Phillies Mailbag: “Dopey” Fans, Crouse, Hurricane Effects
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN #Phillies mailbag. Each week we take your questions and answer them on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Tune in each Tuesday afternoon to hear your questions answered on the air.
How come the average Phillies fan is a dope? They are down on Aaron Nola want him traded. June 2021 claimed Bryce Harper was a bust now getting on him again, got excited when they signed multiple DHs to long multi-million dollar contracts. They play well, are in playoff hunt and fans tune out. How dopey?
Well, Frank, I think you might be hanging on every little thing here. But let's break down some of the points you make. I think there is an explanation for some of this.
First, the numbers give Phillies fans a reason to worry. Looking at Aaron Nola's two most recent September performances in full seasons, there would be room for worry:
September 2019: 0-3, 6.51 ERA
September 2021: 2-2, 6.19 ERA
Those are real numbers. And let's be real here: The Phillies were in contention during those two months. In the case of 2021, an Aaron Nola win in the final series would have meant a Phillies playoff berth.
But to that point: the Phillies have let fans down four years in a row when they were in contention or expected to be in contention. The "September swoons" spanned the Gabe Kapler and Joe Girardi eras. While Rob Thomson had done a remarkable job, managing to the best recording in the first 100 games of any Phillies manager, the doubt lingers on.
With the history being what it was, I cannot help but understand the worry, or even worse, apathy of some right now.
As for Bryce Harper, I'm not seeing what you are seeing. He has struggled some since injuring himself fouling off a pitch, but I don't see anyone writing him off.
What’s the status of Hans Crouse and where do they view him ending up?
Hans Crouse was one of the lucky injured Phillies in 2022. I say "lucky" because he was promoted just to be placed on the 60-day injured list to open up a roster spot. His season is over. But if I had to guess: the Phillies kept him on the 40-man roster to have him be next year what they wanted him to be this year.
That would be a Triple-A starter they could call upon in case of need. This season the Phillies were lucky that they were able to manage with both Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sanchez. The Phillies added Noah Syndergaard, but often teams need more starters than that due to injuries.
Hopefully Crouse is healthy in time for Spring Training and he can continue to be depth at Triple-A. While there, he can help write his own path forward as to whether or not he can be a major league starter. But for now the Phillies will not count on him for that.
What are the doubleheader options if they are forced to play two doubleheaders due to hurricane?
Well, the good news is that we have not seen yet precisely where this hurricane will hit the coast. Since the hurricane has turned a little bit east and hitting Florida a little further south of the Tampa Bay than originally thought, maybe the effect to the Washington, D.C. area will be lessened.
The current weather forecast for Washington, D.C. has Friday being a dry day. That means the Phillies could get one game in. Now, would the Nationals move one of Saturday's games up to Friday to try to get ahead of the weather some? It sounds like (as of right now) that Saturday could be a wash out.
Sunday has light rain in the forecast, so maybe they could get a game in.
But whatever they end up having to make up, the Phillies, Nationals, and all the other teams really only have one option: Thursday, October 6.
The Phillies need a combination of Phillies wins and Brewers losses to add up to 8 to make the playoffs. It would be nice if they can take care of that sooner than later, so weather does not mess that up. I think the Phillies would much prefer to win some games against the Nationals in Washington instead of relying on beating the Astros ahead of a doubleheader.
But let's wait and see.