Phillies not giving up
It’s been a rather strange campaign for the Philadelphia Phillies, who currently find themselves chasing the New York Mets in the National League East. Following Sunday’s blowout 15-4 victory against in-state rivals the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies are still one game below .500 but only 3.5 games back of the division lead.
The Phillies’ President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, isn’t giving up hope on the season, as he is adamant that his club still have a shot at reaching the playoffs for the first time in a decade. He proved his faith in his team by improving the squad at the trade deadline.
Not only did he make a deal for All-Star right-hander Kyle Gibson, but he also went out and picked up closer Ian Kennedy from the Texas Rangers in a six-player deal last Friday. Dombrowski wasn’t quite done there either though, as the Phillies also acquired infielder Freddy Galvis from the Baltimore Orioles.
“We think we made ourselves better,” Dombrowski said, via Forbes. “We’re really happy with what took place. We think it gives us a chance to win — a little better chance to win — based upon what we did.
“We needed a starting pitcher to help us. I do still remain optimistic that Zach is going to come back…because otherwise Gibson just replaces Zach, right? I’m hoping Zach will be back and all of a sudden we’ll be running four established starting pitchers out there who have been successful at the big league level and then fill in on that fifth spot.”
The last time the Phillies won the division was back in 2011, but there may not be a better time to go out and win it than this season. While the Atlanta Braves have won the division for the past three consecutive seasons, they have been far from their best this year.
The Phillies manager refuses to call the National League East a weak division though.
“I think some of it is because we play each other tough,” Joe Girardi said, via Forbes. “Our division, when it comes to injuries, we’ve all been affected by them. Then you have COVID on top of it. It’s just been a strange year.
“There’s a lot of good pitching in our division and there weren’t a lot of runs scored in the beginning and there were a lot of close games. I know what people are saying about the division, I get it, but I just think it’s a tough division, and even division. There are a lot of teams close to each other at a talent level.”
Philadelphia only managed to win one of three games against the Pirates over the weekend, but will have the chance for redemption against the Washington Nationals and New York Mets, who are their next two opponents. It will not be an easy path to get to the playoffs for the Phillies, but with the additions made prior to the trade deadline they have every reason to believe they can get the job done.