There's no way around it, Scott Richmond dominated the Phils last night. 8 innings of 5 hit, 1 run, 11 strikeout ball against the World Champions on the road. The loss dropped the Phils to 36-27 on the year, but only 13-18 at home. More importantly the Phillies are 0-8-1 when it comes to winning home series this season against teams not named the Washington Nationals.
Why are the Phillies playing so bad at home and so good on the road? The answer's not clear, however what is clear is that they must start winning in front of the home fans. The Phillies are doing so well on the road (23-9) that at this point of the season, if the team was only .500 at home, they would have a nice cushion on the NL East lead. Instead, being 5 games below .500 at home, they are only 3.0 ahead of an injury-plagued New York Mets squad.
Many unususal things have happened during homestands for the team this year such as the 1st game being at night, raising the championship flag, the ring ceremony, the rain outs, and the Harry Kalas tributes. The list goes on and on, perhaps going on the road and getting away from all of the championship reminders makes this team focus more on the road.
Some fans have said it doesn't matter that they don't win at home, as long as they win. I guess those fans have a point. If you get 90 wins on the season, and only 38 of them are at home it doesn't make much difference to the team with 90 wins and 50 of them coming at home. My concern is that if this team continues to play this bad a home, it could get ugly come September and October when every home game is a must win situation.
Winning today for Toronto is a must, and so is winning the series against Baltimore this weekend. In the beginning of July, with a 10 game homestand to close out the first half of the season against the Mets, Reds, and Pirates, this team can turn it around at home. However, wins aren't going to just be given to this team, as they should know by now.
At the time of this being posted, the Phils are trailing Toronto 3-1 heading to the bottom of the 3rd, the team must start hitting-not just in this game, but in general at home. Oh yeah, and Raul Ibanez was put on the DL this morning..it just gets better and better.