For the Philadelphia Phillies and two divisional foes, ‘21 is more about competing with crippled rosters through Oct. 3 than the talent on paper. All three organizations are battling with top stars out for the season, and fans can only imagine the difference a starter or a regular would make. Same boat, different crew!
Victory by Attrition:
While manager Joe Girardi must plug a rotation hole, the Phillies skipper must also meet the challenge of assembling a lineup to score enough to win more than those divisional rivals. Meanwhile, the natives are growing weary of the team’s chances despite their foes’ shortcomings due to out-for-the-year players.
IN OTHER WORDS:
“Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there's an element of talent you should probably possess, but if you stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.” - Dax Shepard
Determining the outcome with less than 20 ballgames is more difficult in 2021 because it’s an injury-plagued 162, and COVID-19 protocols can remove any player for 10 days or more. This summer, the Fightins, Atlanta Braves, New York Mets and Washington Nationals have lost stars until 2022.
For the Phils, they have an open rotation slot because Zach Eflin had knee surgery, and every fifth day is a bullpen game. So far, they’ve produced one victory and one defeat. And Rhys Hoskins also had medical procedures. But while Hoskins played five August contests, Eflin had started just one game in the second half.
In April and May, Archie Bradley spent five weeks on the IL (injured list) and wasn’t effective in his appearances. Plus Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, Didi Gregorius and Sam Coonrod missed time and/or played with minor injuries.