August 12, 2013
By Nick Tricome
The Phillies gave Cliff Lee a 4-0 lead on Saturday night, but the game ended with the Nationals on top 8-5, after the bullpen blew yet another lead.
Sunday night wasn't any better, with Stephen Strasburg throwing his first complete game in a 6-0 shutout of the Phils.
Strasburg allowed just four hits that game, completing the first sweep of the Phillies in D.C.'s Nationals Park.
The weekend sweep made the Phillies losers in 17 of their last 20 games and they have a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves up next on the schedule.
While the Phillies have completely collapsed since coming back from the All-Star break, the Braves have been running away with first place in the National League East, winning 18 of their last 23 to lead the division by 14.5 games.
With their 74-46 record, the Braves lead the Phillies (52-65) by a whopping 19.5 games in the standings.
Life certainly isn't easy for the Phils right now and a trip to Turner Field doesn't help the situation.
However, maybe things would be a little better if this team showed some life.
The second half of the season has been rough so far, yes, but the Phillies haven't really been presenting much of a challenge for their opponents, especially this past weekend against the Nationals.
The Phillies were second in the division not too long ago, but now they have fallen to fourth in the division behind Nats (57-60) and the Mets (54-61).
If they keep playing without much life, like the way they have as of late, the gap between them and the Mets will just keep getting worse.
Is this season lost? Yeah, pretty much. However, that doesn't mean that a team shouldn't try anymore.
The Phillies are going to play the top team in their division for the next three nights.
These games might not mean much, but a couple wins will at least show that they're still trying.
(Image from Stamord Advocate)