PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 2017 Phillies may be remembered for a long time—for all of the wrong reasons. After 85 games, the Phillies currently have the worst record in baseball, at 28-57, which is just one game better after 85 games than the 1961 Phillies, who were the last Phillies team to lose over 100 games in a season.
Those 1961 Phillies went 47-107 in a 154-game season, while these Phillies still have 77 more games to play.
Can this team do better than 27-50 the rest of the way?
It’s a good question, considering there have been no indications that this team can play better than .400 the rest of the way.
There are many examples why, like their 6-22 May, or their league-leading 22 losses in one-run games, or their inability to hit with runners on base, or their faulty bullpen, or a myriad of other issues.
The 2017 Phillies do seem to have more talent than reaching 107 losses. But they do seem destined to reach 100 losses, which they’re only 43 games from hitting.
In 1961, after 50 games, the Phillies were 17-33. After 50 games, this team was 17-33.
Is there any hope?
There was in 1961.
The average age of that regular starting lineup was 24.6 years old. It was a team that had 22-year-old Johnny Callison and a pair of 23-year-old pitchers, Art Mahaffey and Chris Short. It was also a team that made a 34-game turnaround in 1962 to go 81-80.
The Phillies still have two more games against the San Diego Padres, who have scored the fewest runs of any team in the majors. Can they somehow have a way of finishing better than the 1961 Phils’ standard of 107? Probably. But the Phillies will have to go 35-42 over their next 77 games to avoid losing 100 games.
There have been no clues that this team can do that.
One thing is for certain: These Phillies appear bound for history.