Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Gregory Soto walking off the mound.
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Gregory Soto walks off the mound after being taken out during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

💡 Get Philly smart 💡
with BP’s free daily newsletter

Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies lineup this week, shocking the sports world by becoming the fastest player in human history to return to game action following Tommy John surgery to surgically reconstruct his throwing elbow. 

And yet, that’s not what we’re talking about.

On the latest edition of Hittin’ Season, I had no choice but to delve into one of the worst series we’ve ever seen from your hometown nine.

Think I’m exaggerating? 

The Phillies were outscored by 25 runs in three games against the Dodgers. That hadn’t happened in a series that short since 1938 by a team that sported a record of 45-105. That’s 60 games under .500, folks. Before that, it happened in 1935 by a team that went 64-89, and in 1918 by the 55-68 Phils. 

The Phillies have been around since 1883 and have played some truly horrendous seasons during the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, but they haven’t played a series as bad as that since just before World War II. 

This week, the defending National League champs did it. 

Not only did they get outscored by a lot of runs and fail to play effectively clean baseball in any way shape or form, they also suffered a walk-off loss on a grand slam by Max Muncy in the series finale.

That’s not the way you want to get on an airplane and fly 2,390 miles back home.

Everything was bad. The defense was bad, allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to score in the 8th inning on a missed catch by Edmundo Sosa. Nick Castellanos misplayed a shallow fly ball into a triple, Kyle Schwarber hobbled around left field, resulting in extra bases on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Brandon Marsh misplayed a fly ball in center field as well. 

Pitchers couldn’t throw strikes. The Phillies recorded two hits in their 13-1 loss on Tuesday. 

It simply doesn’t get any uglier than that. 

That being said, it’s May 4 and the Phils are two games out of a wild card spot. There is no reason to panic, no reason to give up, no reason to throw in the towel. Bryce Harper’s return to Philadelphia this weekend should result in huge crowds against the Boston Red Sox. 

And if you can put this week’s ugliness out of your mind and come down to CBP to enjoy the match-up, make sure to stop by our very first Hittin’ Season tailgate, where Justin Klugh, Liz Roscher and I will be meeting and greeting Phillies fans with free food and drinks, with a chance for you to be on the podcast! Hit it here for all the details!

Hope to see you there, despite the gloominess of a lost weekend in Hollywood.

Avatar photo

John Stolnis, Hittin' Season

John Stolnis grew up in Delco as a rabid fan of all Philadelphia sports, but the Phillies have always held a special place in his heart, particularly those disappointing Juan Samuel-led teams of the late...