You could feel it in the air at Citizens Bank Park last night, the hype, the buzz, and the enthusiasm for this team was not present. You could also look around and see a lot of empty seats around the stadium as well.
With only less than two weeks in the Phillies season, the thoughts have naturally turned to next year.
Hard to believe but it's only 11 more games left for this team in 2013. Around this time of year for many years in a row, was 'who are the Phillies playing in the playoffs.' Not this year, and of course it wasn't that way last year.
Two years in a row that this team was supposed to be accomplishing great things and it's a duplicate performance in a very disappointing year.
The same things that were 'wrong' with the Phillies are the very same problems that they still have. The bullpen, though lately fairly dependable, has been a source of constant pain for the Phils along with a very unstable outfield.
Mike Adams (at $5M for 2013 and contracted for $7M in 2014) was brought in for Spring Training, he could have been damaged goods right from the start, if the truth is known. He went out on the DL on June , that may have been a good thing as he only pitched 25 innings for the Phillies and went 1-4, and giving up 5 HR. Had he been healthy, who knows maybe things would have been different. Adams is no youngster though at 35 years old.
Despite the early season struggles of this team this year, that isn't what did them in. By the All-Star Break this team looked like it was turning itself around. Then it was the disaster after the break that did them in.
From July 19th, when the Phillies played their first game back after the All Star Break, to August 17th, the team could only manage to win 4 games out of 26 games or a winning percentage of just .154 - it was a downward spiral that they would never recover from.
What do we expect next year? Without certain changes, we could possibly be looking at the same stagnation. Things do change though and you can probably bet that the Phils will be making many changes in the off-season that they didn't make at the All-Star Break.