The Phillies used to win games like Tuesday night's 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Reds. But once again, familiar problems held them back.
Beerleaguer: First theme: Charlie Manuel hasn't been pushing the right buttons this season, a problem that resurfaced in Jimmy Rollins' failed 9th inning bunt attempt against flamethrower Aroldis Chapman. Glaring miscalculations like that have hurt, but it's more like a drop in the bucket compared to the broader issues: a general lack of talent; aging and underperforming players. Once again, I watch Jonathan Papelbon and wonder how he manages to get anyone out. Somehow, he gets results, but I look at his fastball sometimes and wonder. Chris Wheeler is quick to point out the runners left stranded with less than two outs. Over the course of a season, it's certainly a major part of why the Phils are out of contention. There's that, and also those fatal errors that more often than not have bitten the Phils hard.
The Phillies used to win these games. This season, they're just not doing enough to win them, from the calls coming in from the bench to the last man in the bullpen.