The Philadelphia Phillies' recent bullpen woes continued on Monday in a 10-8 extra-inning loss to the Atlanta Braves in the first game of a doubleheader (box score). The Game 1 defeat marked the third time in the team's last three losses that the Phillies have been tied or ahead in the sixth inning or later only to lose the contest.
What's more is that this is the fourth time in their last eight losses that the Phillies have squandered late-inning heroics by either Bryce Harper or Trea Turner. Allow us to briefly recap each of those four occasions:
- Aug. 23 vs. Giants: Harper ties the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a three-run home run. The Phillies go on to lose by three in 10 innings.
- Aug. 30 vs. Angels: Harper puts the Phillies ahead by one with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning (his 300th career home run). The Phillies would nevertheless lose by two.
- Sept. 1 vs. Brewers: Turner hits a three-run home run in the top of the eighth to give the Phillies a two-run lead. They'd lose by two.
- Sept. 11 vs. Braves: Harper swats a game-tying two-run shot in the ninth. The Phillies lose in the 10th.
Here's Harper's most recent attempt at playing the hero from Monday's game:
We'll note that Turner continued his recent tear as well. He went 2 for 5, launching his 10th home run in his last 11 games. His OPS at the beginning of that stretch was .715. He's since raised it all the way up to .787.
The Phillies still lead the wild-card race, but are only 1.5 games up on the Cubs for the No. 4 spot in the National League playoff picture. They are 4-7 in their last 11 games.