PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With the losses piling up, the Philadelphia Phillies are moving closer to a major overhaul.
The Phillies followed up a successful road trip with a dismal homestand that left them a season-worst eight games behind in the mediocre NL East. They were 34-38 and only 3 1-2 games out of first place following three straight wins in Atlanta and two more in St. Louis.
But they're 2-8 since and just finished getting swept by the first-place Braves in a four-game series. Unless things drastically change on a 10-game road trip that begins Tuesday night in Miami, the Phillies could be big sellers before the non-waiver trade deadline. They're 36-36 and on pace to win 71 games, their fewest since going 65-97 in 2000.
"The time has been now for two or three weeks," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We had a good stretch there, we had a winning streak, and we weren't able to come home and continue. But that's what we need now, to go on the road after an off day, where we've played well, and hopefully pick it up and have a road trip like we did the last."
The Phillies spent Monday recovering from their latest awful stretch. They've played their worst baseball in front of the home fans, going 18-27 at Citizens Bank Park. Eight of those losses were shutouts.
"I don't see terror in anyone's eyes," center fielder Ben Revere said. "We're competing and I think it's going to change."
That's more wishful thinking than realistic.
These Phillies don't seem capable of turning it around. They hardly resemble the team that won five straight division titles, two pennants and one World Series from 2007-11.
"It's a tough spot to be in," slugger Ryan Howard said. "We'll try to take this off day, get this out of our system and try to get right on Tuesday."
An inconsistent offense has been Philadelphia's biggest problem. The starting pitching has kept them in games and the bullpen was outstanding in June, but hitters don't deliver in the clutch and the team continues to make fundamental mistakes in every facet of the game.
"We have to do the little things to win baseball games, whether it's putting the ball in play to get a run in with the infield back, whether it's getting jumps on balls, that's fundamentals," Sandberg said.