Has anyone seen that panic button anywhere?

After Thursday night’s shutout, the Philadelphia Phillies leave New York having not scored a single run in their three-game set there, and having been shut out four times in the last five games.

Charlie, we have a major problem: there is no good precedent for the Phillies being shut out for an entire series.

The last time the Phllies were shutout for an entire three game set was—strangely enough—also during the last week of May, back in 1979.  There, the Phillies were shutout by the Chicago Cubs on May 25, followed by a scoreless three game set against the Montreal Expos from May 29 to May 30.

It gets crazier: the Phillies record going into that game against the Cubs was 26-14, and once the Expos were done with them their record had fallen to 27-20.  Meanwhile, the current Phillies squad went into last Saturday’s shutout loss against the Boston Red Sox with a 26-15 record, and they are now 26-20.

The bad news, Phillies fans, is this: that was just the beginning of a bad run that eventually got manager Danny Ozark fired, and the 1979 Phillies team was the only squad out of five straight teams from 1976 to 1981 to not go to the playoffs.


There is good news, though: Cole Hamels pitched effectively against the Mets on Thursday.  Hamels pitching well at this point in the season is far more important to the Phillies ultimate goals than the Phillies offense scoring runs at this point in the season, so this is good news.

Still, it would also be nice to score some runs.

Meanwhile, the Phillies head to Florida for a three-game set starting tonight, and for the first time in a while the Phillies enter a series in a position to lose first place by the end of the series.

Worse yet, with all five teams in the NL East within three games of each other, the Phillies could, quite literally, be in last place by the end of this Marlins series.

Better keep that panic button at the ready.

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