What happened Saturday to the Phillies is the kind of devastating loss that can deflate a team, not that the Phillies have had more than their share of disappointment already in a season filled with bad karma.You can just imagine what it was like walking through the morgue that was the Phillies’ clubhouse after being rocked by the Minnesota Twins. What stings even more is that the Phils looked as if they were about to break through the malaise that has gripped them in 2010. A pair of victories from unlikely sources Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick to close out the New York Yankee series and a opening-series victory on Friday against the Twins had the diehards believing again.
Then Saturday happens. A five-run ninth. A Brad Lidge breakdown. A total team breakdown. A waste of 10 runs. A waste of a decent Cole Hamels effort. All junked.
Can the Phillies dig themselves out of this psychological mess?
The Phillies are now 9-16 over their last 25 games. They’re also 28-30 since starting the season 7-1. Saturday also marked the first time since June 15, 2007 that the Phillies lost a game when they hit five homers. So it doesn’t look like the sudden influx of offense is the panacea of everything that has ailed the Phils during this downward spin.
Maybe Lidge put it best when he was quoted as saying “We were just bad.”
The Phillies should have beaten the Twins on Saturday. They didn’t. They blew it. There’s been no doubting the collective character of this team. But there are cracks in the wall. Who knows what will happen next in what’s been a very unpredictable year thus far. Maybe the Phils will be able to look back on June 19th one of two ways: Either as the day the Phillies changed their 2010 misfortunes and began playing the way everyone expected them to entering this promising season, or view Saturday’s demise as a microcosm of the season, when just as they were building momentum, the season collapsed in a five-run, ninth-inning haze.