to one of you guys you don’t like . tell me i can take it . i try not to get personal, it’s not right and sometimes i might come off that way and if i do i apologize! but i have a built in excuse you know. i have a shirt i bought and the shirt says ” my parents said i could become anything. so i became an a-hole! my dads 83 a big fan of the fightens and that;s what he called me routinely growing up! i earned it . i love the shirt and him and he’s ditto.

    • brooks

      September 25, 2012 at 5:58 am

      Bart? Is that you Bart?
      Of course you remember probably 2 years ago, when you first started visiting this site I unloaded on you (a bit) and you took such offense, you still do not acknowledge me and my posts.
      So now, you too have regurgitated on someone, meaning to do it or not, your passion, your blood just boiled.
      It happens… Bart is not a grumpy old man – believe me.

  12. Ken Bland

    September 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    However this wild card winds actually winds up, it would appear that one of my prayers to the baseball gods has been answered. That was in response to seemingly more than all the people who mentioned 89 wins as the 2 card qualifier based on history. Looks like 87 max should do the trick. I just didn’t care for what was coming across, like a historic threshhold was the challenge, as opposed to the real time competition. The 89 was worth a mention as an interpreted historic norm for the new qualifier, but it was way over recognized. As 89 really looks like more than necessary, we’ll move on to my next goal.

    And on this one, trust me when I tell you that nary a soul, especially younger folk that moved into the population after most any form of pre World Series playoff action will think this way.

    There is a most common attitude among a great many fans that the playoffs are a crapshoot, the hot team wins, and other factors like luck enter into it. While there’s no denying that even a previously extended field validates that thinking to a greater extent than years ago, and there are several examples to support that popular thinking, I still believe that execution is not totally lost in this ever expanding tournament. What I’m saying is I’d like to see “the best team” win for a seemingly rare time. Sure, the flukes of the world make for a nice story, but back in the day, more often than not, the best team won, and it didn’t “cheapen” things, although tcheapen is in quotes because there has NEVER been a World Series parade anywhere that was not a major achievement. To me, any of this year’s qualifying field are solid entries with a respectable chance, so it’s impossible to say there’s a best team that should win it. So no matter who wins, I think we can look forward to at least a year off from this “hot” thinking. Even Milwaukee, a seller living under .500 from April to September is a realistic titleholder now that they have resumed bullpen strength, and caught a break of sorts with Alex Gonzalez going down. If the A’s or O’s win, I know people still won’t want to respect them, but this has gone on all year, and if they do manage to go all the way, I’m sorry, skill won’t take a complete back seat to luck. Perhaps some lucky breaks like matchups, or respected rotations like the Rays or Angels won’t even be in the field, but I’m hopeful we get an authentic, deserving champion, even if they aren’t a great team, which baseball offers so little of anymore that at least makes one feel like a worthy champion has been crowned.
    That probably sounds like I’m discrediting the Giants of 2 years ago, but that’s not really my intent.
    They at least had components of greatness sprinkled through their club (starters, pen, Posey) that showed timely execution and skill that got lost in the shuffle amongst timing and momentum.

  13. Brooks

    September 25, 2012 at 6:07 am

    I truly believe that Mayberry needs to be out of this Phillies equation next year. You can take Nix and probably Wiggy out as well and by the way, make sure Mini Mart never steps on the field at CPB while you’re at it..

    Kevin should be left at third base, until he plays himself out of the position. Katz is our backup catcher, I don’t think the Phils have ever had such a luxury as a valid #2 catcher.

    The outfield needs work, first and foremost.
    A full season from Howard, if we are lucky enough a full season from Utley, a left fielder with some pop (Ruf perhaps?) and find a place for Pierre.
    I FINALLY concede that giving Brown room to prove himself (or hang himself) is needed from the beginning of the season.

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