What the Philadelphia Phillies have gotten for their money

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 16: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park on July 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 16: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park on July 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

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It wasn’t a pretty game, but Vargas battled, and the team supposedly committed to winning (remember the “stupid” money remark), the Phillies, won on home runs, 6-5, including an inside-the-park ball that could have been called a catch by some knucklehead umpire or review umpire.

Sept. 11 has been a date for evaluations for all but nine months of this century, many of them regarding more serious matters than baseball. However, it doesn’t seem a bad date – not far from the season’s end – to review what the Philadelphia Phillies got with all those All-Stars secured last winter, one of whom now holds a contract worth just a bit less than a third of a billion dollars.

No one can really fault Bryce Harper for the Phillies woes although many have tried in Negadelphia. He has driven in 102 runs and played hard every day. Also, J.T. Realmuto has delivered and is seemingly a lock for the NL Gold Glove at catcher. He had one fairly extended slump in July. Otherwise, it’s hard to find three games in a row without a hit in his ’19 record.

Yet, here the Phillies are before play Sept. 11: 2½ games behind the second Wild Card as people went to the sleep in the East. They’re four games better at the same point than last season in that sad race, true, but really, to quote the forgotten great Peggy Lee, “Is that all there is?”

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The Phillies will surely “keep dancing,” as Lee recommended, until the end of the season, but immediately after they are eliminated, they need to decide how to address their significant pitching problem. They’re also going to have to drag out the brainstorm whiteboard and their markers for the subject of offensive consistency.