Larry Bowa’s tenure as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies might be in peril.
Bowa and the struggling Phillies look to snap a six-game losing streak as they complete a three-game series with the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia had high expectations heading into the season, but injuries and inconsistent play have severely dampened its playoff hopes. The Phillies are two games below .500 and 5 1/2 games behind San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.
Philadelphia general manager Ed Wade declined to give Bowa an endorsement before Wednesday’s 9-8 loss to Houston, saying only, “He’s the manager.”
Wade did say earlier this month that he expected Bowa to finish the season, but wasn’t as specific Wednesday.
“I’m not getting into daily updates,” Wade said.
The fiery Bowa has come under scrutiny because the talent-laden Phillies have underachieved all season.
“I do the best I can. That’s all I can do,” Bowa said Wednesday. “I don’t worry about it.”
Bowa’s job security wasn’t helped by another crushing loss.
Carlos Beltran’s two-run double in the eighth inning helped Houston rally past the Phillies. Beltran finished with two hits and three RBIs.
However, the Astros suffered another blow to their injury-riddled pitching staff. Roger Clemens strained his calf running the bases, but doesn’t expect to miss his next start.
Before Wednesday’s game, the Astros learned Andy Pettitte will have season-ending elbow surgery next week. Pettitte was 6-4 with a 3.90 ERA in 15 starts in his first season with the Astros.
Houston is also desperately trying to stay in the wild-card race. The Astros are six games behind San Francisco.
“We just have to keep winning,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “We thought we’d be in better shape. We have to do it the hard way.”