Beerleaguer: Hot and cold for five months, the Phillies have fallen into a frustrating September rut of very mediocre play: inconsistent pitching - a good way to characterize Cole Hamels' season - unreliable relief, with Tyler Walker and Clay Condrey letting the game get out of reach, and a very spotty offense that sure knows how to string together zeros, as Sam Donnellon put it last week. Overall, just a poor showing in a playoff setting with the Braves beginning to breathe down their necks. Tomorrow morning around the water cooler, people will point fingers at the offense, but I didn't like anything about the pitching, either. Veterans like Miguel Tejada and even Kaz Matsui offered a glimpse of the types of smart at bats they'll face in October. Right now, this pitching staff isn't where it needs to be.
Instead of setting their playoff rotation and sharpening their blades, the Phillies, ahead by four and with the Braves refusing to lose, would happily back into the postseason.