By Sam Bush
The Phillies boy genius GM Matt Klentak decided to go cheap on the bullpen before this season started.
And that decision is costing the Phillies countless games, including last night in DC.
Thirty-two-year-old rookie Yadiel Hernandez hit Phils reliever Brandon Workman’s 2-1 cutter for a walk-off two-run home run in an 8-7 loss to the Nationals in Game 2 of a seven-inning doubleheader at Nationals Park.
The Phils had taken a one-run lead in the top of the extra inning.
After also falling, 5-1, in Game 1, the Phillies dropped to 27-29 and into 10th place in the eight-team NL postseason field — one game behind the Reds (28-28), Brewers (27-27) and Giants (27-27), with the four clubs likely battling for the two Wild Card spots.
“This obviously isn’t what I was looking for when I came over here,” Workman said. “It wasn’t what the team was looking for.”
The Phils have a massive payroll and as of last Saturday they had an 87 percent chance of making the playoffs.
This morning they have only a 36.6 percent chance to make the postseason, according to FanGraphs.
“It definitely feels like a bad dream,” Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto said. “The bottom line is we have to play better, and we have to play better in a hurry. We’re still in it. We’re not eliminated yet. We still have a chance to make the playoffs. We just have to play better baseball all around.
“There’s not one area that’s really killing us. There’s not one area that we can’t improve to play better baseball and get to the playoffs. We just have to do it. We’re running out of time a little bit, but mathematically it’s possible.”
“We have to fight out of it starting tomorrow,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “And we’ve got to win games. That’s the bottom line. Now we have to rely on other people. And we have to win games.”
The Phillies have lost four consecutive games and 14 of their last 22. There are many reasons why. There have been injuries. Realmuto played Tuesday for the first time since Sept. 12 because of a strained left hip flexor. His two-out infield single in the sixth inning of Game 2 scored a run to tie the game. Realmuto’s hip throbbed after sprinting down the line, but he said he is fine and expects to play Wednesday.